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Cuttleboss' Guide to Riding the Lightning [6.86]

February 12, 2016 by Cuttleboss
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Build 1
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Build 6
Build 7

Vampiric Storm (Octarine Tanky Pusher)

DotA2 Hero: Razor


Purchase Order

Starting Items (#1. Last Hitting)

Starting Items (#2, Bottle Rush)

Early (Phase or Treads, Ring Optional)

Core

Extension

Luxury

As Needed




Introduction

We will be learning about Razor, the sharpest tool in the early-activating tank carry shed. Razor is a core hero that is native as the farmer of whichever lane he's on, whether as a mid lane solo, in the safelane, solo or with support(s), or an aggressive offlane due to his powerful damage early on. He is only to be played in Position 2 or 1.

Razor is a hero defined by his early impact that comes from his high damage output and survivability. He stands fearlessly in the front of fights, ready to take the brunt of the enemy's hits and steal the damage of all their carries. Razor is a tank because of his great survivability against spells and resistance to disables due to two of his skills working when stunned. Razor is a carry because of his ability to output massive damage and his requirement for usually survival items in order to deal that damage. And Razor is one of the best anti-carries because his skills allow him to fight earlier than other carries and steal their damage to use against them.

As always with me, this guide is not concise. If you alt-tabbed here, you may not find what you are looking for.

Updates

February 11, 2016: Updated for 6.86. Not much changed, Invoker added to matchups. Riki removed from prey. Dragon Lance and Aether Lens rejected. Artist Sourcing Added.
October 4, 2015: Updated for 6.85. Hero interactions were changed up, mainly Bloodseeker.
September 19, 2015: Guide Created

Difficulty

Easy - Intermediate

By Tekamza
"Once started, it's easy, the calm before the storm is the real challenge"


Razor's skills don't require much practice to use properly. With not much effort, Razor can simply overpower many enemies using his Static Link, the high movespeed of Unstable Current, smacking his target with his stolen damage so that Eye of the Storm can focus them down. Fights start and end with the simple use of Plasma Field. The difficulty of playing the hero comes from his odd missile, and his slow farm rate, which means that a few mistakes as Razor can also be game losing. Overdiving and feeding the enemy a lead will cost very much for Razor due to his lack of ability to catch up if things go bad, so like Dragon Knight, Razor requires good judgment in order to play to his potential.

Despite combat being easy once you're in it, it is everything else about Razor that is trickier. Knowing tricks like using plasma field to his two or more creep camps is one, or knowing when to farm and when to fight, since Razors often focus too much on one and lose the game. Also important is knowing how to use Static Link, his most important skill, on the right targets and at the right time.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Let's see what our revenant does well and poorly.

Pros: Only to hasten the inevitable
+ Powerful lane presence
+ High damage output once fight has gone on for a few seconds
+ Resistant to disables, due to 3 skills working when disabled
+ Good at all phases of the game from laning to endgame pushes and teamfights
+ Wins mid against a majority of matchups (if you can last hit)
+ Functions well against magic immune enemies (Static Link and Eye of the Storm ignore it)
+ Very fast moving as he levels his passive
+ Highly resistant to single target spells
+ Cast spells very quickly
+ High strength gain for AGI hero, making him quite tanky mid-game
+ Has a weird deep flamboyant voice that sounds really cool in game (like Javier Bardem from Skyfall)

Cons: Man, I hate storm spirit.
- Item Dependent
- Rather low damage output at the start of a fight
- Damage falls off as game goes on
- Very dependent on a good laning phase
- Requires enemies to be less mobile than him in order for Static Link to work.
- Farms rather slowly, little options playing from behind
- Odd missile that may take some time to get used to
- Low burst damage
- No way to stop channeling
- Low armor and agility growth, making him vulnerable to physical damage as game goes on
- Eye of the Storm is liable to hit creeps instead of the heroes you're targeting
- Poor fashion sense (the guy wears a sleeveless turtleneck corset with a dress)

When to Pick?

So, with all these in mind, this is a list of when to and when not to pick Razor:

    Pick him if:
  • Enemy team has multiple or key targeted spells
  • Enemy team has a low mobility carry
  • Your team has supports
  • Your team has enough early game presence in order to fight early on
  • Your team has enough crowd control for you to deal damage
  • The enemy team picked a carry that doesn't activate until later
  • Your team has heroes that can help keep you alive to deal damage
  • Your team has another carry, as Razor generally cannot solo carry his team.
    Do not pick him when:
  • Enemy team has heavy slowers or skills that dissuade running around like Venomous Gale or Rupture
  • Enemy right clickers are very mobile
  • Your team has enough cores and needs supports.
  • Team needs a late game hard carry instead of a mid-game snowballing one.
  • Your team has no stuns or any other significant crowd control.
  • Enemies are reliant on non-targeted spells, particularly non-targeted nukes
  • Enemy cores are reliant on a large number of units (Illusions, Summons, Meepos)
  • Enemies have armor subtracting abilities

Skill Build and Abilities

Skill builds are fluid, so use your skill build in the way that will benefit you the most. Usually, Plasma Field looks to be the first skill maxed, but Static Link wants to get to level 3, so much so that it is usually worth delaying Eye of the Storm, since its not great at Level 1 anyway. Unstable Current generally comes later, unless you are in a lane matchup where it would be useful, then a value point would be good, it lets you get some easy cheap shots back on whoever is casting things on you.

Skill Build A: Link and Field
1 Static Link
2 Plasma Field
3 Static Link
4 Plasma Field
5 Static Link
6-7 Plasma Field
8 Eye of the Storm
9 Static Link
10 Unstable Current
11 Eye of the Storm
12-14 Unstable Current
15 Stats
16 Eye of the Storm
17-25 Stats


Skill Build B: Early Eye of the Storm
1 Static Link
2-3 Plasma Field
4 Static Link
5 Plasma Field
6 Eye of the Storm
7 Plasma Field
8-10 Static Link
11 Eye of the Storm
12-14 Unstable Curent
15 Stats
16 Eye of the Storm
17-25 Stats


Skill Build C: Early Current Value Point
1 Static Link
2 Unstable Current
3-5 Plasma Field
6 Static Link
7 Plasma Field
8 Eye of the Storm
9-10 Unstable Current/Static Link
11 Eye of the Storm
12-14 Static Link/Unstable Current
15 Stats
16 Eye of the Storm
17-25 Stats


Now, let's look at Razor's skills. If you want numbers, look at his wiki page.

