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7.21D Visage Guide – Objective Gaming [Intermediate - Advanced]

May 15, 2019 by Mitchxo
Comments: 2    |    Views: 3536    |   


Build 1
Build 2

Starting Build 1 (Physical Based Mid Matchup)

DotA2 Hero: Visage


Purchase Order

Starting Items (1)

Core Items

Mid Game (Build one or 2 of these)

Late Game

Situational Items



Hero Skills

Grave Chill

1 3 7 8

Soul Assumption

5 9 11 13

Gravekeeper's Cloak

2 4 14 16

Summon Familiars

6 12 18

Talents

10 15

Hero Talents

-2s Gravekeeper's Cloak
25
+1 Familiar
+20 Soul Assumption Damage Per Charge
20
+50 Familiars Movement Speed
+40% XP Gain
15
Soul Assumption Double Strike
+100 Cast Range
10
+30 Damage

Introduction

Visage has 7 Minions - 2 Birds, 1 Neutral Creep and 4 Ally Heroes. Focus on strengthening and enabling your Minions as much as you can with Auras, Heals and Lockdown. Go for quality of summons, over quantity.

Hello and welcome to my first guide. Hopefully you get some use out of it. I'm going to preface this guide by saying that this is not a beginner guide. I would say that players between the Archon and Divine ranks will benefit. I will be using Acronyms and making assumptions that the reader has some previous knowledge of Spells, Items and Basic Gameplay Concepts.

My obsession with Visage is only recent, I played him once in the first 7 years of my Dota life, but now within the last 2 months he's become one of my most played heroes. At the time of writing this I've played around 110 Visage games and have taken a very proactive approach to understanding and improving on this hero. This was a bit of an experiment of mine.

The approach involved taking notes after each game, and thinking critically on what I should have done differently to get a win. I maintained these notes in a Spreadsheet, where I also tracked all my metrics such as GPMs, KDAs, CS, Damage, Match Duration, etc. I used this data to generate graphs to see how I performed and improved, and to see if I could detect any patterns which I could utilise to increase my chances of winning.

I never intended on developing a guide, but the data I collected in my tracking tool ended up feeding quite nicely into a Guide. My win rate is sitting close to 58% for the hero now - with most of my games in solo ranked (Ancient 7). Enjoy :)

Hero Overview

Visage is a one of those unique heroes in that a lot of his damage not done directly by his hero, but his Summons (Birds). Visages overall game damage is usually a 50/50 split between his Summons (Physical Damage) and his Nuking Spell (Magic Damage). This makes him quite versatile in how he wants to build, his talents and item choices can also influence how these damage ratios are split.

Visage is a very powerful Objective taker. His two core items Medallion of Courage and Helm of the Dominator makes him incredibly good at sieging towers and taking Roshan. The hero benefits very strongly from Auras, as they strengthen his Summmons and synergise well with his Gravekeepers Cloak and playstyle.

Visage is infamous for not scaling well into the late game, and it makes people feel like there's a bit of a timer when playing this hero. There may be some truth to this statement but let me assure you I've had success on this hero at all stages in the game. Based on my stats however, I'd say the hero does have peak potential before the 45min mark. See below.




Visage doesn't scale well in terms of damage, not in the same way a Shadow Fiend or Templar Assassin does. He does, however, scale well in terms of utility. He will become very durable, and will provide your allies with some powerful auras, utility and lock downs.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths:
- High damage output in team fights.
- Fun and unique playstyle.
- Very flexible with Items.
- Destroys objectives.
- Can use birds to help even when hero is dead.
- Durable.

Weaknesses:
- No mobility.
- Is useless without Birds.
- Very weak in lane before level 6.
- Isn’t great at responding to threats around the map.
- Doesn’t like building BKB.

Hero Skills

Grave Chill [Q]


- Increases attack and movement speed of you and your familiars.
- Decreases attack and movement speed of the enemy target.

Use this spell during the laning phase to ensure you get last hits and denies against the enemy mid. Use it to take their attack speed so they can't last hit - prioritise using it when they go for their ranged creep. When you cast this spell you can generally attack 2-3 times for their 1 attack. Also use it when you can to harass the enemy, with a blight stone you can do considerable damage.

When the laning phase is coming to a close you can comfortably use this spell on neutrals and creep waves to increase your farming speed. You can also use it to move between camps and lanes quicker. Use Q on an enemy creep to buff up your attack speed when pushing towers as well.

