Starting Items (Easy Lane)
Bought to compensate for Anti-Mage
’s lack of armor in the earlygame since it greatly increases his survivability in the laning phase against creep attacks and enemy harass. Although you might have an easy time in lane, I still advise buying Stout Shield
since it will help later on when you start jungling with your Battle Fury
Provides bonus damage against creeps to aid in last-hitting during the laning phase. However, even if you’re confident in your last-hitting skills, you should still get Quelling Blade
since it will help you a lot later once you start jungling. It’s also worth noting that Quelling Blade
is a necessary item if you plan on building Battle Fury
, so don’t bother skipping this item unless you desperately need other items first, which isn’t the case if you’re having an easy time in lane.
You may have an easy laning phase but, disasters can still happen wherein you end up taking heavy damage. In these scenarios, Tango
s are there to heal back your HP and allow you to last-hit without fear of dying horribly. However, if you truly believe that you will not be taking much harass damage, then you can skip this item for a small gold advantage (which matters for a greedy hero like Anti-Mage
Bought purely to spend all of your starting gold. It’s the most cost-efficient item in the game so I usually don’t bother skipping this unless I’m 100% sure that I am well-protected during the laning phase by defensive supports (preferably with heals) such as Warlock
and Winter Wyvern
. By the way, don’t forget that you can eat your Iron Branch
es with Tango
s for doubled effectiveness.
Starting Items (Hard Lane)
Bought at the start to later be assembled into a Poor Man’s Shield which allows Anti-Mage
to perform decently in the laning phase despite being constantly bullied by enemies. These also provide some agility to aid in last-hitting. Hopefully, that slight increase is significant enough to give you an edge in the last-hitting/denying game because Anti-Mage
really NEEDS that gold!
While other players prefer buying two sets of Tango
s if they expect a hard lane, I myself just get one set and then a Healing Salve
. This is because there are a lot of cases wherein Healing Salve
’s rapid health regeneration would save you from death rather than just Tango
’s gradual health regeneration. However, this is just my personal opinion and many people have different playstyles. So, just decide for yourself!
is a very weak laner, he will most likely have numerous near-death situations so that’s why you start off with a Healing Salve
. The rapid health regeneration from this item is usually enough to save you from being tragically killed and maybe even swing the fight to your favor. While it does have the disadvantage of being instantly dispelled when attacked by enemy players, I believe it’s still worth getting on Anti-Mage
since he can just disengage with Blink
and use Healing Salve
Just like in most starting item builds, you get Iron Branch
es to spend all of your starting gold and provide yourself with a slight advantage over your enemies. This is especially important in games where Anti-Mage
won’t have the time of his life in the laning phase and must therefore rely on cheap items to survive in the early game.
Should always be bought when facing against spell-spammers such as Phantom Assassin
. The burst health and mana regeneration it provides is just too good to pass up if you can actually get some charges on the item. Besides, it also provides some nice stats to help Anti-Mage
with his horrible laning phase.
Typically bought if you are not doing well in lane. The damage block and agility it provides is insane in the early game and might just be enough to put Anti-Mage
in a better spot. Oh, and it only costs 500 gold too! By the way, since I added two Slippers of Agility
in the Starting Items (Hard Lane), then you should be able to assemble this item with ease from the side shop.
If you plan on rushing Battle Fury
, then getting this item as soon as possible is generally a good idea. While others prefer getting Broadsword
first, I personally think that's unnecessarily greedy since Quelling Blade
is usually enough for you to secure last-hits. Anyways, Perseverance
provides some decent health and mana regeneration, comparable to 1/2 Tango
and 1/2 Clarity
. It should help quite a lot in the laning phase since it slowly heals back HP that you've lost from creep/enemy harass and also allows you to use Blink
much more often. This is important especially in Anti-Mage
's case since he's melee and will typically take damage whenever he goes for a last-hit.
If you're currently stuck in a losing situation that could be solved by getting more survivability, then Vanguard
is the perfect item for you! It provides decent HP plus the damage-block is really handy when against physical damage dealers that rely on attack speed such as Troll Warlord
and Drow Ranger
. However, note that this item does not provide any farming potential whatsoever aside from the fact that you can jungle indefinitely now. As good as that might sound, it's not really that effective without Battle Fury
relies on those items in order to farm effectively.
