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11 Votes

Argensa's guide to Visage

June 25, 2016 by Argensa
Comments: 2    |    Views: 17802    |   

Build 1
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DotA2 Hero: Visage

Hero Skills

Gravekeeper's Cloak (Innate)

Grave Chill

1 12 13 14

Soul Assumption

2 3 5 7

Summon Familiars

6 11 16


15 17 18


Hello, this is my very first guide on DotAfire, more like very first guide from any website. And I'd like to introduce people to my favourite hero: Visage

Visage is a rare sight, amongst those like Io or Chen, only appear in competitive games, rare in pub games, but it's not because he's underpowered. He is an underplayed and underestimate Nuker and Supporter. Visage has a high skill celling due to his requirement into micro management and map awareness, and the ability to predict where the enemies will strike, which is more demanding than other heroes ( explain later).

Pro and Cons

Multitasking hero makes it more fun to play
Familiars mean more diversity
Tons of burst damage and long range nuke with Soul Assumption

Hard to kill with tons of magic resist and armor with Gravekeeper's Cloak

Gravekeeper's Cloak just got buffed ( again yay )

Sad base magic resist only 10%
Familiars mean more gold for the enemies
Long range nuke but very very passive and need right situation to work
Sad movement speed of 285
Sad base armor of 0
Sad voice actor. Yeah the sound sucks. But some quotes sound nice though
Long cooldown ultimate

Background Story

Perched atop the entrance to the Narrow Maze sit the looming shapes of sneering gargoyles, the paths into the hereafter forever in their gaze. Beasts and birds, men and monsters, all creatures that die and choose to travel beyond must someday pass beneath their sight. For an untethered spirit, the decision to journey through the veil of death is irrevocable. When chance comes, and by craft or cunning some restless soul escapes their hells and heavens, it is the dreaded gargoyle Visage, the bound form of the eternal spirit Necrolic, who is dispatched to reclaim them. Ruthless and efficient, unhindered by the principles of death and fatigue, Visage stalks its prey without mercy or end, willingly destroying all which may give shelter to the fugitive essence. That which flaunts the laws of the afterlife may never rest, for while it is true that the dead may be revived, it is only a matter of time before Visage finds and returns them to their proper place.


I would assume that everyone knows about how Visage's skills work, but since I found out that a suprisingly number of people who does not know how things work, so I think I will introduce them shortly here:

Q: Grave Chill: This is a pretty sad skill I may have to say, though sometimes it can be amazing. Get 64% of attack speed and 32% of movement speed of your enemy, and buff it at you! Yeah, you! It means that sometimes you can slow those who are chasing you and run faster at the same time, you can slow them and run fast to catch up with them, etc situation. The skill has very little bit of animation so it's good and should be popped in any single combat assuming you have the mana.

W: Soul Assumption: Visage thrives in battles. Short cooldown nukes with high single target damage and amazing range. Sadly that you need your familiars, or at least one ally to hit your enemies for this to work, or your enemies hit you :). The sad thing is that Visage himself has close to no way to actually actively use this skill without familiars or friends or foes.
See the Yellow bar on Visage's head? That is the Soul Assumption charges. You shoot when you have it.
For example: At Soul Assumption lvl 1: You shoot when you have 3 charges, more at higher level. When you shoot your skill comes to cooldown and you lose the same amount of mana no matter how many charges you spend. When you shoot all your charges disappear and turn into PAIN for the enemies.

E: Gravekeeper's Cloak: Fun skill, sometimes when you see a Lion use his ultimate at you and then yo, you lost 200hp instead of 800. yeah, sad Lion. It goes down fast so becareful, those with physical damage often hit fast so they can tear this down easily

R: Your most powerful skill, summon 2 Familiars with charged attacks. They can be used to kill as they have really really big burst damage, can be used to check rune, Rosan, deny aegis, last hit Roshan, last hit creeps, hit tower, rat barracks, etc, countless way to use these sad *****es!

Most of the times, we will be maxing out first, then and last. But sometimes when the situation calls, one level of can be taken before maxing out .
Sometimes I see people getting first, then leveling up and equally

Note from IGBAN

Sometimes when the situation calls, mostly when ruin fight happen and all team has a bunch of early nuke and decide to just kill each other early than later, Soul Assumption works better than Grave Chill as the cooldown is very low and the Damage is very high comparing to other skills. Grave Chill does not help that much in those situation.

But, if you're laning with a, let's say Juggernaut and someone else support like Acient Apparition on a tri lane against Doom, Grave Chill might be a good idea as it help Jugger spin around and AA's ability to enhance your auto attack can be exploit as well at lvl 1.

UPDATE: Gravekeeper's Cloak got buffed again, this time straight at the magic resistance per layer, which is nice against nuker. Sad thing that the meta game changes a lot and nukers aren't used as much these days.

The way you should do it

Really hope you read this long

I must say that Visage is a supporter. Of course that he can be played in different roles, but I think a supporter fits best, with dual or tri lane he can work, deal high damage, killing foes early.

As you might have seen, his Q and W scale weirdly with levels, so it means that Visage does not have the desperate needs of having XP, instead he can go roam and pull and stack and other things that supporters should do. His ultimate, however is a skill that is worth the amount of time spending smelling XP from the creeps for.

I often find myself begging to match lane with a highly agressive carry like Chaos Knight or Sven or Lina or someone who has big nukes early, so that he/she can render me Soul Assumption charges, with proper positioning, you can use Grave Chill to help Lina stun, and then 1 Dragon Slave with 1 Soul Assumption can often finish any opponent.

I also like the hard lane, go oppose their main carry as they are very squishy and can be smashed down early.

Micro Managing

Update: I have seen some vids on the internet and found out that each person might have a different way of micro managing their familiars ( with Visage too)

On DotAbuff, VP.Lil ( now no longer VP.Lil) had the first place on the leaderboard for Visage. I have seen some of his vids, and found out that unlike me he actually use the mouse for controlling his familiars through drag selecting which is more like Starcraft style.

I myself had my keyboard like this. Q W E R for skills, Z X C V B Space for items, which X, V and Space quickcasted, the others are normal casted. I use the control group like the old days in Starcraft and Warcraft III because I am used to it. You can use the F1 F2 in DotA 2 though. I have Visage as group 1, my familiars as group 2. I don't often create multiple groups for my familiars, as most of the time they fly together ( assuming that I have more than one alive at that moment)

: Tab is used to swtich between your units that you control, like heroes and summoned.
Often I select Visage, move in, Q, press 2 => move in, click hit => 1 use W => 2 use Q TAB 2 use Q ( maybe another TAB 2 use Q). It can be done in quick succession and with practice you can do the 3 or 4,5 sec stun easily. That leaves a problem when you have 3 familiars that Soul Assumption has 4 sec cooldown but you used more than 4. So use 2 Q TAB and 2 Q TAB again, then switch back to 1, use W, then 2 TAB TAB use Q. My keyboard once has that macro but I stop using it because it makes things less funny


I've been thinking a lot. About Visage's boot

Usage: gives more movement speed, cheaper, nice healing passive, more armor and easier to build up, which are so good, and I often go for it. Start the game with the courier, 2 branch, 1 circlet, 1 ring of protection and let the other support buy 2 wards. The circlet and branches can be built up into Wand, and the ring of protection can be built into Tranquil boots later

Usage: More hp, more mana ( believe me, Visage use a lot of mana due to Soul Assumption mana comsumption and short cooldown), more attack speed which is nice. The thing here is, some tend to think that the AS work well with Grave Chill, but it's not so. Grave Chill's stealing will take a percent of your enemy's AS, and give you those AS as flat number, so it does not matter at all.!

Then you go to your main item:

The Medallion of courage

This item is amazing on Vis. It buffs the damage of your familiars so much that sometimes, when you attack Lions, he cannot even react fast enough to hex or stun you ( seen this many times)
The next item will either be Aghanim's Scepter or Solar Crest. My favourite choice is Agha, it's better, and it's more expensive, sadly. The Aghanim's Scepter can be used to provide more damage, more stun if you can manage it, more hp, more mana, more armor, more everything, but it's also a double edge blade. It gives you more famliars, which mean more money for the enemies though

Believe me, no matter how good you are, in a game you will lose one or two or more famliars no matter how much you want to protect them

I often buy Assault Cuirass or Scythe of Vyse later, but sometimes it does not come to that. Suit yourselves!

Onto the edit:
As IGBAN said, I'll add those items in:
- As I have said, we Visage player are mainly going support, so wards are essential, but dont put them too high as the other support should be a hard one and should commit more for wards than you should, like if you just need 100 more gold for Medallion early on, dont save for wards, 'cause sometimes Medallion is better.
- Medallion is SUPER FREAKING IMPORTANT. Only got like 20 games without it, some because I didn't have any gold for it, some because I got too much gold for bigger items early ( enemy constantly feeding purposefully, etc ).
+ This is a scenario I can think of that would prove my point about Medal ( call it Medal for short ).
+ I was level 6, went on to gank Lion who was level 6 too ( he was a supporter). I did not have Medal by then, he got Tranquil and a Wand, I had Tranquil and a wand, and half of the medal. My sad Familiars and I came from the wood, we hit him in the ***, his pain was hardcore, he stun turned to me, stun and then run ( as you know, Lion's ultimate has an ultimately high cooldown, so he did not or could not zap me). My famliars hit hard, and when I came up from that stun, fired the Soul Assumption after him. Did not die, had like 40hp and ran away. If only 1 more hit...
+ This one time I had Medal early, was lvl 8, went on to solo kill a SF at lvl 11. Debuff him, all force hit him hard, he died too fast he was only able to raze one time at my face, took 1/3 of my hp.

=> Those are real experience. The Medallion help you hit harder, especially, your familiars, hit so hard that it hurts your enemy still when they are up there counting number and should be bought under most situation. And it helps your hard hitting PA or something too

- Desolator got added, because in many games I did not find myself the pretty situation to get AC for my team, as well as hex. I bought Deso mainly in those days when Medallion still pierce through BKB, with them power combine, more than once did my Visage with Agha and Solar and Deso struck down an Alchemist full farm with BKB running around the battle. These days it does not work so well as much, but can still be considered if you lack the money to buy good items, but have too much for buybacks

- Also that Phase Boot can be considered, however they got out of my eyes after the changes which I once thought was significant, they nerf the phase's Movement speed for Ranged Heroes, and buffed it for Melee Heroes, but when I looked at the number, it did not matter at all, only 20% vs 24%. However the Phase duration got nerfed pretty hard down to 2,5 sec and you need to constantly activate it, but the price got lowered and it suit your Grave Chill.

Special Mention
Usage: When not playing as a supporter and get some farm early, you can either consider Phase Boot, Tread or Boot of Travel. The reason you get this item is because you can use it on your familiars, seriously improve your mobility as now you can traverse at the speed of 380, through terrain. This strategy depends on Visage's ability to fight early as even when spending a ton of money on Boot of Travel he can still kill people pretty hardcore ( Nature Prophet beware)

- Sometimes I see the pros ( VP.Lil btw, he is the best Visage on DotAbuff) get Solar Crest before Agha which is nice too, although as I said, these two items are not comparable as one is significantly more expensive than the other. Get Solar early can be a big help too especially when the enemies like hitting people early in the game rather than using their abilities to deal damage, the evasion comes nicely

Another mention: I have seen some more middle lane Visage, and found out that people actually like taking Dagon on the hero. The point of Dagon is that it create burst damage, enough to fill your Soul Assumption right away ( not all but good enough). I imagine that it would be like: Moving in, Grave Chill, Dagon, Soul Assumption, Familiars hit, stun, Soul Assumption, another stun, hit until it dies if it has not died by now.

well, Dagon is not an effective item, especially for a supporter. The cost is too high and the effect is not that good, so you don't buy it when you support. Even BH doesn't buy it when he support. Unless you have a RAMPAGE at rune or something, but that makes things a lot easier anyway.

UPDATE: I have tried Dagon, won me the game, had a lot of reports and curses my way. Worked in a way that is not good, also not bad, still got 2 reports because of that last pick middle lane Visage then go dagon. You can still try though

Know your enemies, and foes

Friends and foes
I think should be those with high nukes early on, and later high damage carries, also the tankers work greatly.
I prefer those like Lina, Chaos Knight Sven Juggernaut, ...

I myself think that Drow Ranger is not a very good choice in ranked matches, but if you happen to be with one, remember to beg her to activate her Aura in combat. The damage it buffs for your familiars is incrediblely high. Like if she buffs 80 damage, then each familiars can have the lowest damage of 10 + 80 = 90 damage, and their attack speed is very high, combine with their number this can be a very strong combination, just remember to protect her well as Drow Ranger can easily get shut down early


Foes are those who hit fast, hit very fast as AS is the ultimate counter to your Gravekeeper Cloak and Famliars both, beware of Troll, Jugger, WR.
Remember that when fighting Juggernaut, if he runs at you, your Grave Chill's range is close to the range of his Omnislash, so turning back and slow him is not very good. Your famliars can help soak up the damage though

Special Mention in the name of foes

Ember Spirit is hard to catch, huge shield that negate one shot of Soul Assumption and his Q hit your familiars

Gyrocopter has Flak Cannon which is not healthy for Famliars, they die so fast that you cannot react. Sad but true, dont buy Agha when fighting this guy

Medusa is like Gyrocopter, but Luna's glaive does not count as attack and does not make them lose their tiny hp though. And Luna can be killed easily early game, however she runs so fast that most of the time you wont be able to catch her.

UPDATED:Enigma's Black hole This skill just got buffed a lot. Anddddd it also affect your familiars, so try not to position them where Engima will jump in, use them for flanking from behind him at a reasonable distance and use Stone form to stun him to cazncel his channeling.

Magnus: Reverse Polarity used to not affect Familiars, so when going against Magnus I'd like to position the familiars right above my team's heads, he jumps in, I stun, he dies... BUT In recent patches, this skil DOES afftect familiars, so put them somewhere safe, and use them to stun his imcoming enemies after he stun your team ( because he will be able to do that at least 2 or 3 times a game)

Before ending: Strategy

This one is new

There are many strategies which I find that suit Visage's style of play.
This part is not about what that suit him, it is about what that does not suit him

Visage is a terribly slow hero. First his movement speed got nerfed so many many times to the pathetic number of 285. His familiars are no better with the MS of 380( assuming that you're at level 1 ultimate most of the game as you have to run around help your lanes), Visage is no hero for the art of chasing. Most hero outrun you, many outrun your familiars, and your Grave Chill isn't long enough to catch them, their wisest course of action is to run away from you in any fight and live to fight the day after, so dont, try not to get your team to play active if the enemy has some big carries ( assuming your team has as well, no team are stupid enough to farm their time away if they do not have strong carries), but even so, play actively, push early as Visage's ability to fight early game is incredible and he outdamage and outtank most people early on. You are like a TANK. I do not mean TANK in the meaning of getting hit a lot, but a true TANK in real life.

I have yet won 6 games ( after I wrote this guide only) in which my team decided to agree with my begging that we make a fast push team, won before minute 20.
- My first one was the best, Visage + Luna + VS in safe lane, got Viper middle vs Alchemist and some other guy on top, didn't care about him much, we pushed and won the game at minute 16, there was no way for them to fight us back, Visage and Viper ruled the game
- The second one, we had VS and Visage and Traxex at safe lane, Invoker went mid built WQ to combat early and Undying solo bot, that was also easy, Traxex hit the tower, the enemies did not bother to come and suicide, we won the game at minute 19 ( fortunately, before 20 mark)

Visage's ability to teleport is very bad as when you teleport, your familiars stay where you put them, your ability to fight is then severely reduced, which is very sad for you. If it's inevitable that your carry need a lot of farm, remember to protect them. I feel that the best way to play Visage is to rally your allies to you when your team decide to push, that means staying on the most important lane ( the hottest play on the map) because your mobility is too damn slow compared to other heroes
Yet, another strategy that I like using is staying with my carry, while controlling the familiars to go help the ganker of your team go kill people. It's like 1,5 people vs 1, often happen in the enemies's neutral camps. Your familiars hit hard at even lvl 1 ultimate and when used correctly they can have 3sec stun which is more than many heroes out there, be versatile why following the most basic rules. But seriously, do not let them die

One more funny thing is that most enemies really really like killing your familiars. Sometimes one of my ally got chased, I would use my familiars to stun and help him run, however it has a bad consequence that when your familiars wake up, all the enemy will stay there to kill them. Still sacrificing familiars late game to save up a buyback is a nice idea sometimes, especially when your Summon Familiars is not on cooldown. The number of familiars that you sacrifice should be evaluated. 1 is better than 2 though


So, that's my one and only guide, hope that you guys enjoy it and bring Visage to Pub Match more

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