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Alchemist as a Solo Mid Hero

April 24, 2014 by Wuzzly
Comments: 2    |    Views: 50847    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Ganker Mid

DotA2 Hero: Alchemist

Purchase Order

Starting Items

Early Game




Hero Skills

Acid Spray

1 4 8 9

Unstable Concoction

2 3 5 7

Greevil's Greed

10 12 13 14

Chemical Rage

6 11 16


15 17 18


Hello, I am Wuz and this is my first guide on DotaFire! Alchemist is a really fun hero to play and is very versatile as he can be played in many different roles. A mistake a lot of players in pubs who play Alchemist is always play him as a hard carry (which is why I feel like he has such a subpar winrate on Dotabuff right now). Although Alchemist can be played in this role, it's not always the best thing to do! If the enemy lineup has a lot of mid and early game and are consistently roaming around the map looking for kills, going hard carry is not always the optimal choice. Often times, you will be sitting in lane or in the jungle farming for the first 20-30 minutes, essentially leaving your team having to fight 4v5. It also might not fit your team's play style and lineup! If your team already has a hard carry, you should play a more mid-game oriented Alchemist. This is why I'm making a guide on Mid-lane Alchemist.

Alchemist is a melee strength hero who's skillset is versatile and unique. He has one of the few true physical damage nukes in the game, an AOE armor shred, a passive that gives him more gold, and a fearful ultimate that gives him immense power! He's most commonly played as a hard carry in pubs while in the competitive seen he's been picked more as a support as of recently (although I expect this to change as of the nerfs in 6.80). What's not commonly seen in either a mid ganker which is what I am focusing on in this guide.

Pros and Cons

This guide is oriented around a roaming, ganking Alchemist; however, I have provided a build for a more late game oriented Alchemist as well.

Ganking Alchemist


  • Stun does insane damage versus low armor heroes and your built in armor shred makes even high armor heroes melt!
  • Good lane control with Acid Spray
  • Can comeback from a bad early game with Greevil's Greed
  • Closer to the Ancient camp and hard/medium camps from midlane than the safe lane, making stacking and farming the jungle easier
  • Can snowball really hard and can change to the hard carry build at any time
  • Good survivability from Chemical Rage


  • Because you're not farming most of the time, Greevil's Greed is a bit wasted early on
  • Melee with low armor so can be driven out of lane easily if he can't get lane and rune control
  • Easily ganked
  • His stun can backfire and end up killing him
  • Countered by silences, disables, before he gets a BKB or Linken's and is countered by escapes and high mobility heroes until he gets his Blink Dagger

Hard Carry Alchemist


  • Low BAT (Base attack time] from Chemical Rage means that with a few attack speed items, Alchemist's right clicks turn into a machine gun!
  • Can farm extremely fast with Maelstrom and Greevil's Greed
  • Regen from Chemical Rage and high base STR make him hard to run down in the early game
  • Benefits very well from proc based items (MKB, Daedelus, Basher, Mael/Mjol)


  • In midlane, he can be denied or ran out of lane very easily depending on the hero
  • Since you'll be farming and not ganking, your chances of losing your other lanes are much higher
  • Can't rotate into the midgame build as easily
  • Very poor stat gain makes him very, VERY item dependent in the late game


Alchemist has a powerful skillset that benefits him in a few different roles.

Q - Acid Spray

Sprays high-pressure acid across a target area. Enemy units who step across the contaminated terrain take mixed damage per second and have their armor reduced.
Range: 900
Radius: 625
Duration: 16
Damage Per Second: 14/20/26/32
Armor Reduction: 3/4/5/6
Cooldown 22 Mana 130/140/150/160

Acid Spray is a powerful AOE spell that has many purposes. It's an armor shred, an AOE damage spell, a farming tool, and a lane control tool. The mana cost does scale and is pretty steep at all levels, so be careful of your mana so that you have enough for you other spells!

W - Unstable Concoction

Alchemist brews up an unstable concoction that he can throw at an enemy hero, to stun and deal damage in an area around the explosion. The longer the concoction brews, the more damage it deals and the longer the stun. After 5 seconds, the brew reaches its maximum damage and stun time. However, after 5.5 seconds, the concoction will explode on Alchemist himself if not thrown.
Range: 775
Maximum Stun Duration: 1.75/2.5/3.25/4
Maximum Damage: 150/220/290/360
Cooldown 16 Mana 120

SUB ABILITY - Throw Unstable Concoction

Unstable Concoction can be your biggest tool in your arsenal or your biggest bane. Ever since the nerfs to the stun in 6.80, it's much easier to backfire. This makes support and ganker Alchemist much less viable. However, more experienced players can work around this nerf and still pull off the maximum damage without stunning themselves. Sometimes, it's better to play it safe. Sometimes instead of getting that 360 damage 4 second stun, sometimes it's safer to just make that 220 damage, 2 second stun, especially against slippery opponents like Morphling, Weaver, and Bounty Hunter.

E - Greevil's Greed

Alchemist gets bonus gold for killing creeps; the bonus stacks if the creeps are killed within a period of time, after which the count is reset. The bonus gold is capped at 30 gold.
Duration: 25
Bonus Gold Per Kill: 1/2/3/4
Base Bonus Gold: 4/6/8/10

This is what makes Alchemist such a great farmer. The more last hits he gets, the more bonus gold he gets. It's very much possible to have a 1000+ GPM on this hero with the right items. However lucrative it maybe be to max this skill first, avoid doing so. It's much better to max your stun.

R - Chemical Rage

Alchemist causes his Ogre to enter a chemically induced rage, reducing base attack cooldown and increasing movement speed and regeneration.
Duration: 25
Base Attack Time: 1.4/1.2/1.0
Bonus Health Regeneration: 50/75/100
Bonus Mana Regeneration (Base Mana Regeneration): 3/7.5/12
Bonus Move Speed: 30/40/60
Cooldown 45 Mana 50/100/150

Chemical Rage is what makes Alchemist a powerful hero. A little bit on mechanics first, however. Every hero has a base attack time; their attack's rate without any attack speed. The lower the BAT, the faster you attack essentially. Think of it as a car. A high BAT is like a really old, not very aerodynamic car. You can put a big engine into it (a lot of attack speed), but it's not going to be as fast as a newer, state of the art vehicle. Alchemist's ultimate gives him a lower BAT (the lowest in the game. For comparison, the second highest BAT in the game right now is Anti-Mage with 1.45 and the average being 1.6), meaning he benefits very well from attack speed items. As a carry, the most important thing is the BAT, which will increase your DPS and is what you build your hero around. As a ganker, the most important thing is the regen and movespeed, which allow you to roam a lot better. With a duration of 25 seconds and a cooldown of 45, you are at your maximum potential once every 20 seconds.

When You Should Play Alchemist and How


You should pick Alchemist is the enemy is low on disables and silences and are easy to land a stun on. You shouldn't pick Alchemist versus anti-carry or anti-tank heroes like Lifestealer, Razor, and Bane.



You should play Alchemist as a ganker if their lineup has good late game that you're not confident you can out-carry and/or they are easy to gank.

Does their lineup look like this or have these heroes?

Pick Alchemist as a ganker.

You should play Alchemist as a hard carry if their lineup is low on ganking heroes and you're confident you can out-carry them but not confident you can gank them.

Does their lineup look like this or have these heroes?

Pick Alchemist as a hard carry.


For Alchemist there are two main skillbuilds for him. There's the max Greed+Stun (Hard Carry) and there's the max Stun+Spray (Support or Ganker). In both cases, maxing your stun first is essential. What you choose to skill after that depends on your play style.


Your skillbuild for a Ganking Alchemist should look like this.

We get Acid Spray first in order to harass so we can farm safely. This will push the lane, so make sure to check for the 2 minute rune once your creep wave hugs your enemy's tower. If you are going for a level 1 first blood, grabbing Concoction first is very viable. We then proceed to take two points in stun. We max this first for the kill potential it gives us once we hit level six. At level four, we have two options. If our lanes are winning really hard and your semicarry is ganking, or you had a bad lane and need to catch up on farm, or you're rotating into the hard carry build, grab a point in Greed. If you're roaming and want to gank, grab another point in Spray for the armor shred.

After level 7, when you max your stun, you have another choice. You can rotate into the carry build if you haven't done so already, or you can take more points in Spray.


Your skillbuild for a carry Alchemist should look like this.

Again, we get the point in Acid Spray to harass. We grab two points in Stun in order to make is stronger faster in case the enemy dives us or we can secure a kill. The way the build diverges is that we max Greed second in order to farm faster in the midgame. Since you're in the midlane, while you're checking runes or your lane is pushed, use Acid Spray to stack and farm camps. Once you get your 6, you can easily farm these camps for tons of gold.

You should have a lot of farm assuming the enemy hasn't ganked you or taken your stacks.

Item Builds and Justification

Starting Items

For both builds I recommend not going by a set starting item build. Depending on your lane, you should grab different items. If you're rushing bottle, a Stout Shield+Salve will give your an extra 250 gold toward your bottle. If you're expecting free farm, a Quelling Blade is nice to have. If expecting a hard lane, extra regen or grabbing a Stout Shield is recommended.

