Hello everyone, I realize that there are a lot of Drow Ranger guides already, but this is a guide that will focus more on game-play and how to make her good consistently rather than an all or nothing style. Enjoy!
I feel that Drow is at her deadliest in the mid lane, where she can farm and gank easily.
Starting: I pick up 2 circlets for all around stats. I believe 4 of every stat is much more efficient than 6 of only agility(when you buy 2 slippers). Wraith Bands are cheap and give you much needed stats, and Power Treads give Drow survivability and speed.
Core: I think that a Shadow Blade is a great pickup in midlane, it makes you unpredictable and unseen, letting you gank A LOT. However, if there are already invisible heroes on your team,( Bounty Hunter, Riki) Don't get it, as the enemy will probably have detection items. Pick up a Yasha into a Manta Style instead. The Helm of the Dominator is important, as it lets Drow stay in lane longer, even in teamfights, and also enables her to fight Roshan pretty early.
Late: Then you basically go into pure damage items. However, if it is a hard game, I would recommend a Black King Bar or a Manta Style, as it gives you some survivability. Now, if you are hopefully dominating, I believe upgrading your Helm of the Dominator into a Satanic makes you very,very hard to kill, ensuring a win for you. Pick up a Butterfly if there is a DPSer on the enemy team.
At level one, I recommend Frost Arrows for the orbwalking capability. R-Conqueror, Y U PICK STATS AT LVL 2!!!! Well, A Circlet costs 185 gold right? Well this just saved you that much gold, gave you more mana for frost arrows, agility for damage, and strength for survivability. A level of Silence should be gotten for ganking and shutting down casters. Then you level up precision aura in preparation for your ultimate, Marksmanship. At 5, grab a quick level of Frost Arrows to help with ganking. At 6,Your agility/damage/attack speed/armor suddenly skyrockets from Marksmanship, and you can gank easily, which is why you then max frost arrows. Then you finish out Precision Aura, and get Silence just in time for all those team fights.
I'm not going to spend as much time on Drow's side-lane, as there are only a few differences. As far as the item build goes, I simply build a Yasha instead of a Shadow Blade, as it is easier to build, and then go into a Manta Style for your luxury item, as that is also very useful as an escape mechanism.Getting Power Treads and Yasha makes you pretty fast, and keeping treads on Str helps with your survivability. I also max Frost Arrows a level earlier as you need the max amount of slow for in-lane harass and ganks.
A quick note on Monkey King Bar. If you are going against a Phantom Assassin, or a carry that has evasion, rush it. I mean really rush it. Without it, you are at an even bigger disadvantage against a PA, and have lost some of your advantage against an evasion minded enemy.
When there are other carries on the team, a different build and playstyle is in order. All your skills are helpful to an entire team. Frost Arrows for ganking and Silence for teamfights. One that stands out though, is Presicion Aura. Because this skill is so powerful (and global) you want to abuse it. Build as much Agility as possible so that your entire team hits higher. I would therefore recommend getting a Yasha>Manta> Butterfly if possible. You will always hit high, so by helping others out with 60 bonus damge from your aura... lets just say the enemy won't find ganking so easy when Io startts hitting 150-200.
This is it, the hardest part to playing Drow, that is, making her a consistent carry.
When you get fed,I'll even admit that at times it's basically how good you are at finding people to click on. But when you don't get fed, or even feed, then it is much harder.
So, you've been laning for a while,maybe not getting as many last hits and xp as you needed. This is a scenario that definitely takes effect when laning against say, a Queen of Pain that can nuke you down. Well, regardless of your cs, once you hit level 6, start organizing ganks. With Drow's sudden 40 agility increase from Marksmanship, you will be still be lethal in ganks around the map. gank every lane, killing neutrals as you move, and don't let the opposing team gank you. This is where Drow shines, and if organized correctly, can get you the gold to really skyrocket in the game.
You have to be quick, efficient, and deadly in teamfights. Your first priority is to not be the first to be targeted. You need to dish out as much of your damage as possible, and that means not being disabled half the fight. Once you come in, Silence any casters who might be saving spells just for you(don't you feel special?). Then, focus on the enemy team's carry, or the one who is on a hot streak, toggling between Frost Arrows to make sure they don't escape, and lifesteal to keep your health up. You are a single target monster, so be decisive and pick them off one by one. If it goes badly, back out and don't chase the one low guy when the rest of the enemy is chasing you. Make sure to stay out of melee range if possible so that you don't lose your agility from Marksmanship.
Drow Ranger is not invincible, there are several counters to her. That Achilles heel is a team that goes into teamfighting quickly and stays together. When you are getting focused by any sort of blinker ( Anti-Mage, QOP, Phantom Assassin) or nuker ( Tiny, Doom, Lion) you will probably pick up some deaths. Notice that most of these counters are heroes that can either blink in or get in(Tiny's Toss, Scorched Earth, Voodoo) to remove your precious 40, 60, or 80 bonus agility from marksmanship. When this happens, I would suggest getting lifesteal and picking up a Shadow Blade if they don't have detection. These two items will allow you to arrive undetected, and last longer with your health regen from lifesteal.
This is for when the game has gone horribly wrong, as so often happens in pubs. You can't stop them in teamfights, and are not able to do pushes of your own. This is when it is time to go into your shell and wait out the storm. Only engage right around towers or in your own base. Quickly pick off any enemy that is by themselves. When you have lifesteal, go and kill Roshan if possible. This will give some great gold and will let you deal out much more damage, since you now have two lifetimes for the price of one. Eventually, if you are disciplined enough to just stay in the base and kill even one of them each time they push, the gold will slowly come trickling back to you. Using this strategy, I have come back from a horrible game, even a 5v4 game, several times.
There is one other temptation that can lose you the game when you are owning face as Drow Ranger. Drow Ranger is an interesting carry, she reaches her full potential much earlier than other carries, which is what makes her unique. However, even though you might be tempted to see just how many kills you can get when you are beyond godlike.... don't do it. You see, when you don't push hard and win it, harder carries than you, carries that just get better and better and better as the game goes on might turn the game around. Examples are Chaos Knight, Faceless Void, and even Silencer with his Glaives of Wisdom. So if you are winning, win quick so that your win doesn't somehow turn into an embarrassing loss.
Using this strategy, you will earn the respect of your teammates and foes by being able to turn a bad game, one that most Drow players will give up on, into a good one. Of course, I cannot guarantee wins all the time, but I hope that this guide will give you a more consistent outcome. Thank you for reading and I will appreciate any feedback(this is my first guide) and hope that you will go forth and be a Consistent Carry!
P.S. Drow Hurts.........
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