Hey guys, Airwave here. I've been playing games of the MOBA/DotA genre for the majority of the past four years, first in HoN and most recently in DotA2. In Heroes of Newerth I was an 1850-1900 MMR hard support player with 57-60 percent win in public matchmaking. More recently I've been a member of the teams CoN2 and Team Jacob as their offlane solo player while maintaining a 55+ percent win rate in the "very high" matchmaking bracket while also (as of 2/10) being rated 4352 in TMM, good for 50something in the world. This guide will be part of a longer series as I attempt to write a guide for every hero in the DotA2 hero pool. In this guide I will explain my Dazzle build, both when I play him as an offensive and a defensive support.
Also, I just wanted to take a second to plug some of the things that I'm a part of at SoIMBA:
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Dazzle is a defensive support hero and one of the trademark â��babysittersâ�� in DotA. Dazzle excels at protecting squishy hard carries during the early stages of the game while also punishing overaggressive enemies with his â��healbombâ�� Shadow Wave. Towards the mid-late game Dazzle adds a decent amount of versatility to your lineup, with his ultimate having very strong offensive and defensive capabilities while a well-timed Shallow Grave can be the difference between life and death for your carry, and as a result a win or a loss in a teamfight.
The primary difference between the two skill builds is that the offensive skill build prioritizes getting your Q to level three ASAP so that you get a real stun on Dazzle as well as the increased slow percentage. If you need extra defensive power but still want to be aggressive at level six, you can pick up a second level in your heal at three and instead get Q from 4-6. The primary thing to remember is that you only need three levels in your Q in order to get the stun, level four only results in a slight increase in damage and a cooldown reduction.
In the defensive skill build Iâ��ll usually pick up one level in my Q so that I can break channeled abilities and TPâ��s. It doesnâ��t offer much in terms of damage or slows, but having the ability to break teleports is very, very useful. Shadow Wave gives you and your laning partner(s) staying power while also offering increased turning potential. Unfortunately, this build prevents you from having any real kill potential unless your opponent makes a big mistake (such as diving through a creep wave or committing to a kill on a tower). Dazzle excels at keeping people alive but sacrifices the ability to kill others as a result.
Both of these skill builds are situational and itâ��s up to you to determine which build fits your game. If youâ��re against a powerful kill lane while playing with an ineffective early game hero such as Anti-Mage or Spectre, then the defensive skill build is your best bet. If you find yourself laning with a hero like Slardar or another semi-carry with decent damage output and a stun, the offensive build is preferable. If youâ��re laning with an illusion hero like Naga Siren or Phantom Lancer, you have the potential to be aggressive, but youâ��ll want to max your Shadow Wave in order to get the most damage from your healbombs.
Note: In each build you can level W before E if the situation dictates it, you shouldnâ��t level an ability at level one until youâ��re sure that youâ��ll need it. Regardless, I will have both E and W by level two.
Pretty standard item build, youâ��ll typically be playing the 4/5 role as Dazzle and as a result youâ��ll usually be pretty gold-starved. Getting early Arcane boots can be huge on Dazzle since he tends to spam out his skills more than other heroes (especially Shadow Wave) and having four active abilities can be draining during a teamfight. Dazzle is very commonly your teamâ��s mek hero and having the capability to do 390 AoE burst healing is fantastic for mid-game team fights and pushes. Typically, Iâ��ll build a force staff after my Mek/Boots so that I can help out teammates while also giving myself a positioning bonus. Ghost Scepter is another great pickup, especially against heroes such as lifestealer who are forced to tunnel vision an enemy. Your primary job is to keep your team alive, so being able to force staff one ally into better position while graving another and healing everyone else allows you to have massive impact on fights. Medallion is a much more nichey/pub style pickup, but can be extremely effective if you have a hero such as Slardar, TA or Vengeful Spirit on your team while also making you a Roshan threat almost immediately (shadow wave to heal your teammates, Medallion on Rosh to get him down much, much quicker). Itâ��s not necessarily a common item pickup on Dazzle, but it can be extremely effective if used correctly with your ultimate or the effects of allies.
Dazzle is a hero that I previously tried to fit into lineups while I was playing competitively. We tried him as a solo long laner, a solo short laner, a dual jungler (jungling with a hero like Axe), a trilane support and as a solo mid and in no situation did he seem to add anything new or special to a lineup. With 6.78, Dazzle received two buffs, both of which are significant in two very different ways. First they increase the amount of targets that Shadow wave would hit from 3/3/4/5 to 3/4/5/6. While this may not seem like a big deal, it increases Dazzleâ��s healing ability, damage ability, flash farming potential and pushing power. While it may seem weird to laud a supports ability to flash farm, itâ��s an extremely handy ability to have. Not only does it allow Dazzle to farm waves quickly while reducing risk of death, but it makes Dazzle a more effective anti-pusher. While Shadow Wave might not have the power of Illuminate, a newly maxed Shadow Wave is capable of immediately clearing a wave with enough creeps nearby (previously it would leave each creep at ~80 health, now the melee wave will die with 6 shadow wave damage bounces). The second change is something that I think has the potential to be game-changing towards late game and might help make Dazzle into a much more valuable support hero â�� Shallow Grave can now be cast on magic immune allies. Pre-6.78 a BKB activation meant that Shallow Grave would be dispelled and that you couldnâ��t cast it on an ally, but now you can potentially make your Carry invincible for five seconds while he makes himself magic-immune. This change is situational and requires great timing, but it might be the little push that Dazzle needs to become a better support hero. Dazzle will stay have the problem of being level dependent and ineffective as a roamer/trilaner, but I think the current buffs give Dazzle the potential to be a very effective dual-lane support (in either the short or long lane) thatâ��s paired with a dedicated jungler.
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