Help Support Our Growing Community

DOTAFire is a community that lives to help every Dota 2 player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support DOTAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


13 Votes

Blink dagger... Really? In depth Anti-Mage Guide

September 4, 2014 by ObitoUchiha15
Comments: 11    |    Views: 56689    |   

Standard-Battlefury Rush

DotA2 Hero: Anti-Mage

Hero Skills

Mana Break

2 10 12 15


1 4 13 14


3 17 18

Mana Void

6 11 16


5 7 8 9

Blink dagger... Really? In depth Anti-Mage Guide

September 4, 2014


Anti-Mage is one of the most effective hard carries in DotA, but is falling off in use due to the shift to quicker games. This guide focuses on 1) not wasting your money and 2) keeping you alive to get your core items. This guide is written not only with the beginner in mind but with content usable by all players in Public Matches. Sorry about all the Blink descriptions being for Queen of Pain but that's the one the page defaults to. On the Blink that Anti-Mage uses the range progresses 1000/1075/1150/1150 while the cooldown decreases 12/9/7/5, and the mana cost stays at 60

In-game biography (Lore)

The monks of Turstarkuri watched the rugged valleys below their mountain monastery as wave after wave of invaders swept through the lower kingdoms. Ascetic and pragmatic, in their remote monastic eyrie they remained aloof from mundane strife, wrapped in meditation that knew no gods or elements of magic. Then came the Legion of the Dead God, crusaders with a sinister mandate to replace all local worship with their Unliving Lord's poisonous nihilosophy. From a landscape that had known nothing but blood and battle for a thousand years, they tore the souls and bones of countless fallen legions and pitched them against Turstarkuri. The monastery stood scarcely a fortnight against the assault, and the few monks who bothered to surface from their meditations believed the invaders were but demonic visions sent to distract them from meditation. They died where they sat on their silken cushions. Only one youth survived--a pilgrim who had come as an acolyte, seeking wisdom, but had yet to be admitted to the monastery. He watched in horror as the monks to whom he had served tea and nettles were first slaughtered, then raised to join the ranks of the Dead God's priesthood. With nothing but a few of Turstarkuri's prized dogmatic scrolls, he crept away to the comparative safety of other lands, swearing to obliterate not only the Dead God's magic users--but to put an end to magic altogether.

Skill Use/Order explanation

Don't get freaked out by all the stat levels, because below I will explain why they are there, as they are more useful than your abilities early game

Mana Break is a passive ability that destroys a the target's mana pool and does damage for 60% of the mana burned. This is the ability that makes Anti-Mage an effective harasser early game and so feared in the late game, as you severely limit spell casting ability of opponents and has excellent synergy with your Ult, Mana Void. The reason you only get one level early is because the first level is the most efficient for mana breaking. To get increased health, mana, attack speed, armor, etc. from the stats is more important than the slight increase in damage and mana burned for additional points in Mana Break early game, as the targets' mana pools are low anyway.

Blink is a 60 mana cost ability that teleports Anti-Mage after a short delay to a target location within the range. You will only be teleported to the max range if you try to exceed it. I do not recommend using this as an initiation but instead as an escape. Also, use it to travel from camp to camp in the jungle.
As before mentioned, you only get two levels in this skill because they are efficient and stats are more important. Initially, there is a 12 cooldown and on the second level it decreases by 3 to a 9 second cooldown, After that, it only decrease by 2 seconds per level. In the early game, if you have to use blink more than twice in 9 seconds, chances are you are doing something wrong and you should start playing more defensively. A tip for using Blink is to go through impassible objects, as your enemies will have a hard if not impossible time following you through them.

Spell Shield is a passive ability that reduces incoming damage from magic,or in other words increases your magic resistance, that stacks with other magic resistance. This DOES NOT MAKE YOU INVINCIBLE. Let me say this again. This DOES NOT MAKE YOU INVINCIBLE. This is a common misconception of players new to Anti-Mage. You only get one point in this because with the first point is the most efficient. After that, stats give you more survivabilty than the Spell Shield due to the fact that early game, low mana pools and effective use of Mana Break do not allow spell spamming so resistance to right-click damage is more important

Mana Void is your ultimate ability and is highly effective against spell spammers such as Dazzle and Zeus. It converts a percentage of a target's missing mana to AEO damage in a small radius, with a mini-stun to a target AND you can manipulate the missing mana with your passive, Mana Break. For an ultimate ability, it has a relatively short cooldown time of 70. This is an ability that has the potential to turn around an engagement in your favor. Chances are, you are not going to be out-autoattacked (as your damage is increased by Mana Break past most base damages and you have items) but spells are going to give them the slight edge, since you only have one that damages. But wait! All the spells they just threw at you can used against them, as all the mana they just spent damaging you is going to be exploited using Mana Void. Once again, you will have the edge, and Blink can be useful to pursue those enemies to ensure their demise.

