Gone With the Wind - A Farewell Guide
April 17, 2015
I am not a pro. I have, however, played Windranger. A lot of Windranger. I pretty much learned Dota with Windranger, and my final game of Dota was with Windranger. Of course I've at least tried most, if not all, heroes in Dota, but Windranger is by far my most played with at least 300 games as her.
I also just mentioned how I had my final game of Dota; I find that I have to quit Dota because it's such an addicting game, but at the same time I felt like I needed closure, so I decided I would share my personal thoughts on Windranger's skills, items, and how to adapt to different heroes and different situations in the form of a guide. This guide is more aimed towards people who would like to play Windranger, and it is obscenely long as it covers my experiences with different itemizations on Windranger and with Hero matchups between her and most other Heroes in Dota that I've played in. It might be better to save the latter sections for reference.
What is Windranger's role? According to the Dota 2 website, Windranger is a "Disabler, Nuker, Support, Escape."
First off, none of these roles are entirely untrue. Windranger has a hard disable in the form of Shackleshot, which at max level can potentially stun two enemy heroes for 3.75 seconds (the same length as Magnus' RP!), and a soft disable in Windrun's 30% AOE slow at max level. Windranger can nuke enemies for a respectable 360 damage using Powershot. Windranger is sort of able to support by virtue of possessing a nuke and a stun with which to contribute to a teamfight even without farm. And Windranger can sort of escape using Windrun.
The main issue is that Windranger is not particularly good at any of these supposed roles. A missed shackle means you've dealt no damage and stunned an enemy for a grand total of 0.75 seconds; you may as well have picked up Vengeful Spirit for a more reliable stun that deals damage, or heck you might as well have picked up Sven for that satisfying SMACK! of Storm Hammer. Powershot, while having decent damage and absurd range, comes nowhere near Lina's capacity to nuke people dead in seconds with her two nukes. As a support, Windrunner's skills require a lot of investment in order to pay off, but you'll be lagging too far behind in levels to for your skills to be relevant at the right times. And as an escape, Windrun is fairly subpar, being far more taxing on your mana pool early game than, say, Mirana's Leap, and you can still be slowed, unlike Dark Seer's Surge.
The core issue when thinking about Windranger's role is that Windranger is a very greedy hero as far as farm and XP goes. As I will note later, all of her skills require some points invested into them for them to pay off. Furthermore, Windranger scales quite well with farm and in fact requires a fair amount to remain relevant to the game. When Windranger fails to secure enough farm and XP, she loses a lot of impact on the game, and if she loses that lead then you can expect to feel nearly useless.
As a result, I feel Windranger should ideally be played as a midlaner or offlaner who works as a semi-carry and playmaker throughout the midgame and transitions into a single-target monster late-game. Lategame, Windranger will make her targets dead very quickly if not disabled; she can probably solo Roshan faster than anyone else, and push down towers with DPS equal to that of her entire team combined. Windranger should not be run as the hard carry of the team, nor should she be run as a roamer or support. While her single-target DPS pretty much outstrips that of any other Hero, the 15 second cooldown on Focus Fire means that in late-game engagements, you will be able to Focus Fire down only one or two targets during a teamfight. Viewing Windranger as a support is as narrow minded and poorly thought out as claiming all Slark is capable of is "Escape" as that's the only role officially listed for him.
Windranger has four active abilities that, early game, can be fairly pricey on her somewhat lacking base mana pool. However, their costs don't increase very much, meaning mid to late game she'll generally not have mana problems.
Shackleshot is Windranger's primary disable.
Unlike most other stuns in the game, it is fairly weak as a value point. Sure, a 1.5 second stun is not nothing, but compared to pretty much any other level one stun shackle is very underwhelming, especially considering it's a skillshot that is not going to be easy to land against skilled opponents. However, shackle improves immensely once you have a few points invested into it. With two points in shackle you have a respectable 2.25 second stun. At three points, shackle lasts for 3 seconds, longer than most stuns in the game, and at four points shackle lasts for 3.75 seconds, on par with several ultimates. As a result, having at least two points in shackle by the time midgame comes around is ideal.
An important thing to note about shackle is that you have to be very patient with it. Shackleshot is not a particularly hard to land skill, but it is extremely important to actually land it. Throwing out shackles haphazardly hoping it will hit will likely result in only ministunning an opponent. However, waiting for the right moment to shackle your opponents and seizing it as soon as you see it will have major payoffs. Many times, I've managed to stop a gank on me or an ally by waiting for the right moment and shackling two enemy heroes (people tend to line up very nicely if they're chasing someone down). At the same time I've managed to die horribly and noobishly by throwing out a shackle in a panic and delaying my death by only 0.75 seconds.
Another thing about shackle is that its ministun is nice for stopping channeling spells like Witch Doctor's Death Ward, or, given some followup by another teammate with a disable, can help catch a fleeing enemy Hero.
Shackleshot can in many ways be very exciting and very frustrating due to how weirdly it can work. Generally, shackling a Hero to a tree is pretty straightforward and, with practice, as reliable as Lion's Earth Spike (I mean, the map is covered in trees!). However, some trickier shackles have varying degrees of success. For example, if you shackle a creep as the primary target, in theory you can shackle a Hero on the opposite side of the creep, as shackles is supposed to prioritize Heroes over creeps as secondary targets. In practice, there are many times when I'll end up with a glorious double-creep shackle, and others when I manage a surprise kill on the unfortunate Hero on the other side of the shackle. In theory, shackles has a search area shaped like a cone around your first shackle target in which it looks for the secondary target. In practice, I've seen perfectly lined up shackles fail miserably and I've seen shackles that somehow turned 90 degrees to hit another target.
Finally, grabbing a positioning item such as a Blink Dagger or Force Staff can make lining up shackles much easier, especially against more wary opponents who position themselves away from easier shackle angles.
Powershot is Windranger's primary nuke.
Generally, Powershot is the skill you want to max first. Powershot deals very respectable damage in the early game (120 magic damage at level 1, 360 damage at level 4) but falls off extremely quickly as a nuke. This is due to the need to channel Powershot for its full power, the need to aim it, and the fact that every target Powershot hits reduces its damage.
However, even if Powershot falls off relatively quickly, it's still a very strong skill that got some very nice buffs. In older guides you might see that "Releasing Powershot after 0.7 seconds actually gives its full damage." After patch 6.83, Powershot now does its full damage after fully channeling it for one second. However, its cast point was improved; it used to be that Windranger would take 0.3 seconds to actually begin channeling Powershot, but now she channels it right away, meaning the time it takes to reach full damage is the same (one second) but now you can lasthit an enemy instantly if that enemy is fleeing with very little hp.
Another buff that occurred to Powershot was a range buff from 1825 to 2600. Powershot already had a very long range before, but the length of this buff was, in many ways, blatantly unnecessary, though a nice touch. For perspective, Sniper's level two Assassinate and Clockwerk's level two Hookshot, both extremely long-range skills, are both 2500 range, meaning that Windrunner gets a spammable nuke that still outranges two extremely long-range ultis until level 16. Heck, Powershot even deals more damage than Sniper's level 1 Assassinate. You can literally lasthit creeps that are under your enemy's mid tower from your mid tower. With this range buff you can also splitpush or counterpush from a very, very safe distance away from the enemy team; two or three Powershots are enough to force most pushes to wait for the next creep wave, giving your team time to regroup. Furthermore, with good guessing you can finish off a fleeing opponent from a long ways away.
Powershot also grants vision and destroys trees along its path, which gives Powershot a ton of utility long after its damage has fallen off. This is very nice for when you are scouting or when you are juking. When you're pushing, given that you have the mana, you can scout into the nearby trees or beyond the enemy's tower, maybe even messing up a blink initiation while you're at it. If you think the enemy team is trying to take Roshan, you can scout from a very safe distance away into the Roshan pit without having to enter; very few other heroes have this luxury (I once hilariously killed an enemy Riki by accident while scouting into Roshan).
Given enough mana, Powershot is also a good form of waveclear. As mentioned earlier, it can be used to splitpush or counterpush from a distance, but it's also good for farming in general. However, Powershot is very poor for clearing larger waves due to the 10% damage reduction for every unit it passes through. This is also why when you are trying to snipe a Hero it's better to hit the Hero as the first target so that the enemy Hero receives the full damage.
Windru----ranger's "escape" skill.
Windrun grants 100% evasion to Windranger for anywhere from 3-6 seconds, and grants 50% bonus movespeed for that time. It is an amazing manfight skill and an alright escape skill.
Windrun was also buffed in recent memory; it used to have a 2.75s duration at level 1 and increase by 0.75 seconds with each level, maxing out at 5 seconds of Windrun, but it was buffed to have a 3 second duration at level 1 and increase by 1 second each level, maxing out at 6 seconds at level 4.
Windrun is Windranger's "Value Point" skill. Unlike a level 1 shackle or Powershot, Windrun gives a healthy 3 seconds to work with, and you can often live with those three seconds until after you've maxed out shackles and Powershot. However, more points into Windrun early on pays off well against certain lineups. Most of the time, the skill you will end up taking at level 1 is Windrun; you can trade hits with Windrun and more often than not I've regretted taking another skill, only to find myself getting ganked at level 1 with no way to escape!
Windrun is underwhelming as an escape. Yes, it will definitely save your life a lot, but there are many moments when, while playing as Windranger, I would wish I had a nicer escape (or bought a Force Staff). Compared to a true escape like Slark's Pounce, Mirana's Leap, or Blink, you don't get the same instant repositioning that gets you out of the danger zone right away; whereas ganking an Antimage would require very tight timing on the chainstunning to hold him down, Windranger can be more easily subdued. Furthermore, against a brutal slow like Dazzle's Poison Touch, Windrun is not as useful as, say, Dark Seer's Surge; because it's only a movespeed bonus as opposed to a haste, slows will render Windrun useless as an escape. Most of all, Windrun is a fairly expensive spell early game, costing a hefty 100 mana early game, meaning it's not something that can be spammed. Furthermore, Windrun doesn't block physical damage, only autoattacks, so spells like Tidehunter's Anchor Smash can still deal their physical damage through Windrun.
When using Windrun during an escape, you have to carefully judge when to pop it, and this will vary depending on who is beating you down. For example, suppose Vengeful Spirit and Lion are going in for a level 1 gank on you, and Venge has just launched her stun at you. Here you have two choices; you can pop Windrun before Venge's stun lands, or after Lion's stun is finished. If you're close enough to your tower, it might be worthwhile to pop Windrun first for the speed boost and run as quickly as possible to your tower. On the other hand, if you're far from your tower, it might actually be better to save your 3 second Windrun for after Lion has landed his stun. Since Lion will be taking time to use his Earth Spike on you, he is not dealing damage to you via autoattack for maybe 0.75 seconds during your Windrun; using Windrun after might block an extra autoattack that might have finished you off.
Bear in mind to be careful with Windrun. Windranger has very low starting armor, and due to her poor Agi gain has rather low armor throughout the entire game; so, Windrun is your primary defense against autoattacks. As soon as Windrun is off cooldown, Windrunner becomes a very vulnerable target to right-clickers, as even though her late game HP pool is respectable her physical Effective HP pool is low due to low armor.
However, Windrun is amazing defensive ability for when you want to be aggressive or manfight due to its 100% evasion. If your enemy is sitting under his tower with low HP, Windrun lets you dive and finish him off before he can recover, and walk away with 100 less mana but all of your HP. Windrun also lets you manfight pretty much any right-clicker for 6 seconds given that they don't have a Monkey King Bar. Functionally, Windrun lets you compete with Agi carries in terms of physical fighting because while their physical EHP is increased by their high armor, your physical EHP is sort of increased by your high evasion.
Focus Fire is Windranger's attack steroid.
