Hard Carry Naga Siren: An In-Depth Guide to the Most Solid Hero in the Game
Nihilus Nix Naught
July 14, 2013
Naga Siren has always been one of the most versatile Heroes in DOTA 2, and is criminally underplayed on the public scene. This is mostly because people assume that she is difficult to play and requires a lot of micromanagement. This simply isn't true. Naga Siren is relatively easy to learn, one of the best characters early, can play any role, and scales like a champion. On top of this, her ultimate is completely broken, as is a Diffusal Blade carried by her. Though she can play any role effectively, this guide will teach you how to play her in a hard carry role, and how to adapt to the multitude of situations in which you might find yourself.
Pros / Cons
-Great Starting Armor and Movement Speed
-Scales like a champion
-Good base damage
-Amazing 1v1 fighter
-Really hard to kill without a stun even when team ganked
-Hard to counter
-Great against BKB heroes in a teamfight
-Pretty squishy early
-Bad against cleave effects/silences
-Somewhat bad vs. naturally magic immune heroes
Your starting items are pretty basic, however you might notice the lack of branches. Compared even to other carries, Naga Siren has a super expensive core and needs to stay in lane/start jungling as quickly as possible. To do this, you have to stay in lane, which means more defensive items. On top of that, her starting stats are pretty decent and her base damage is one of the highest in the game, so you don't really need the extra stats to last hit. The extra armor from the ring of protection will also help keep you alive to ensure an early kill if the other team gets aggressive. If you're adamant about having a branch, you can replace the Clarity with one, but I don't recommend that as you need a lot of mana early, especially before you finish your Ring of Aquila.
Early Game/Pre-Jungling Items
Pick up the Boots of Speed first, for obvious reasons. Finish the Ring of Basilius before you have the courier bring them though.
The next item you should work on is a Ring of Aquila. Even though the +9 damage doesn't translate to your illusions, the item is perfect for you. It's incredibly cost-effective (which is important since you have a really expensive core), it gives you enough mana to spam your level two illusions every time they are active (needed for jungling) and occasionally use other moves, +3 armor to you and your illusions (auras don't affect them, but they do affect you, and the clones are copies of you; people make this mistake all the time), and helps all your stats a bit (especially agility, which makes up for the damage not translating to your illusions). You should call the courier when you're done with the Ring and the Tranquil Boots.
Tranquil Boots might seem like an odd item for Naga Siren, mostly because they are. I have them here for three reasons:
First, one of Naga's only weaknesses is that shes pretty squishy early if you catch her off guard. The Tranquil Boots solve this problem almost completely with the extra HP regen and the armor. It also helps you reset between creep camps, which makes your illusions tankier and able to kill more creeps.
Second, They are cheaper than other boots. Once again, expensive, core, save money, etc.
Third, they have a larger movement bonus than power treads. Since you don't have a slow, it helps you secure kills on anyone who tries to 1v1 you.
When you get more money later, feel free to upgrade the boots.
The Ring of Health is also obvious. You're squishy, it gives you health. Plus it builds into later items. If your last hits aren't coming along very wel, you can postpone it for a bit until after you've done some jungling.
Mid-Game Core Items
Finish the Vanguard first, it will make you and your illusions tanky enough for most fights, it's pretty simple.
Next is your first Diffusal Blade. Again, it's pretty obvious. You are the perfect Diffusal Blade hero. You need a little more mana, which it gives you, and the Agility boost is really nice. But the Feedback makes your illusions completely bonkers. At this point you can reduce even the tankiest heroes to dust in a matter of seconds. The Purge, while not always useful, is amazing when it's good, and never bad.
Oh yeah, and it gives you that slow I mentioned you sometimes want earlier.
Pick up a Preserverance as well. It gives you the rest of the mana you've been missing, that last bit of tankiness you needed to be really hard to kill, and a bit of extra damage. It also upgrades into a Linken's Sphere.
Once you finish these, you can stop being a useless jungler and actually go help your team.
