Hello, I'm Shuoven, and this is my first try at a guide for Dota 2. This guide is for Sven, the Hero I've had the best success with so far in my Dota 2 playing "career."I'm going to go over how and why I play him and the style in which I play him.
This is not the way you should or have to play Sven, as I am sure there are many ways in which you can do so, but this is how I do it and it may help you or give you some hints towards your own playstyle with Sven.
-Can single-handedly eliminate entire teams and win games.
-One of the best AoE ranged stuns in the game.
-No micromanaging for ease of play and learning.
-Built in cleave.
-He's a hard carry, so he's item dependant, which makes him slow to get started and hard to recover with.
-Very Mana dependant early/mid game
- Sven can get singled out for ganking throughout the game (if people are smart).
This ability is an AoE damage and stun at a limited range. I use it to initiate, to prevent opponents from escaping, for farming, pushing towers, for teamfights, for, well... pretty much everything! With an 8 second cooldown when maxed out, this is your go to ability, but it's high starting mana cost means it's not as usable early game. It's also your only push button damage spell.
This is a passive ability, so one less button to push. Yay! It's great for farming/jungling creeps, pushing towers or teamfights. Not so great for one on one battles. The only other attack modifier it stacks with is another cleave, go figure!
This ability gives a movement speed and armour buff to all friendly creeps and Heroes in range. It's most useful early game to help run away from being ganked, as you take less damage and run away faster. It's also useful later for pushing towers when used in conjunction with Great Cleave. It's cheap mana cost is great for early game usage, and it's lowish cooldown gives great mobility for roaming around for ganks used with Power Treads and Drum of Endurance.
The Ultimate of all ultimates! It doubles to triples your damage! for 25 seconds!! That's long enough to trash 2 towers or to cleanse the map of the opposing team!!!
So in the early game I tend to play a little more defensive and wary than I do the rest of the game as you probably have noticed with my skill tree choices. So let's start with that.
I take Warcry as my first skill level. The low mana cost means I can use it alot without having to run back to the well or spend money on clarity potions. The extra armour and movement speed will help me survive and run away from those pesky ranged heroes who target me early on for an easy gank, and can help me run back to the fight if I do end up getting killed so I don't lose out on as much xp or gold.
My next skill level, I choose to take Great Cleave. Whether or not you believe it, even just one level helps with farming. I've seen a noticable gain and ability to buy more items early on since I've started choosing this here, and since Sven really is item dependant you need all you can get early on. It does also help with harrassing any melee or shorter ranged heroes if they get in its range so you don't have to target them.
My next choice here is Storm Hammer. By now your mana pool should be able to support it's occassional use. I still generally only use it for a guaranteed gank, or to stun opposing heroes so I can run away and survive. Otherwise I don't use it regularly until level 6.
My next two choices are generally Great Cleave and then another Storm Hammer, just for faster farming and better damage and lower cooldown from Storm Hammer when I go to start ganking next level.
Level 6 is when you get God's Strength, and it helps tremendously for ganking. Pop it just before you initiate, as it has a long duration and so that your Storm Hammer is effected by it and gets its damage doubled. Toss out a Storm Hammer and, while stunned, go to town on them! This will pretty much guarantee a kill if you have help that targets them at the same time, or if they are already down health, or are squishy, otherwise it will only get them close to death and you risk them turning it up on you. With this build, if you catch 2 heroes in your Storm Hammer stun, they are both usually in range of your Great Cleave ability, so it can often get you started on a double kill with help.
I generally start in a duo lane and generally the safe lane (top Dire, bot Radiant) as I often get targetted early by ranged heroes, and having the tower nearby is a great safety tool, and can help get an early assist if they do decide to follow you, and is close to a store for that early Orb of Venom. I would advise against going mid, or going to a tri-lane (unless you have great supports who give you all the last kills). I do occassionally jungle, but not until level 5-6.
I usually will build a Bracer first followed sometimes by an Orb of Venom. Boots of Speed are next, followed by either a Ring of Basilius for the extra armour and mana regen, or I will start on my Armlet of Mordiggian. The Orb of Venom can be a nice optional choice if you have a melee hero who is harrassing you, giving you a better ability to run away and survive, or if you have an over aggressive, or slow, squishy for better chase ability and a little extra damage as it can create a 25% speed differential in conjunction with Warcry.
Occassionally, if I'm needing more strength for damage and health and need some healing I will build an Urn of Shadows, but it's pretty rare when I do that, but the mana regen from it does help a bit too.
Here is when I usually start roaming for ganks and teamfights and doing some jungling for some extra cash and xp.
As far as skills go, I try and max Storm Hammer first, and then usually alternate between Great Cleave and Warcry, and of course taking God's Strength when available.
The first items I try to build here are usually Armlet of Mordiggian and Vladmir's Offering. Armlet is always the first major item I built, as it's really what makes him a killing machine. Make sure you turn it off after each fight though, as the hp drain will make you an easy gank if you don't. I generally like to build Vlad's next for the lifesteal, mana and hp regen, and extra armour. It helps to offset the hp drain from Armlet and helps your mana regen for continual use of Storm Hammer. Drum of Endurance or Power Treads are usually next for the movement speed boost for chasing, and for the extra damage from both. If you're doing really well, Crystalys is a good choice to buy here as well. It will only crit on your main target and will not transfer the crits with your Great Cleave, but having a little more one vs one damage is always good.
This is when you should excell. One on one, two on one, 3 on one, team fights, or pushing entire sides should be incredibly easy for you. If you are still being targetted alot buy a Black King Bar. If you want more damage and crit upgrade to a Daedalus, if you prefer stun go with a Skullbasher, or trade in your Orb of Venom for a Sange and Yasha. Keep in mind that all +damage is NOT doubled by God's Strength, but +Strength IS!
In late game, I usually just push towers to end the game and kill whatever heroes step in my way.
Phantom Lancer and Meepo. Your built in cleave helps get rid of copies/images quickly and since they are fairly squishy themselves they don't last too long.
I also find Huskar and Bloodseeker fairly easy throughout the game, as long as you can stun them before they use their abilities on you.
Drow Ranger and Sniper are usually my most hated opponents throughout the game with their long range nukes and slows, with Keeper of the Light really hated early/mid-game, with his lane width ability. Juggernaut is harder in early game if played well, but mid to late-game he is just more of an annoyance. Riki is also a poor matchup because of his blue poo AoE silence, as you are quite dependant on using Armlet, God's Strength, and Storm Hammer for fights. You would think Silencer would be the same issue, but because you should be using God's Strength and Armlet before you get in range, and Storm Hammer can be cast at a small range you can usually get them all off before he silences you, unless he uses his ultimate.
These match-ups are just personal experience, and you may find otherwise in your fights, but they should hold true.
I am usually a little aggressive in my play with Sven, with the exception of early game, and I often find myself with 6-8 deaths per game, but I also usually end up with at least the same amount in kills and assists, if not more, so if I'm helping to or taking out 2-3 opponents for every one of my deaths I'm pretty happy with that exchange.
Keep in mind this is how I play and you may or may not find success with this playstyle, but I hope it at least encourages you to try playing Sven, and I'm sure you will have at least a few enjoyable experiences with him.
I may from time to time come back and edit this with more match-ups or possibly with different item combinations as well, so keep an eye out! ;-)
Please feel free to vote and comment on this guide, and if you have any questions feel free to ask!
Thanks for reading!
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