Sven, the Roaming Knight
May 6, 2012
Sven is a semi-carry hero whose strength lies entirely in his ability to roam/gank and initiate for his team. It's true that with the right items, Sven can almost take the role of a hard carry, but if you're up against a team that has a true hard carry like Spectre or Faceless Void and you're the only carry on your team, you're almost guaranteed to lose.
I've included a second guide in the off chance you get caught in that kind of situation though.
Pros / Cons
- Storm Hammer is one of the best non-ultimate stuns in the game.
- Warcry is a low mana cost ability that helps Sven roam and lead ganks, as well as giving a huge armor buff to allies.
- God's Strength gives Sven a massive bonus to his damage output, making him a big threat even if his stun is on cooldown. If you time the transformation right, the 0.3 second transformation time can be used to dodge stuns.
- Great Cleave gives a 60% cleave at max level, making it an effective farming tool and providing scary amounts of AoE damage when God's Strength is up.
- Good STR and AGI gain per level.
- Without BKB and Blink Dagger, Sven is very easy to shut down or get away from.
- Very low INT gain per level combined with the high cost of Storm Hammer and God's Strength make Sven a very mana-dry hero.
Playing Sven with other carries on your team.
If you have another hero on your team with a good stun, take the same lane as him and abuse the ability to chain-stun heroes for first blood, otherwise pick a sidelane to take. Focus on trying to get Boots of Speed as your first item, then a Sage's Mask and the Urn of Shadows recipe. Once you have those and a level in Warcry, start roaming for ganks. Remember that Urn of Shadows can be used to heal allies and finish off escaping enemies. Pick up a set of wards or two for easier ganks, and grab a Bracer and Power Treads as your next items. Go for Blink Dagger for easy initiation (since teamfights should be happening at this point), and upgrade your Bracer into Drum of Endurance.
By this point the enemy team should be trying to focus you down and prevent you from stunning, so pick up a BKB and laugh in their faces while you cleave them to death. From here, you can either grab an Assault Cuirass to buff you and your carries and give you some more survivabilty against physical attacks, or you can grab Heart of Terrasque and just never die at the expense of not helping your allies. If the enemy carry has farmed hard and is raping your team, pick up Heaven's Halberd and watch him stumble around in fights futilely trying to right click things.
Playing Sven as a carry.
God help you.
No, but seriously, head to your safe lane (bottom for Radiant, top for Dire) and farm like mad. Once you have your Mask of Madness and Sange (or Armlet, if you prefer), pick up a BKB and pick your poison for finishing items: Daedalus for absolutely ridiculous crits, Heart of Terrasque for survivability, or Heaven's Halberd for a carry counter item. Other items mentioned in the previous chapter apply here too.
Best of luck!