Focus Fire is the ability that lets Windranger play as a carry and gives Windranger relevance in the late-game. Impressively, it brings her to max attack speed, which only one other hero can reasonably achieve achieve, Ursa. Added on top of that is the fact that Windranger has a lower Base Attack Time than most other heroes, meaning she attacks faster than it would be possible for, say, Spirit Breaker to. Focus Fire gives Windranger monstrous DPS against her chosen target; if you're properly farmed, that target, regardless of how tanky they are, will pretty much die in seconds. Focus Fire is a pretty straightforward skill; you pick a target, you shoot at it, and hopefully it dies. The sheer amount of DPS you put out can basically equal that of your entire team put together.
Focus Fire does have its drawbacks that prevent Windranger from being the hard carry of a team; when Focus Fire is on CD Windranger's DPS drops drastically. Windranger will generally not be building attack speed items due to how redundant they are with Focus Fire, and so you can expect Windranger's DPS to drop at least 50% on targets she's not Focus Firing. In contrast, an Agi carry can switch targets and not see the damage they deal drop instantly (ignoring things like Damage Block or Armor). So, Windranger isn't quite hard carry material as a result of the cooldown.
When to take Focus Fire depends entirely on the game and how the match is going. If I am mid, I might take Focus Fire at level 6; this way, if the other mid laner leaves the lane for a decent amount of time, I can pretty much take out half of their mid tower's HP before they return. However, if their mid is pretty much a farming mid, or if I'm on the offlane, I might wait until I have a decent damage item like Maelstrom before I actually skill Focus Fire, and place an extra point or two into shackles or Windrun instead. Focus Fire is also a less than useful skill if you're laning against someone who might build a Vanguard or against a Tidehunter, as you might literally do no damage if you haven't build damage items yet.
What Windranger Wants Out of Items
There are some Heroes in Dota 2 where you pretty much have one or two item paths. Windranger is not one of those Heroes. There are a huge number of items that are viable for Windranger.
The main issues early for Windranger are her lack of armor, her low base HP, and a fairly weak mana pool. Midgame, mobility becomes important, especially for getting in good shackles or surprise pickoffs. Lategame, Windranger needs to secure Int or damage items to bolster her damage, especially due to her weak Int growth, and if she's being run as a core having a BKB or Linken's can make sure that what would otherwise be a sad, stunlocked death on Windranger is instead a guaranteed death sentence for the poor fellow on the enemy team being Focus Fired down.
In fact, this means Windranger can benefit greatly from a number of different items. The only things that Windranger doesn't really benefit from is stacking Agi and attack speed items. Windranger otherwise loves mana regen, Int items, damage items, armor, mobility, and spell immunity. She is very squishy early on but she has a very respectable Str gain of 2.5, meaning she'll be near 2000 HP by level 25 without any stat items.
Bear in mind that Itemization is fairly important due to how slot starved Windranger is; late game Boots of Travel are a generally must because an extra slot in place of the TP scroll is important for Windranger to keep up.
The Items: Consumables, Early Game, and Boots
In this monster section I'm going to cover pretty much every item in the game, and whether they're worth getting on Windranger, and when.
Honestly, I don't care what role you are, or which Hero you're playing, no team should go without a courier. You happen to have a Lion
, Crystal Maiden
, and Shadow Shaman
on your team and all of them seem to want to run away to fight over Bounty Runes? Buy the courier, and enjoy the indignation you get to feel for being a mid who bought their own courier.
Try to avoid needing to upgrade the courier, but just like above, you ought to upgrade it if you're seven minutes in and your donkey is still walking.
Sometimes, your supports are just awful, and are too busy farming Dagons to be bothered to buy a pair of wards. Other times, they're trying really hard but still don't have brown boots because there are just too many ganks. Again, regardless of which Hero you're playing, if no one is buying wards, buy them yourself! But as Windranger, I would generally avoiding placing the wards yourself; get a support to do it if possible. Warding is very dangerous business, and while you can scout out ahead of you using Powershot
, as Windranger one of your number one priorities is to not die so as to not fall behind in XP and gold. Also, Windranger is going to be slot-starved, and lategame will not be able to even carry wards properly.
If you need them, get them. Preferably a support gets them, but keep some with yourself if you're solo splitpushing a lane when Riki
or another invisible Hero is running about. Safety before pride!
These are a must if you are going to be ganking invis Heroes. Don't lose a kill because you were too cheap to buy Dust!
These are all basic musts in lane, why in the world would you ever go to lane without regen?
Ooh, you get to pretend that you're a pro team. In all seriousness, be willing to pay for it but don't carry it; use it from courier if need be.
With conservative mana management a Bottle will handle a lot of early game regen needs, though not quite enough to spam skills to your heart's content.
Without question, keep a TP Scroll on you. As soon as people start moving about everywhere, keep one on you and be ready for anything.
In this section I'll just be discussing the different options for boots on Windranger. In my opinion, from best to worst for Windranger are Travels > Phase > Brown > Treads > Arcanes > Tranquils.
These are the best possible boots for Windranger. An extra item slot freed up by having the built in TP is always nice to have. They also let you splitpush pretty effectively, especially since Windranger can shred towers quickly with Focus Fire
Phase Boots are a fairly strong pickup on Windranger. They give her the most damage out of all of the boots, which works well with her Focus Fire
. The extra movespeed from their active is also appreciated, considering Windranger is on the slower end of base movespeeds. They can also make laning smoother by improving your ability to lasthit. They also may be preferable to Boots of Travel if you're facing enemies with the capacity to surround you like Broodmother
or Chaos Knight
, although in the case of Chaos Knight you're probably going to die anyways if he has an MKB, or if he's managed a lucky 4 second stun.
Honestly, a lot of games as Windranger I end up having brown boots for a huge portion of the game. This is usually true when I decide early on to work towards an Orchid Malevolence
; most of my money will be focused towards building the Orchid, and my increased ability to spam spells somewhat offsets the lower damage.
This is where we start getting into sad territory. Windranger, generally, does not need the attack speed from Power Treads, though of course it will casually increase her non-ulti DPS. Windranger does not really benefit too much from tread switching either, not in the way that an Antimage or Slark
would. I would honestly only pick up Power Treads in a match where I am just so desperate for the extra 8 Str that they might offer, and I don't have room for a Bracer
Arcane Boots are mostly for people who need larger mana pools to get their combos off in quick succession, like an Earthshaker
or a Tidehunter
. For an Int hero like Windranger who also has fairly low cost spells for an Int hero, she can get plenty of mana pool from building Int items that also grant her damage, and needs mana regen more than raw mana anyways; Arcane Boots won't be enough to support your own mana costs. Only get these if you're playing as a support and your team really needs their mana pools supported.
These are pretty awful on Windranger in general. Windranger relies a lot on autoattacks throughout the game, meaning the HP regen will basically not apply to you most of the time. The armor is mildly helpful, but honestly only pick these up if you're forced to rely on a Soul Ring
- Tranquils combo to lasthit using Powershot
from a distance in lane.
Early Game (Pre-Focus Fire)
Stats are nice. IF I can, I'll try to pick up a few gg branches. Windranger has one of the lowest base HP pools in the game, and her good Str gain means nothing if she dies too often to gain levels.
It's quite situational. On the one hand, their burst healing can save lives, and if you're laning against Bristleback
or similar low CD spell spammers you'll build up a ton of charges. On the other hand, your inventory is going to be full enough as is with your item buildups.
Honestly, a Ring of Protection is a very strong early pickup for Windranger against right-click harass. It basically reduces the damage you take from right clicks by around 15~20%, which means every Tango is just worth that much more in terms of EHP.
No. Just No. You can already cut trees, and Ring of Protection is going to be better for you.
You won't need one yet. If you decide to grab an Eye of Skadi later on then buy it then, but Orb of Venom isn't the greatest on a ranged Hero.
Iron Branches are generally preferable, although the Circlet and Mantle can build into an early Null Talisman. Gauntlets can help with an initial HP pool, and if you're running Windranger as a playmaker rather than a carry (i.e., blink shackles with followup from your team as opposed to investing your early money into some damage or working on Aghs) they can build into an Urn. There is literally no reason to build Slippers of Agility on Windranger.
You might want to upgrade your Ring of Protection into a Ring of Basilius, although the mana regen it provides is not really sufficient to support Windranger's early game. Never, ever buy a Ring of Aquila on Windranger. It just doesn't help.
It's not a bad pickup in lane. Do take care not to accidentally build Tranquils with a Ring of Protection still in your inventory though. Especially buy Ring of Regen if you foresee a need to build a defensive Force Staff for yourself, namely if the enemy team has some heavy slows. You may also want to pick one up if you're getting a desperation Soul Ring
I am a pretty big fan of these. As an Int hero, stacking a few Sage's Masks can really add up early on and provide not only more regen than, say, a Ring of Bas, but can later build into a number of nice items like Eul's or Orchid.
You have to be fairly desperate to pick one up. It has major drawbacks. On the one hand, you will be able to get cs using Powershot. On the other hand, you're basically using up 1/3 of your HP pool early game to use a Soul Ring, which gets into pretty dangerous territory.
Belt of Strength is either for Power Treads (meaning you're extremely worried about being nuked down and want some extra HP that badly), or if you think you might want a Skull Basher
later; i.e., most games you probably won't buy a Belt of Strength in lane. Band of Elvenskin is for confused players who apparently can't read and think that because Windranger wears green, she is Agi. Robe of the Magi is a pretty good pickup if you're looking to build an Orchid later on, especially since it helps with your last hit damage. Blades of Attack are a must if you want Phases.
Null Talismans and Bracers are both okay pickups. If you grab a Wraith Band you're probably Hero confused. Just don't ever pick up one up Windranger.
The Items: "Just don't pick these up"
There are just some items you don't pick up on Windranger.
No. Just no. You're signing up to die, and you're pretending you don't have an ulti that already gives you max attack speed. You are not in need of more attack speed. You're Windranger.
Just don't. Armlet is really not for you. There are better damage items for an Int hero. Maybe if you want to mess around with Armlet toggling, but otherwise, just don't.
Why in the world would you do this? I'd rather build Dagon on Riki
than on Windranger. At least he can cast it out of nowhere.
No. Windranger does not want more Agi. If you wanted the armor from Agi, it's more effective to just buy armor items. IF you wanted attack speed, then level your ulti already.
As a continuation from Yasha, you really, really don't benefit from Manta Style. Windranger has lower Int growth, and a lot of your damage comes from +damage items as opposed to stats, meaning your illusions won't really deal that much damage. Moreover, illusions don't get your ultimate, and with Windranger's low Agi growth (okay I suppose she'd have a little more with Manta but c'mon) they won't attack very fast either.
Honestly, you're just asking for your enemies to build MKBs at this point. The item has its uses but Windranger doesn't benefit much from it. If you want more Evasion, go for Heaven's Halberd
Ranged heroes don't really benefit much from their damage block, and there are better items to increase your HP.
Do you really want to spend this much money just so your Powershot
deals an extra 67.5 damage? Unless you bought that Dagon earlier, in which case why didn't you just pick Riki
Same logic as Veil. Honestly, if you're going to have such a troll build, build your E-Blade on Riki
, along with that Veil and Dagon.
Really? I can only imagine there will be a game one day where I'm proven wrong. A Windranger refreshing BKB, Windrun, and Focus Fire to have 12 seconds of practical immortality during a key teamfight. Until that day, just don't buy this.
Why? Don't do this. Please, just don't. Unless you bought that Manta Style earlier. In which case you're probably hero confused, I believe you meant to click on Naga Siren
. Or Riki. It's hilarious if you somehow managed to farm up that Manta and a Radiance on Riki and follow people around with your burning illusions...
