Oracle is an underrated defensive support whose biggest strengths come from his low item dependence and high versatility throughout the course of the game. The idea of this guide is to give a better understanding of Oracle for people who either want to play as or are paired with him.
It's the first ability you will level up in most games as it allows you to purge buffs (including the healing from Purifying flames and the 100% magic resistance from Edict) or debuff (including the disarm from Edict) as well as being an AoE root/damages. The spell scales poorly so we will only put a value point on it.
Also, it costs a lot of mana so the cd reduction is not very good early on.
This ability has no cast point but the missile is rather slow.
This spell is your defensive tool. It's a mid-late game spell as itself, but it can be combined with Purifying flames for a strong HoT in the early-mid game.
It's usually the second spell you max because it's cheap and it scales extremely well.
You may not agree yet, but this is your most broken spell by far
Your all purpose spell, it's a powerfull nuke as well as a strong HoT which comboes well with your other spells (no HoT for foes with Fortune's end, no nuke for friends with Edict, doubled healings with False promise). Its low cooldown allows you to spam it but don't because the healings exceed the damages.
This is a great offensive tool early on and can break Linken's sphere later on, but it's way better to use it as a HoT.
Although it looks like a defensive spell, it's your most offensive tool in the late game. What it says is literally "you can dive for 8/9/10s and maybe live afterward". It also applies a strong dispell on its target when casted.
Keep in mind that Purifying flames and False promise keys are very close together and you really don't want to cast Purifying flames on a hero you would have casted False promise on. I have personnally changed False promise key to F and my winrate has really increased.
Here is the best part of Oracle : having 7 spells instead of 4.
Burst combo :
This one is the easiest one : channel Fortune's end and immediately cancel it by casting Purifying flames to deal the full damages from Purifying flames and dispell the HoT immediately afterward, allowing you to deal around 500 damages before reduction for 200 mana (800 damages for 300 mana if you cast another Purifying flames after that combo) at level 7.
Be aware that you have a 0.3s cast point on Purifying flames so you must cast Purifying flames first when your target is near.
Heal combo :
Very usefull : cast Edict on a friend and Purifying flames afterward for a full 400 HoT for 150 mana at level 7. This also disarm the target and gives it 100% magic resistance.
You can nullify Purifying flames' cast point by casting it immediately after Edict, allowing you to cast it twice since level 2 of Edict.
Anti-melee combo :
Tricky and unheard of yet very powerfull : Edict a melee hero then channel Fortune's end for its full duration then run then recast Edict. That's a 10.5s (6s if no 2nd Edict) easy kiting available on level 11. The target will be able to hit you once if he is close to you when you cast Fortune's end as it dispells Edict. Also beware that he will have 1.3s not rooted nor disarmed if you go for the full combo because of the cd and cast point of Edict.
It's not a good escape due to Oracle's low turn rate and long cast point.
Level 10 :
Easy one : Oracle needs exp, not a small buff on the least usefull part of his least usefull spell in the late game. Pick that +25% exp all the time.
Level 15 :
This is the only tricky talent : although the +150 cast range is really strong if you can farm Aether lens and Traquil boots, they are games where you know you will be stuck in your base defending high ground and looking for a comeback with really sparse ressources. In that case, the +90 gpm is really strong as it gives you more gold to manage with.
You can also go for the +90 gpm talent if you know the game will last very long.
Level 20 :
False promise is a bit wasted if not used offensively so giving it a defensive buff which works only if the target doesn't use the buff offensively is a waste most of the time. It can be usefull if the ennemy team has a lot of lockdown and your carry is position dependant but not so much otherwise.
Contrarily, +75 ms is like gaining two brown boots on a hero who is already super fast and can't stay in fights and has to be everywhere on the map. Pick +75 ms everytime.
Level 25 :
Remember you almost never hit level 25. This means it's a super late game talent. By the time you can pick that one, most bkb will last only 5s and almost everyone will be 6 slotted.
-5s Edict cd allows you to basically disarm 2 heroes forever wich is as good as False promising all your team forever. Always pick -5s Edict cd.
Remember : Oracle is not item dependent but he is exp dependent. Therefore, you have to find exp early on while not taking a lane for yourself. Here is a list of what you can do (from the most efficient to the least efficient) :
- Kill heroes/get assists in your safelane
- Sit in your offlane
- Commit for an early gank mid (very risky, you may become totally useless if you fail and get killed)
- Stack camps and take bounty
You have to play very aggressively during your early game in order to get some kills. It's even ok to die as much as your ennemy offlaner because you need exp and it still gives gold to your carry.
Plus, Oracle can easily zone 2 heroes by himself with a good harassment.
To support and gain value from that constant fighting, the best item you could go for is obviously Urn of shadows. Raindrops, Circlet and Ring of protection are really gold efficient items and the healing from Urn cycles really well in the midgame.