The same goes for all heroes. Look at the enemy lineup, your lineup, and what you expect your lanes will be. In the case of Alchemist mid, your team has you, a Carry Sven, jungle Chen, offlane Bounty Hunter, and a support Crystal Maiden. The enemy lineup has a Pudge, a Weaver, a Kunkka, a Bane, and a Lina. Judging by their lineup, it could be a lot of things. It could be a trilane Kunkka+Lina+Bane, it could be dual lanes with Weaver+Lina and Kunkka+Bane. Or it could be a 2 man ganking combo with either Bane+Pudge, Lina+Bane, or Kunkka+Bane. However, chances are you will get a Pudge at mid. Because of Chemical Rage, he probably can't kill you, and being that you are both melee, he likely can't harass you very well (although you may trade blows.) Judging by this, grabbing a Quelling Blade, two Tangoes, and branches will be your best bet. If it turns out to be a Kunkka or Weaver mid, you have enough regen to stay in lane.

Early Game Items

Early game item's don't differentiate much between the builds. The carry typically doesn't focus on early game items and will only grab a couple of really cheap ones in order to help in lane.

The above is an example of my preferred early game Carry build. The Wand and Soul ring are very cheap, which doesn't set you back on your big items much. The Wand is for when you get ganked, as a burst of HP can save your life. The mana is for when you're stacking camps, as Alchemist has subpar INT gain (but very good starting INT) and Acid Spray's mana cost is massive.

The above is an example of my preferred early game Ganker build. The regen from Bottle and Medallion make sure you always have mana to cast your spells. Bottle helps for rune control and can also give mana for stacking camps. Medallion's armor shred stacks with your already existing Acid Spray and since Concoction is physical damage, it will amplify the damage your stun does dramatically (sometimes doing 100% damage or more depending on the hero!). The armor helps solve Alchemist's poor agility and base armor. Soul ring is also good for a ganker too, however since you'll be in fights more often, you might find yourself a bit lower on HP than usual. A bracer is also a nice and viable item to build as it builds into a Drum, a strong item on a Ganking Alchemist.

Core Items

Core items are where the Ganker and Carry build differ greatly. The Carry build is more expensive but gives bigger, better bonuses and is more oriented around making use of Alchemist's ultimate. The Ganker build is much cheaper and is more oriented about positioning to land your stun while also giving you cheap stats to make you more threatening early on.


Phase Boots are Alchemist's boots of choice as they give him good mobility and allow his to chase down faster targets in order to land his stun. If you are confident in landing your stun, going for Power Treads is powerful because of the bonus attack speed and stat swapping. Arcane boots are also viable if you're playing more of a support role.

Blink Dagger is the god of all ganking items. For a cheap 2150 gold, you can charge up your stun out of the fog, Blink in with 2 seconds on the timer, Medalion, Spray, and hit them with the stun. It's also good for chasing. If you're about to do a second stun, charge your stun and when the enemy thinks they've gotten away from you, make them **** their pants by blinking right in their face and stunning them.

Drum of Endurance is a cheap item which gives a little bit of everything Alchemist needs. He needs HP for his poor stat gain, he needs a little bit of mana to allow him to roam, he needs some attack speed in order to make use of his ultimate, and he needs some mobility in order to help land his stun. This gives him a little bit of everything he needs and is a fantastic, cheap buildup from a Bracer.


As I said earlier, Phase boots allow Alchemist to land his stun and chase. With the bonus movespeed from Chemical Rage, it'll be easy to chase and run down enemies. Treads are still viable on this build as well if you're thinking about stacking straight attack speed.

Mjollnir is your one and only farming item. Everything else is obsolete. With Chemical Rage and the bonus attack speed, you can wipe out creep waves in no time. With the active, it also punishes enemies for damaging you, which synergizes with Alchemist's ultimate.

Assault Cuirass increases your attack speed even further and gives Alchemist his much needed armor. The armor shred also makes him hit even harder which makes him extremely powerful. This item is also good on a Ganking Alchemist as a luxury item.

Luxury and Situational Items

As there are a ton of items that work in both builds and lot of overlap, I won't go through every single choice. Rather, I'll go through the ones I find most common or most effective.

Skull Basher/Abyssal Blade

Almost always gotten on Carry Alchemist and it's easy to see why. This item is so good it's almost core on him (almost ;>). The low BAT and amount of attack speed items we build make it to where you're almost guaranteed to proc a bash. It's also good on a Ganking Alchemist if you're looking for more raw damage and less utility.

