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[ARCHIVED] LordVesper's Personal Guide to Core Sven [7.06f]

November 1, 2017 by LordVesper
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The Recipe to a Core Sven's Success

DotA2 Hero: Sven

Purchase Order

The Nothing-Went-Wrong Item Progression

Starting Items (Agressive Dual/Trilane)

Starting Items (Defensive/Passive)

Earlygame Choices

Midgame Boots (Choose one)

Midgame Damage (Choose one)

Midgame Mobility(Choose one)

Hate being kited in teamfights? (Choose one)

Extension/Situational Items

Six-Slotted (Ideal)

Hero Skills

Storm Hammer

1 11 13 14

Great Cleave

3 4 5 7


2 8 9 10

God's Strength

6 12 18


15 16

Hero Talents

+40 STR God's Strength
+1.25s Storm Hammer Stun Duration
+25% Lifesteal
-6s Storm Hammer Cooldown
+30 Movement Speed
Storm Hammer Dispels Enemies
+2 Mana Regen
+8 Strength


Greetings everyone, I'm Marcus from House Vesper (my YouTube account) and today I'll be presenting you ANOTHER hero guide! This time we will be talking about Sven, a strength melee hero that is also known as the King of Rampages due to God's Strength and Great Cleave easily clearing out entire teams if left uninterrupted. He is fairly straightforward compared to other heroes so beginners may start off by playing him. He is also quite versatile and can fulfill various roles may it be Carry or Support but for this specific guide, I'll be focused on him being played as a Carry. Anyways, without further ado, let's get this guide... STARTED!

This guide is going to be an extremely big wall-of-text. Because of this, I advise starting with whatever you need help with first before trying to read the whole thing.

Tips about Sven's Abilities

Storm Hammer

Serves as Sven's tool for initiation and crowd control. It deals respectable magic damage at high levels and can be used to finish off enemies that are just out of reach. However, you should be using Storm Hammer mainly for its AoE stun. This will help you catch up with enemies that would otherwise be able to escape. It will also allow you to hit the stunned enemies freely and hopefully kill them before they can retaliate. A viable strategy that you can use is to only build damage-increasing items and just rely on a well placed Storm Hammer to kill enemies before they even recover from the stun. This has some obvious downsides, though! By just building damage items, you turn Sven into a glass cannon meaning he deals high damage but dies easily himself.

Great Cleave

Sven's signature ability as it allows him to kill entire teams easily if given the opportunity. It also serves as his farming ability especially while jungling. In fact, this ability alone is the main reason why Sven can be played as a hard carry! It scales well, helps Sven farm for items, and is just a carry-type ability as a whole. As with all other carry-type abilities, Great Cleave is particularly weak in the early game and only grows in power as Sven gains levels and items. I heavily advise against putting skill points into it early on as this will only push the creep wave away from your tower, making it riskier to last-hit and leaving you open to ganks. However, what you can do is to not spend your skill points at all whenever you level up. That way, you can max out Great Cleave as soon as you actually need it. Just make sure to put a point into Storm Hammer and Warcry early on for utility purposes.


Provides Sven and allies around him with tons of extra armor and a bit of movement speed. At max level, this ability has a pretty short cooldown so make sure to keep spamming this whenever possible except when you KNOW a teamfight will be starting very soon. While the 12% movespeed bonus is pretty negligible in most cases, the +20 armor is not and shouldn't be underestimated as it can save you and your allies from what would otherwise be a deadly assault from physical-damage based heroes. In fact, Warcry is the main reason why Sven can be considered a tank! Anyways, just don't forget to activate Warcry in teamfights whenever possible as the bonuses it provides are significant.


Serves as Sven's steroids in teamfights. It provides a huge damage boost while making him more durable at the same time due to the strength bonus. Heck, this ability just further reinforces the fact that Sven can be played as a hard carry! Now, do keep in mind that the damage boost is based on his PRIMARY DAMAGE. This means that a raw-damage increase such as that from Divine Rapier will not be amplified by God's Strength. Anyways, make sure to use this ability wisely as it has a pretty long cooldown and this downtime can be abused by the enemy team if they decide to start a teamfight while God's Strength is inactive. However, don't be afraid to use this when taking out stacked Ancient Jungle Camps early on since the gold and experience gained will be worth it!

