This is the way that I play Ursa. It seems to work pretty well for me (or at least, I have a lot of fun). If you don't like it, please rate this guide negatively and leave a hateful comment below.
Ursa is good at:
- Creating Space --- Ursa has amazing kill potential (especially with a Blink Dagger) mid-game. Bring some friends, drop some wards, and roam the map, taking towers and winning fights, all the while allowing your 5th teammate to farm (hopefully this is an Anti-Mage or a Spectre, and not a Crystal Maiden because pubs).
- Tanking Damage --- With lifesteal, Ursa can regenerate a LOT of his health with Fury Swipes and Overpower. Ursa also deals too much damage to ignore, and must be stunned/targeted in fights. With Enrage doubling Fury Swipes' damage and making Ursa take only 20% of damage, his tanking ability is insane.
- Win Lanes --- Ursa can win nearly any lane with the right teammate (or without one at all), with the potential to dominate the enemy - or feed, depending on your skill level relative to the enemy's stupidity.
- Destroying a Single Enemy in Fights --- Ursa specialises in destroying a single enemy in teammates, which he is insanely good at.
- Kill Roshan --- yeah
- Get First Blood --- See " Fury Swipes"
Yeah this section exists, surprising
- Take on the Entire Enemy Team Solo --- Despite a lot of attempts, it seriously can't be done without your team. Stop trying, feeder.
- Outcarry a Spectre --- Ursa is excellent at targeting a single enemy in teamfights, but he can't farm very quickly, relying on kills for most of his gold. Ursa cannot fill the "hard carry" position in a team, sadly, and if you let the game go late against a hard carry, you will be defeated (unless your team has one too).
- Survive without Gold and Experience --- While Ursa does not need a lot to be effective, if you're behind in gold and experience late game, you will be ineffective.
every game, because ursa is a god
Seriously, in pubs / low mmr games, Ursa is pretty hard to counter. Once your enemies start getting better it'll be harder to have such impact, as they'll know your tricks.
Pick Ursa when your team needs an aggressive mid game hero, you have a single farming carry, your team needs some physical damage, or you're bored.
Ursa works wonderfully with any slower/stunner that doesn't need farm - yeah, supports are nice. Shout-out to Crystal Maiden, Venomancer, Shadow Shaman, Omniknight.
It's great to have a hard carry on your team, as Ursa doesn't need a whole team to win fights - allowing him to create a lot of space. Spectre is great, as he can both farm AND be a part of fights.
Ursa also works well with an aggressive draft -- Pugna, Nature's Prophet, Invoker, whatever. Heroes who DO stuff mid game.
Don't pick Ursa when your team has more than one farming carry, or needs a mid laner.
You've possibly already seen this strategy in action, with the Boots of Speed pick up on Ursa right off the bat. If you've seen it work, wonderful. If you've seen it fail miserably, well, stay with me.
Ursa has a very high base movement speed -- a whopping 310. Already this is considerably faster than a majority of heroes. With brown boots, Ursa has 345 movement speed, which is enough to run down most heroes.
The reason why it's so important for Ursa to be able to run down enemy heroes is that you can kill them in SEVEN HITS. Let's do some math. I'll chuck in a graph for you.
You like that one? Of course, once we factor in an average level 1 armour of heroes causing about 20% damage reduction, the 7th hit will only do around ~ 620 damage. Even so, this is enough to kill most heroes, and the 8th hit should finish off any pesky survivors.
Watch out for enemies who buy a Stout Shield or Boots of Speed off the bat, or any Ogre Magi -- they will survive for a longer time.
If you're planning to lane offlane, (especially as dire), you can sneak around the back of the enemy's jungle and flank them, targetting one enemy and running them down. Stuns generally aren't an issue (as they only slow you down for 2 seconds), but multiple stuns or slows could ruin you.
If your teammates aren't autistic, you SHOULD get first blood. If you don't have any teammates, you can still do it, but it's more likely to fail.
Don't be scared to dive the tower unless the enemy has a stun/slow ready.
If you're going to safelane, you will need your teammates to help you, as the enemy can easily flee.
Tangoes are crucial for lane regeneration, but I generally grab a Faerie Fire, just because that last 75 health for you can be the difference between reports and commends.
