Faceless Void Competitive Guide
August 5, 2012
This guide is for Faceless Void in organized games, though the advice given here can apply in pubs to some extent. FV is a hardcarry facing increasing popularity as he escaped the nerfhammer in 6.75. He has the potential to be the hardest carry in the game via his Chronosphere.
Role, or: Carrying
FV is a hardcarry, and is basically ~75% reliant on farm to win games. There is skill involved with placing chronospheres well and surviving the laning phase, but a poor void cannot contribute the way a Lich or Witchdoctor could. Like most carries, Void has a very passive early laning phase (before chronosphere) where he has basically no lane contribution besides a slowing blink that should probably be saved for escaping.
FV has very high base damage and a quelling blade makes you a great last-hitter, but you need good supports pulling/harassing/warding in order to minimize exposure to harass and ganks. You can time walk out of bad situations. At level 6 you can coordinate for a kill in lane. If you're up against a more aggressive lane stout shield is more than viable.
Around 12 minutes most of the roaming heroes will be roaming and pushers will be pushing, and you should hopefully have your morbid mask and power treads finished, at which point you can jump off the minimap and farm neutrals anytime you feel a gank coming. You must carry a tp scroll. You can certainly contribute to teamfights after your first DPS item, and even before with your chrono. If you have melee heroes position the chrono such that the enemies are on the edge and can get hit on by your own team. HoTD is surprinsgly core after 6.75 as you can always have a creep with you -- I recommend the centaur as he is a great followup stun for your chrono.
The longer the game goes the better items you have. An important point is to be farming all the time. A lot of newer carry players make the mistake of standing mid just becuase the enemy team is standing mid. Assuming you have wards you should probably be farming jungle anytime there's any sort of breathing room. Farm. At this stage of the game 5 seconds should be enough to kill anyone but spectre, so abuse your chronosphere. Watch out because the same applies to you.
Time walk is maxed at 7 for the reliable escape the extra range and slow add. The extra range is also a big deal for initiating, which your team might have you do. Just a sidenote, it's probably better to have someone else initiate then have you followup to eliminate heroes with disables/unpopped ulties. 1300 range allows you to initiate from offscreen, as well as escape from most ganks well. Both backtrack and timelock have decent initial chances (10%), but scale poorly after that at 5% per level. Backtrack is typically maxed first as lucky bashes are great, but you're likely the first or second gank target on the other team's hitlist. Feel free to mix it up between backtrack and time lock if you feel one would be more useful. Another once common build is to max backtrack at 7, taking time walk at 1 and 4. Take your ultimate at every chance, it's great for securing kills/stopping key targets from being productive.
There's actually a lot of room in FV skillbuilds, but this one should keep you alive well against good teams. The main focus is maxed time walk and early backtrack levels.
Typical regen, stats, and a quelling blade give you a good chance of laning well. A poor man's shield can be gotten against heroes with a lot of damage sources (Lycan, Enigma, Veno, LD) and works well with backtrack to shake off harass. A RoH is a typical carry item that gives you good sustainability and builds into a vanguard/battlefury/refresher depending on how your game is going. Lifesteal is the best orb for FV, and of course the magic wand is built out of your starting ironwood branches. Not only is it considered borderline overpowered anyway, but the burst of mana is probably going to be important if you end up teamfighting early. You must carry a tp scroll.
If you're winning your lane well a Battlefury isn't a bad choice as your first DPS item. It used to be very commonly built on FV, and can still be great for farming. Conversely if you lost hard going MKB straight after Power Treads and HOTD can be OK.
Lategame you want attack speed and damage, and you should focus on building towards what your opponents have. Are they bad and picked a PA? MKB. Manta Style or Naga/Terrorblade? Battlefury. A lot of disables? BKB. Pushers? Mjollnir is great. Rightclickers? Butterfly, Heaven's Halberd, or MoM are good. Evasion stacks fully with backtrack. Void is actually one of the best Aghanim's in the games, so it can be picked up after a damage item if wanted.
There are some situational items to consider. MoM is an often recommended pub item for FV, but really should only be gotten if they have a dearth of nukes/ranged damage sources. It can be good if you're in your chrono and the enemies outside can't do much to hit you, otherwise the extra damage is a big deal. Hand of Midas can be gotten on many carries, but should only be gotten if you're winning your lane and can have it by 7 minutes. Vanguard can be OK if you're worried about surviving as a PMS replacement.
Friends and Enemies, or, picking.
Anyone with good DPS or spells to work with chrono are good choices. Early game disablers/nukers with teamfight ulties or ranged DPS hitters are probably the best choice. Witch Doctor, Lich, Dark Seer, Shadow Shaman, and Leshrac are all good examples of allies who can capitalize on your chrono while still providing something in lane.
If the enemy team picks up a strength hero (Lycan, CK) they'll often have them pickup a halberd to basically waste 60% of your chrono. There aren't a lot of counters to a well farmed void, but expect that one.
An important note is that pause hasn't been implemented in dota 2 yet. Your chronosphere will pause Lycanthrope but not his timer for his ultimate. It also causes most DoT spells to countdown but not tick for damage.
If you have any comments/questions feel free to add them.