Soul Assumption [W]


- Does high damage on a very low cooldown.
- Damage is dependant on Charges gained by damage dealt or taken near Visage.
- Hits 2 targets if you take the level 15 talent.

This spell has no use in lane, there isn't much reason to level it before level 5. Before this point, its very rare for there to be enough damage to build damage Charges.

This spell will account for about 50% of your overall damage in any given game. It has a very low cooldown and it's vital to use it as often as you can in teamfights to secure kills on supports and cores. I wouldn't recommend using this on their front liner (pipe carrier). Use it when your bars are at full capacity (6 Charges) - this is extremely easy to do in the later game teamfights.

Gravekeeper's Cloak [E]


- Provides passive damage reduction based on stacks.
- Affects Familiars as long as they are in 1250 range. (CHECK)
- The more stacks you have, the more damage reduction you have.
- You can only take 4 instances of damage before all stacks are gone.
- Stacks regenerate over time.

This is a useful spell in the laning phase as it allows you to tank harass well.

It also has great use in the mid and late game when trying to survive ganks and skirmishes. Keep in mind however that once the 4 damage instances are burned through you will die just as fast as any other hero. Make sure you stay on the edge of fights to retain your Cloak stacks. Having full stacks greatly increases your Birds EHP.

Summon Familiars [R]


- Summons to controllable units that can attack and stun.
- When birds are dropped they stun units in an AOE, become immune to damage, and regenerate health.
- Birds also benefit from Gravekeepers Cloak.

This is Visage's key skill, it allows him to summon two Birds and use them as a damage source or a stun. Prioritise using your Birds as a source of damage (attacks) rather then a stun. Once you get Birds in lane at Level 6 your whole game changes. It's time assess how you want the game to play out, focusing on timings and your positioning.

Hero Talents

Level 10 Talents:
+100 Cast Range OR +30 Damage

This is an easy choice. Go with the Cast Range. Always. Visage wants to be able to slow and use items on targets from a distance. This keeps him safe, and allows him to retain GC stacks for his birds.

Level 15 Talents:
+40% Experience OR Soul Assumption Double Strike

I will almost always go for the Double Strike, it doubles the damage output of your nuke which is incredible. The only time I don't go for it is if I'm versing something like a Terrorblade or Phantom Lancer where the double strike will usually just get tanked by an illusion. In this instance I will go for the exp.

Level 20 Talents:
+20 Soul Assumption Damage Per Charge OR +50 Familiars Movement Speed

This is a very situational talent. I will usually choose the Familiars Movement Speed if my Birds are getting easily killed or if we still haven't started going highground (fights are still happening outside of their base). Otherwise the Nuke Damage is a great pick up, especially when combined with the Double Strike talent at Level 15.

Level 25 Talents:
-2s Gravekeepers Cloak OR +1 Familiar

This is another close one. To be honest I usually finish the game before I'm level 25. However, I do tend to favour the Gravekeepers Cloak. This makes you extremely difficult to kill. The +1 Bird talent is still strong and can be beneficial if you are ahead and just need that extra bit of damage to finish the game off.

Build Explanation

I have listed two Builds in the top section of this Guide. Both builds are the same except for the starting items. This may be a little nit-picky but I assure you, the difference of these two builds in the laning phase is lane winning, or lane losing.

Your Core Items will tend to be same regardless of any game, the only differences will be your laning items and your mid to late game items. See my later chapter on these items, to get some guidance on your item choices.

Build 1 - Starting Build 1 (Physical Based Mid Matchup)

Ring of Basilius: Go for the Basi build against primarily ranged heroes with strong harass - Drow, Sniper, Ta, Invoker. The Basi starting build provides the most cost efficient way of increasing Armour and Damage. If the enemy mid poses some kill potential on you, and you are struggling with CS, go for an additional Null before building into your core items.

Basi also has the added benefit that it can be used to help provide strong early push, or can be disassembled into a medallion. Using this build I will try my best to make do with a Basi and rush the Helm of the Dominator. At Level 6 I will summon my birds and turn my Basi on and start playing really aggressively on the enemy Mid Tier 1 Tower. I will explore alternatives to this in the Playstyles Chapters.

