GUIDE RATING

20 VOTES


Sven, the Roaming Knight

May 6, 2012 by Spacebear
Comments: 18    |    Views: 199896    |   


Build 1
Build 2

Build : There is already at least one carry on my team.

DotA2 Hero: Sven

Offense

Damage 54-56

Defense

Armor 4.94

Other

Movement Speed 295

Attributes

Strength 90.5
Agility 71
Intelligence 46.5

Basic Stats

Health 2183
Mana 845

Purchase Order

Full build

Starting items

Early game

Core

Situational

Luxury



Hero Skills

Storm Hammer

1 3 5 7

Great Cleave

8 13 14 15

Warcry

4 9 10 12

God's Strength

6 11 16

Stats

2 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Introduction

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

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:
  • 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!

Guide Discussion
1 2 >>
Quote | PM | +Rep by Salawayun » May 6, 2012 4:21am | Report
It'd be better if you level-up your Stats early instead of just putting one point and leave the rest later, 5 points is much more preferable and oh, I'd rather have a Vanguard instead of MoM, you're quite easily kited and worst with your EHP lowered enemies would just be happy focusing and nuking you down.

Salawayun


Unremarkable (4)
Posts: 52
Quote | PM | +Rep by Spacebear » May 6, 2012 5:06am | Report
Salawayun wrote:

It'd be better if you level-up your Stats early instead of just putting one point and leave the rest later, 5 points is much more preferable and oh, I'd rather have a Vanguard instead of MoM, you're quite easily kited and worst with your EHP lowered enemies would just be happy focusing and nuking you down.

The extra damage on Storm Hammer and the bonus armor from Warcry are more important early on than stats as a roaming Sven. 5 points in stats early on stunts your damage output immensely.

Vanguard doesn't synergize with Sven's abilities at all considering it's just flat HP and HP regen, and it's not going to help you not get kited, whereas MoM combined with Warcry gives you a absolutely massive boost of movement speed along with +100 attack speed and lifesteal, which makes Sven a much scarier foe with his ult going. The 30% extra damage taken does make you a bit of a glass cannon though, which is why the next recommended item is BKB.

Spacebear


Posts: 4
Steam: Spacebear
Quote | PM | +Rep by Salawayun » May 6, 2012 5:50am | Report
-You're asking for your mana to get depleted early.
-You're asking for your EHP to be lowered, get stunned, focused down quick.
-You're asking to be near worthless early on, early mana depletion, low EHP, Early High DPS rate? Quite worthless if you can't even get near the enemy, you'll just hopelessly try to tank out the damage as they'd probably leave you to the mercy of the Creeps or even the Tower.
-Oh, you forgot that one of Sven's subroles is to be a Tank.

Salawayun


Unremarkable (4)
Posts: 52
Quote | PM | +Rep by Spacebear » May 6, 2012 5:29pm | Report
Salawayun wrote:

-You're asking for your mana to get depleted early.
-You're asking for your EHP to be lowered, get stunned, focused down quick.
-You're asking to be near worthless early on, early mana depletion, low EHP, Early High DPS rate? Quite worthless if you can't even get near the enemy, you'll just hopelessly try to tank out the damage as they'd probably leave you to the mercy of the Creeps or even the Tower.
-Oh, you forgot that one of Sven's subroles is to be a Tank.

Storm Hammer is not an ability you should be spamming. It's a spell with extremely high mana cost on a hero with an extremely small mana pool and very low INT gain per level. The only way to fix this is to either focus entirely on putting points into stats, which ends up gimping your damage and ganking abilities, or to just be cautious with when you choose to stun. An early Bracer and Sage's Mask into Urn are enough to buff his mana pool to the point where you can ignore stats early and still do fine, and after that point you should be at a high enough level that you're not having very serious mana problems.

MoM only applies the +30% damage taken when activated, without it activated you still get the 17% lifesteal. Again, like Storm Hammer, timing its use right is important. Taking 30% more damage is a risk, but the trade-off is being able to easily catch up to enemies with your 469 movement speed (with Treads and Warcry) and your 2 second AoE nuke + disable. The +100 attack speed also makes you absolutely devastating if you get to someone with your ult going. MoM is a risk-reward item that synergizes with Sven's abilities very well. You keep bringing up how worthless Sven is if you can't close the distance between you and the enemy without bringing up any kind of solution for it, while ignoring that MoM and Warcry give him 469 movespeed and that he has a 600 range AoE 2 second stun.

Sven is not a tank, there is no such thing as a tank role in DotA. Being a tank requires that you have a way to force people to focus you, and Axe is only hero in the game that actually physically forces you to focus him. The idea of a hero that can deal good damage while also taking a fair amount of damage is exactly what a semi-carry does. Roles in DotA are Carry, Semi-carry, Support, Initiator, and Ganker. Pudge is a Ganker, sub-role Initiator. Shadow Fiend is a Carry, sub-role Initiator. Krob is a Semi-carry, sub-role Support

Sven is a Semi-carry, sub-role Ganker.