Ideal Gameplan


[*] If things are going well for your lane, then start farming up for your midgame damage item whether it be Armlet of Mordiggian, Echo Sabre, or Mask of Madness. Just make sure you don't get these items together since it will be redundant and leaves Sven with some glaring issues such as lack of mobility!

[*] If things didn't go as planned for your lane, then try buying some cheap items first depending on the situation at hand. For example, buy a Magic Wand if you're up against spell-spammers such as Phantom Assassin and Bristleback. You can also try jungling early but this can be pretty hard and may require some extra regeneration or items such as Helm of the Dominator. However, don't forget that you still have to buy your midgame damage item sooner or later so get one as soon as possible.


[*] Don't be afraid to use God's Strength to guarantee a kill on an enemy. Doesn't matter who it is at this point just make sure it's a hero! You can also use God's Strength to clear out stacked camps early on but this can be pretty risky since taking out stacked jungle camps in the earlygame requires some decent efforts and may take up most of your HP and mana.

[*] Remember that Sven doesn't have much mobility at this point so don't bother chasing or trying to kill enemies that have escape abilities such as Puck and Anti-Mage. I can assure you that Sven won't be able to kill these heroes 95% of the time!

[*] Avoid skilling your Great Cleave in lane since this will just ruin the lane equilibrium and push the creep wave to the enemy's side of the map. This means that going for last-hits and denies will be much riskier than it needs to be and may lead to your death.


[*] If things are going smoothly, then that means you have your midgame damage item right now. Since that's the case, go get your mobility item whether it be a Blink Dagger or Shadow Blade. Choose one and use that to initiate on unsuspecting enemies around the map! In teamfights, try to focus on enemies with disabling abilities so that they may not be able to kite you around and render you useless. Remember that Sven truly shines in the midgame and is considered a huge threat by most players at this point. Abuse this power spike by turning teamfights into your favor and taking out objectives afterwards. Try to end the game whenever possible since Sven can be outcarried by some heroes in the lategame. In highground pushes, make sure that you're the one in front and avoid sticking too close to other heroes to prevent getting initiated on and losing the teamfight.

[*] If things are going badly and you don't have all of your necessary items yet, then play safe! Stick with your team whenever you go for ganks and just try your best to get your core items as soon as possible. Once you get the items that you need such as Black King Bar or Blink Dagger, make sure to abuse these items in teamfights to gain an edge over your enemies and hopefully win the teamfight that way! If things are going passively and nobody's really trying to kill each other, then focus on farming up through both jungling and laning. Focus first on pushing creep waves out, then go to the jungle and clear as many camps as possible. Preferably, have someone stack these camps for some extra gold and experience. Ending the game right now is still a priority but make sure to have an advantage over your enemies first before doing so. You can do this by aquiring the Aegis of the Immortal or waiting for your other allies to get their key items such as Desolator on Phantom Assassin or Blink Dagger on Magnus.


[*] Sven is at his strongest at this point so make sure to use this power spike wisely. You will most likely be able to solo-kill most of the enemy team's heroes given the right situation. Find this right situation and use it to your advantage! For example, if you see Anti-Mage clearly trying to rat and split-push, have a disabler ally accompany you and kill this threat. Just make sure you focus on taking out enemy heroes and try to avoid farming unless needed or if there's nothing else to do.

[*] While Sven is tanky compared to some other heroes, he is not invincible and won't be able to endure focused damage from five enemies. Keep this in mind before going in mindlessly and initiating in teamfights! Assuming that you're a core Sven, your team needs you alive and they probably won't be happy if you just died outright halfway into the teamfight.

[*] Use God's Strength wisely since this can make or break a teamfight. Without it, Sven's damage output and durability is much lower. If your enemies see you use God's Strength before the fight even starts, they will most likely just escape and wait it out. This is bad for your team since they will also probably initiate a teamfight immediately after you lose God's Strength and force you to fight at a disadvantageous position.


