Skywrath Mage is a hero that can be played in a range of positions but here we will focus on a support role.
Video version of this guide.
arcane bolt will launch a slow moving bolt at an enemy unit dealing 120 damage plus additional damage of 1.6 times Skywraths intelligence. arcane bolt cost 70 mana with a 2 second cooldown.
Skywrath sets off a long range shot that hits the closest hero with in a 1600 radius. upon impact the it deals 200 damage and will apply a 40% slow to any units in a 200 radius of the target for 4 seconds. concussive shot cost 110 mana with a 14 second cooldown.
Ancient seal silences a target for 6 seconds and amplifies damage they take by 36%. The effect last for 6 seconds. ancient seal cost 110 mana and has an 11 second cooldown.
Skywraths ultimate is mystic flare which will create a AoE at a target point on the which will deal 1200 damage evenly across all heroes that are in the area over 2 seconds. (if only 1 hero is in the area they take the full 1200, if 2 are in the area then they each take 600 and so on) illusion are not taken into account for the selection and take no damage. mystic flare has a 20 second cooldown and cost 800 mana.
Concussive shot is taken at level 1 because of its slow but since the slow doesnt increase with further levels. It is not level again until level 12, 13 and 14.
Arcane bolt is maxed first as its your main nuke and because of the short cool down you can get very spam happy with it so pick it up at level 2,3,5 and 7.
Ancient seal can be taken at level 4 because of its silence and maxed second as the silence duration scales well as does the amplify damage taking it at level 8, 9 and 10.
Mystic Flare has huge damage potential, it may not be reliable however. Even still you can take it at the usual 6, 11 and 16.
As always stats at 15 and from 17 onward.
Skywrath should be played rather supporty but still has the potential to gank this is a fine line to walk.
When playing a more supporty role, Skywrath Mage's build starts as most supports. If you are the sole support on your team you should pick up the courier and wards, if not you can discuss with your teammate who buys what. After that you should pick up some regen items, usually a set of tangos and a healing salve. Then you can fill out the rest of your item slots with as many iron branches as you can afford or if you are planning on being agressive in lane you could pick up a clarity or two instead. If for some reason you don't have to buy courier or wards you can pick up a ring of protection to help with your not great armour stat allowing you to stay in lane and harass more.
You should be looking to first complete a ring of basilius giving you and your lane partner some great early game mana regen if the enemy lane has spellcasters look to pick up a magic stick as your regen depletes, if you bought 3 iron branches, or haven't used much of your regen, you may have to upgrade this to a magic wand for the inventory slots but otherwise at this point you should just keep it just as the stick and upgrade it later when struggling for slots. Pick up some brown boots at some point here and remember if you are the sole support for the team you will need to pick up another set of wards around this time.
Now as i said before you have huge damage potential with your ult. but since its an AoE the enemy will just run out of it, so you need to do something about that initialy you will require alot of mana to spam your arcane bolt so we build arcane boots, and then look to build a rod of atos, starting with the vitality booster to help you be just a little more tanky and then combining the staff of wizardy into the actual rod. the active slow from the rod of atos will help with keeping your enemies inside your Mystic flare.
If you are the only one playing the support role on your team this is probably where your item progression will stop in most average length games but if the game goes long or you net a lot of kills with your high damage spells we can look to make a scythe of vyse, the 100 movespeed that comes from the hex really helps keep them in your mystic flare and also prevents them from using blinks to get away or can just be used as a great shutdown for the enemy carry. The intelligence and mana regen will synergies greatly with your arcane bolt making it do more damage and allowing you to spam that 2 second cd even more. You should also look at selling your basilius around the time you are making this item, since it is more for early game and the mana regen is completely outmatched by that from the scythe. Also the combination of arcane boots and scythe of vyse should be more than enough at this point in the game.
If you find that after buying a scythe you still have loadsa money and for some reason you haven't just won the game already, you could look to pick up an a shiva's guardas it has have slows and good survivability stats, the shiva's guard reducing attack speed makes it a good anti-carry item if that enemy carry is what you are having trouble with.
Early on you should lane with a carry in the safe lane. Your man pool isn't the best so you should focus on harassing the enemy with your auto attacks and save your combo when youre going in for a kill.
When you are castin your ult on a retreating enemy hero try cast it behind them, with them just on the edge, meaning they have to run through it to escape and try to have a slow applied to targets inside the AoE, or if they are chasing you might want to place it in front of them, again with them on the edge of the ability, so they have to run through it to catch whatever they are chasing. Be careful when doing this as they may change their mind when chasing or running away and you will get much less damage on them if they suddenly change direction than if you had just put them right in the middle.
In the mid game try and roam around the map with a stunner/disabler to try and get kills.
Remember you are a squishy hero with big range on your spells and have 600 range, so in team fights try and keep to the fringes of the fight, using your spells on cooldown and only auto attacking when you are safe to do so. Keeping your AoE up and try and force them to stand it. Have your ancient seal on the focused targets and slow every one. Your scythe should be used to take others out of the fight ( if a tide hunter is running in to ravage he should be removed before he stuns everyone or keep people in your Mystic flare.
Into the late game stop roaming stick with your team or you'll be killed in a second if youre on your own and focus on contributing as much as you can to the crucial late game team fights.
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