Disruptor is a support hero with a great range of harassment, utility and team fight spells. He's a well rounded hero, with a good basic attack and fast movement speed.
He is not at all farm dependent, able to utilise all his abilities effectively with a fairly minimal core set of items, allowing you to buy utility equipment for the team. His spells do require skill and precision to use well however.
He's very effective as a counter to "hard lane solo" heroes, who rely on their escape abilities to survive the lane.
+ Excellent team fight abilities
+ Good attack range and animation
+ Strong harasser
+ Great against most heroes with escapes
+ Item independent
+ Fast casting animation
- Quite squishy
- No true disable
- Lacks damage
- Limited farming/pushing ability
- Skills can be tricky to use
Thunder Strike is your main nuke and pushing spell. It delivers 4 bolts of damage with a small AOE around the unit you cast it on - the area will move with the unit, and will also allow you to keep vision of juking enemies, potentially setting up Glimpse. The 4 strikes 1 second apart also makes it easier to judge Glimpses.
It has limited utility against invisible heroes - their position will be marked, but it doesn't give true sight or deal any damage to them.
It has good effectiveness even at early levels, and the mana cost doesn't rise as you upgrade the spell. It's total damage of 400 at level 4 is very cost effective for 130 mana.
Part of the problem with Thunder Strike though is the long duration to actually inflict all of it's damage - this gives people time to use Magic Wand and other abilities that may be enough to keep them alive. This also makes it tricky to use for last hitting a wave of creeps.
Like most nukes, you ideally want to max it ASAP - although with Disruptor you sometimes want to consider alternative builds. It stacks nicely with the rest of your abilities if you can trap multiple enemy heroes inside a Kinetic Field.
Glimpse is a unique spell that returns an enemy hero to the position they were in 4 seconds ago. This can be very powerful, or have no effect at all - depending on where the enemy hero was and the situation.
The most obvious use of Glimpse is to return a fleeing hero to a gank or team fight to get the kill. It's incredibly useful against particular offlaners who have strong escape abilities - such as Windranger or Mirana. As long as you can keep vision of them through Thunder Strike or Observer Ward, then the considerable range of Glimpse will allow you to drag them back into danger after they've used their escape. It will be on cooldown, and their squishiness should mean an easy kill for your team.
However, this is only one of many potential uses:
- You can undo enemy teleports, yes Glimpse can send them all the way back to the fountain or half away across the map - wherever they were 4 seconds ago. And their Town Portal Scroll will be on cooldown.
- If you misjudge or the enemy Blink's out of Kinetic Field, you can send them back into it.
- You can use it to escape by sending enemy heroes back away from you.
- Glimpse instantly kills any illusion it is used on.
- It will break channelling spells like Dismember.
Good Glimpse use depends on figuring out quickly whether the 4 second backtrack will be useful or not, and using it at the right time. It has an incredibly long range once maxed, and can be used as long as you have some kind of vision of the unit. Levelling it also reduces the mana cost.
Quite often with Disruptor you want to set up aggressive wards around enemy T1 towers - this will both allow you to send back enemy teleporters, and get vision for bringing back fleeing enemies.
Kinetic Field is not exactly a disable, but more of a way of trapping enemies. It's the skill that binds together all his other abilities, and it's essential to learn to use it well if you want to play Disruptor.
When cast, it has a long delay before forming an "impassable" ring. Enemies can escape from it with either magic immunity or an ability that bypasses it - such as Blink or Burrowstrike - but they cannot walk out or use Force Staff or other similar methods. The enemy can see the ring forming, so good placement is essential - disables or slows are very helpful.
It has quite a long duration though early game, and is very cheap to cast.
Be aware that Kinetic Field can also be a useful way of escaping or helping team mates - enemies cannot pass through the ring from the outside either, so either have to walk around or potentially be blocked by other impassable terrain.
Static Storm is your ultimate - combining an AOE silence with a fair bit of damage potential. It has a cheap mana cost, and a reasonably short cooldown time - meaning it's use is not resticted solely to team fights.
Storm instantly silences any enemy heroes who are in it's AOE, and they will remain silenced as long as they stay in that area while it's active. The damage on the other hand starts slowly, and grows towards the end of it's duration, although even then it's somewhat limited as the game progresses.
In some ways the silence is actually the best thing about Static Storm - if you combine it correctly with Kinetic Field then you have a group of enemies trapped, silenced and getting damaged.
Aghanim's Scepter has a very appreciable effect - giving you 2 extra seconds of duration, but more importantly, it stops enemies from using item actives while under its influence. This means that enemies cannot just hit their Black King Bar and ignore it anymore.
The damage increase is also quite strong - the damage gets much stronger towards the end of the spell, so 2 extra seconds roughly doubles the total damage output.
Disruptor is a great team fight hero, but relies on you deploying his combo effectively:
- Start with Static Storm over the largest concentration of enemy heroes
- Immediately follow up with Kinetic Field to try to trap them in the same area
- Glimpse any heroes who escape the area back in to it
- Use Thunder Strike on a trapped hero, ideally one close to the others
However, you may need to wait a moment or two to try and get a decent grouping of enemy heroes - don't waste your abilities and let them escape the area easily.
You can combine well with many of the good team fight heroes - even a few seconds of slow or disable can be enough to let you get your combo off perfectly. Don't be afraid to let them initiate if they can do it better, or help set you up.
Disruptor is very flexible in that he provides silence, entrapment and some damage. As a general rule, allow heroes with mass disable or slow to initiate first, but do it yourself if they have a lot of AOE damage.
