|5.||No really, how do I play this bro?|
|6.||I don't really get the wiki's explanation of mana shield....|
|11.||Stereotypical Agi Carry Build (Phase Drums Aquila HoTD Manta)|
|14.||What are my mid-game items?|
|15.||You keep saying our typical extensions|
I'm Sp12 -- I write guides here and can be found streaming at http://www.hashd.tv/sp12; if you have any questions/comments feel free to post at either. My solo ranked MMR is currently ~5000.
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.
HoTD's lifesteal gives you HP regen and a stack of ancients, while the arcanes fill your mana needs short term -- they're especially good if your lane partner wants extra mana. You get a fast HoTD to allow you to jungle with or without snake and stack ancients, then a soul booster to fill in your HP/MP pools.
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.
Similar to the previous build, but even more interesting. Instead of getting one item to fulfill bulk and regeneration, then others for damage, this build gets regeneration and quite a bit of damage/utility from a refresher orb, along with bulk from an eventual Skadi.
The earlier you get the HoTD the earlier you can start stacking, while the shadow blade and casual void stone let you start roaming and taking riskier farm. You can start this build on ancients by maxing Split Shot at 7 and getting a midas before your boots/HoTD. Your early game is a little squishy without shield so play safe.
Refresher is an insane item on Medusa that prevents you from losing teamfights, but beware the manacost with shield. Skadi is a necessity with the manacosts. You can get a Bfly (better synergy with mana shield) or AC (better synergy with ultimate). Typical carry items here.
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.
After being theorycrafted over at the playdota forums about two years ago, this became a semipopular Lifestealer/DK build. Armlet is some damage and a lot of regen. An orchid gives you mana shield tank as well as attack speed/damage/a good silence. I get this primarily against teams with blinkers/heroes that don't like silence, or when I'm feeling like playing unconventionally. Basically, Armlet and shield make you tanky enough that you can participate, and also give you pretty solid DPS and a single target silence.
The fast treads and the HoIW and Oblivion Staff solidify your laning advantage. This build gives some stats but focuses more on smaller engagements. This build gives good stats from armlet and int and mana regen from the staff so you should be able to win your lane with snake spam and push towers.
Our typical extensions work, but I think this build needs lifesteal and tank to be really good past 25 minutes. Manta works well with armlet as always, as does heart.
Primarily viable only on the radiant side, this is a skillbuild and item set for starting on the ancients rather than in lane.
When should I do this and why?
This is a build for when your team has too many farm dependent heroes. It gives you experience and farm above a solo lane if uncontested. In fact, if you're not contested this is very easy to do and gives you and your team a pretty big farm advantage. My best with this method is a 4:45 level 6 and Midas. This is relatively easy to counter, as all they have to do is creepjack you, gank with any two heroes, or place a ward. You skip snake because you're not laning at all, so you don't get any of the lane control it offers, but you don't need to for farming since you have maxed split shot.
How do I do this?
This is best explained by a video. Google "Medusa Ancient Jungling" and you'll find them. Basically, you cut down a lot of trees -- 4 directly below the ancient camp, 2 inside, and 2 on the other side, then farm them as they walk back and forth with split shot. Stop hitting the ancients at :45, stack at :53. You rush a Hand of Midas so you can accelerate your farm as you rotate between the hard camp and ancients. You then get a helm to stack the ancients while you farm jungle via split shot.
Pick from your favorite first item choice. I'm partial to Soul Booster and Shadow Blade, but Linken's is there. Pick from your typical extensions, making sure to continue stacking ancients with your HoTD creep.
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.