If you do decide to buy a Radiance, remember to only buy it in a game against Viper. Remember to make sure he's maxed out his Corrosive Skin
passive, buy a Shadow Blade
while you're at it, and just stand next to him for a very, very long time...
The Items: Subpar, or Very Highly Situational
They're very rare for use on Windranger, but can work depending on the situation.
In theory, Diffusal Blade would work well with Focus Fire. In reality, it's been pretty underwhelming when I've built it. The only exception is if you're trying to kill a Medusa. Otherwise you only benefit a little bit from its stats (which are amazing for Agi but meh on an Int hero like Windranger) and a little from the active. It might be alright against a Warlock too. It just works better on illusion heroes in general, if you're going for mana burn.
It's alright for keeping someone in range of Focus Fire, and its stats are okay, but there are much nicer items you can get in the same price range.
This is only if you're supporting; if you're running as a mid or offlaner don't bother. If someone else has built a Vlad's though, be glad; although you don't benefit from its lifesteal, the bonus armoar (+5! Or basically, the same armor bonus as an Assault Cuirass
in an aura for half of its price) feels really nice.
Only get this if you're dominating the lane so much that you have the luxury of picking this up AND have your usual core items. This pretty much means you're being fed kills by the opposing laner. Otherwise, if getting a Midas delays your ability to be active midgame, then it will often set you back more than it propels you forward.
The main issue with Blademail is its effectiveness largely relies on you having more HP than your enemy, which isn't going to be true until lategame, and by then the damage will be dispersed among several enemies and BKBs will be up. It gives pretty decent stats to Windranger for its price, and its active will deter some glass cannons from targeting you midgame, but otherwise it's an awkward item to have.
These aren't great on Windranger; using the active on Drums gives underwhelming move speed compared to Windranger, as well as the attack speed going to waste. However, in some games the extra stats are just nice to have. Some very rare games.
A Ghost Scepter is less than ideal because while it may save you from something like Omnislash or Chronosphere and give decent stats, it also means you can't contribute Focus Fire DPS while you're ethereal. An Eul's pickup is generally better.
These are both items more meant for your team. They're alright if you're working more towards utility, but if other people can pick them up then let them.
It's a rather situational pickup for if you're trying to push and there are invis Heroes on their team, and you don't want to risk a Gem. However, there are better holders for a Necrobook, and its buildup is rather painful and will slow down your item progression. It's also an item that does require a lot of investment to make it pay off.
In another era Battlefury was considered a good pickup on Windranger. It's not awful enough that I would put it in the "never pick it up" category as Windranger still benefits from raw damage and mana regen, but there are better items for Windranger. Also, people will laugh at you and maybe make jokes along the lines of "It's about time Windranger had more Cleave...age."
Bloodstone is good for certain heroes, but Windranger's abilities aren't so taxing on her mana pool as to require one, really. I can only imagine a Bloodstone pickup if you wanted to reduce your respawn time, but otherwise it's pretty bad.
It's not the best pickup on Windranger. If the enemy team's lineup is extremely magic damage heavy, you'd probably prefer to pick up a BKB to also avoid their stuns.
Windranger benefits from the HP and extra evasion. However, you're pretty much asking for the enemy to buy MKBs at this point. Its active can also extend your safety from autoattcks for a few more seconds.
Windranger doesn't quite benefit from the bonus attack speed. However, the high amount of armor makes her substantially tankier against physical damage when Windrun is off cooldown.
It's a decent item, especially with the cost reduction. However, in higher brackets it will be countered, and will be a less reliable initiation/escape tool. Furthermore, as far as stats it gives fairly poor damage and a middling amount of attack speed.
Maelstrom is known to be awesome on Windranger. However, upgrading to Mjollnir is something of a waste of money most of the time. I can see buying Mjollnir for its active, and upgrading last, and generally I'd prefer selling the Maelstrom over upgrading to a Mjollnir. I can also see that if the match is extremely teamfight-heavy, a Mjollnir might keep Windranger's DPS up for when her Focus Fire is on CD. If the enemy has a lot of illusions, I might go for a Mjollnir, but honestly I'd prefer the hard carry on our team take out the illusions instead.
The Items: The Fun Stuff
From here on out it's all the different fun items you can build on Windranger and still expect to be able to win.
Bear in mind that many of these items will grant a fair amount of mana regen. I've found that just one 150% mana regen item is enough to sustain Windranger's mana needs beginning in the midgame.
It's pretty much a must if you're playing Windranger as a core after a certain point in the game. If the enemy doesn't have BKB-piercing stuns or MKBs, you're basically invincible for 6 seconds of BKB + Windrun.
If the enemy team is a bit less disable heavy, or if they have some strong BKB-piercing stuns, or if you're splitpushing, Linken's can be a pretty good pickup. As a bonus, its stats make you decently tankier, and its regen is enough to sustain you for quite a while.
Has the enemy carry bought an MKB? Is your armor still a measly 6 even though it's getting to lategame? It's time you bought some serious armor then. I will note it's usually a bit underwhelming, but against a minus armor strat this will probably keep you alive.
It's actually not awful on Windranger, especially if your enemy is magic damage heavy. However, do note that if you haven't picked up any armor yet, an enemy carry with an MKB can still rip through you faster than you expect.
It gives Windranger armor, HP, a small amount of damage, and an awesome BKB piercing slow. It's a pretty good pickup, though of course its buildup is awful. Also, it makes it much easier to get off your Focus Fire and ensure it lands you a kill.
While Windranger doesn't strictly need the bonus movespeed as she will usually run near max movespeed with Windrun, Eul's provides a good amount of utility that can let you dodge some unpleasant things, like a Sniper's assassinate. Eul's can also make Blink Dagger a more reliable escape if you shift-queue them together correctly.
The armor granted by HotD and the HP given by Satanic are both helpful for Windranger, and with her high DPS she can heal very quickly with these items. If Windranger ends up needing to functionally "duel" the enemy carry, a Satanic might be a very helpful pickup as a decent enemy carry will have picked up an MKB to counter you. You should probably be outdamaging the enemy carry one on one, so all that's left is for you to outheal the carry via lifesteal. Also, with lifesteal, Windranger can solo Rosh in a decent amount of time with one major damage item and Aghanim's.
The more defensive alternative to Blink Dagger, which is covered later, Force Staff, despite the nerfs that it has incurred over the years, remains a pretty good defensive positioning item for Windranger, and helps create some space between you and an enemy team if they've slowed you, giving you time to walk off the slow. As a sidenote, sometimes you can force your enemies into position for a perfect shackle too!
As an early game defensive/offensive item a Medallion can actually work pretty well. Not only is it the poor man's Desolator, but the raw armor it gives Windranger puts her on par with other heroes as opposed to below average, greatly increasing her ability to tank physical damage when Windrun is off cooldown.
Although a Divine Rapier usually means you're about to throw the game, a desperation Rapier can actually work pretty well with Windranger. Almost any other hero who builds up their autoattack needs both attack damage and attack speed. Windranger can't actually get more attack speed, so adding raw damage to Windranger builds up her overall DPS extremely quickly. I'm fairly certain that Windranger would be able to kill some towers through backdoor protection with a Divine Rapier, too. I've always wanted to see a Windranger backdoor an enemy base using a Divine Rapier.
Because Windranger has such a high attack speed, she actually has a decent chance of getting a bash proc off during Focus Fire despite it only having a 10% chance for ranged heroes. She may very well be the only ranged hero for whom a Skull Basher is viable for more than just its active. The raw damage also works well with Windranger.
For comparison, Troll Warlord
also only has a 10% bash chance, but because he reaches very high attack speeds like Windranger, he can permabash someone. The internal CD on Skull Basher prevents Windranger from doing the same, but then again it gives Windranger a BKB piercing disable. Furthermore, an Abyssal Blade can actually be a really decent defensive item against melee carries; if they get close you can defensively stun them through their BKB.
A Daedalus is a pretty strong option for Windranger to work towards; the crits help her shred through even the tankiest of enemies' HP. A Daedalus and another big damage item on Windranger means a 10 second solo Roshan.
This is also a decent pickup on Windranger, and it's not as bad on Windranger as it is on other heroes. She will likely get a lot of minibash procs due to her high attack speed, and it's pretty much required if you're fighting against a Phantom Assassin
or a Butterfly
The only time when I would suggest not going for an Aghanim's Scepter is if you're working to build Windranger for pure utility. Otherwise, the decrease in damage reduction and the massive decrease in cooldown are too useful to pass up.
I see Blink Dagger as a more aggressive item. It's not core every game; in a very teamfight heavy match, it may be more important for you to be able to survive in the thick of a teamfight and have an extra stat item or a BKB instead of a Blink Dagger. But if Windranger is being run as a ganker or a playmaker, Blink Dagger is incredible. It's also core if you're playing against a Sniper; closing that gap is very important, but if you can close the gap, his headshot procs don't affect your DPS to the same extent that it would affect another right-clicker.
A desolator can help a lot in pushing towers, or amplifying your damage against Strength carries, or other low armor heroes. However, it's not the greatest pickup possible on Windranger, as it's still quite expensive and falls off after midgame.
Like Eul's or Linken's, a Scythe of Vyse provides all of the mana regen Windranger will ever need. It presents an alternative to an MKB for her against evasion-heavy heroes, as a hexed unit has no evasion, and most right-clicking carries will not have this option. It gives Windranger a very reliable disable. Sheepstick, however, gives little damage and also has an awful buildup.
Orchid also provides a ton of mana regen for Windranger. In fact, it has one of the nicest item buildups for a major item in the entire game, with all of its extremely cheap components. Usually if I'm in the offlane I will work towards an Orchid as my first major item, as I can buy all of its components except for the recipe from the Side Shop and all of those components help out laning immensely. It's not uncommon for me to have an inventory with several Sage's Masks and Robes of the Magi. It grants a ton of damage (55!) while also having a very nice active to help shut down dangerous enemy heroes. The damage amplification is also a nice touch. Furthermore, it can help out a lot during solo Roshan attempts; if you walk up to the bottom right of Roshan, you can Shackleshot him to the trees, but in order to do that you need to pop his Linken's. Obviously you won't be doing that by using your Focus Fire to pop his Linken's, so Orchid is a good way to do that.
Last, but not least, is the Maelstrom. Maelstrom is a very popular first damage item on Windranger due to the fact that its lightning procs do not have their damage reduced like Windranger's attack damage is during a level 1 Focus Fire. The lightning procs help improve Windranger's waveclear and lessens her need to rely on Powershot, letting her save mana for ganks instead and also making relying solely on a bottle for regen more viable. They also help her deal AOE damage in an early teamfight, and help her damage heroes with damage block like Tidehunter
or high armor like Dragon Knight
However, I do think that Maelstrom needs to be purchased within a certain time window for it to truly be effective. If my cs is poor early on and I don't think I'll be able to finish my Maelstrom by the ten minute mark, then I will not purchase a Maelstrom after that, and focus on building up an Orchid or save up for an Aghs. On the other hand, if a Maelstrom can be purchased before the ten minute mark, then Windranger will be able to snowball immensely due to her greatly increased ganking power. It's a very cost effective item, for sure, but it's not always the best item.
In addition, Maelstrom becomes less effective as an AOE damage item as Windrunner becomes a more effective killing machine. You'll get relatively few Maelstrom procs if Windrunner is killing 3K HP tanks in under four seconds due to your high attack damage as opposed to early game fights where your Maelstrom procs pretty much ARE your damage.
The Items: Items that Counter Windranger
These are items that are commonly built to counter Windranger, to varying degrees of effectiveness. These items counter one or more of Windranger's abilities, generally rendering her vulnerable to damage.
Ah, yes. The fabled MKB. Because it grants true strike, it renders you vulnerable to the holder's autoattacks even when you have Windrun up.