Shadow Blade

Seen more on Carry Alchemist than Ganker Alchemist. It's the alternative to Blink Dagger as an initiation tool. It gives really good stats like damage and attack speed and the active is both nice for escaping and nice for initiating. It does make you a bit more mana intensive, it's countered by detection, and is more expensive than Blink Dagger. It's also not the best choice if your team is teamfighting as the active is somewhat wasted as an initiation tool. If you ganking as a carry it's a nice item but if you're going ganker, Blink Dagger is generally better.

Boots of Travel

Boots of Travel are a good choice at all stages of the game. It leaves inventory room for more items rather than TP scrolls and is also less expensive in the long run than consistently buying scrolls. They're a great pickup on both a Carry and a Ganker. As a Ganker, you no longer have to walk or spend cash on teleport scrolls in order to gank a lane. You can also teleport right into a teamfight or gank to help secure a kill. As a Carry, it helps make sure you can always be with your team in between farming and fighting. It's also nice to be able to teleport to that nice, big juice creep wave pushing your bottom tower after you've finish eating your stacks.


Desolator is a fantastic DPS item on a lot of heroes. I'd advise against it on a Carry Alchemist (if you want DPS grab a Daedelus or Abyssal as they synergize much better) but it's really good item on a Ganking Alchemist just so you can stack more negative armor. It's also good for pushing (split push alch with deso+tp+shadow+necro book at the next internationals anyone?).

Mask of Madness

Mask of Madness isn't the worst choice in the world for Alchemist. He has good base STR, he has good regen, and he makes really good use of the attack and movespeed. The main problem is that it doesn't help his farm as much as a quick Mjollnir will and that it makes him too squishy against late game carries. As a Ganker Alchemist, it's likely a better choice if you want to become a secondary sound of right click damage on your team, but most games I'd say avoid it.

Black King Bar and Linken's Sphere

Black King Bar is your item of choice against hard disables, slows, and AOE magic damage. it allows Alchemist to run up to the enemy carry without having to worry about being kited by the support's slows and stuns.

Linken's Sphere is best against big, single target ultimates like Rupture, Doom, Dismember, and Fiend's Grip. It accomplishes the same thing as BKB but it only blocks single target spells. It also gives better stats.

Both items are viable on Carry and Ganker builds. Some lineups may require both but I advise against getting both most games.

Armlet of Mordiggian

Armlet synergizes well with Alchemist to a certain extent. His HP and Regen are great but the item offers very little attack speed. It fits a Ganker/Tank role more than it fits a Carry role, but it's still somewhat viable on both builds.

Hand of Midas

only get if going jew alch build (manta radiance bfury mjol) huehuehuehue

In all seriousness, Midas is an okay pickup if you're getting free farm or you have a good gold advantage from early kills or towers. The main problem is that it delays your Mjollnir, which lets you chain last hit better (which is the point of Greed!) than a Midas. Still, it's an okay item to build to help secure a gold and XP advantage. I'd advise against picking it up on anything other than a Carry Alchemist unless you know what you're doing.


A fantastic luxury pickup for Alch as it helps solve his low HP gain. The regen feels a bit wasted, but the massive 1k HP it gives you is well worth the investment.


Ever since I saw the Alchemist with Heart, 4 Butterflies, and boots able to tank fountain for minutes on end and get consistent kills on the poor, doomed, underfarmed heroes soon to spawn, I wondered if Butterfly has any application outside of just being a troll item. After a few tests, it actually is a decent alternative to Assault Cuirass. The agility gives Alchemist plenty of armor and attack speed and the evasion makes you annoying to fight. Assault Cuirass is overall better in my opinion, but if another hero on your team has built it, Butterfly is a good alternative.

Misc. Caster Items (and other stuff)

The above a handful of caster items that work well on Alchemist. Most of them are more geared towards a Ganker or Support Alchemist, such as Atos, Sheepstick, and Shiva's. Blademail and Skadi are situationally nice on a Carry Alchemist. The stats and HP from Skadi are very good on him and the slow makes sure no one can escape. Blademail is fantastic against glass cannon heroes like Drow, Sniper, Shadow Fiend and against AOE heroes like Venomancer and Phoenix.

Like I said earlier, there are a lot of items that work well on Alchemist depending on your role so don't be afraid to experiment or try something new!

Final Notes and Conclusion

Alchemist is a powerful hero in the right hands. As a Carry he's rather easy to play to a certain extent but as a Ganker/Support, it increases his skill-ceiling really high. In the midlane, Alch can gain good lane control against quite a few opponents to either secure farm for himself in order to outcarry the enemies, or so he can gank other lanes more effectively.

A special thanks go to Icefrog for developing this awesome game, DOTAFire for hosting some really cool content, DotaBuff for developing a fantastic website for keeping statistics on the game, and for the Dota2 Wiki for gathering information on the mechanics of the game!

As always, good luck and have fun!

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