Morphling Funzzies

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by TheSofa » February 2, 2016 8:19pm | Report
Hi all, TheSofa here.

I've been playing a lot of Morphling lately and have had the opportunity to theorycraft a bit. Here are some sub-optimal but cheeky ideas.



1. Late Ethereal Blade

When we look at competitive games of Morphling, we see more or less the same build: Linken's Sphere into Ethereal Blade. Why do you think this is? What are the pros/cons of this build?
Being the terrible last-hitter that I am, I constantly find that by the time I buy Ethereal Blade, most of the enemy cores have already bought their Black King Bars and the supports have already bought their Glimmer Capes, Force Staffs, etc.

Would it be a good thing, seeing this, to buy Manta into Skadi and BKB then buy E-blade when their BKB durations are shorter and you can deal more damage? Or is E-blade too much of a snowball-y item that you have to get early?


2. Drums of Endurance

I've been buying a lot of Drums of Endurance (note, not stacking them like Kyfoid would suggest) instead of Linken's Sphere.

It's a much cheaper alternative that has cheaper parts (like you can buy a Bracer before Power Treads or something) and has about the same stats. If you buy the item purely for ths stats, Drums is much more efficient (100 gold/stat as opposed to 170 gold/stat). Granted, you don't get the Spell Block, but Black King Bar is better in most games anyway. Drums gives you the capability to push quickly and gives you MS to close the gap.

3. Value Point Replicate

Honestly every time I've skilled Replicate it's underperformed. Really the only thing it increases is the duration, but it doesn't take an extra 30 seconds to TP back to base/to another lane and come back. As Hamster said, 4/4/4/1 by 13 is great.

Also, since the Adaptive Strike mana cost scales down now, the extra points are really useful.

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by KEEP CALM AND FEED » February 2, 2016 9:07pm | Report
If you want to skip e-Blade and want to get into fights, I suggest you go 4-4-1-1 build. What it hinders is that you cant go mega hitter to mega tank in seconds but the advantage is that if you perform a strat of being a mega tank, you can do it by just 1 level in morph strength. Because you will always be at high str and you don't need to morph back to AGI. Similar is the case with mega hitter that you keep balance on your agi and target an ideal HP and keep yourself at that number. What this means is you are sacrificing your shifting rate for nuking power and I think it works good for STR morph. For AGI morph, it works if you have farmed well.

Now onto your thoughts:
my build and your build is the same. Just that if I went drums, I go straight skadi and skip yasha completely for early boots of travels.

Late EB is completely fine as a seventh item to pick people off if there are rats in the game. Just be sure that you ave a level in replicate that you can perform combo and get out instantly. Ninja morphFTW. I sometimes even substitute butterfly for this because late game, if there are not much heavy nukers, going eblade ghost is much better as many people buy MKBs.


I feel ya on the replicate. Just that it gives returns only when you have boots of travels and are going rat morph. More time to rat equals more frustration for the enemy. Otherwise, skill once and forget it . Use it before fighting to get away safe. That is the only purpose I can see. Granted it can act as a blink but that use is so rare, you wont get to do it in 99% of your games, considering enemy placement.

I already wrote on the adaptive strike, so cheers mate! Nice morph build

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Hamstertamer » February 3, 2016 2:21am | Report
Linken's Sphere into Ethereal Blade is an outdated build from when people still thought that Morphling didn't have enough mana to rush his e-blade as a first item. The only reason you still see this build these days is because some people are still stuck 2 years in the past instead of using the buffs the hero got since then.

Now that the cost of his shotgun combo got reduced by 80 mana (50 on eblade and 30 on adaptive), there's no reason to ever go for this anymore.

The timing window of this build is horrendous (26+ minutes of AFK farm and being useless while applying no tower pressure because no bots), and it doesn't even make any sense, since Linkens is an item to rat against extremely specific lineups and e-blade is an item for midgame teamfights.

If you really want a linkens on Morph *because you need the active*, then you can go EBlade INTO Linkens. This way you're useful at the 15 minute mark at least. There's no reason to ever go linkens first on this hero unless you absolutely have to.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by TheSofa » February 3, 2016 6:50am | Report
So why do all the pro players do it? I assume they have some idea what they're doing...

Like Burning, Arteezy, Cty (ok cty is a scientist, but who cares?)

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Hamstertamer » February 3, 2016 7:22am | Report
Probably for the same reason why there are Medusas still rushing Linken's Sphere in the pro scene despite the build being widely considered garbage now and it being constantly flamed by casters for throwing the game. Bonus points when Linkens doesn't even block anything useful in that game of course. Which happens TONS of times on Morph, I don't even count the times when I see Morphs rush a linkens that blocks nothing in a pro game.

The more I watch competitive dota, the more I see how long the pro scene takes to adapt to changes. Sometimes it really feels like despite their strong and well-practised mechanics pro players really don't think their builds through...

No seriously Linkens was bought in 84% of games on Morph this patch. It doesn't take a genius to understand that this is a huge mistake. There's a lot of games where linkens doesn't even block anything useful, so going linkens every game on Morph just shows lack of adaptability.