[*] At this point, you should be looking to end the game as soon as one of the enemy's important core heroes die. Farming is optional but should not be prioritized over looking for openings in the enemy team's defenses. In order to look for this opening, you will need vision from Observer Wards and some Smoke of Deceits too so that your team might be able to catch out an enemy that stepped a bit too far from safe territory. Add in some Sentry Wards too if the enemy team has some heroes that rely on invisibility such as Nyx Assassin and Bounty Hunter. These heroes will most likely play in a more dangerous manner than the others since they would think that invisibility would protect them. Prove them wrong by catching them out as they try to scout your team!


[*] Split-pushing as Sven isn't recommended since he doesn't have high mobility and will most likely get caught by enemy teams that try hard enough. However, if you somehow still have a big advantage over your enemies at this point, then feel free to roam around the map for as long as you have vision on at least two or three of their heroes!

[*] Sven will fall off quite a bit at this point and he may end up outcarried by some heroes. However, one must never underestimate Sven's lategame potential since he still deals huge amounts of damage and is relatively tanky compared to other heroes. As a rule to keep in mind, remember that Sven can easily kill most support-oriented heroes such as Lion and Shadow Shaman. Even when it comes to facing against cores, Sven is still a worthy opponent and can hold off his own and possibly outmatch and kill the enemy depending on the hero and game situation.

Laning and Jungling


The best lane for a core Sven especially when paired up with a disabler support such as Crystal Maiden or Lion. The point of this lane is to ensure that Sven can farm up easily and maybe even get a few kills with the help of his supports. A defensive trilane is viable when up against an aggressive offlane but Sven needs levels too so a typical dual lane would fit him better.


If Sven cannot go to the safelane for whatever reason, then the midlane is your next choice. However, I must warn you that Sven is not a strong midlaner and will most likely lose to traditional mid heroes like Puck, Tinker, and Storm Spirit. Your best bet for farming up in the midlane is to just play safe and last-hit creeps whenever possible. Since Sven will most likely take harass whenever he goes for a last hit, buying some extra regeneration like Tangoes and Healing Salves is recommended so that you don’t have to go back to base.


Can be good or bad for Sven depending on the game’s situation. Since Sven is fairly durable due to Warcry and can escape with a well-placed Storm Hammer, he can tolerate moderate amounts of harass and farm up somewhat safely. However, more often than not, Sven just ends up being zoned out by the opposing lane support. So, unless you’re confident that you won't be zoned out and end up losing farm, choose another lane instead.


Due to Sven’s Great Cleave, he is considered one of the fastest junglers in Dota 2 (only to be contested by an Anti-Mage with Battle Fury) especially if the jungle camps he is farming are stacked. However, please note that lane creeps should still be prioritized over jungle camps unless enemies are missing or you're at risk of dying. If possible, kindly ask your support to stack jungle camps for you or have your dominated creep from Helm of the Dominator do it if you ever decide to get this item yourself (stack the Ancient Jungle Camps preferably).

When To Pick

[*] The enemy team has no way to control you in teamfights, meaning they lack in terms of crowd-control abilities.

[*] The enemy team is composed of physical-damage dealers such as Phantom Assassin and Troll Warlord. This makes your Warcry extremely effective in teamfights as it reduces their damage output significantly.

[*] The enemy team is capable of summoning multiple units/illusions such as Phantom Lancer and Meepo. His Great Cleave will simply cut down through these many units!

[*] Your team needs a frontliner and carry at the same time. Sven fulfills both of these roles quite well due to his high durability and damage. In these games, make sure to go for Echo Sabre since Mask of Madness is only bought in games where Sven is the primary damage-dealer, which typically isn't the case if your team needs a frontliner.

[*] Your team can take advantage of your high damage and Great Cleave. Special mention to Magnus who amplifies your base damage AND can initiate on the enemy team quite effectively. If Magnus ever catches all of the enemies at once with Reverse Polarity, then it's pretty much a guaranteed teamwipe assuming that Sven is there to cleave them down before they even wake up!

[*] The enemy team has respectable crowd-control such as Earthshaker and Shadow Shaman. These heroes will just simply disable you in teamfights and prevent you from being useful. Black King Bar counters most of these disabling abilities but only for its duration so you better have killed these heroes by the time it's over.

