Outworld Destroyer is a beast of a carry that is good, if not great, for all parts of the game. A great attack animation and projectile make for great last hitting and denying in the early game. Mid game his astral imprisonment make for a great tool for harassment and nice skill for ganking the side lanes. Late game, he runs show, nuff said.
+A big player all game (has an especially strong mid game)
+Deals Pure Damage (ignores magic resistance)
+Great last hitting/denying potential
Cons and Solutions
Solution: Don't be dumb ( Rod of Atos helps)
Problem: No escape mechanism
Solution: Get a Force Staff
Problem: Magic immunity is your worst enemy ( Black King Bar, Omniknight)
Solution: Target guys without magic immunity (not much you can do for this one)
Problem: Silence also makes you pretty useless
Solution: Get a Black King Bar
Problem: Usually targeted early in team fights
Solution: Get a Black King Bar
Problem: Doesn't have much along the lines of pushing power
Solution: Get a Necronomicon (if pushing power is needed)
This is what gives you your mad damage output. The 100 mana cost seems like way too much for an auto-cast skill, but only in the early game is it an issue. It is his Essence Aura that lets you keep dealing the punishment all game long. The damage dealt from this is "Pure" damage, which means it ignores all magical resistance. One reason for getting items that increase your intelligence all game is that this spell deals a percentage of your mana pool (which is increased by increasing your intelligence) and is the reason you start throwing magical bricks at the enemy. This skill is an orb effect so do not, I repeat, DO NOT get an item with an orb effect, it's just silly and childish.
This is your CC (crowd control) that can be used to remove a key enemy from the game for 4 seconds at its maximum and steal intelligence from them, or it can be use on yourself or an ally to save them when you are in a sticky situation. It takes a little bit of experience to know when or when not to use it, and on whom to use it on. For this spell, you want to use it on the enemy teams strongest carry or their hero with the best/most stuns (before he uses them), and use it on a teammate/yourself to save them from a stun (such as Sven's Storm Hammer). Using this on your teammates effectively requires decent timing and good anticipation of your enemies, which only comes from experience. Don't be dismayed if you're not getting it right away, it takes time to get it down.
This is why you can use Arcane Orb on auto-cast without running out of mana, and is also why mana regen items aren't necessary. Every time you cast any of your skills, this gives you a chance to renew a percentage of your mana back. Once you have enough mana and enough points into Essence Aura, you have no mana problems to think of. This skill also works for allies that are near you, hence it being called an "aura." This skill synergizes quite well with heroes that have spammable spells (such as Lich's Frost Blast) and heroes that are mana intensive (such as Shadow Shaman or Leshrac).
And now we get to his ultimate, the skill that makes strength and agility heroes tremble and quake in fear. This is a large AOE (area of effect) spell that does damage based on the difference in your intelligence and the intelligence of the enemy heroes. To put it simply, the higher my intelligence than the other guys, the more damage I do. This is the other reason to get items that increase your intelligence. If your intelligence isn't larger than the enemies by enough, they don't lose health, but they do lose 75% of their mana, making it always useful to be used in team fights (almost all intelligence heroes will be rendered useless without any mana). This is an ultimate that is upgraded by Aghanim's Scepter, increasing both the range and damage multiplier. This skill will also damage enemy heroes under the effect of Astral Imprisonment.
The game of DOTA is very complex and with every game the way you play should be different, depending on the composition of your team and the enemy team. This guide is to give you an idea of how to play the hero and a tool to start from, but not a set in stone way to play the hero every time. Sometimes you will need to gank as early as possible, and some game you will need to stay in lane and farm as much as possible. Some games require a nice balance of both. You gotta go with the flow of the game and learn to adapt to the situation.
Both builds in this guide have very similar play styles, and mostly only change on how the early game is played.
