This is my fifth guide on the site. I'm getting to the point where all the heroes I've written guides on can form their own little team (Positions: 1: DK, 2: Necro, 3: Aba, 4. SK 5. Oracle).
Anyway, today I'll be writing a guide for Oracle, one of the freakiest supports in the game, focused entirely on single target spells. Apotheosis means 2 things, the climax, or the deification of something. So Agent of Apotheosis means that Oracle either gives good ******s or makes you into a god. The latter is true in this case, at least, for a bit. Oracle was a victim of internet backlash in his first release as utterly broken, but like Bane, he only seemed that way on paper, because once you played him, you realized he was quite difficult to properly use in teamfights. Oracle is fairly inflexible with laning, often needing to be a support with a farmer, usually the safelane. In certain pub situations, you can have some success in offlane or mid solo, but this is not going to be something you actually plan if you can avoid it.
He is comfortable in positions 4 and 5, able to go semi support or hard support.
As usual, this guide is not concise. This is not an alt-tab guide. Please read this thoroughly.
January 20, 2016: Updated for 6.86. Added Aether Lens and a build for it. Altered the information on abilities to reflect changes in the skills. Added Artist Sourcing.
October 13, 2015: Updated for 6.85, changing up the usage of Fate's Edict and Fortune's End. Removed link to Sando's combo section. Removed Pure damage heroes from hero interactions. Pub section updated for 6.85.
August 29, 2015: Minor writing update, spelling errors and a little bit of new information.
August 25, 2015: Guide Created
Nothing is easy unless left to fate.
Oracle is a surprisingly hard hero to play. He has no micromanagement skills, nor does he have skillshots, so why is he placed as "advanced"? It's because he requires some of the quickest thinking and reactions in order to properly use his spells and that is ultimately a quite advanced skill. There are so many possible mistakes you can make with all his abilities. Channel Fortune's End for too little, your enemy escapes. Channel too long, and you may be in trouble as enemy's friends come. Fate's Edict on an ally is how you heal them and can protect them from deadly nukes like Reaper's Scythe, but can also spell death for your friend if they need to lifesteal to survive or can cost you a teamfight if you use it on carry and their attacks could've killed the enemies. Fate's Edict on enemies can be good for disarming the target when they attack someone, but not for comboing with things like Lightning Bolt. Similarly, his purifying flames if used properly is very good for chain nuking, but if you don't chain properly or miscalculate, the enemies will have even more health than before. You have to be careful with how you chain your skills, don't accidentally purge off Fate's Edict from the enemy Ursa. Don't use Fate's Edict and then try to purifying flames to finish off an enemy. Oracle's skills are quite unforgiving if you mess up. On the plus side, proper usage of them will leave the enemies gasping for air as they try to fight around your abilities and there must be quite a bit of practice to get it right.
In terms of quick thinking and reactions for spell usage, Oracle is only behind Invoker and Rubick.
Also, correct time to use False Promise is also key, but its way easier than the other stuff.
Here we go, what is this hero good at?
So, with all these in mind, this is a list of when to and when not to pick Oracle:
Skill builds are fluid, and you should adapt them to suit how your opponents play. For Oracle his skill build is less fluid than many heroes, usually, he wants to max Purifying Flames, as its his primary means of offense and sustain for his teammates, as well as a farm accelerant for grabbing last hits. Usually, Fortune's End is taken next, due to having a reduced cooldown, which increases his damage output, and then fate's edict next as it scales against the right clickers who will likely have come online, but you can reverse the order if you need to be more of a healing instead of an aggressor. False Promise is taken whenever possible.
1. Fate's Edict/Fortune's End (Edict for zoning and trading hits, End for first blood or preventing a kill on an ally)
2. Fortune's End/Fate's Edict
3. Purifying Flames
4. Purifying Flames
5. Purifying Flames
6. False Promise
7. Purifying Flames
8-10. Fortune's End/Fate's Edict (End for more nuking, Edict if you need to do more healing)
11. False Promise
12-14. Fate's Edict/Fortune's End
16. False Promise
Now for a brief look at abilities. Numbers can be seen on the wiki page.
Usage: Chasing, Purging powerful buffs, Purging deadly debuffs, aiding ally escape, Kiting, chain-disabling, farming (to an extent), purging healing from purifying flames
Notes: Purges rune effects. Most impressively, haste.
Does not root enemies, sets their movespeed to zero, so they can still use skills like Blink, but will not get a boost from haste abilities like Stampede.
Channel longer if you have accompanying stuns and slows, otherwise, releasing it early is usually better.
