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Arc Warden: A Definitive Guide

August 14, 2014 by ReAlChemist
Comments: 6    |    Views: 45574    |   


Mid

DotA2 Hero: Arc Warden




Hero Skills

Flux

2 8 9 10

Magnetic Field

4 12 13 14

Spark Wraith

1 3 5 7

Tempest Double

6 11 16

Talents

15

Introduction

Arc Warden is, almost without a doubt, the highest skill cap hero in the game. Standard play can involve controlling a dozen units of several types spread across the map. Making correct item choices is huge as well since there are so many options. This is by far the most difficult guide I've written, since there is so much depth to Arc Warden. I've tried to make it as complete as possible, but I will update it over time. I also want to credit the DotA 2 Wiki for information.

What makes Arc Warden so unique is that his ultimate, Tempest Double, creates a temporary clone of himself. It can use all of his regular abilities and most every item. In the hands of a very good player, Arc Warden prints money and can snowball out of control. He can end games before 20 minutes and also almost always wins if the game goes late enough. The challenge is using him to his full effectiveness and getting to the point where he can start to snowball, as his laning is weak and he is less than stellar against pushes before one or two major items. I hope this guide will help teach you to do this and enlighten you as to the possibilities of this hero.

Pros
  • Very, very high skill cap
  • Very high base STR (24, highest among AGI and INT)
  • Good STR growth (2.6, tied for 27th in game)
  • High base INT (24, 3rd highest among AGI and STR heroes)
  • Great INT growth (2.1, tied for 2nd among AGI)
  • Great attack animation (0.3, tied for 4th best among all heroes)
  • Great attack range (625, tied for 3rd highest in game)
  • Good cast point (0.3, tied for 20th lowest in game)
  • Very low CD and mana cost and high range and utility nuke
  • Good steroid which partially affects towers
Cons
  • Very high skill floor
  • Terrible starting AGI (15, second lowest among AGI heroes)
  • Terrible AGI growth (1.8, tied for 2nd lowest among AGI heroes)
  • Terrible starting armor (0.1) and natural armor growth (8.95 at 25)
  • Mediocre STR growth (1.9, tied for 16th among AGI heroes)
  • Terrible missile speed (800, 2nd slowest in game)
  • Bad base damage with wide distribution(40-50)
  • Unreliable nuke and CC
  • Steroid has long CD and low AoE.
  • Slightly slow (295 MS)

Arc Warden vs. Tinker

[Coming soon, will explain the niches and differences of the two heroes as their "gimmick" is using items and abilities more than once.]

The Skills

Flux


Type:
Targets:


Active
Enemy Units
Engulfs an enemy unit with swirling volatile energy for 6 seconds, slowing its movement speed by 50% and dealing damage over time if it is alone. The effect is muted if there is a nearby enemy unit within 225 units.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

75


75


75


75

Cooldown

20


20


20


20

Range

600


700


800


900

AoE

NA


NA


NA


NA

Duration

6


6


6


6

Effect

50% Slow, 15 Magic Damage/sec


50% Slow, 30 Magic Damage/sec


50% Slow, 45 Magic Damage/sec


50% Slow, 60 Magic Damage/sec

Notes:
  • Does nothing while the enemy is near one of its allied units.
  • Max damage is 90/180/270/360
  • Use Spark Wraith to zone the enemy away from allies/creeps and follow up with Flux. Alternatively, use Flux to make enemies group and set up for AoE spells.
  • At Level 7 each cast consumes 9% of your mana pool and you regenerate the mana in 50 seconds.



Magnetic Field


Type:
Targets:


Active
AoE
Distorts space, generating a circular field that grants 100% evasion and bonus attack speed to allied heroes and buildings within. The field has a radius of 275 units

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

110


110


110


110

Cooldown

50


50


50


50

Range

900


900


900


900

AoE

275


275


275


275

Duration

3.5


4


4.5


5

Effect

+50 AS, 100% Evasion


+60 AS, 100% Evasion


+70 AS, 100% Evasion


+80 AS, 100% Evasion

Notes:
  • Only affects heroes and buildings within the AoE. Half AS bonus for towers.
  • Evasion disabled by Duel, Doom, and Chronosphere but AS bonus isn't.
  • Effectively a Glyph if cast on a tower.
  • Very easy to Field+TP out if the enemy has spent their stuns and nukes.
  • At Level 7 each cast consumes 14% of your mana pool and you regenerate the mana in 74 seconds.