Plasma Field
Usage: Farming, Harass, Finisher, Scouting, Dealing Damage in a teamfight
Notes: This skill provides flying vision for 2 seconds, so use it to scout out where your opponents hide.
This ability follows Razor, not his location at time of cast, so if you are running back hoping to kill someone else running back, it won't work.
Try to use this to hit 2 (or possibly 3) creep camps at once, preferably with the edge of the lightning, as it does way more damage.
If you're against a melee laner, this harasses well as they go for last hits.
This skill is very ineffective at close range. Don't use it when enemies are that close.
This spell casts instantly, making it nice in chases for extra damage.
Moves at 636 movespeed. I don't know why it's such a weird number, but it's faster than any hero's natural movespeed except Bloodseeker and transformed Lycan.


Static Link
Usage: Weakening enemy carries, Lane Domination, Forcing Disengagements on enemies diving, Giving Razor the damage to hit like Tiny.
Notes: Completely ignores magic immunity. Cast it on Lifestealer and see.
You get shared vision for the duration, so you become unjukable.
Use this on heroes you can keep up with, not someone extremely mobile like Ember Spirit or Storm Spirit.
The break distance is 700, only 100 more than the cast range, so get close to cast it, else it can be easily broken by your target moving back during its cast time.
Nothing breaks it short of the distance being met or one of the two dying. Not even Ball Lightning
This is the first of your two spells that makes you more dangerous the longer you survive.
A fully charged Razor early to mid game is terrifying, able to outfight almost any hero.


Unstable Current
Usage: Punishing enemies for casting spells on you, moving faster so you can keep linking and eyeofthestorming, Trolling Bristleback
Notes: This lets you be reckless and makes you resistant to getting blasted by many spells.
The movespeed becomes very useful later for all purposes.
Kind of like Pugna's Nether Ward, if the damage of Unstable Current kills the caster, they will not cast their spell. This will almost never happen, since its damage is kind of low.
Affects items as well, Scythe, Dagon, Halberd, and Abyssal will still have penalties on their casters.
Works from global range, through fog and invisibility. Spirit Breaker can go die.


Eye of the Storm
Usage: Dealing Massive Damage, Farming, (With Aghs) Pushing Towers, Rax, and Ancient
Notes: This skill, if you're using it to kill someone/someone and their friends, is ruined by creeps being around.
All armor reduction will end with the spell, including by Razor's death, which should make you a fairly high priority target.
This is the second reason why you get more dangerous the longer you survive, as the Eye deals physical damage and reduces armor, so it gets stronger the longer it runs assuming its not changing targets all the time.
Stacks fully with itself, so Refresher Orb is a great pick up late game.

The Stages of the Game

Early Game:

Laning:

by RoxtheSox
"Get out of my lane you kids!"


Solo Mid-Lane: This is Razor's primary environment, since he's suited very much for 1v1 laning with Static Link, which will get the early levels. Razor wins almost all of his matchups in solo mid lane due to how powerful his Static Link is for bullying enemies out of last hits and making Razor's hits hurt like hell, and Plasma Field can often finish people off. However, there are certain matchups that are unfavorable for Razor, which will be in the next section. For the most part though, you will dominate your enemy, get bottle to get runes, and trash the lane you're in, unless of course, the enemies rotate, which might happen and Razor has no response to, since he's a 1v1 hero. If that's happening, try to "convince" your allies to pressure other lanes by any means necessary so that those enemy supports stay at their side lanes. This means pushing, or diving the carry they left alone.

Solo Safelane: If running an aggressive trilane, Razor can take the solo safelane farm against what is likely a solo offlaner, but possibly a dual lane. If the aggro tri is doing it's job, it won't be a dual lane for long, but even so, Razor can dominate and get free farm against most solo offlaners, but they also tend to be harder to kill than most solo mid laners. Here Razor doesn't need to get a Bottle either and can focus on his core items.

Aggressive Trilane: Razor also functions well as head of an aggressive trilane thanks to his early killing potential. With some disablers like Bane, Shadow Demon, or Shadow Shaman, Razor can get easy static links. With a third member that deals some extra damage, like Undying, Ancient Apparition, or Visage, kills should come raking in. This is very effective if the enemy carry is really a pathetic laner, like Spectre or Alchemist. If your aggro tri fails, you probably lose the game, so keep that in mind.

Dual Side Lane: With a support, Razor can go into this laning arrangement, but he's considerably weaker than if he's mid, since he likely has 2 enemies to worry about, unless he happens to be against a solo, in which case, awesome. The side lane Razor cannot afford to be quite as aggressive as other Razor setups, but with good link usage, it shouldn't be hard to take over the lane.

Jungle: That's funny. Oh wait, you're serious....I mean... if you want to use a lane dominator with a quelling blade to stand on top of a cliff, you can technically do it, but c'mon man...

Defensive Trilane: Seriously? Is Razor really worth putting here? Anyway, if you're here, you probably had to switch with a safelaner who was unable to lane against a tough lane. Just do your thing, hopefully you win.

Midgame:

by Ahyou1991
"I'm only here to hasten the inevitable."


Now that laning is over, you have some options depending on the game. If the enemy team is vulnerable to pushing, whether it be ganker carries ( Slark, Storm Spirit), hard carries that need time ( Spectre, Phantom Lancer), or greedy non carry picks ( Doom, Timbersaw). If this is the case, then Razor can easily lead his team to take early towers, since many teams are unlikely to want to fight against your link and eye of the storm. If it's not favorable to push, whether due to your own team composition being greedy, or due to having a ganker team of your own, then go into gank mode, find the enemies and kill them, often preferably with an ally that has a stun so enemies don't tp out the second they see you. Try to gain momentum, you should be able to get some, Razor is just that good mid-game. If you don't, you could be completely screwed in the late game. Your position in fights should probably be near the front, especially if you're your team's only tank, and plus, you're tanky, but if the enemies have deadly spells that you'd rather avoid, then the middle lines are fine too. Remember that even though you're a tank, you don't want to stand still, you want to run around to survive and make the enemies chase you, like you're a Bristleback or something.

Late Game:

Alright, Razor's late game, which can be good, depending on how you itemize, with Deathballer being in a lot of trouble, and the other ones in much less trouble. However, the goal is now to prioritize pushing over ganking. Razor is not a good pickoff artist, since he lacks crowd control. Plus, if you got either some right click or Aghs, you should have good tower melting powers now. Unless you're grossly overfarmed, you probably don't want to lead the charges against the enemies anymore, since much of Razor's survivabilty doesn't scale into late game like it would for Spectre or Bristleback so he'll likely die a lot more at this point in the game. Point is, kill towers, end the game. Save buyback if you must, it can be game winning, especially with boots of travel.

Razor's Solo Matchups

Let's look at some of Razor's solo vs solo matchups, where in the mid or in his safelane.

Matchup Razor Should Win almost all the Time: Most Solo Heroes, especially ones that are immobile, bonus points for them being melee. None of these need to be elaborated on, Razor should be able to defeat them with ease.
Night Stalker, Tiny, Kunkka, Clockwerk, Brewmaster, Beastmaster Dragon Knight, Timbersaw, Tusk, Elder Titan, Legion Commander, Phoenix, Pudge, Tidehunter, Doom, Spirit Breaker, Templar Assassin, Troll Warlord, Nyx Assassin, Skywrath Mage, Zeus, Warlock, Leshrac, Batrider

Heroes to Look into:

Razor trounces SF mid from early on, since he can prevent the CS from coming in. However, if the CS starts, Razor may lose control of the lane when SF can smack him a couple times and nuke him down. And plus, shutting down SF's lane doesn't prevent him from going jungle. Just be careful against him because it's not hard to lose the lead.
Difficulty: Easy

Razor will almost definitely take control of the lane, but Magnus can still scrape last hits off with shockwave, and skewer functions both as an escape from static link, and can punish Razor for the diving nature of the hero. The lane is still advantageous, but much more dangerous than most lanes for Razor.
Difficulty: Easy

Razor still has the advantage against Storm, since Storm needs to right click in order to fully control lanes, and Razor is not melee, so the Remnants are not a significant threat. However, keeping link is harder against storm because of the remnant he'll drop, and Storm also has massive armor for no real reason. He's a problem later, once he's 6, you will never be able to link him again and he can easily farm jungle to catch up, so you may want to push early against him.
Difficulty: Easy
Invoker has some pretty powerful laning, be sure to cast your spells if you see him setting up EMP combos. Try to take over the lane from early on with your static link, punish his early levels and don't make his lane easy. If you do that early on, this should be an easy lane win, especially since he will probably not contest your runes. If he gains momentum, he can be difficult to deal with however, similar to Shadow Fiend.
Difficulty: Easy

Puck is at a disadvantage against Razor, since his/her damage is not as good. However, his/her escape prevents Razor from completely taking control of the lane and can scrape last hits off with the orb as well.
Difficulty: Medium

Queen of Pain is one of the harder matchups for Razor, but still in his favor. If Queen gets Shadow Strike, punish her by getting Unstable Current and hit her when she's slowed, and she'll eventually stop trying to shadow strike you. Otherwise, this lane is more even, since Akasha can just blink to break the static link. Razor's right clicks hurt her quite a bit, due to her weak armor and he's tanky enough to survive much of her nuking. He only loses out on rune grabbing, but if she blinks to a rune and you're there already, hey, easy kill.
Difficulty: Medium

As an offlaner, Undying is a pain in the *** for Razor, because he's just that strong early game. What's likely going to happen if you two ever have a clash is that you'll link him, you kill him, the zombies kill you. So it's a very uneventful lane against him.
Difficulty: Medium

Dark Seer is one of the harder offlaners to face off against, since he's the most difficult one to shut down. He has ion shell spam that Razor cannot dispose of easily, and static link is rather ineffective against him, due to his godlike armor and him having a haste on command. At least you're not melee, so the shell won't hurt too bad.
Difficulty: Medium

Earth Spirit can be rather tough in the offlane, as he's majorly strong once level 6, and Razor cannot stop him from reaching that point, not really. He'll just rolling boulder away to break Static Links. He can also mid, which is favorable to Razor until 6 but he'll get there. Once 6, Razor is not realistically going to survive ES's combo.
Difficulty: Medium

Razor is part of a small group of heroes that OD struggles against in a solo vs solo lane. The INT sap doesn't hurt Razor that much, and Static Link has a really low mana cost. With good rune control, OD can be forced out of the lane by Razor, but it's a bit of a stalemate otherwise, since Razor struggles to finish off heroes without having mana for plasma field. Get a magic stick and take control of the lane, respond to astrals with static link so your damage stays higher than his. Be careful if he's 6 and stacking Astrals however, you might find yourself one-shotted by Sanity's Eclipse.
Difficulty: Medium

Death Prophet is hard to zone out, due to her AOE nuke and long ranged attack. Take advantage of early levels, she has 280 base movespeed, but she also gains more from witchcraft than you do from Current, use that time to punish her. Once 6, she also poses a threat to your towers. She cannot take control of the lane from you most of the time. Just rotate to wherever she goes to keep your tower safe.
Difficulty: Medium

Silencer has long ranged spells, so it's hard to get up to him to stop curses, forcing out Plasma Field. He can't really do anything to Razor either, but Razor cannot do much to him. It's gonna be a really boring lane.
Difficulty: Medium

Morphling deals a lot of right click, and he can easily break static links, so the key to beating Morphling is rune control, as his waveform's mana cost is much higher than your static link's.
Difficulty: Medium

Razor can normally be really aggressive and completely dominate most of his foes, however, Death Pulse makes that a terrible move, since it creates such a large health spread. Razor can still bully Necro to an extent, but not as much as many opponents. Be very careful of his scythe, him getting one off could set you massively behind in midgame
Difficulty: Medium


Wind can't really be forced out or killed by Razor since she'll just run away like the wind, and powershot from a great distance away. But Razor can control the lane with the spamming and threat of spamming static links, so the matchup is not that bad.
Difficulty: Medium

Veno is a pain to lane against. The slows from Veno prevent Razor from taking control of the lane with his link, and the plague wards will threaten tower, but Razor has enough range and attack power to keep them under control.
Difficulty: Hard