Dispels Ghost Scepter. Your carries can thank you for that
Usage: Disarm enemy right clicker, protect allies from magical damage, combo with purifying flames to make a useful heal
Notes: This ability scales very well with levels, its lower levels are rather weak in terms of cast range and cooldown.
Is canceled by Fortune's End, but will not prevent its damage
With 2 levels of this, you can easily cast 2 purifying flames on an ally without hurting them.
In battle, this will mostly be used to protect your ally from getting nuked down, which pairs well with false promise.
However, against very dangerous right click heroes like Windranger, Ursa, or Wraith King, you may want to prioritize disarming them.
Is useful for killing Roshan. Use Purifying Flames to pop his linken shell.
Usage: Healing between battles. Bringing an enemy to a threshold to get nuked down, finishing off low hp opponents.
Notes: Can be used to easily grab last hits once you have mana to sustain it
You can use 2 of these in a row to try to kill enemies, if they don't die, make sure you purge off the heal
This cannot kill your allies unless they have some form of damage amp on them.
Using this on an ally with Salve or Clarity on will dispel it, even if you have Fate's Edict protecting them.
Usage: Anti-Initiation, Initiation, Making your carry into an unstoppable monster, escape
Notes: Beware of skills that cannot be dispelled. You can view them here (under strong dispels)
Cooldown for this skill is quite high, so make sure you are engaging when this is used
Wait for a couple stuns or slows to come out so you can waste them with the dispel and leave your opponents with less ammo to kill you.
It will double heals, which goes well with Mek and healing skills, as well as purifying flames if you have a protection of an Edict on your target. Keep in mind that without edict, it'll still damage the hero, but the healing can often overcome the damage, especially if they have any magic resistance.
Also because of doubled heals, it pairs well with lifesteal, especially Satanic's active.
If the orb above the target is clear, damage will not be taken at the end of the duration, greener means more heal, more firey means more damage.
The target does not take damage that means: Enemies cannot lifesteal off of the target, Prevents Blink Dagger from getting cancelled so there will always be an escape, Heart of Tarrasque may continue to regenerate health if it wasn't disabled.
"The time is now, with 50 possibilities on how this can start"
Oracle has decent laning options, but usually, will be a safelane support. In that position, he will do well to be on the lane, harassing foes or healing his lane farmer rather than pulling because of his great right clicking range and Fate's Edict to make it hurt a little more. He can pull if his other support is even better at zoning, like Skywrath Mage or Lion. If it's a dual lane, he can pull. If its an uneventful lane, he lacks the proper chops to gank enemy lanes until he has some levels unless he has a good ganking partner like Earthshaker, so he's often better off stacking camps if he's not leeching exp. He can also be a dual lane support, whether safe or offlane and try to secure his partner's farm with his great harass potential.
There are other laning options for Oracle as well, but none of these are conventional or recommended:
Mid: Oracle can technically do it okay, having good lane control, strong sustain, and a level dependence. Since he lacks item dependence, he will not have much impact after the laning phase compared to certain heroes though. Best you leave it to your Shadow Fiends and Storm Spirits
Offlane solo: He can pull this off against lanes that do not have lots of disables, since he can bully the supports that try to harass him with Fate's Edict and right clicks, and keep himself healed with Purifying Flames. However, with slow speed, turn-rate, no durability, and no escapes, Oracle cannot hope to survive against a kill oriented dual or trilane. Situationally can still be very useful.
Roaming: Oracle lacks the ability to solo roam, since he's reactive, however, with a hero to setup a long fortune's end, it can be done, like with Shadow Demon, Earthshaker, a Lion, or a Shadow Shaman. The chain disable can work.
Once laning stage has ended, Oracle now will look around for kills. He has the option of being very aggressive or very reactive, as his skills can permit his allies to tower dive and to nuke and bind the enemies, or to save his allies when the enemy gankers go on them. See the flow of the game and determine what the right choice is based on that. There is no particular rush to gain control of the map due to Oracle's strong late game, but it's preferred due to his weak ability to clear creep waves if the enemies push the lanes. As a hero, he should try to find some fights so he can nuke people down, but you want to wait until you have lots of levels, because low levels of False Promise have really high downtime. Only purifying flames your enemies when you know you can purge it or if you know it will kill them, whether with its nuking power or with the combination of an ally bursting as well, it is still a major source of damage for you. Remember to spam Purifying Flames, as once you have a mana regeneration item, you should almost never be at full mana.
"This game could go either way. Scary isn't it?"
