|2.||6.88 balance patch|
|3.||A quick 6.87 review|
|8.||Gameplay: Laning Stage|
|9.||Pub Things: When Your Team Screws You Up Harder Than The Enemy|
|10.||Gameplay: Early Game|
|11.||Gamelplay: Midgame and Late game|
|14.||Hall of Fame: Friends and Foes|
This guide is aimed at majority of Dota 2 players - from casual pub dwellers to tryhard CM captians. It contains some basic info as well as advanced tactics of playing and picking Luna. The only player group this guide is not meant for are new players who are yet to get gameplay(carrying included) basics as you won't find those here.
Regardless of where, when, and at what skill level you play, as long as you know basic stuff like lasthitting, stacking, warding etc. you can comprehend this guide without problem. If you don't, I recommend reading this guy's guides. Basically every guide that doesn't contain a hero icon in the headline is a general guide that will help you one way or another to improve in this game.
This guide is unique in the way it does not only provide you with a quick overview of the hero and skill and item build, but gives you an idea about this hero's strengths, capabilities and weaknesses at all stages of the game, provides insight about items on Luna and skill builds, has a backup plan if things went wrong and lists other information to make your understanding of the hero deeper and your game more comfortable.
However, it's only fair to warn you that this guide is basically a huge wall of text. Formatted, yes, split into categories, yes, but still, a wall of text is a wall of text so if you want a quick overview of the hero or an alt-tab guide you better look elsewhere.
Here's my Luna match record for a reference. My MMR is in mid 4ks at the moment.
Let's get to know the hero now.
6.88 brought two direct buffs to Luna, but otherwise nothing really changed.
Lucent Beam stun duration increased from 0.6 to 0.8
Movement speed increased from 330 to 335
These buffs help her chasing, and are quite noticeable despite not being really important. A buff to Lunar Blessing would have been much more welcome though.
Lifestealer is now much less popular, which is a good thing because there was nothing you can do against the hero in a fight and you often just lose the game in 25 minutes against him.
Slark still dominates pub meta and Riki will be very popular as well until the next patch at the very least, also you should watch out for Anti-Mage.
Sven and Timbersaw aren't really a problem is your team knows what they're doing.
Butterfly got a neat buff, making Luna's lategame a bit stronger, and Dragon Lance is... the same, I guess, 20 hp and 1 AGI is a fair trade for 10 extra range, both are equally insignificant, I would even say that the bonus range is better for Luna. Hurricane Pike got a pretty significant buff although I'm still sceptical about this item on Luna. Bloodthorn got a nice buff, making it even better as a damage item and the best DPS item for you as long as enemy can't dispel the active.
Overall Luna is more-or-less the same hero, a bit better, but not significantly. We'll see what 6.89 brings to the game.
The guide is updated for 6.87 much more conscientiously than it was for 6.86 and you can find everything in the respective chapters. Some quick overview of what it brought for Luna:
- A bit more AGI gain that is nice but doesn't really change much.
- Slark meta. Better make sure he is either banned or another safelane carry is picked to avoid facing him.
- Dragon Lance rework which made it a top-tier stat item and a must(IMO) for Luna. You should now go Blink->Lance->BKB->BoT instead of Blink->BKB->Skadi->BoT.
- Aghanim's Scepter is worth to buy especially since you pay 1000 gold less for it in fact. Right after Skadi, disassemble Lance, then go Aghs-> Moon Shard(consumed)-> Butterfly(instead of Blink or MoM)->situationals.
- Infused Raindrops addition which is amazing on Luna and makes Magic Wand much less desirable(considering the fact that you'd need an extra slot for Dragon Lance). Get ASAP instead of Wand, sell later to get Lance if it hasn't vanished by itself.
- Bloodthorn being situationally viable 5/6th slot.
- Sange and Yasha is worthless after nerfs for ranged heroes, so is Abyssal Blade.
That's it pretty much. I'd say that overall 6.87 has done more good than bad for Luna.
Luna is an agility carry hero that generally relies on grabbing an early game advantage, using it to outfarm enemy carries and then finishing the game when she is ready. That's not the only way you can win with her, she has a great comebacks thanks to Moon Glaive, solid splitpushing capabilities and she can punish reckless enemies with Eclipse.
Luna is not a strong carry by herself, but she has a possibility to overfarm most enemy carries, get 6 slotted before them and just overwhelm them with superior items. In that regard she is very much like Anti-Mage or Alchemist. To play this hero well you'll have to use all the farming tricks and techniques you know, especially if you are playing from behind.
However, while greatly benefiting from an early game advantage, she has no means to create it by herself - she will always need a support to babysit her, offlaner to keep supports busy and poor, or midlaner crushing their opponent - basically, she need her team to do most of the work for her in the beginning of the game, while she kills creeps, spams Lucent Beam on enemies and rightclicks them if she can.
That's why she isn't a great hero for playing pubs alone. But if you learn to play under pressure and space denial, if you learn to find as much farm as you can in every situation, and generally learn to survive without your teammates' help, you will offset this weakness by a huge amount. I dedicate a whole chapter of my guide to playing from behind early game.
Picking Luna in public games, Ranked included, is simple - while she excels at early push strats, you can play her into almost any lineup if you have enough experience. First pick is not something you should avoid at all costs, Luna is not a hero who can be hard countered simply because of her versatility. If you are not sure about your experience with Luna or just want a comfortable game with that hero, avoid picking her into direct counters(listed later in the guide), dangerous offlaners or possible aggressive double hardlanes, and into heroes that mess with your ultimate(invis heroes, high mobility heroes etc).
In Captain's Mode, you primarily want to follow the same advice of not picking her into counters, but as you(or your captain) have full control over what your lineup will be, you should also try to draft high impact early game heroes along with Luna(good allies are also listed later in a special section) to gain advantage that Luna can work with. Avoid picking too much heroes with long cooldown ults they are dependent on(so you will not only be able to fight once every 100+ seconds), junglers(as Luna will need jungle to speed up her farm), greedy mids and squishy lineups with no frontliner or initiator(this applies to all heroes, but especially to a team with Luna). Basically, the idea of your draft should be to get ahead early, grab an advantage, and then increase it further and further until you are ready to finish. It is not recommended to build a game around another hero(your midlaner, for example), because Luna is useless without farm after early game and she will need all the farm he can get.
