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28 Votes

Beep Bloop Bleep! A guide to Io !

December 25, 2015 by KoDyAbAbA
Comments: 33    |    Views: 85793    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Maxing Attack-Speed first

DotA2 Hero: Io

Hero Skills


1 10 13 14


3 8 9 12


2 4 5 7


6 11 16


15 17 18


Io is a swell guy!He likes to bond with other people, but is often misunderstood and left alone :c

Anyways, Io is The.Most.Difficult.Support.In.The.Game. PERIOD.

The skill cap on this hero is often compared to that of Tinker and Invoker (oke maybe not invo).

In this guide I will be covering some basics about how to support with Io and have tonnes of fun while doing it :D

Io, The Guardian wisp

Io is a strength ranged support famous for being known as the one support that just doesn't stop being useful at any point in the game due to its game-breaking skill-set.

An Io with 8,000 networth 50 minutes into the game is just as useful as a Crystal Maiden with twice that amount of farm.yeah its that much of a difference.

Just the thought of being able to be anywhere,anytime along with an allied hero of your choice is game-breaking in itself.


6/1/15 : added Timbersaw to Counters.
8/1/15 : Added Necrophos to synergy section.
6/3/15 : added new "how to farm" section.
2/4/15 : Added Self-made videos to the Skills section.

Pros and cons


  • Very mobile.
  • Strong at all points of the game.
  • Nearly uncounterable if used correctly.
  • Did I say that he is insanely mobile.
  • Very farm independent.
  • One huge play can win you the game.

  • Very very squishy.
  • Countered by stuns.
  • Very high skill cap.
  • very high skill-Okay.In easier words,He is like Pudge.Get it?
  • No hard CC.



Io's skill-set,as is the case with all high skill-ceiling heroes, is in complete harmony with itself, each skill melding into the other.

It has no "bread and butter" skill.Rather, It's skill-set is "bread and butter".

is Io's main mobility skill in the early game.What this skill does is that it connects you to an allied hero or ancient unit,giving both of you bonus move-speed and slows any enemies that go through the bond.It acts as a voodoo healing-esque healing spell for the connected hero as well,healing him for 1.5 time the health and mana regeneration effects that occur on Io.

To understand this better let us take an example.
the enemy Ursa got an early Phase Boots and has proceeded to ravage your Faceless Void and is running after him for the last hit.Enter Io! you Tether yourself to Faceless Void immediately granting him the movement speed buff.Then you pop Healing Salve.Now, healing salve heals for a total of 400 health.

Now,if Io were to give the salve to Faceless Void directly, he would have been healed for 400 health.But what Io does is, it heals itself using the salve while being connected with void and viola! Faceless Void is healed for 1.5 times the amount Io was healed for,which is 600!

Please note that in order to heal the ally, Io must have some amount of health missing.

Advanced tactics

If you notice, Tether's range is 1800 units, but the bond is made only when Io is 700 units away from the target hero/unit,and that the extra 1100 units is covered by the way of a force-like mechanism which pulls Io to 300 units away from the target.

This is funny.

If you are within 700 units "its all cool bro"

After 700 units Io goes full, "BRO WHERE ARE YOU BRO IM SCARED"

With the help of this you can make some crazy plays,running to your allies aid from far away, running away from a gank by pulling yourself over walls and other impassable terrain and whatnot.

As promised, I have made a video which shows how useful tether can be in the early game if used correctly

Cast Range: 1800
Tether Break Distance: 900
Move Speed Bonus: 17%
Move Speed Slow: 100%
Attack Speed Slow: 100
Slow Duration: 0.75/1.25/1.75/2.25
Tether Duration: 12

Cooldown:12 seconds
Mana cost:40

is Io's uber-versatile nuke/scouting tool/carry protection skill.Activation of this skill grants Io two additional sub-skills, Spirits In and Spirits Out, which order Io's 5 balls to reduce/increase their radius of rotation.Dealing a massive total of 500 damage at level 4 on a 14 second cooldown, this is a nuke which can be used to devastating effects.

A very versatile scouting tool as it basically gives you a protective net around you and your carry so that you can be alerted if somebody is lurking near you.

Protip:if you want the radius to be fixed around a certain length, press the in and out buttons rapidly around the radius you want to keep it stable.