Spark Wraith


Type:
Targets:


Active
Target Point
Summons a Spark Wraith that takes 3 seconds to fully materialize. Haunts the targeted area until an enemy comes within its range and then fuses itself into him dealing magical damage.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

50


50


50


50

Cooldown

4


4


4


4

Range

2000


2000


2000


2000

AoE

375


375


375


375

Duration

50


50


50


50

Effect

150 Damage


200 Damage


250 Damage


300 Damage

Notes:
  • Provides vision in its AoE.
  • Will trigger on invisible and smoked units.
  • Wraith MS once triggered is 400.
  • Extremely mana efficient damage (if it hits) and great scouting tool.
  • At level 7, uses 6% of your mana pool and you regenerate the mana in 34s.

Tempest Double


Type:
Targets:


Active
NA
By vibrating at extreme speeds, Arc Warden is able to create a perfect electrical incarnation of himself for 20 seconds, at the cost of his current health and mana. This incarnation can use any spells or items he has, and spawns with his health and mana after the cast.

Level

1


2


3

Mana/HP

30% current


15% current


0% current

Cooldown

65


60


55

Range

NA


NA


NA

AoE

NA


NA


NA
Duration

20


20


20

Effect

Clones Zet


Clones Zet


Clones Zet

Notes:
  • Double spawns with HP/MP of Zet after the cast.
  • Tempest Double and its illusions are visibly different from original.
  • Doubles cannot use: Sentry Ward, Observer Ward, Smoke of Deceit, Refresher Orb, or Runes.
  • The Tempest Double cannot drop items, including Gem of True Sight and Divine Rapier, nor activate runes or use bottled ones. Bloodstone death effects are muted on the Tempest Double.
  • Rubick cannot steal Tempest Double.

Spark Wraith Tricks

Laning



You can deny your lane opponent an area or manipulate their position. For example, if you hit the ranged creep 0-4 times (depending on level) then put the Wraith between the melee creeps and ranged creep slightly close to the ranged creep, the enemy has to move away from the area or tank a pretty huge nuke.

Reconnaissance



The wraiths provide a small amount of vision, have a huge cast range, and a low mana cost. They can be used to scout Roshan, check runes, or guard paths (especially important mid). I have to check if they trigger on invisible or smoked units, but if they do they can easily prevent ganks; if a Wraith disappears prematurely, someone is coming.

Mining



Since it has a 50s duration/4s CD, Spark Wraith can be used to mine several locations to a variety of effects:

-Roshan: Unless the enemy has a summon or illusion that can tank the Wraiths or magic immunity, it becomes almost impossible to contest Roshan against an Arc Warden. Just put down a bunch of Wraiths guarding the entrance to the pit, and the first enemy that tries to walk in will die. The Wraiths can even be placed in the pit's vision-blocked area if you are careful to keep Roshan in the back of the pit.

-Block Traps: There are a couple of locations that can be mined with Wraiths outside of enemy vision to kill an enemy as they are blocking the first wave. One such location in wc3 dota is on top of the towers, although I don't know if this will work in DotA 2. I will make an image of where such traps can be laid with Zet out of vision as well when I get the chance.

-Juke Traps: Wraiths can be placed in a lot of juke spots from outside of vision and used to kill a fleeing enemy. For example, Wraiths can be placed in the juke area behind Dire T1 tower from below the treeline. If you pincer the enemy so they try to juke into there, they will eat a ton of damage or straight up die.

-Block Bumps: Placing a Wraith in the path of the enemy before the first creepwave forces them to either abandon their block or eat the nuke. If you think they would choose to eat the nuke and you can stack Wraiths perfectly on top of each other, you can get a kill when the enemy finds that one Wraith they tanked was actually 5 or 6.

Stacking



Because of the insane range on Spark Wraith, which can hit units up to 2375 units away, it has very high utility in stacking. He can even stack ancients fairly easily if the stack includes dragons. Its very important to stack when you can, even though you can't actually farm them well unless you go a Maelstrom build. This is because Arc Warden like Naga, Tinker, and Meepo just vacuums gold from the map. This tends to make the farm distribution for these heroes very top heavy and Zet doesn't really solo carry very well. Stacking creates more farm on the map for your allies.

Radiant mid Zet has a definite advantage here, since from lane he can stack any of the mid hard, medium, and ancient camps. On the way to bot rune he can stack the any of the safe hard, medium, or easy camps. He can also easily double stack the mid medium and either hard camp. Dire mid Zet can only stack the river medium camp easily from lane. He can stack the ancients from the bottom ramp, and the other medium and hard camps from below the ramp into the jungle.