At this stage, the effectiveness of his nukes have fallen, and now the power of Fate's Edict and False Promise really get to shine. Oracle will likely be a high priority target, since False Promise is so powerful and he has so many low cooldown skills, so make sure you stay a bit far from combat, and abuse the long range of your skills in order to use False Promise to save your carry and kill enemies. Generally, you want your enemies to initiate on your carry so you can False Promise it, or hold onto False Promise until the fight has started for a bit. At this point, you can use it a lot more liberally, since the cooldown dropped a bit. Additionally, your right clicks are quite useful. If you have 1-2 items that grant intelligence, you will be dealing quite a bit of damage at this point as well due to your wickedly low BAT.
2 Iron Branches Circlet, Clarity, Tango Animal Courier or Observer Ward
This is your starting build, to increase your harass damage and make a Magic Wand. You choose between warding or courier buying. Usually, you don't require many tangos, since once you have some levels, you can keep your lane farmer healed.
Boots of Speed, Magic Wand, Town Portal Scroll, Sentry Ward, Observer Ward
These are what you need the most, which, incidentally is not much. Boots for floating (don't ask), magic wand for increasing your survival, and wards to place around the map, as you're often going to be in that role, although in good cases, you can alternate with another support.
Other Early Options
Urn of Shadows: This item has great synergy with False Promise for a 800 hp heal (but it still will dispel if they get hit, so be careful), although it doesn't help much with mana, so it can be worth skipping.
Headdress: Good for building into many items, like Mek, Pipe, and Vlads, and it is helpful in lane too against harassers.
Staff of Wizardry: Builds into both Force Staff and Euls Scepter, and grants a significant mana pool boost.
Medallion of Courage: A very powerful early item that pairs well with heroes who want to tank, towerdive, or who deal a lot of physical damage.
Ring of Health: This builds into Aether Lens, a good item for Oracle, and stops him from needing to use his heal on himself, and he can share it with his lane farmer if they need it.
Arcane Boots: The safest choice, as Oracle uses a bit of mana, especially if he needs to keep everyone healed. Also it upgrades into Guardian Greaves.
Tranquil Boots: If your team is less thirsty for mana, this is an option. Oracle is would like to move faster and his armor is low, so this item can prove to be quite useful, and other mana items like a Euls can be used to fill in the mana void.
Power Treads: It adds a decent bit of health and attack speed, which might be nice, but rarely does it outshine Tranquils and Arcanes.
Phase Boots: Look at all those low cooldown skills you have. Actually, don't look at them, and don't look at this item.
Boots of Travel: Late game, this is the option, if you can get there in time to false promise your ally being ganked, it may well be worth it. Make sure all mana issues are resolved before going for BoTs.
Mid Game Options:
Force Staff: The most well rounded option, giving Oracle a means to save the heroes he uses False Promise on, as well as save himself from deadly melee heroes if need be, as well as the horror of Riki's cloud or Clockwerk's cogs.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity: This is the more aggressive option that still has defensive options, playing on the synergy of having another purge on your hand, which lets you use Purifying Flames, Euls, PF, Fortune's End and another PF, so essentially, this gives you a second nuke without healing enemies. Also the mana regen is great for Oracle, allowing him to spam his spells fairly often, he can interrupt channeling with it, and self purge can remove those annoying silences.
Mekansm: This item has fantastic synergy with False Promise, turning a heal of 250 into 500 at the end of the duration, and giving your team good early pushing and fighting power. With this item, the hero you wish to save, which is likely your carry or mid, is going to be much tankier. This item is the defensive option and is also weakest in terms of scaling into late game.
Rod of Atos: This item is another aggressive option. The massive stats and cast range of the active makes it powerful against certain heroes that are vulnerable to kiting, like Wraith King. It is great for pickoffs due to its great range as well, and the health bonus makes it good against burst heroes who are trying to aim for you, like Lion or Queen of Pain. Also has the utility of being a convenient long ranged Linken's sphere popper.
Aether Lens: A strong item for Oracle, as his skills already have long cast ranges, and he prefers very much to not get close to combat, so the cast range increase is a welcome. The expansion of mana pool is a nice cherry on top too.
Ghost Scepter: This can be a good investment for safety against the dangers of right clicker heroes, whether melee like Phantom Assassin, Ursa, or Lifestealer, or ranged like Clinkz, Drow Ranger, or Sniper. Also, combined with Fate's Edict, it grants complete invulnerability towards all damage that isn't pure, albeit only for yourself. Beware of diffusal and other purges however.
Pipe of Insight: Useful pickup against magic damage heavy teams, especially ones with Sand King and Zeus.
Glimmer Cape: A good option for making sure your ally gets away when you try to save them, as the invis and added magic resist is very helpful towards their survival. Unfortunately, this item is not synergistic with Fate's Edict like with Cold Embrace, as that spell already blocks all magic damage, however, it can be used to substitute for Fate's Edict, since it'll block like half of the damage from purifying flames. This item is also a giant middle finger towards heroes like Skywrath Mage, Necrophos, and Venomancer.
Solar Crest: One of the most powerful items for supports, this item makes almost any enemy extremely fragile to physical damage. Alternatively, using this on an ally makes them a real wall to tear down, pairing well with False Promise to maximize their survival chances, especially since heals become more powerful the more armor a hero has.
Blink Dagger: This is very situational on Oracle, since he tends to be rather poor, his spells already have massive cast range, and he lacks any initiation skills like a Lion or an Earthshaker. However, if there are fights where Oracle must stay back pretty far and away but able to jump in at any moment, like if the opponent has dangerous initiators searching for you like Centaur Warrunner , then this may be worth the buy.
Late Game Options:
Guardian Greaves: A logical upgrade to Mek, one that removes its rather huge mana cost, and provides a nice dispel in case you get targeted by slows or silences too. The guardian aura is also nice if you False Promised a low health ally, as it grants them the increased regeneration for the whole duration of your ultimate. If your team has need for that increase to survivability and you have need for the dispel or item slot, go grab it.
Vladmir's Offering: A cheap and powerful late game item that can be gotten on a support if the game calls for it. Lifesteal is very synergistic with False Promise for your carries, and this item gives quite an edge in teamfights and pushes, as well as taking Roshan, so pick it if you want. Obviously, don't get this if your allies already got it.
Scythe of Vyse: This item is really hard to farm for Oracle, but if the game gets late enough and you actually get a hold of it, it's very useful as a disable for whoever gets close enough, preferably someone with right clicks or dangerous spells you want to prevent the casting of. Nothing is more annoying than Hex, except maybe Doom.
Lotus Orb: Nothing is more annoying than Hex, except maybe Doom, and often your Fortune's End is used aggressively, so this is a nice item in response to those types of hexes and debuffs. Also it instantly will remove a silence from Oracle, which can be a big deal if a False Promise has to come out.
Octarine Core: Did you get fed? This item is about has hard to build as Scythe, and offers much more survival. Oracle rocks with this item, bringing down his skill cooldowns even lower, with False Promise ready every 22.5 seconds, and a 4.5 second disarm ready every 5.25 seconds. Also helpful when paired with items like Scythe and especially refresher orb to improve his downtime.
Orchid Malevolence: This item has easy buildup for Oracle and grants nice stats for him, improving very much on his right clicks. The real benefit of this item is the active silence and damage amp. Silence makes it useful against mobility skill heroes, like Weaver and Storm Spirit. The damage amp occurs at the end of the duration, and its dealt in magical damage, so if properly timed about 1-2 seconds after Fate's Edict, it can be a terrifying damage amp. But the amp will not affect them if Edict was used after the silence.
Linken's Sphere: One less stun hitting Oracle can be useful, but likely, if you're buying this, this is to protect ally cores from deadly single target spells like Doom or Duel
Heaven's Halberd: Disarm is a useful active against non-BKB buying carries, or ones that have low bkb durations in the late game. It is inferior to your Disarm but having a second one while yours comes off cooldown can be useful, especially against ranged carries, like Sniper, Medusa and Morphling. Also makes Oracle fairly tanky.
Ethereal Blade: Remember how Ghost Scepter combined with Fate's Edict makes you immune to non-pure damage? Now imagine if you can give that to someone else. You can make a hero invulnerable and start healing them. Keep in mind that it can still be purged. In the way of nuking, its not very impressive on Oracle compared to much better eblade carriers like Nyx Assassin, Tinker or Sand King, especially since Oracle is gonna purge it if it's on an enemy.
Shiva's Guard: A rarer buy on Oracle, since he rarely stands close enough to the front lines to make use of this skill's active and aura slows. Still, it adds an impressive amount of stats and can be a useful pickup for a rich Oracle if no one else is buying it.
Diffusal Blade: More purges eh? Immensely useful against Omniknight but useless otherwise. However, with a Euls and Fortune's End, that should provide most of the purges you need, but still, a full purge of Guardian Angel is still game winning.
Black King Bar: Sometimes the enemies are teeming with disables, often AOE disables (hello Ravage and Fissure). When these things happen, it can be worth it to buy BKB just to make sure you can cast your spells in battle without getting stunned.
Refresher Orb: There is much power in double false promises, whether for dual cores or for a double cast. However, this is a skill with a 30 second cooldown. In order for this to truly be worth it, you generally want a high cooldown item to refresh as well, like Scythe or Halberd. An Octarine Core also pairs nicely with it, since O. Core gives more mana than any other item and makes the cooldown on his item much lower.