However, MKB has varying degrees of effectiveness against Windranger. First of all, an MKB is usually not the damage item of choice for most right-clicking heroes; in being forced to pick up an MKB to deal with you you've put them at something of a disadvantage against your team's hard carry. Second of all, if you keep checking your enemies' inventories (as you already should be) you will know they have an MKB and play more carefully as a result; you may choose to focus them so that your Windrun can protect you for the rest of the fight. Third, if you end up in a situation where you're basically dueling another carry 1v1, given Windranger's high DPS, if you pick up some lifesteal you can probably both out-damage and keep up the sustain against an enemy Hero with an MKB. Against a natural MKB holder Windranger will fare poorly in the lategame, glass cannons like Faceless Void or Phantom Assassin who love to build pure damage may end up shredding through Windranger's HP.
An Orchid counters any Windranger who doesn't have Linken's or BKB and lacks an item based escape like Blink Dagger or Force Staff. Silence means Windranger's DPS drops substantially due to being unable to Focus Fire
and her durability drops due to being unable to Windrun
. A lot of enemy supports would be willing to pick up an Orchid as well in the lategame if they have the money.
Hex in general counters Windranger because a hexed unit loses all evasion, meaning if you're hexed at the start of Windrun you're a frog/sheep/chicken who moves slightly faster than usual and is very vulnerable to physical damage.
Although Windranger is not a low HP hero lategame, many Strength heroes will consider picking up a Blademail against Windranger; it gives them 4.5 seconds to disengage, as otherwise Windranger will quickly kill herself on the Blademail. Of course, if they've popped Blademail during the middle of a teamfight, your BKB should probably be up and so you won't need to worry.
As a soft counter Rod of Atos works well. Its active has a very long range and a very brutal slow, negating Windrun's movespeed bonus. However, if they are initiating on you with a Rod of Atos then a Blink Dagger
or [[Force Staff] should be enough to escape.
A Ghost Scepter can work pretty well for stopping Windranger from killing someone, as she won't be able to kill them with Focus Fire. If they pop Ghost Scepter too late you can likely finish them off with a Powershot.
Armor reduction items render Windranger extremely vulnerable to physical damage. Whenever Windrun is on CD, these items will make every autoattack hit like a truck. If these items are being used in conjunction with heroes who have native armor reduction, consider picking up at least a Medallion of Courage yourself, if not a Shiva's Guard
Vanguard and Crimson Guard are early game counters to Windranger. The attack damage of individual attacks from an early Focus Fire, combined with the 50% damage reduction, is extremely low, meaning damage block is extremely effective for reducing Windranger's Focus Fire damage. This becomes less of an issue as Windranger's attack damage increases and she picks up Aghanim's Scepter, but early game can make some heroes a bad choice to focus fire. Hood of Defiance also helps reduce Windranger's damage substantially if you pick up an early Maelstrom, as most of your early damage will then be magical.
Heaven's Halberd will basically stop you from using Focus Fire for 4.5s, which is honestly a lot of DPS lost unless you have your BKB up.
Manta Style is a soft counter to Windranger because she has trouble dealing with illusions and, in the middle of a fight, you may miss and Focus Fire an illusions instead of the real Hero. However, do be aware that if you cast Focus Fire on the real Hero before they use Manta, then you will retain that attack speed bonus, so if you fire a shot or two at the illusions, you'll be able to see which one is the real Hero when you're suddenly shooting much faster.
Hero Matchups: Windranger vs. Strength Heroes
In general, Windranger's early game vs. Strength Heroes is somewhat weak due to their ability to shrug off nukes better due to their higher HP pools and the tendency for Strength Heroes to have a fair amount of utility, meaning they'll often be able to disable her in some way. However, as the game goes on, Strength Heroes will typically fall off, and if Windranger is being run as a carry (not the hard carry!), most Strength Heroes become cannon fodder due to Windranger's absurd DPS.
During laning, the Axe vs. Windranger matchup should generally favor Windranger, but one bad mistake and Axe will start to dominate Windranger. However, generally you will not encounter Axe in your ideal lanes of the mid or offlane; either way it's likely the enemy team is a joke if they've put Axe in the safelane or in mid, and you can autoattack harass and Powershot harass him. Generally, the lane will also be pushed up if Axe is creepskipping, and, while unfortunate, Axe isn't quite tanky enough to want to dive you under your tower early on. Do remember to buy boots as quickly as possible so as to prevent Axe from killing you by running at you; your low armor means you're especially vulnerable to Counter Helix
Once people are starting to move around more and you have your ulti, be wary of using your ulti on Axe. Axe is bound to have purchased at least a Stout Shield, which drastically reduces the damage from your level 1 Focus Fire, and it's liable to backfire (i.e., he runs up to you and Calls you, and then probably Culls you due to how fast he's spinning) unless you have a Maelstrom.
Lategame Axe is pretty much cannon fodder for you....unless he managed to catch you in Beserker's Call, as a BKB-piercing disable not blocked by Linken's either gives the enemy time to chain-disable you and prevent you from protecting yourself with Windrun.
The danger of Pudge to Windranger is no different than playing against Pudge as any other Hero. Namely, facing a good Pudge in lane who can land his Meat Hook
s on you means you will suffer greatly, especially with your low base HP pool. However, lategame, provided you've gotten some nice damage items, Pudge, beyond the danger of being hooked by him and killed by his team, is pretty much a hitting totem for Windranger. I've had games where Pudge has gotten enough Flesh Heap stacks off of my team to hit maybe 5K HP, and he still died before my shackles wore off in a 1v1 situation.
Earthshaker can be fairly dangerous to Windranger throughout the game. First of all, his Fissure
renders Windrun useless as an escape early game, as you can't run through it. If his item progression is reasonable, then Earthshakers near-instant stun between Aftershock
and Echo Slam
, and then his followup chainstuns, can lead to Windranger's death. However, if Earthshaker is careless about his positioning and gets caught out instead of hiding in the trees, then he's pretty much instantly dead.
Sven's Storm Hammer
is the only real concern for Windranger throughout the game. Early game, Storm Hammer
is a pretty awesome nuke and stun, both of which are things that early game Windranger with her measly 14 starting Strength abhor. A hint is to turn on Windrun after Sven's stun has worn off rather than while it is in the air; generally he won't be hitting you with autoattacks for most of the duration of the stun as he'll still be running at you. Late game, Sven generally shouldn't concern Windranger too much. If Sven is their hard carry he'll probably try to pick up an MKB, but MKB is frankly a pretty awful and out-of-the-way item for him that this in and of itself should be something of an advantage that you forced him to build it. Throw in an Eye of Skadi
for yourself and you'll be able to kite a Sven pretty well; he'll probably start turning around to run away by the time he actually reaches you. Also, mind his Great Cleave
, as it means he can hit you indirectly through Windrun if he hits a nearby target.
Tiny is not too dangerous at the beginning of laning for Windranger; while he has a stun he has as little armor as Windranger, making him extremely vulnerable to her right click harass. However, towards the end of the laning phase when Tiny has enough levels to pull off his full nuke combo ( Avalanche
, which lets Avalanche's damage hit you twice) he becomes extraordinarily dangerous for Windranger as her HP pool will still be somewhat low at that point, meaning he can burst her down before she can even react, especially if he's doing a wombo-combo with Centaur Warrunner
. Come late game, Windranger should be able to kill Tiny again given that the other parts of the teamfight are on par. Tiny's cleave can still hit Windrunner through her Windrun if he hits a nearby teammate, but proper positioning away from your teammates should avoid that. Furthermore, building an MKB is kind of out of the way for a build on Tiny, so for him to build an MKB puts him at a disadvantage against your own team's hard carry, which is good.
Assuming Kunkka is experienced, Kunkka can present a major danger to Windranger. Kunkka, with his Tidebringer
, does not need to hit Windranger. Hitting a teammate next to Windranger suffices for him to deal his cleave damage, even through Windrun. Moreover, if he managed to land his Torrent
Ghost Ship combo in the midgame he will deal a very substantial amount of damage to Windranger, probably able to kill her outright. X Marks the Spot
also prevents Windranger from properly escaping. He's also the type of Hero who is fine with purchasing an MKB, since he strongly prefers raw damage anyways. He certainly can't manfight a Windranger but he can take off enough HP that their hard carry will.
Throughout the early-midgame Windranger is vulnerable to Sand King's Blink- Epicenter
combo, which can take off huge amounts of Windranger's HP; however, lategame Windranger's HP pool will be tanky enough for the combo to do less damage. It's also likely that Windranger would pick up a BKB so as to nullify Sand King's damage during a teamfight.
Throughout the match, Windranger vs. Slardar really depends on the farm and level difference between the two. Slardar can't hit you through Windrun until he picks up an MKB, but every hit he or his team manages to get off while you're under the effects of Amplify Damage hurts a LOT because it will almost always put your armor in the negatives unless you've picked up a Shiva's Guard
I really can't say much about this matchup because no one in pubs ever picks Beastmaster. However, in any case a reliable 4 second BKB piercing stun is bad news if targeted on Windranger. He has no way to pop a Linken's, so if their team is light on disables it might be a good pickup.
Tidehunter can potentially be bad news during the early game for Windranger, especially if she's being run as a safelane support. First off, his Gush
both slows heavily and reduces armor, both of which Windranger hates early game, as the slow from Gush basically nullifies the speed boost from Windrun, and the armor reduction means the enemy hits you pretty hard; thankfully, most Tidehunterss won't max out Gush first in favor of putting levels into Anchor Smash
and Kraken Shell
so the can farm large stacks and ancients. You will likely be able to out-harass him in your early levels until he has some points into Kraken Shell. His Ravage is always something to watch out for throughout the entire game; however you may be able to simply outrun it if you're a decent distance away from Tidehunter when he uses it. At level 6 you won't really be able to solo kill Tidehunter because he'll have enough points into Kraken Shell that your Focus Fire
, with its brutal 50% damage reduction, does a grand total of like 15 damage per hit. Lategame, if you manage to shackle both Tidehunter and another hero, focus the other hero; Tidehunter won't have much damage output, and focus firing Tidehunter will only proc his Kraken Shell's purge and he'll try to walk away or, worse, use Ravage
when your entire team is gathered around him.
Dragon Knight is fairly tanky and hard to kill early game. Your primary source of damage against him is not going to be Focus Fire until you get either a Maelstrom or some serious damage items; his Dragon Blood
passive gives him a ton of armor that will reduce Focus Fire damage significantly. However, spamming Powershots at him will keep his HP low enough for you to keep him out of lane. Lategame, assuming similar levels of farm, you can pretty easily outdamage him and kill him. MKB is a little out of the way for his item build as he tends to focus on building tankiness and attack speed over more attack damage.
Wraith King's stun is a very dangerous single-target stun at level one. If Wraith King is being run as a carry you shouldn't need to worry too much throughout the game; you can kill him rather quickly and the Focus Fire effect remains after you kill him the first time and his Reincarnation
kicks in, letting you kill him the second time without needing to use another Focus Fire. If he's being run as a suicide initiator, you'll want to be careful with regards to his AOE slow and his stuns, and to be sure to focus the more dangerous targets than letting him bait out your Focus Fire only for you to have it on CD when their carries come in.
A good Clockwerk will mess things up all over the place throughout the game, and he remains a dangerous initiator with an unblockable stun that crosses far across the map in Hookshot
, giving his teammates an easy followup even if he himself dies. Against Clockwerk, picking up a defensive Force Staff
is generally a very good idea as Clockwerk will otherwise destroy your positioning on a positioning dependent hero like Windranger. Once you're out of Cogs, killing him will not be an issue.