[*] The enemy team has many ways to escape from you. Remember that Sven is unable to catch up with most heroes even with the help of a mobility item such as Blink Dagger. In these unfortunate scenarios, the enemies with great escape abilities such as Slark and Weaver can simply kite you around until you die trying to even get a hit on them.

[*] You are up against Bane... This is because Bane's Nightmare can pretty much just delete you from the teamfight. Even if you decide to use Black King Bar, Bane can just cast Enfeeble and Fiend's Grip on you since these abilities pierce through spell immunity. Heck, one can even argue that Bane is Sven's biggest counter in all of Dota 2!

[*] Your team has too many lategame-oriented heroes such as Spectre and Medusa. Picking Sven in these games will only do more harm than good since you'll all be fighting for the limited resources around the map. Not only that, it also means that your earlygame teamfights will most likely be on the enemy team's favor.

[*] Your team lacks proper support heroes such as Crystal Maiden and Lion. Be a man and sacrifice for the team for the sake of MMR! Or don't... If winning isn't a priority for you. Just be prepared to get flamed at by teammates for last-picking Sven in a four-carry lineup!

The Pros & Cons of Playing Sven

[*] Your chances of getting a rampage in a game with Sven is much higher than usual due to the nature of Great Cleave.

[*] Playing Sven is quite easy compared to other heroes so beginners shouldn't have much trouble starting off Dota 2 with him. Although, be aware that there are STILL some complex mechanics behind playing Sven such as farming efficiency, cleaving attacks properly, and many more. My point is, just because you picked Sven doesn't mean that you have nothing to learn!

[*] Sven is naturally durable so playing safe with good positioning in teamfights isn't that necessary. However, this doesn't apply if you went for the Mask of Madness build!

[*] Amassing gold and experience with Sven is very easy compared to other heroes due to his Great Cleave. This means that a good Sven will get his core items at a much faster rate than other heroes with no farming abilities such as Lifestealer and Spectre.

[*] Personally, I think Sven looks so badass and I feel awesome just by simply playing him! Oh, and it also helps that I can kill tons of heroes with just a few hits!

[*] Unlike heroes like Anti-Mage and Weaver, Sven is painfully slow in terms of movement speed so make sure that every step counts! You can't afford to waste time travelling around the map for nothing! While this applies to all heroes, this is just especially true on Sven.

[*] Because of Sven's deadly skill set, you will most likely be the top priority target in teamfights so expect to receive all sorts of damage and disables! Just know that enemies have a good reason to focus you down in teamfights. A Sven that is left uninterrupted can easily kill everybody especially if they're all bunched up in one area.

[*] While Sven is great lategame, he will not be able to match-up with true hard carries such as Spectre and Medusa. With this knowledge in mind, try to end the game as soon as it's possible (and safe). This will most likely happen in the midgame where Sven truly shines the most!

[*] Sven is quite easy to bully and kite around with positional abilities from heroes such as Earth Spirit and Keeper of the Light. Keep this in mind when picking Sven against them!

[*] A successful core Sven will demand for most of the team's available gold and experience. Make sure that nobody else in your team will contest this farm or else you'll both have problems!

[*] God's Strength has a pretty long cooldown and it may cost you the game if activated at the wrong time!

Item Explanations

Starting Items (Aggressive Dual/Trilane)

Enchanted Mango

Bought when paired with aggressive support/s. In the early game, Storm Hammer takes up most of Sven’s mana pool per cast so extra mana is needed if you wish to cast another one. This is when you consume the Enchanted Mango! Oh, and it provides minor health regeneration too which is appreciated.


Standard regeneration in lane for Sven. As a melee hero, you will most likely be taking some harass damage from both creeps and heroes. Tangoes are there to heal the damage taken and allow you to stay in lane longer. Remember, having the courier send you regeneration items in lane is better than going back to base yourself to heal up so don't be afraid to buy some more if needed!

Stout Shield

Greatly reduces harass from both creeps and heroes which you will be getting a lot from aggressively trading hits with enemy heroes. This is rarely upgraded into anything else so just sell it once you start having item slot issues!

Quelling Blade

Grants bonus damage to Sven against creeps. Since Sven will most likely just farm up in the early game if he isn’t going in on enemy heroes, Quelling Blade is bought to ensure that you get all of the last hits and possibly jungle for a bit if viable or needed. Just like Stout Shield, sell it whenever you need more item slots.