Do Not Buy:
Dagon: Funny as it is, this item is not synergistic to Oracle's skillset. His nuking item is Euls, which also happens to give him the mana regen to nuke more often. Also gives no survivability, so when it gets to the stage of the game where Oracle is being focused because of how dangerous his skills are, this does not help you whatsoever. This item is probably a major reason why Oracle's win rate is so abysmal.
Veil of Discord: His magic damage output is too low to justify the purchase and it doesn't boost his survivability enough to buy it. Leave it to Earthshaker, Sand King or Disruptor.
Necronomicon: Oracle lacks the disables or mobility to make use of this item to its potential, and its usually preferred to be picked up by a fast farming core hero so its effects are felt sooner.
Drum of Endurance, Crimson Guard: Oracle doesn't carry these well, due to being in the back lines, away from where these item's auras are useful. At least the other aura items are healing based and synergistic with his skillset.
Hand of Midas: Due to mana issues, he can't get this at any decent rate, so it has to be left behind in lieu of other items that improve his survival, for the team, or for his mana pool.
Bloodstone: As amusing as it may be to False Promise and then suicide to superheal your ally, it is non sustainable, and other items offer more to the hero.
Moon Shard, Sange and Yasha, Silver Edge, Mask of Madness, Monkey King Bar, Daedalus, Divine Rapier and more: Even though this hero has 1.4 second base attack time, and it may be tempting to get damage items, it's really not for him. He appreciates the bonus attack speed once the game gets to the point where its noticeable, but its not something he wants to directly buff up over things that are much more useful, like force staves and cyclone sticks. Plus the hero is way too fragile to use them.
Heart of Tarrasque, Assault Cuirass: Oracle does not get much from pure tanking items, as he casts his spells once or twice and gets away, as he always stands near the back. A ghost scepter or glimmer cape will protect him just fine to cast the spells he needs to.
Aghanim's Scepter: Not implemented yet. Try again later.
There are many paths to run with itemizing Oracle. Normally, this section would be called "Major Extension builds" but since the hero is rather poor, the builds will only focus on one core item, and how you itemize after that is completely up to you.
Defensive Healer (Restoration Guru)
When Mek is your core item, you have a distinctly powerful healing presence. Going Urn as well makes this build go all the way. This build is very suited for early pushes for this, as it is the most beneficial towards a whole team of heroes early on. It can be upgraded to Guardian Greaves early, as it helps take high ground, but it can be kept at Mek and other items can be taken too. This path also comes at the cost of later game survivability, as the static heal will not be quite as powerful as a 600 distance push or 2.5 seconds of invulnerability, so you may want to take more towers early on and press an early advantage. This build is also the most mana intensive, since Mek has a maddening mana cost.
Aggressive Purger (White Wind)
This is the most aggressive and damage based Oracle build that is viable (Dagon is not). An early Eul's Scepter makes it so that Oracle can use his nuke another time and have a way to purge it off, so it significantly increases his effective burst damage. The Euls is also useful for providing a massive trickle of mana, which lets Oracle spam his Purifying Flames for farming as well between ganks and pushing quicker. Euls also comes with a convenient purge to remove silence to make sure you will almost always get off False Promise unless you're chain stunned. Getting Euls as a first item means that you are looking more to gain momentum, but its also fairly selfish compared to many of the options here since you won't be directly saving anyone but yourself. This build is most recommended for pubs for this reason.
Balanced (Jedi Master)
Force Staff is the most balanced of the core items that Oracle buys. It gives him aggressive options, as it allows him or his ally to get in close to nuke or disable people, or defensive options, as it makes it easy to save people, especially combined with his edict + heal or his False Promise. This item is medium on mana intensity. Force Staff is of a modest mana cost, and does not provide any regeneration. But for all other situations that are not ganking or pushing/teamfighting (which the previous 2 items are better at) it is of great use.
Sacrifice (Courageous Foreseer)
Medallion of Courage is very powerful as an item, as it can be used to greatly increase an ally's survivability or to decrease the survivability of an enemy, the second of which pairs very nicely with Fate's Edict. This comes at a cost to Oracle himself, as he hacks away at his own survival in order to do that. Even though the hero will not be healed, with a Medallion or Solar Crest on him with False Promise, that hero becomes a nightmare to kill to insane levels.
Alternate Aggressive (Student of Kurtis Ling)
Rod of Atos is the most expensive of these possible core items, but can be used to gain the most momentum. Although it does not grant much in the way of adding more nukes with purges, it does have synergy with Fortune's End and makes Oracle pretty tanky and hit very hard, granting him a lot of crowd control in making Fortune's End actually useful as an ensnare. As an item, it is about as aggressive as euls and is of lower utility, but is also very useful for kiting and pickoffs, better than the other items due to its great range. Unfortunately, it does not grant any mana regen.