Spirits Spawn Radius: 150
Collision Radius: 70
Explosion Radius: 300
Collision Damage: 8/14/20/26
Explosion Damage: 25/50/75/100
Spirits Duration: 19
Mana cost:120/130/140/150

is one of the main reasons why the Tiny- Io combination is pretty famous.This skill gives you increased attack speed and 25% extra EHP for the duration that it is toggled on, making it amazing on carries that depend on attack speed to deal a major chunk of their damage,or who rely on ganking to do their thing.

Current Health & Mana Cost per Second: 4.5%
Attack Speed Bonus: 40/50/60/70
Damage Reduction: 5%/10%/15%/20%

is the skill that binds this skill-set together. Relocate is in the most basic sense, a timed teleportation skill for you as well as the person you have Tethered.Here's the catch, it can be used to transport you and a dangerous allied ganker into the heart of the enemy jungle to ambush the enemy farming carry, who will be destroyed in the following carnage only seen when the hunters work in perfect carnal-okay this has gone too far now :P

Basically it teleports you and your buddy wherever you want to go, opening epochs previously unexplored.

Things you can do with Relocate:
  • Gank enemies.ANYWHERE.
  • Split push like a boss.
  • Work as a transportation device. (will be explained.)
  • Make clutch saves.
  • Troll like you are the old kyphoid.

The following Video shows a simple relocate gank in action :

Advanced tactics

As an Io, your global capabilities opens up horizons which can be touched only by the likes of Nature's Prophet.
Here is a video in Which Io makes a decision to go into a fight, with the intention of saving PA, but when he sees that there is no hope, he immediately breaks tether, picks up the gem lying on the ground and relocates back.

You know how sometimes the top-laner needs to go bot lane to gank in conjunction with the mid-laner.Now the bot-lane in this case is supposed to be the place where the carry is supposed to be farming.So what do you do?You Relocate the carry to the top lane, break the Tether, and re- Tether to the top laner and teleport back to the bot lane!So now you have effectively confused the enemies so as to where you are (the enemies will think that you are going to go gank the top laner, so he will back off,giving your carry uncontested farm), while you are effectively reversing the lanes at your will.

So, the enemy Pudge who is in the jungle waiting for some tender Faceless Void meat,he will instead get some Centaur Warrunner hide :D.

Alright here's another scenario.Your Juggernaut went beserk on the enemy triad,destroying two of them,but is unfortunately now being chased by the enemy Undying who survived the combo due to his Ghost Scepter.What would your first reaction?Let me guess:

>relocate near Juggernaut and tether him.


Here is what you do (warning its a bit complicated)
>you see "where is juggernaut"
>you predict.Where is he going to be 3 seconds.
Till here it's pretty simple right?
>now activate Spirits.
>now select a position behind that locus and teleport there.

Now many of you might have guessed why activate Spirits.Its for the nuke damage.

Why to relocate behind Juggernaut?

2 reasons.

1.You will get pulled towards him most likely,increasing the chances of dealing full Spirits damage to the Undying.
2.Your Tether will slow the enemy

Yeeaah.That's how you save your ally.Nuke 'em and slow 'em boyz.

Also,never do this:
Why?because they need to farm.

Item Progression.

You start with a Healing Salve, Animal Courier and observer wards
for this guide i have made a support special gold distribution!

first 10 minutes: you will get a total of 1000 gold from periodic gold and 625 starting.
Allocation:at the beginning.
Animal Courier=120 gold
Observer Ward =150 gold
Healing Salve =110 gold
Total =380 gold
Remaining gold =1245 gold
First 10 minutes
sentry wards =200 gold
Flying Courier=220 gold
Brown boots =450 gold
Bottle =700 gold
Total =1570

Congratulations you are now a support!

Core Items

is like, the only item you need apart from boots for the first 20 minutes of the game when you are babysitting your carry.
Here's a tip:You have insane regen in the fountain along with the bottle, so always keep overcharge on,yes on and Tether your low-health allies.Reduces a normal 69-10 second regen time to 2-3 seconds.This is very crucial in ancient defence or if you wanna take them for a gank.

is a good healing tool.Heals your Tethered ally for 250(from himself)+375 (1.5 times the amount healed on Io)= 625 health

good if you have to spam Overcharge a lot (like when you are with Tiny)

is good when you are ganking a lot,but no scalability.nice heals for the whole team!

. Cuz everything for the team eh?

good item for the team.Good bost to all stats,something Io appreciates.Also MOVEMENT SPEED.