I also recommend Tranquil boots as a second item because movement speed is extremely important on Oracle and you shouldn't take or deal damages much past the early game.
Pro tips :
- you can avoid ks with Purifying flames with a lot of practice but don't hesitate to use it to secure a kill, it's normal to ks as Oracle
- be proactive, look for kill opportunities on your other lanes
- this may be counter intuitive but your exp is worth more than your carry's exp (most of the time), be aware of it
Here is the tricky part of the game, as you are probably level 8-10, which is right between your level 7 powerpike (maxed Purifying flames and False promise available) your level 12 powerpike (maxed Edict and very low cd on False promise), and both teams are willing to take objectives.
Stay back, heal people, cast False promise if needed (either because your carry is in a bad situation or because he wants to dive hard, don't use it on worthless people), that kind of stuff. Nobody needs your right click and your Edict is not worth casting on ennemies as it has a low range and the disarm doesn't last long enough.
What item is really good for a support who wants to stay back ? Aether lens ! Void stone is excellent with your 2.9 intel gain, allowing you to spam your healings, and the cast range combined with your level 15 talent, Tranquil boots and your level 20 talent means you will have around 500 ms and really huge cast range, which helps a lot with survivability.
The item is relatively expensive so you may take some last hits with Purifying flames on a safe lane.
Pro tips :
- don't go Aether lens against invi heroes because dying first sucks, buy Vlad or Force staff instead
- your squishy carry should buy lifesteal (even Morbid mask alone is value) and play with you because False promise doubles all healings from it and allows him to freely deal his damages during a full 8/9/10s, meaning he might go back to full health after getting his triple kill
- if you know your team will lose very hard in the midgame, you may buy a Necronomicon instead of an Aether lens*
You should normally have Aether lens, Tranquil boots, Urn with 2-3 souls and level around 18. Once again, you are near to your next and most violent powerpike, which is your level 20. Level 18 gives you spammable False promise, which is really powerfull, and level 20 is even better as it gives you +75 ms (invi False promise is trash, don't take it unless you only need defense). This means you have 305+90+75 = 470 ms and 800+150+250 = 1200 cast range on your Edict (1400 on False promise and 1250 on your other spells), meaning you will never die during fights while being able to disarm any carry for 4.5s every 7s and casually False promise twice in long teamfights while bursting down ennemies' Linken's sphere and rooting fleeing heroes.
So you have unfair teamfight ability, almost global range and... a lot of spare gold since you only bought Urn, Tranquil and Aether, which is 4k gold (around 6k if we include wards and consumable).
The most unfair thing with Oracle is that he is not item dependant but will get a lot of gold from pushing and killing/assisting, giving him the opportunity to buy strong situational items from this list :
- Drums/Helm of the dominator
- Aeon disk
- Crimson guard
- Solar crest
Whatever item you get, it's an item you will have over your opponents.
Just stay back, heal people, disarm your ennemies, cast some False promises, root melee heroes with Fortune's end and never die during fights.
When you are not fighting, you can push lanes. Purifying flames oneshots ranged creeps until 50+ min and its low cd allows you to use it on every melee creep afterward to last hit. Dont burn all your mana doing so though.
Oracle works really well with fraile heroes who deals tremendous amount of damages if they can't be killed fast enough. Imagine an unkillable PA jumping on you for 10s and you don't know how much damages you need to kill her and you may be rooted and purged. This is how powerfull Oracle can be with his friends.
Heroes who can reduce spell damages such as Pudge, BB, AM or Husk are really good because you can spam Purifying flames on them even during fights.
Special mention to Husk. Freezing Husk hp when he is under 10% hp triggers both Berserker's blood and Inner vitality, making him very likely to kill anyone he sees during False promise duration and then coming back at full health.
Tanky heroes are really annoying for Oracle as he can't really gank them early on and he is so squishy a WK wreaks him as fast as a Morph anyway. Also, most of them are strength heroes so Oracle's disables are not as effective on them.
High mobility/unprevisible/invi heroes are also hard to deal with as they can just pick Oracle off before a teamfight or when he pushes a lane.
CK, WK and PL are extremely tough opponents this patch imo.
Squishy physical carries such as PA or Sven are food for Oracle as he can simply burst them down in the early game and disarm them throughout the game, sometimes forcing an early bkb.
Also, heroes like Sniper who rely on a long range spell to give the final blow are naturally countered by Oracle's reliance on Edict to heal his mates, giving them 100% magic resistance thus neglating the damages of the spell.
Pick Oracle, it's a really cool hero with a lot of strengths and a really interesting design. He shines in high dps/low hp hero lineups and can adapt to nearly any situation. Nonetheless, he is squishy, mana starving and able to throw a game before 10 minutes.
Give it a try !