Null Talisman x2 - Boots of Speed
Last hit and deny like a mad man and absolutely do not die. Do your best to keep the creep wave on the hill of your tower, without the tower hitting the creeps. This makes it much harder and more dangerous for the enemy to last hit and deny, since being on lower ground gives them a 30% chance to miss. The enemy being in the river also makes them much more susceptible to being ganked. Keep that in mind for yourself and keep an eye on missing heroes if you are ever last hitting from the river. You can use Arcane Orb to last hit occasionally, but do not be reliant on it for last hitting, his normal attack will suffice.
Your Arcane Orb is a great harassing tool, but preferably don't use it until you get to level 3, and when you do use it, do so sparingly (try not to get your mana below half). Once you get Astral Imprisonment and level 3 Essence Aura, SPAM SPAM SPAM it. The intelligence you deny and gain is quite significant, even though it may be quite hard to see it initially.
I usually get both Null Talismans first, but getting Boots of Speed in between them, or even first, may benefit more if you are competing hard for rune control.
*Side Note: Rune Control is always important, whether you have a bottle or not. It is not only using those runes to gank and control your lane, but to deny the enemy of that ganking power and lane control as well.
A Magic Wand will also benefit, more so if there is a heavy ability using hero in lane against you.
Usually stay in lane until level 7, which is when you can start to gank if the opportunity presents itself, or if a lane needs your help. You should constantly be carrying a TP scroll ( Town Portal Scroll), to quickly gank or support your teammates in the other lanes.
Preferably go into the safe lane (bottom for radiant, top for dire) with a support hero, letting them harass and deny while you focus on last hitting. You have a large range so it is always easy to throw a couple of Arcane Orbs to harass the enemies, especially focusing on their melee hero if there is one. Farm up your boots first as mobility is initially more important in the side lanes than it is in the mid lane, then go for your null talismans. It is still important in the side lanes to also be carrying a TP scroll, most importantly to survive a gank. Juke 'em then TP out.
Power Treads - Force Staff - Rod of Atos
Be aggressive. This time starts for you around the time you have your Null Talismans and Power Treads, which you should set to strength for survivability. I have found it is around when you mana pool is at about 1000 and you have level 3 Essence Aura that you can turn your Arcane Orb on auto-cast without running out of mana. You have to be pretty unlucky to run out at that point, but realize that it does happen, and you can wait till 4 levels of Essence Aura to be safe if you feel the need.
Level 7 is when you will have Level 4 Essence Aura as well as your ultimate, and now is the time to gank and initiate fighting. At this point in the game, you are very strong compared to everyone else. You should have levels and farm on everyone in the lanes and can smack squishy heroes with a couple whacks. You do need to rely on your teammates slows and stuns though, at least until you can get some for yourself.
Help your team with pushes, but your strength lies in the damage you do to heroes, so try to have that as your priority. Your first buy should be a Force Staff, which I cannot emphasize enough as an all around fantastic item, let me tell you.
The playstyle for this build is very, very similar to the earlier builds. Everything from the last build is applicable to this one except for the fact that you do not harass with Arcane Orb and harass with Astral Imprisonment instead.
This build is typically picked when here are more intelligence heroes on the enemy team than usual and is usually only used as a side lane build, but can be used in the mid lane as well.
Spam Astral Imprisonment as much as you can. If you are in lane use it on the intelligence hero or most mana dependent hero out of the two, or three. This will give you a good amount of stolen intelligence, and therefore damage boost, to last hit and harass quite effectively without the need for your Arcane Orb. To do this though you have to make sure you keep spamming Astral Imprisonment. You may want to wait to level 2 until you get your first level of essence aura before you start using astral imprisonment.
Wait until you get your first level of arcane orb before you leave the lane and begin to gank/team fight. Other than that its almost the same as Build 1.
This is the same as the late game for Build 2.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is "does this item give me intelligence." If it doesn't, THEN DON'T GET IT! Pretty much the only exception to this is a Black King Bar, which you get if the team has large amounts of CC and it is rendering you completely useless.
Mantle of Intelligence (x2)
Gives you a good initial intelligence and damage boost, and are components for the null talismans.
Iron Branch (x2)
These cheapies add a little extra to stats, mostly for last hitting.
