|5.||No really, how do I play this bro?|
|6.||I don't really get the wiki's explanation of mana shield....|
|11.||Typical Agi Carry Build (Phase Drums Aquila HoTD Manta)|
|12.||What are my mid-game items?|
|13.||You keep saying our typical extensions|
I'm Sp12 -- I write guides here and can be found streaming at http://www.hitbox.tv/sp12; if you have any questions/comments feel free to post at either. My solo ranked MMR is currently ~5.5K.
This is a set of builds for Medusa, who is relatively balanced as a niche carry. She is a durable, teamfight/AoE focused hard carry. By hard carry I mean hard -- she's often brought up in discussions about the scariest late game hero, with an amazing EHP and DPS steroid along with a gamebreaking ultimate. If you're not familiar with the hero I would recommend the wikipedia article.
Each build gets it's own minisection for you to check out, so consider this an anti-alt-tab guide. They are sourced from the various Dota 1 scenes and my personal experience. The formatting for this guide is matched heavily with my Faceless Void guide, which you can check out if you play him.
Medusa is one of the few heroes in dota that could be called a tank, a word which applies not only to her durability but also her DPS. Medusa is an OK laning carry (600 range), though she lacks an escape mechanism before level 6. Mystic Snake crushes poorly positioned dual and trilanes, while Mana Shield allows you to be somewhat durable in lane and scales incredibly lategame. Split Shot does little early but reduce your last hitting power and push the lane, but late game takes your AoE DPS and puts you on Gyrocoptor's level without an attack limit. Her ultimate, Stone Gaze is an amazing (game breaking) skill that makes her difficult to gank without instant disables and makes teamfighting into her impossible. She crushes BKB dependent melee heroes and illusion carries alike.
As a hero Medusa is unique in that she benefits from every stat -- strength gives more HP, agility gives armor, damage, and IAS, while intelligence gives her effective HP. Generally, the most popular build that still gets used a lot in Dota 1 is Linken's Sphere+ Manta Style, but it's focused more towards a slower meta, and there are a several other builds worth checking out.
I'm not going to list out skills/whatnot, there's a well maintained wiki, excellent videos, and replays of how to play Medusa. An easy way to get better is to watch replays on player perspective -- filter recent games for Medusa and very high skill level. I will cover some of the points/tricks people are less aware of, even at higher levels.
Medusa is both a very easy and very hard hero to play. Medusa is a hard carry -- that is, a farming right click hero that will destroy once she has a level/item advantage. As is the case with most hard carries, do not pick her unless you like to farm and can do so competently while your team makes significant room for you. You should be very good at last hitting, map awareness, and stacking/jungle mechanics.
That said, she's pretty easy to play. Split shot means you have no issue flash farming, while mana shield gives you durability to play with. Mystic snake is your lane control and is ridiculously powerful and not that hard to use.
Basically, early game you should play passively (thought make sure to use your 600 range to harass) until level 3 (level 2 snake), or preferably level 5 (with level 3 snake), at which point you can start making back enough mana with 2 heroes in lane to let you control your lane. Your early regen (RoH, Basi, arcanes, HoIW, lifesteal, whatever) combined with mana shield and snake should allow you to attrition win most lane matchups. Farm and push your lane if they leave, making sure to use your ultimate if it's needed -- 90 seconds is not that long of a cooldown for an assured escape.
Around levels 8-11 you will be ganked or pushed into. Make sure to turn on mana shield as needed for survivability, and use snake to push/counterpush/farm/teamfight. Carry a tp scroll in case another lane is getting pushed. If you get ganked you can typically stone the enemies then run or TP out. Stack ancients once you have a HoTD.
Make sure your map awareness is good since you should be the enemy team's top gank target. Once you have items you become very hard to deal with without counters.
It takes half of the incoming damage and turns it into mana drain without applying damage reduction.
For example, if you get hit with a 300 damage Spirit Lance, you will lose (300/2*=150*0.75 (magic resistance)) = 113HP, and 150/2.5 (no magic resistance reduction)= ~60 mana. If someone whacks you for 50 damage you'll take ((25*.82) (base armor)) = 20.5 damage, and lose 25/2.5 = 10 mana. Late game you might have 20+ armor, so you'll end up taking less HP loss than mana loss.
