... and look at my 2nd guide on Dota Fire, this time about Pudge! Big surprise with the title and stuff eh? Been playing Pudge a lot since the MMR kicked in and I played Devourer a LOT in HoN too, so this guide you are reading right now is built up around all the experience I racked in these 2 games. Quick note: Devourer is way stronger than Pudge for 2 reasons sadly. 1: He can move while he hooks, and back then hook could grab on the way back too, dunno if it changed, haven't played HoN since I got my key to Dota 2. 2: His ult makes him bigger, hit harder and rot farther. Back then there was a 3: Devourer could buy a Blink, Pudge couldn't. With that in mind, note that I prefer Dota more than ever because balance is better and etc, but I'm not here to rant about HoN but rant about Pudge hehe :P So let's go ahead with this!
What's your role with Pudge in a game? Well first of all you need levels, and fast, since he IS a ganker and a SEMI-Initiator. This hero is VERY level dependant early on, hook having low range at earlier levels and you being less fatty and all. So you should always mid if you get a chance to, and please, PLEASE, get the stupid runes and gank with them!
Why semi-initiator? A full pledged Initiator can initiate on a full team if he wants (EarthSharker, TideHunter, Warlock, etc), while semi-initiators can pin down single targets and get all the attention of the ennemy team, leading them out of position for one of the full initiators to do their job. And, important note, semi-initiators have a tendency to die fast because focused hard (Tuskar, Axe, etc), but hey, this is their role and they do it well!
Pudge's role later on is that of a tank/semi-initiator/damage dealer. If you did your job right, you should have quite a bit of Hp and a good chunk of damage, making you a dangerous killing machine.
So, what are our favorite fatty's skills? First one is Meat Hook.
CASTING METHOD: ACTIVE
TARGETTING METHOD: POINT
ALLOWED TARGETS: ANY UNIT
Launches a bloody hook at a unit or location. The hook will snag the first unit it encounters, dragging the unit back to Pudge and dealing damage if it is an enemy.
Distance: 700 / 900 / 1100 / 1300
Damage: 90 / 180 / 270 / 360
Mana Cost: 110 / 120 / 130 / 140 Cooldown Time: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11
As you may have guesses, this should ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS be maxed first. This is your initiation tool, the reason some people start doing Break Dance when they see you just to dodge THIS. It deals True damage, travels VERY far and HURTS, plus it passes through Magic Immunity. Note that, in order to use this skill, you should not just stay in one place and then hook when you see an opening. Move around, mess around with your ennemy, Pudge is about mind games (no jokes), if you can outplay your ennemy and PREDICT where he should be at the time you hook, you should land it. And please, PLEASE, use fog of war to your advantage, even when the ENNEMY uses it. Just watch there they go and what is the OBLIGATED pathing and LAUNCH IT! It requires practice but a good Pudge can change the game.
CASTING METHOD: TOGGLE
TARGETTING METHOD: INSTANT
ALLOWED TARGETS: ENEMY UNITS/SELF
A toxic cloud that deals intense damage and slows movement--harming not only enemy units but Pudge himself.
Damage: 35 / 60 / 85 / 110
This should always be put first and maxed second as soon as possible. This skill, yes, will hurt you FAST, but it WILL hurt your ennemy WAY FASTER with Dismember. Note that magic resist like Hood of Defiance WILL help you a lot alongside your next skill.
ASTING METHOD: PASSIVE
TARGETTING METHOD: N/A
ALLOWED TARGETS: ANY UNIT
Gives Pudge resistance to magic damage, as well as bonus strength that increases each time Pudge kills an enemy Hero. Flesh Heap is retroactive, meaning it can gain charges before it is skilled, which then become active.
Magic Resistance: 6 / 8 / 10 / 12%
Strength Bonus: 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5
THIS is why Pudge can be a pain in the ***. The more kills he gets, the stronger he gets. You could get a point in it as soon as level 4 if you want, but meh, I'll be honest, I prefer the raw damage of rot level 2 over Flesh Heap at this point in-game. Anyways, this skill is retroactive, so, do you REALLY care about it early on? Quick note: Back in my HoN time, the equivalent of Flesh Heap was NOT retroactive ^^
CASTING METHOD: ACTIVE
TARGETTING METHOD: UNIT
ALLOWED TARGETS: ENEMY UNITS
CHANNELED - Pudge chows down on an enemy unit, disabling it and dealing damage over time. Lasts 3 seconds on Heroes, 6 seconds on creeps.
Damage: 75 / 125 / 175 (+1x strength*)
Mana Cost: 100 / 130 / 170 Cooldown Time: 30
HAHAHAHA, FRESH MEAT!
This is something you will hear OFTEN in a game with Pudge in it. This is a great stun that deals moderate to hard damage depending on your level and on if you have Aghanim Scepter, which boosts your damage a LOT. Important, VERY important note. You can activate rot in Dismember, BUT, if you ult people from too far away, DO NOT ROT. If you don't see the hp going down, YOU ARE WASTING IMPORTANT HEALTH. STAHP!