Build 2 - Starting Build 2 (High Magical Harrass / Kill Potential)

Null Talisman build: Go the Null build against both melee and ranged heroes who have strong magical damage and very strong lane presence - Ember, QOP, Lina. The Null build provides you with an additional 120 HP that the naked Basi build doesn't provide. This extra HP is generally enough to survive the aggression from these heroes. This build will result in you having a later Helm, and you be getting harassed a lot more so expect to be ferrying out a lot of regen to stay in the game.

Game Strategy

This chapter will cover a high level overview of how you will want to approach the game. Later in this guide will be a more specific breakdown of how you want to go about accomplishing these high level objectives.

The first thing to understand with Visage (and any hero really) is what you should be doing in the game (what your role is) and when you should be doing it (what your timing is).

Timings
Your timings will change from game to game, slightly. Typically you will be playing the game selfishly, yet aggressively, until you have your core items up. Your Helm of the Dominator and Medallion of Courage are the only two items you need to shine. This is your biggest power spike of the game, abuse the hell out of it. Apart from this, try to schedule your pushes around the 5minute marks (Catapult spawns). Obviously if you kill the enemy heroes, feel free to push before this, but when forcing fights by pressuring a tower should be done around the 5minute marks.

Role
Your role in the game will almost always be the same. You are on this map to force down towers, and to fight with your team in a preferably non reactive manner. You should be the one instigating fights by forcing their towers and positioning aggressively.

You should not be doing the following:
- Responding to lanes pushing under your tower
- Split pushing
- Passively farming

In Summary
Visage doesn't win the game by gaining a net worth or level advantage like an Outworld Devourer or a Medusa, Visage wins by applying pressure and owning the map early. If you see an opportunity to limit your opponents farm such as taking control of their jungle - seize it.

To quote BSJ:"Always make the most aggressive yet nonpunishable play you can".

This is what should be in your head at all times on Visage. Your biggest priority is getting that middle tower early and using it to open the map up for your team as much as possible.

Playstyle Breakdown

Laning and Early Game:
At the beginning of the game, you should be able to determine which Hero your opponent will be. Based on this, choose one of the two starting builds I described. Try to be a bit flexible here as well, if you are struggling with CS a bit in lane, or are versing aggressive supports such as Earth Spirit or Tusk then its probably wisest to Build 1 or 2 additional Null Talismans in lane to ensure you have some HP.

When in lane, focus heavily on CS. Don't expect to have the ability to zone them. You want to get as much LH and DN before level 6 as you can. Use Grave Chill to take their attack speed just before they want to secure a last hit. You can pull off some pretty clever stuff with this skill, and it's also all you really have to win your lane. Getting good at this is the best thing you can do for your laning phase on Visage.

Your early game goal is to be level 6 at the same time as them, or at most 1 or 2 waves after them. The lane dynamic will shift dramatically once you get your Birds. A lost lane mid can often be recovered once you get your Familiars. If you find yourself losing, try to make sure you're readied up for your Level 6. Full Mana and HP with some spare Regen ( Healing Salve or Tangoes). You will start playing aggressively at this point to try and get them out of lane. Also make sure your Ring of Basilius is on (if you have one). You will also have a few options here, depending on how your game has gone so far.

1. Constantly use Grave Chill and your Birds to keep the enemy mid out of lane, or playing extremely defensively. Do as much damage as you can to the Mid Tier 1 Tower and kill the opposing mid if possible.

2. Rotate between Mid and Jungle, and farm as fast as you can. Use Grave Chill constantly to increase your farming speed. Its possible at this point to leave mid for the support instead. This is the least desirable option and generally you will only do this if you lose mid.

Make sure you keep ferrying yourself Claritys and Enchanted Mangoes to maintain kill potential and farm speed. If your other lanes are losing at this point, I recommend ignoring them. This concept may make a few people shudder, but you will give them more room to recover by playing aggressively in the mid lane. If the side lanes are simply going to lose you the game, then perhaps it is best to swap with them. A mid lane visage can definitely compete with a snowballed side lane core.

Mid Game:
I would say that the mid game on Visage begins from the moment you have your two core items Helm of the Dominator and Medallion of Courage its time to ramp up the game pace. Start pushing towers, try to align this with the 5min Catapult timings, or when you manage to pick off an enemy hero.

There's different priorities when it comes to choosing what Towers, and this is once again a very situational thing. At the time of writing this, 7.21D is about to end. But my advice is that Mid Tier 1 is always first preference. 2nd Preference however, alternates. If you are versing these awful Ancient farmers like Drow and Medusa, take enemey tower in your safelane. The early you claim that side of the map, the better. Otherwise, prioritise the Offlane Tier 1.