Radiant safe lane Zet can stack the easy camp frm behind or above the tower, and the medium camp from above the treeline. He can double stack any of the camps. Dire safe lane Zet can stack the safe camp from behind or below the tower and the hard camp from most anywhere in the lane except above the tower and the upper left section of the lane. He can double stack the safe camp with either of the medium camps or the hard camp. He can double stack the hard camp and the river medium camp. On both sides, he can pull the camps to the lane creeps from behind the tower.

NOTE: You have to be within a certain distance of the creeps when they get damaged, or they will not aggro. My tests indicate it is about 1800 units.

Tempest Double: Special/Notable Item Interactions

Healing Salve| Clarity| Tango

The Double can use these items on the original or allies to restore mana and/or health. This is quite important in counteracting the 35% HP/MP cost of level one Tempest Double.

Bottle

With the 6.80 change allowing bottle charges to be used on allies, Bottle became a very good item on Zet. Simply use the Bottle on the original to restore mana and health.

The Double will spawn with the Bottle exactly as the original has it; not just the same number of charges, but even a contained rune (ie. if you have a bottled rune, so does the Double).

Hand of Midas

There is a very simple reason Hand of Midas is core on Zet: GOOOOOOLD. On most heroes, Midas increases GPM by about 110 and takes about 17 minutes to pay for itself (excluding GPM increases from the AS and XPM bonus). On Arc Warden, Tempest Double allows him to use Midas every 65/60/55 seconds and increases his GPM by about 290/305/320 and will pay for itself in about 7 minutes. Considering as how the hero lacks a natural farming mechanism aside from some single target magic damage, this is very important to allow him to get up his other core items (eg. Maelstrom, Necronomicon).

NOTE: If the Double uses Midas on a creep, you get NO experience. Therefore, the Double should use it on the smallest creep around to maximize gold gain and minimize esperience loss.

Necronomicon

The Double can summon an additional set of Necro units, which is incredibly strong in early-mid game fights and pushes. The Necro nerfs hit Zet hard though, particularly the gold/EXP bounty increase. DO NOT FEED THEM.

Refresher Orb

What's better than two of everything? Four of everything! Refreshes your items/abilities and allows you to spawn a second Double. Remember that Doubles cannot use RO.

Helm of the Dominator

There are a couple of ways you can exploit an HoD on Arc Warden, but I'll have to wait until the port to see if they work in DotA 2 because of changes with the item. I'll update this then.

Manta Style

The interaction between Manta Style and Tempest Double is...complex. I'll update with the DotA 2 mechanics upon porting. Basically, a Double and the original can have Manta illusions going at the same time though. Do not that this is a very situational item on Arc Warden because his AGI gain is a pathetic 1.8.

Linken's Sphere

Linken's can be used to put Spell Block on the original or an ally. The CD/duration of the Spell Block is 17s, so it can be used up to twice during the Double's 20s duration.

Dust of Appearance| Drum of Endurance

The Double can use the reveal of Dust, the active of Drum, or Diffusal's purge for free, which is effectively worth 90, 185, or 106 gold, respectively.

Black King Bar

The Double can use BKB for free as well. Magic immunity+100% evasion from Magnetic Field=near invulnerability.

Divine Rapier

The double cannot drop items, and that includes Rapiers.

Boot Choice

In my view, the most effective boot choice on Zet is Boots of Travels. You want to be either farming, pushing, or ganking (depending on your build)and Travels let you do that more than any other boots. This is particularly true since the Double is basically a disposable hero which you can send to dangerous areas for benefit at no real risk. See a creep wave no one on your team is farming? Send a Double. See that your creeps are getting close to an enemy tower? Send a Double. You also run out of item slots very quickly, so the slot efficiency of Travels is important.

The other major thing you can do with travels is keep lanes pushed out and pressure enemy towers easily. This puts the enemy on the backfoot and makes their movements obvious (no one defending that t2 tower? They are probably ganking or doing Rosh.) Zet can be played as a super-hard carry of sorts, so delaying the game is advantageous.

The only other boots that are worth it are Arcane Boots because you can use them to restore 270 mana to your allies (net 235 to you) which has a huge effect if your team decides to group early.