Safety (Eyes in the Aether)
Aether Lens is a very safe item choice, as the case range is very big on Oracle to be almost completely safe when he casts his spells. A 1200 range False Promise is a big deal after all. The item is also nice because it provides enough mana for him to participate in longer fights and for more ganks before running. However, this item provides no mana regeneration.
Oracle, with his ability to determine Fate, is one hell of a creature, and interacts interestingly with the world he's in.
Foreseer Contractees: Oracle's Allies
Lifesteal Carries: These carries are dependent on lifesteal in order to keep themselves alive. Oracle's ultimate removing a stun from them and doubling their heal makes that a whole lot more likely. Don't disarm these people if they're trying to life steal however.
Sustained AOE DPS Heroes / "Get More Dangerous as the Fight Goes On" Heroes: These heroes require a few seconds of survival to truly get dangerous. False Promise will make sure they contribute before they die. False Promise may even save them if they have some form of healing, like Octarine Core. These are the heroes you want to aim ult on in midgame.
Mana Batteries: Oracle has issues with his mana early on, he needs Arcane Boots pretty badly, especially if he's to keep his allies healed in lane. These heroes offer a much easier early game for Oracle so he can take care of the carry and bully the enemies in the lane better.
Healers: False Promise doubles healing, so heroes that can restore health are great in combination with Oracle. The False Promised target will have so much effective health in the midgame if well paired.
Huskar has strong synergy with Oracle. Oracle can use False Promise on a low health Huskar to allow him to use his deadly damage without dying. With Inner Vitality and lifesteal, Huskar may just survive, especially with Purifying Flames casts, as Huskar's low health magic resistance will protect him from the burning of the skill's damage. An excellent midgame target for False Promise, just don't use it before Huskar loses a significant amount of health or else he won't be outputting very much damage.
Winter Wyvern has good synergy with Oracle. Not only does she have a percentage based heal in Cold Embrace to make sure someone survives, Cold Embrace plus Fate's Edict makes it so the target ally cannot be harmed except by pure damage in the duration.
AA is a nice and fun hero for Oracle and compliments him well. Annoyingly, your main nuke heals the enemies back up if there is no follow up. Ice Blast is the best compliment to this, since the healing will be stopped, and Oracle can nuke freely. Just make sure you purge the heals once Ice Blast runs out if your target is not dead. Other skills are synergistic as well, like Ice Vortex with Flames, or Chilling Touch with Oracle's awesome attack range, or Fortune's End with Cold Feet to chain stun.
OD is a powerful ally of Oracle. Not only is hero a mana battery in later phases with Essence Aura, but OD himself is a glass cannon right clicker that would is very vulnerable to being initiated on due to his low attack range. With Octarine, he also becomes a lot tankier with Oracle on his team, since he can get a big heal from his ultimate.
Alchemist often does not build life steal, but the regeneration from Chemical Rage is doubled at the end of the duration and Oracle can essentially stop him from stunning himself with False Promise, easily turning a poor initiation favorable.
Prophosized Defeat: Oracle's Prey
Single Target Initiators: Heroes that plan to initiate on a single hero getting stunned will find themselves in a bad position if they choose to initiate on that stunned hero as the stun time is suddenly cut short and now they are fighting with less crowd control ammo. Beware of low cooldown stun initiations, enemies can just disengage if that happens, so make sure they're committed before False Promising your stunned friend.
Deadly Debuffs: Most debuffs are purged by either False Promise or Fortune's End, so debuff heroes are sad against Oracle.
Magical DoTs: Oracle's Fate's Edict blocks pretty much all their damage over time, and the healing he can stack with it make it into a minor injury at best.
Magic Damage Bursters: Some of these heroes have access to significant non-magic damage, but a well timed Fate's Edict can protect your allies from a deadly magical nuke. False Promise also ruins the basis for a lot of these heroes, which is to turn the battle into a 4v5 as soon as possible. If all nukes were used and the target isn't gonna die for another 7 or so seconds, that is a solid tactical advantage against nukers. Necro gets a special mention because he'll never be able to scythe anyone without it being blocked or them being false promised, preventing respawn penalties.
Right Clickers: Any hero that is dependent on their right clicks abhor Oracle's Fate's Edict, especially ones that are fragile or easily kited. It gives a massive edge to Oracle's team to disarm these heroes. It doesn't work if they have Black King Bar, but that's fine, it'll get its job done, and Oracle can protect the right clicker's target until the immunity expires.
Legion gets countered pretty hard by Oracle. If Oracle has his ultimate available, Legion will not be able to win any duels to get damage if Oracle is around, and Oracle can heal his ally with Fate's Edict and Purifying Flames.
If you're a pub player, you're probably sick of this guy kicking your *** (often, your *** by proxy of your allies, since this is a team game, you pretty much all have one collective *** for kicking). Worry not, Oracle is the most anti-Ursa hero in the game. First, Overpower can be purged off, so if you see him red, throw a Fortune's End at him, and he'll be a docile bear again. Second, disarm him after he casts enrage and he will not be able to kill anyone. Third, False Promise removes Abyssal Blade's stun and he can Fortune's end the slow from earthshock, so even late game, he can't get his hands on the hero he wants to target, although after the game has gone on for a bit, it might be you, so just stay back.
Omniknight is only vulnerable to purges later in the game. Oracle is nice in that he's one of the few heroes with a built in low cooldown purge. So, if you see Guardian Angel, you can purge the target you want to remove it from and still hit them. You can't target repeled units, but you can target who they're next to to remove it.
"What's that you say? You have insane magic resistance but low armor? Okay, I'm just gonna slightly buff up your magic resistance but make you unable to attack. You say you deal magical damage as well? I'll just block the spear damage burn and heal up whoever you are planning to posthumously burn to death, or I can even block the life break damage if need be. Hell, you want to jump on my ally and slow them? That's not happening, you're gonna die, because False Promise is gonna make sure of that. Get Black King Bar, a suboptimal item on you, it's the only way you're gonna beat me." Oracle doesn't take betrayal well.
Could Go Either Way: Oracle's Foes
AOE Crowd Control: Oracle can only remove stuns from one target, so mass AOE disables prove troublesome for Oracle and his team, and it is preferred to stay back, as removing the disable from your most farmed core is still preferred, but you need to not get stunned in order to that. Keep in mind that Black Hole, Chronosphere, and Static Storm cannot be dispelled, speaking of which...
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Undispellable Skills: False Promise does not remove these deadly spells that will still cripple Oracle's allies. It can be difficult to deal with these debuffs and your allies will likely die a lot more if these enemies are on the enemy team.
Silences: Oracle is a spell spammer, and thus really hates being silenced. Orchid carriers are also annoying for this reason. Pick up Euls Scepter or Lotus Orb to make sure you can cast your spells in skirmishes and don't let silences ruin your day like an oppressive government.
Illusion Heroes: Disarm one, but what about the others? Oracle does not offer much control against these heroes, only a Fortune's End semi-root at best.
Stat Thieves: Unfortunately, the stats thieves can still work their magic on a hero with False Promise on. Razor is dangerous for Oracle too, since Oracle's spells are single target, so if he targets Razor, he puts himself in a bit of danger. Undying is also dangerous because Flesh Golem's slow works despite dispels.
Gap Closers: Oracle stays way back, and as long as he's not targeted, he will always save his ally with False Promise. However, certain heroes have the option of targeting you from a really long range and killing you, which can often mean a lost teamfight if Oracle never gets his spells off to begin with.
Banishes: These disables are not dispelable, and will waste a significant amount of False Promise time. OD gets a special mention for his pure damage orb too while will hurt your friends.
Axe is irritating for Oracle. Axe has it all in one skill, an AOE disable that cannot be dispelled. Berserker's Call is the bane of Oracle. Culling Blade is also worth mentioning, as it cuts through False Promise if the hero falls under the threshold. Stay back and don't let Axe catch you in his stun, and you can be okay.
Doom, the undispelable pure damage dot. There is no real way for Oracle to help his buddy who is doomed, or himself. Doom is one of those heroes that becomes almost unstoppable if the game goes late enough, so if against Doom, fight him when his ult is down, or push early when his doom barely does any damage and you can actually outheal it.
The ultimate traitor. AA is a great ally and even greater enemy. Ice Blast stops all regeneration, so Oracle's heals are useless, and False Promise's doubled healing will never happen. Without these things, Oracle simply is shut down from his defensive potential. However, Fate's Edict can be used to prevent his damage, and your ally from being damaged into death range by Ice Blast. However, enter death range and ice blast will waste the target.
The biggest middle finger to Oracle is something that completely wastes False Promise. Song of the Siren is just that, the reset button to the teamfight, and if the Siren is smart, they are gonna reset the fight when that false promise comes out and then the fight will suddenly be unfavorable. It is highly recommended you repick Oracle if you're at any decent level of play and see Siren.
"The only way to succeed is to believe in you, but can you really be trusted?"