So what should you get to start the killing machine early on? Simple: 3 branches and a tango. Why so little? Simple enough: you are saving for a VERY early bottle, which will help you get earlier kills on your mid (assuming you are mid) or to bottle useful runes as soon as possible.
Then you could buy an Orb of Venom, which is a VERY cheap item for all the benefits it gives you. First of all, 12% slow + 20% slow = 32% slow. Seems all right for 275 gold no? It's not a must for say, but it's NEVER a bad idea to get one. Whatever you choose, Phase boots comes after Bottle. Phase is the best choice because of the movespeed bonus, and the ALWAYS useful Phase that lets you go through creeps to land a hook on someone. Some people go Arcane Boots, which is not bad for say, but which is neither good in my opinion. Other heroes can get that.
Why do I see Smoke of Deceit in the items? Because it is your best friend with Pudge. Guess what happens if you play agains't people who KNOW how to play versus Pudge? They WARD. Guess what happens if you buy a Smoke? You use 100 gold to get past those wards, get a kill, which will triple that money you just used for a Smoke. Pretty cool huh?
What should you get next? Force Staff of Blink Dagger? I say BOTH! Why both? Simple enough. Blink in, get a kill. What happens then? You get chases by people who are pissed at you for killing their teammate. Can you blink right away after getting hit? NOPE. Can you use Force Staff right away? Yup ^^. A Pudge with so much ways to move around will always, ALWAYS be a dangerous Pudge. You NEVER know what to expect.
Once that's out of the way, I can only see one thing that can make you kill people faster: Aghanim Scepter. First of all, Aghs gives more Hp, a little more armor and more mana, and I'm not even talking about the MASSIVE damage you can deal to a single target every 30 secs. The heal is very, very, VERY cool too, since you tend to get hurt with Pudge. So ya, Aghanim Scepter.
After that, this is very, VERY situational. You fight agains't a lot of right clickers? You can get a Shiva's Guard, an Assault Cuirr*** or even a Shadow Blade for even more mobility AND free rotting without ever getting seen (until they have Dust, Gem or Sentries, but shh, don't say it out loud). You want more damage and a better heal? Heart Of Tarrasque is your best friend. Want a good slow and Disarm? Heaven's Halberd helps a LOT, since evasion is cool, Disarm is great and Maime (or I don't know how it's written and too lazy to look for it :P) is a GREAT slow. Too much spellcasters getting to you? Black King Bar is never too late in a game, just don't forget to at least, AT LEAST, buy Phase Boots and Force Staff before doing one, please.
There's another item I should mention: Hood of Defiance and Pipe of Insight. They are your friends yes, they help you survive a LOT in fights yes, they regenerate a lot of hp very fast yes, but meh, I feel like you can invest that 2125 gold on something better, say Force Staff or Blink Dagger. It's up to you, it's good, but not as good as other items mentioned earlier in my opinion. As of Pipe, meh, if you have Hood, get Pipe, if not, someone else should get it.
Edit: Thanks to Snootles to point out I forgot about Urn of Shadows. It's a great item to build, it's cheap and ya, it CAN be a worthy item, but force staff remains your main goal. As an alternate build to branches and tangos to go straight bottle, you could start with 2 gloves of strenght and tangos and rush urn, that can work too, but bottle for runes and mana regen is better and force staff has so much utility you can't bypass it.
You should try to farm heroes instead of creeps since the more kills you get the stronger you are, but if you find yourself getting behind in term of XP, just stay in a lane for a while and get a kill or 2 if you see someone alone, and for ****'s sake, carry a Town Portal with you so you can TP in and help your team by getting a kill or saving someone. Jungle is better for other heroes but, lategame, you COULD get a bit of lasthits from there, though the lanes are a better choice as long as things are warded.
Hook them all! Your job is pick one off, offer yourself or a teammate an easy kill, rinse and repeat. Try not to dive in too hard though, Pudge's armor is not the best, and rot not helping, you might die very fast. Try to use some hit and run strategy early on and you should see the light of day. Once you get stronger, THEN you can start to act as stupid as I act sometimes and Force Staff on a cliff, get a kill on someone who's getting away if not from your intervention, then get killed by the rest of the team because you are THAT MUCH stupid, but GOD was it worth.
Important note: If you get a kill that you feel is worth then die, you have to write "WORTH" in capital letters in all chat or it's not worth ;)
- Pudge is a great semi-initiators and a great mid hero that can dominate pretty much every hero with some practice.
- Is tanky as hell.
- This guide makes you a mobile killing machine that can survive most situations.
- Can lock down single targets and help the team by doing so.
- Is level dependent.
- Is kill/assists dependent (A LOT).
- Tends to get focused a lot in fights.
- Ennemies like Timbersaw and Lifestealer will have a fun time with you.
- Silence can REALLY screw you up early on.
So that's pretty much about it I think. If you have any questions about this guide feel free to ask them and I should respond (if I remember to log on Dota Fire ^^), and if you want some hints on where and how to hook and how to get better, look for JiggleBilly's videos on Youtube, they helped me a LOT getting my edge with Pudge as keen as it is now. So, I hope you enjoyed it, and let the carnage begin!