Example 1 - You're partnered with Faceless Void - let him initiate, and you will then have several seconds to place the perfect combo while the enemy is disabled.
Example 2 - You're partnered with Sand King - it's probably better for you to initiate, as you can trap enemies and prevent them from escaping his ultimate.
Example 3 - You're partnered with Enigma - usually you'll let him initiate with Black Hole, then immediately follow up with Thunder Strike and Static Storm. Start up Kinetic Field a second or so before Black Hole will run out.
When chaining abilities always try to work out what your team needs more - silence or damage. Damage should mean you get Static Storm down early so it will get it's full duration on them without them being able to escape. Silence time means you only cast it a second or so before the previous ability ends.
I found it a little tricky to nail down exactly what skill builds to list for this guide - as always you have to be flexible in your choices, and adapt to the situation in front of you. Your lack of escalating mana costs and the utility of your spells means there are few truly bad choices.
Personally I always like to start with Kinetic Field as it's the closest thing you have to a stun, and can save you or your allies even at level 1.
Maxing Thunder Strike first is the most obvious route to take, and is great if you want to harass the enemy and let your carry farm. Early game it's pretty effective, if a little mana intensive.
The alternative is to go for a Kinetic Field/ Glimpse combo, and go for kills. This can be especially effective against solo heroes who rely on their escape - like Dark Seer or Windranger. You need a strong (and reasonably alert) lane partner(s) to make this work.
Your ultimate is so cheap that you want to level it at every chance you get, there's really no reason not to.
Disrupter is typically a #4 or #5 role, depending on the other support hero who's picked up. He'll usually be played as part of a trilane, where he has the ability to setup kills even when low on levels - Glimpse is extremely powerful against some enemies. While he wants level 6 quickly for Static Storm, even a single point in each of his abilities makes them quite powerful.
Fortunately he's not very item dependent - some early Boots of Speed and a few stats will happily get you through most games without losing a lot of impact. He does benefit a lot from some extra HP though, with utility items like Mekansm and Arcane Boots helping his team. An Aghanim's Scepter and maybe a Ghost Scepter or Force Staff will round him out nicely if there's farm available.
Disruptor is quite an unusual hero with a lot of utility skills rather than hard disable or nuking power. Even his ultimate is quite a curious utility/damage spell. He's a good support pickup when your team needs a way of dealing with very mobile enemies, and some more team fight all in one hero.
Disruptor has simple needs when it comes to items and doesn't benefit greatly from having a lot of excess money or equipment.
Your two main issues are mana recovery, and being squishy. Once you get some levels together, Arcane Boots are usually enough to keep you up and running. A Magic Wand is always useful and will help keep you alive - the Bracer or Urn of Shadows is necessary to bulk you up a bit and ensure you stay alive long enough to get your combo off.
As a support hero, you will usually want to get at least some of these items after completing your core (sometimes you might want to skip the Bracer to get something like a Mekansm earlier), depending on what other heroes on your team are buying.
Usually Mekansm is your top priority for a utility item. Pipe of Insight doesn't especially suit your low health pool, but you might still need to be the person to get it.
If you did buy a Bracer, then it can be well worth building it up into a Drum of Endurance to maximise your inventory slots. Another item well worth considering is Ghost Scepter as it can work very effectively in the late game to keep you alive against enemy carries.
Force Staff is worth a mention too, as it gives you an escape, and helps your positional play for long range Glimpses and the like.
Aghanim's Scepter is a great item on you, and is normally the one that I'd most want to get after any utility ones are completed. You're rarely going to have masses of farm on Disruptor so even getting this together may take a while - however, it's very worthwhile for increasing your impact in the late game.
It's debatable whether you should really put any luxury items on Disruptor - he doesn't really need them to do his job effectively. The cooldown on your spells is too long for you to need a lot of mana for spamming, and your right click is nothing really worth developing late game.
Generally you'll want more "utility" type items like Scythe of Vyse, Boots of Travel rather than flat out damage or anything like that.
Disruptor is a good lane support for carry heroes, and due to his decent movement speed can work in both safe and long lanes.
Although his combination will help any team, he works best with other team fight heroes, especially:
- Naga Siren. Her ultimate is the perfect setup for your combo, giving you all the time you need to get everything up and running.
- Dark Seer. Vacuum and Wall of Illusion combine extremely well with your combo, enemies are drawn together, trapped, silenced and attacked by their own illusions.
- Jakiro. Both of you rely on locking down enemy heroes, and keeping them trapped in a confined area. Your combination benefits both of you in landing your powers effectively.
- Leshrac. If you can keep enemies trapped and silenced in a small area, it allows Leshrac to fully utilise his close range magical damage.
- Magnus. The dual grouping and stun of Reverse Polarity can be absolutely deadly with a good Static Field combo.
You're pretty damned squishy, so therefore vulnerable to big burst damage from these kinds of heroes. Good placement and positoning obviously help you here, but you need to keep your HP above their burst damage output wherever possible.
Offlane invisibility heroes can cause you some issues - you can't effectively harass them without a Sentry Ward, but that will make them wary, or content to sit outside it's range.
Disruptor is squishy, and therefore vulnerable to burst damage from the likes of Tiny or Lina.
Until he gets Glimpse levelled, he's unable to avoid mobile heroes such as Anti-Mage and Queen of Pain, and he needs Static Storm to be able to contain them.
Being so squishy you're vulnerable to all the usual gankers, such as Pudge, Night Stalker, and invisible heroes such as Bounty Hunter, Riki and especially Nyx Assassin.
As you're so reliant on your casting abilities, Silences will always be a problem.