How to dominate
Earth Spirit is probably the most enjoyable hero in the entire DOTA 2 hero collection in my opinion. The sheer dominance and abiilty to carry/support/lane/jungle/wreck everything basically ensures you to take the outcome of the game into your own hands.
I won't go into the details about every single spell and stats growth and what not. However ever since the new patch, earth spirit's geo grip distance has been decreased due to the OP nature of the spell (Stun, save, etc). So here it is:
1. Skills progression
The reason why you want to go with a 3 prong leveling is because all 3 spells are needed to establish the bread and butter of this hero. The versatility and unpredictability. Now you can either choose to boulder smash first or roll or geo grip. It doesn't really matter, but if you are in a lane with little pressure, it might be prudent to go with boulder smash first to get that extra oomph if you get an early chance to kill.
For lanes against disables like CM or Lion, roll might be a good choice to escape from any danger; then again, boulder smash allows you to smash someone away from you so it is really your call. Same story for geo grip. If you are in lane against squishy heroes and with backup, might consider stun to aid in getting fist blood.
However, once you got the 3 prong skills going, the following should really be dedicated to maxing out boulder smash first. ES has very low damage. Majority of its damage output is from spells thus it is classified as a nuker as well. You really want that boulder smash to max out.
First blood warning: This is the first demonstration of strength once you are lvl 3 or lvl 4. When you are in a lane and being pushed, draw the enemy close to your tower then initiate the classic ES combo. Drop a stone behind enemy, pull right away then immediately initate a roll, followed by boulder smash of the enemy back into your tower. If you aren't familiar with this combo, you will need to play bots to get some practice. It is the money rocking combo you have to master. Key sequence goes like D-E-W-Q. An important thing you have to understand is your buolder smash distance is not as long as it use to be before patch. So ideally you want to wait for lvl 4 for that extra distance gain. When enemy creep is dwindling down to 3 or 2 and backup wave isn't there yet. Line up yourself against enemy hero and the tower, then initiate the combo. This usually guarantees kill if not first blood.
After your first kill, if not don't worry just quietly level up to 6. Congrats, you are now a rocking beast with auto kill enabled. At this point you should be finishing your mana boots first and constantly carry TP scrolls. You will be tping around the map looking for single prey in the lane thats getting too close to tower. Initiate the previous combo but this time, set off your ult on them. Once you setoff your ult on them just follow them and periodically set off another stone on where they are. Your stone range is 1400, that is just OP nuke. It lasts for 6 seconds so to be safe you can put it down every 4 to 5 seconds to elongate that damage aura. A regular int hero should be dead by the first stone given your stone smash, roll both hit. Agi hero probably around first or 2nd stone. Str hero you will need to work a little. But there is no reason to not be able to finish them off. ABUSE THE STONE RANGE! When you've followed them with the 2nd stone, you may even set down a 3rd stone but this time right between you and enemy's movement trajectory and do a shaolin soccer kick. This is when your teammate goes WOW, and you go, GOTCHA!
Roaming is very important, you want to keep tping around to control enemy carry's level and farm. You being able to kill so fast should adequately fund you with the 135 gold tp scroll easily. Please don't hesitate to buy observers. It not only helps the team, it allows you to identify left 4 dead heroes who don't know their doom is imminent. This is probably the make or break early game dominance between a great ES and a ****ty ES. This is also why you want to maximize your roll fast. The 4 seconds cool down and the roll range with stone is just unbelivable. Makes you feel like NEO in the dota 2 matrix! Reason I don't max out geo grip is because you need the versatility first. Once you roll in and seek to take out enemy hero, if things turn south quick, your roll is backup to bail you out. The duration of geo grip is a no factor because you just need that 0.5 second of stun time to initiate your combo, and an extra 2 seconds won't do you any good if you can't land the combo right. Though it gives you more damage, nothing really can stand against you after all your combo hits, so ROLL FIRST!
Not many people recommend vanguard on their guide, but I am here to tell you, IT IS VERY VERY EFFECTIVE. ES with constant ganks going down will run out of Stones and HP relatively fast. If you are like me, my es is constantly TP across maps hunting down single heroes. Occassionally you'll need to go back to base to heal up and get mana while waiting for stone to regenerate (I am constantly running out of stones because I am ganking so much,and you just need 2 to properly dominate.) Vanguard then makes logical sense because it decreases health lost, increases health regen, and maximizes health pool. Less time back at fountain healing? More time dominating.
A couple commends about items i've chosen. Shivas and BKB should be your next item of choice following vanguard and veil. Shivas effectively stops carry hero's monster damage output by slowing their attack speed, giving your armor, and doing some more damage. If your opponent has more disables, get bkb first in this case. Should be self explanatory.
Assault really is if no one on your team has this item. Assault and Shivas have become a stable of the game now. Every team needs to have someoen carrying these two items or the disadvantage is too great to come back from.
Heavens Halberd is a must when fighting hard hitting heroes. When you roll into team fights, this item keeps you alive just that much longer for your teammate to sweep the fight and collect your exp rewards.
If you do you find yourself in a gold piled situation, go for heart! This is the symbol of a dominating ES. You've dominated so hard you bought a heart. :D
5. Team fights
By now, you should have acquired mana boots, veil of discord, and maybe vanguard. I personally would go for vanguard if enemy has a lot of heavy punching heroes, otherwise I'd go for veil first. Though ES has a lot of hp in the beginning and a respectable armor growth, it just isn't enough given you will be the primary initiator: like miley's "I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!!!!!". That is the motto you must embrace.
Veil of discord helps your ult to ridiculous damage, and buffs your teammate's magic damage too. An ES without Veil is a noob ES, no question. The combo in team fights can be the same as the previous combo, but now you must utilize one of the most OP characteristics of ES, the 5 seconds silence.
There are two variations of this. You can set off the stone infront of you and kick it to initiate the 5 seconds silence first (if there aren't that many casting heros), or to do the beast meathod which is do the combo then initiate the stun. In this case it would be setting the stone somewhat between the closer heroes and making sure you can pull the stone without movement. Once you initated the geo grip and stunning a few hero, roll in right away. Cast your veil then set off your Ultimate. Once your ultimate is down, you set another stone in front of you and bounder smash it into the heart of the enemy wave. This requires a lot of focus and rapid movements, but the result is automatic 250 hp from boulder smash, 300hp from ult deducted from almost every enemy hero. Enemy heroes should all be left with half or little more than half HP instantaneously. They are also silenced for 5 seconds. There is nothing left for them but to run. So you just casually walk behind them and keep setting off additional stones when you feel like it is about to run out.
The greatest counter ES has is silence. If enemy has no silence capability then they are bad players. So after you've gotten vanguard and veil, BKB should be your next item.
Thing about ES is it tapers off in effectiveness very fast at around 40 minute mark. You almost become an invisible man once the opponent carry farms up. This is when your silence comes into bigger play/ and your support items propping up your team's prowess against enemy. More often than not, you want to try to dominate your opponent so hard they have a hard time getting to the 40 minute mark with any farm.
Hope this helps.
*commend about force staff. Yah, ES has not much mana, so people suggested force staff for survivability and mana concern. It makes sense but I personally feel it is a **** item on ES. ES's ability allows him to catch up to any hero in the game. Force staff doesn't. When you are engaging in fights, once you roll in you can quickly decimate enemy team or smash one to get them from you. Why would you force staff yourself to leave your teammate or single yourself out to their backup line? Also, the application of force staff is very minimal so I don't consider it an item of choice. Mana boots more than adquately supplies the mana and your team needs mana too! Part of ES's dual Ganker/support role!.