Luna is best laned safelane with a strong support, or maybe, even two(not advised though, she needs a fast level 8), or, alternatively, in an aggro trilane with at least one pushing support to quickly take enemy Tier 1 tower and deny enemy carry farm space. She can be played mid, but that doesn't mean she should - she is a poor solo laner, especially against nuker mids, she can't create space and can't snowball by herself. And she is too greedy.
A list of good supports to pair Luna with is also included in the guide.
I offer 3 options, all can be seen in top of the guide.
Standard Starting Items - your build of choice most of the time. Basic regen(+ some bonus from Mango which really adds up if you keep it long enough, two minutes of having Mango in your inventory equals to one Tango worth of regen), Faerie Fire for damage and clutch healing, Ring of Protection for your Basilius, Mango to get that last Lucent Beam when you need it.
Alternative Starting Items - the same as previous one with one extra set of Tangos to help you survive a potentially hard lane. Note that it costs exactly 625g so if you lost some at the picking phase, you can't get it - dump Faerie Fire in that case.
Random Starting Items - randomed Luna? Smelling and ez lane? Get this (in)efficient as heck build and be happy!
Skill Lunar Blessing(always skill Lunar Blessing, Lucent Beam is trash on level 1) and go for the rune spot that is the closes to your lane. If your team follows, you can attempt to get first blood with your enhanced rightclicks. If they don't, get the rune if the spot is free, don't contest it if your support is not with you.
You can also ignore the rune and go for first blood under Smoke of Deceit straight into the enemy jungle, your aura will help a lot, it is that good. Imagine - if every ally will hit just once(and they all will, they are all level 1 after all),you get 14*5=70 bonus physical damage. From 1 hit. When enemies barely have over 550 HP. This is huge.
Now for Bounty Rune itself. It is intended for a midlaner most of the time, giving him a very nice boost, but you can shamelessly take it in two cases:
1)You are guaranteed to have a bad lane(no supports, agressive double hardlane on enemy team) and you need that 100 gold to get your Morbid Mask faster).
2)Your midlaner's hero is not defeated by an enemy's mid hero(like Storm Spirit is usually defeated by Queen of Pain or Templar Assassin is defeated by Razor) and you are going to push enemy Tier 1 tower fast. So you get almost instant Ring of Basilius and start to push, eventually returning your midlaner(and all your team) the gold bonus by destroying enemy tower.
And that's pretty much it. Well, excluding the cases when your mid is a **** or a total scrub or you just feel like a boss and want to grab the rune. Go for it, my greedy friend.
As I already said a few times in the guide, Luna has problems when laning against more or less serious opposition alone. While most solo offlaners aren't a threat for her, aggressive double lanes are, and she will need a good support to not get bullied out of the lane or even killed. But let's be coherent: offlaners go first.
So, you have an edge against most offlaners, especially melee, at level 1 with your Lunar Blessing giving you 14 bonus damage to lasthit and deny creeps. The problem mostly arises when you face an offlaner with a solid attack damage and Quelling Blade/some stat items. Say Spirit Breaker. He has huge base damage and if he gets a few Gauntlets of Strength, you will barely able to last hit against him even with that bonus damage, because Luna's starting damage is not very good, and her attack animation sucks. In that case you should call a support to help you zone enemy out - just let them use their stun/slow, and go rightclick that **********er. When you get level 2 Lunar Blessing and Ring of Basilius you should get lasthits without much problem against any offlaner. If you have no problem getting last hits, let your support do his business - stack camps for you, go semi-jungle, gank mid, anything, but please, tell him not to make pulls, especially double pulls - you have no sustain on early levels and nowhere near enough attack damage to last hit under your tower. You will lose health and miss creeps you could have easily gotten if your support wouldn't "help" you by pulling. Especially if that guy makes a single pull of a single camp which pushes the next lane right to your offlaner's tower... ugh. Let him stay in lane, zone your(I mean enemy) offlaner out, sap your exp(it's not like you need it THAT bad after all if you are having a good lane) - anything, but not making pulls until you hit at least level 4. The only time you should ask for an early pull is when you got 2 ranged creeps on your side and therefore can't keep creep equilibrium by yourself anymore, and you can't use that and push the enemy tower.
Don't forget about killing potential of your lane - an support with a decent stun or a slow that deals damage paired with you lets you kill all but the most durable targets, and even the likes of Tidehunter will burn through their regen pretty fast under your pressure. You can lane peacefully or you can make enemy offlaner's laning stage into a living hell - second variant is much better.
Anyway, you can start being really cocky and aggressive once you get level 5 and Ring of Basilius - just spam Lucent Beams in his face and rightclick him if he doesn't learn the lesson. Be careful, though - heroes like Clockwerk or Centaur Warrunner punish overextension with death. Once you get level 6 you can call in a support to get a kill, or he can make a proper pull and when the lane pulls closer to you you just walk behind the creepwave. Enemy comes close? Eclipse, Lucent Beam, tavern. Don't be afraid to try and sneak past him with a surprise Eclipse.
Be aware of ganks, especially if you don't have Eclipse yet or it is on cooldown. Luna without Eclipse poses no threat to two or more ganking heroes that have half-decent burst.
Basically, after you get level 6 your goal is to safely get level 8, maybe taking enemy Tier 1 tower or some kills in process. Don't overextend, don't play too risky - Luna has no item to rush ASAP like Battle Fury Anti-Mage or Radiance Naga Siren, but she benefits very much from an early level 8 and Mask of Madness/ Helm of the Dominator. It speeds her farming almost as much as BF/Radi on respective heroes, so the faster you get those, the more gold you can make.
Obviously this is very much dependent upon what heroes you are facing, what are your supports and how many of the do you have in lane. But there are still some general rules to follow.