Spacebear


Posts: 4
Steam: Spacebear
Quote | PM | +Rep by Givre » May 7, 2012 2:05am | Report
Well I like the way you fight about sub roles blabla =) I guess he simply calls a tank someone that can take some little damage and be able to "engage" as well as being able to follow up. Anyway who cares about the wording/phrasing...

However I do agree with you that Vanguard is a terrible item on sven. Sven relies on the threat. He must be feared. MoM gives MS/AS bonusses he needs. Yeah, you'll be squishy, but you will be able to kill ppl in 3 Hits. On top of that sven is item dependant, unlike Axe who does tons of damage without items, Sven relies on his Auto Attack for Great Cleave and God's Strength. Thus he needs to be in melee range quickly. Thus he needs a high auto attack. Indeed you'll be focus and maybe the first to die, but this is what Sven should be. Kill him in the first 5s or die with the rest of your team.

On an other topic I do not think Sven is a good roamer. Good roamers are not item dependants. He is a relatively good one, but most of the time, you'd be better farming.

Sven not a hard carry? Well I must also disagree. Battle Fury (it does stack) makes you a team killer and a awesome pusher, what will make you farm at a huge rate, giving you the edge on the other hard carries early on. MoM + Basher makes you a killer as well. Halberd makes you fear no one and Blade Mail will kill anybody having high enough an attack to kill you. You can be a hard carry in the way God's Strength + MoM + blink + bkb will give you a free team for lunch. The farming ability is a huge advantage to take items according to your opponents. Only a natural perma bash will kill you, but then in terms of raw damage you'll be much much much higher. And if you can get an Abyssal Blade you will stun anybody (even under magic immunity) and get the edge.

Sven wasn't a carry in old dota 1, but dota 2 brought Abyssal Blade and Heaven's Halberd. In Dota 2 sven definitely can be a hard carry. He is not a hard carry that can easily chase ennemies, he is not a hard carry that can handle tons of damage, he is not a hard carry that can tp anywhere on the map, he is the carry that does the highest damage in the game thanks to his godlike cleave and ult.

Watch out though, you can purge god's strength. If you do so, then yeah he really loses most of his godness. But 5s will be enough to kill a team so they'd better be reactive ^^

Givre


Unremarkable (8)
Posts: 22
Quote | PM | +Rep by Spacebear » May 7, 2012 4:24am | Report
Well Givre, I'm glad that you agree with me, but a lot of the things you just said are either bad ideas, or just plain wrong.

First off, there is absolutely no reason to ever get a Battle Fury on a hero that already has a 60% cleave in a 200 AoE. Battle Fury is an item that is specifically tailored for making farming faster for late game carries, allowing them to kill an entire group of creeps in the same time it would take them to kill one while also giving them a substantial boost to their sustain so they can roam the map farming without need to return to the fountain to regen. Sven's Great Cleave already gives him better cleave than a Battle Fury would and it doesn't cost 4350 gold. Plus, God's Strength only scales off of damage from +STR items and totally ignores flat damage, meaning your ult wont take advantage of the +65 damage. Grabbing Battle Fury on Sven is as much of a waste as grabbing a Vanguard, if not more so since it costs more than double the price of a Vanguard.

Second, Sven needs no more items to gank effectively than Pudge or any other ganking hero does. The only way Sven can be considered seriously item dependent is if you're trying to build him as a carry. All hard carries are item dependent because they're mostly useless without them, but when they do get them they are nearly unstoppable. Like I said in the introduction, Sven can carry with the right items, but you're almost guaranteed to lose a fight against a similarly farmed hard carry like Outworld Destroyer or Faceless Void. All semi-carries can carry given the right conditions and the right items, but they can't do it nearly as well as a true hard carry, and that's why they're called semi-carries.

Lastly, God's Strength cannot be purged. That was changed in the same patch that Abyssal and Halberd were added.

Spacebear


Posts: 4
Steam: Spacebear
Quote | PM | +Rep by Salawayun » May 7, 2012 6:28am | Report
Grabbing MoM-BKB already has a hint that you're gonna building Sven into a Pseudo-Carry with a "threatening" DPS output, the worst thing is, with you're EHP lowered, your low ranged AoE stun, and the fact that you're gonna be mostly at the frontlines as you're more probably gonna be an Initiate, your opponent would more likely to survive and happily make you eat AoE especially at earlier levels where you try to go in MoM activated, unless this one's mainly geared for Pub.

Also, regarding prioritizing Stats, you said it so yourself
Quoted:

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.


So why greatly opt for a build that would deplete all your mana and making you only useful for the first few seconds of the teamfight? People are gonna be relying more on that Disable rather than that damage output.

