DAZZLE - THE SHADOW PRIEST
First off, sorry to those of you who view this as a "Wall of Text Guide," I get a little carried away when I'm involved with something I'm passionate about and this is no exception. This guide is mainly for those of you who want an inside look at how an avid Dazzle player uses this magnificent Shadow Priest.
The following guide has been created for the purpose of trying to open people's eyes to the potential that Dazzle has outside of being a mere support hero and more of a support/heavy kill enabler. Some people view him as unplayable, not viable, or simply a useless hero. I have written this to try and show you that Dazzle is not simply a "Support Carry --> Twiddle Thumbs" hero. He is capable of SO much more!
For the past 5 years I have played DotA: Allstars on Warcraft 3 and about a year ago discovered Dazzle. I immediately took a shine to him and wrecked the battlefield using my, what I now call, "Nothl's Wrath" build and playstyle.
Please keep in mind that everything in this guide is NOT written as fact, but proportional to my successes and recent string of wins with Dazzle in DotA 2. To add, everything is also completely based on my OPINION of how Dazzle should be played.
Welcome to the mind and guide of Kronos368_NZ, the harbinger of Dazzle - The Shadow Priest!
CHOOSE YOUR ABILITY: STARTING ABILITY AND USES
Dazzle may just be a simple Shadow Priest with some life-based abilities, but correct use of them will render your enemy's attacks useless and YOUR attacks destructive. Starting with the first basic item, the Robe of the Magi. Many people will now be rushing to the comment section to say "OMG NOOB POSTER Y U NO GET WARDS" but I beg to differ, if you feel wards are needed, buy those and a robe. NOW you're about to say "OMG NOOB NOW U HAV NO TANGO OR CLARITY." This is what the Robe and your Shadow Wave is for.
PLEASE keep in mind that I am not telling you that spamming the living cr*p out of your abilities is a good thing, the Robe is for little extra mana/mana regeneration and damage for the Poison Touch combo below, as well as part of your core build.
If you have decided to go with an offensive/harassment lane and levelled Poison Touch first, good for you, it's an aggravating ability. Poison Touch applies a slowing effect that stops the target in it's tracks and then deals PHYSICAL damage over time to them.
If you are quick enough (and the enemy is stupid enough to get too close), hit them with an auto attack and throw Poison Touch at them, as soon as it launches, toss another auto-attack and back up. Remember that as soon as you right-click an enemy hero, the creeps will want to tear you limb from limb. If this combo has gone as above, they will be short some 100hp+ and you will be able to deny/last hit a creep or two (but remember to nurture your carry!)
In my personal opinion, choosing this ability at the beginning is a mistake. Unless you know FOR SURE that there is going to be a close encounter with the enemy, do not grab this ability. Shallow Grave is one of the best team fight turnaround abilities in the game. It is similar to that of Tryndamere or Kayle's (League of Legends) ultimate ability but Dazzle can choose who he puts it on. Shallow Grave prevents the target hero from dropping below 1 HP for 5 seconds.
If used at the right time and on the correct teammate, it can fool an enemy into thinking they have won the fight and come in for a kill. Use Shadow Wave in the last second of Shallow Grave's effect and it will (if the enemy isn't that smart) let your ally escape generally unscathed.
You smart cookie! Choosing this ability first is almost superior to both Poison Touch and Shallow Grave put together! It combines damage output with a chain heal. Something you have to watch out for however, is running out of mana (hopefully you took my advice and started with a robe).
Something that is somewhat of a flagship extra of Dazzle, is the heal/damage component of Shadow Wave. When your lane opponent/s are near your allied creeps either last hitting or passing by them to harass you/your lane partner, use Shadow Wave to heal your creeps and damage the enemy. Keep in mind that Shadow Wave damages the enemies adjacent to them by the amount that the units are healed for. Obviously, in the moments where there is no enemy to damage, top up your allies when they need it.
WEAVING THE IMPOSSIBLE: WEAVE
Dazzle's ultimate ability, Weave is an AAoEoT (Armour Area Effect over Time) effect that INCREASES you and your allies' armour by ONE every second and REDUCES the enemy's armour at the same rate for (without Aghanim's Scepter) 12/18/24 seconds. With Aghanim's Scepter the duration INCREASES to 18/24/30 seconds.
Weave is one of the best Mage abilities that can be used to either open up a team fight or prep your team for an imminent (and I mean IMMINENT)) fight. The amount of armour that your team has in the last few seconds of the effect is higher than a Platemail and a Chainmail put together (that means you get 1950 Gold PLUS worth of armour with the non-upgraded Weave!)
ITEMS AND ACTIVELY USING THEM
A lot of guides I've seen have viewed Dazzle as simply a support that heals and saves lives when needed. I will NEVER say "don't support", because, as a core role for Dazzle, he DOES need to support whoever he is in lane with. One of these reasons is because he is not heavily item dependant. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't farm! If your lane partner is at your tower healing or using a Clarity Potion, you are well within your right to deny and last hit.
This being said, GET YOUR CARRY FED! Being a greedy farmer can cause a lane, or even an entire match, to go badly for your team. The reason that a support has the title of being a support, is to do just that. SUPPORT! I honestly cannot say it enough times, if you take the farm, your carry is left in the dust (and in a low gold income!), however, if you wait until your lane partner is back further enough that it would be impossible for them to farm, go right ahead.
Now, some of you may be questioning my comment about Dazzle not being heavily item dependent. IN MY OPINION this is true, what Dazzle may end up lacking in items, he more than makes up for in being built to be a team player. He has 3 abilities that makes it difficult for his allies to die, and he has a slow that can enable kills.
Now, let's actually get down to the items.