Starting Items (Defensive/Passive)

Quelling Blade

Bought for the same reason as in an aggressive dual/trilane except this time you gain even more value from Quelling Blade since you will purely just focus on last-hitting creeps and won’t bother trading hits with the enemy unless it’s possible to get a kill.

Stout Shield

Bought to sustain yourself in lane against constant harass from enemy heroes. Since you won't be drawing creep aggro too much, Stout Shield is somewhat less useful but I buy it anyways for safety measures! You don't wanna end up losing half of your HP to Troll Warlord just because you forgot to buy a Stout Shield now do you?


Sustaining yourself is even more crucial when playing defensively since you want to gain the most gold and experience possible in lane. Don’t forget to eat the Iron Branches too when you feel that the doubled regeneration is necessary.

Iron Branch X2

Bought to spend all of your starting gold. It provides some minor stats, and can be eaten with your Tangoes for doubled effectiveness. That’s all there is to say about the most cost-efficient stat item in the game!

Earlygame Choices

Magic Wand

Bought as a form of regeneration against spell-spamming heroes such as Zeus, Phantom Assassin, and Batrider. It also provides some cheap stats which can greatly help in the laning phase and in early teamfights. If you know that you will be getting a Magic Wand before the laning phase even begins, then make sure to have a Circlet and two Iron Branches as your starting items. That way, you only have to buy a Magic Stick from the side shop in order to complete the Magic Wand!

Iron Talon

Allows for some early jungle rotations with the help of Great Cleave. However, this should only be bought in dire situations wherein Sven can't farm up in lane and must resort to jungling in order to get some much needed gold and experience! If you plan on getting Iron Talon, make sure to get Helm of the Dominator too to sustain yourself in the jungle and increase your farming speed by quite a bit.

Orb of Venom

Can be bought if you plan on being fully aggressive against the opposing laner/s. However, since Sven is melee, he will not benefit much from this item unless the opposing laner is melee. As a rule of thumb, I only buy Orb of Venom in games where I'm up against hard carries that are weak in lane such as Spectre and Anti-Mage. By doing this, I can assure lane dominance and prevent them from getting much needed gold.

Ring of Basilius

Should be bought if you need to play aggressively against your opponents. The aura it provides helps a lot with early pushes plus the flat mana regeneration allows Sven to use Storm Hammer much more often than usual. Personally, I always buy Ring of Basilius in games wherein the team has some deadly lategame carries such as Medusa or Sniper. I want to make sure that these heroes don't get the items that they need in order to outcarry me as a Sven.

Soul Ring

Advised in hyper-aggressive games where you need to fight early. In these games, you'll need decent mana regeneration in order to spam Storm Hammer whenever it's off cooldown. Out of all the items listed in the Earlygame Choices, Soul Ring is the only item capable of providing enough mana regeneration. While it does cost some HP to use, the HP loss is negligible on Sven because of his naturally high max HP and regeneration. Can be bought with Ring of Basilius for maximum Storm Hammer usage and excellent early teamfight presence.


Buy this early if you plan on getting Heaven's Halberd or Sange and Yasha later on. It is pretty cost-efficient in terms of strength given plus the Maim passive ability allows Sven to catch up with most enemies trying to escape through normal movement speed. Remember, strength on Sven is more important than on other heroes due to it being amplified by God's Strength!

Medallion of Courage

A great item for early skirmishes/ganks since the armor reduction is equal to that of a Desolator (-7 armor). Since Sven deals mostly physical damage, Medallion of Courage greatly increases his damage output plus the mana regeneration allows for more Storm Hammer usage. While it's better equipped on other heroes, get this item yourself if nobody else does especially if your team has some physical damage-dealers such as Faceless Void and Bristleback.

Helm of the Dominator

While this item has received many changes over the course of Patch 7.00, I can officially declare this item still being worth getting on Sven. The attack speed aura and health regeneration it provides allows Sven to jungle efficiently plus the active ability can be used on many neutral creeps depending on the current situation. If you just plan on farming, I advise getting a Dark Troll Summoner since it greatly increases your damage output in the jungle especially if you use its ability to summon two Skeletons. If you plan on ganking someone, either get a Hellbear Smasher or a Centaur Conqueror due to their valuable slows/stuns. If you need to prepare for a teamfight, get an Alpha Wolf due to the damage aura it provides that will greatly help you and your team. Lastly, if you plan on pushing a lane, try getting yourself a catapult from the enemy creeps and use it to focus down the tower with its Siege damage.

