are needed to block the creep pull and ward the rune spot (see How to play Visage
). Ring of Protection
is for the additional armor and later to be built into Ring of Basilius
. You can get either 2 Tango
or 2 Iron Branch
. 2 tangos is the preferred build since you need to stay in lane to get to level 6 and you would be trading hits. 2 iron branches will allow you to have a very slight increase in damage for last hitting while being able to build them into your Mekansm
You get Ring of Basilius
because it adds extra armor to not only you but also your familiars and more importantly, it provides mana
regeneration. Phase Boots
are excellent on Visage since
- You are a ganker and need to get around the map quickly. It is not very cost efficient to tp scroll everywhere and you might lose element of surprise if the enemy sees you tp-ing in.
- Even though Grave Chill steals movement speed, there might still be lots of creeps or heroes in the way
- Familiars' movement speed is 380-400 and Visage's movement speed is lower than that (at 345 with normal boots). Phase boots will allow you to keep up with you familiars while moving around the map without stopping every few seconds to let Visage to catch up.
What about Arcane Boots
? Well Arcane Boots sounds like a viable choice for Visage since he is a nuker, however the mana that it provides is not enough since his nukes consume a considerable amount of mana and one usage of Arcane Boots is not enough for multiple casts of skills.
Visage gets Mekansm
because in every game there should be a Mekansm and Visage can quickly farm the money from it by killing heroes. Mekansm heals familiars as well, making them survive longer thus preventing them from being farmed by the enemy. Orchid Malevolence
is a great item on Visage because of the silence
and damage amplification
, both of which helps in the ganking process as well as in teamfights.
items, these are the items you get when you are pwning everyone and everything (or the items you get after you finish your core). The preferred luxury items are Aghanim's Scepter
depending on whether or not you have mana problems. If you have mana problems
, build bloodstone since you will be ganking a lot or participating in team fights so it will readily fill with charges.
But if you find that you are managing your mana very well, or some how some one is filling it up for you ( Keeper of the Light
, allies' Arcane Boots
), feel free to piece together an Aghanim's Scepter
. An additional familiar will considerably bump up your damage output, allowing you to beat up higher level, more farmed enemies.
Basically the items in this paragraph are items which are less preferred compared to Bloodstone or Aghanim's, but of course if the situation arises that you need these items then go ahead and get them. Dagon
is good as it provides extra nuke damage, Heart of Tarrasque
is good because it provides you with extra survivability allowing you to throw more nukes, Rod of Atos
is good because of the additional slow, Mjollnir
is good as it provides more damage output from Visage himself, Scythe of Vyse
is good for the hex, Boots of Travel
is good because you gain global presence.
These items are gotten depending on the situation
, hence the section name Situational Items :P. Black King Bar
(BKB) is gotten of course if the other team is full of stuns, competent at using those stuns, or is just aiming you all the time in team fights. Ghost Scepter
is a really useful item if the other team's damage is physical based i.e. auto-attacks and certain skills. Hood of Defiance
and subsequently Pipe of Insight
is gotten if there are lots of AOE magical damage since the hard support might not be able to farm enough money, but if he can, then let the support buy it. Lastly Veil of Discord
is a decent item to get if your team relies heavily on magical damage.
Of course there are more items I haven't stated here that you can get, but of course there are a large number of situations that can occur.
How to Play
Ok now we get to part where we learn how Visage is actually played.
So after you tell your teammates that you're going offlane solo (or a different solo lane), buy your starting items and head to the lane. In terms of lane control
, you will want to let the enemy creeps push
as much as possible. Hence the warding of the pull spot, preventing the denial of one or more sets of enemy lane creeps.
Also you won't want to block
creeps, hoping that the enemy safe lane heroes are attempting to block it, which will make the creep line appear at the bottom of their tower. This will make the enemy tower shoot
your creeps making the lane push closer to your tower.
While the creep are engaged under the enemy tower, you are free to go into the enemy jungle to ward the rune spot and creep pull like so:
Radiant Team Offlane Rune Ward
Radiant Team Creep Pull Ward
Radiant Resulting Sight
Dire Team Offlane Rune Ward
Dire Team Creep Pull Ward
The position of this ward is vertically inline with the single white leafed tree
, just below the dirt path
. The picture below shows the extra vision given into the lane if you cut down the white tree (with a Tango
). However the enemy might notice that the tree is gone and know that there is a ward there.
Dire Team Resulting Sight
Above: With white tree
Below: Cutting the white tree down
You won't lose much experience since the tower + creep + hero
damage will wipe out your creeps before they kill any of the enemy creeps. For me I like to ward the creep pull right after the creeps spawn (at 30 seconds) because it still allows for a single pull
which, as most people don't know, will cause the enemy creeps in lane to double
in size thus moving the creep line to your tower.
For Visage, it is ok if the creep line moves under your tower as getting experience
is more important than gold
(as it is slightly harder to last hit under the tower). Additionally if the creep line is closer to your tower, it is easier for you to zone
yourself such that you have enough time to move away if you see more heroes in the jungle ready to gank you (due to the sight the rune ward gives you).
As for what to do in the lane? You need to survive
As most heroes, the #1 goal of the offlane is to survive
. This is not very much different for Visage as Visage doesn't have a guaranteed escape such as Bounty Hunter
. However Visage still has Grave Chill
and Gravekeeper's Cloak
which gives him good survivability if you play according to the danger level
of the lane.