While Morbid Mask
's lifesteal does not work with Anti-Mage
's Mana Break
, this rule does not apply to Vladmir's Offering
and is therefore considered a viable item on him. However, you should really only buy this item on Anti-Mage
in games where the team cannot afford to fight without him and must gain an advantage over the enemy team first before Anti-Mage
may farm freely on his own. In short, Vladmir's Offering
is only bought in games where you desperately need to make a comeback. After all, Anti-Mage
is a hard carry that prefers to be left alone while farming up for items so it must mean that he's currently losing if he's forced to fight early.
If you need a cheap item to survive the earlygame/midgame but can afford to be a bit greedy, then Helm of the Dominator
is the perfect item for you! It provides enough health regeneration for you to be able to start jungling even before getting Battle Fury
plus the ability to dominate creeps provides so much utility whether it be in fighting, farming, or even pushing! It's also worth noting that this item provides decent attack speed which synergizes well with Anti-Mage
's Mana Break
. Last but definitely not the least, the dominated creep can even be used to stack jungle camps for you to reap later!
Midgame Boots (Choose one)
While getting this over Power Treads
is such a greedy move, it just might be the right thing to do in games where you can farm non-stop until you snowball out of control due to how much gold and experience advantage you have over your enemies. With that being said, please remember that Boots of Travel
further delays your capability to join in teamfights so only get this item when you're absolutely sure that your team won't be needing you anytime soon. Don't bother buying this in losing situations or suffer the consequences of being a useless farm-all-day carry!
The ideal boots of choice for our Anti-Mage
since it offers little to no risk unlike Boots of Travel
. Buy this whenever you feel like it, although I personally get it just before buying Battle Fury
. It provides decent stats (depending on the attribute it's set on) plus the attack speed works well with Mana Break
. Please remember to use the tread-switching ability since this will further increase your farming efficiency. It might not be a huge difference, but every little thing counts in a game of Dota 2!
Midgame Damage (Choose one)
Is considered as Anti-Mage
's most important item in order to come online and wreck his enemies. Usually, Anti-Mage
players rush this item right from the start of the laning phase in order to farm fast and snowball from there. While this is not a bad strategy, it's just too greedy for this current meta where winning teamfights is important and lane dominance can singlehandedly win games! However, do consider rushing this item if you feel that the enemy team is not aggressive enough to end the game before Anti-Mage
can properly contribute to his team. This is usually around the 30th minute, where most Anti-Mage
players already have enough items in order to be considered a threat to most enemies. Anyways, once you do get Battle Fury
, remember to abuse its farming potential by constantly pushing creep waves and clearing out jungle camps whenever possible. By doing this, you maximize Anti-Mage
's gold and experience gain. If you manage to keep this up for at least 5-10 minutes, I'm sure that you'll be six-slotted in no time!
While unpopular to most Anti-Mage
players, I believe it's time for me to show this item the attention it truly deserves! Let me explain... First of all, Maelstrom
is much cheaper than Battle Fury
! This is important especially in the current meta where being ahead of your enemies early on is crucial to achieving victory. Anyways, not only that, but Maelstrom
actually scales much better into the lategame compared to Battle Fury
since it can be upgraded into Mjollnir
which emphasizes more on increased attack speed rather than increased damage. Like I said before, Anti-Mage
prefers attack speed items over damage due to how Mana Break
works. Now, you might be asking me, "If that's the case, then why should I ever get Battle Fury
?". Well... The problem is that while Maelstrom
provides SOME farming potential, it's definitely not as strong as Battle Fury
when it comes to that. So, you should really only be buying Maelstrom
in games where you're quite sure that you won't be getting much farming time and must focus more on early teamfights and taking objectives.
Midgame Protection (Choose one or none)
If you're going for both split-pushing AND teamfighting at the same time as Anti-Mage
, then Aghanim's Scepter
is your protection of choice. The ability to reflect spells helps quite a lot in ruining enemy ganks when you're splitpushing while also being a considerably powerful asset in teamfights. However, unlike Black King Bar
, it doesn't provide any protection while on cooldown so enemies can abuse this and just focus you down as a team.
If you're going for a mostly teamfight-based Anti-Mage
, then you will typically buy Black King Bar
. While Anti-Mage
has incredibly high magic resistance due to Spell Shield, it doesn't actually help at all when it comes to abilities that are designed to disable/incapacitate targets rather than nuke them down such as Nightmare
, Fiend's Grip
, and Echo Stomp
. However, you can afford to skip this item if enemies don't have any threatening disables or if the confusion caused by Manta Style
is enough as a sort of pseudo-protection. Just remember, it's better to be safe than sorry!