This is the route I generally take to flank the enemy when offlaning. You want to hide around the easy-camp until about -0:15 seconds, or whenever your team and the enemy is going to engage. If you're alone, don't even bother as Radiant. As Dire, you have a decent chance of escape if it goes badly (thanks Boots of Speed).
(I got a "C" in Graphics Design)
From my experience, Ursa is best played as a Safelane or Offlane carry. Sometimes I solo offlane as him, too.
Safelane Ursa works best if:
- You've got a team dedicated to mid game
- You have another hard carry (mid preferably)
- The enemy doesn't have a hard carry
If you have a strong lane partner and/or the enemy is weak you can play as aggressively as possible. Don't forget to actually last hit, though.
Offlane is where I generally like to go. While Safelane is probably ideal, Offlane can be pretty good for some aggressive plays.
Solo Offlane??? Yeah, solo-offlane as Ursa is not seen very often (or, at all), but I think it can work. It obviously depends on who is safelaning on the enemy team, but Ursa can generally out-fight his way, and experience is more important than gold for Ursa early game. Good luck.
Jungle Ursa. I don't like it. Ursa isn't a particularly fast jungler, and it's very hard to get kills while jungling, which is Ursa's specialty. The only reason you'd jungle should be if someone on your team realllyy wants to solo, or you have a plan to do an early Roshan.
I always get the same early-game items as Ursa, but in a different order depending on the situation.
Orb of Venom.
-- Note that the new item, Wind Lance, is actually awesome too. If you think you're going to get some kills, pick one up. 375 movement speed...
Phase Boots are the go. The speed boost and damage is invaluable. I go for these first if I'm doing very well in lane, as the kills/gold makes this (mini) rush easy. If you find yourself being harassed a lot, don't get these first. If you aren't dominating the lane, perhaps consider getting Vlads a bit earlier and doing Rosh.
Vladmir's Offering is currently considered a pretty lame item for Ursa. It used to be crucial to the meta back with the way his old ultimate works. Now, the damage bonus isn't that useful, so people generally get Morbid Mask instead of Vladmirs -- they have the same lifesteal.
However, the components of Vladmir's Offering are quite useful too -- the Headdress and Ring of Basilus provide a lot of health/mana regen, and the recipe is only 300 gold.
Note that Helm of the Dominator is a solid Ursa item too. It doesn't give you the same regen, but it gives you some other stats, and you can build it in to a Satanic late game. It doesn't really make too much of a difference, I guess get Dominator if you're doing well early game and don't need the regen.
So I usually get Headdress quickly, for the health regeneration. Once you get this online, you'll have around 5 constant health regeneration, which is nice. It provides your laning partner with regen too, if you have one.
To do Roshan (solo), Ursa REALLY only needs Lifesteal and Fury Swipes. It's quite possible to do it level 5 by yourself with a Morbid, which jump-starts you into the game.
But I like to lane as Ursa, for the kill-potential and the greater experience.
You always want to use Smoke of Deceit when doing Rosh (unless there's just been a teamfight and the enemy team has all died). Even if you can see all 5 enemies on the map, they could teleport at any time to your location. EVERYBODY wants to stop an Ursa doing Rosh -- that's the dream. You're so vulnerable, and any enemy can potentially interrupt your kill.
Use your initiative, too. In general, don't do Rosh if you have no vision or teammates near you. Don't be super obvious. Don't let the enemy see you with Smoke. Whatever. Don't try to smoke into Rosh when the enemy midlaner is getting a rune.
I say "8-12 minutes" because that's usually around the time that I do Rosh. It's good to have at least 2 points in Overpower and Fury Swipes. Try to use your ult as late as possible in the fight, if you have to use it at all.
Luck is a large part of Roshan - namely, when he bashes. It's for this reason that you never want to be under 200 hp at any point in the fight -- if Roshan bashes you twice in a row, you're gone.
There's nothing more embarrassing than dying to Rosh.
If you're interrupted by the enemy, DON'T GO BACK TO ROSH FOR A WHILE. You're going to tilt, the enemy will know what you're doing, and you'll make some bad plays.
Look at the game-timer when you kill Rosh. 8-11 minutes.
With Aegis, do your thing. You ARE the Ursa-Warrior.
Oh, but don't be an idiot. Half the reason you're doing Rosh is for the gold and experience. You can use the aegis as security while farming. Running in and dying for no reason is as much of a waste of an aegis as it expiring is!