Midgame Boots (Choose one)

Power Treads

The most ideal boots for Sven since he benefits a lot from the added strength and attack speed. Try getting this as soon as you buy your chosen midgame damage item or you can even get it early at the sideshop while in the laning phase if you need help in assuring lane dominance. Make sure to use its active ability of Tread Switching for maximum efficiency. Before casting your spells, switch it into Intelligence. Before healing yourself up with a Healing Salve or any other form of regeneration, switch it into Agility. Lastly, set it to Strength by default since this provides the most damage output on Sven.

Boots of Travel

A greedy pickup on Sven since it provides no stats whatsoever. However, the movement speed increase and ability to teleport at will to any creep or tower cannot be underestimated so I advise buying Boots of Travel in games where you aren't in a rush and can afford to delay the game by quite a bit. It technically increases your farming speed since you can just teleport to any lane that has creep waves to kill plus the movement speed greatly helps in rotating between jungle camps. By the way, please don't rush this item if your team is losing since it doesn't help much in teamfights.

Phase Boots

While Power Treads provides more damage output than Phase Boots, you can get this item if you plan on ganking early since the movement speed advantage greatly helps in surprising enemies and killing them before they can retaliate. Personally, I rarely buy Phase Boots since it does not benefit at all from God's Strength but this is just my personal opinion. Feel free to decide on what you prefer!

Midgame Damage (Choose one)

Echo Sabre

Provides Sven with much needed mana regeneration, strength and the ability to double-strike every five seconds. It solves his “slow attack speed but high damage” issue in the midgame, allowing him to pose a big threat to the enemy if left uninterrupted in teamfights. Personally, I prefer this over Mask of Madness since Echo Sabre has no downsides and actually makes Sven tankier due to the added strength. Unless the enemy team is foolish enough to ignore you in teamfights, then Echo Sabre is just strictly better than Mask of Madness. Although, one thing you could do is buy Mask of Madness first for faster farming speed and just disassemble it later on for your Echo Sabre, depending on the game's situation.

Mask of Madness

Used to be a core item on Sven until the arrival of the glorious Echo Sabre. It provides some lifesteal to indefinitely sustain yourself in the jungle as well as the active ability that greatly increases attack speed in exchange for being silenced and losing some armor. While the silence is negligible since Sven only has to cast a few spells in every teamfight, the reduced armor can be problematic especially since he is typically focused down by enemy teams due to his scary teamfight presence. I personally only buy Mask of Madness over Echo Sabre in games where I need to farm fast AND require more damage. It also works wonders in games where the enemy team’s focus is someone else or if you can take advantage of the fact that they will prioritize you. Nothing’s better than the feeling of baiting five enemies straight into a Reverse Polarity from your allied Magnus!

Armlet of Mordiggian

Greatly increases Sven's damage output especially while activated. Note that the strength increase from its ability is amplified by God's Strength, granting even more bonus damage and allowing Sven to fight face-to-face against most heroes. Also note that the gradual HP decrease when activated is negligible since Sven has naturally high HP and health regeneration. However, these are the only benefits that Armlet of Mordiggian provides and still leaves Sven with problematic issues such as lack of mana regeneration, mobility, and susceptibility to being kited around by disablers. In my opinion, get Armlet of Mordiggian only if your team's damage output is lacking or if you need to kill a specific enemy as quickly as possible in teamfights.

Midgame Mobility (Choose one)

Blink Dagger

The most ideal mobility item on Sven. Not only does it allow you to close the distance between your enemies, it also allows you to choose from which direction you want to cleave your attacks. Compared to Shadow Blade, Blink Dagger provides better mobility for him and is just better in general even when we take into account the attack speed and damage provided by Shadow Blade. However, Blink Dagger can be made useless by damage-over-time abilities/items such as Venomous Gale from Venomancer or Radiance. So keep that in mind before buying!

Shadow Blade

The alternative mobility item to Blink Dagger in the rare cases where you aren’t able to benefit fully from Blink Dagger for whatever reason. Usually, it’s because the enemy team has damage-over-time spells like Shadow Strike. However, you might also buy Shadow Blade for breaking passive abilities later on once upgraded into Silver Edge. Special mention to Spectre who not only disables your Blink Dagger with Haunt, but also has some strong passive abilities worth breaking which are Desolate and Dispersion. Note that Shadow Blade is countered by detection so watch out for that!

Hate being kited in teamfights? (Choose one)

Black King Bar

Almost a necessity for Sven since he wants to cleave the enemy team without being interrupted or kited around. The spell immunity protects him from most disables and slows that not only damage him, but also reduce his damage output in teamfights because he can’t act for a short period of time. Since Sven is melee, slow, and doesn’t have strong chasing abilities, it is quite common for him to end up not contributing enough in teamfights since he never got to attack freely without being disabled or kited with slows. That’s why Black King Bar is important on him! Think of it this way.. While the stats that Black King Bar provides are garbage, the damage potential and survivability is actually increased by a whole lot while the item is active.

Sange and Yasha

An alternative to Black King Bar in games where the enemy team doesn’t have much disables and slows meaning they are unable to kite you effectively. In these rare cases, I buy Sange and Yasha to ensure that they can’t stop me at all without considerable effort and to increase my manfighting potential due to the Maim and all-around nice stats it provides. However, the item’s effectiveness varies greatly depending on the match-up so it will always be safer to go for Black King Bar anyways just to be safe.

Extension/Situational Items

Abyssal Blade

Can be bought in the lategame if your team lacks in terms of lockdown. The Vanguard component of this item works somewhat well with Sven due to his naturally high durability. The Skull Basher component also works well in the lategame since Sven already has high attack speed at that point. However, buying Abyssal Blade means you turn Sven into more of a tank rather than a damage-dealer. While this isn't bad, there are other heroes much better suited for this task so avoid buying Abyssal Blade unless desperately needed.

Assault Cuirass

I personally think that this is one of the best lategame items on Sven since it works perfectly with his specialties. The attack speed compliments Sven's high attack damage from God's Strength while the armor bonus synergizes well with his naturally high HP especially when combined with Warcry. However, please do remember that Assault Cuirass' attack speed bonus makes Echo Sabre's double-strike ability pretty redundant so feel free to sell that item without any regrets!


An alternative to Daedalus if your team doesn't have enough silences against heroes that rely on their abilities such as Puck and Anti-Mage. It also works in the rare cases where your team's damage as a whole is more important than just your own damage. However, as powerful as its active ability may be, a basic Dispel such as Press the Attack or Black King Bar will easily remove Bloodthorn's effects. As a rule of thumb, focus on using Bloodthorn on enemies that have no available dispels or are capable of saving their afflicted teammates such as Omniknight and Oracle. Afterwards, then you can focus on the must-silence targets since they have probably used all of their dispels at that point. This is assuming that your enemies are smart enough to buy dispel items such as Eul's Scepter of Divinity or Black King Bar. If they were foolish enough to skip these, then feel free to abuse Bloodthorn on them! Show them no mercy!

Blade Mail

Bought in games where the enemy team is mostly composed of glass cannons like Sniper and Phantom Assassin. These heroes deal high damage but have little to no survivability, making Blade Mail a serious threat to them as they can easily kill themselves with it activated. It's also worth noting that Sven has high durability, meaning he will usually benefit from Blade Mail for its entire duration without dying.


A solid lategame item for Sven since it greatly increases his damage output. Once bought, it is common for him to kill off entire teams with just a few swings from the right angle especially since critical strikes work perfectly well with Great Cleave. It's also a good item on Sven since he relies on killing enemies as fast as possible while God's Strength is still active! Compared to other items, Daedalus provides the most damage output in the lategame when bought in combination with Sven's other items. So, unless other items are DESPERATELY needed, go get a Daedalus to wreck your enemies!