You will only reduce half the incoming damage, which means theoretically there's a point where your mana pool no longer needs to be larger since you'll run out of HP first, however, as you are an agility hero you'll have significant armor reductions for your HP and you want mana to cast spells, so a good rule of thumb is to aim to increase your MP to be between 1.5x and 2x your HP pool. You will find that you almost always run out of MP before you run out of HP in later engagements, especially with lifesteal, manta actives, and potential refresher ultimates.
Another important note is that skill and item build are not a one-size deal. If you go mid a bottle would make sense. If you're getting free farm in lane and your team is pushing heavily maybe early split shot levels should take priority; maybe you can get a midas since their offlane is bad. If you're being trilane babysat but they have a strong ganker you should probably max shield at 7. There isn't a way for me to offer alternative skill builds, but know that you can be successful with many different ones.
Hand of Midas is good on any of these builds if you're getting freefarm. Most of these build can have a BKB added, but I'd rather tank magic nukes than have my team eat them. Obviously if the enemy team has mass stuns/aoe nukes you can grab one.
Boots of Travel are obvious pickups lategame after your 2nd tier four item, but can also be gotten early in a 4 protect 1 strat to maximize your farm. I should mention that even though I list power treads or arcanes in all of these builds, you can easily go straight from brown boots to travels.
This build is safe if a bit old-fashioned. I do not advocate it if you are comfortable with the hero unless it makes sense in a given game.
Fast RoH makes you survivable early and builds into Perseverance which lets you control your lane with Mystic Snake while also giving more survivability via Mana Shield. Your DPS comes from your split-shotting illusions, which are later augmented with stat items. Linken's tells the other team that you're going to be farming/pushing constantly and that an attempt to gank you will be difficult due to Linkens+ Stone Gaze. Linken's obviously helps your survivability. Your basic core costs 10K (~25 minutes) and gives good stats but serves more as an extensible base for you to stack more items on top of.
Medusa has to focus on farming early, but at level 3 you can contribute some damage/lane control with your snake. The stats give you more right click power, armor, HP, and mana, but as mentioned feel free to replace them with shield, which does give you more EHP against physical attacks.
Once you have a damage/stat item or two and split shot you can farm entire waves/camps faster than a battlefury carrier. Medusa needs a ton of farm, coming online with only Linken's and manta but performing much better with a Butterfly and Eye of Skadi. Butterfly gives evasion and DPS, Skadi gives slow, tank, and DPS.
This build is more high risk/reward version of the above. This is for people who are comfortable with the hero.
Farm in your lane, get a fast arcanes+basilius for mana regen and a HoTD for lifesteal and jungle stacks. You finish your soul booster to fill in your pools. I like to get maelstrom next since it's so efficient this patch. Extensions are listed. Put Mjollnir active on yourself for hilarity.
Very modern build abusing the fact that MoM amplifies after mana shield.
Play conservatively in lane, once you have MoM you can jungle rather efficiently.
After DE you have to decide on BKB, MKB, or Rapier next. MKB is safe, BKB is safer, and Rapier is crazy. For rapier try to get an aegis after a good push/teamfight and buy it in the pit. You must have 2+ friends with you at all times once you have rapier.
You see this build on every ranged agility carry. It makes sense -- it's pretty good.
Early basilius for last hitting, phase boots for laning, Aquila for stats and regen, drums for movespeed, HoTD for farming and stacking. Order doesn't matter as long as you have enough HP regen to not have to get HoTD first.
Unlike most carries though, you don't generally get BKB.
Manta is your first big item. Make sure you play as an ultimate dependant hero -- farm and split push while ult is down, split push aggressively and teamfight when it's up. Farm luxuries and win the game.
You may feel like you're useless farming forever. You're probably right, but that's the hero. If you're looking to be more active early here your primary choices:
And by that I mean any of the situational/preference items listed. Medusa can be built so many ways since she benefits from every stat, so what you get depends pretty much entirely on the game and enemy team composition. So here's a list with a quick analysis:
So there's some playstyles for Medusa. If you have any questions/comments/criticisms feel free to post them. At the very least I'd like a comment why if you feel like downvoting :P. If you feel it was worth the read a vote up helps get builds seen more.