You'll notice a lack of a Radiance here. While I'm sure nobody would argue that a Radiance isn't good on Naga Siren, it isn't right for this build. It's really expensive, and basically takes Diffusal Blade's place in the build. Diffusal Blade gives your illusions more damage than the radiance, as well as more mana regen for yourself, and both of the abilities are nuts. Also, the Radiance isn't as good unless you get it early. You get your Diffusal Blade relatively late in this build, so the Radiance wouldn't be as good.
The Vanguard is your best solution to tankiness in most situations, which is why it's listed in the default build.
If the opposing team has NO quick nukers and a bunch (3 or more) somewhat griny/tanky melee heroes, go ahead and make it a Poor Man's shield and a Drum of endurance. It's sightly more expensive, but worth it in these cases. Note that this will usually only happen in public games, but since you're reading a guide, you'll probably be playing mostly public games.
Anyway, the extra HP and Armor from the +15 Agility and +9 Strength total out to almost as much HP as the vanguard gives you, and the Strength gives you about half as much extra HP regen. The slight lack of tankiness here is fine, because even though you're going against hard-to-kill characters, they don't dish out massive amounts of damage quickly, allowing the extra stats from the Drum to more than make up for it. The +9 Intelligence gives you significantly more mana, and the Aura actually affects your illusions. They attack much faster and harder due to the Agility boost, allowing you to kill the tanks long before they can grind you out.
Another option you can go for is the trusty Soul Ring/Tranquil Boots combo. If you do this, you'll be giving up the Ring of Aquila. You'll be missing a lot of damage, but you'll have plenty of mana and more HP regen. I can't think of a real example when I would actually do this, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad idea, just really arbitrary. Maybe if you're being harrased in lane and need to be able to cast spells to stop the harrass.
Late Game Core Items
Since you should be getting kills left and right now, you should just be able to pick these up whenever you have the money.
Another one of you're only weaknesses is that if they can stun you, they can gang up on you and sometimes gank you before you Song and run away. Having a Linken's Sphere makessure this doesn't happen, gives you even more mana regen, and makes you nigh impossible to beat in a air fight. There's a reason why Asian teams sometimes rush this and skip the Diffusal Blade. It's that good.
Speaking of Diffusal Blade, be sure to upgrade yours when you get the chance, for obvious reasons.
Lastly, upgrade your boots. Normally you just want to make power treads for the stars and attack speed, but if they have really fast characters or you want to be pushing constantly instead of teamfighting, go ahead and get the Boots of Travel.
Your go to item for the super late game is the Manta Style. The movement and attack speed and the agility are really nice, and the two extra clones will make the towers and enemy heroes melt. Any of these will be really good, though.
Get the Heart of Tarrasque when you need to be even more tanky for some reason. Like Lion. Screw Lion.
The Blink Dagger is for if you're farm is a bit low (comparatively) or if you're team is relying on you to be the initiator. You can blink in and use Song of the siren, then everyone can come set up. Prepare to be cursed at endlessly for doing this, though.
The other items are all also great for Naga Siren. The difference between which one you should get is so subtle that it can only come from experience and I'm not going to bother explaingin it. Sorry. just know that all of them work fine in any situation, so if you choose the wrong one, you aren't screwed.
Note: The +81 Damage from Daedalus doesn't translate to your illusions, but the crit does.
Being a carry with amazing escape skills and high DPS and survivability, you shoul usuallu be the one carrying the Aegis. Don't be selfish, though. If there is a better Aegis hero, by all means let them take it.
You probably shouldn't go mid with this build, but if you do and have the extra freefarm, you can get a bottle if you like. I don't particularly like it, since it's semi-expensive and can't replace anything, but one of you might want to try it. Be sure to have someone take the lane when you move to the jungle, though.
The same things that make you a good Aegis hero make you a great Gem holder. Let someone else take it if you don't have the room, though; NEVER drop an item to get the gem, unless you are the only person alive on your team. If Riki is the reason you have the gem, make sure to get out of his silence cloud as soon as you can, or he'll kill you before you can song.
Sentry wards are a Situational item for everyone for the same reasons: Invisible heroes. Try to get your support to buy them, but if they are being stubborn, you're just going to have to suck it up and buy them for yourself.