Whilst taking towers like this you need to continue analysing what items you will need to close out the game. Refer to the items section of my guide for some further information on this. Typically you will be thinking along the lines of Guardian Greaves, Rod of Atos, Pipe of Insight, Solar Crest.

Late Game:
Try to rotate around the Map and take objectives. Be mindful of your allies cooldowns and the Catapult timings. If your advantage isn't that significant then play around the Catapults. If not, take towers as you please.

Try to understand your allies Timings. Visages biggest strength is around the 20-30min mark. This is the point in the game where most cores cannot kill your birds easily, and you have a small army and some key utility item that the other team is lacking. This lets you siege safely and effectively. I recommend taking full advantage of this. If you're having an amazing game on Visage, play around this timing.

If the game isn't going your way, in that your farm is bad and you have no towers at the 20-30min mark. Pull back and try to match your Position 1's timings. Play safely and farm while they build up their core items.

Sometimes the game just won't go the way I've described, and you will be on the back foot. If this is the case, try to make use of what ever space you have and farm up that game winning item. As an example this could be that Scythe of Vyse against the enemy Storm. I don't believe there's any amazing strategy in Base Defence on Visage, in fact I would say he's not that great at it.

If you are winning and at the point where you have to go Highground. Depending on how far ahead you are you need to think strategically about this. Try and get that item that will let you do it, get the Aegis and if you've already managed to get a Tier 3, also go for their Shrines. Refer to my next Chapter on Sieging.

The Art of Sieging

This is a technique you really want to use with Visage. Letting your Birds and Dominated Catapult / Creeps take towers while you and your team sit safely on the back lines is a great strategy. So often I will see games where all 4 Allied Heroes will run up and start hitting the Tower, leaving them exposed to an attack. This is completely unnecessary and is the best way to throw an easy win.

It's not about how fast you can destroy towers, its about how safely. Having enough damage to kill a tower in 3 seconds, doesn't mean that you will have the chance to do so. Being able to sustain your team and continuously fend off the enemy will ensure you can finish the game.

Teamfight Strategy

There's a definite art to fighting with Visage in teamfights. Pulling it off successfully is more rewarding then winning a fight on any other hero, at least in my experience. To put it simply, you will feel like a god. The downside is that you can expect to throw a few teamfights in the process of learning.

In the fights, make sure you know your targets and use your Birds and Soul Assumption to eliminate supports. Soul Assumption is an extremely high damage nuke, with a very low cooldown. I see this as Visages main source of damage in fights.

Try your best to o micro your birds and hero separately. It can be a bit tricky learn initially and teamfights will become quite overwhelming until you get the hang of it. Utilizing your Neutral Creep abilities and Bird stuns to lock down heroes is highly effective. Try to use it when required, the birds damage in teamfights is usually more important, and if Bird Stone Form is on cooldown then you won't be able to save a bird if required.

In a teamfight the following things will be fluttering around your head:
- Bird Health
- Bird Target (Blink Initiators, Supports)
- Whether to stun or attack with Birds
- Hero Positioning
- Hero Health
- Spell Cooldowns (Q and W have low CD)
- Item Cooldowns (Mek /Solar Crest / Pipe / Atos)
- Ally Health (When to heal, when to disengage)
- Neutral Creeps Abilities
- Enemy Spell Cooldowns

Much to the dismay of your teammates, you will throw a fight or two learning all of this. The first 5 to 10 fights where you are consciously trying to micro your units separately and keep track of all the variables will leave you shatters. Keep at it.

Since you've read my guide, and taken it as Gospel, you will always have a Helm of the Dominator. Your creep preferences for teamfights are:
1. Alpha Wolf: Provides an incredible 30% Damage Aura and requires no mental effort to Micro.
2. Centaur Conqueror: Provides a 2 second Stun.
3. Dark Troll Summoner: Provides a 1.75s root and additional summons for pushing.
3. Hellbear Smasher: Provides a 150 Damage Nuke and a 25% MS Slow.

If you are planning on sieging or pushing, then get a Catapult. Always get a Catapult for this.

Control Groups

Visage is a Micro Hero and as such its important to be able to efficiently and quickly swap through Units in fights or in lane. The Control Groups I use are:

1 - Visage
2 - Birds
3 - All Units
4 - Neutral Creep (Centaurs, Ursa, Catapults)

I find these hotkeys to be really effective for me, but ultimately its up to you. Whatever you are used to can work just fine.