Euls scepter its a watered down Scythe of Vyse.'nuff said.Removes silence from you, enabling you to run away or Relocate to base and come back again with your bodyguard.

Luxury Items

infinite regen? infinite heals :D

is amazing on Io as he is like the only support who becomes more and more valuable as the game progresses.Also dem heals man >.>

for obvious reasons.

is relatively easy to build due to easy buildup.Nice evasion + disarm.Very viable as a early pick too.


Early Game

As a support you have many objectives to fulfill such as protecting your carries, warding the rune-spots, pulling creeps and most of all protecting your carry.

You have to be extra careful as an Io because your lack of a disable(only a slow that we are not going to max),making this lane prime steak for enemy gankers. But here's the catch.If you are babysitting, you can safely follow the second skill build and max your nuke by level 7, making you a formidable force as you have a 500 damage AoE nuke at your disposal.This is a fact that most people don't know.So when they come to gank you, you just activate Spirits, Tether your carry and make your way into the woods.Remember,you are the boss,your carry isn't.YOU tell him that he has to be taken to a secure place NOW.

DO NOT HESITATE. A support for a carry?sure thing man.If you can trade your life for your carry's,do it.Gold doesn't matter for you.It does for your carry.He is priority.
(secret support mantra)
Spoiler: Click to view


Say goodbye to your carry.Because,dear sir, It is time to gank.
always stay with your team,keep warding and dewarding.Never miss a chance to push.Eg.the enemy is trying to push top lane against Keeper of the Light who has already fully channeled a perfect Illuminate and getting ready to blast a second time.Good luck dudes!What do you do?you relocate your Terrorblade to the bot lane and push it into oblivion.

I would like to point something out at this point of the guide.Why Io is considered to have one of the highest utility of all heroes is this.He enables you to push without committing too hard unlike most of the other pushers.Couldn't push?its okay we can just relocate back.You have a get-out trump card up your sleeve at any point of the game.Just let it sink in.

If you can afford it, you might want to get one/two of your extension items.Your gold income will mostly be the automatic gold and gold from assists,so be careful where you invest.Also,you have to buy wards so never overspend.Always keep 200-300 gold with you for that emergency Dust of Appearance.


This is the time where you really shine. yeah its true. Io is a late game support.Just the ability to provide your carry 25% extra EHP is game-breaking as most carries reach 10-15K EHP in the late-game pretty easily.

You excel in chasing down enemy heroes with your 17% movement speed buff and a 100% slow for 2.75 seconds.

But you are recognised as a thread by the enemy due to the insane potential of a well timed Relocate.

An example: the enemy is pushing the mid lane,facing heavy opposition from Keeper of the Light and your primary carry Medusa is is prepping for defending the rax.Conventionally,you have two choices,either stay and fight, or you split push.

With Io on your team, you can do both!You tether your ganking Tiny who has farmed an Aghanim's Scepter and Relocate to their base and start destroying buildings (pretty easy with tiny),forcing enemies to make a choice between 5-manning into your heavily defended base or to back off and defend their own base while you are getting the best of both worlds.

Your Combo

how to: Relocate

Tether your ally, and start Relocate after 4 seconds.This means that you will have 6 seconds of tether left when you get there, meaning that you will have ample time to use tether again and get to safety.What this does is,it gives you a safety net. If your Tether breaks,there is still a lot of time to Tether again and the skill will be off cooldown.

If you Relocate and then Tether, and your link breaks, you will have no way of bringing your hero back as tether has a 12 second cooldown as well as duration.Also,relocate is for 12 seconds,meaning that no mistake can be made in this.

After relocating out you can do this
Spoiler: Click to view

How to:the Relocate save.

When there is only one opponent

Here is what you do (warning its a bit complicated)
>you see "where is my ally"
>you predict.Where is he going to be 3 seconds.
Till here it's pretty simple right?
>now activate Spirits.
>now select a position behind that locus and teleport there.
(for scrubs: locus means the path that a point, or in this case, a hero follows)
Now many of you might have guessed why activate Spirits.Its for the nuke damage.

Why to relocate behind the?

2 reasons.

1.You will get pulled towards him most likely,increasing the chances of dealing full Spirits damage to the enemy hero.
2.Your Tether will slow the enemy by 100%

When there are multiple enemies

You cannot take the risk presented in condition 1 due to a high chance that both of might die.
What do you do then?
>locate where the allied hero is.
>activate Spirits
> Relocate ahead of him. Tether him/her and start Overcharge.
>Use Spirits as deterrents.
>Relocate out.