Tinker with march build will be able to keep Razor on his side of the lane. There is no safe way to get close to Tinker, so just get your last hits, and try to get some long ranged harass with plasma field. With the Nuker Build, Razor gets an advantage if he gets early current.
Difficulty: Hard

Razor struggles against Lina, due to her massive range and her AOE spells, including a stun, makes Lina one of Razor's tougher matchups. However, he has the advantage when it comes to last hitting and should take advantage of that, and be very careful once she hits 6.
Difficulty: Hard

Huskar's a big magical monster. He orb walks you with his magical damage DoT, and it sucks. However, he's only got 400 range, so Razor has a minor advantage there, however, he cannot really trade blows with Huskar until he has multiple levels in Static Link. Also in this matchup, you want to get Eye as soon as possible in case he tries to life break you, as Eye kills him once his life is low.
Difficulty: Hard

Viper is a pretty even matchup for Razor. They both deal much damage and control the lane like gods. When playing Razor against Viper, stay passive and try to have Viper be aggressive, because if he overdives, Razor can easily trash him, and vice versa. It's a big old **** waving contest. Don't lose.
Difficulty: Hard

Honestly, Bloodseeker would not be any sort of problem if the game was just you and him, you steal his damage, he can't get last hits, the lane is yours. However, if your allies are being heavily trounced and don't have the regen to deal with it, this lane becomes a nightmare, BS can easily break link with his superior speed if this is the case, and Rupture is a major problem for Razor, so make sure your friends on the side lanes (and god forbid the jungle) keep up their health, or else you will lose the mid lane.
Difficulty: Easy to Hard

Drow has strong right click from long range and her pushing silence can make it hard to get a link on her. Since she breaks links easily and punishes these mistakes hard, she's one of Razor's harder matchups.
Difficulty: Hard

Razor has a short amount of time to take control of the mid lane before the second meepo comes out. Poof nukes early hurt a ton, and if the Meepo player keeps his Meepos separated, it can be really easy to break. However, this playstyle against razor heavily deviates from normal Meepo playstyle, often needing really good earthbinds and possible geostrike skilling, and if the enemy is unable or unwilling to do so, you can easily beat him.
Difficulty: Easy to Very Hard

Who knew, one of Razor's worst lane enemies would be this guy? Lots of long ranged spells, with slows and a long attack make the lane very tough for Razor. Razor does have a defense in the form of Plasma Field, which if successful, will do tons of damage to Sniper, but the lane advantage is with him, especially once he hits 6, he can punish you for any dives you do.
Difficulty: Very Hard

Well, this one is tough. Razor does 1v1, but 2v1? That's not easy at all. Razor can only drain damage from the bear, since the Druid moves at 325 and is ranged. Make sure Razor hits the bear before draining damage, otherwise the link is easily broken by the bear's return, and don't get into a fistfight with this guy until you've stolen a lot of damage, it's a bad idea, he is one of the best 1v1 laners in the game.
Difficulty: Very Hard

+ or
Io dual lanes are the 2nd hardest lane that Razor can expect to face. Razor is only a threat to one hero, but not to 2, and these dual lanes have enough burst damage to blow him up with only a few levels, so you may need to go passive and try to scrape last hits with plasma field.
Difficulty: Very Hard

Broodmother, no matter where she lanes, whether mid or offlane, against you, you are food. The spiders will swarm you and plasma field does nothing because they're right next to you, you can try to steal her damage, but she will hide in the shadows and break it with ease. Switch lanes or something, you have no chance.
Difficulty: Impossible

Item Build

Starting:

Normal: Wraith Band, Tango
This duo of starting items are effective. It makes up for Razor's rather lackluster base damage, so he can easily grab many last hits and throw some pokes towards the enemy. The band also builds into the useful ring of Aquila.

Bottle Rush: Iron Branch x 2
If you're in a lineup that's not favorable, you can go try to rush a Bottle, it also works decently on Razor for more plasma fields.

Early Game:
Phase Boots or Power Treads, Ring of Aquila (Optional), Magic Wand, Bottle (if mid), Town Portal Scroll
These items give Razor all he needs to have a large presence in the early game, with all these cheap and efficient items. When it comes down to boot choice, go below for detail. The Wraith Band that you bought in the beginning can be upgraded into Aquila for a cheap source of mana and armor, both of which help Razor. If you didn't get a Wraith Band, then don't bother. Magic Wand is also picked up because of how effective it is early game with the burst heal, which can save Razor a lot. Bottle is picked up if you're mid, because of course it is, Plasma Field's got quite a significant mana cost after all. TP scrolls should be easy to accept, they are just good.

Boots Choices:
Phase Boots: These boots are my favored one, as they allow for easier snowballing due to how much it improves Razor's chase power. Attack speed is not needed early when Static Link grants enough damage to let Razor hit like a semi. However, in an inactive game with no ganks or fights, this item is kind of useless.
Power Treads: These are the secondary boots. They offer a lot of use, and the tread switching works well with your bottle. The attack speed and tankability has potential uses and it is the safer option, but it is considerably less mobile than Phase. Still, it offers a good farm speed.
Arcane Boots: Hmmmm. Razor may want a mana item, but probably not this one. You can make Greaves with this, but Razor doesn't buy Greaves in general, since the stats are not really for him. You can make it into an Octarine Core, but that's usually a late game item, so it's a bit senseless to get this item.
Tranquil Boots: Razor does way too much attacking to use this item.
Boots of Travel: Excellent choice late game. Not very viable as a rushed item, since Razor has no waveclear, but in late game, this item is exceptional, especially as Unstable Current increases its movespeed by an additional 32. The lower cooldown teleport is also very useful, especially if any ally needs immediate backup from across the map.