You should have at least a general idea of who's trilane/double lane is stronger - think of your and their kill potential and laning strength. By doing this you may get the idea of how to behave. Remember: you are only good if you are laning offensively and have an advantage. Under pressure Luna falls to pieces pretty quickly. So if you have a killing potential, use it - as long as you don't die it's fine, though try to avoid 1/2 for 0 trades. If enemy pressures really hard and threatens to kill you with some crazy combo like Juggernaut and Shadow Shaman, there's not much you can do sadly, call for help(if you are not in trilane), farm pulls, get all the gold that you can get, and don't die. Don't. You can also rotate to another lane, but warn your teammates about your intentions if you are playing a pub game. Make sure you won't venture into equally aggressive lane there as well.
Generally if you run into a more aggressive lane than your own with no chance for you to get kills or farm safely, it's your or your team's fault - Luna shouldn't have a weaker lane because that makes her into a semi-melee creep basically. So if you are getting outlaned hard, change the lane or accept the fact that you got out-Puppeyed, get all the gold that enemies allow you to and try to rush Morbid Mask, skill early moon Glaives and go jungling.
Every item serves it's purpose and you can tell if a player understands a hero or not by how he itemizes even in lane. Getting items mindlessly in lane isn't that critical most of the time, but when you are behing and every gold piece counts, your decisions can be very important and will decide a lot. I will tell you when Luna should get one item or another.
Ring of Basilius - here's a golden rule - if you don't need anything else, go for it. You will want this as early as you can get it because the more seconds it spends in you inventory, the more mana it will regenerate and that means more Lucent Beams. 65 mana per minute may not seem much, but if you get it, say, 1 minute in, you will regenerate 325 mana over next the 5 minutes and that's 3 extra Lucent Beams which will help you harrass your offlaner out of the lane. 6 bonus damage is also very helpful minding that you can't get any +damage items that early. Don't forget to turn it off and use a Lucent Beam when your manapool is full or you will waste a lot of this item's usefulness. Ring of Basilius is also a must when you intend to push a T1 tower quickly with a pushing-oriented support like Jakiro.
Magic Stick - you should pretty much get it against Batrider, Bristleback, Phantom Assassin, Zeus, Venomancer and Skywrath Mage if you meet them in lane. Nothing less, nothing more. Sell it after laning stage.
Boots of Speed - usually you don't need that bonus movespeed at all during laning stage. Get when you want to get Power Treads quickly or if you have nothing else to get. Also consider if you are facing a melee hero who you want to trade hits with and reduce the risk of being punished( Clockwerk is a good example).
Power Treads - another item to aim for. Ideally you want to get it right after Ring of Basilius as they give you a lot of benefits: much easier lasthitting with bonus attack speed and damage, more effective mana management with Treads Switch which lets you spam Lucent Beam even more and ability to trade hits with some offlaners which, combined with high-level Lucent Beam, can force them out of the lane. They really make a difference. If your lane is easy and you still have leftover Tangos you may get a Magic Stick first, or you can wait a bit and get 950 gold at once to buy them which is almost always better. Power Trads is a highest impact item you can get at that stage, so don't hesitate to buy them if you can.
Morbid Mask - your savior in hard situations. Lifesteal may seem underwhelming from a single hit, but on a long distance it really matters and lets you sustain longer even in hardest of lanes. Getting this item is always your main goal as it gives you a possibility to farm jungle, even if you lose hp. If you are getting pressured heavily and are running out of regen, try to go for it ASAP, skipping Ring of Basilius. In easy lanes you can also rush it to trade hits with an enemy offlaner, but if may end poorly for you as you will draw creep aggro and may lose more than you get.
Phase Boots - situational and somewhat reckless choice. If you get it instead of Power Treads you trade some HP and mana for high movement speed and very painful hits. Get this if you want to play aggressively and are feeling confident. These boots also have better synergy with Mask of Madness than Power Treads. Not a bad choice at all, kinda high risk-high reward, but make sure you won't get punished for it.
Ring of Aquila - get it after Power Treads before Morbid Mask if you're having a good lane. Otherwise, don't bother and go straight for Mask of Madness.
Infused Raindrops - a very good item for Luna, adding solid mana regen and protecting her from nukes. It will save your life more than once and is totally worth it. Try to get it as soon as it's available, even before Power Treads if you can afford that. With Basilius, you get 1.5 mana regeneration which is huge in lane and negating 120 damage so early on can't be overrated.
I hope that clarified some things and you now know when to get a specific item. By level 8 you'll already want to have all of these(with one of Power Treads or Phase Boots, of course).
Moon GlaiveMoon GlaiveMoon Glaive Moon Glaive
You want to follow this build most of the time. You can take Lunar Blessing instead of Lucent Beam at level 3 if you can't kill the enemy or force them of the lane and have to contest lasthits.
You can start getting skill points in Moon Glaive earlier if your lane is under heavy pressure and you can't farm here. Just get a Morbid Mask, skill Moon Glaive and go jungle. You can skill those as early as from level 4.
You pretty much always want Moon Glaive by level 8 - max Q+E builds with no points in W are heavily outdated and ineffective. Just one point in W lets you farm up to 65% faster.
One more thing - don't skill Eclipse if you don't have at least level 3 Lucent Beam(for example, when you went for early Moon Glaives) - it really isn't worth it.
There are easy lanes, there are hard lanes. There are nearly impossible lanes when you are put against the most aggressive trilane one can imagine. And there are pub lanes. Taking Lifestealer jungle after Luna has been already picked? Leaving her solo against Undying/ Tusk lane? Picking another carry into safelane and get Quelling Blade just to steal all your creeps? Why not, I mean, what could possibly go wrong, right? =)
Okay, your team consists of ****s and ******s, nothing you can do about them, but there is for sure something you can do about yourself to secure you as much farm as possible. Let's take a look at what can happen in a pub game on any level(because ******s and ****s do not magically evaporate upon reaching 4/5/6/10k MMR, you will meet them occasionally at every level, so knowing how to counter your own team is crucial for your winrate.
Your laning stage ends when lane is not your only source of income. It usually happens at level 8 when you go to the jungle to get more gold or it can happen earlier if you are forced to go jungle to get any farm.