Explanation of Items

Starting Items

Tango: A set of four stackable 115 health restores that cannot be canceled, unlike the Healing Salve. I would not recommend purchasing any extras because you should have a Ring of Health by the time the four Tango and the optional Healing Salve are used.

Quelling Blade: Simply makes farming easier. If you do not feel like you need it, feel free to skip it, but I would strongly recommend it if you are not confident in your last-hitting ability/

Stout Shield: Helps decrease incoming damage. In other words, it saves you from running to your teams fountain every two seconds and spend all your money on healing items, while missing out on gold and experience from staying in the lane. Later it is upgraded to Poor Man's Shield to guarantee damage block and increase your agility, which is bonus attack speed and armor.


Poor Man's Shield: Basically the Stout Shield, just with 100% block chance against enemy heroes and the bonus agility

Ring of Health: In conjunction with a Poor Man's Shield, this item makes you immune to click harassment when playing wisely. Be wary, however, as even with the continuous heal and shield you can still be ganked fairly easily. This is the first part of the Battlefury that you buy

Claymore and Broadsword: These are the next two items of your Battlefury. They deal 21 and 18 damage respectively, with costs of 1400 and 1200 gold respectively. The purchase order isn't very relevant, but if there is a high risk of being ganked pick up a Broadsword first, as you don't want to lose a lot of gold if you die. If there is a low risk of being ganked, pick up a Claymore as the 3 extra bonus damage can be helpful.

Void Stone: This is the last item you need to complete Battlefury. It is almost useless to you, as Blink and Mana Void are your only abilities that require mana, and at 60 and 125 mana cost respectively they aren't using a considerable amount of your mana pool.

Battlefury: This is how you farm nearly risk free. The cleave damage allows you to cut through creep waves with less effort than Kunkka with his Tidebringer ability, as you hit nearly all of them with every attack. You can destroy an entire wave of creeps by the time your enemies realize you are there, and can be long gone when they arrive. This is also an effective jungling tool, as you can clear camps quicker than your blink recharges to move to the next one. An additional use for the Battlefury is effectively split-pushing, where your team ties up enemy heroes in one lane while you solo an empty lane. You can stack creep squads to use as shields to take towers in no time.

DPS Items

Power Treads: I believe these are the best boots for all purposes, so I will not list this again in Defensive Items. On Anti-Mage, the agility increases his DPS by attack speed increase, in addition to the attack speed the Power Treads have anyway. On Anti-Mage, the attack speed is more useful than damage as it increases the instances of bonus damage from Mana Break as well as burning more of your target's mana. If you are getting outplayed, the strength attribute increases your max hp which allows you to stay alive long enough to seriously damage your opponents or escape.

Mjollnir: Once you get this item, you are seriously deadly. You have an immense attack speed bonus, a bit of damage, and two insane abilities. The chain lightning and static charge do considerable chain damage, and the passive chain lightning goes off several times in a fight, especially with increased attack speed. As I stated before, on Anti-Mage, the attack speed is more useful than damage as it increases the instances of bonus damage from Mana Break as well as burning more of your target's mana.

Butterfly: One of the best items for agility heroes. It adds evasion, dodging roughly 35% of attacks, agility, which converts into armor and attack speed, more attack speed as a raw bonus, and bonus damage. I will say this for a third time, as it is the most important thing you can take from this guide for item builds: On Anti-Mage, the attack speed is more useful than damage as it increases the instances of bonus damage from Mana Break as well as burning more of your target's mana.

Monkey King Bar: This item adds a considerable amount of damage and a minor amount of attack speed. If the bonus damage is not enticing enough, it makes sure your attacks do not miss. This is super useful on enemies like Riki, as it basically negates his Smoke Screen ability and negates evasion effects on Butterfly users like yourself. Finally, there is another passive that allows a small mini-stun and 100 bonus magic damage to occur.

Manta Style: I added this item as many people like it on Anti-Mage, however I do not. It adds small bonuses in strength, intelligence, attack speed, and movement speed and a medium bonus to agility. The real source of worth for this item to Anti-Mage is the ability to create 2 illusions of yourself. They deal less damage and take more damage than you do, but they can distract enemies from the real you, and the real appeal is that they utilize Mana Break damage, burning 3 times the mana you would do yourself. As the Butterfly is a better version of the Manta Style in attributes that are useful to you, the only reason I would choose the Manta Style is in the occasion that the enemy team is composed of characters that rely on a high mana pool, such as Zeus.

Abyssal Blade: Added upon request. This item allows you to stun enemies every two seconds, as well as giving bonus strength, which equates to 100+ health, and 100 bonus damage. I would recommend waiting until your attack spped is high enough for this to be useful before building a Skull Basher into this.

Assault Cuirass: Added upon request. An aura item that grants bonus armor and attack speed to your allies, with an increased bonus to yourself. Additionally, nearby enemy units will have an armor decrease, giving you a 10 armor advantage. A good alternate to Mjollnir for more a defensive or team burst damage style.