Mid Game Options:
Blade Mail: A solid choice to prolong your survival, as enemies will be a little hesitant to try to nuke you down, so you'll do some damage with your skills and your own health pool. Also has insane synergy with Octarine Core.
Aghanim's Scepter: A very powerful upgrade for Razor and one of his best items. It makes Eye of the Storm sting even faster and allows Razor to take towers with ease, which gives him a much greater map presence and threat to the enemy team. Unless going full defense or full right click, this item should never be skipped.
Mekansm: A decent choice on Razor to make his early-mid game very tanky, and makes it easier to take enemy towers. It also creates a ton of mana problems for Razor, so make sure your team has enough mana boots to fund your Mekansm addiction.
Pipe of Insight: This item is fairly powerful early on because of how effective this is against deadly nukes. If the most dangerous enemy is a Sand King, Zeus, or Leshrac, this item is very useful for cutting down their power. Careful about buying it against physical damage dealers, so make sure that enough of their team are dependent on magic damage before picking this up.
Crimson Guard: A powerful enough item on Razor, although the passive block is not that strong on him, it makes him very tanky in the midgame, and is very effective against heroes like Troll Warlord, Undying, and Meepo.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity: This item is highly useful. It grants a ton of mana so you can spam plasma field. It can be used to break channeling, which Razor can't do on his own. The movespeed is useful for maintain a static link, and link works on cycloned units too. It'll even break silences, slows, and armor reduction spells if cast on self. Main drawbacks of this is not granting any direct survivabilty and only making him more slippery.
Maelstrom: This item is one of the few that Razor can use that can accelerate his farm. Normally he has to rely on plasma field to farm, which is not always effective. With maelstrom, he just thrashes creep waves with ease.
Drum of Endurance: This item is potentially useful, since Razor does want to run faster, however, it is a dead end item and requires some kind of momentum gaining. Very good for fighting early and a mek is already going to be gotten on the team.
Helm of the Dominator: This item is very cost efficient, and synergizes well with Static Link. This item is much more effective if you have someone on your team you can stack ancients for, like Sven or Phantom Assassin, since you can't farm them. If not, you can still stack a hard camp and clear it with Wildwings.
Sange and Yasha: This is a well balanced item for midgame dominance. It gives the survival and damage needed to be a threat throughout midgame with survival and maneuvering. Unfortunately, since Manta is kind of useless on Razor, it can't really be disassembled into something useful.
Hand of Midas: If you're stuck in an inactive game, getting this before about the ~17 minute mark makes it good pickup to stay farmed into late game. Obviously don't do it if you need to push against your enemies.
Desolator: A popular item I don't really like on Razor. It is a snowballing game ending item, making Roshan pretty easy to kill, and towers too. However, Razor generally benefits from tanking items, so be sure it's the right buy before getting it.
Force Staff: A very rare pickup, but can be useful against very powerful slows that render Razor's massive movespeed useless. It is especially a good pickup against Riki and Clockwerk.
Diffusal Blade: This blade's main use is to purge Omniknight buffs and also ghost scepters. Razor is pretty good against Omniknight by default, but this still has uses. A fairly useful item, but doesn't provide much survival.
Black King Bar: This item is potentially really important, especially in builds that emphasize Razor's right click. In many builds, you want to avoid this item, but really, in every build, it is to be considered, since if Razor gets chain stunned, his spells aren't affecting anyone, and if he gets nuked down, then he's useless. However, getting a BKB too early can often lead to Razor falling off very hard late game when he runs out of charges, since he requires a significant amount of time to become a real danger, and this item does not help farming whatsoever. Just think very hard before buying this.

Late Game Options:
Octarine Core: This item is extremely powerful on Razor. With it, he gains health every time his Eye of the Storm hits someone, and gets a stack from Plasma Fields. However, the potential of this item comes out when combined with items: Blade Mail, Aghs Scepter, and Refresher Orb. The cooldown reduction allows a lot more fighting, and it makes Razor pretty tanky too.
Mjollnir: If you went Maelstrom, this is the logical upgrade. Also, this is the go-to item against illusion heroes like Phantom Lancer. It gives Razor very high damage output in order to kill people with his right clicks. The active also rocks on tanky heroes like Bristleback or Axe.
Assault Cuirass: This item is very well rounded late game for Razor, it massively boosts his armor, and the armor reduction aura synergizes well with Eye of the Storm, and makes pushing and teamfighting easier. This is a very safe choice. Obviously don't get this if someone else on your team has one or is aiming for one.
Lotus Orb: This item is still pretty useful for Razor. Not only do you have a nice dispel against Hex sticks, or for slows and silences on yourself, but it adds a nice amount of armor. This item is excellent against Bounty Hunter and Slardar to keep their dangerous debuffs down. It's also good as a response to single target nukers like Lina who are aiming for you way too much.
Eye of Skadi: A well rounded item that gives Razor strong tanking potential, and prevents his quarry being linked from running away from him. The stats are a very welcome boost to Razor, and this item choice is one of the best if Razor doesn't desperately need armor, attack speed, or some boost to his ult.
Shiva's Guard: This is the other armor item for Razor. It gives a ton of INT points, which is not that useful, however, the active is very powerful on Razor, as it allows for easy hits, and plus, it compliments Plasma Field well. Good choice if AC is going to be taken by a teammate.
Satanic: Razor uses this item quite well thanks to Static Link, and oddly Razor is better with this item in the mid-late game rather than the late-late game when Link is still powerful and enemies don't have that much armor. Not much else to say, but it scales well with further damage items.
Refresher Orb: This item has fantastic synergy with both Aghs Scepter and Octarine Core. Dual eyes of the storm is very effective, especially for pushing towers, and it makes Razor one of the best late game pushers in the game. Octarine Core makes the cooldown of this item less horrifying. The regen is also appreciated. Keep in mind that refreshing static link doesn't work to make it stack.
Heart of Tarrasque: A potentially useful item, since Razor's a tank, however, he usually struggles more with low armor rather than low health, as he has a higher strength gain than agility. However, if the enemies are reliant on deadly nukes, like say Laguna Blade or Thundergod's Wrath, then this is a pretty good pickup.
Heaven's Halberd: A useful utility item, especially if you're playing from behind, very good against non-bkb buying carries, especially ones that are ranged like Medusa and Sniper. Makes Razor extremely tanky, so this is a pretty good pickup.
Silver Edge: Going invis makes Razor and his cloud invisible, which while funny, is not the purpose for this item. Silver Edge is a potential pickup on Razor not because he's any good at picking off enemies (he's not), but because it comes with Break, which is very effective against heroes with powerful passives like Phantom Assassin, Spectre or Bristleback.
Linken's Sphere: This item grants from great regeneration and modest stats, but the potential lies in blocking spells. If the enemies have dangerous spells like Storm Hammer or Wraithfire Blast, or deadly ultimates like Primal Roar and Doom, then this item may be worth picking up to protect yourself if it can't be dispelled with a Lotus Orb.
Butterfly: A generally useful item for boosting damage and survivability on all agility heroes. Very well suited for dealing with physical attackers, Butterfly scales well with another item, as it's a very late game orientated item, and the active is very useful to move around faster at the right moments.
Daedalus: This item goes well with static link's stolen damage, however, it may be best to get it earlier than later, since Static Link's damage is static. Still grants more right click than any other item, but you probably want to prioritize survival over it. Pairs well with Satanic.
Monkey King Bar: A very safe item choice that is worth picking up against miss chance heroes that you can't break, like Windranger, Riki, and Brewmaster. Plus, you can stop channeling spells if you have this, which is nice.
Radiance: A highly situational late game pickup. It is senseless to rush it on Razor, however, this allows Razor to have a constant anti-blink to him after his plasma field finds the targets. The miss chance active is also useful if the enemies have multiple right clicker heroes. It also makes killing creeps much easier. Don't get if allies already got one.
Rod of Atos: This item gives a ton of survivability, but it is a dead end item. The cripple has nice synergy with static link, but mainly, the reason you'd be buying this is because it's a cheap and efficient way to pop enemy Linken's Spheres so that your allies can release the big stuns on them or so you can static link them.
Scythe of Vyse: This is a very situational pickup. Razor has no burst damage, so he can't really kill his target in the 3.5 second duration. However, if you're against some really annoying mobile hero like Weaver, Anti-Mage or Storm Spirit, this item may be worth buying so that your team can actually kill that hero.
Moon Shard: No reason to buy it until you're 6 slotted. Once you are, it's a welcome addition.

Do Not Buy:
Veil of Discord/ Ethereal Blade: Most of Razor's damage is physical. It's kind of senseless to go for these items.
Divine Rapier: By the time you get this, you are past your peak time and will probably lose it, and if you rushed it, you are not tanky enough to use it.
Battle Fury: "Hello, I'm Razor, I'm a ranged hero that generally is active early and wants to tank up. Why do I need this?"
Bloodstone: See, Razor has all these mana problems that he just needs a bloodstone for... wait no, that was the other guy... Leshrac.
Glimmer Cape: This item is very useful, but not on Razor. The mana cost is high, and a support should be buying this if the enemies have deadly nukes.
Solar Crest: Similar to Glimmer Cape, it's powerful, but someone else should carry it. Plus, Shivas, Lotus, and AC are all better on Razor.
Vladmir's Offering: Read above.
Dragon Lance: Razor, despite being ranged, is a very close and personal hero. He needs to be close to static link, he needs to be close for eye of the storm to hit his target. Unlike Enchantress or Drow Ranger, he does not want to keep his distance. Also Orchid sucks on him, so it'd just be a dead end item anyway.
Aether Lens: This skill's bonus range does not help with static link, since the break distance will still be broken easily, and the bonus damage only works with the Aghs Refresher builds, which cannot use this item both because of the slot penalty and because it doesn't help tank Razor up. He simply can't use this item.
Dagon: Razor is well known for being a nuke based hero with no mana problems or a need for survivabilty.
Mask of Madness: Alright, you want to run faster, fine, however, Razor is a frontline fighter tank, getting this is just asinine. Like, the normal glass cannon builds don't make Razor more fragile.
Orchid Malevolence: Razor is not a good wielder of the item, he has other priorities that aren't mana and damage. Leave this to better carriers, like Storm or QoP.
Manta Style: Razor has little use for Manta. His stat gain is pretty bad, and both of his skills that make him powerful all expose the real him. Pretty much anything you want to do with Manta is done better with other items. If you want to be fast, SnY has you covered. If you want to dispel yourself, Lotus Orb is the way to go. And if you want to push faster, AC and Aghs are better.
Blink Dagger: This item is not bad, but Razor lacks the means to make use of it's advantages. He has no strong burst damage and he has no stuns. Blinking into a fight and using all his spells is the same as running in and doing that. This item also has twice the cast range the static link, so its not too good for maintaining that either unless you want to blink like 600 meters with your 1200 range blink, more speed is preferred to it. Plus, Razor really needs to buy some kind of stat boosts, he can't use this item.

Major Extension Builds

Here are some item paths to consider.



or or
Octarine Tanky Pusher (Vampiric Storm)
This is my favorite item build that seeks to use the synergy between Blade Mail and Octarine Core to make Razor extremely tanky, since Octarine Core will heal back a quarter of damage returned by Blade Mail (this translates to reducing incoming damage by 25%, higher than Dispersion, which gives Razors a ton of survivability against non-BKB buyers and Razor is still effective against BKB holders), and he'll also heal from Plasma Fields and Eye strikes, which will have cooldowns of 10.5 and 45. The Aghs is gotten before Octarine since it's good to get it earlier due to the large increase in its damage output. After Octarine is Refresher, which will highly increase damage output, and have a much lower cooldown because of O. Core. This build is the most late game oriented build, with the highest survival and by extension, sustained damage output for Razor late game, but is not quite as powerful mid-game compared to some of the other builds.
Preferred Boots: Phase then Travel
BKB Priority: Low

or or
Armor Based Tank (The Moving Wall)
This item build covers Razor's weakness of his low armor by getting a quick big armor item. Cuirass is the preferred choice if you want to increase damage and push, Shiva's is good for higher crowd control in teamfights since it prevents enemies from escaping, and Lotus Orb is the best choice if there are deadly debuffs to dispel on the enemy team that Razor wants to take care of, like Track, Amplify Damage, Orchid Malevolence, or Thunder Clap even. Afterward, to not put all of Razor's eggs in one basket, Black King Bar is picked up to make Razor super tanky, and Skadi or other tanking items come next. This build is almost completely defensive, relying entirely on static link and eye of the storm to do it's thing while Razor just tanks up for his team.
Preferred Boots: Phase or Treads
BKB Priority: Low

