Greetings to Everyone,
This is my first-ever guide for one of the most diverse and hardest carries in the late game, Anti-Mage.
Anti-Mage is a fast melee agility hero with an emphasis on disrupting and killing high-mana enemies. He has notably high agility and low base attack time, giving him high damage and scaling with his basic attacks. His signature ability is Mana Break, a passive attack modifier that makes him a huge threat to mana-reliant heroes, mainly Intelligence-based casters. In addition to granting substantial bonus damage on each attack, its mana burn sets enemies up to be devastated by his ultimate ability, Mana Void. Blink is a highly versatile ability that allows Anti-Mage to instantly teleport short distances, thereby allowing him to escape, chase, and even farm with ease. Combined with his high base movement speed, this makes Anti-Mage a highly mobile hero at all points in the game. Counterspell greatly increases Anti-Mage's magic resistance, allowing him to sustain more damage from enemy casters. Finally, Mana Void finishes off targets after their mana has been burned, inflicting heavy damage to both the target and enemies surrounding the target.
1) Manabreak - 2 Levels early in the game is usually sufficient. Since this abillity doesn't scale too well, it is best to not to max early. Works with illusions but cannot pierce Spell Immunity. Can also be disabled by Break. Effectively increases a Anti-Mage's attack damage by 14/20/26/32 against units which have enough mana to burn.
2) Blink - Since the nerf to this abillity, the range and cooldown have become simply atricious. So maxing blink early on ensures you get out in time after initiating or come back in without much delay. Even when it is maxed, the 6 sec cooldown is STILL very high and requires you to carefully execute without jumping in on the first person you see. Cast time is 0.4
3) Counterspell - A very useful abillity to kill supports early game or to help you escape ganks if timed correctly. Some people have a tendency to cast as soon as they see you blinking in, so you can use it before they cast. However, most people will wait out your counterspell and cast after it ends, so it is not always advisable. The best thing to do is see your opponent and read their actions. Based on this, you will know if you need to cast after hitting the enemy once or wait for them to turn towards you after a bit while. Some people will even skip casting spells due to the risk and just run away. From experience, most people will cast as soon as they see you blink in after reacting. Therefore, see their hero actions and casting animations. Cast time is 0. Each level reduces the cooldown.
4) Mana Void - A correctly used Mana Void on a high mana opponent can ensure a winning teamfight. Has a 0.3 cast time and no missle (cast immediately following the cast time). Smart enemies will keep away from their team and stay back if their mana is low, making it diffucult to target them for a Mana Void.
PROS AND CONS
Good at trading with most offlaners in lane due to high attack speed, good starting health and manabreak
Highly mobile and flash farms quickly with a Battlefury
Can split push and keep enemies away from objectives by constantly making them Tp to defend
One of the strongest late game carries in the game
Dominant vs heavy nukers and magic damage dealers (magi)
Can pick-off long range enemies that stay back in teamfights
Can be easily ganked and disabled early in the game
Not as effective in a trilane vs trilane
Is ALWAYS a priority target and enemies will mostly target you in teamfights
Your team has to play 4v5 if you need farm, forcing opposing team to push early
Has a hard time killing high HP heroes in the early, mid game
Not as hard to play but very hard to MASTER
This is the Classic and most popular build + skill sequence we are currently seeing.
As for the Starting Items, the 4x Branches + 6x Tangos provide a lot of regen for trading hits and early harass in lane. This means you have effectively 10 tangos by eating your branches when you fall low or below 60% health. You may also skip a branch and a tango if you wish to buy a Salve instead.
As for the MID-Game, it is crucial to get your Battlefury as early as possible. However, with the current fight oriented meta, it is also advisable to get at least 2 Wraith Band and a Power Treads alongside your Ring of Health before going for your Battlefury. Once your Battlefury is farmed, Manta Style is your next big item that not only allows you to dodge or dispel oncoming spells, but also gives you solo kill potential and greatly increases your Manta + Mana Void combo damage.
In the Mid to Late game, your build will vary greatly based on your teammates, your team disables and the enemy lineup. Basically if your team has great disabling potential for instance: you have a Tidehunter. You can skip going for a Basher instead and go for a Butterfly to jump in and rend a core hero after that Ravage. However, if the enemy keeps disabling you with AOE or you find it difficult to dodge a lot of projectiles with your Counterspell, try rushing a BKB.
If the enemy keeps killing you under their heavy lock downs, try going for a Heart or Skadi to mitigate their attempts.
In addition, if the enemy has an annoying Weaver or Storm Spirit you can't simply catch, go for a Bloodthorn to lock them down etc. So you can see here that depending on what your team can offer and what the enemy is preventing you to do, go for that item that fills the gap. So we can't always say you go straight for an Abyssal + Butterfly after your Manta etc.
Your playstyle will vary throughout the game. Based on what stage of the lane it is and how your other lanes are doing etc.
1) Early Game
Now in the laning stage, your aim is to farm well and get kills on the enemy with your supports if you can. IF you aren't getting kills but still are managing to get your last hits, it's not a problem. Your prime role here is to not die too much and gain as much gold as you can. However, you WILL need to sacrifice a few Last Hits to harass the enemy offlane and/or burn their mana. If you solely focus on farming, the offlaner will harass you and zone you out if you fall low. Sometimes, the enemy and your team will rotate either to MID or the OFFLANE for a teamfight. IF there is a good chance that you CAN help your team and get a priority kill, you should Teleport in before it is too late. However, if you can't get anything out of it even if you TP, you should immediately push your lane and get the enemy Tier 1 tower instead of just farming. This means you need to use the space created by your team to also pressure the enemy. After all, the map control you helped seize will ensure you don't get ganked as easily while farming. (Remember, securing more space is more important than 1 support kill, so choose your goal wisely).
2) Mid Game
By the 20 to 22 minute mark or around you should be getting your Manta Style if you are farming considerably well. Now, having your Manta means you can teamfight a lot more effectively wihout risking your life. However, it does not grant you immunity and you may still get burst down if you initiate badly or get caught in a bad spot. At this stage, you should at least destroy all the enemy Tier 1 towers and some Tier 2s if possible. You need to be present with your for teamfights and aim for the backline and the supports. Supports need to be aimed instead of their Carry or Offlaner directly (unless being ganked alone) due to the fact that they are more annoying in teamfights , disable you, and they are a lot easier to kill. So get the supports first, don't initiate in 1st (you are not the initiator) and push or get Rosh while the enemy is dead.
3) Late Game
If it transitions into the late game, most teams will have no outlying towers left and will be Smoking a lot. In this stage, one bad move can potentially throw the game if you are not careful. So, if you are pushing lanes or farming neutrals, pay attention to the potential for the enemy team to initiate and kill you. If you seem like you are going to get ganked if you stay there, go back, tp elsewhere and push another lane. A major factor to winning fights is getting the first strike through an element of surprise. Therefore, coordinate with your team, don't go too far alone and win through an effective teamfight. You can also use the time provided if the enemy is sieging your base, to RAT one lane. If your team needs you or if you have taken your objective, immediately TP back and help.
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