Items

Helm of the Dominator: This item should be picked up every game. I see it as even having preference over medallion and solar crest. The regen it provides, the ability to take catapults, wolves and centaurs is incredible. It also buffs up your birds attack speed for more damage. It’s practically built for visage.

Medallion of Courage: This is your second core item. You should almost always get it. I cannot think of a situation where you wouldn’t, it amplifies you and your team’s damage significantly on targets and also enables rosh. It also allows you to upgrade into a solar crest.

Solar Crest: This item is incredible. If the game is looking quite even and their carry is off to a good start. Get this item 3rd. It allows you to destroy any hero even when they have a significant net worth and level advantage. It also provides good stats.

Pipe of Insight: I would build this item over solar crest in games where I’m not worried about any of their cores. Remember your first goal is to kill objectives, this will involve you 5 manning. An early pipe is vital for winning early fights and going high ground. At the beginning of the game you should be thinking between Pipe, Mek and Crimson. If the magic damage is high, get pipe. Simple.

Mekansm / Guardian Greaves: I get this item if there is a pretty equal split in damage between magical and physical, and when I think a purge will be useful (from the greaves upgrade). I will almost always get mek and then decide whether to upgrade to greaves. If we are all out pushing and I think its important then I will. Otherwise I will start building into a different item.

Crimson Guard: The item is good against heroes with high attack speed and low-moderate damage. By low to moderate I mean anything that isn’t an obscene PA Crit or Drow Marksmanship. I haven’t had the best results with this item, and have only built it a handful of times. I prefer greaves to provide me with armour.

Vladmir's Offering: If the game Is going to end at 20mins, finish this item to secure your early game advantage. Otherwise, I would skip it and use the gold for a Solar Crest or Atos. While Vlads fits your pushing / sieging playstyle (and its fantastic if another hero buys it) its important to be able to fight when they try and defend high ground. For this, a solar crest or mek is better.

Aghanim's Scepter: Repeat after me. Quality not Quantity. I’m not a fan of the Aghs build for Visage. As I stated earlier, try to focus on strengthening your current familiars over recruiting more. Having 2 unkillable birds is better than having 4 killable ones (Aghs + Talent). Going for Aghanims also opens you up to getting countered from a Crimson Guard, this item will reduce all 4 of your birds damage to 0. You may also think that you're destroying their objectivse, and extra bird will make that even better, don't get lured into this trap. As I mentioned earlier, its not about how fast you take objectives, its about how safely. Greaves and AC is a far better sieging item than an Aghs.

Scythe of Vyse: This item can be very strong, and I will usually buy it 4th or 5th. Often times the game don’t go this long but in some situations it is game winning. Go for it against heroes such as Weaver, Qop, Storm, TB.

Assault Cuirass: This will be typically be your 4th Item. You will get it after your medallion, helm, 3rd item (pipe / greaves / crimson). It will greatly increase you and your teams damage on enemy heroes and towers and will increase your overall strength.

Shiva's Guard: This is best when you need the AOE damage and attack speed slow. Good against illusion heroes as you don’t have anything else that can deal with them. Also good when someone else on your team is buying AC.

Bloodthorn: Good situation pick up against evasion heroes or heroes who have a very strong ultimate.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity / Glimmer Cape: These items can help you survive specific threats. I haven’t had to build these items much. Typically a Mek can assist in saving people from most threats, but in game where a Skywrath is a major threat to you, or you absolutely need a Euls to survive, then pick it up. This has only really happened to me once in 120 games and it straight up won us the game.

Counters

As is life with Dota, we can all be countered. I like to joke that visage is uncounterable. This isn’t objectively true but I do often feel this way. Theres ways of building Visage to ensure the impacts of these "Counters" are heavily mitigated. I pick Visage every game (often quite early to avoid the enemy taking it.. thanks Overwolf) and find myself begging them to try and counter me just so I can have some fun / improve my abilities of playing around them.

Hero Counters

I’m not going to read some Dotawiki or Dotabuff to see what my counters are based on win percentages. I’ve played enough games of Visage to have a feel for this.

Warlock: Warlock has a great time verse Visage. His fatal bonds will kill off your birds in a heartbeat. That combined with his slow makes you and your birds sitting ducks. The only way I find of beating this hero is to tank up with mech and pipe and make sure your team knows the importance of the warlock. Smoke gank him before pushing, silence him before he ults, play around his ult, split.

Skywrath Mage: Sky with Atos can instantly kill you. Mid sky will have a free lane against you and can kill you if he wants. Against mid sky I typically build a Euls or Glimmer. Glimmer will stop his kill potential when you group up, and Euls will stop his kill potential on you.

Winter Wyvern: Wyvern Ultimate is the bane of your existence. If you get initiated on when your birds are near you, you’re gone. It’s somewhat embarrassing to be killed by your own birds. I’ve had great results by ensuring I keep my birds are away from me, and building Orchid against this hero. His ability to use Ult and Freeze himself against you makes it very frustrating to verse.

Death Prophet: This hero is surprisingly effective against Visage. Losing your GC to either her siphon or crypt swarm / other sources will allow her ult will to shred through your birds. She’s also very survivable and builds Euls. I find Euls builders quite frustrating to verse on Visage. Her best bet is to avoid Visage until she has Euls. Try and pressure and farm as much as possible before she hits this timing, give your mid to a support because you wont be able to take it with her there and go to a side lane. Alternatively build medallion first and crush her in lane. If you can’t crush just leave. Once you have more items (crimson would be good) you can deal with her ult.

Mars: Mars can kill your birds in a single W. He can do this even through full GC mid game if he’s had a good start. Keep your birds away from him if he has W up. Building Solar Crest against this guy and Greaves / CG / AC will be your best bet.
Disruptor: Your birds can’t fly out of his Kintetic Field and the silence prevents them from resetting. Getting pipe and playing with this in mind is enough to around this.

Ursa: I don’t specifically find this hero much of an issue. You have a faster timing then him, once you get your 2 core items, go win the game. You have a slow, and 2 stuns with birds. If you are really worried about him, get a force or ghost and let your team take care of him when he goes on you. The only way this hero beats you is if he snowballs hard and gets a massive item and level advantage. Otherwise he’s not an issue. Free farm Ursa is fine. Free farm plus Kills result in a far higher relative net worth. Don’t let this happen.

Item Counters

Stout Shield / Vanguard: These item will severely impact your Birds damage early. Versing melee mid laners who have a stout is basically a drawn / lost lane. In fact, it might even be worth getting stout on ranged mid laners too. This becomes even worse when its upgraded into a vanguard. Don’t bother putting your birds on these heroes. You can stun and W. In fights, focus on killing the other heroes and kill the Vanguard Carrier last. Once you have solar crest, and it gets later in the game, vanguard doesn’t matter too much.

Crimson Guard: This item is THE visage counter. Incredible how rarely it’s bought against me. The item even nullifies damage on towers. Whilst theoretically the item is amazing against Visage, I don’t get too disheartened when I see it. I typically will begin using my birds to cancel blinks, stun heros, or annoy supports. I would advise disengaging when Crimson is popped, and fighting when its down. Its 12 seconds on 46 seconds off. I also tend to not build aghanims so I’m not dependant on my birds being my main damage source. Building aura items and focusing on your W for damage is the best way to deal with Crimson. This is typically why I build the way I do. Do not invest heavily in your birds being your damage, as they do become very killable late game. If you lose them with no resummon in a fight you are useless. Building items like Pipes, Greaves, Hexes allows you to continue contributing. Building Utility mitigates the effectiveness of this item.

Black King Bar: This item will make you feel a bit useless on Visage, but to be fair, it makes a lot of heroes feel useless. The best you can do against this is to just kill the surrounding heroes and take care of them last. Try to monitor your bird health because a BKB opponent is usually dishing out a lot of damage with no potential to locked down. If you are losing your birds. Drop them. Some games you will be far enough ahead where a BKB doesn't feel too overwhelming. There's times where I've seen the enemy click BKB and I just sent my birds on them, and the Birds did massive amounts damage to them for the duration of their BKB. If they have multiple BKB carriers and you are worried about this, I would recommend going an Assault Cuirass for that -Armour Aura. This will let you birds tear through them without having to rely on Soul Assumption for Damage.

Specific Mid Matchups

I've included this chapter because these are a few heroes who I find quite ticky to play against. I've included some tips on how you should approach it.