(Optional)
Movespeed (Racing Bolt)
This build is all about increasing Razor's speed, making it really effective against fairly immobile enemies. Drums are if you plan on fighting early, but otherwise, Eul's Scepter is the core item of this build, since it breaks channeling and can be used to immobilize enemies while you steal damage from them. Sange Yasha is a great item afterward, you move faster and become tankier. You will need a BKB at some point. This build is very mid-game oriented and a bit of a gimmick, but still can be effective.
Preferred Boots: Travel
BKB Priority: Medium

or or
and/or
Classic Deathballer (Mekanism of Steamrolling)
This Razor build seeks to end the game as quickly as possible with early pushes and high ground, and is considered the most traditional way of playing him. Because of this, he picks up an aura item that is usually Mekansm to make him and his team much tankier. The item can vary, especially if Razor lacks enough arcane boots to use a Mek or if a ally is gonna make the Mek. Pipe is good against big magic damage heroes like Sand King defending the towers, while Crimson Guard takes care of deadly physical damage of many instances like Phantom Lancer or Undying. Afterwards, get Aghs if the enemies lack the magic to kill you so you can easily destroy the towers, or BKB if you need it. If you fail to finish the game after getting this items, you may potentially be in a lot of trouble, so don't screw up. Normally, afterward, you'd tank up and try to maybe get a Refresher if you got Aghs.
Preferred Boots: Phase or Treads
BKB Priority: Medium

Aghs Refresher Rush (Twin Eyes of Destruction)
This Razor build is a glass cannon one that seeks to rush Aghs and Refresher in order to output as much damage as possible as soon as possible. As a result this leaves Razor as a glass cannon, but doing a lot of damage in fights. After his core items, he should probably go for tanking items to improve her survivability, whether Skadi or Heart, and Octarine too, for reducing Refresher's cooldown.
Preferred Boots: Phase
BKB Priority: Medium

Farming Glass Cannon (Great Monsoon)
In contrast to the last build being a fighting glass cannon, this build is a farming glass cannon (as well as a gimmick) by employing Maelstrom as it's core item. This build makes Razor farm very well, especially without items. It also outputs a lot of damage, since Static Link is synergistic with attack speed. Since this is a right clicker razor build, Black King Bar is a higher priority than the Aghs centric or pure tanking builds.
Preferred Boots: Treads
BKB Priority: High

Satanic (Hail Lucifer LaVey)
This build looks to get a fairly early Satanic, since it has synergy with Static Link for massive health steals in the midgame. However, later, it becomes weaker, making Razor uniquely one of, if not the only, heroes that is better with an earlier satanic than a later one. This build goes Black King Bar as well, since its right click heavy. Also, with the dominated creep, you can accelerate either your farm by stacking hard camps, or another carry's farm by stacking ancients (someone like Bristleback, Sven, or battle fury buying carries). As with any right clicker based Razor build, Black King Bar is a higher priority because you need to attack in order to steal life
Preferred Boots: Treads
BKB Priority: High

Hero Interaction

Let's see how Razor interacts with other heroes.

Friends of the Underscape: Razor's Allies
Razor is a little low on Hero synergies, as he's more of a "counter" type hero.



Healers: Razor appreciates a boost to his survivability in the mid-game, as he'll be more likely to kill more people with stronger static links and eyes of the storm.



Initiators: Razor appreciates initiators who can release a first wave of burst damage, as it makes Eye of the Storm able to finish off the wounded enemies. Additionally, since they usually are stuns or slows, it makes for easier static linking and damage output.



Armor Killers: By virtue of almost all of Razor's damage being physical, armor reduction is a powerful compliment to Razor's power, allowing him to tear anyone apart.



Disabler Supports: The stuns of these heroes make for an easy start of static link to drain away all their damage, and make Razor into the ferocious fiend he is.



Speed Givers: Razor benefits from running faster so he can catch and keep up with his quarry and kill them.



Armor Givers: Razor suffers from rather low armor, especially for a front-line agility tank. Any aid at all is a good ally for Razor.



Shaker is an AOE stunner that can potentially trap a target with Razor for up to 8 seconds, which can allow for a full static link. Additionally, Echo Slam makes Eye of the Storm much more effective by getting rid of all the creeps.



Omniknight is quite powerful with Razor, as he's able to give him an on-demand magical shield, as well as a physical one. These allow Razor the amount of time needed in order to come online in a fight and kill everything without fear of being nuked or right clicked down.



Naga has this lovely song, one that promises a full static link before the fight even starts. Beyond that, she also has ensnare, so Razor can static link a ton of damage right from the laning phase. The Riptide armor reduction is the third bonus. For this, she is almost an ideal ally for Razor.

The Whip Punishes: Razor's Prey



Low Mobility Right Clickers: Basically, any hero dependent on their right clicks, but not mobile enough to break the Link will be eaten by Razor. He will steal all their damage and kill them, even if the game goes late, he will pose that threat to many of them. Many of these heroes also have a single target spell that will make them slower and sadder.



Heroes Reliant on Single Target Spells: Aside from the right clicker ones, heroes that are very reliant on Single target spells, whether to survive being ganked, or to go for a kill, will have a harder time with Razor, as he'll shut their mobility down every time they aim one at him. This means using disables to run away is meaningless, as they'll barely move anyway. If they are trying to kill you, they may have trouble with followup spells if their longest ranged one was single target.



Blink Counter-Initiators: Plasma Field functions well to stop Blink Daggers, due to its large area and quick speed. This makes Razor a pretty decent secondary initiation, not to the level of Spectre or Silencer, but still effective.



Razor is also good against Omniknight. Razor generally doesn't rely on bursting heroes down, since he needs time, so Omni is not much a threat to him. Due to unstable current, if a hero that is being buffed by Omni casts spells on Razor, he will remove their Repel and Guardian Angel.



PA really has a hard time with Razor, both her offensive skills are single target, so without a followup stun or something, PA will just be kited by Razor's speed, and he will steal all her damage easily unless she uses the Blink to escape. Without damage, her crits are useless. Evasion also doesn't work on Eye of the Storm.



Razor thrashes Bristle pretty bad. Razor can run up to Bristle and just steal his damage, and Bristle cannot blast goo on Razor, or else he'll just be slower and even more easily drained. The physical damage from Quills can add up, but Bristle is much less effective than he would be normally if against a Razor. If Bristle gets Aghs, Razor becomes much less of a threat to him however.

An Eye Broken: Razor's Foes



Super Mobile Bros: Heroes who are very mobile can easily break static link, which means Razor has no leverage over them. This can be troublesome for Razor, and will force him to target someone else with Static Link, which could be really bad if this mobile hero also happens to be the most dangerous hero on their team. You and/or your teammates may have to get a scythe if that is the case.



Illusion Heroes: Razor only deals with one target, and cannot deal with a swarm of enemies, especially since they absorb the attacks of his Eye of the Storm with expendable units. The illusion heroes all are especially good against Razor. Lancer can escape static link easily, Chaos Knight will use his physical damage to kill Razor regardless of Unstable Current due to the instant positioning of Reality Rift, and Razor has no stuns or nukes to stop Terrorblade from slowing and Sundering him. Best counter to illusion heroes is probably a Mjollnir. In CK's case, it's probably armor.



Armor Killers: Razor has really low armor for an AGI hero, so armor reduction is a pain in the dress for him, as hurtful to him as it is helpful when it's on his enemies. Many of these are debuffs, which can be removed by Lotus Orb. The ones that can't, try to counteract with armor items.



Heavy Slows: Razor is very weak when he's slowed, as he can't link anyone and he can't kite anyone, it is especially dangerous if the target will not be significantly affected. Counter with BKB or Lotus Orb. For Venomancer or Viper, Blade Mail works better.



These two are long ranged and they have slowing attacks. This means that it's hard for Razor to run up to them and drain their damage based on where they stand in fights, and the slows will prevent him from playing kiting with whoever he happens to actually be linking. Countering them is tough, with Blade Mail if they don't have BKBs, and Force Staff if they do.



Bloodseeker is an interesting case. As discussed in the lane section, he can be really easy or really hard for Razor in lane, but beyond that, Razor really hates Rupture. It hurts a ton and leaves him vulnerable against the enemies he'd normally just kite. However, if BS is a distance away, Razor can TP out pretty easily due to the slow period on BS before the damage starts. Otherwise, Blade Mail is a good option for dealing with BS.



Razor is a tank, but he loves to run around. Ensnare puts an end to that, making Razor much easier to blast down. The minus armor is just a bonus little bite. Plus, being an illusion hero, she's tough to deal with for Razor, since he can't kill them if they swarm him or splitpush his towers. If against a carry naga, go aggressive early and try to delay her items.



Brood is perhaps the only hero that will autowin the lane against Razor. She is queen of swarms. Her Spiders deal massive damage early, and nothing in Razor's skillset allows him to deal with her in lane. Plasma Field does no damage if the spiders are hitting Razor. Static Link is not very effective due to Brood's speed and invis. There is no way to lane him against her no matter what you buy and no matter what lane-mates you have, so if laning against brood, switch lanes. Later in the game, it's much easier to deal with her, especially since Insatiable Hunger is purgable and Link can track her once you have more detection.



As a tank, Razor has a problem with the game's best anti-tank Necrophos, since Razor takes some time to come online in a fight, Necro will be dangerous and Razor has no way to burst him down, so the scythe is at significant risk of coming out and killing someone in a fight, which can mean a lost teamfight. Razor can personally get a BKB to try to avoid the scythe, but it will still require you to tell your allies to target Necro, and have a Glimmer Cape ready to weaken the damage of a scythe. Lotus Orb is also effective against Necro in teamfights, as it can make it a more even trade (unless its a support Necro).



Despite him being a cute little rat with rabbit ears and you being a flamboyant representation of lightning, Meepo is very good against Razor. Draining damage from one Meepo doesn't do too much to his damage output. Meepo also controls Razor well with Earthbind and Geostrike, which prevents Razor from moving around much, so he can't steal damage from someone else even if he wanted to. Razor on his own cannot counter Meepo pretty much no matter what he buys (although BKB is recommended against the mass poof), so hopefully, you have someone else on your team that can counter Meepo.



Ethereal blocks almost all of Razor's damage, only amplifying the eventually negligible damage of Plasma Field. If it's too much of a problem, diffusal can solve it.



This can be an effective way for enemies to break the static link, and Razor doesn't really have a means to respond to it, other than trying to get his own force staff, or not using the skill until the force staves have been used.

Razor in Pubs and Competitive


by Net2k
"If only they knew what I was capable of..."


Razor is a hero on the "less popular" side of the public spectrum, and his winrate, though passable, is not good. Razor is a hero that although powerful, has a limited skillset, and it happens to be one that doesn't work that well in pubs. Razor has no stuns, no easily dependable nukes, and no way to quickly solo kill someone. He is a hero that requires a least a couple players be on the same page to hit his very specific timing window. Because of the snowballing and non-scaling nature of the hero, it is very easy to throw the game as Razor if you feed a streak of sorts. The only advantage he seems to have is that because he's kind of rare and has a very unique skill set, a lot of players don't seem to know what he does, so in lower brackets, his laning and his midgame tends to go grossly underestimated.

However, if one manages to get a team together, Razor can be very effective. He has some very good mid-game, and is picked up for his lane dominance to be leveraged into early towers, so he will often hit his timing window. With proper drafting, the hero not having stuns, good nukes, or solo killing will be covered by other picks on the team. With allies that compliment him, Razor is far more powerful than he can be in pubs, more than the average agility carry. He is picked more than other heroes in this role, probably because he's safer at it than someone like Viper and counters more heroes. This is why Razor, despite being a pretty easy and simple hero, is more suited for team dota rather than solo dota.

Conclusion

Razor is a fun mid-lane mid-game hero that has a courageous yet cowardly playstyle. He is built to become a danger as fights run on. His skillset is very sharp, and often times, it can be extremely effective against the right foes. Against the immobile, the sluggish sluggers who can rip a mountain apart, Razor is the one to challenge their might, while a dragonfly that bites and flees is his great pest. Pick Razor in the right time, let your enemies underestimate him, and show them how to ride the lightning.

If you enjoyed this guide, you may enjoy my others, which can be found here:

http://www.dotafire.com/profile/cuttleboss-39555

People to thank:
The artists on deviantart, you people do great work, especially on Razor for some reason.
Sando, as the guide master of Dotafire that inspired me to make more than just one or 2 guides.
Aui_2000, for developing my efficiency based mentality on the game.
Sp12, for influencing my guide writing style and structure.
Terry Pratchett, for being the father of Octarine and Discworld. Rest in Peace

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