Survivablity Items

Vladimir's Offering: This is the only lifesteal item that works on Anti-Mage because Mana Break cancels the effects of the others. It also increases armor, mana regen, and damage of allies around you as well as yourself. It is highly useful as a survivablity item as you can steal about as much or more health as damage you take from any AI units and solo heroes.

Heaven's Halberd: I know a lot of you are thinking "Why on Earth is this item here?!" The Heaven's Halberd gives you a decent bit of strength, which results in health, moderate damage increase, and an additional 25% chance of evasion. However, the two abilities from Heaven's Halberd are what makes this item so useful. The passive slows your enemy's attack speed and movement speed, giving you a small opening for escape. However, if you are more desperate, the active ability, when cast, makes your target's offense completely useless for 3-4 seconds, more than enough time to blink out and run away.

Heart of Tarrasque and Bloodstone: These two items increase your health and regen rates. Heart of Tarrasque is more commonly used, due to its insane health regen, but I believe Bloodstone deserves mentioning despite its lesser effect on health because the extra bonuses it gains from its charges are extremely helpful in close games. When you die, your respawn time is 4 seconds less per charge. That means if you have 25 charges, you don't have to wait at all to respawn. That is a HUGE advantage in a tight game, as being dead for 100 seconds can hand the other team a win they do not deserve. Additionally, you lose less gold per death on each charge. Finally, you have an easy way to deny yourself by committing suicide, stealing gold and experience from your enemies.

Situational Items

Black King Bar: This is only useful if your enemies focus everything on you, which happens a lot, but can be avoided. I would recommend using Blink, because the spells miss if you don't go straight back, and also recommend playing safely, as your job is not to initiate, so the initiator will take a large number of spells and you run in while those spells are on cooldown. When these cooldowns start to expire, Blink out, or tank them if you 100% know you can win the fight because of your Spell Shield. However, if they figure out this tactic, a Black King Bar is almost necessary. But, by then, they should all be dead and you should be knocking down the Ancient.

Shadow Blade: You are NOT a ganker. You are NOT an initiator. Therefore, this item isn't very useful to you for offense, and Blink is normally a viable escape option. However, if you decide you are an initiator since you have tons of gold and are far better than anyone else in your game, use this because you may not be able to blink back out again if you blink in. In addition, this is a useful pursuit tool, but Blink is too.

Gem of True Sight: only buy this if your team is not intelligent enough to realize they need the Gem of True Sight or Sentry Ward because Riki is wrecking them. You really aren't the proper courier of this item, but be smart about purchasing it.

Boots of Travel: If you are facing a coordinated enemy who knows how to distract you from their real target, the movement speed and teleportation are very useful to counter-push them.

Divine Rapier: This item is really here just for fun. If you are dominating, get it and laugh your way to victory. Really, who doesn't want 300 damage?

Completely Rejected

Blink Dagger: Why pay 2150 for a blink that has a longer cooldown than Blink and has use restrictions? The only logically explanation is to hear Anti-Mage ridicule you over buying it, as Valve gave him a few quotes about it.

Force Staff: Even more useless than Blink Dagger as it only moves a target 600 units.

Cheese: If Roshan has died that much, you shouldn't have room for both the Aegis of the Immortal and Cheese in your inventory

Phase Responsibilities


Your first responsibility is to stay alive. Your second responsibility is to get as much gold as possible so you can really start farming. Notice that ganking is not a responsibility; don't force it, but if your support has got the enemy stunned, slowed, and/or low health feel free to seize the opportunity to put them behind you in experience and gold. I would not recommend harassing in a dual lane as it encourages counter-harassment and opens you up to be ganked. If they are harassing you, hit them back and try to push the lane equilibrium towards your tower so they can't make a move.

Battlefury (About 20 minutes in)

You are only responsible for farming creep waves and the jungle in order to get Power Treads and Mjollnir so you can participate in teamfights effectively. This is mainly a transitional period between almost useless Anti-Mage to almost unstoppable Anti-Mage. Keep in mind enemy creeps waves bring in more gold, but you can't stay in one for too long unless you are split pushing.


This is when Anti-Mage becomes a menace. You have the responsibilities of a hard carry- push and teamfight. Keep in mind, as the hard carry, you need to stay alive. Be smart when using Blink, and make sure you can use it to escape if you use it to get into a fight. However, you want to focus on their main-ability spammer or a disabler like Silencer so they cannot hurt your team, and then go for the hard-carry as he/she should have little support once the spell spammers are disabled. Even Huskar is mortal when alone.


This is my first DOTAfire guide so any comments from formatting to suggestions for different items and/or builds are highly appreciated. I'm working on figuring out an unorthodox way to build Anti-Mage to give more options to you all. Thanks for reading this, and thanks to everyone who has made a guide due to how much effort it takes!

Quick Comment (14) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (14) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved