Clockwerk: The Flying Fortress
July 25, 2013
Hello! And welcome to my guide: "Clockwerk: The Flying Fortress". There has not been a fresh guide on Clockwerk for a while so I'm going to give it a try as this will be my first ever guide!
When I first started playing Dota 2, I took an immediate interest in the somewhat under-played hero called Rattletrap, the Clockwerk killing machine. After following a few other guides, I decided to pull together my own builds for use in different situations. This guide is based mostly on personal experience.
During the written part of my guide, I will explain the choices of items and skills in my builds, explore Clockwerk's strengths and weaknesses and determine his 'bros and foes'.
Feel free to leave suggestions and questions in the comments, I need all the help I can get! Anyone that gives suggestions that get put into the guide will be commemorated in my "special thanks" section. Anyone that asks a question about either Clockwerk or my guide will be added to an FAQ section and I will answer their question as best I can.
Also, check out my in-game general purpose guide for easier access whilst in game!
Pros / Cons
OK! Now lets look at the pros and cons of Clockwerk:
*Attrition: "Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a side attempts to win a war by wearing down it's enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in resources. The war will usually be won by the side with greater such resources."
+ Very long range initiation,
+ Very durable,
+ Can kill runners effectively,
+ Low cost skills,
+ Very good at ganking carries,
+ High movement speed (315!),
+ Still useful if under-leveled ( Power Cogs to trap for the carry to kill),
+ Power Cogs good for disruption in team fights.
- Low overall damage,
- Relies on attrition* to get kills,
- Faces problems against multiple ranged heroes,
- Success relies on your accuracy with Hookshot & Rocket Flare,
- High ability dependence.
- Dependent on items late game ( Aghanim's Scepter, Blade Mail...)
In this context, the "resources" is replaced with "hit-points".
"Ha, that tickles!"
is your primary damage skill. It may not seem like much, but at level 4, It can dish out a massive 1125 damage
to a single target! As a result, It has mid - late game potential. However, this is difficult to pull off because Battery Assault randomly targets
enemies, making it unreliable as an effective source of damage when attacking an enemy hero in the middle of a creep wave or around other enemy heros.
Escaping/ Chasing utility:
Another use of Battery Assault
is using it to slow down attacking or fleeing enemies. This is done by simply turning on the skill when escaping/ chasing and relying on the random Battery Assault
attacks to slow the enemy down through mini-stuns. But again, the random targeting
of this skill is it's flaw. Using it to chase or escape near creeps may render your efforts to mini-stun the enemy useless.
Finally there is the life-saving Battery Assault
usage; Cancelling channeled abilities. This skill has saved me from those awful channel skills more times than I can count. Whenever you are within attack range of an enemy hero that has a channel ability, ACTIVATE BATTERY ASSAULT!
. Battery Assault
will cancel it as soon as it hits the hero that is channeling. A common example of this use is cancelling Pudge
so that you have the upper hand in a 1vs1 fight with him.
Notice my excessive highlighting of random
? I can't stress this point enough! Use of this ability effectively depends on how many enemy units there are around you, so single out targets with the help of your Power Cogs
to maximise the damage output of this ability!
The primary use of this skill is trapping an enemy, singling them out from the rest of the group so that they're isolated from their allies and beat them to death. I like to call this 'Cage Fighting'. Preventing enemy movement is the most valuable trick that Clockwerk has to kill his foes because his damage output is relatively low. As a result of this low damage output, you need to 'out-live
' the enemy rather than 'out-damage
' them. To do this requires time (ironically), that is what Power Cogs
is designed to do.
'Cage fighting' is best done by using your Hookshot
to grapple right up to an enemy, using Power Cogs
to trap them in the 'cage', then activating Battery Assault
to do damage and mini-stun them. If positioning is good and the foe is isolated from other enemies enough, the fight should be over before the cogs disappear, with you merrily adding another kill to your tally.
Believe it or not, your Power Cogs
are a useful escape tool. They can be used to block the path so that enemies cannot chase you without being zapped by the Power Cogs
's life and mana drain (which will also hinder them by a MASSIVE
amount, allowing you to get away).
However, doing this can be tricky because you will need to use your Power Cogs
, then attack the cog in the direction you are running (Attack the cog by pressing 'A' and clicking on the cog
). The result will be a barrier of powered cogs that will zap enemies that get too close appearing between you and your chaser.
- Using the cogs too close to the enemy will only trap you and the person that you are trying to get away from inside your Power Cogs
and you will probably die
"Long range rampage!"
Early game is where this ability shines. As a result, I recommend that you make the most of this ability as soon as you can because it's poor damage falls off the spectrum in late game.
I will talk about this ability in early game as it is when Rocket Flare
is at it's most useful. I chose this as the first skill to reach level 4 in the skill sequences because of it's amazing harassing power early game.
When laning against two enemy heroes, use this skill whenever you can hit both of them (if hitting both isn't possible, aim for the carry). The damage done by this skill may not be much, but over constant use of it, combined with the regular 'right-click' harassment of you and your laning partner, you can push someone out of lane fairly easily, giving you free exp. from the creeps and lowering their exp. because they're running back to the spawn.
The best feature of this skill is it's unlimited cast range. ABUSE THIS!
It will get you kills where otherwise kills would not be possible.
An enemy hero has escaped from a fight, less than 100hp
. a smile crosses his face as he breaks free, only several meters from the protection of the spawn...BANG!
A flare explodes overhead, finishing his hero in a shower of fire. He stares in disbelief as he hears Clockwerk
, taunting him, saying: "Where'd that come from, right?"
I hope that little story sums up why Rocket Flare
s are a valuable killing tool. They are excellent for killing fleeing enemies at a long distance. (It takes practice to get the timing right when trying to hit enemy heroes in the fog, but practice makes perfect and, eventually, you will be pulling off spectacular extreme range kills
A mid - late game use of this skill is to fire it across the map to look for heroes. This is known as "Scouting". This is what makes the Rocket Flare
useful in conjunction with Hookshot
: fire the flare
, see an enemy
, use Hookshot
, do the 'cage fight' routine
, add a kill to the tally.
Now, we reach Clockwerk's greatest ganking tool: The Hookshot
This ability is what makes Clockwerk
a "Flying" Fortress. He can (almost) fly across half the map in one shot, making him one of the longest range initiators in the game. You can use this drastic range to thoroughly surprise heroes preoccupied with farming creeps or harassing your team mates.
Positioning is key! Enemy AND friendly creeps can be hit with the grapple, making you slam into them rather than your target. Be aware of your surroundings, use trees to sneak up on someone in a lane and hook them without worrying about unwanted collisions.
Another valid use of the Hookshot
. However it's only very useful for escaping when combined with an Aghanim's Scepter
. This will lower the cool-down time of Hookshot
from 40 seconds (level 3) to only 12 seconds! Making it an amazing escape tool because it will most likely have cooled down in time for you to use it on a creep / hero to get away from a fight that would have otherwise killed you!
Past the early game phase, this is what you will be doing for the team. During mid game, the team fights will start to become frequent and possibly the entirety of both teams will become involved. Your job in these team fights will be to initiate with your hook. Remember that you need your team's support and don't be afraid to die if it will get your carries some early game gold/ exp. Once the initiation has taken place, use everything you have to disrupt their positioning and cause them to focus on you; being focused on is one of the best things you can do in a team fight as you're a tank. If you're lucky, they'll waste all of their spells on you which will leave them vulnerable to attack by the rest of your team.
Teamwork is crucial;
do not initiate unless you are certain that your team will swiftly follow you.
Now for my Item justifications. I will explain why I chose the Items in my builds and how to use each one effectively.
You will notice that many of my starting items give stat bonuses, most notably strength. I did this specifically to give Clockwerk
a significant health advantage over enemy heroes. You will probably notice this as a reoccurring theme in this guide.
This one should be pretty self explanatory to anyone that has played the game before. This is a key item for your early game because it allows you to stay in your lane to farm as long as you possibly can before resupplying at the spawn. If you're good at managing the use of these and avoiding being damaged by the enemy, a Tango
can mean that you never need to go back to the spawn throughout the entire early game phase, using Animal Courier
s and the side shop to acquire your items.
Personally, I consider buying a Tango
to be a better alternative to a Healing Salve
. This is because it is a lot more practical to use, especially on a tank like Clockwerk
. An example of a practical use offered by a Tango
is activating it just before you start a fight with another hero. It will offer a bit more hp than actually have because you will regenerate lost hp during the fight. This leads me too another strength; the fact that being attacked WILL NOT
cancel it's effects.
This was mainly added to build into a Bracer
. This is a valuable item to have at the start of the game because the "+2 in all stats" will help you out by a surprising amount, especially when combined with the three Iron Branch
's "+1 in all stats".
Gauntlets of Strength
I highly recommend this item, even if you don't plan to build it into a Bracer
. It gives you "+3 to strength" which can add a considerable amount to your maximum hp.
Despite it's useless first appearance, it is in fact one of the most cost-effective items available from the store (159 gold for +3 in all stats, that's much more cost-efficient than the Circlet
's 185 gold for +2 in all stats!). It can also be built into a Magic Wand
, which is extremely good for a ganker like yourself because you will probably cause them to use a lot of their abilities in panic when you fly out of a bush and trap them behind a wall of empowered metal.
To sum it up, starting items with this build are designed to give you as much stat bonus' as possible whilst still paving the way to build future items that will help you accomplish your goals.
These items will give you:
- Three 115hp heals,
- +8 Strength,
- +5 Agility,
- +5 Intelligence,
- The ability to build a Bracer and a Magic Wand quickly.
These boots increase your already very high movement speed to am massive 370! It also gives the ability to boost your movement speed by 12% for 4 seconds, with a cool-down of 8 seconds. This means that every 4 seconds, you can have a FREE speed boost for 4 seconds! PLUS, it only gives +24 damage, giving you that early right click power that Clockwerk
so painfully lacks and allows you to run through creeps for extra escape / chase ability or to get into position quickly for a Hookshot
What more could you ask from boots?
Commonly seen used by clockwerks in a more supportive roll, Arcane Boots
are very useful if you are using your abilities excessively. The boost of mana is extremely useful during the early game and the mana replenishment means that you can stay with the team for more team fights than would be possible without it. Recommended if playing a supportive role or are needing to harass the enemy a lot more than usual.
A commonly overlooked item, the Bracer
is an awesome addition to Clockwerk
's stats, giving him a significant hit points advantage over your targets; a critical thing to have if you're to survive longer than them in a cage fight. It can also later be built into a drum of endurance to further boost your speed, attack speed and stats.
The Magic Wand
is a valuable asset as Clockwerk
. You will probably gather quite a few charges in a short amount of time considering the amount of chaos you can cause to enemy heroes. I have been saved by this item dozens of times and is one of the few instant heal items in the game. Well worth the 509 gold it costs to make, especially considering you already have 159 of the cost taken care of in your starting items!
This is an item recommended to me by bandit_king:
i think a bottle is good for him though since he is a roamer.
After taking his advice, I have put this in the build as a situational item. I would highly recommend this item if you're going mid lane because ganking with Clockwerk
requires almost all of your mana and/or hp (depending on who you just killed) so you will need a reliable source of both hp and mana. Also, it is replenishable with runes if you need to quickly get to another location for a second gank.
By this point, you will have:
- +55(60 with arcane boots) (370/375 total) movement speed,
- +3(27 with phase boots) damage,
- +9 Strength,
- +6 Agility,
- +6 Intelligence,
- +200 mana (with arcane boots).
Mid game is very simple with this build, just go all out for an Aghanim's Scepter
. It reduces your cool-down time on your Hookshot
to only 12 seconds, a game changer for Clockwerk
. It makes you much more consistent in your kills and will increase your efficiency in escaping by a large amount.
If you're having a particularly good game, you may be able to get this item by level 14. The earliest I've ever purchased an Aghanim's Scepter
is level 12. See if you can beat me.
By this stage, you will have:
- 12 second cool down on your Hookshot,
- +27 damage,
- +200 hp,
- +150 mana,
- +19 strength,
- +16 agility,
- +16 intelligence.
Heart of Tarrasque
Another very simple choice. Amazing strength bonus; the highest on the game. Combine this with an INSANE
boost to hp regeneration (2% per second when not in combat!).
Needless to say, these are some pretty cool stats to have, especially because you will probably be the team's tank during late game.
Late game: alternative
This is my cheaper alternative to the late game heart of terrasque. The Heaven's Halberd
can be an angelic weapon to have on your god-like killing sprees. It can give you a lot of survive-ability at a much cheaper price than a terrasque. The added strength bonus boosts your hp significantly and the evasion chance can mean the difference between life and death in a 'cage fight' and the active disarms the target for 4 seconds (which means "no auto-attacks for you!"). This can save your metal behind from those right-click carries (most notably heroes like Huskar
who has his damage output improved significantly when on low hp. I highly recommend this Heaven's Halberd
if you are against a huskar because he is the hero I see clockwerks typically do the worst against). A problem with this weapon however is that Blade Mail
doesn't do anything while the halberd is active so try to space out the usage of these two items so that you don't make the fact that you have a blade mail irrelevant.
The ultimate item for any tank wishing to destroy an enemy carry. Espescially useful inside your Power Cogs
as it either forces the enemy to use some form of escape mechansm or attack you directly. A choice that will utterly destroy them if they are unwary enough not to notice the Blade Mail
being put up or, if they choose not to attack you, stand frustrated as they cannot stop their inevitable death by killing you before you do likewise to them.
Using a blade mail means that you should avoid armour boosting items. This is because you will need to maximise the damage that you will recieve in order to maximise the damage that you will give out. Build strength boosting items instead to give you more hp to improve survivability without reducing damage recieved.
Although I personally don't buy this item very often, it can be a valuable asset to have because it provides a few great bonuses to improve your longevity when you most need it.
Drum of Endurance
- Reduces all enemy's attack speed by 25 within a 1000 radius,
- Gives 30 intelligence, not completely nessicary but always a nice bonus,
- Gives 15 armour, which boosts your ability to survive even further as a late game tank,
- provides an active ability that:
A) Slows the enemy's movement speed, making it harder for them to escape you if your cogs don't keep them still for long enough.
B) Does 200 damage, not much, but the fact that it hits multiple heroes at once makes up for that.
A supprisingly overlooked item, the Drum of Endurance
provides a 5% bonus to movement speed and 5 attack speed. Often seen as one of the most cost effective items in the game, the Drum of Endurance
can prove a valuable choice to any roaming ganker. Also, you will already have a Bracer
so it won't be too much of a hastle to buy it if you consider it nessicary to help your team if team fights are happening earlier than usual or your team could use some extra speed.
Again, not commonly employed by me but a team asset non-the-less. It provides a passive armour and attack speed bonus to team-mates and also weakens enemy armour. Considering you will be right in the enemy's face throughout a team fight, it will probably always benefit your team. The attack speed buff doesn't really benefit you all that much but your team will be greatful for the boost!
Dust of Appearance
This dust is an almost essential item for Clockwerk
when against an enemythat has an invisibility skill or item. Getting dust of appearance is a questionable decision, "why not just buy wards? They last much longer and only costs 20 gold more."
Here are my reasons:
- The obvious one; they're cheaper. You can buy these on a small budget and it won't feel bank breaking if you buy them more than once.
- It has a faster effect time. What I mean by this is it is an item that you activate and it takes place immediately, whereas the wards need to be placed before they take effect, wasting valuable time.
- Wards can be destroyed. A competent player will realize the you're putting down wards by simply checking your backpack and use his own item to destroy yours, letting them escape easily.
- Gem of True Sight is only recommended if you are certain you can keep it. If you die, you can say goodbye to 700 gold. Not a pleasant experience.
Once you buy Dust of Appearance
, go hunting for that annoying invisible enemy that jumps on your team when they least expect it. The only hero allowed to do that in this game is Clockwerk
Urn of Shadows
It is sugested by me because, as a ganker, you will probably be around for most early to mid game kills. Charges can also be used to heal up after a gank so that your gears keep on turning and you can go back in for round two. It also gives a nice strength and mana regeneration bonus, giving you the power to stay and fight where others would need to replenish their supplies.
Solo Hardlane, the job that nobody ever wants to do
During my time playing clockwerk, I have often found myself soloing the hard lane (something that I now enjoy doing) and decided to write a little bit on how to survive and become good at getting the most out of this seemingly unfair situation.
I usually use my general purpose build to get the items from because they help to keep me alive (bracer) and also help me in the long run (phase boots). However sometimes, due to the nature of the hardlane, I find myself a lot lower on money than I would have liked. In times like these, I may want to skip my bottle and phase boots and instead go straight for Arcane Boots. This will allow me to gain the mana-replenishing effects of the bottle and still keep the cost low. The main downside to this is that you forfeit the maneuverability and damage that phase boots give you. After that I just follow the rest of the guide.
The Skill Build
When playing hardlane Clockwerk, my skill build can vary. Usually I will use the ' Rocket Flares first' type build (see general purpose build) but there will be some occasions when I will level up my Power Cogs to level 4 first. I only do this under very specific conditions:
There is only one enemy hero in my lane,
There are two melee heroes on my lane with no stuns,
A hero in my lane needs mana more than anything in order to do well.
The reasons for this is because this build can make you VERY vulnerable to ranged heroes because you cannot get last hits/harass with your Rocket Flare
because you will not be leveling it up enough. Also, you will likely be spending your time much closer to the creep wave in order to keep up with money and that can be dangerous against two players and they might easily cut you off from your tower for an easy kill.
So why do it?
Many people underestimate the power of the secondary effect of Power Cogs
: Health and mana drain. This can be used extremely effectively on a lane when you are not at risk of dying. For example, a magnus is solo safe lane against you because the enemy team are doing an aggressive tri-lane. You will be able to hit the magnus enough with your cogs that he will lose a lot of HP and (more importantly) mana. It will get to the point where he will not be able to go near the creeps for fear of being shocked by the cogs and will not be able to cast any spells to kill creeps from a distance. He will be forced to let you farm without being disturbed and need help from the mid hero to get rid of you (something that isn't hard for clockwerk to escape from).
Most of the time though, it is better to build Rocket Flare
s first and sit behind the creeps.
The main strategy for hardlane clockwerk is to stay as far away from the creeps as possible whilst still staying in range to get exp. (that is 1200 units, very similar to a Blink Dagger
or Meat Hook
for those who are used to that). The idea with this is to wait until one or two creeps are on low HP and hit them with a flare. This will not only get you safe last hits but it will also harass enemy heroes when aimed correctly (Something that could set up easy kills when you hit level 6).
That's all there is to it really. It's relatively easy to deal with creep pulling as well because when you notice their creep wave has gone missing, just fire a flare or two into the medium camp and hope you get some easy last hits.
These easy farming methods mean that clockwerk can still thrive where most other heroes would die trying and mean that the enemy carry has a difficult time in the process.
Now, lets explore which characters Clockwerk is good / bad against
Because you will probably find this information more useful, these are the heroes that Clockwerk excels
She can be a pain, especially in pub games, and is probably one of the most common hero you will encounter (due to how easy she is to play). However, If she is denied her farm she will quickly become under-leveled and unable to carry their team. More often than not, she can be found on middle lane during the early game stage... A perfect opportunity for a gank. Try to work with your team's middle-laner to flatten her early game to minimize her effectiveness later. If she DOES get her farm and is the main problem on her team, use a Blade Mail
to turn the tables on her in a 'cage fight'*
. A common item for Drow Ranger
is a Shadow Blade
. This can be a problem because if you trap her in your Power Cogs
, she will just go invisible. To stop her from escaping from your metal grasp, use a Dust of Appearance
to stop her invisibility hiding her and proceed to beat her to death in the 'cage fight'.
Eliminate Drow Ranger
early and you will be a credit to the team.
*'cage fight' is the term I use to describe fighting an enemy inside the Power Cogs
I played a game against a Drow Ranger
on middle lane today. It was brilliant! Flares are all that was needed to keep her from farming and force her out of lane. When I reached lvl 6, I waited until she was out of the enemy tower's range and Hookshot
+ Power Cogs
made light work of her. I then proceeded to gank the other lanes, gaining 8 kills before finally dying. Needless to say, the Drow Ranger
became useless and resorted to jungling during mid to late game (something our doom bringer took care of easily). I then transitioned into the tank later game and Phantom Assassin
and Doom bringer (my friend) took over and carried us all the way to the enemy's ancient. A truly amazing game.