How to farm as Io

You know there are always those games in which you were so engrossed in roaming around the map looking for kills or warding that you realize that you have no items for the late game.What do you do?

This was one problem that had been vexing me for a long time, so I came up with a brand new way to farm with Io! but beware, that one needs to be atleast level 7 to do this.

So, here is how you do it!

how to farm as Io!

  • Stack a hard camp. (4-5 times preferable)
  • summon Spirits in lane.
  • Just as the duration is going to end, go into the middle of the camp that has been stacked,so that all the creeps are hurt when the balls burst.
  • Summon new set of Spirits and use them to hurt the camp.
  • repeat the same when the current spirits are about to expire.

Using this method, I have farmed 4 to 5-stacked hard-camps with ease.The total time you will be away from the lane is about 30-35 seconds seconds, which is acceptable.

Things needed for playing Io

Io is,as I said, a very high skill-capped hero on whom, a single mistake can cost you a hero, or worse still, the whole game which is why i advice that you play this hero only when in the best of your senses and not under the influence of psychotropics or other common methods of passing time (look at my games,you get the idea)

Global awareness is key to playing Io efficiently.If you notice, every-time the enemy team ganks, it is sacrificing a lot of farming time for the kill.And if you save the target,you are effectively destroying enemy space creation.A nicely done save leaves the enemy team a little bit behind you,which is a major objective for your team as a whole.

You need to have brains.No honestly,if you have been playing Shadow Blade Sniper all of your life, you are going to have a hard time.Having an Io on your team is just like having a Meepo on your team.Either you will stomp their sorry butts, or you will call gg at minute 25.

Friends and foes

and Io are the perfect combination.Period.Let us see what Tiny needs and does Io fulfill it:

  • Mana. Yes
  • Attack Speed. Yes
  • Movement speed. Yes
  • help in ganking. Yes
  • surpising enemies without [[blink dagger. Yes
  • Getting him out of tough situations. Yes
  • A good nuke which synergises with his skills. Yes

    Tossing Io with Spirits activated is a guaranteed 900 damage combination.

    The classic Avalanche + Toss= gives us about 1000 magic damage[/b]

    Put an Io in the mix and it becomes 1500 magic damage.Thats like,a lot right?

    is also a great combination with Io as their skill set is very heavily synergised.
    This is how a relocate gank with Ursa+ Io goes.
    > Ursa Earthshocks the enemy,slowing him.
    >During this time Io is moving around to overtake the target and snap the Tether,thereby slowing him again.
    > Ursa goes downtown as Io looks on bleeping,burring and blooping
    A great ganking combination, but kinda falls of late game as Ursa is not as badass as Io is 8)
    This.Sums it up.
    Amazing combination with great scalability.Almost at par with Tiny + Io.Also very similar needs so,Yay!

    I think that there is potential in Necrophos + Io simply due to the fact that you can use it to insta-kill a retreating enemy hero who is at medium-low health,something that is quite often seen in competitive gaming (sick jukes mon,wut where did that necro pop from?**** YOU Io.**** YOU.).Also their healing rates jump of the charts as necrophos is effectively healed 2.5 times(once from the skill and 1.5 times again as he also heals Io who relays it back for an increased value through Tether.) Almost unstoppable in the early-mid game.

    is a formidable enemy for Io due to his chain stuns which can really destroy any utility that your skill-set can provide.
    is a prick.This is a well known fact.It's not about you in his case, its the people you are supporting( Tiny, Chaos Knight and Ursa)all of whom have massive mana problems which are successfully manipulated by Silencer.
    Seriously **** this Glimpse and you are done.DONE.Also has irritating silence for you and your friend.
    you know what's up.
    Yeah.He's a prick.burns all of your mana or just downright bursts you to death.
    is a big,BIG prick.Sucks away mana,2 solid disables, one horrendously powerful nuke,he's got it all mate.
    bane of all strength heroes.15% primary stat reduction does wonders against Io.


I would like all of you to see this game.One of the most memorable games in my opinion.

Purge plays Io!
Ursa + Io combo!


Io is a swell hero with a lot of things to do!Fun Fun!

I hope that this guide is to everyone's liking.Please feel free to give suggestions and keep the arguements going!
If you really liked my guide, please check out my other guides

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