Lifestealer himself is basically never a problem for you; the only dangerous thing for you is his teammates if he uses Open Wounds
on you. He is a very easily kited hero who is autoattack reliant and is susceptible to physical damage due to his low armor. He's pretty much food for Windranger as he won't be able to even hit her for most of the game, and Rage
is irrelevant as Focus Fire
pierces spell immunity. What is he going to do? Use Abyssal Blade
on you and not save it for your team's hard carry? Buy a Blink Dagger
to close the gap? And a Monkey King Bar
? By the time he's built those items, you should have similar if not more farm; those exact same items on you would deal substantially more damage to Lifestealer and you would definitely kill him first.
Omniknight is pretty much a pubstomper. He's not of any special threat to you, but he poses as much of a threat to you as he does to anyone. Hopefully someone on your team has picked up a Diffusal Blade
for his Guardian Angel
and Repel. Another possibility is for you to pick up an Orchid Malevolence
; Omniknight will rarely buy a BKB for himself as he already has a broken free BKB for anyone on his team on a 14 second cooldown. Repel will usually be on his carry though, meaning during a teamfight you should be able to silence him and kill him before he can use his Guardian Angel
to turn the fight against you.
Night Stalker can be quite a dangerous ganker, although the timing between his levels and the first night is a bit weird now. If he manages to get his Crippling Fear
off on you at night, that is basically 8 seconds of helplessness; Silence is one of Windranger's worst enemies as you lose your protection against his autoattacks and you can't really manfight back as you can't use Focus Fire. Lategame you can outdamage him, but his incredibly long Silence might be worth picking up a BKB for; he might use an Abyssal Blade on you but he won't be able to kill you fast enough late game.
Huskar is a pain to lane against, and you have to be very careful with regards to his positioning, as Burning Spears will eat away at your low HP pool. However, Huskar is weak to physical DPS lategame, which you have plenty of. He'll be attacking extremely quickly, and he's not a bad candidate for Monkey King Bar
, but he'll also be dead if you kept up in farm.
Doom counters everyone with Doom
. If he used Doom
on you rather than your hard carry or a support with gamebreaking abilities like Omniknight
, you should be glad, but try to take it easy during the fight; you can still contribute a few autoattacks, but you can't turn around and manfight Doom under Doom. If he didn't use Doom on you, then he's pretty easy to kill.
Alchemist's primary danger is more his armor reduction and his physical damage stun, both of which injure Windranger heavily. If you don't build any form of early armor against a support Alchemist who maxed his stun and acid spray early, then he might be able to nearly one shot you from full HP. However, if Alchemist decided to play as a farming carry, then generally you shouldn't have too many problems; your DPS, combined with that of another teammates, should kill him faster than he can regenerate HP.
A funny thing is that Windranger actually has a higher Str growth than Spirit Breaker! Against the Space-Cow, buy wards if no one else is and keep watch for his charge. If he is charging you alone, try to guess the direction he is charging you from. Oftentimes you can actually Shackleshot him to a tree as he charges you, and then just kill him before he can kill you. Even if you can't get a full shackle off, you can often get a ministun off, which at least spares you from Charge of Darkness
's stun and Greater Bash
damage. Lategame you should make sure he dies early in the teamfight so his Greater Bash won't stun you or your hard carry.
Brewmaster is a pretty strong ganker, and since so much of your damage is auto-attack reliant his blinds and evasion might heavily affect your DPS unless you pick up a Monkey King Bar
. Against Brewmaster I would suggest purchasing an Orchid Malevolence
; he relies a lot on using Primal Split
at key moments, meaning your Orchid forces him to build a BKB or Linken's.
The relationship between Windranger and Lycan is a bit complicated. While Lycan outdamages Windranger during the early and midgame, he will usually not have picked up an MKB early in the game (more likely to pick up a Skull Basher
for its lockdown), meaning he can't actually damage Windranger through Windrun
, although he might attempt to kill you under your tower and run away using Shapeshift
if you're low enough on HP. Lategame, you can out-DPS Lycan, but he will still be able to take out a good chunk of your HP before he dies if he bought an MKB. Luckily you can scout his early Roshan attempts using Powershot
His early game slow and his high attack damage means that he can potentially be a major pain in lane, especially if he decides to pick up an Orb of Venom
. His Overgrowth
also nullifies Windrun
as an escape. However, you can shred through his Living Armor
quite quickly with Focus Fire, and he can be a threat if he decides to pick up some utility if he Hexes you from the shade while his teammate comes out from Nature's Guise
and finishes you off.
Chaos Knight is an easy target...if you can figure out which Chaos Knight to kill. Illusion Heroes are very bad news for Windranger, as if you Focus Fire an illusion over the real Hero, then you're basically useless for 15 seconds. His stun early game can present a major threat, less so for its damage and more so if he manages a random 4 second stun on you. If you're playing against a Chaos Knight, don't let him farm your team since he is better at farming Heroes than he is at farming creeps, and try to have a hard carry who can deal with illusions very well, because you can't handle Chaos Knight lategame unless you are very perceptive and can pick out the real Chaos Knight.
Io...is Io. Obviously, the threat is not so much Io as it is the Hero attached to Io. Tiny
+ Io can be very dangerous if they come in and suddenly nuke you down, and Chaos Knight
with Io is also fairly dangerous.
You probably won't run into Undying if you're in the midlane or offlane. However, if you're a safelane support, then Undying is a pretty huge threat. Considering your base strength is only 15, he can basically remove 1/4 of your HP pool if he managed a single stack of Decay
off of you. Don't bother trying to dive him; maybe autoattack him a few times but for the love of God don't dive an Undying. Sure, his Tombstone
zombies can't hit you, but you only have so much Windrun early game. Lategame he makes for a great hitting totem; even if he buys a Blademail you actually have better Strength growth than he does, meaning you will likely end up tankier.
Centaur Warrunner can deal a ton of magic burst damage to you, and he will likely pick up some early points in Return
if you're playing as Windranger. Take care that you don't kill yourself killing him early game, since Return
will proc a LOT during Focus Fire. Lategame, Centaur will have very high HP, but that's not a problem with your extremely high DPS unless he buys a Blademail, in which case you should back off. His stun is always something to worry about, but no more than any other stun in the game.
Laning against Magnus shouldn't be too difficult as long as you're aware of his Shockwaves, and you avoid getting cliffed by his Skewers. He's fairly chunky so you may need to wear him down with a few Powershots before trying to kill him.
Lategame, Magnus presents a major threat in teamfights. Be aware of your positioning and don't stand too close to your teammates lest he use his unblockable Reverse Polarity
. An Orchid Malevolence
might be a good pickup if you manage to stay out of the range of Reverse Polarity
to mess up his initiation. If he manages to double Reverse Polarity
with a Refresher Orb
, you should consider yourself very dead. I once had a game where I ended up as the hard carry as Windranger and Magnus used a double Reverse Polarity
on just me so that they could hold me down long enough to kill me.
You will not encounter Timbersaw if you're in the midlane or offlane, or otherwise the enemy team has made some very questionable laning choices. His high burst damage and mobility during the midgame can present a major issue for you as he might be able to burst you down with his Whirling Death
and Timber Chain
and finish you off with Chakram
. However, lategame you should be tanky enough to survive his burst, and your main worry with Timbersaw at that point will be if he picks up some utility like an Orchid Malevolence
or Scythe of Vyse
. Also, bear in mind that his ability to destroy trees might remove may potential shackle targets....but your ability to destroy trees might remove his Timber Chain
Abaddon can be a very problematic support in that he can instantly rescue a shackled enemy Hero using his Aphotic Shield
. You should also avoid Focus Firing him unless he is alone, as all you will do with your high DPS is drop his HP to 400 and then heal him back to full if you're careless; the only case where I'd do this is if it were an early 5v5 teamfight and you have a Maelstrom, in which case Abaddon might make an amazing hitting totem for you to proc a LOT of Maelstroms off of!
Bristleback's slow and armor reduction with Vicious Nasal Goo and his physical damage with Quill Spray
makes him a fairly dangerous Hero against Windranger in the early game, as even if he can't hit you you will have trouble kiting him due to the slows and you don't have the magic burst to dissuade him. If Bristleback snowballs then you will have trouble dealing with him, but if you keep up in terms of farm and XP then you should be able to kill Bristleback relatively easily with your high DPS; just try to avoid Focus Firing his back too much so you don't accidentally kill your entire team through very rapid Quill Spray procs. If you can shackle him when he turns to face you, then he loses the damage reduction from his passive. A funny thing about Bristleback is that Windranger has higher Strength gain than Bristleback, but Bristleback has a higher Int gain.
You won't see Tusk in lane. While Tusk is currently underwhelming, he can still present a threat to Windranger. First, his Ice Shards
can block your escape via Windrun. Second, and more importantly, his ultimate ignores evasion, meaning Windrun won't block his 350% crit that will also slow you and stun you through BKB. But Tusk will need to snowball off of kills in order to build enough damage to really hurt you. He is a fan of Desolator
Elder Titan doesn't actually affect your tankiness that much as you didn't have much base armor to begin with, unlike Agi heroes. His skills are also very hard to land, and if you position yourself correctly he shouldn't be too much of a threat unless he's working in tandem with another player on his team who can set up his skills well.
Legion Commander can actually be very dangerous if she catches Windranger off-guard. Although Windranger is an auto-attack reliant hero, she needs to first cast Focus Fire to actually deal damage, so if you're caught in Duel
out of the blue, especially if Legion Commander builds a Blademail, you may end up feeding damage to her. However, a Linken's Sphere can be a very strong pickup as Legion Commander cannot pop it without another item, and the process of popping it might give you enough time to react. Also, if Legion Commander decides to Duel someone other than Windranger when Windranger is nearby, then Legion Commander will likely end up feeding damage if you Focus Fire her.
Earth Spirit is OP. Prioritize your BKB. Your low HP pool early game renders you susceptible to his burst; silence and stuns, which Earth Spirit has plenty of, do horrible things to Windranger. Just get that BKB.
doesn't affect Windranger's DPS too much, considering that her ult gives enough attack speed for her to hit through Fire Spirits
and still deal a lot of damage. You can also interrupt Icarus Dive
with shackle's ministun. However, bear in mind that Fire Spirits
is very effective against Windranger since you can't target the egg with Focus Fire
, and you won't have build much attack speed, so you can't attack it quickly. On the plus side, if Supernova kills you, then you might prompt a line from Windranger about sun protection.
Hero Matchups: Windranger vs. Agility Heroes
Agility Heroes come in all sorts of flavors. While Windranger can out-DPS most of them by lategame, they vary greatly in terms of the threat they pose depending on which point you are at in the game.
Windranger and Anti-Mage have a mixed relationship. Windranger shouldn't have problems personally with Mana Void
if you've built mana regen; you won't be using a huge amount of mana during a fight, unlike a Skywrath Mage
. The main danger from Anti-Mage will be his autoattack damage and his Mana Break
, which will not actually harm you during the early game due to Windrun
. Presumably you are running into Anti-Mage during the laning stages as an offlaner; start working on building an Orchid early game, or build a hex lategame. Your shackles will be your friend as far as escaping Anti-Mage goes, and Orchid will force him to use his Manta Style
. Since you deal primarily physical DPS, you can probably kill him lategame in a 1v1 scenario, unless you happen to focus fire a Manta illusion. You should not strictly rely on Windrun
to save you, as a competent Anti-Mage
will farm up his items by a decent timing and will farm up a MKB in no time. However, having an MKB will leave Anti-Mage
a bit more fragile than he desire, meaning your team's hard carry can probably also help you take him down.