21/03/2013: Drow's nerf
just became even better
against Drow Ranger
as you being near her now makes her ultimate completely irrelevant (rather than just halving it's effect). I can safely say that clockwerk is now a hardcore counter to drow.
, 'the fat hooker', is a hero not so different from Clockwerk
Need I say more?
has a trick up his sleeve: Battery Assault
How? well lets look at it's description:
"Discharges high-powered shrapnel at random nearby enemy units, dealing minor magical damage and mini-stun."
could mean the difference between life and death in a showdown against Pudge
because when you grapple in to gank a Pudge
, the first thing he will probably do is use Dismember
on you. If you activate Battery Assault
before he uses Dismember
, the mini-stun will cancel it (because Dismember
is a channeled ability) and mean that a large amount of damage from Pudge
can be avoided.
Another advantage you have over Pudge
is the range of your initiation hook. Pudge
's Meat Hook
only has a range of 1300 (level 4) whilst Clockwerk
has a huge range of 3000 (level 3)!
Use this to your advantage and stay a fair distance away from him. You will need the stun provided by your Hookshot
to activate your Power Cogs
and (most importantly) Battery Assault
in time to stop him from using Dismember
Another thing that may give you an advantage againtst Pudge
(in comparison to other heroes) is that Clockwerk
does steady amounts of damage over time, rather than nukers that do large amounts of damage at the start of the fight and then resort to low damage auto attacks to finish. This means that Pudge
's usual annoying habit of suiciding before he is killed may be avoided.
This is my justification for saying that Clockwerk
is an effective counter to Pudge
, 'the fat hooker'.
You will probably need to heal a lot
after this fight because Pudge
is a nasty one when it comes to face to face combat.
Here I will eplain exactly which heroes Clockwerk works well with.
Keep in mind that any of the heroes clockwerk works well with also do well against him for the same reasons.
Now, arguably, Omniknight
can work well with anyone, but I believe that he is espescially effective at hepling Clockwerk
First of all, as I have previously explained, Clockwerk
relies on attrition to best his enemies. Nobody has a better single target heal that also damages
people than Omniknight
needs to be used close to enemies to have maximum effect, who could be more perfect than Clockwerk
? His Power Cogs
make sure that they will be right next to him the whole time. All of this means that Omniknight
will hurt the enemy at the same time as healing you, meaning that (at level 4) you will be healed by 300 and the enemy damaged by 300, that's a huge 600hp difference created between Clockwerk
and the victim, all created by the use of one spell.
has repel. Obviously, this could also help in a cage fight to protect you from skills that the enemy may use to turn the fight in their favour.
And finally, Guardian Angel
. Another obviously helpful tool to protect Clockwerk
from damage in a fight. This is probably best used when the enemy right-click carry has his sights on Clockwerk
(or anyone else for that matter) because it blocks physical damage.
Altough the synergy between these heroes may be a small one, it has very simple reasoning behind it; Ursa needs to beat the **** out of the enemy, the only problem is that he can't do that when the enemy simply runs away. That's where you come in. Your Power Cogs
are perfect for holding them still while Ursa
flurries them with attack after attack.
would be close enough to you and the enemy to be cought in the initial use of the cogs, trapping them with no way to escape. This can be achieved by having the Ursa
chase the victim, Clockwerk
uses his Hookshot
to stun the enemy briefly, giving the Ursa
time to catch up with them. Then, use the Power Cogs
to trap you, Ursa
and the helpless victim inside a slaughter house.
This cannot be pulled off in most circumstances however and you will need to make a breach in the cogs to allow the butcher to do his job. This could mean that the enemy has a chance at escape but will certainly hinder them, hopefully enough for Ursa
to rip them to shreds.
A note to commemorate all that have helped me develop my guide so far!
Not been updating it much recently due to an inconvenient keyboard fault, but I am making a few changes to the information. I will also be adding a little more in the skills section and a little more about heroes that cloclwerk has difficulties against.