So you got all the items you need and successfully reached level 8 where you start maxing Moon Glaive. Jungle can speed up your farm tremendously, but only if you are doing it right.
How to do it right:
1) Quickly farm all the creeps in your lane;
2) Go to the jungle and farm it like a pro;
3) Return to your lane and farm the wave again;
4) Maybe take a tower if you get the chance and you still haven't destroyed it;
5) Farm jungle like a pro again;
6) Rinse and repeat. You can go farm other lanes, not just yours.
How to farm jungle like a pro:
* Don't just mindlessly attack a creep - hit creeps so that you get max bounces - avoid the creep staying alone because you'll lose all the bonus farming speed. Do that with lane creeps as well(but not for the cost of losing last hits);
* Don't forget to stack camps if you can - that's a huge bonus to your GPM. You can also ask your support to stack some camps on laning stage so you can take them later and make more gold;
* Optimize your walking patterns - farm camps sequentially, if you have spare Tangos left, use them to cut trees like you do with Quelling Blade, for example, on Radiant easy camp or Dire medium and hard camps.
If you follow these your GPM will skyrocket and you will be able to get your items in no time.
In build I use there are, apart from Black King Bar, 2 core items - Mask of Madness and Blink Dagger. Interestingly enough, neither of them is a common choice for Luna(though some players prefer MoM as their lifesteal source).
Mask of Madness seems like a crazy choice on an already frail hero, but there are two things about Mask of Madness that many players ignore: first, 30% bonus damage is hugely overrated. If you die with Mask of Madness, it is almost always that you die without it anyway, especially if you are squishy. Simple math: to kill a hero with 3k HP and Mask of Madness active enemies will have to deal 692 damage less. On a hero with 1k HP the damage will be 230 HP. One maxed nuke per 1000 HP is not that much. Secondly, nobody makes you activate it and tank all the blows. You will mainly use the active to speed up your farming, pushing, and shredding your enemy to bits when you know you won't be punished for activating it.
With Mask of Madness you deal approximately 50% more damage early game and move much faster, it is your ultimate farming item. Helm of the Dominator also increases your farm speed, but it is unreliable( Luna with HotD in inventory just begs for an Observer Ward somewhere near ancients) and you reply heavily on ancients while Mask of Madness lets you quickly farm the jungle, the lanes and mow down towers much faster. If you use it carefully and at appropriate moments, 30% damage won't be that much of disadvantage, especially given the fact that the rest of the item synergies so well with Luna's needs and abilities.
Blink Dagger is an even more uncommon item for Luna, very misunderstood and underrated. This item lets you:
-use your ultimate at the right moment and at the right place and cause havoc in enemy team;
-effectively chase after your opponent(especially with Eye of Skadi);
-avoid ganks when splitpushing or farming jungle(especially with Black King Bar);
-get solo kills with ulti(if the game is rather passive without consatnt pushes going on) and initiate ganks;
-farm much faster as you can blink through highground and trees in jungle and move around the map faster.
Luna can farm it very quickly and it's well worth it's price. Try it, you'll like it.
Lastly I can say that if you are really not into Mask of Madness and taking that 30% "bonus" damage, okay, go for Helm of the Dominator. Just, you know, actually use a creep to attack ancients and ask for sentries and observers there. If you are denied space you can always scout with a dominated creep using it as a mobile ward instead of stacking for the enemy carry. And of course, Packleader Aura is not a joke. But be aware of one thing:
Welcome to midgame. Under different circumstances you will step into it with different gear but if you haven't managed to catch up at least partially in farm and get back some farming space, you, sadly, most likely are going to lose, since after early game farm, and only farm keeps Luna running.
So let's assume you manages to get the most out of whatever situation you were in.
When your aura does not matter that much, when enemy supports get their damn Glimmer Capes and Eul's, when T1 is a child's play already and you fight for T2s - somewhere around that time midgame begins for you. The main difference is that you now can't carry and have impact from sheer power of your abilities - enemies have their counter items ready, everybody got beefier, maybe got Blink Daggers on important teamfight heroes, big ults - everything that screws you up, dare you blink in with Eclipse like you did before. This is when your ultimate gets kited and abused shamelessly, your Lucent Beam doesn't deal enough damage, Lunar Blessing looks like the worst passive ever and WTF I CHASE THEM OVER HALF OF THE MAP THOUGH I HAVE (second) HIGHEST MOVEMENT SPEED IN THE GAME?!
This is the time when you start scaling directly with gold. However, your scaling is not infinite and Luna is one of the weaker carries compared to other 6-slotted carries. A key to success is to catch a moment when you should go and finish the game. It maybe be as soon as you got 6-slotted, it may be right after Black King Bar, somewhere in-between. It may never come(if you are stronger than enemy carries assuming maximum farm), or it may have never been here in the first place if you are so far behind there is no chance to come back into the game and grab the farm advantage. There are no guidelines for that, you have to judge for yourself when it is time and it usually comes with experience. I will just tell you how to use the time you have as effectively as you can.
In a nutshell your goal is to get as much gold as possible in a set period of time while helping your team with taking objectives and setting up conditions to win the game. Means are the same - farming jungle, getting into a profitable fights, et cetera. However, there is one more way of earning gold and creating space at the same time - you guessed it - splitpushing.
Now Luna is a good splitpusher thanks to her waveclear with Moon Glaive, but this is one side of a coin for a splitpusher. Second is mobility, or other ways of avoiding ganks, and Luna has no natural way of escaping punishment for her splipushing. That's why I recommend Blink Dagger and that's why Black King Bar is an absolute core no matter what are you doing in the game. Anti-Mage has mobility and invests gold into waveclear. You have waveclear and invest gold into mobility and magic immunity. Simple!
I'm not going to dive into splitpushing technique in general, it is no different from splipushing as other heroes in it's core. However, I'll tell you how you can make it more effective as Luna.
Firstly, as with farming jungle camps, hit creeps so that Moon Glaive bounces as much as possible, while not forgetting to lasthit - don't just mindlessly rightclick one creep.
Secondly, don't use your Blink Dagger if you are not one hundred percent sure you won't be ganked in next 12 seconds. It's your primary way of escaping(and the only one before you obtain Black King Bar, so don't waste it - dying because it is on cooldown is a very dumb and tragic death.
Thirdly, time Mask of Madness. You want it to be active when you start hitting a tower so you mow it down faster(which is your primary goal) or at least deal maximum damage before you leave.
Also don't hesitate to use Black King Bar when ganked. You can escape most enemies with Black King Bar and Town Portal Scroll even without Blink Dagger. BKB charge is nothing if it saved your life. I'll even say more - it is nothing even if it didn't help you save your life but you still survived. Luna is fine with 5 second BKB, she doesn't need ultra-long duration.
Lastly, if you are really into splitpushing(sometimes it's they only way to win a game if your team just can't fight enemies even on their own territory), strongly consider Boots of Travel and Manta Style. Both are great items on Luna and both are ideal for her 6 slot build, so you may get them sooner than intended for splipushing purposes. Using Boots of Travel is pretty intuitive, and due to how moon Glaive interacts with Manta Style it has more uses than "pop it to melt the tower 56%(much less actually) faster". Illusions from Manta Style are weak and deal little damage until Luna gets 1-2 stat slots, but they clear creep waves fast enough to just send them down the lane via A-click(make sure creeps go ahead as your illusions are very squishy) and farm jungle in the meantime or just GTFO while you can. Don't forget they last only 20 seconds though, try to send them timely so they can as least hit the tower a few times. When you get 6-slotted you can also send illusions to the jungle and push yourself, your illusions should be able to farm 2 camps in 20 seconds. Use Shift-queuing to send each one to farm two camps and get a grand total of 4 camps worth of additional gold. Nah man, it's not tryhard, it's how you make Luna's illusions actually exist in the game before she gets a full inventory of agility items. Well, there's more to that to be fair, Manta Style is also good to counter single target-oriented carries like Ursa, and to purge annoying stuff that BKB doesn't deal with like Overgrowth. If that's the case, get it even if you don't intend to splipush, after all, it's a very decent stat item for Luna.
Oh, and, of course, always carry a TP scroll. Sorry, I just have to say that like they say "be careful on the roads" or "don't smoke near gas stations". Gl with r[A]tting your way to victory.
I have already mentioned Black King Bar as a core item, and it really is. I don't think I have to explain why magic immunity is a must for such a fragile hero who has to jump in danger to deal damage. Just get it, unless you have Omni on your team or there's really nothing that dangerous to block with BKB(mainly it means that most stuff enemy has pierces it so you better get Linken's Instead).
Now let's get to out 6-slot progression.
Boots of Travel are your go-to item after BKB. Now that you have Lance in your inventory you are even more slot-starved and BoTs help with that but also with farming, splitpushing and chasing people down.
Tip! You can get Boots of Travel even before BKB, but only if you intend to play full rat/farm-doto. This is better done either when your team creates space for you - if your team wins fights or at least breaks even 4 vs 5 it is really better if you just AFK-farm for that time and then secure the victory with your crazy overfarm rather than go with them, lose farm, do nothing and risk throwing. Alternatively, there are situations where you cant fight with your enemies until you get some items and are forced to splitpush and prolong the game. Ignore your idiot teammates that ask you to fight - if you know for sure you can't win a fight, the best you can do is splitpush and stall the game for as long as you can.
Next your go-for item should be Eye of Skadi. It is also often overlooked but it's an extremely good item on Luna, giving her survivability, chasing ability(especially with Blink Dagger+ Dragon Lance to instantly get in attack range), attack damage, solves her mana problems if she had them, helps kite melee carries with BKB that usually eat you for breakfast, and it's just so good! Yes, I am a Skadi fanboy. Like it's a bad thing.
Your next step should be disassembling Dragon Lance and getting Aghanim's Scepter, using Ogre Club you got from Lance. I used to underrate that item, but lategame, when you are much more durable, you can survive BKBs, Eul's, Blade Mails and whatever other means your enemies have to kite Eclipse, and then, if you pick the right moment, you will just destroy your enemy. Granted, there are still foes that can kite it endlessly, like Storm Spirit, Anti-Mage to a lesser extent, so it may not always be the right choice, but most of the time it's really good. Keep in mind you can cast in on an ally or an area - a mobile ally like [Storm Spirit]] or Weaver is a good Eclipse carrier, so are heroes like Enigma or Axe. Casting it on an area is a great way to prevent enemies from going there, or force them out of their position. When your enemies are doing Roshan, waiting in trees/on highground to initiate on your defending your rax assault, casting it on a right area can win you the game. Also it has an enormous cast range of 2500, which lets you finish off enemies that almost got away, since Eclipse gives 650 ground vision around cast area.
Next, you want to go for Moon Shard(consume it), replace Mask of Madness or Blink Dagger with Butterfly, and then pick your 6th slot. Manta Style is a great offensive choice while Satanic will make you nigh immortal. Or pick something from situationals.
Butterfly is an amazing item on Luna, it fits her perfectly, and it's especially good versus illusion heroes. Yes, they can get Monkey King Bar and their illusion will get True Strike, but the trick is most illusion heroes(except maybe Chaos Knight) do not want to see Monkey King Bar in their inventory as it gives nothing to illusions except True Strike while you always want Butterfly. Plus, other enemy heroes still won't be able to hit you reliably unless they also get MKB. It's a win-win situation. Don't forget about Flutter, use it offensively to chase after your enemy, defensively to escape thanks to bonus movement speed if you can, or just to move around the map faster, for example when pushing, you can activate it and skip right to the next wave, so you get 2 creepwaves on your side.
Don't always stick to cookie-cutter build, think what you may need in every individual game. Onto situationals now.
*Grey items are outdated and are nolonger good. Still kept for record purposes.
Abyssal Blade - now that it gives no damage and almost no block for ranged units there's pretty much no reason you'd want it over Scythe of Vyse.
Daedalus - also a lategame item, a good replacement for a 6th slot. Ultimate damage item, but crit doesn't work on Moon Glaive bounces. It is good against squishy heroes so you can kill them with a lucky crit quickly or versus guys like Phantom Lancer or Necrophos, who don't deal burst damage but rather slowly destroy you like cancer while they are alive, so you want them to become dead as soon as possible.
Diffusal Blade - a surprisingly good item for Luna due to bonus agility and manaburn on ranged illusions. Usually there are heroes who have a good synergy with Diffusal Blade and those who are forced to pick one up because of Omniknight or Warlock on the enemy team but don't need this item generally. Luna is not that good of a Diffusal carrier because it doesn't scale that well into late game(decent, but there are better options), but if you have anything to use it's active on(anything important enough, of course), pick it up without any doubts. It may prove handy in any game because of Ghost Scepters. And the amazing slow that help you chase, of course!
Divine Rapier - your ultimate game thrower and savior. As with any other carry, use this as your last resort, to troll noobs(on either team, if you know what I mean), to win close games with gg-push after killing Roshan, or as your chance to win a game against an evenly farmed, but better carry. Basically, Divine Rapier is a huge farm gap closer. You can carry a game solo against two similarly farmed carries with similar carrying strength if you have Divine Rapier. If the game drags ultra-late and you are facing a stronger carry that got 6-slotted, you'll have to either purchase it, or perform a genuis-level gank and throw everything you can at enemy carry... and deal with the remaining 4 heroes... and his buyback. So just get a Rapier.
Heaven's Halberd - Sange and it's derivatives are pretty much useless as of 6.87 on ranged heroes. Move on.
Linken's Sphere - not the best item to see in your inventory even despite the +15 stat bonus. I won't tell you when to buy it, everybody knows when. But strongly consider leaving it out of your inventory if you can, especially if you are not going to finish in the nearest 5-10 minutes. Oh, it is also good for the most dedicated splitpushers, taking your r[A]t power to a whole new level.
Manta Style - if you didn't get it to go for crazy farm/rat-doto earlier, you can get it as your 5th/6th slot since when you got a lot of stats from items and levels, your illusions become truly powerful. Don't forget to use the active often, for splitpushing lanes or farming jungle camps. Save Manta Style for a moment when you need to dispel something nasty or dodge a projectile if BKB can't do the job.
Monkey King Bar - enemy has evasion or blind? You get it. They don't? You don't. Unless there is a carry that will 99% go for Butterlfy. You get a Monkey King Bar and he has to think twice before getting Butterfly, and will most likely skip it. What's the point then, you may ask? Well, the rest of your team may not have Monkey King Bars to hit through evasion and MKB isn't bad on Luna. Note, that with addition of Bloodthorn you may want to think twice whether or not you want to buy it. If you don't intend to finish soon and can keep the debuff applied(no Manta Style/ Diffusal Bladeor other dispels on their side, BKB is not really a problem since it is just 5 seconds), Bloodthorn is better in every way.
Aghanim's Scepter - honestly, I don't know anymore. I used to hate this item, but it was kept getting buffed and it now builds nicely from salvaged Ogre Club. There are still a lot of ways to avoid Eclipse, but if you manage to get a good ulti off(when BKBs wear off and item actives are used) - it's just devastating. Get it if you think you can use it well but as for me, I need more games to decide whether or not it is a worthy item.
Satanic - a very good item, if you get it as your 6th slot you become extremely tanky with all the stat items, lifesteal and Unholy Rage. Very good against manfight enemies, especially if they can't disable you through Black King Bar. Now count: you have BKB to become Spell Immune for 5 or more seconds. You have Mirror Image to confuse your enemy upon activating and remove any single target focus from your main hero. And you have huge lifesteal that lets you regenerate your health much faster than enemy does damage to you. Throw in all the Strength you get from items and you get a tank that hits hard, slows you down through BKB and just waits till it expires to blast you with Eclipse. Impressive on paper, even better in reality. That's why standard 6-slot Luna is so strong.
Scythe of Vyse - your ultimate disable item. Use it - that's right - to disable an especially pesky enemy hero and beat him up. Blink-Hex is the best single-target initiation there is in Dota, so use it to your advantage, just make sure your team in near to help you out and do the job. You can take it instead of or right after Eye of Skadi, for example, and go for fights. It is not obligatory to Hex carries, you can Hex a Glimmer Cape carrier and make sure nobody escapes the wrath of Selemene. Hyah!
Silver Edge - passives? What passives? As you have already guessed, you get it mainly for the break effect to weaken carries like Spectre or Phantom Assassin to a point where they can't fight you. Damage reduction, bonus invis damage and Maim are also very useful for Luna. This item is very solid for Luna. If you are going to get it, you may get Shadow Blade instead of Blink Dagger - it is less reliable, but gives Luna way more ganking potential. After that, upgrade it into Silver Edge whenever you want(the sooner the better), and enjoy all the benefits of this item.
Upgraded Boots of Travel - your 8th slot usually, but if you have another rat hero you can get it earlier. Imagine - enemy is siegeyour highround, your fellow coward rats like a god, but enemy initiates... a fight occurs, you lose because your teammates are the worst players ever.. what do you do? Oh yes, you activate BKB and TP to your ally right in front of them. Then you and your buddy(call him Sam, and you are Frodo)push together - either take rax if enemy reacts and TPs in or ignore barracks and go for the throne if they wants a GG push. Ez katka(ok it's not. And this is not very viable tbh. But fun anyway).
Sange and Yasha - dead, 13% movespeed slow is nothing worth paying 4k gold for especially if you get the same stats from an item that is 2 times cheaper.
Ethereal Blade - pretty situational as Luna deals most of her damage with rightclicks. This is a good item against heroes like Juggernaut or Ursa that can jump on you and deal tons of physical damage. Also if you went for Aghhs and need to wait a 5 second BKB out, this item is perfect. Not to mention that it gives a whopping 40 agility, more than any item in the game! As well as a decent nuke with magical damage amplification.
Bloodthorn - a fresh addition, it is a weird item in the sense that if you manage to keep the disable on the enemy, it is extremely good, but otherwise it is really supbar. I'd say that if the enemy has no way to dispel the debuff or you can wait it out/bait it(Bloothorn has 11 second cd, most ways to dispel it - thrice this number or even longer) it is an extremely good sixth slot, especially if you went for Scythe of Vyse - a hexed and soulburnt target is helpless and is at your mercy.
Now that was a wall of text. I guess that wraps up this chapter, whatever itembuild you go for, you'll have to think for yourself how to behave in fights, when to go for a push, when to rat, whom to focus in a fight, etc. It'll tell you just one last thing.
At first Luna may seem like a great hero for soloing Roshan because of her passive, Mask of Madness, yada yada. She isn't, because Moon Glaives don't work on a single unit and Luna isn't capable of getting solo Roshan early in the game. However, she is exceptionally good for killing Roshan with a team due to her aura and allies that can tank some damage for her. You can even run her in level 1 Roshan strats(example of a successful level 1 Rosh game). You will be able to solo Roshan after you get Eye of Skadi(with standard build, similar networth for other builds).
Luna is a great Aegis of the Immortal carrier if you use it offensively because you can initiate on enemy highround, resurrect even if you are killed and hit enemy barracks. Thanks to Moon Glaives they will fall very quickly.
If you are defending your highround or a tower, you may want to give Aegis to someone else as you don't have to initiate. If you are six-slotted, you should, of course, take it anyway, go turn the game around if you can and finish it. Advice: the least valuable item in 6-slotted Luna's inventory(when you have already swapped Mask of Madness out) is Blink Dagger as you rely less on Eclipse late game. Swap it for Aegis if you have no slots.
That's all for gameplay, folks, now let's get to Luna hero interactions.
As you know, Luna needs support during her laning stage to do something, so picking a good support for her is very important. Generally, there are defensive supports, which are good against aggressive enemy lanes, and there are aggressive supports which let you easily net kills on enemy offlaner. Some of them are also good for pushing enemy tower or for trilaning.
If you are playing Cap's Mode, focus on the following supports(or ask for them if you are playing pubs):
Vengeful Spirit - best aggressive support to pair Luna with, destroys any solo offlaner provided Vengeful Spirit actually visits your lane to help and doesn't go stray to gank someone or farm (single)pulls.
Winter Wyvern - good lane support, can heal you up if you get pressured on and you can pick off your enemy fairly easily with Arctic Burn that gets even more ridiculous with Lunar Blessing. Not quite the very best choice after she was nerfed, but you still can rarely go wrong when you pair those two ladies together.
Lina - a very dangerous aggressive support, even more dangerous than Vengeful Spirit in lane. Just tell her to put a point in Fiery Soul instead of Dragon Slave at level 2 for them juicy 670 range rapid rightclicks.
Witch Doctor - top-tier support, has great kill potential with Paralyzing Cask and Maledict and he can also keep you healthy with Voodoo Restoration. Pick freely against solo offlaners and double offlanes alike.
Ogre Magi - a top tier pick against most solo offlaners. Mind that he is almost purely aggressive and may need to leave a lane for a gank, so don't pick/ask for him against aggressive hardlanes, or pick him into a trilane then.
Dazzle - very good defensive support, if you are afraid enemy can run a very dangerous double offlane, he is the best choice. Don't ask for him if you think you will face a weak solo offlaner, Dazzle will only do harm there(sapping exp, or even worse, going for (single)pulls and leaving you "farming" under tower losing health and missing last hits).
Crystal Maiden - a very nice aggressive support, good against weak offlanes because she may just go and farm jungle with Frostbite, get gold and levels and do her business and you can get fast level 5 and start forcing your opponent out of the lane with Lucent Beam and rapid manaregen from Ring of Basilius and Arcane Aura. Alternatively, you can try and go for kills if your enemy is not careful enough.
Lion - between Earth Spike, Hex and Lunar Blessing( Lion's rightclick is very solid) you enemy will have a hard time surviving their lane. With that much disable you can lane well even versus double offlanes.
Jakiro - push? Push! Unless enemy has some solid double offlane he can say goodbye to his T1, giving your team strategical advantage. He is also good in lane with his long-range casts to zone out the enemy or even set up a kill.
Abaddon - one of the better supports to pick against enemy double offlanes, you can get aggressive even against the strongest double lanes as between Aphotic Shield and Mist Coild you can feel safe while Lunar Blessing and Curse of Avernus let you and Abaddon melt someone with your rightclicks.
Ancient Apparition - Chilling Touch and Lunar Blessing? Yes, please! Great combo for Bounty Rune fights and a solid duo in lane.
Skywrath Mage - guarantees you free farm against any solo offlaner, also good against moderately strong enemy double offlanes.
Venomancer - a successful gale almost guarantees your enemy will spend their next 20-30 seconds in a tavern.
Bane - not quite the best support during the laning stage, but once you get level 6 it is a guaranteed kill on at least one enemy hero.
There is more to the game than laning sage, and here I list groups of heroes(with one-two examples) who do well with Luna in teamfights, ganks, or just help her throughout the game.
As versatile as Luna is, there are still heroes she doesn't want to run into.
Your very best friends and very worst foes, gathered here for you to pick/avoid them in your games.
Amazing aura that boosts your pushing potential to the skies. A hawk who can scout for enemy gankers and that will help you with splitpushing when you get BoTs. A BKB carrier's nightmare with Boar Poison and Primal Roar. Don't know what offlaner to pick? Pick Beastmaster.
One of the best aggressive lane supports for you, she is versatile(because of her ability to semi-jungle) and useful even when not in lane due to Arcane Aura. She is also great in ganks and teamfights as she can keep your enemies in place and draw attention to herself(via Freezing Field) to help your Eclipse do the work.
(QE) - a somewhat greedy mid hero, but deals insane amounts of tower damage thanks to your aura and Alacrity. Later in the game he can help you kill Roshan, push towers, or just do more damage with this spell.
Luna is one probably the only non-melee carry that Magnus is as good with as with melee carries. Not greedy, boosts your damage output and farming speed, and lets you do a perfect Eclipse and cut enemies open with Moon Glaive bounces.
Lunar Blessing lets him hit very hard during the night and towers and enemies fall in seconds. He is also a great space creator early game. With Darkness you get a huge vision advantage and if you coordinate, you can easily gank all the map or go for pushes.
A great attention drawer thanks to his Supernova. A skilled Phoenix player will screw any wannabe manfighters without Spell Immunity with Fire Spirits, further slow their attack speed with Shiva's Guard, cast Supernova and let enemies panic as Eclipse hammers their heads while a giant star fries them to a condition. Sun Ray is also a great healing tool that will help you survive in battle.
Puck is one of the less greedy mids/offlanes and a great initiator. If he gets Aghs, nobody will run from your Eclipse, even BKB carriers, and Waning Rift will prevent most heroes from using their escape abilities which can set up very effective ganks thanks to this and it's great mobility.
Not only great disabler and an aggressive support, his Serpent Wards also can secure you one additional tower provided he doesn't drop them right away and rather waits for you to destroy T1 and casts wards on T2.
The best aggressive support in the game for Luna because of her stun, -armor and aura. You can kill almost any enemy with such a combination, and your rightclicks really hurt. Two damage-enhancing auras will work wonders for your team and you will cut towers and enemies like butter. Not to mention her aura scales very well into late-game for you as a hero with a lot of "white" damage from Agility. She also has a BKB-piercing ability and can save your from guys like Sven or Faceless Void. Their synergy is so amazing they even draw porn with her and Vengeful Spirit(and I didn't tell you that, ok?)
Another early-game pusher, Mek carrier, tank that has BKB-piecring 80% slow. A great mid to have in early push strats.
Has a wonderful heal, a great slow with huge range, can make your enemies cripple, has a BKB-piercing AOE stun that can save your life or set up Eclipse(don't forget about damage reduction though, cast Eclipse at the end of Winter's Curse!) and can protect you from physical damage. Pick if you have the chance.
Is very mobile, can farm faster than you if he gets Battle Fury soon enough, is very hard to take down midgame because of Spell Shield and is as strong as you when 6-slotted. Do not get Eye of Skadi against him, get Sange and Yasha and finish the game fast, also try to delay his BF timing as much as you can.
A very dangerous offlaner, can freely lane against you even after level 5 and even compete the lane, has a good kill potential on you right after 6, can save his and anyone else's *** from Eclipse(even more so with Aghs so his teammates won't even feel your beams), is a natural Blade Mail carrier. Not a nightmare, but very unpleasant hero to play against.
15k networth difference? Pls, as if Chaos Knight needs anything more than Armlet of Mordiggian to make you regret being born. If he gets farmed, pray and splitpush, because you have no chance in a teamfight.
A very annoying offlaner(though you can avoid his Ion Shell) that is hard to kill, he will force you to farm under your tower, constantly damage you and he is very hard to kill. If that wasn't enough, he can Surge allies out of Eclipse and make a better version of you fight on his side with Wall of Replica, which is huge as you mostly get damage from Agility late game.
Similar to Chaos Knight, he can kill you even when seriously underfarmed(though this trait is not as ridiculous as CK's), but he is also almost impossible to splitpush against and he is very strong even outside Chronoshpere. A real nightmare to face. Get some defensive supports( Winter Wyvern or Vengeful Spirit are perfect) and tank up to at least survive Chrono.
Fast, deadly, hard to kill. Don't even think going on him alone. You will need some serious disables on your team to deal with this hero.
Core Lina, to be exact. Huge burst, BKB-piercing 950 damage nuke, great rightclicks with some damage items. Basically you fight against two carries if you face a core Lina. Be very careful with her and try to get her before she gets you.
Your enemy as much as your friend. If he can create space for you, who said he can't deny it like nobody else does? Makes you think twice before doing anywhere and poses a threat even mid-late game if he gets enough items.
Very hard to deal with unless you are hugely overfarmed, doesn't care about Eclipse, annoying, burns your mana and basically just a huge ****. Completely unstoppable when 6-slotted, so try to finish the game before he gets really scary and not just annoying and moderately dangerous.
Makes your squishy *** even squishier with Soul Catcher, saves allies from your ultimate with Disruption, slows you down through BKB and even disables both your passives with Aghs. Oh, and he can create two illusions of you that have 66% of your EHP and deal 75% of your Agility damage each. Good luck, have fun.
Just a slippery little ******. Impossible to kill, easily kills you at all stages of the game, it is hard to deny him space because of his escapes and Shadow Dance passive effect which spots wards, and he steals your precious stats to become even stronger. Oh he is also a natural(arguable the best in the game) Silver Edge carrier. Play safe and don't let him get evenly farmed or you'll regret that.
There just isn't anything you can do to her before she tears your face off with Meld and a lucky crit. Do not challenge 1 vs 1. Tank up to survive until her Refraction wears off so you have a chance of killing her. And get some DoTs for your team.
An extremely annoying hero. A natural ganker, saves himslef and allies with Snowball, cripples you with Frozen Sigil, disables and further slows you with Walrus Punch, breaks you with Silver Edge and doesn't care about your Black King Bar whatsoever. Oh, he can also get Aghs and kick you out of a fight to waste your Eclipse(as if he couldn't screw it up hard before), or kick you into his teammates to tear you apart. Volvo please.
I guess that's all. Sorry for all these walls of text, but it's kinda hard to make people understand a hero otherwise. I hope you have learned something from this guide and your Luna performance will improve after reading it.
Sadly, I couldn't find all the artists whose pictures I used for headlines, but if you are interested, here they are(in order of first encounter in the guide):
Y*** LUNA Y*** by theDURRRRIAN
Dota 2 Luna by PekachyKa
Luna - Dota 2 by leonwoon
No source found for this one(proof)
Official Valve artwork
Zodiac Set for Luna | Portrait by Natasha Kashkina
No source again
http://wallpapersdota2*dot*com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/wallpapersdota2.com-511.jpg(no source, not a link because it's NSFW, mind you)
I'll update my guide with patches and add some stuff I will find necessary or useful. I am open to feedback so if you have any questions or suggestions, ask/suggest in the comments section. Blatant typos nitpicking and formatting suggestions are more than welcome.
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