In some ways, Bloodseeker counters Windranger by preventing her from using Windrun
to escape Rupture
. In other ways, he totally does not. It depends purely on what sort of build Bloodseeker goes. If Bloodseeker builds like most Bloodseekers for right click damage, then honestly you're in the clear. He will likely Rupture you and then cast Blood Rite
; the second you've been Ruptured, use your TP scroll (you brought a TP with you, right? Against a Bloodseeker? Please tell you didn't forget your TP) and cast Windrun before Blood Rite
goes off; you'll be nervously laughing your way to safety as he futilely tries to hit you. On the other hand, if he decides to build a Dagon...well for one he built a Dagon, but on the other hand he's actually going to be more effective than a right-clicking Bloodseeker. Furthermore, if you think you're far enough ahead of him in terms of farm and XP, you can probably just manfight Bloodseeker; cast Windrun and Focus Fire him before his Blood Rite
goes off, and laugh as he runs in to try to kill you, realizes he's not hurting you and you're actually about to kill him, and then feels the pangs of regret as you end up healed by his Bloodrage
If Drow Ranger is opposing you in the midlane, you can easily outharass her by using Powershot to take off chunks of her HP, leaving her unwilling to fight. She also has low armor; if she's hitting you, hit her right back! Try to keep your creeps positioned well so that you are on the high ground and trade hits more effectively. You can probably solo kill her in lane. Drow only has an advantage over you throughout the game if she can manage to Gust you and has an XP and farm advantage over you, such as if she went for a Blink Drow build. If Drow is trying to gank you alone, I suggest you run towards her to disable her Marksmanship
and basically wait out the Gust
, which she is unlikely to have maxed out first. Then, you can proceed to use Windrun
to dodge all of her damage. You can decide to either try to kill her outright or run away. Lategame you should easily outcarry a Drow provided you remembered your BKB for her silence and you've kept up in farm and XP.
The matchup between Shadow Fiend and Windranger depends on who outplays the other. On the one hand, Shadow Fiend has a ton of magic burst early game, meaning with poor positioning Windranger will fall quickly. On the other hand, Windranger can simply harass him from a distance with Powershot and whittle down his HP a lot, as he is also a very fragile hero. His Presence of the Dark Lord
is fairly effective against Windranger given her low armor, so if he goes for a Desolator he will hit pretty hard. Then again, you can probably kill him very quickly lategame as you will out DPS him. If he goes for an Eul's-Requiem instanuke on you there's not much you can do except have the foresight to not get caught in it.
Remember to pick up boots as quickly as possible against Juggernaut in lane so that Blade Fury
doesn't destroy you. Outside of Blade Fury and Omnislash
Juggernaut isn't actually too powerful. At any point in the game tanking Omnislash alone will probably kill you; it's kind of the point of Juggernaut's "press R to kill someone" no-skill ultimate. However, be aware that late-game most of his damage during Omnislash will come from his autoattacks rather than the 200 damage slashes themselves, and these autoattacks can be blocked provided he didn't build an MKB, so Windrun can mitigate a large portion of his damage (although you really shouldn't tank Omnislash). An Orchid Malevolence
is a pretty good pickup on Windranger against Juggernaut as he will usually rely on Blade Fury for magic immunity and a lot of times will not pick up a BKB early on. However, with Orchid's instant cast silence you can probably kill Juggernaut before he has a chance to get off Omnislash, negating his usefulness. If he's purely autoattacking you, you can probably kill him first. And remember that Focus Fire can target him as he uses Blade Fury!
During laning, Razor will be something of a pain to deal with due to his Static Link
. You can feel free to harass him using Powershot, since it won't proc Unstable Current as it is not a directly targeted ability. If he's building a lot of speed items like a Yasha
and Phase Boots
you may want to consider building a Force Staff
for a reliable way to break the link, as losing a lot of attack damage will greatly decrease your DPS. Other than Static Link
, his ultimate can hurt a lot as it can reduce your armor significantly, which is especially bad for you since you have low base armor. Beyond that, he shouldn't be too hard to kill; if he's using Static Link
on your hard carry, be sure to kill off Razor as quickly as possible.
Mirana and Windranger have been "rivals" of sorts in the past, with one replacing the other in team comps here and there. Mirana can honestly be pretty dangerous; Starfall is a better nuke than Powershot
if it hits you twice, Sacred Arrow
has the potential to deal obscene amounts of damage with an obscenely long stun, and Moonlight Shadow
is always a pain to deal with as you can't stray out of the range of Sentries. If Mirana is being run as a roaming support, you should be very careful, especially of getting hit by a random arrow flying at you during laning. However, if Mirana is being run as a carry, enjoy your free kills; Mirana, although she has small attack steroid in leap, comes nowhere near the DPS output of Windranger given similar levels of farm, and because a carry Mirana will be trying to get lasthits in lane you can farm more safely knowing that you won't be hit by random arrows from support Mirana.
Venomancer can be a pain to deal with. In lane, his Venomous Gale
is a fairly brutal slow that allows for easy follow up, and will negate Windrun's movespeed bonus. His Plague Wards are something of an annoyance but they're mostly for pushing and the vision utility anyways, although if you've bought a Blink Dagger they may inconveniently cancel your blink. However, Venomancer is extremely dangerous when farmed due to just how much damage he can deal with his ulti over time, so being a bit more positioning aware and keeping a little away from your teammates so that Venomancer doesn't get a 5 man Poison Nova
off is ideal.
It depends on what sort of Morphling you are facing and how they itemize. A shotgun Morphling may be quite effective during the mid to early lategame, when Windranger is only average as far as tankiness goes and is vulnerable to the high magic burst that build offers. A support Morphling's extremely long stun on a short cooldown can be quite devastating though, since disables are particularly bad for Windranger. However, lategame you can likely match his high DPS due to your own high DPS given that you've managed similar levels of XP and farm, and because Morphling generally prefers getting more stats over getting raw damage items you won't need to worry about Morphling grabbing an early MKB to hit you through Windrun.
There's not much you can do other than try to avoid being caught in Chronosphere
, especially if Void on equal levels of farm. A defensive Eul's or Ghost Scepter may be a good idea to try to survive a Chronosphere or perhaps save a teammate caught in it. Because Faceless Void builds as such a glass cannon, he is a hero for whom picking up an MKB works well, meaning Windrun will not be effective lategame, although prior to the MKB popping Windrun means Void will not be the one who kills you in Chronosphere. If you manage to avoid being caught in Chronosphere you can usually pick off a hero, perhaps even Void himself, unless the Chronosphere managed to only catch your team inside of it. The only way to truly shut down a Void is to really, really focus on shutting him down all game, and this means having a support help you gank him constantly while you're in the offlane, and constantly wearing him down with Powershot. Void is one carry you can't outcarry due to his Chronosphere.
Phantom Lancer is someone you might encounter while offlaning as Windranger. His early game damage will mostly come from his nuke, Spirit Lance
, but it's quite costly so if you survive a few spams of that then you should consider yourself alive.
However, when you reach lategame, Phantom Lancer becomes a monster for Windranger to deal with because Windranger absolutely abhores dealing with illusion based heroes. If you can get a lockdown on the real Phantom Lancer or have your hard carry be able to kill off the illusions, the real Lancer will fall easily. His illusions will hit fairly hard once he has Diffusal Blade
as you will often have mana to spare after using your spells, but by nature of being an illusion hero Phantom Lancer is also not a natural carrier for an MKB as he will prefer to get stats to buff his illusions. The matchup is in favor of Phantom Lancer unless you have a sharp enough eye to pick out the real Lancer.
Windranger has an easy time laning against Phantom Assassin generally; her Stifling Dagger
s only deal half damage to heroes so they honestly deal very little harass compared to the chunks of HP you'll be taking off of PA wih Powershot.
This being said, the matchup between Windranger and Phantom Assassin revolves around who can get an MKB faster after pickup their core items. If Windranger picks up a BKB there's a good chance she can kite Phantom Assassin and kill her or at least force her to back off. Phantom Assassin is a natural MKB carrier due to her preference for high attack damage and built in crit, and if your BKB is off cooldown then she will be able to Phantom Strike
and, if she has one, immediately use Abyssal Blade's active on you, and perhaps kill you with your low physical EHP. Otherwise you'll generally be tankier than she is and be able to kill her off before she kills off your team.
Vengeful Spirit can be quite dangerous to Windranger throughout the game because Vengeful Spirit not only stuns and reduces armor but also destroys your positioning, and, if played even more correctly, runs away laughing from your team with a Force Staff and Blink. Her level one stun hits pretty hard, but early game her Wave of Terror armor reduction is even worse, as every hit will take chunks off of your HP. Late-game you'll need to worry about pickoffs; trading a Vengeful Spirit for a carry Windranger is a trade any VS would consider making. However, you can mitigate Venge's impact on you by building a Linken's or a BKB.
Okay, Viper is kind of a joke against Windranger. Yes, he's a pain against Windranger during laning, just as he is a pain to pretty much any hero during laning. As soon as laning is over, all he can really do to you is Viper Strike
you and hit you futilely. While his nethertoxin can make your lasthitting initially more difficult, you can easily outfarm him come midgame. I remember playing a matchup where an enemy Viper was practically spoonfed kills by my allies; he had quite literally double my farm with an MKB, Satanic, and Butterfly, and he only still barely managed to kill me with my lone Aghs and lifesteal, surviving purely by popping his Satanic mid-fight. In any reasonable game where Viper isn't fed like 20 kills straight by your team, you should be able to dominate him.
Riki is a case where I'd consider picking up a lot of different items. Riki is quite a pain to deal with if only because he makes for a nice pubstomper; he gets a ton of damage for existing, and with only a few items he can kill a lot of people. A smart Riki will also be rather elusive, and you'll need several layers of detection to catch him as he'll just purge off Dust of Appearance
with his Diffusal Blade
. A Force Staff
can be extremely useful for escaping his Smoke Screen
. Unlike Agi carries, you can't just turn around and manfight Riki under the smoke with an MKB because your attack steroid is silenced by it. During teamfights, have a BKB ready so that you can ignore the silencing effects of his smoke. I also like to work on an Orchid Malevolence
as silence will reveal Riki if he is visible, allowing you to focus him down quickly due to his general fragility, especially if you follow up with a quick shackle. And if you're splitpushing with Riki on the map, do carry around a few Sentry Ward
s so you can push without a surprise visit from Riki.
I don't see Clinkz played very often anymore, so I can only really theorycraft as to what other items he'd want to pick up nowadays. Clinkz has an Orchid Malevolence listed as part of his standard item build because it gives some damage, some attack speed, and enough mana regen for all of his needs. Orchids are bad for Windranger. Clinkz also tends to pick up Desolator
s because he enjoys splitpushing a lot. Windranger also dislikes Desolators, especially if she is silenced. Finally, Clinkz tends to build as a glass cannon, and is willing to buy an MKB. A silenced, armor reduced Windranger who begins to run away but has her evasion ignored is also not a happy Windranger.
However, Clinkz is extremely fragile. If you have a few sentries and can shackle him before he silences you, or if you have Linken's to block the silence (using BKB against a single opponent like Clinkz seems to be a bit of a waste of BKB charges), then he will fall easily. If he attacks you but you Orchid him right back, then you'll be in the clear. As far as single target DPS you should probably out-DPS him, but during teamfights he'll be worth focus firing down because he'll still dish out a lot of damage to your whole team.
Sniper has plagued me since my earliest days in Dota. Back when he was purely considered a trash tier pubstomper, I was one of the noobs getting stomped.
Incidentally, Sniper actually soft counters Windranger in a few ways. For one, whenever his Headshot
procs, he also gets true strike. In fact, I think he's the only hero in Dota who is able to hit Windranger through Windrun without any items and without hexing her. Sniper also can shut down Blink Dagger
making it difficult to close the gap with him, which is an extremely important aspect of killing a Sniper.