Oracle is one of the weakest heroes in pubs, or at least appears that way. His winrate is always at or near the bottom of each patch. There are several reasons for this. Number 1, he requires a ton of practice. Getting the right judgment calls takes time and effort. Number 2, he requires followup. He cannot win games on his own, if he nukes someone and they get to a sliver, his allies must finish them off, or else the enemies will just heal back. Number 3, players don't fully understand what his skills do and how to properly react to them. Whenever I play lower brackets, my allies just run away when I False Promise them, even if the right choice is to fight. Allies are sometimes confused when they get Fate's Edicted to get healed. It's horrifying. Number 4, he needs at least one dependable ally to really work. Someone he can consistently cast False Promise on and know they will make the right call. In those cases, he can be unstoppable, but like Io, without a mental connection (or skype connection), it may not work out, especially since most players solo queue. And number 5, people build Dagon on him way more than they should, which is almost always an auto-lose.
The fact of the matter is, Oracle is a ton of effort to learn a hero that still requires an ally to do well. For this, Pub players really hate this hero, and prefer to devote massive effort to learning high skill heroes that can almost win games on their own, like Pudge, Meepo, and Windranger. However, a good Oracle can do a lot, even in pubs, partially attributed to enemies underestimating this hero since no one really knows how to play him. I personally have a higher than 50% winrate on Oracle as of writing this guide because of my practice and me putting just a little bit of trust on the player I determine is best on my team, whether in solo queue or in a stack, and a lot of players can get there too, especially if they know how to itemize to counter the enemies. However, it would be preferred to queue with a carry that uses lifesteal in order to have more fun.
Oracle has entered competitive Dota, and is seeing a lot of play there, though to modest success.
In this chapter, Oracle participates in an attempt to rescue his ally from a gank in the early-midgame.
The game has gotten exciting, this is the ganking phase of the game, and the game's resources are pretty even at the moment and Storm Spirit grabs a haste rune to fix that.
The hasted Storm runs mid to look for a gank at the same time as Spectre was heading mid to avoid getting ganked. Unfortunately, she's walking right into a trap.
Mid has a dramatic staredown between Axe and Lina, but Spectre runs into Storm and Storm shows his appreciation by releasing his remnant.
Spectre takes a beating, and also gets hit by Last Word from Silencer. Lina and others rush to her aid.
Storm zips in order to kill Spectre, but gets pelted by Light Strike Array before delivering another blow to Spectre. Sniper and Axe also get closer to the fight.
Spectre's last word goes off, leaving her critically injured. Oracle finally shows up, moving as quickly as he could to provide assistance.
Oracle releases False Promise on the extremely low health Spectre as Lina uses Laguna Blade to finish off Storm. Silencer continues his pursuit, while Axe blinks closer to try to get the ghostly being, running into Sniper in the process.
Axe misses his call, and Silencer pursues Spectre, eager to secure the kill and gain intelligence. Oracle charges Fortune's End to keep Axe ensnared.
Witch Doctor arrives as Spectre dies from False Promise. Axe is trapped by Fortune's End and Silencer gets a hit off on a wounded Sniper. However, it's suddenly very clear the enemies have gone in too deep.
Witch Doctor releases his paralyzing cask and maledict on Axe and Silencer, while Oracle now turns to right clicking the Axe with Fate's Edict. The enemy Lion also arrives in hopes of helping.
Seeing a good opportunity to get revenge, Spectre buys back and uses Haunt to reenter the fight and scout out Lion while Sniper and Lina reengage to get some kills.
Lion tries to at least take Witch Doctor with him, but it is very clear that both him and his associate are going to die.
The Radiant team surrounds the trapped team and looks for the kills.
Oracle kills Axe with Purifying Flames, as he just got hit by Battle Hunger, and Lion gets killed by Spectre. This is a victory for Radiant, exploiting the bloodthirsty insticts of the enemies to punish them, and they will take the mid tier 1 after this to gain an advantage. Net worth is now a bit more on Radiant's side.
Oracle is a unique hero, equipped for many situations with a response to enemies. He shines for his ability to heal, hisarm, purge, and bring about a true apotheosis. To reach his potential, he requires a lot of practice to get the mechanical motions and quick mention reactions down, but in the end, if it all goes well, Oracle is a real menace that can be terrifying, even becoming the number 1 target of enemy teams if things go well enough for him.
If you enjoyed my guide, you may like a few others I made, which you can see on my profile:
People to thank:
Sando, for making many guides, including the Oracle one.
Aui_2000, for helping develop the mindset I used to learn this hero.
Hamstertamer, for insights on the hero and dota in general.
My friends here on Dotafire
The artists of deviantart with their cute and cool draw styles for usage in these guides.
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