Blink Dagger is good.
Ursa's weakness is being kited, with Blink you can get the jump on enemies... or use it to escape... you can even dodge projectiles? If you know how to use it, Blink Dagger is a sweet.
You should be trying to take THE RIGHT fights. If you find yourself falling behind / losing some fights, then stop trying to take them. Know your limits, and know when you're being beaten, and go farm up another item.
Ursa's weakness isn't a stun -- it's slows, or chain-stuns. Shadow Shaman is your enemy. Drow Ranger can be pretty annoying. Black King Bar allows Ursa to charge through the enemy. He's quite unstoppable -- immune to magic damage, and able to out-fight everyone. I get a BKB nearly every game.
Skull Basher gives Ursa a lot of damage (the bash proc damage + Overpower is insane) and it stops the enemy from running away. A great item if the enemy has a squishy-escape carry such as Ember Spirit (for the Abyssal Blade upgrade later). Basher is pretty cheap too, so it's good to get if you're falling behind.
If you find yourself doing really well, consider a Monkey King Bar or an Eye of Skadi for the first item. Both are a bit ambitious, but actually give you more than a Skull Basher would.
If the other team has an evasive carry like oh I don't know Phantom Assassin, Monkey King Bar is a must-have. Ursa should be the King of Man-Fights -- it's a bit awkward when half of your attacks miss.
Some people like the Sange and Yasha build, or even a cheeky Desolator. I don't really like those items for Ursa.
If you actually want to win your games as Ursa, it's important to remember WHY you're fighting. Don't just search for kills -- try to get objectives, or create space for your carry. Get what items your team needs to shut down high-impact enemies in fights.
Try to target the heroes that are destroying your team, not the prettiest ones...
"It's no use getting an ultra kill if the enemy gets a rampage".
At the time of writing (a few hours after 6.87 has gone live), THIS PATCH IS INSANE.
So many new mechanics that get to butt heads with eachother, so many changes to try to wrap our fragile heads around.
The most poignant ones for Ursa are Blade Mail and Echo Sabre.
Blade Mail now returns damage before "ANY KIND OF REDUCTION". Does this mean that when you have your ult and blademail active, the damage is still returned completely? I'm not completely sure about how that works yet, but it is still now an AMAZING item.
It's powerful enough now that I think it's viable to get Blade Mail before Black King Bar in some games, namely when they have a hard hitter ( Phantom Assassin) or a magic damage dealer ( Crystal Maiden).
Echo Sabre is crazy too. It halts the enemy's movement and attack speed for a little bit, and gives you a second instant attack. It's like having a passive Overpower on. Insane. And so cheap!
And if you get the money for that new item Bloodthorn, go for it. It synergises insanely with Ursa.
Ursa is a bit of a go-to hero for me now when I'm a little annoyed, or I really need a win. He's easy to get kills with, and hard to counter. However, you need to know how to actually play when you're tilted, or you'll probably end up feeding and feeling even worse.
I played a game a few minutes ago with an absolute douchemonkey on the enemy team. He ruined my last game for me by being on my team and being completely salty, and some of that rubbed off onto me. The next game he was on the enemy team, and I wanted nothing more than to destroy him. I picked Ursa, of course.
Offlane with a Warlock, I was pretty confident. However, the combined slows from the opposing Venomancer and Sniper tore us to shreds. If you don't have a successful early game as Ursa, it's very important to take a step back. Breath. Go hit some neutral creeps for a while. Hungrily going for more kills in order to redeem yourself is only going to make it worse.
Killing Roshan can be a great way to claw your way back into the game. You really only need Morbid Mask to do it. However, the enemy team is as smart as you, and they're going to expect it. Always assume this. Be sneaky, pick your moment, and make sure your team is close! You're so vulnerably when you're in the Rosh Pit, and there is seriously nothing worse than failing Rosh twice in a row.
When losing, you probably want that sweet damage item. Don't get it. To win from a defensive position, you generally need defensive items. Blademail and Black King Bar are seriously strong items, and have fairly low-cost components.
Finally, it's important to know when to initiate, and what fights to take. Some times the risky plays pay off, but more often than not, they don't. Stick with your team, buy a smoke, place wards, and stay calm.
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