Laning Guide

[Coming soon]

Allies and Enemies

[Coming soon]

Item Decision Factors

[coming soon]

Build: Necronomicon+Maelstrom/Mjollnir

Overview



-Strong push
-Great farming ramp
-Good tower damage
-Good fighting
-Good ganking, depends heavily on Flux

Description



Necronomicon+Arc Warden is arguably the most OTP item-hero combinations in the game. Two sets of Necro IIIs is extremely difficult to fight, particularly considering how early he can get the item. Unfortunately, the item got heavily nerfed after the relatively recent buff, making the item choice slightly less viable.

Maelstrom is also a very strong item on Zet, which is appropriate considering his them. A single Zet can farm and clear creeps quickly with it, two of them are AoE monsters. Since the lightning can bounce to units in fog it can cancel the Blink Daggers of enemy initiators.

Execution



Step 1: Push to tower.
Step 2: Destroy tower.

Oversimplified a bit? Yes. Accurate? Still yes. It is very difficult to stop this push if you can get your item timings right. Engaging through multiple sets of Necro III's and a lightning storm is not something that most lineups can do before they have multiple core items. However, don't commit everything to one tower if you don't need to since you can use unspent resources on the next tower. If you have a Mjollnir, put the Static Charge on either a Necro summon or one of your frontline heroes. Its unwise for your opponents to use AoE waveclear if they are going to have to eat multiple additional lightning procs and Last Will damage.

In terms of ganking potential, the build has good damage output but can be walked away from, particularly since the Necro MS nerfs. Fortunately, you love it when people walk away since it exposes them to Flux.

Tips



DON'T FEED THE NECROBOOK SUMMONS. They are worth a huge amount of money and exp.

DON'T FEED THE NECROBOOK SUMMONS. It bears saying twice.

If you aren't pushing, use the Necrobook to farm jungle camps.

Use Mjollnir Static Chargeon the front melee creep to push a wave faster or after the Double times out. Static Charge has no effect on a unit already affected by it.

Build: Manta+Radiance

Overview



-Excels at farming EVERYWHERE: You'll be chewing through multiple lanes and both jungles.
-Strong push (with OK speed)
-Good tower damage
-Good anti-push if you cut waves
-Moderate farming ramp
-Weak fighting
-Weak ganking
-Difficult execution

Description



The main limitation of doubles is their duration of 20 seconds. This build extends their utility primarily through the use of Manta Style which, if used at the end of the duration, extends their uptime for a further 20s. Radiance is included to make the most of the illusions, since it makes them much stronger at pushing and farming. Necronomicon can be added later to increase farming and pushing speed and effectiveness, but is usually overshadowed by other items at that point.

Execution



For the Double, use BoTs to get to the front and spam Spark Wraith to farm the creeps and push the wave. Use Manta Style either to intercept creeps behind the tower (if you are pressuring) or at the end of the Double duration (if you are farming). If you have Radiance, use the burn to farm by keeping one illusion with the creepwave and sending the other one to the jungle. The latter will need to kite and attack creeps since just the burn won't be enough to kill many camps. If you have Necrobook, use them to either attack the tower (if pressuring) or farm the jungle; the warriors are not needed to farm the wave because of the radiance illusions.

For the Hero, you can use pre-Rad illusions to help you DPS better or stack camps. After Rad, use one to push the wave and another to farm a camp. Once you have Necrobook, use it primarily to farm the jungle with until you decide to pressure towers. The radiance illusions are sufficient to farm the creepwave.

Tips



Plays very similarly to a Meracle Naga, and is in fact inspired by his build.

Just Radiance doesn't increase your farm speed much. Get Manta before it since it gives you valuable stats, MS, and utility.

Don't tank with your illusions since they will be very squishy. Keep them behind the melee creeps in lane and kite the creeps in the jungle.

Build: AC+Deso+Divinex3 (+Refresher)

Overview



-Almost a guaranteed win
-Incredible at taking towers even through BD protection
-Very difficult for opponents to deal with
-Easy execution
-Okay fighting
-Poor ganking
-Bad pushing
-Bad farming

Description



This is the best build for anti-tower DPS (yes I did the math). It can take a full health T3 tower in 6 hits and attacks slightly less than twice a second. This build will heavily pressure or take objectives quickly, but will not farm well and is very expensive so you have to transition into it from another build. Rapier is the best damage/slot item in the game and will not drop from a Double. Deso and AC multiply your damage through -armor and AS. Travels lets the Double get to the front quickly.