Tango and Healing Salve
Both healing items are pretty much an essential grab on all heroes, giving you lane staying power. It is unusual for you to stray too far from buying these two healing items, ever. If you know you are laning against a melee hero, you might be able to get away with just a set of tangos, but the 100 gold from a salve is a sound investment and easily gotten back. Experience is a bit more important early on in the lane for Outworld Destroyer so the longer you can stay in lane, the better.
Null Talisman (x2)
The bad boys give you a little extra survivability, extra last hitting power, and a much-needed bonus to your intelligence and mana pool. These are great, cheap, early stat boosters that will do wonders dominating the mid lane early on.
I tend to get treads over any other types of boots because early game it gives you a good survivability boost, where it can be changed late game to add to your intelligence.
The magic wand is never really a bad choice to get, giving you a quick heal of mana and health when charged, as well as a little stat boost. The problem with getting it early in the game is that you may not be laning against heroes that use their skills that often, and sometimes that money you spent on the wand could go to better use on another item. This is why it is situational, it depends on if you are laning against a hero that uses his abilities often (like Lich), or not (someone with lots of passives such as Skeleton King).
I personally believe that getting a bottle on Outworld Destroyer is a complete waste of 600 gold, but some people are bottle lovers and will get it whenever they go mid. It is not a bad item, and it gives you consistent HP and Mana regen early game with rune control, as well as the ability to bottle the runes. Take it if you like, but my personal opinion is that it is better spent on getting force staff earlier.
Rod of Atos
I tend to get this since it gives a nice health boost to make you more survivable, as well as strong ganking power against lone heroes, but the slow loses strength into the late game.
Scythe of Vyse
Always a good choice, giving you a great disable and intelligence to boot. Most game this is picked up
Black King Bar (BKB)
A big item for the more skilled games, this is crucial if you are getting chain stunned until death every time you get into a fight. Very much a situational item, depending on the enemy teams skill level and composition (mostly how much CC they have).
Only get this if your team has absolutely no pushing power and the enemy team does, this is a strong item but only if used correctly. It is a rare game when you need to buy a necronomicon, but they do happen. Those little necro dudes also help out quite a bit in team fights, causing damage and burning mana.
A great item to get to increase your team fighting potential. I prefer to get other items above this item, but in certain situations where the outcome of the game will be determined by the team fighting, this is a great item to get. This also has the exact same cooldown as your Sanity's Eclipse, so you can use them together every 160 seconds. Also good alongside a Aghanim's Scepter.
Another good choice, boosting your ult damage. It is best bought when the team has a low number of intelligence characters, and works well in conjunction with a Refresher Orb. This is an item that should only be picked up after getting a Refresher orb, and is somewhat situational, because other items are usually better than the boost to stats and ultimate from this item. This is a good item for players that aren't comfortable with lots of active-use items. Personally I never get this item, because I love having lots of active items.
A good choice if there are any strong right click heroes from which an armor boost would benefit you greatly (For example: Ursa or Drow).
Good to get if you are getting targeted by stuns, gotten instead of a BKB if there is an ultimate that can cripple you through magic immunity ( Doom Bringer's Doom). Another item that depends on the enemy composition.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
This item gives you the ability to remove any enemy or allied hero from play for 2.5 seconds. It also gives you a helpful little speed boost, and of course adds to your intelligence. I prefer not to get this item, since the speed isn't often necessary and there are better disables you can get, but in some games this might be a good choice.
This gives you a silence, and no doubt some intelligence. This item is good because it speeds up your attack rate and damage, letting you throw more Arcane Orbs at the enemy. It also makes the target you use it on take 25% more damage, and with the damage that you are already dishing out, that is a big BIG chunk of health you are taking out.
Also any of the items you didn't get during the mid game are also an option. (Rod of Atos is much less effective late game, and is a lower priority than Vyse or Scepter, but is still a viable choice)
His late game dominance and your mid game dominance go very well together, and his ultimate Chronosphere used in conjunction with Sanity's Eclipse can wipe the enemy team out in one fell swoop.
His Vacuum can bring the entire team together for you to make sure you get them all in a Sanity's Eclipse. His Surge also gives you incredible chasing power and is great for you since you have a low movement speed compared to many other heroes.
He is a portable BKB. He gives you magic immunity using his Repel, and you fly in wailing on the enemy team. He can heal you using Purification, he can slow the enemy heroes using Degen Aura, and Guardian Angel to save the team fight. He is a fantastic support for a game with Outworld Destroyer, (personally think he is almost always a good pick).
It's all in the Shallow Grave. Can save you from a nasty gank or getting focused in team fights. It could also give you the time to reign down destruction without worrying about dying right away. You may die in the end, but the pain you cause on the enemy team will be plenty worth it, if done right. His slow Poison Touch doesn't hurt either.
Heroes that have spammable spells or that are mana intensive synergize well with your Essence Aura
He completely bypasses his spell resistance because of Arcane Orbs pure damage. His ult is also good as anti-mage has a low intelligence gain, but is affected by Anti-mage's spell resistance. His Mana Break does nothing to you and his ult, Mana Void, cannot harm you since your mana pool is almost always full.
Another hero that gets a magic resistance boost as one of his skills, and it is common practice to get a Hood of Defiance on Pudge as well. Your pure damage completely ignores both of these resistance boosters.
Yet another hero with a magic resistance passive, which arcane orb eats through.
Most strength and agility heroes (they tend to have low intelligence gain), because your ultimate poops on them.
His Nether Ward is triggered by your Arcane Orb, which will cause you 150 damage, when it is at full level, every time you use your arcane orb, as well as giving you plenty of damage when using your skills.
A friend and an enemy. Repel renders you pretty much completely useless against the hero he has cast it on. His ultimate is also an annoying bugger, but it's not specifically annoying for you, it's annoying for everyone.
This is another magic immunity ( Rage) that shuts you down from doing much damage to him. In team fights, if he hasn't used Rage yet, is a good target for your Astral Imprisonment.
If he catches you alone, a silence and a slow devastates you, and he can take you out quite easily. The tower doesn't necessarily make you safe against him since he is so good at tower diving. If you are playing against a nightstalker, always be wary, especially at night. If he is mid with you, do everything you can to shut him down.
You are a BIG target for his Doom, and once he casts it on you, you are rendered almost completely useless for a good 13-14 seconds. Linken's Sphere is an item that will help counter this though.
Sanity's Eclipse will effect those under Astral Imprisonment, so starting off a team fight by using astral imprisonment will give you a nice intelligence boost for a stronger effect of your ultimate, and the target you hit with astral imprisonment will be down a good chunk of intelligence, specifically damaging them more.
When ganking, use Astral Imprisonment and then run in front of the glowing prison ball, in the way of where the hero must run to get to safety. This way he can run past you and you can damage him without getting hurt yourself, or forcing him to attack you and keep getting bashed by your big, bad damage orbs.
Putting off your ultimate to grab an extra level of Essence Aura is never really a bad idea, helping you spam Arcane Orb and Astral Imprisonment. It depends on if you need the large amount of damage from your ult at the moment or you need the mana regeneration.
I'm really not much for conclusions; they are almost always the reason I got bad grades on essays that I write for school. Feel free to call out any errors I've made and I'll change them as soon as possible. I am a firm believer in constructive criticism as a powerful learning tool, so go at it. There is a fine line between constructive criticism and being a Negative Nancy though, so respect that line (i.e. Don't be an *******). Also if there is anything I could add that I have missed, be sure to let me know. I may or may not post a video guide on Outworld Destroyer as well, so please let me know if that is something people want or if this guide is enough.
These are all games played using the first build, which is the build I tend to play almost exclusively unless under extreme circumstances. Realize though that these scores are not only dependent my skill level, but the skill level of the rest of my team and the enemy team. I played all of these games back to back and I took the solo mid lane each time.