Heaven's Halberd

Extremely powerful in the right circumstances. Since the disarming active ability has a shorter cooldown and can no longer be dispelled by spell-immunity, it is now a viable pickup on Sven especially if the opposing carry is ranged like Shadow Fiend and Templar Assassin since the Disarm lasts for 5 seconds on ranged heroes compared to the normal 3.5 seconds. Buy this item if your team's having trouble with a specific right-click carry! Oh, and the evasion synergizes well with Sven too due to his high HP allowing him to be even more durable.

Linken's Sphere

Provides Sven with some much needed protection against deadly targeted spells such as Doom and Duel. Buy this item whenever necessary since the spell-block will help greatly in teamfights if bought in the right situation. However, you should be considering Linken's Sphere as more of an optional item rather than a default must-build item since most of the stats it provides are rather underwhelming on Sven. The mana regeneration it provides is overkill on Sven, the health regeneration is pretty meaningless in teamfights, and the added stats are not even that much compared to other lategame items.

Monkey King Bar

While sub-optimal on Sven since it only provides raw damage, there are some games where it's necessary to get one. These games involve enemies with significant evasion such as Phantom Assassin's Blur and Tinker's Laser. However, if the evasion doesn't seem to bother you that much, then don't bother buying this item. The raw damage it provides doesn't work with God's Strength and in most cases, Sven does not have any issues when it comes to dealing damage. Lastly, it's worth noting that Great Cleave is not affected by any sources of evasion so you can actually try hitting evasive enemies through your cleave rather than through your direct attacks.

Moon Shard

An ultra-lategame item for Sven in prolonged games. Since Sven typically farms fast, it is not rare for him to have enough money for a Moon Shard as a 7th slot. This is done by consuming the Moon Shard, essentially taking up no item slots in exchange for reduced effectiveness. In the lategame, this is especially useful since all of your item slots are important at that point and you can't really afford to hold more items than the ones that you currently have. Now, while Moon Shard is worth buying in the lategame, please avoid buying it until you're actually out of item slots since it isn't cost-efficient and literally only provides attack speed and some extra night vision.


Another perfect lategame item for Sven since he can really benefit from the lifesteal. Upon activation, Sven can easily heal back all of his health with just a few hits even when used while at critically low HP. Combined with God's Strength and Black King Bar, Satanic is basically a free Aegis of the Immortal. However, make sure to use the active ability wisely as it can make or break a teamfight. Lastly, note that you can build Satanic easier if you bought Mask of Madness earlier since you can just disassemble that to use the Morbid Mask.

Silver Edge

Serves as an upgrade to Shadow Blade that is typically bought in the lategame or rushed in the midgame if passive abilities pose too much of a problem to your team. While its cost has been significantly increased over the course of a few patches, Silver Edge should still be bought no matter what against heroes with strong passives such as Bristleback and Spectre. It also serves as a mobility/initiation item assuming that the enemy team has no form of detection such as Sentry Wards or even a Gem of True Sight.

Solar Crest

Should be bought if you got a Medallion of Courage in the earlygame. It provides some solid evasion for Sven plus its active ability greatly increases his damage output due to the decrease in armor for enemies. It also works well against enemies with any sort of evasion since it grants some Accuracy (chance to bypass a unit's evasion). However, while Solar Crest is very cheap for what it does, it does not match against most lategame items such as Daedalus and Assault Cuirass so sell it when necessary.

Check these links for specific info on Sven (that I didn't add to the guide)


Knowledge is truly power in the strategic world of Dota 2! Know your enemies, allies, items and literally everything relevant about Sven if you wish to play him well.


Just some general statistics on Sven players worldwide that might help you out!


If you really want to get into the most specific of details such as cast range, cast time, animation and stuff like that (which you should), then check out this link below!


8/15/17: Started working on the guide! I should be able to finish it once my exams are done.
8/17/17: Funny thing is I ACCIDENTALLY published the guide while it wasn't even halfway finished, so that's fun! Archived guide for now until I'm actually done...
8/24/17: Exams are finally done and I made some significant progress on the guide. Should be finished in a few hours of dedicated work!

Vesper's Other Guides (and videos)

Vesper's Guide to GAINING Solo MMR:


Vesper's Guide to Bloodseeker:


Vesper's Guide to Meepo:


Axe in a Nutshell

What happens when you give Phantom Assassin a Divine Rapier?

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