All guides: AM, SB, Weaver, Axe
DotA is constantly evolving and the best DotA players are those that can adapt. This guide is aimed at matchmaking (obviously) and if you're reading this guide to learn how to do well with Weaver in matchmaking then this guide is for you. If you are not reading this guide to learn how to do well with Weaver in matchmaking then this Guide is not for you. I also have a dota 2 channel with tips, guides etc if you want to check it out.
I've been playing DotA for about 9 years on and off and have had DotA 1 league experience on platforms like Bored Aussie, Garena, DotAlicious etc.
- One of the best offlaners in the game, because even with true sight, weaver is difficult to kill.
- More of a semi-carry than a hard-carry.
- A great '2' hero and fits well in any tri-core lineup.
- A carry with great damage output early in the game who can pressure early if played correctly.
- An easy hero to suck with if you build him incorrectly, but an amazing hero once you master him.
Weaver is not a
- True hard carry like Spec, AM or PA.
- Hero that can tank much punishment, especially early on.
- Hero that can do much as the '4' or '5'.
Purchase orders aren't a one size-fits all games thing and the best sequence will change from game to game.
The idea to buying a Circlet, Wraith Band Recipe, Ring of Protection and one set of Tango is that it allows you to rush Ring of Aquila from the side shop.
Ring of Aquila
Let's look at this item for a moment. In a nutshell it gives you: +15 dmg (+6 from agi), +6 agi, +3 str, +3 int +3 armor & 0.65 mana regen. The cost-effectiveness of this 915 gold item is enormous, and it is amazing for you to be able to have 1 min in to the game, mainly because the +15 dmg is a godsend for last hitting and harassing. This build does leave you a bit short on tangos/salve however, so you may need to ferry your self extra tangos or salves at some point.
Poor Man's Shield
Seems like it may be cost-efficient for ranged heroes but on a hero like weaver that lacks survivability, but having this easy access side-shop item which gives +6 dmg and damage block is a godsend. After playing a few games with Poor Man's and a few games without, I can safely say that Poor Man's is an absolute must. Trust me, this 550 gold it will save your life at least twice every single game. Pick this up before boots.
Power Treads will give you survivability and DPS which you will sorely need. I don't believe in playing Weaver as a 'hard carry' so Tranquils is out the window. You can switch to Agi treads when you are going Glass Cannon mode. It's up to you what order you pick the components up in. Because of Skukuchi, Weaver is less reliant on Boots but it's much better to have them.
If you are ahead or game is relatively even, this is the best item for you to be having the most game impact but it will leave you as a glass cannon before you can get your next defensive item so that's how you'll have to play- as a glass cannon. The amount of DPS you can put out relative to the timing of it can turn most engagements in your favor as long as you're not burst down.
If you need to switch gears and play from behind, surprisingly, Linken's Sphere is your best bet. It provides you with the survivability and regen to farm without dying. Your aim if you go Linken's is just to farm and survive so that you can possibly weather out the storm and win the game late. With only Linken's you won't have as high damage output as you'd like so you'll need to keep farming to get a damage item after it.
You will need to have a good look at the enemy team in order to decide what to go after your Desolator or Linken's.
If physical damage is your main 'threat', Bfly is foolproof since evasion should counter the enemy team's physical carry/carries as long as they don't have MKB. This will allow you to win head-to-heads with enemy carries, giving you physical survivability as well as DPS.
Heart of Tarrasque
If pure damage and nukes are your main threat and you feel like you're doing a decent amount of damage, Heart is probably your best choice.
Black King Bar
If disables are your main threat, may become a must if you went for Desolator and the game has dragged on. If you went Linken's you shouldn't be having as much trouble with disables. If you are still having trouble having gone Linken's, a Heart would probably be a better idea.
Monkey King Bar, Daedalus
MKB may be a must if they have any sort of evasion whether it's PA, Butterfly or if they have abilities to give you miss chance. Daedalus will be better if they don't.
Medallion of Courage?
Weaver is already a paper hero and the lowered armor is actually massive early on, even if you're only using it offensively. You might say that you're only going to use it offensively and are not taking much damage but in practice, this is rarely the case. I've tried games with Medallion and games with Poor Man's and the Poor Man's seems always to be the more solid item. You can try it in place of Poor Man's but I much prefer Poor Man's and from experience, that's the item my guide is going to have to recommenced. ADDENDUM: I re-evaluated Medallion in place of Poor Man's and came to the same conclusion, I still prefer Poor Man's every game.
Magic Stick in to Magic Wand?
There's an argument against the amazing magic stick/wand? Yes, actually. While they are usually very cost-effective, there is a reason Poor Man's is better in many scenarios. At least half the times when you die it will be because you were disabled and burst down before you could Skukuchi or Time Lapse away. In these cases Magic Stick/Wand will not help you but Poor Man's is passive and will save you from a lot more than 150 dmg in an engagement, as well as giving you +6 agi, which gives you a little higher armor and dps. Situationally, Magic Stick/Wand may be a good laning item vs Zeus, Batrider or Bristleback.
Skukuchi is one of the best abilities in the game for the simple fact that it makes you invis, have full movespeed and is spammable. I also recommend watching the video guide for video footage of some of these techniques along with my explanations.
Skukuchi to harass
Attacking once with germinate attack then skukuchiing in to them can be a very strong harass but it uses up a lot of mana and often you will want to save mana for skukuchis to kill or escape rather than harass. The other way to harass is simply the normal way- hit them but save your Skukuchi for when they target you. That way you'll almost always get favorable 'harass trades'.
Spamming skukuchi for max damage
One things that is highly underestimated about Weaver is the amount of damage skukuchi spam can actual deal. 150 magical dmg every 6 seconds is a big deal, especially early on, if you can couple it well with your auto attacks. However, if they have any sort of detection then skukuching in for damage may place you in a position where you're going to die so you have to be careful when you're going in for skukuchi dmg.
