Howdy everyone this is my guide to Venomancer. I must warn you that this is my first guide and any suggestions would be welcome. Venomancer is a versatile hero in my eyes as he can be specced for different purposes as a support. What I mean by that is you can spec into gale and poison sting for ganking potential or into plague wards to pushing/defending towers. My personal favorite way to play is to harass/gank while laning and that is what this guide will center on; how to play support venomancer while annoying the **** out of the other team. As others do not want to play this way, I've included additional specs that I've tried and feel work decently well for pubs.
Good early game harass/ganking potential
Max level wards good for pushing
Poison sting does a lot of damage early game
Squishy, especially late game
Right click damage tapers off the further the game progresses
Tendency to be focused in team fights
The great part about venomancer is he is very item independent. As such, you can focus on harass/deny while your lane partner farms. This is my reasoning behind my item selection:
: You're support. Supports buy couriers.
: Health regen for if/when you get harassed back. If you don't buy courier, get another one of these or save your gold.
: If you get off some gales you need mana back.
: I took a lot of damage...better heal up.
Ring of Protection
: This is the most likely one to be questioned. I like getting this as it provides some armor which give some survivability. Also it can be built into Ring of Basilius
Ring of Basilius
: Additional armor for survivability and armor for your lane partner. Makes it easy to take a few hits while going for ganks. The mana regen is also usefult as Venomous Gale
can eat into your mana pool early game.
: Once you get these you're pretty much good to go. This will let you keep up mana for ganks and help your team.
: You are support. Ward stuff. Your team will love you I promise. This gives your team vision and intel as to what the enemy is doing. This can prevent ganks and let you know if they attempt Roshan.
Town Portal Scroll
: This will let you get to tower quickly to attack/defend or get you away from the enemy trying to kill you. Always always always have one on you.
These items are pretty self explanatory but I'll go over them anyway.
: When used, this item heals your team and provides a short term armor bonus. This item has turned team fights for me many times as it recovers your team's HP and the additional armor grants more survivability. Make sure your team has this item before getting any other support items.
Drum of Endurance
: The aura gives bonus attack and movement speed to you and your team which is always a good thing. It comes with 4 charges which when activated grant a temporary boost to attack and movement speed. This is good to have because it allows your team to put out more damage quicker in a fight.
Pipe of Insight
: Gives yourself mana regen and magic resistance which increases your survivability. When activated, gives your team a shield to absorb magic damage. Great when fighting heros such as Lina
or Ogre Magi
Black King Bar
: Probably not the best thing for Venomancer since you really only need to get off two abilities in a team fight to be useful, but if you keep getting stunned and have excess gold (after getting support items) you could get this.
: Same reason as BKB except for getting right clicked down.
Dust of Appearance
: Because screw those invisible heroes. For real though, its always annoying when you get a Clinkz
or Bounty Hunter
very low and they pop invis. This will grant vision so your team can finish them off. Also could be used to deward.
: Useful for initiating with your ult has you can pop up in the middle of the enemy team and hit them all. Also great for escaping when enemies are chasing you.
: Probably the best survival item for Venomancer as you can sneak away from the enemy before they see you or if they suddenly jumped you. This item can also be used to initiate because you can sneak up on the enemy and pop your ult.
How to play
I apologize in advance for the solid wall of text.
Focus on denying and harassment. If solo laning, make sure you get last hits as much as possible, otherwise let your lane partner get them. When the enemy heroes come in for a last hit or deny, hit them with your auto attack. This works especially well against melee heroes. This serves two purposes. 1) Get the enemy health low so they have to leave the lane and miss farm or so you can gank. Poisoin Sting also slows which makes ganking easier. 2) Make the enemy spend money on tangos to stay in the lane and farm. This also ties up the enemy courier.
My suggestion for a good gank is to auto attack the enemy until they are at about half health (for melee) or a little below (for ranged) and then Venomous Gale
them. Gale will slow them (50%) as well as do damage and put a damage over time (DoT) effect on the enemy. This DoT is great as it can kill enemies who manage to reach safety from your auto attacks. Follow gale up with more auto attacks. Make sure when you attack you don't just sit there. Attack, then move closer to the enemy, then attack again. If you have a lane partner with a stun or an ability to quickly get them close to the enemy,such as Blink
you should have a kill.
While this goes on, make sure you keep a plague ward in the jungle for vision so you don't get ganked. Also, do not spam Plague Ward
, even if you're specced for them. This will just push your lane uncontrolled and potentially provide easy gold for the enemy. I made this mistake starting out and quickly learned not to do this.
The Rest of the Game
The rest of the game I would advise hanging around other teammates to help kill people or finding a lane that is safe to farm AND is unoccupied by a carry. Later in the game it will be harder to kill people by yourself and you may find yourself the victim of death by enemy carry. Farming the lanes will keep them pushed away from your towers and get you gold for support items.
Venomancer is great for team fights because he has the potential to do massive AoE damage and is a decent initiator. You can initiate one of two ways. 1) Use Venomous Gale
some heroes. This will slow them and do damage, but the slow is what's important. This will allow your team to catch up to the enemy and burn them down. 2) Blink Dagger
or run (shudders) into the middle of the enemy team and pop Poison Nova
. I generally don't like to do this as it mostly results in my death and the enemy team running away before any fight can ensue, especially if you ran in.
I suggest the gale method if you initiate. If you don't initiate, and there is a team fight, get in a good position and pop Poison Nova
. Your ult has a HUGE radius so you don't have to be too close and will tick off enemy health very quickly. Note that your ult can't kill people. Once you've done that, hit as many people as possible with your gale or hit people trying to run away with gale. This will make sure they're as close to the fight as possible while taking massive damage form your ult. Once you've done both these things put down some wards (preferably by people trying to run away), auto attack, and use those support items.
If you find that you're pushing the enemy tower (like if you're laning with a Kunkka
) or your tower is being pushing (like if you're laning against a Kunkka
) I'd recommend going the ward spec I have above. If you go harass/gank spec and you find the situation changes, just start putting points into Plague Ward
. That's why Venomancer is so good. You can go one spec and change it to fit the situation. Anyway if there is a lot of tower action going on, make sure you spam wards around the tower being attacked/defended. As I said earlier, DO NOT spam wards in the lane.
In conclusion I hope this has helped some of you play Venomancer better. It is probably better for players who have experience to try the harass spec. New players should go with spec 3 as it's more balanced but if you're feeling frisky the plague ward spec should also be safe. As I said, this is my first guide and I welcome any suggestions offered. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide.