Thank you for visiting my guide to Earthshaker. Earthshaker is a very strong hero that is picked in competitive games and plays an important role in any public matchmaking game.
It is important to realize that any hero can be played in many different ways, this guide is aimed to help players use Earthshaker in an initiative and supportive role. Earthshaker normally cannot heal or protect allies directly through his spells. His main potential comes through the effective positioning of his spells. When used effectively he can help secure kills for a carry as well as wreak havoc during a team-fight.
Content that I believe is critical, but can be demonstrated better elsewhere will be sited.
Most supportive/initiative builds follow the same pattern.
Your ultimate is favored, with fissure being the primary spell utilized. One point of Enchant Totem allows for a maximized use from Aftershock. Tooltips provide the basic information, but some additional (and hopefully helpful) information is also provided.
This ultimate ability is what makes your hero a force to be reckoned with in a team-fight. The more enemies (heroes/creeps) around the more damage you will cause to the area. If there are enough enemies this spell alone can turn an entire fight and severally damage the entire team.
- Positioning of this spell is critical, its' potential is drastically reduced when not used properly. With its long cooldown you do not want to spend it unnecessarily.
- The casting animation for Echoslam is practically non-existent. This makes it very difficult for the enemy team to disrupt this ultimate if you have an effective way of positioning it.
- Images, summons, neutral creeps, and recent corpses are all effected by the secondary echo waves, so they count as fodder that can be used to increase this spells overall damage.
- This ultimate goes through magic immunity! The initial wave damage is the only portion that does. The aftershock damage/stun, and secondary echo waves do not cause damage to magic immune units.
- As such, this spell does not count as a spell in some cases despite being magic damage. Linken's Sphere will not activate against this damage and decrepified units remain unaffected.
- Remember that units within a 300 area of effect will be the only ones that will also be effected by aftershock. Units inside a 500 area of effect will receive massive damage, and units outside of that may still receive damage, but considerably less.1
This is Earthshaker's primary ability. Ultimately, it has amazing potential beyond being a multi-target, long-range, stunning-nuke. It creates an indestructible barrier in a line up to 1200 units away. This barrier can be utilized to block enemies from escaping, trapping enemies at choke points, and stopping most enemies from chasing allies. However, much like Pudge's hook it can end up being a hinderance to your team if used improperly. Getting used to casting animation and timing of the spell are critical to getting the most out of this hero, especially in the beginning of a game.
- This spell has a relatively slow casting animation approximately equal to 0.7 seconds. This means that if an enemy is fleeing, you will want to target the ground in front of your target in order to hit them with the Fissure AND potentially block them as well. Targeting the hero directly can guarantee the hit, but will often push them to the side they were travelling thus blocking your allies from reaching them in many cases.
- Instances where units may travel through terrain will still be able to utilize the ability to bypass fissure as well.
This ability can be used to increase Earthshaker's damage potential. However in a supportive role its' primary purpose is a cheap and spammable spell to trigger aftershock for extra area of effect damages/stuns.
- This spell only increases the percentage of your base damage, so extra damage items will not calculate in the percentage.
- The bonus damage received from this spell does not stack with the Double Damage Rune.
This ability compliments Earthshaker by giving him extra damage and a another free area of effect stun whenever he casts a spell. As an initiator, this gives you a very powerful tool for keeping tight groups under incredible crowd control.
- Items do no trigger this effect.
- The stun effect of this spell does not add on to the stun from Fissure, however it is a separate instance (helpful against a Linken's Sphere).
Core items for Earthshaker are very simple. You will need items to ensure you have mana to initiate and a way of effectively positioning your spells. So ultimately, mana and some type of fast unheeded movement. Generally the inexpensive mana regeneration items come first followed by the most appropriate initiating item. However, if a gank goes your way and you are able to afford a positioning item incredibly early, grab it while you can.
These items will solve most of your mana problems.
Ring of Basilius
There are some other options out there in the event you just don't have enough mana. If you are finding that you aren't getting nuked/harassed a lot, but somehow don't have the mana to finish the enemy off in the beginning an inexpensive Soul Ring can provide that boost to get you just enough mana to have a combination ready. With this item and arcane boots, you will have all the mana you need to spam Fissure if you desire. It is recommended that you put the money into savings for a Blink Dagger, unless you feel you will need the extra mana for fights.
You absolutely need mana to get a fissure off for decent damage. Remember that the fissure created lasts for 8 seconds regardless of spell level. So if an opportunity to trap an enemy presents itself, capitalize on it. The trapping can cause FAR more damage than the spells' direct damage. Just make sure that you have the regeneration needed for a next opportunity. Don't get caught being helpless. Soul Ring can provide some extra mana if you think you need it, but it is not recommended.
Now as for positioning.
Blink Dagger is your standard tool for getting your Echo Slam positioned where you need it, when you need it. There are other options out there however. If you aren't doing so great in the beginning and don't believe you will ever be able to save up enough for a Blink Dagger, try to get yourself a Force Staff. It is cheap enough to slowly build the components, and still have all the same uses as blink dagger, just a little bit trickier to use. There is also the plus side of effecting the enemy as well. Shadow Blade can have the same essential purpose. Sneak up and Echo Slam when the enemy is grouped up. This item is the least recommended, by myself, as it cannot instantly get you where you want, and can be made difficult to use through proper detection.
Your ability to afford these items will be difficult without kills, you are a hero required to buy some supportive items on top of the fact that you won't be able to farm like a carry.
- Blink Dagger has an excellent range and is an instant cast (great since your ultimate is also instant cast). Unfortunately it is very expensive to build so early in the game, especially for a hero that doesn't farm/jungle very well. This is your best option if you can afford it.
- Force Staff has approximately half of the "blinking" power as blink dagger. The components are relatively cheap and you should have no problem building this in a game where your team isn't doing very well.
- Shadow Blade is the least recommended since it does not give you regeneration, or a larger mana pool from bonuses. It's utility can often be countered through detection. However, the damage bonus can be utilized with Enchant Totem for some serious damage. I would leave that for a bruiser build however.
Late Game Items
Your core items MUST come first, without mana or positioning, you will most likely do poorly, and if you don't it is because your team is pulling good weight and/or the enemy team is screwing up all over the place.
After your core items you should be able to rack up some money through hero kills or at least spam some empty lanes for easy money on waves. Core items won't keep you useful the entire game, so make sure you pick up the items that will compliment how you will be playing. Although games will usually not last long enough for you to get all of these items, you don't want to waste your money and be stuck fighting carries that can insta-gib you later in the game.
Scythe of Vyse
- Aghanim's Scepter is easy to build up, gives you decent stats, and improves your ultimate. It can be a very solid choice, and is what I recommend most after your core items are completed. At this point your mana items are becoming less useful. So we need to pick up the pace.
- Scythe of Vyse gives you good mana and another crowd control ability. Excellent for chasing, stopping a channel, or keeping a carry subdued.
- Shiva's Guard gives you great survivability for you and the team and gives you another great area of effect ability.
- With these items you shouldn't have much of a problem. Just keep in mind that you are still not the biggest tank around, and you are not a carry with these items to any extent. You are the initiator for your team. You also provide some support, so don't forget about wards, detection, and other supportive items.
For longer games that just don't end where the team is starting to pick up some firepower and one hero's spell combination just won't cut it anymore, you will need to get some stronger items as well. There is a small arsenal of items that you do not want to get, generally those that do not increase your survivability
and do not help your initiating combination
. Items that are solid are:
Boots of Travel
Black King Bar
All of these items will help you become that much stronger. Arcane Boots
are no longer necessary after you finish later game items so you can swap them out for something that gives you better control over the map and gives you extra speed, since you aren't a fighting carry. Refresher orb allows you to dish out TWICE the damage in your combination now. It will most likely need all of your late game items for the mana pool required however. Black King Bar gives you easy survivability. Wonderful when the enemy team can focus on you and kill you instantly once your combination is up. Bloodstone gives you amazing survivability and seemingly unlimited mana. The ability to rack up enough kills to instantly revive can also be huge deal in an extra-long game.
I have chosen not to go into too much detail with the items, as your situation will truly dictate what it is that you need to go for. Your options for strategy can vary so much this late in the game. However, the items I have listed give you solid ability to survive any tough carry teams late in the game. I will likely expand this section if I find some popular alternate strategies when games continue this far.
As a support you can lane with another hero or go solo, either option is viable.
Hopefully you are playing with another carry/semi-carry and you will want to let them get the last hits, while focusing on denying your enemies.
If you are laning with a partner keep your eyes out for heroes that stick next to the tree line. If they make a mistake, and are being chased by your creeps while you have an angle that allows you to block them, do so. Even if your spell is level 1, having them trapped will allow your creeps and ally to take out a large chunk of their health. If they aren't very good, they may try to run around or fight and generally die. If they are decent, they will use tangos to eat around the trees blocking them. Even if they do not die, you can force them to use up a lot of their regeneration early. Heroes with stun make this job considerably easier. Wards are very critical to avoid being ganked, something your carry needs to avoid. A well placed fissure can dissuade a gank, or turn it around, but you need to know they are coming in the first place.
Block, deny, and ward. If you can do these things, an ally carry should be having a blast with easy farming. Your job during early laning is successful.
When playing solo, you will need to focus on the same trapping techniques. Ideally you will do more damage since your level will be higher. However, since you are a melee unit that does not boast incredible survivability right off the bat it will be difficult for you to get decent creep hits/denies against a competent enemy. As a solo, effective managing of Clarity Potions is critical. You need to capitalize on every mistake the enemy lane makes in order to get some decent kills and gold. Communicate with your team when setting up for a gank. An unsuspecting stun can allow for an easy trap with Fissure.
You are on your own, you can't spam nukes, and you don't have a large amount of damage to dish out other than your Fissure spell. Get the best creep score you possibly can and trap when you get the chance. Do not push one bit, otherwise you will give the enemy the chance to harass and deny you with ease. After a few levels you will have become a very strong roamer capable of effective ganks early in the game.
After you have gotten some levels around the middle portion of the game, you will have an excellent combination of spells and hopefully a decent amount of mana regeneration to allow you to make any team think twice about grouping up against you. Your goal now is to get a positioning tool mentioned previously. It is your role to initiate. If your team is dancing around the enemy, it is your fault. You need to get in there, take a few hits and get your stuns off. With that being said a team that communicates effectively will make a huge difference. If you initiate unexpectedly against the odds, your team may abandon you. At the least, ping and let them know you are going in so they can do their job. After you get a positioning tool, your job is simple. Smash the enemy team when they group and help support/trap during ganks and team fights.
When initiating against a grouped up team, you have several options to start off with. It is most recommended
that you use your ultimate first
since it is instant, even if a stray hero gets a stun off on you, you will have done a large amount of damage and have stunned a few heroes. If you do get focused at that point, it is taking spells and damage away from the carry that should be hacking away at their team. Initiating with any other spell will have the 0.7 second casting animation and has the ability to be interrupted or silenced easier. Let's face it, a decent team will not be crowded waiting for you to pounce and chances are a stray hero will get a stun off on you. If you initiated with Fissure, or worse, Enchant Totem and get stunned, you could easily become focused and die before you have a chance to get the rest of your spells in action. You will not survive every initiation. In the event you get your ultimate placed very well, make sure you continue with your other two spells in succession to keep heroes near you stunned until your combination is over. Your crowd control can be as equally useful as your damage is.
Importance during the mid-game is focused on your ability to get a positioning tool at which point you can be useful to your team in any team fight very easily. Outside of team fights, ensure you are purchasing supportive items such as wards/detection/teleportation scrolls
. (regardless of whether it makes it more difficult to buy your positioning tool, you will have a rougher time affording it if the enemy team gets an upper hand. Remember to utilize your blocking techniques during ganks as well as in order to save allies when they are being ganked. Chances are you will not
get a large amount of kills
, but rather a large amount of assists.
Near the end of the game, your incredible crowd control makes you the carries best friend. You can keep a whole team stuck between a rock and a hard place. You should have been present for most of your team's fights during mid-game, and now it is critical you are there for them in the late-game. Your killing power can decline very quickly if you waste your money on useless items. You need items that increase your suvivability to tank after initiations and even more supportive items/crowd control.
Anything can happen late game
, you can be dominating or you can be recovering from a bunch of failures through out the beginning and middle of the game. It's your job to turn a team fight to your advantage, beyond that you have poor carry capability against a decent team. Focus on initiating and controlling the enemy team, make sure you have balls and tank a few hits that would otherwise be directed towards your carries. Don't be afraid to take those hits and die, especially if you can get a few more stuns off, let the carries do their job
Thank you for visiting this guide. I hope that you found it both helpful and informative. I understand that it is a bit lengthy, but hopefully it offers something for newer and mediocre players. If you feel that this guide is missing something critical, or you notice an error that slipped past me, please inform me. I'm sure I will notice a few things I should change as well. Also understand that this guide is focused on an initiating/supportive Earthshaker, not a fighting oriented one.
The information provided below has been tested to a certain degree, but not knowing currently how to check the code of Dota 2 itself, I simply trust these sources.
1.) antiweltteilchen (http://dotasecrets.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/total-annihilation-echo-slam/), 26 Aug. 2012