First up, the Robe of the Magi. Strange item you say? Not entirely, the Robe of the Magi is used for the Orchid Malevolence that you will hopefully build (if you follow this guide of course!) Robe of the Magi provides +6 Intelligence that (as you should know) provides damage (for Intelligence heroes), mana and mana regeneration. This gives him a larger mana pool for harassing with Poison Touch, using Shallow Grave whenever you need it, or topping up your allies (and harassing your enemies!) with Shadow Wave whenever you see fit.
The Tango and the Clarity
Ok so I've made out that Dazzle is amazing in a lot of aspects. So why am I suggesting you get a tango and a clarity? Put it this way, even with the Robe of the Magi, having a Tango and a Clarity makes your lane presence all the more fantastic. Would you prefer to hit your enemies with a blast of "Dark Light!" as well as healing your creeps/lane partner or heal yourself back at your tower because you're scared of little 'ol Dwarven Sniper? If the answer is the latter, please visit the Omniknight and try a hand in the service of The All Seeing One. Come back when you're ready to embrace the power of the Nothl Realm.
For those of you who understand my logic, CONGRATULATIONS! Very few people do. The Tango is to heal you so your Shadow Wave can be put to better use healing/harassing the laners. The Clarity is used for those overzealous spellcasters (like me!) who enjoy "just one more spell."
In response to the probable flood of comments regarding the choice of taking a Tango and Clarity over wards, if you feel you need wards, take them. That's why I added a "Starting Items Alternative" tab to the purchase order section.
Now, as you may or may not be aware, the current "Meta" in League of Legends is a ranged Attack Damage Carry bottom lane, being accompanied by a Support champion. I'm not sure if this carries over to the DotA 2 scene as I have only recently started playing it again, but with my most recent games on DotA 2 all being wins with Dazzle, I am going to assume that Supporting a Carry in a lane is a good idea.
"FIRST TIME BACK/SIDE LANE SHOP"
This tab should be pretty self explanatory. Pick up a Sage's Mask in the side lane shop (top or bottom lane) when you can, or if you've been forced back by a totally Super Special Power Friends lane, pick it up (if you can) along with another tango unless you still have some left, in which case, hold on to it or invest in some wards!
Again, this should also be fairly self explanatory. You know that controversial Robe of the Magi that I kept telling you to buy? Yeah, you're actually going to use it now! The oblivion staff is an amazing item that supplies you with Intelligence, Mana Regeneration, Attack Speed and Damage. Grab two of those and the Orchid Malevolence Recipe and there you have a damage increase item!
Orchid Malevolence - Active Use
As you may or may not know, Orchid Malevolence has an active ability that silences the target for FIVE seconds and amplifies the damage they take by 30%. Using this on the primary caster or carry can create massive difficulties for them. Once they are affliced by Orchid Malevolence, you can choose to either hit them with a Poison Touch, leave them, or let your carry/team deal with them. Additionaly, because of the damage and attack speed you are given by Orchid Malevolence, you can hit them with a few auto attacks before the effect wears off.
Please note that the amplified damage the target of Orchid Malevolence's active ability has the damage that is amplified against them is applied to them AFTER the effect has ended.
The Arcane Boots are more of a situational item, but I've found that it is useful enough to be in the core item build. Even as capable outside of a support role as Dazzle is, he still needs to have even just one item to keep his allies topped up both in health and mana, or else the mixture of supporting his team and bringing the pain to the enemy will be all in vain. Dazzle needs to have items that synergise well with both his abilities and the person playing him.
Arcane Boots - Active Use
The use of Arcane Boots is easy. Simply click the item or press the button on the your keyboard associated with the item slot Arcane Boots is in to restore 135 mana to allies around you in a 600 unit radius. Remember that there is a 25 mana cost to you required to activate this ability, therefore you will only receive 110 mana.
Veil of Discord
The Veil of Discord is an item that I have never seen used before in a game of DotA. Again, I can sense those of you scrambling to the comments section to tell me "that's because it's ****." But I personally disagree. Seeing as how Dazzle is such a "squishy" hero, the defenive properties of Veil of Discord provides what little survivability Dazzle needs, adding in the +12 Intelligence, the Veil of Discord is a great standard item for Dazzle to weild. Yes I agree that some games require him to build a little more defensively, but he's a ranged unit through and through. He should not be near an enemy hero unless they have used a gap closer on him. Then you can unleash the Wrath of the Nothl Realm on them!
Veil of Discord - Uses
When used in conjunction with Dazzle's ultimate ability, Weave, the Veil of Discord's active can be utilized to further increase the potency of yours and your allies' attacks. This active ability is cast in an AoE that will reduce enemy magic resistance by 25%. Seeing as how Weave (when cast over an enemy) reduces their Armour every second, this will give your team more damage output when attacking them. Add in the AoE of Veil of Discord and you've got yourself a recipe for annihilation!
Please note, the purchase of Veil of Discord will be essentially a situational item depending on the amount of spellcasters/magic damage your team has. I only added it as a core item, again, based on my experiences with my games in DotA 2.
As with any situational item builds in any guide for DotA 2, all items listed in my situational items build tab are SITUATIONAL. Make an informed decision on which of the items to build, if any.
Well that's it, from this guide I hope to have taught you, or at least enlightened you to the capabilities of Dazzle, the Shadow Priest. I urge you to play champions a little differently and to try and find new ways to play them. Go now and bring the Wrath of Nothl's Realm down upon your enemies!
Added Boots of Speed to "Core Items"
Added Arcane Boots to "Situational Items"
Added Boots of Travel to "Situational Items"
Added Power Treads to "Situational Items"
Added Tranquil Boots to "Situational Items"
Side Note: I didn't add Phase Boots to Situational Items as I feel they are next to useless on a hero like Dazzle. As I have said in the guide, these are my opinions and this guide is nothing more than a suggestion on how to play Dazzle.
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