Salawayun


Unremarkable (4)
Posts: 52
Quote | PM | +Rep by Givre » May 7, 2012 9:09am | Report
@Spacebear : I didn't notice it was only scaling about STR damage. Battlefury was not meant to farm, but rather to quickly kill a team. However with the flat dmg thingy it does change everything... Need to test that ^^'

And thank you/my bad for the purge. I did not notice it either. Good to know x)

About ganking though I still disagree with you. You cannot compare the ganking potential of Pudge, Lion, Earthshaker, Lina or Tinker (the list is too long, i'm lazy to write them all) with the ganking potential of poor little Sven. You do have a nice stun but... what else? 12%MS is not that big, you STR is not that high, and you have no burst following up. The heroes up there have at least 2 Burst spells/AoE (Well except for Pudge but hook/rot is so good...). Sven is just as decent a roamer as any other hero, he is not really a good roamer. He does not really deserve the title imho. Roaming is about early game, and early Sven only has his hammer which is not enough imho again.

@Salawayun : If you have enough mana to cast 2 Storm Hammer it's all you need, 30s of fight is good enough for roaming/ganking. You don't use the spell to farm. You use it to kill. And you don't kill every 20s. Urn, or/and clarities are enough. He did not say mana regen is not good, he said there are other items better. Then I do agree with you that somewhere there should be some little more manaregen as I am not sure the 50% given by Urn is enough later on (After the 15min mark for instance).

Givre


Unremarkable (8)
Posts: 22
Quote | PM | +Rep by Spacebear » May 7, 2012 3:06pm | Report
Salawayun wrote:

Grabbing MoM-BKB already has a hint that you're gonna building Sven into a Pseudo-Carry with a "threatening" DPS output, the worst thing is, with you're EHP lowered, your low ranged AoE stun, and the fact that you're gonna be mostly at the frontlines as you're more probably gonna be an Initiate, your opponent would more likely to survive and happily make you eat AoE especially at earlier levels where you try to go in MoM activated, unless this one's mainly geared for Pub.

Also, regarding prioritizing Stats, you said it so yourself


So why greatly opt for a build that would deplete all your mana and making you only useful for the first few seconds of the teamfight? People are gonna be relying more on that Disable rather than that damage output.

If you had actually paid any attention to what I typed you'd see that the build where I said to grab MoM IS the one where you're trying to build him as a carry, and that it's also something I don't recommend doing regardless of if you're playing a pub or not. It's a build you can do if you have no other carries on your team and need to be the carry, and if you intend to carry as Sven you need to get buff fast before the hard carry on the enemy team has time to catch up. MoM is the ultimate risk-reward get-buff-fast item.

On the point of mana in regards to the roaming build, with Treads on INT, an Urn, and a Bracer into Drums you'll have plenty enough mana to get the job done if you play smart, and since you're roaming you'll probably have rune control, meaning free regeneration and haste if you're lucky. You'll notice I added bottle to the situational items, which I thought wasn't necessary to mention. It sets you back 600 gold on the rest of your build, but if you're roaming and you have good rune control it will completely solve your mana issues entirely. In regards to the carry build, I forgot to include Soul Ring as an item to grab after MoM, so that's there now.

At level 7, Sven with no items and three points in stats, two in Storm Hammer, one in Warcry, and one in God's Strength still only has enough mana for one cast of Storm Hammer and one cast of Warcry. Switch out that point in Storm Hammer for a point in stats and you'll just BARELY have enough mana to cast Storm Hammer twice and still be able to cast God's Strength, but now instead of dealing 325 damage instantly, you're now dealing two instances of 100 damage with a 15 second delay between them. You may as well be hitting them with a flyswatter for all the good it'll do.

Spacebear


Posts: 4
Steam: Spacebear
Quote | PM | +Rep by Larry The Amphibious Shar » May 31, 2012 6:48am | Report
Spacebear,

I like your guide, but I do have some caveats about the early ganking potential of Sven. He really can only gank in conjunction with a hero that has alot of stuns/slows. I think this guide is perfectly fine when you're laning with someone like Crystal Maiden, Bane, etc. Roaming is a good option if you can coordinate well with your teammates and make sure they use their stuns first, then you follow up with the 300 damage AoE stun/100% damage boost (@lvl 7).

Some things about the other commentors here: I agree with some of what you are saying, in that Sven isn't as good as Lion or Tinker is at ganking, but this is partly where Sven comes into his own. Last night, I played a game where our Lone Druid got terrible early farm, and I (playing Sven) managed to get amazing kills in the early teamfights. I ended up carrying the team, with a BKB, Power Treads (replaced by Boots of Travel), and an Assault Cuirass. I think this shows how, in a pinch, Sven can fit the roles of either a carry OR a ganker.

On Items: Dunno how I feel about the MoM, its damage bonus is very nice, but the extra damage taken can be deadly if the gank goes bad, and you have to tower dive to get the kill, leaving you vulnerable. I have had games where MoM does wonders for me and games where it kills me multiple times. Kinda split over this one. Not sure about the whole Heaven's Halberd thing...never gotten that item on Sven.

Overall, solid guide. Check out my Zeus guide by the way, tell me what you think!
+1

Larry The Amphibious Shar


Unremarkable (4)
Posts: 21
Steam: Larry The Amphibious Shark
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