However, Windranger can outlane him if she plays properly. His laning is much stronger with the buffs to Shrapnel, but if he chooses to put a lot of points into Shrapnel early as opposed to Take Aim
, then you will be able to harass him with right clicks. Your Powershot's long range also lets you harass Sniper from a distance, and take off large chunks of his small HP pool.
How Windranger fares against Sniper in the mid-to-late game depends in part on how much vision you have and whether Sniper is able to shut down a Blink Dagger. In a Windranger vs. Sniper match, Blink Dagger is absolutely core for you to be able to get a jump on Sniper. If you do close that gap, and if he doesn't run away with a Shadow Blade
(did you bring your dust?), then you can kill him with more ease than most other heroes; while other heroes have their damage output severely hampered by Sniper's headshot procs, 100 attack speed reduction means nothing to a Windranger using focus fire. Compare a hero with 200 attack speed to Windranger's 600 during focus fire; the hero with 200 attack speed will lose 50% of his DPS, while Windranger only loses 16.7% or so. You will definitely be able to outdamage a Sniper if you have similar levels of farm because he has no actual built in steroid, only the advantage of of much longer range with which to kite his opponents; closing the gap is the real issue.
Broodmother....can be a nightmare for Windranger. First of all, be aware that your Powershot will be completely useless for counterpushing against a Broodmother. Unlike a Lina
, your nuke damage will do like 2 damage by the time it's passed through Broodmother's 800 babies. Broodmother also is generally happy to pick up an Orchid Malevolence, meaning you can get silenced from the trees, surrounded, and killed because you were unable to Windrun away. In this matchup I would suggest keeping your Phase Boots so you have a chance to escape the spiders. Broodmother herself you can handle if you detect her; one shackle and 4 seconds of focus fire is uaually enough to kill a very fragile Hero.
Templar Assassin can lane pretty well against a Windranger, and can do some serious damage. Because Templar Assassin is so burst-damage oriented, many will pick up a Desolator
, and would probably be willing to pick up an MKB if they can afford it. Templar Assassin's heavy armor reduction, as well as her burst damage if she hits you from out of Meld without you knowing she's there, can quickly down Windranger, especially when Windranger is fragile early game. Templar Assassin's Refraction
also makes her laning against Windranger strong because Windranger doesn't really have the type of Damage Over Time to break it; once laning is over, Windranger's Focus Fire will quickly tear through Refraction's layers. Windranger will have a better time killing tankier foes than Templar Assassin does, while Templar Assassin will have an easier time bursting down low HP supports.
Either way, if you're playing against a TA, prepare yourself for a pretty fun match that revolves around outplaying one another.
Weaver is also a burst-damage sort of carry who is willing to build an MKB, and with his penchant for Desolator as well he can be quite a lot of trouble for Windranger in the mid to late game. She's not fragile enough by the time that Weaver has a lot of damage to due to burst, but a skilled Weaver can wear Windranger down. Purchasing more utility items than usual on Windranger may prove useful; once he has his Linken's, you'll need all the lockdown you can get, but if you can manage to pop his Linken's, then shackle, then silence him, he won't be able to Time Lapse
Luna has a power spike early on during which she can kill Windranger when her Eclipse
comes online; the sheer amount of magic damage dealt during Eclipse can usually kill off Windranger at that point. However, as the game progresses Windranger should be able to kill off Luna pretty quickly; even when Luna grabs a Manta Style
, Luna's Manta illusions are generally not tanky, so a fast Powershot will reveal who the real Luna is.
Luna tends to focus on hurting everyone on your team during a teamfight with her bouncing Moon Glaive, so if you choose to burst her down with your Focus Fire there's not much she can do to out DPS you 1v1. She might pick up an MKB but she will only pick one up after she gets her other core items for survivability. Do note that her Moon glaives will still bounce to you and damage you if she hits a nearby teammate even when Windrun is active.
Spectre isn't really a manfight sort of carry. Do note that her Desolate
passive will hit you even through Windrun, although her actual attack damage will not. Spectre tends to build in one of two ways; she either builds up her illusions or she builds up her tankiness to survive in teamfights with her damage reduction/reflection passive, Desolate
It's usually pretty unlikely you'll catch a Spectre out until later in the game, since one of the perks of Spectre is that she is able to farm safely and then participate in teamfights by use of Haunt
from halfway across the map.
By late game in a 1v1 scenario you should probably have enough HP and damage to manfight Spectre. The real concern is whether the rest of your team is alive to fight with you at that point due to how much damage Spectre is capable of putting out through Haunt
Also, double check whether Spectre is building a Radiance
or not, as if she does then a Blink Dagger
might not be as effective as it is in other matches.
Whether Bounty Hunter is a threat depends entirely on how Bounty Hunter chooses to itemize. Assuming the Bounty Hunter in question is of a reasonable skill level, you can expect him to be pretty poor early game but to pick up lots of Track
money through ganks in the midgame.
If Bounty Hunter itemizes as a semi-carry, then you should be fine against him throughout the game. He will gain a major power spike against you if he picks up a Desolator
during the early-midgame due to armor reduction's effectiveness against Windranger, but it's unlikely that he himself will one-shot you with Jinada
. Be wary of ganks, but come late-game, a Bounty Hunter with a lot of damage items honestly does not deal much damage. Although he has a strong Agi gain, his Strength gain is far too lacking, and he will be a very squishy and easy target.
However, if Bounty Hunter itemizes for utility, he can be fairly problematic. If he, with all of his Track gold, decides to buy a Heaven's Halberd
along with, say, an Orchid Malevolence
or Scythe of Vyse
, and perhaps even throwing in a Linken's Sphere
on one of his cores, then all of the extra disables he picks up can really do a number on Windranger.
A strong Meepo player is frankly OP because most people don't know how to deal with Meepo. Meepo works on gaining an incredible XP and gold advantage extremely quickly by being an absolutely greedy XP and gold hog, farming literally the whole map. If Meepo is left untouched, then before you know it he will be pretty much six slotted a level 25 when everyone else in the game -- including his own team -- is only level 11.
Meepo has a fair number of strengths against Windranger. First off, there will be a lot of Meepos, making Windranger confused just like she is against illusion heroes. However, if you can keep track of which Meepo you've picked for Focus Fire
, then you should be able to kill him with ease. However, another caveat is that Meepo tends to like building an Ethereal Blade
to complement his high magic damage output. Ethereal Blade
gives the most raw Agility out of any item, and also gives some of the other stats that a Butterfly
wouldn't, and its active works well with a 5-Meepo Poof
by amplifying the damage he does. More importantly for Windranger, while you're ethereal you won't be able to attack Meepo!
So, to counter Meepo, you and your team need to gank him as often as possible. He can't build up an XP and gold lead if he's dead; if you can keep Meepo down to only two or three levels ahead of everyone, then he's basically lost his lead, and if Meepo loses his lead it means you can reach lategame instead of watching it end when everyone is still only level 11.
Lategame, you have several advantages over Meepo. First, you should have a BKB, and that BKB will protect you from both Meepo's E-Blade and his burst Poof damage. Second, Meepo is really not the kind of hero who wants to build an MKB; Meepo prefers raw stats as they and the type of boots Meepo has are the only things that transfer over to the cloned Meepos, and the raw damage or attack speed from MKB would not transfer. Furthermore, the slot taken up by an MKB means a slot not taken up by stats, meaning one less Skadi or Heart or any number of items to tank him up, making him less fragile, or have less utility. Finally, Meepo will not have a BKB. Meepo naturally has a 35% base magic resistance (as opposed to 25% for most heroes) to compensate for the fact that BKB only affects Meepo Prime, meaning that your Shackle is able to disable up to two Meepos at once. This also means that it's much much easier for you to keep track of which Meepo your Focus Fire
applies to, and if you're allowed to get more than a few seconds of Focus Fire on a single Meepo then you may very well end up taking down the whole Meepo.
You should be safe from Ursa in the early through mid game. Ursa's primary damage output is his right-clicks, and so he won't be killing you without a fair amount of lockdown from one of his supports.
Ursa also really, really loves to Rosh early in the game, and in fact all game long. Pretty much every time you walk past Rosh you should probably throw a Powershot into the Rosh pit, since you have the luxury of scouting inside safely. If you're lucky you'll randomly kill an Ursa low on HP from fighting Rosh, and maybe even get to finish off Rosh yourself! Don't rely on a Roshan ward solely to see if Ursa is going to Rosh; Ursa can just buy a Smoke of Deceit
early game to bypass it, and Ursa tends to build a [[Blink Dagger] midgame to fix his kiting issues.
Late-game, Ursa greatly prefers to build tank items like Eye of Skadi
and a Heart of Tarrasque
, and will most certainly have a Black King Bar
, and probably a Blink Dagger
for more mobility. It's quite possible he'll have kept Phase Boots
to prevent kiting issues, and bought a Skull Basher
or maybe even an Abyssal Blade
for the additional lockdown. He'll also want a slot for Aegis of Immortality unless he leaves it for another core after killing Roshan. What this also means is that Ursa is not a huge fan of MKB. IF he doesn't pick up an MKB, then you can probably kill him fairly easily in a 1v1 scenario, or if he tries to focus you when you're not locked down by stuns or hex. If he does pick up an MKB, then he's disadvantaged himself in some way, whether it's easier to kite him or whether he's maybe not carrying a TP and you can go rat his base more easily. Either way, he will be reliant on his team to kill you.
Nyx nyx nyx nyx nyx......
In all seriousness, Nyx can end up being a nightmare for Windranger, and you should play it safe so that he doesn't ruin your early-mid game and cause you to fall behind. Buy Sentry Wards and stay safe!
Nyx can do a lot of bad things to Windranger. First, his ultimate, Vendetta
, deals a lot of physical bonus damage, meaning it's very effective against Windranger in the early game with her low armor and HP. Furthermore, he has his stun, Impale
, with which he can immediately follow up. Mana Burn
, while not too painful due to Windranger's weaker Int gain, still hurts a lot as an Int hero, and may deprive you of the mana you needed to Windrun
away. And trying to snipe him with Powershot may backfire due to damage reflection with his Spiked Carapace
Lategame, Nyx becomes less of a threat, as you'll have enough HP to not be burst down and if you're teamfighting a lot your BKB will help keep you safe. However, his two stuns are not to be underestimated.
I have very unpleasant memories of laning against Gyrocopter. It depends on how Gyro chooses to build his skills. On the one hand, his best anti-Windranger skill is his stun, Homing Missile
. That thing HURTS (it can deal 500 magic damage at max level! For perspective, Lina
's Laguna Blade
only deals 450 magic at level 1), and its damage shoots up like crazy, and if you're solo laning you're faced with a devilish choice of running away and taking more damage, or staying close and risking a support coming out and ganking you out of the trees, because you sure won't be able to shoot it down alone unless you shoot at it as soon as it spawns. On the other hand, that skill is also incredibly expensive, and he can't spam it more than a few times. You can avoid most of his Rocket Barrage
damage by Windrunning away....unless he's stunned you with his Homing Missile
Gyrocopter's key issue, then, is that he's very fragile throughout the whole game as a glass cannon, whether he decides to go the nuker route or the hard carry route. You should try to keep his HP down during laning by harassing him using your superior attack range and using Powershot, and try to get a support to help him gank you. Be very wary of him at level 6, as if he manages to get his combo off on you there's a good chance he'll kill you.
If I recall correctly, Gyrocopter doesn't need an MKB to hit you through Windrun, either; as long as you're not the primary target he's attackig during Flak Cannon
, he will still hit you as a secondary target. He'll be a major target to take down during any teamfight, but you can take him out quickly with Focus Fire, assuming your team remains mostly alive.