Again like most ranged heroes, Visage does best against melee
heroes regardless if there are 1 or 2 as you can harass with Grave Chill then auto attacking like so:
Harassing with Grave Chill
With 1 range 1 melee, see if the range hero (usually the support) is aggressive in his harass. If he is then you can either choose to compete in harass as you can tank with Cloak and throw out more hits with Chill. But make sure you lure him away from the melee as 1v2's
at this stage can be deadly for you
. If you're unfortunate to have 2 ranged heroes as your enemies, just try to avoid
getting hit as harass exchange won't turn out well for you.
In the end you're aiming to get level 6 as soon as possible. Which by then you have multiple options.
When using Visage, you need to use control groups
. This is so you have complete control
over your hero
as well as your familiars
. I like to use 1 as Visage and his familiars, 2 as Visage only, and 3 for both familiars
. Most of the time you will use control group 1 when moving around, ganking, attacking, etc. Use 2 when you want to attack creeps with Visage only as to not lose damage on your familiars. 3 is usually used when Visage himself is dead and you kept the familiars alive.
Once you hit level 6 don't summon your familiars yet as you still have the element of surprise
(which is often times lethal). If the lane is pushed far enough that the entrance to the enemy jungle is not visible to the enemy, summon your familiars and enter it. By now your rune wards and creep camp ward have expired or are close to expiring which means the support might want to pull
. Go and ambush him
like in the following video:
Attempt to Kill Pulling Support
Unfortunately in that encounter my micro slipped and Visage ended up hitting creeps after I released Soul Assumption
. I ran since I couldn't see the Gyrocopter who might have been on his way to help.
You could also go and kill the jungler
or just right out try and kill one (or two) heroes in the lane.
Remember that when familiars are resummoned, Stone Form cooldown is reset reset along with their bonus damage. This mean that familiars can potentially do twice the amount of damage than previously thought. This concept can be used when taking down towers.
Resummoning Familiars to Take Down Tower
After roaming around and ganking, you might find that most towers are down and its difficult to find solo farming heroes. Or that its too dangerous to go and kill what seems to be solo farming heroes. Most of the time the whole of the enemy team has started to group up and move as one
. This of course means the game has reached the latter stage of the mid game or the late game and fight are mainly teamfights
The Visage Combo and What to do in Teamfights
Whenever familiars are on cool down you can use what I call the Visage Combo
. The combo is based around the fact that when your familiars are resummoned, their Stone Form cooldown
and bonus damage
The Visage Combo
The perfect complete Visage Combo
- Grave Chill
- Auto attack with full damage familiars
- Soul Assumption
- Stone Form both familiars
- Resummon Familiars
- Auto attack with full damage familiars
- Soul Assumption
If grave chill cools down and the enemy hero hasn't died then of course Grave Chill
again. Each part of the combo doesn't have to be aimed at one person
. You can Grave Chill one person, auto attack someone else, Soul Assumption another guy and so on but this will of course most likely happen in team fights.
the person who isn't stunned (from the initiation) so that after you kill the guy who was stunned, the Grave Chilled guy is still around for you and your team to catch up and finish him off.
If you can, use Soul Assumption
on a hero which has a high possibility of running away and can be killed in one Soul Assumption as Soul Assumption's range is longer than you/they might think. Soul Assumption of course has an extremely short cooldown
however it should always be used when it gains full charge. Usually in teamfights the charge counter fills up right after you use it hence the spammability.
After the initial auto attacking, the familiars' damage is reduced to the point where you don't notice the damage. When this happens try to maneuver your familiars into the middle
of the fight and Stone Form
down. This way there is a high chance that you'll hit an enemy. Of course if you don't want to micro
your familiars too much then after attacking just Stone Form
where they are. They should be around the middle of the battle anyways so you might get some stuns off.
When using control group 1 or 3, with familiars, quickly switch units using the TAB key on your keyboard. Since the TAB key is right next to the 'q' key, there is a technique which is very useful. This is using the finger which you use to press 'q' to glide from TAB to 'q'
. If you are using control group 1, you can quickly access Stone Form on familiars by just:
Tab > q > Tab > q > Tab
The combo can also be used in teamfights when you notice your familiars have run out of bonus damage.
As you might have noticed, I accidentally used teleport scroll in the middle of the battle. This is because I forgot to move Orchid into the 1st item slot (where I usually put active items).
This sequence is also useful when you are being chased
and you notice that your familiars are behind you. Just tab, q, tab, q, tab and your familiars will Stone Form, hopefully on the heroes that are chasing you, stunning them. Make sure after you maneuver Visage to safety, you move your familiars out of reach of enemy heroes who might have stopped chasing you to linger around the Stone Formed familiars hoping to gain some extra gold
If you got your Mekansm
and Orchid Malevolence
, then feel free to use it when you feel necessary. I can't really tell you when to use these items other than use Orchid on the person who relies on casting
or has a skill which is very important for their team and use Mekansm when you are in a team fight (preferably after initiation) or when pushing with lots of creeps.
If perchance you die, don't let your familiars sit idle
in the middle of battle. Since you are dead you can give full attention
to the control of your familiars. You can:
- Use them to snipe off low hp heroes that escaped from the battle
- Use Stone Form to stun heroes
- Help dps down towers
Just make sure not to let them die
to enemy heroes. This is a very important point on which people become careless. They die and just let the familiars fly above enemies not knowing that they are still there. Familiars give 100 gold
. That is approximately 3-4 lane creeps in gold
. and you have 2 of them.
Killing with Familiars Only
In this video, I died. Then I used my familiars to kill the unsuspecting Rubick
. Familiars are pretty small
and you don't really notice them in teamfights until its too late