Manta/skadi, Eblade/Bots, Midas/Eblade, even Manta/Bots or Skadi/Bots...those are all perfectly fine builds on Morph. If you don't use them and go linkens first item in every game despite it being completely useless in that particular game, this is a fail, no other way to put it.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Sanvitch » February 3, 2016 7:40am | Report
It depends on the team and the player. Some just have there own preferences for items, like OG buy a disproportionate amount of Linken's, usually like one or more a game. But OG are just a little weird anyway you get Notail build like full utility on heroes for Miracle and the teams sake. Which is fine, they are 5 co-ordinated individuals, they make item pick-ups like that work as a result.

Whilst I'll agree the pro scene can be slow as hell to adapt (Which is understandable, they play for money, they can't go yolo so much), I don't think the item builds are always as bad as they seem on paper. Look at like couch casts from the summit and stuff; they read into **** in game none of us would notice.

I would also argue that stuns are more impactful in a pro game than a pub due to co-ordination, so blocking say a Blink-Hex initiation say is far more important. Yeah, Lotus Orb exists, but it's still technically a valid option.

EDIT; This isn't me thinking pro's are unfallable, I just think that they do know the game significantly better than any of us, and there's probably some kind of reasoning behind item builds beyond 'Oh this is the standard' for the better players.

Since you just can't have enough Chaos Breaker.

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Hamstertamer » February 3, 2016 7:53am | Report
Sanvitch wrote:

Whilst I'll agree the pro scene can be slow as hell to adapt (Which is understandable, they play for money, they can't go yolo so much), I don't think the item builds are always as bad as they seem on paper. Look at like couch casts from the summit and stuff; they read into **** in game none of us would notice.


I've seen a ton of casters in BTS flaming the bajeezus out of pro players, for horrible item choices and/or horrible decision making actually...of course sugar-coating it but the point was pretty clear. This was what I was talking about :)

I actually almost always agree with the casters, but often disagree with the players' choices.

Sanvitch wrote:

EDIT; This isn't me thinking pro's are unfallable, I just think that they do know the game significantly better than any of us, and there's probably some kind of reasoning behind item builds beyond 'Oh this is the standard' for the better players.


More experience playing it? Definitely. Better in-game mechanics? Definitely. Better reflexes? Without doubt.

But better reasoning/analysis? Not sure about that one.


Sanvitch wrote:

I would also argue that stuns are more impactful in a pro game than a pub due to co-ordination, so blocking say a Blink-Hex initiation say is far more important. Yeah, Lotus Orb exists, but it's still technically a valid option.


Definitely. This is the case in pubs as well actually.

But if you're playing against Lion you should go BKB anyways since Lion can break linkens with Mana Drain making the item extremely meh against him. Against Shadow Shaman, why not.

But against a Scythe of Vyse buyer, this doesn't come into play until the 30 minute mark!

So the point still stands : there's no point in *rushing* a linkens. This item has no point at the 15 minute mark. Get it later if you need it, at a 2nd or 3rd item.

Seriously, linkens Morph has the most useless early buildup ever. Perseverance in lane? 2K gold wasted for an item that does nothing. If you want to regen, replicate your support or the offlaner, and TP to base to refill. It's the complete opposite of Weaver for which Perseverance pretty much wins the lane. Morph is like Slark, free regen at level 6.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Sanvitch » February 3, 2016 8:16am | Report
But no offence, BTS casters are not good. Save, like Godz, Winter and Merlini (And Godz knowledge does not match his mechanics), they are pretty average at the game, and there knowledge is really underwhelming. Even there work ethic has disappeared lately to the extent they are barely doing there job. It was a massive deal a week or two ago with pro's openly calling casters out on this behaviour.

But that's a discussion for a different thread really about how much you should trust the reads of play by play casters. Generally I think you shouldn't.

Have you looked at the players who've been rushing Linken's instead of just the number of times? Since, that's gonna be really relevent info.

Since you just can't have enough Chaos Breaker.

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Hamstertamer » February 3, 2016 8:28am | Report
Yes, the casters are another story and could make a thread of their own. They are extremely heterogenous and can go from best to worst. I do agree with you that some clearly lack mechanics knowledge but that's another story.

http://www.datdota.com/hero.php?q=Morphling&p=stats

But seriously, I'm really not impressed by Morph's impact in competitive these days. Low winrate, niche pick, and people like Illidan or Black are hardly even picking him anyways. Don't think there's anything to learn here. Probably wait for the obligatory delay after a hero becomes playable so that everybody can practice with him, and then it's going to be impressive.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Sanvitch » February 3, 2016 9:05am | Report
Don't look at Black or Illidan for this, look to China. They've been doing outright best on the hero this patch so far, and are playing him the most. (Don't forget, this isn't actually a patch that's been played that much competitively relative to it's age. We've had what 4 major events? (WCA which barely counts, Major Qualifiers, Starladder and MDL. OG only played there first competitive games on the patch at MDL last week that's how under played it is).

CTY went 4-1 at MDL going Linken's as his first major item in the 4 wins (And losing the one he went E-Blade first). Admittedly CTY does wierd **** like max agility with HotD to farm ancient camps efficiently, and I think he started the trend of casual Hyperstone into fast Moon Shard on AM.

Sylar similarly is doing first major item linken's, and it looks like Ghost Scepter first isn't doing that well. Admittedly, that's probably becuase those are games morph is struggling anyway, so it shows nothing.

It's kinda weird. I would also expect the innovation on this to come from China, not Russia. Or Black. Black is sadly not that relevent anymore.

Since you just can't have enough Chaos Breaker.

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