Loveless' Guide to Spirit Breaker
January 12, 2012
Hello, I am Loveless and this is my guide on Spirit Breaker. Any and all of my guides are built around my personal opinion of the Hero and how they should not only be built, but played. It is built off what I have done myself, which is a mixture of my own ideas and what I have seen others do, to make it the best I will be able to put forward in game with that Hero.
I will be going over the hero in general, my recommended items, and overall play style for each phase of the game. Again, these are all of my personal opinions and you can take them with a grain of salt. Start with the build and use it until you get used to the hero before you start to build differently for every match.
About Spirit Breaker
I greatly prefer the Heroes of Newerth version of Spirit Breaker, as he adds a lot more to the hero, but I digress. This is a site for DOTA2 and it's heroes, so let's talk about the original version.
Charge of Darkness has no base damage, meaning you are relying on the bonus movement speed from it's effect and your passive, Empowering Haste, to deal any significant damage from this ability. Instead focus on it's stun and relatively low cool down early on. This is why contrary to other guides, I suggest getting two points into it early on. It gives you much more use in the laning phase, at the cost of your damage output and Spirit Breaker's dominance over creep score.
What makes this hero is Empowering Haste, it is the source of all of his damage. It grants a passive movement speed bonus to you and your allies, while it gives you bonus damage dependent on your movement speed. The high amount of damage offered early on gives you an extreme advantage in the lane with your ability to last hit and many guides/players use Quelling Blade to enhance this trait.
Greater Bash ensures that Spirit Breaker isn't complete ****, offering a chance to stun with a very good chance to occur. Taking one level provides the same chance, it only improves in damage. In combination with his ability to chase and two sure-fire stuns, he can easily take on most opponents one versus one with relative ease.
Lastly we have Nether Strike, which brings this hero altogether. It provides a short blink, a great stun and if used to it's fullest, you can even use it to disjoint enemy attacks. It is improved through Aghanim's Scepter, which gives Spirit Breaker the ability to use this attack multiple times in a single fight. You would be a fool to not pick it up as the game progresses.
The largest majority of players get Mask of Madness on Spirit Breaker. The life steal and increased chance to activate Greater Bash attracts many, but at the cost of your ability to absorb damage. Do not pick this item up with the play style I am suggesting, instead focus on being able to survive battles and ***** your active abilities, focusing less on your passives.
As a hero that will be ganking a lot and roaming around, Urn of Shadows is for you. It provides strength which increases your damage and mana regeneration to keep your mana flowing. The bonus damage on a fleeing target and ability to heal yourself afterwards is fantastic. Any hero that is put into the role of ganking and gets up close a lot, should have an Urn of Shadows as a desired item. I have replaced Urn of Shadows with Vanguard, it is pretty much a requirement if you want to do well with this hero in just about every game. Pick it up and if you cannot find a lane to get some decent farm, start stacking jungles and farming off the small camp between ganks/pulls. Sorry to say, you cannot have both, too much money spent this early on small items can lead to failure.
Black King Bar really is the holy grail of items for Spirit Breaker. Once activated, you become a moving slaughterhouse in battle. If the opposing team has even a single disable or high damage nuke, get this item. It boosts his damage and health, while offering the chance to become magic immune in battle: Ensuring you can use Charge of Darkness and Nether Strike again, and again.
I cannot stress enough how Point Booster is amazingly good for it's price: A huge increase to both pools for a low price, that can be built into Aghanim's Scepter down the road, boosting Nether Strike from a minute long cooldown, to a short twenty seconds. That means instead of just using it once per fight, you will be using it at least twice. Note that once you buy Point Booster, you do not have to head straight into Aghanim's Scepter, only that it is an option later down the road.
If the opposing team has a problematic auto-attack carry, where Black King Bar just wont do you any good, or just isn't helping, pick up a Blademail. They have two options when you pick it up: Ignore you for at least four seconds and let you run around as you please, or attack you while you pound at them. It is by no means an item to pick up every game, but know that it is a viable option for Spirit Breaker.
Another high end item for Spirit Breaker, as it is with just about every melee hero that deals any kind of damage, is Assault Cuirass. While Greater Bash and Nether Strike may not do physical damage, it sure helps with the some fifty to eighty additional damage from Empowering Haste. Enjoy the large attack speed and armor boost as well.
In the early stages you should be concerned with your creep score, you have a good attack animation and Empowering Haste
should give you a much higher attack than your enemies, so taking the last hits from them shouldn't be that much of a challenge. If you have a hero that can stun with you in your lane, go for a kill once you have Charge of Darkness
. You should be able to put out enough damage for a kill relatively easy.
You will want to get Boots of Speed
quickly, followed by finishing Urn of Shadows
. From there you should look for opportunities with whoever is middle, to get some kills and put some charges on Urn of Shadows
and work your way towards finishing Power Treads
Your Goals Early Game:
Things to Avoid Early Game:
- Passive Aggressive
- Creep Kills/Denies
- Sync up with mid for ganks
Now it is time for your farming to pay off and return the favor to your team: Gank anything and everything while your skills are off cooldown. Let your teammates know who you are charging, because the enemy will be notified if they look at their buff bar and see that they are being charged! So your allies need to distract them or somehow cut them off once you get within roughly 3000~ range. Between Charge of Darkness
and Nether Strike
, your enemies should not be getting away. Be sure to use Urn of Shadows
to make the battle progress as quickly as possible. After you have exhausted your skills, farming and pushing always work.
Remember that it is paramount that you are ganking and harassing the **** out of the opposing team during this phase. If you really need to, you can get a Magic Wand
to keep your mana high. It is Spirit Breaker
's role in any game, to demolish your team during this phase and give you the advantage, as true with any ganker hero role.
Your next item should be Point Booster
and now you are evaluating the match for what you need next. If they have a lot of magic damage or crowd control, get a Black King Bar
. If you are more worried about taking a lot of auto-attacks, you can get Blademail or Assault Cuirass
. Obviously one is much more expensive than the other, take into account how easy the match is going for you and typically, Blademail is not the optimal pick if you plan on getting a Black King Bar
anyway. Getting your hands on Aghanim's Scepter
is always a good decision, it helps how often you can gank, boosts your stats and is a great asset in lengthy team fights.
Your Goals Middle Game:
Things to Avoid Middle Game:
If the game drags on this long, you are in trouble. From here on out, you will fall off into becoming a stunbot with a decent amount of damage compared to the carries. Your new focus should be stunning high priority targets and focus on getting an Armlet and Aghanim's Scepter
. These two items should put you at least on the board and keep you from falling off.
Your Goals Late Game:
Things to Avoid Late Game:
Well, that sums it all up for Spirit Breaker. For now and forever, please leave any comments about the Guide with what was good and what was bad, it will improve this and any future Guides made by myself or even others.
If you have any guides you would like me to make, please feel free to PM me or post in this guide's comment section to discuss it with fellow DOTAFire members.
With much love and hate,