If you're going for a mostly split-push based Anti-Mage
, then Linken's Sphere
is your best choice of protection. This is because it automatically blocks spells used against you whether or not you're aware about it unlike Black King Bar
which requires activation from the player himself before receiving the spell-immunity. In the case of split-pushing, this is especially important since you will most likely be unaware whenever enemies come to gank you. And since you're alone, you will most likely die or at least take heavy damage before even activating Black King Bar
! If you buy Linken's Sphere
instead in these games, ganking you will actually be quite hard since they have to use two targeted disables first before they can actually catch you. However, remember that Linken's Sphere
does not provide ANY protection against non-targeted spells so watch out for heroes like Earthshaker
or Earth Spirit
. Anyways, just be cautious whenever you split-push since one wrong move can lead to your death.
Pretty much considered a core item on Anti-Mage
in the lategame due to how well he can use it. Since Anti-Mage
has no innate lockdown abilities, he must rely on disables from other allies to deal maximum damage in teamfights. With Abyssal Blade
, you don't have to rely on your teammates anymore since Anti-Mage
would have enough attack speed at this point to consistently bash his enemies. Not only that, he can also use the active ability in case he gets fairly unlucky with the bash procs or to prevent the enemy from casting their most important spells such as Enigma
with his Black Hole
If you need more power to outcarry a physical damage-dealer in a teamfight, then Assault Cuirass
should do the trick! It greatly increases the armor of Anti-Mage
and his nearby allies while decreasing the armor of nearby enemies at the same time. By the way, it's worth noting that the armor decreasing aura also works on buildings so this item would help quite a lot if you're going for a split-pushing playstyle. Moving on, this item also provides high attack speed which synergizes very well with Anti-Mage
's Mna Break! However, note that Assault Cuirass
does not provide any HP and will rarely be worth getting over Heart of Tarrasque
just because of how good that item is on Anti-Mage
. Anyways, just get Assault Cuirass
over Heart of Tarrasque
in games where armor is a bigger problem than HP and you might end up losing countless teamfights without its help!
Another item that is considered core on Anti-Mage
in the lategame due to how well it synergizes with him. The insane amount of agility and attack speed it provides allows Anti-Mage
to quickly take down squishy targets through a Blink
and stun from Abyssal Blade
, usually before they can even react! Not only that, the evasion it provides can greatly help with manfighting enemy carries if they didn't purchase Monkey King Bar
beforehand. Anyways, just remember that Butterfly
is quite expensive and has a pretty bad buildup, so rushing this over Abyssal Blade
or Manta Style
is never a good idea.
with tons of HP to work with so that he doesn't just die instantly when focused down by the enemy team. This means that he gets to Blink
out and retreat to safety whenever he feels like it. This also means that the massive health regeneration from Heart of Tarrasque
will kick in and allow him to re-engage in teamfights. By doing this repeatedly, Anti-Mage
is able to outlast most enemies in teamfights with only a few exceptions. As a rule of thumb, think of Heart of Tarrasque
as a way to transform Anti-Mage
into a sort-of Slark
, who usually relies on engaging and disengaging fights to be effective. Personally, I buy Heart of Tarrasque
so that my Anti-Mage
has that perfect balance of both survivability and damage.
The item that marks the point where Anti-Mage
can truly join teamfights. You will usually be getting this item immediately after your Battle Fury
so that your team can stop fighting at a huge disadvantage (4 versus 5). The added agility, movement speed, and ability to create illusions that fully benefit from Mana Break
is just too good to pass up so I don't recommend skipping Manta Style
unless you're up against enemies that can easily clear out the illusions such as Sven
, and Magnus
. Heck, even in those games I still get Manta Style
more often than not since I can just choose to focus killing someone else in teamfights and avoid summoning illusions near said heroes.
Assuming that you bought Maelstrom
instead of Battle Fury
Behold! Divine Rapier, the Harbinger of Hope and Destroyer of Dreams! Anyways, get this item on Anti-Mage
if a huge comeback is needed in order to win the game. This is usually in the case of mega creeps, where all odds are stacked against your team and the only way to have a chance at winning is to take huge risks. Besides, it shortens the game by quite a lot since it forces players to teamfight whenever possible to see how impactful the Divine Rapier
is and you pretty much just lose the game instantly as soon as you drop it. However, please avoid buying Divine Rapier
in games where you're just feeling cocky. Remember that Anti-Mage
is a very squishy hero so it's very likely that he will die when focused down by the entire enemy team no matter how fat he may be. However, a viable strategy that you can apply is to buy Divine Rapier
to force your allies to stick by your side and follow your orders. While this strategy is considered insane by most people, it actually works quite well in games where the team just isn't cooperative enough!