During the 3rd International and for a whole after, Alchemist was an incredibly popular hard carry. Then patches came around and he's never been played in that role competitively since; it's madness in my eyes.
The first patch meant his ultimate gave him no extra HP rather than 750 at level 3- instead however he has much higher HP regen, equal to the fountain! Sure it's a bit of a nerf, but it's not a hero breaking one.
The second patch meant his stun could be charged for half a second less. Boo hoo hoo. You now get 5 seconds rather than 5.5 to decide where to throw it. What a nerf.
And because of those, he's disregarded as a hard carry, even though he is undeniably, because of greevil's greed, the fastest carry to get items up in the game- the point is, you don't need that 750 hp extra because you, by playing the hero right, are about 2 items ahead of the enemy carry and burst them down easily.
Be enlightened, enjoy the guide, and play alchemist again.
In this section, I will discuss my item choices for Alchemist, and explain their reasoning.
Alchemist is a bad laner; it's a known fact. He has average HP and awful armour. All you need to do is hold out until level 6 where you get your ult and the regen that comes with it. Therefore, ALWAYS, WITHOUT A SINGLE EXCEPTION, BUY A STOUT SHIELD. The damage block is so useful and makes you infinitely more tanky. Buy a Tango, and then a quelling blade also. If you need more regen, your supports can help you out. However, if you think you'll be up against a tough lane, e.g a dual ranged lane, forget the quelling and buy a salve or another set of tangos, and pick up 2 iron wood branches for some stats; you won't regret it.
So your farming, and you realise that your alchemist and you farm so fast, you can buy a Midas- do it, but only if by about 7 minutes. Usually on a good farming alchemist you can get a Midas by 5 minutes.
Next, boots. You can go treads, which give 30 attack speed (very nice), and 8 primary stats (if on strength, they give you about 160 hp, and therefore some tankiness), or you can get phase which give you 24 damage, which is quite nice too. I'v used both and think both are viable but have recently been using phase more because you can chase better with the active and the damage helps with early farming.
Then you have a choice; if you want to help your team out, need initiation, or even an escape, buy a shadow blade- i personally think that it's very useful. The number of times you get annoyed team mates asking why the hard carry has bought a ganking item (the shadow blade) is infuriating, but then when you dodge a 3/4 man gank coming to slow down your farm by using the shadow blade, they'll be happy.
If you get one or not, the next item is a Maelstrom. It gives attack speed, and a chance to chain; a perfect farming item costing only 2700 gold. You can farm the jungle camps insanely quickly with it, and it will build into a mjollnir later.
Then, you buy the BKB. I can't stress the importance of this item- not only does it give you TEN FULL SECONDS of magic immnunity, but it also gives you almost 200hp and 34 damage. The first teamfight you have it, you cannot underestimate the shock the enemies are in as you become big and golden and they can't target you with spells- the shock factor is genuinely amazing.
After this, buy a Skull basher. It will help with killing people as the procs are good with your fast attack speed.
Now your 6 slotted for the early/mid game- you should be at this stage by about 25-30 minutes if you haven't repeatedly died/ farmed awfully. From here you want to either finish your mjollnir and then sell the Midas for the assault cuirass, or sell the Midas and build that first- Both are good, it's just personal preference. Both of the items are amazing, and by the assault cuirass armour reduction stacks with acid spray, so you can be attack at 0.3 seconds per attack with about negative 10 or 15 armour on an enemy hero and you bash. The attack speed means they are pretty much instabashed, and you melt them down with fast right clicks.
Then, finish the abyssal. It gives you 100 DAMAGE. and a bkb piercing stun. This is the point where the enemy carry starts to cry, because if you get close enough for the abyssal, he/she is dead. No question. No debate. Dead.
Finally, as you approach your final item and the end of the game, refresh the BKB if needed (buy a new one) and then buy your final item while saving for buyback- you can replace the shadow blade with a heart if you want more raw HP, a MKB if someone has evasion or a Linken's if facing BKB piercing disables e.g. Abyssal, fiends grip, doom etc.
Then, my personal favourite if the game goes past 60 minutes and it's a bit of a stalemate, buy a rapier. Just do it. With ult up you hit at 0.29 seconds per attack with about 500 right click and armour reduction- this means on supports at least you will drop their armour below zero, and probably do about 550-600 right click per attack, 3 times a second. This in turn means you can kill a support with 2.4k HP in 1.26 seconds. The poor support you pick on will be so distraught that he will proceed to rage quit the match, delete dota 2, and smash his computer with a hammer.
Seriously though, 1.26 seconds to kill a Hero. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME A VALID REASON WHY ALCHEMIST IS NOT A VIABLE HARD CARRY, BECAUSE 1.26 SECONDS TO DEAL 2400 DAMAGE SOUNDS GOOD TO ME.