Town Portal Scrolls aren't exactly a situational item, they just don't classify as part of the build. You should always be carrying one of these if you have the room.
Your early game is pretty simple and easy, since Naga Siren is one of the strongest heroes in the first ten minutes of the game. Be sure to go to the safe lane (or mid) though, so you can get to your jungle later. Just last hit like a good carry, which isn't hard because of your base damage. Once you hit level three or four, tell your lane buddy that you're going to try and gank someone. You should make illusions, then quickly initiate with the web. If they have any followup stuns/slows, they need to use them quickly. Run up to the and riptide with all of your illusions, then kill them. It should be pretty easy. Don';t chase them if they run away; the real point to trying so early is to ensure that your support isn't equal or higher level than them. A somewhat silly-sounding concept, I know, but he or she needs to be able to hold the lane by themselves once you're gone. To do that, they need to be somewhat higher leveled. Getting an early kill is really just a bonus.
Once you get to about level six or seven, you should have your early game items finished. If your Ring of Health isn't quite done, it isn't a big deal- you can finish it in a couple of minutes. Anyway, this is the point when your going to go into the jungle and farm for about twenty minutes, at least until you finish your midgame core items. It will get kind of boring and repetitive, but those godlike streaks later will make it worth it. Cast your illusions, then go clear a camp, move on to the next one. By the time you clear all of the camps, the first one should just now be respawning, so go to it. If it isn't up quite yet, go farm in lane for a minute or two. If the enemies in your lane are being aggressive, you can go for a gank. It shouldn't be too hard, since you can net them under tower right next to your support for three seconds. After that go back to farming. This next sentence will sound horrible, but will always work out for the better in the end: Ignore everything your team is doing unless they absolutely need your help. you'll be more helpful later on when you get the farm.
After you get your Perseverance, leave the jungle and actually go help your team, you lazy fish. It shouldn't be hard to get kills, and your teamfights should be amazing, so you theoretically should start doing well. Just don't go do something silly like pushing a tower alone, at least until you have your Linken's Sphere up. AS a matter of fact, make sure you DO push alone every so often once you have your sphere. Your enemies will have to choose between letting you push and take a racks, or sending a bunch of people to (usually unsuccessfully) deal with you, meaning the rest of your team can push. either option works out really good for you.
Super Late Game
If you are winning, you should be able to stay at or very near the enemy base for long periods of time' killing them if they attack you, or farming creep waves/ pushing if they don't. At this point, you should be nigh impossible to kill without a significant amount of resources. Having the Aegis is just icing on the cake.
If you're losing, try to get the Aegis anyway. It will really help you win that one teamfight you need to get the ball rolling, since you can go in, initiate, then tank all of the hits without dying. Don't try pushing alone, since because your team usually can't afford to push, they can always afford to send everyone to gank you. Just try to leverage your huge teamfight presense to slowly grind out an adavantage. Once you finish an extension item or two, the tides shouls turn in your favor. If not, something has gone horribly wrong with you or your teamates and two or three of you probably fed hard. You can't win them all, I'm afraid. If this is the case, you can always just but an army of couriers once winning becomes literally impossible. No team, no matter how good, can beat an army of couriers.
-Your combo is Illusions-->Net-->Riptide, not Net-->Illusions-->Riptide. This point was posted in another guide somewhere, and is completely true. Your net lasts a while, but the illusions take a while to form. Make them before you initiate.
-The courier is your friend. Use him liberally. You get way better with each item, so call him a lot. Be sure not to actually hog him though.
-You can use Song of the Siren defensively to avoid ganks or run teamfights that aren't going well, as well as offensively to initiate and give your team the perfect setup. It's one of the most versatile Ultimates in the game.
-Just be sure to thank the gods of DOTA 2 for this bountiful gift of your ultimate very time you use it. I can't stress enough how broken it is, and how lucky Naga Siren is to have it.
-Communicate early game. Once you're jungling, you can ignore everything for about twenty minutes. Until then, you really need to talk to your lane partner, as it can save lives/get early kills. Do this for every character, of course, but is especially important on Naga Siren, since she has so much early game killing power.