Saving skukuchi to escape until after disables vs detection
One thing about skukuchi that is important to note is that regardless of if you are revealed by sentries or not, you will still have full movespeed to escape sticky situations. The worst possible thing that you can allow to happen is to be stunned while you're skukuching because you'll waste some of the invis/full ms duration. This is why sometimes it's important to hold off on skukuchiing if they have detection, until after the enemy heroes have used their disable/s on you. If they don't have detection, it's better to simply Skukuchi ASAP.
Fogging to hide in between skukuchi cooldowns
Another technique when you're using skukuchi that might sometimes come in to play is using fog to hide in between skukuchi cooldowns. This can be helpful even if they have detection because you're much better off when you're moving at full movespeed, so if you can fog them in between skukuchi cooldowns when you're slower, it'll help you escape.
Skukuchi to dodge projectiles
Skukuchi can be used to dodge a number of projectiles such as Tinker's Missile and Sven's Storm Bolt but others like Alchy's stun are undodgable so don't rely on this too much. (apparently being able to dodge Storm Bolt and not Alchy's stun is a bug but this is effectively correct for now)
Unpredictable movement is your friend
Often being aggressive when it seems like you should be defensive and running can turn things around for you, even when you're ridiculously low HP.
Don't rely on bodyblocking out of Skukuchi
Body blocking with skukuchi may seem like a good technique to use but in practice, it's not that useful. There's enough for you to think about, position wise and trying to focus on bodyblocking coming out of skukuchi will affect your decision making and positioning. You can try it but it's a very situational thing.
Skukuchi in engagements vs detection
Playing weaver during teamfights and engagements when the enemy team has detection can be difficult. However if you position yourself on the edge of battle, sort of like a sniper, weaving in and out to deal out your dps, it should be difficult for you to be burst down. And as long as you're not burst down, you should be able to time lapse as soon as you're brought low. Once chaos breaks out in the teamfight, that's where Weaver really shines because you can move in and out of whatever detection they have while constantly dealing out your dmg.
Germinate Attack to last hit?
Last hitting with germinate is something I've always found a tad gimmicky and a little difficult to pull off consistently. However if you are up against a tough lane and you're struggling to last hit, you may have to try your luck at using the double attack to last hit. Most of the time I would just act as if you have 1 attack when last hitting because you'll be more consistent with getting last hits.
Time Lapse to bait out kills
You can ensure kills by baiting them out, allowing yourself to be brought low and then time lapsing back to full. Even better players fall prey to wishful thinking and somehow forget that Weaver can simply time lapse back to full but better players won't fall for this more than once in a game. Do not do this against heroes with burst damage or massive disables though, because if you're instead burst down before you can time lapse, you just end up looking like a noob.
Things are going to vary drastically from game to game but I'll do my best to walk you through what you want to be doing at each stage of the game.
Weaver is a hero that can do fine as a safe lane carry but he's better utilized in the offlane. Mid is awful for him because it completely negates the harassing power and maneuverability of skukuchi. Most of the time you should be in the offlane and I'm going to assume you are an offlane weaver.
You want to pick up your Ring of Aquila from the sideshop as soon as possible. Regardless of what lane you're up against, you should do your best to harass- sometimes the best defensive is a good offensive and this is definitely true with weaver. Germinate Attack and Skukuchi are really great for harassing with, and if you get in trouble, you should almost always be able to escape with Skukuchi. Unless you're up against a trilane with a lot of disables then you really shouldn't die unless you make a mistake, even if they buy detection.
Pick up your Poor Man's and Power Treads from the sideshop asap. Throughout the early game, if you get these items at a decent pace then you should be dealing a relatively high amount of physical damage. Coupled with your skukuchi you may even be able to get kills on your lane if mid or other heroes on your team come to gank. You should be carrying a tp and doing your best to be at engagements because you can have a lot of impact on them even at this stage of the game. You should try to get as much out of your lane as possible but Weaver has a slow attack animation and so last hitting may be difficult. What you can do is use skukuchi to secure the occasional last hit, while at the same time using it to harass but be careful to save your skukuchi mana to escape if you get in a stick situation.
At some point after the laning stage, you need to tell yourself that you need to sit down and just farm a lane. It will usually be safer for you by this point since you'll have Time Lapse as well as Treads and Poor Man's to play with. However when you go off to farm you need to make sure to carry a tp so that you can get quickly to any teamfights. Do not miss teamfights just to farm. Depending on how the game progresses, you should either be getting a Perseverence for Linken's or Mithril Hammers for Desolator.
If you have no lanes to farm and there's not much else to do, you should go to the jungle and spam skukuchi along with auto attacks in order to farm quickly. Weaver can farm surprisingly quickly in the jungle and it's an highly underrated source of farm. The only downside to farming the jungle is that you'll be taking a lot of dmg so if a teamfight breaks out you won't be able to go. However if you do one run through the jungle quickly and then go back when you're low, you'll be fine. You'll also need to start relying more on your auto attacks and a little less on your skukuchi dmg.
This is when you need to stop relying on skukuchi for dmg and mostly use it for position. Again, always carry a tp. Fortunately at this point you can farm the jungle and ancients easily enough and you can do it quickly by spamming skukuchi. By now you should have Linken's or Desolator and be rushing Butterfly or any other luxury item of your choice. One or two teamfights will decide the game at this point so you need to make sure to position yourself well and anticipate detection being everywhere. Playing it safe, farming and being patient is the key to the late game. Being chinese is the key to the late game.
Linken's from behind
This is a video of me playing weaver in a pub with live commentary. I play from behind and decide to go Linken's over Desolator.