Execution



Keep the Rapiers in your stash. When you want to send out the Double, return to base, switch in the Rapiers, ult, and teleport the double to the lane. Once its there, you can basically just attack move it at the enemy base. When the Double reaches the objective, drop Field and attack it. If you have a Refresher, switch it in, refresh, then switch it back out.

This build can take out objectives through backdoor protection easily, forcing the enemy to keep cores in their base constantly or risk getting losing buildings before they can TP respond. You need a creep to BoTs the Double to, which can come from a number of sources, but Visage familiars are arguably the best. If you have the items and transportation, this is basically an auto-win.

Tips



Do not build into this first. It doesn't do much other than take objectives and takes a lot of farm to get to.

In order to get the creepwave close enough to the objective, push it with necro units and/or illusions. Then TP back home, switch in the appropriate items, and send the double to the lane.

If an enemy tries to stop the push, remember that your double does over 1k damage and inflicts -12 armor. Kill them and move on.

Build: Maelstrom+MoM+BKB

Overview



-Great fighting
-Good Pushing
-Good farming ramp
-Mediocre tower damage
-Mediocre gank

Description



This build takes advantage of the fact that (a) Tempest Doubles can use BKB, and (b) BKB+Magnetic Field=Invulnerability (almost). Maelstrom and Madness are a great item combo for DPS and farming, while BKB+Magnetic Field mean that the 30% damage amp from Berserk is irrelevant.

Execution



Unless you have a good front line or defensive supports, you will want to avoid fights until you have BKB. Your STR is decent but your Armor is terrible and while Magnetic Field is a good protective spell its not usually enough protection.

You are fairly immobile when relying on Magnetic Field, so you should wait until your team has deployed CC before committing so you can actually DPS. Beyond that, just active BKB, MoM, chain your Magnetic Fields, and throw lightning at people.

If you are using a Double to split push pop MoM within the first 8 seconds to improve its DPS and use BKB when its threatened, you want it to DPS reliably, or the remaining duration is equal to the duration of BKB.

Tips



Since this build has high AS from Midas, Maelstrom, and MoM its sometimes more effective to go Phase Boots over Travels.

Conserving BKB charges is particularly important since the lower the BKB gets on your hero, the lower it gets on the Double.

Maelstrom isn't quite as worth it with this build, since its oriented around avoiding damage.

Use Flux to maintain DPS or to kite when Magnetic Field is down.

Build: Dagon+EBlade (+Orchid, Veil)

Overview



-Great gank
-Mediocre fight
-Terrible farm
-Terrible push

Description



This build runs up to people and nukes the hell out of them. Not a lot to say, other than that a perfectly executed Dagon-Eblade-Orchid Zet can do nearly 4500 damage after reductions.

Execution



Go Dagon first because it will do a lot more damage than Ethereal Blade. Before EBlade, Dagonx2 and drop your nukes. After Eblade, Eblade(1)-Flux-Spark Wraithx2-Dagonx2-Eblade(2)-Flux(2). Try to stack the Eblades as little as possible since the second one can amplify the damage of the spark . After Eblade+Orchid, Orchidx2-Eblade(1)-Flux-Spark Wraithx2-Dagonx2-Eblade(2)-Flux(2).

Tips



Try to cast the Spark Wraiths close to where the enemy will be so they are more likely to hit before the Ethereal and Soul Burn wear off. You can also cast them first if you are quick on the animation cancel.

You may need a Blink Dagger or Force Staff to get in position, but you should be able to get away without it since the ranges are quite long.

Once you've spent your combo, RUN. You have nothing left in the tank.

Build: Utility (Scythe, Eul's, Abyssal, Force Staff, Orchid, Linken's)

Overview



-Good fight
-Mediocre gank
-Terrible farm
-Terrible push

Description



Doubling up on utility items can be quite effective, although very situational. In those cases, you are either incorporating utility into a build or focusing on it. Double Force Staff and Linken's Sphere are super strong defensiely, while double hex, silence, cyclone, and stun are very strong offensively. Abyssal Blade is a bit odd on Zet since, while the proc chance and active range are low having two of a BKB piercing reliable stun and effectively ~20% to proc a stun is still really strong. The +100 damagex2 is nothing to sneeze at either.

Execution



Stay away from the front line, particularly if you are going full utility. You are very valuable for your skills and items, not your right-clicks.

Tips



Even if you plan to go full utility, its worth it to get a farming item on top of Midas (eg. Maelstrom) since otherwise you might not get the items up in time.

Utility builds get a bit ridiculous if you farm up a Refresher Orb.

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