-Be aware of the map situation. If all of the enemy team starts heading toward your jungl, leave. It's pretty simple and easy to get the hang of.
-For God's sake, carry a TP scroll with you. This is just basic gameplay, really.
Friends in Lane/On Team
Dazzle: Allows you to tank them without dying and get an early kill, also helps immensly with that kill with his healing wave thing.
Venomancer: Your armor reduction makes his turrets do more damage, and his slow is really nice for securing the kills, since you don't have one. Any character with a slow is good, he's just got more synergy with you in my opinion. Be warned that he will steal a lot of kills and a bit of farm, though. He makes up for it by easily being able to defend the lane when you leave.
Sniper: Provides a lot of harass while not being particularly item dependent early on. Just make sure they know that you need the last hits, and that once you leave they'll have plenty. Plus imagine this: You weren't quite able to kill that Faceless Void. He's running, and even though your faster, he can get past the tower before you get those last couple hits, and your net is still three seconds from being up. And then BAM. sniper mini stuns him. GG.
Drow Ranger: She provides a Silence and a slow, two abilities thatr yo don't have that can be useful for ganking.
Ancient Apparition: Cold Feet is bonkers with you, because you can stun the enemy and surround it with illusions so that it can't get out of the stun area quick enough. Anybody else with a stun/ delayed stun is also good, but Ancient Apparition won't steal your farm, and can usually hold his own near the tower.
Slark/Slardar: Anyone with even more armor reduction, really, especially slows like Slark has. Come to think of it, any fish will work, since I think you all have armor reduction. Imagine how not fun it would be for your opponents to play against a team full of armor-reducing fish. I shudder imagining it.
I'll be adding more matchups as I do some more hardcore playtesting with her against a bunch of different heroes. So far, this is the information I have. Feel free to comment and tell me if there are any matchups I should add and why I should add them.
Your web stops invisibility while it's on them, and Broodmother is squishy enough that you can usually kill her quickly enough by comboing Illusions-Net-Riptide-Autoattack. Plus the Purge on your Diffusal Blade takes away her ulti a bit later.
You get your illusions earlier, and his stun will usually hit an illusion. Even when fighting while both of you have illusions out, your Riptide will do damage to all of them. You can also song of the Siren at any point against him. Song of the Siren makes all of your matchups good, actually.
You can probably see a pattern forming here. You're generally good against anyone with huge single target disables, thanks to your illusions. Bane is the master of single target disables, and is squishy on top of that. Your net also interrupts his ulti.
Even if he stuns you before you make illusions, he usually can't kill you before you get back up and use use them. Your purge takes care of his Ultimate as well, and your Net+Riptide should make him squishy enough to finish off in a matter of seconds. If anything still goes wrong, you can always use you Song. That spell is so broken.
He isn't actually all that bad of a matchup since you have your net and your Purge, but he can be problematic if your net is on cooldown or you don't have your Diffusal Blade finished. His Blade Mail+ Passive counterattack make your illusions cry.
Three or four multi-target stuns make this guy a nightmare for you, and his ulti kills all of your illusions (and often you as well). Don't pick Naga if he is on their team. If you picked Naga first and they picked him to counter you, just avoid him.
She can steal your mana, And her ulti kills all of your illusions. Fortunately, the Feedback from the Diffusal Blade combined with her Mana Shield steal a lot of her mana too, keeping the matchup from spiraling out of control. She does outcarry you, however.
His stun can potentially stun all of your illusions as well, his sand will deal more damage to your illusions and can reveal you that way, and his ulti kills them all and usually you. Worst of all, you don't have a way to keep this matchup semi-reasonable. Scorpions kill fish, stay away from them.
Naga Siren is one of the most versatile heroes in the game, and has the potential to be an extremely hard carry without too much trouble so long as you can play competently.
Thanks for reading if you've gotten this far. This is my first guide, so tell me what you think, and what I can do to make them better in the future in the comments. Remember to also post matchups you fell I've neglected. If you want to play with me on steam, I'm always accepting friend requests under the name of Nihilus Nix Naught (with the pink profile pic). Thanks everyone.