First thing's first. Max Greevil's greed by level 7 ALWAYS. This is what makes alchemist overpowered- you can get so much extra gold. I'm going to do some easy maths to show you what I mean. At level 4, you get between 10 and 30 gold- as there is a 25 second stacking window, you'll usually get minimum 18. The average of 18 and 30 is 24. So this means you pretty much get an average of 24 gold extra per creep kill - more if you're a really good farmer. The average game is probably between 30 and 40 minutes so say 35. Now in a 35 minute game, a farming hard carry should get between about 250 and 350 last hits, so take an average of 300. Take away about 30 (the last hits you get while reaching level 4 greevil's greed.) so on average, broadly speaking, you can easily get about 270 last hits each giving you 24 gold extra.
270 x 24 = 6480
Look at that number. This means if the carry is farming perfectly on the enemy team, at 35 minutes you can buy a Rapier and have 280 extra gold while he has 0 gold. I'm not sure about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.
Seecondly - Unstable Concoction. This stun, despite it's "Nerf" is still amazing- at level one it can do 150 damage- that's the highest stunning nuke at level 1 - provided you charge it. At level 4, leaving the 360 damage aside, you can get a 4 SECOND STUN. That's almost as long as a maximum stun mirana arrow. And all you need to do is click on it, wait for the numbers to tick down, and then click on an enemy. How difficult is that? In the late game, a 4 second stun is amazing- as I was saying earlier, with a rapier on a low armour hero, you can deal about 2000 damage in 1.26 seconds, so in 4 seconds you can deal around 7000. I think the hero you stun will be positively destroyed after 4 seconds. Oh and don't forget the bashes with your attack speed, so even if they have high armour and 4 seconds isn't enough, the bashes due to fast attack speed will keep them in place for you to finish them off. I played a game a few days ago, where I went high ground as alchemist with a rapier. A pudge with 5k health hooked me. Bad mistake. Needless to say, 3 seconds later there was no pudge.
Thirdly, Acid Spray. A 625 radius. 512 damage. 6 armour reduction. The Spell should be renamed "Do you want that hero to die even quicker than in 3 seconds?" And guess what else- it stacks with Assault Cuirass- -11 armour is pretty good. Let's say your against anti-Mage or morphing- they have about 30 armour when max levelled and 6 slotted. You bring that down to 19. That means they take about 50% physical damage rather than 25% so rather than doing about 140 damage per right click, you do about 300 (in this example you have a rapier). The skill is amazing. Never disregard it.
Finally, Chemical Rage. If you didn't think his other skills were overpowered, you will think this one is. It gives huge HP regen, and more importantly reduces alchemist's base attack time from about 1.6 seconds to about 1 second at level 3. Add in a mjollnir and and assault cuirass, and it goes down to about 0.3, which is the fastest in the game. This allows alchemist to deal right clicks so quickly that his damage output per second becomes massive, and makes a abyssal/basher worth having because with a 25% bash chance, you should get a bash every 1.3 seconds. That enemy isn't going anywhere. Oh and guess what else? The cooldown is 45 seconds. Not bad eh? It gets better. As it lasts 25 seconds, once the spell is finished, you only have to wait 20 seconds to use it again. 20 seconds for an OP ultimate. I'm not complaining! And it doesn't end there. Add in 60 extra movement speed. Yep, you're an angry purple ogre attacking 3 times a second with about 470 movement speed with phase boots active.
-Farms very fast and easily gains a large gold advantage compared to anyone else.
-Gets online and 6 stacked much faster than any other carry because of the gold.
-Has a very strong stun provided you don't throw it too early.
-has an ult allowing him to wreak havoc against enemy teams due to attack speed.
-acid spray stacks with AC, allowing for a huge -11 armour.
-Alright attack animation for last hitting early game.
-easy to play.
-FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE CAN ALWAYS CATCH UP FROM BEHIND. I was playing a game last week where the enemy team had taken t4s and had done a little damage to our ancient- I kept farming, bought a rapier and we won the game.
-Terrible in lane. Average HP and low armour. Very harrasable.
-poor stat gain and armour.
-VERY item dependent.
-unless a heart/ satanic is bought as the sixth item, quite squishy (around 2200hp)
-stun can require practice.
What more is there to say? The maths doesn't lie. Such high damage output per second and the ability to gain a 6000 gold advantage over the enemy carry in a 35 minute game are both amazing. However be careful. If you get stunned, hexed, and disarmed, you're going to die. Therefore always make sure you use your BKB as you go into engagements, and more importantly, buy new ones.
That's the overview of Alchemist- before the nerf, he was OP, because imagine this hero I have described with 750hp extra in ult mode- that's more than a heart. But I think alchemist is in a good place now, and truly think he is still a viable hard carry among all skill brackets, and professionally. Hopefully he will eventually come back into meta, because a six stacked rapier alchemist with BKB activated...well...just hope he's on your team.
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