Ember Spirit
This hero is very effective against Visage. He can kill you quite easily and the hero is impossible to harass out of lane. With a stout shield and quelling he will simply farm and your harass isn’t sufficient to deal with it. He will be either ahead of you, or the same level at the level 6 mark. Once you have Birds he will be tanky enough (Phase boots and a stout) for your Birds to do almost no damage to him and he can solo kill you and your birds with ease. Go for Build 2 against the ember, with an early Blight stone. You could go medallion at Level 6 to try and win the lane then, but I advise against it, it does give you the chance to harass him hard but he will just sleight or remnant out. Go for the Helm of the Dominator and look to farm and push as much you can. Ember really wants to be killing stuff early, plant yourself in the mid lane and trade farm with him. The second he leaves take his tower and start abusing your early timing.

Skywrath Mage
Theres typically two types of Sky players you will encounter mid. The first will spend their mana trying to harass you out of lane with Arcane Bolt. Get some regen and deal with the spam. If facing these players I will generally get Gravekeepers Cloak at level 1.

The other sky players will use their nuke to ensure they get CS, they will almost always nuke the ranged creep. This is probably the smarter way to play for them. At level 6 Sky has insane kill potential if he has good early game farm and around 4 Nulls by level 6.. Make sure you stay as high HP as you can, if you’re half health – you’re a free kill. You can either leave lane and farm jungle, then return mid to defend to ensure he doesn’t get kills and snowball. You cant send a support mid as they will die. The alternative is contesting the lane, I find this one difficult against Sky though. I also like to go Euls or Glimmer against this hero. If Sky has a good start glimmer can help your team a lot. If he has an amazing start, build glimmer and go with your teammates, sky will eat heroes for free if they are solo.

Queen of Pain
Qop mid I find is a big issue for Visage. He cannot deal with the dagger harass. Especially this patch where players seem to be going 3-1-1. You will probably go through 9-12 tangoes and 1 or 2 salves laning against QOP. You may be able to contest lane once you get birds, but if not just farm lane and jungle. Qop needs kills so she will eventually head to a side lane, its vital that you take the tower when she does this. Go for Build 2 against QOP then transition into a fast helm. At level 6 you win the lane with your birds. Surviving till then can be tricky though.

Alchemist
Alchemist is pretty 50/50. Sometimes he can snowball you hard in lane, sometimes you will bully him enough to get him out. Go for Build 2, but buy a Basi and Blight in addition to the 2 Nulls. Block his camp with a sentry and build a medallion. This is your best shot. Use your Q to mess with his CS as much you can, try as hard as you can to get his ranged CS. Go for the medallion rush and prepare for level 6. Try to keep him away from the wave with as much harass as possible. You will need to get regen to not be zoned out from Acid Spray. He will have a stout shield so you will need Medallion.

Sniper
This hero is quite good against Visage mid, he's hard to get into the cast range of for Grave Chill in order to win the CS war, and when you do he will just Shrapnel and you take some damage. Very difficult to deal with. Just do your best till level 6 and then beat him with Birds. Don't worry about going Medallion against him. The logic here is, with medallion you can kill sniper with birds in about 4-5 seconds. Without Medallion its around a 5-6 second kill. Theres no real reason to build medallion, go for the Helm instead, it will allow you to dive the tower a bit easier for kills, using the Neutral to tank tower shots.

Medusa
The split shot can chew through your birds later on, the ult requires you and your summons to run, or atleast be set down. If she gets AGHS she can continue turning them to stone. Laning against her is a nightmare, versing her lategame is almost impossible. Aim for amrour items but mainly focus on solar crest and a hex to allow your Pos1 to kill her.

Storm Spirit
This her is insane against Visage. He has high base armour against you and your birds, has good CS potential in lane and is very difficult to solo kill in lane once you do have Birds. Go for Build 2 against the Storm and then quickly build into Helm. Storm has high kill potential against you at level 6 because of your lack of a stun, apart from Birds which aren't that reliable against his Ball Lightning. He will gnerally have rune control because he can push out lanes better, so if he gets a Double Damage or an Arcane you are an easy kill.

Do your best to stay safe in the mid and farm jungle and lane. If he leaves to a side lane, get the tower. Try to end really early against the Storm and play with your team. Splitting up against a storm and trying to take it late is a mistake.

Dragon Knight
This hero, played well, will dominate you like no other hero will. He will get every last hit and every deny. Your harass doesn't do anything against him. I would suggest not laning against this hero. Go into the Position 1 or the Position 3 over versing the DK. In the past I've even left lane around level 4 (he was level 6) to go and support a side lane (I later went to the jungle and caught back up and won the game) rather than lane against him.

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