Slark is going to be very problematic for you as soon as he hits level 6. I would suggest stocking up on more lockdown and wards, of both varieties if he also picks up a Shadow Blade
Before Slark hits level 6 and gets his broken ultimate, Shadow Dance
, he is very vulnerable in lane. Yes, he already has two escape skills, but early game he has no practical way recover the self-damage dealt by Dark Pact
nor can he actually get CS and Pounce
every time and expect to have mana. Against Slark, I'd say it's worth it to miss CS if you can manage to zone Slark out of XP zone. Powershot will take good chunks out of Slark's HP pool if you continually harass him. Get a support to help you shut him down. Slark can snowball out of control after 6 if you let him, and so the key is to delay his 6 for a long time. The best experience I ever had against Slark was zoning him out so hard he hit 6 when I was level 9.
Once he does get his ultimate, be sure to have wards up. Do it yourself if you have to! Slark tends to either max out Dark Pact or Pounce first, although with the nerfs to Pounce damage Dark Pact may be more common, especially since you can jungle with it in worst case scenarios. His primary damage before he gets core items is his burst from his Pounce-Dark Pact combo.
If you or your team hasn't suppressed Slark enough and he has a few core items, he will start ganking your team left and right, and for Windranger it's hard to shut it down if you haven't grabbed more lockdown; while Windrun will protect you from his right-clicks, it won't stop his magic burst, nor will it let you escape from the leash on Pounce. Furthermore, a smart Slark will use Dark Pact's purge to escape your shackles. The least you can do is not feed the Slark if you haven't picked up more lockdown. Orchid Malevolence
is amazing here, due to its instant cast time; between Orchid's active and your shackles, you should have enough lockdown to deter Slark from ganking when you're nearby, or maybe even enough to gank him! If he picks up a BKB, then you might also force him to waste some charges.
Lategame, Slark can still be effective if your team has no AOE lockdown to catch him during Shadow Dance. Furthermore, although Slark
prefers Skull Basher
for its lockdown, he may pick up an MKB instead to take you out, especially if he has an Eye of Skadi
for the stats he so desperately needs, which would also slow you if he targets you.
If you did manage to suppress Slark during laning, then you should focus on pushing and taking objectives quickly. While a Dark Pact-maxed Slark can still farm the jungle and creep waves, his Shadow Dance at level 6 is a bit lacking for regen to be spamming Dark Pact as often as he'd like for flash farming, so depriving him of farming opportunities between level 6 and level 11, when Shadow Dance's regen starts to ramp up and lets him spam Dark Pact, will keep him down. If Slark maxed Pounce first, he will farm very slowly and probably try and fail to gank your team repeatedly.
Who actually plays Lone Druid? I feel bad for Syllabear nowadays, he's really fallen off of the map, and yet he's so fun to play in bot mode running around with a medic bear. Anyways, all of Lone Druid's damage is based on right clicks, so you can evade with Windrun for a while. The bear will be pretty squishy by the time Lone Druid can afford an MKB and still have reasonable core items on the Hero and the bear, and Lone Druid will either be slow and kite-able or fast and squishy. Also, the bear can be a nice target for shackling.
Due to Windranger's absurd single-target DPS, you can find yourself a target of Medusa's team throughout the game. Medusa is not a manfight hero; Medusa is a raid boss, kept alive by her natural tankiness. You have a way to pop Linken's, and you offer absurd single target DPS. Even if Medusa buys an MKB, she can't match your DPS. Bring lifesteal if she does deal too much damage, but your team needs to make space for you to destroy Medusa. Your hard carry can clean up the rest, but your job is to make Medusa die.
Besides the late game, if you encounter Medusa in laning, you shouldn't worry too much about Mystic Snake
, as it is most effective against trilanes. Since you are in at most a dual lane, she will not necessarily have enough mana to spam it at you. Do try to stay away from your ranged creep though. If Medusa takes an early point in Mana Shield
, try to harass her when her shield is toggled off. Her EHP is actually fairly high with Mana Shield despite her low HP early on, but at the same time harassing her with MAna Shield on also will deprive her of mana.
If early game Medusa is missing from the map, Powershot the trees near the Ancient camps, in case she's going for a cheesy Medusa Ancient-farming strategy; she relies on those trees to sort of kite the Ancients for safe farming, and destroying them might end up letting the Ancients kill her.
A lot of Naga Sirens I run into tend to run themselves as a semi-support until they grab a Radiance
, at which point they become an entirely different monster.
As a support, Naga Siren does present a few threats to you. First, her Ensnare
pins you down and prevents you from running away with Windrun, and its duration is long enough for Windrun to wear off early game. Second, her nuke, Rip Tide
, also reduces your armor, which is another thing Windranger really, really doesn't like early game. Third, during a teamfight Naga Siren has the potential to make BKB backfire; if Windranger is the only Hero who has popped her BKB, then she is the only Hero also not rendered invulnerable, meaning you could get focused down by the enemy team!
Once Naga has managed to farm up a Radiance
she changes into a farming and splitpushing monster. At that point, there's not really much you can do specially as Windranger, other than take care to not kill illusions and miss the real Naga with Focus Fire.
Terrorblade is extremely squishy early game, tied with you and a few other heroes for the second lowest starting Strength. This means that your Powershot is going to be your best friend in lane, as you will take off very large chunks of Terrorblade's HP. He can't really do much to you honestly besides slow you as all of his abilities are based around right click except for his ultimate, Sunder
, which many Terrorblades don't even skill until maybe level 8 or 9 due to its prohibitive mana costs early on.
By virtue of having illusions Terrorblade is likely to confuse Windranger. However, the illusions he spawns through Conjure Image
are excessively squishy (and frankly could use a buff), so before lategame, when Terrorblade has tank items like Eye of Skadi
, you can probably tell apart the real Terrorblade by simply powershotting him. Late-game, you may want to pick up several more disables to prevent Terrorblade from using Sunder
; Terrorblade also might pick up a Manta Style
meaning he can dispel an Orchid Malevolence
. Terrorblade is also not the biggest fan of a Monkey King Bar
as it does nothing for his illusions, and it doesn't give him more tankiness which he needs with his miserable 1.4 Str gain. If he does get one, however, bear in mind that all of his illusions can also hit you now, and you will have to play more carefully around him.
In some ways, Windranger and Troll Warlord share some similarities. Windranger is ranged, he can be ranged. Windranger is hard to hit in manfights, he's hard to hit in manfights. Windranger can attack a single target really, really fast, he can attack a single target almost as fast.
I could imagine that a matchup between Troll Warlord and Windranger would depend in part on who picks up an MKB first, and whether RNGesus blesses Troll or not. Troll depends on both not being disabled (hence why he likes to pick up a BKB) and on being able to basically perma-bash his target. While you can't disable him when he grabs a BKB, you have one major advantage; he can't hit you through Windrun
during the early parts of the game. Barring RNGesus blessing a Troll with a bash on first hit after initiating on you with like a Shadow Blade
, you can always Windrun away, and he will need to catch you with Windrun off CD or buy an MKB to kill you.
In this way Windranger can have an advantage that almost no other carry would over Troll Warlord. He relies a lot on hitting people so he can bash them, but he can't hit you until later on, and by that point you can probably hit him back.
The items I would pick up on Windranger to kill a Troll would be, in no particular order, an Aghanim's Scepter
, an Eye of Skadi
, a Monkey King Bar
, and, actually, an Abyssal Blade
. Even if Troll has a similar level of farm and an MKB, I think you have an advantage as a six-slotted Windranger over a six-slotted Troll. Why? Provided he doesn't manage a perfect initiation on you, Skadi will help you kite him. Even if he has his own Skadi to slow you, he needs to get up close and personal before he can try to bash you. Now think about this; Troll only has a 10% chance to bash you on any given hit; this is a horrible bash chance, as every other melee bash in the game has a 25% chance to proc. This is, of course, because Troll attacks so quickly that his bash can be functionally permanent. However, notice that Windranger can attack even more quickly than Troll is capable of; purchasing an Abyssal Blade lets Windranger bash the bashlord! Between Eye of Skadi and Abyssal Blade, he will have trouble closing the gap to melee range, even with his BKB on. But, assuming you haven't wiped him off the map already, by the time he gets into melee range to try to bash you with his MKB, he will also be in range for your Abyssal Blade to stun him through his BKB. At this point you can probably run back a little using Windrun, and by this point his BKB will probably not even be active, letting you potentially shackle him and finish the peasant off.
Ember Spirit is always an exciting hero to play with or against, and whether he does well or not depends on which player outplays the other. If you find yourself laning agains him 1v1, you begin with an advantage but the power shifts as Ember quickly reaches his early-game peak. Most Ember Spirits will pick Flame Guard
at level one, which you can easily pop with a level one Powershot
. During these first few levels you should try to right click harass Ember as often as possible, due to Ember's low base armor. He won't be able to effectively harass you back with right clicks yet. Try to get an early advantage in lane starting from level 1. Once Ember hits level 5 or 6, he'll have a lot of magic damage with which to kill you; hopefully by now you've built up a slight farm advantage, or forced him to bottle crow. However, when he does hit his early power spike you are very vulnerable to his magic burst; if he catches you in his bolas you should focus fire him; you'll do more damage than you think if you have Phase Boots
given his low armor and, provided he's tower diving you, you may end up punishing him for diving. Play it safe until his magic burst is not enough to kill you; this is when Ember Spirit reaches his mid game slump.
Try to pick up another disable for Ember Spirit by the mid-game; it's unlikely that you'll be able to afford a Scythe of Vyse
as its pieces are very expensive, but an Orchid Malevolence
gives a good amount of damage and an active that will force Ember to purchase a Black King Bar
lest he die to your higher single-target DPS (bear in mind that you can pop a Linken's Sphere
with your Shackleshot
as well). Because Ember Spirit is so reliant on his Sleight of Fist
to deal damage in the lategame as well as his Fire Remnant
for escape, silence is almost as effective as hex most of the time for taking him out of a teamfight for the same duration. Ember is unlikely to build utility items to counter you, as his best contribution to teamfights is a massive damage attack nuke every 6 seconds, as well as a bit of lockdown from his Searing Chains
. He can't hit you through Windrun without an MKB; however, as Ember Spirit has a strong preference for building damage items he will likely be willing to build an MKB. However, by lategame you should be tanky enough to not die to two rounds of Sleight of Fist
unless Ember is wombo-comboing with a Magnus
; due to your higher, more sustained DPS, you might be able to chase him away from the teamfight using Focus Fire, creating a lot of breathing room for your supports to survive (assuming they survived the first Sleight of First).
Hero Matchups: Windranger vs. Intelligence Heroes
Most Intelligence Heroes tend to rely on magic damage, which is effective against Windranger in the early to mid game due to her low base HP pool. They also will be the ones to more often build utility items like Orchid Malevolence or Scythe of Vyse which provide really strong lockdown on Windranger. However, most Intelligence Heroes also don't scale well into the late-game, and when Black King Bars or Linken's Spheres come online, Windranger will often come out on top.
Although Crystal Maiden is commonly viewed as the archetypal ward *****, she actually can make for a very dangerous aggressive early game ganker if she can purchase some early boots. A level 1 Frostbite
is actually a fairly strong disable and nuke, considering it does a nice 150 damage. If Crystal Maiden is missing from the map a lot, she may be jungling in between ganks; she's actually a very effective level 1 jungler as well, because Frostbite
deals 1000 damage to creeps at all levels, meaning she can take big creeps in big creep camps at level 1. That pretty much makes her a better jungler than Lycan early game! She can definitely hit level 2 by the end of the first minute by killing two of the big creeps and come out to gank. Her Frostbite
combos very well with Juggernaut
's Blade Fury
and early game is good in general for setting up kills in lane. It also disarms its targets, meaning Windranger can't right-click to retaliate, although bear in mind you can still cast your spells if it'll save your life.
Assuming you're facing a smart, active Crystal Maiden who is always looking for ganking opportunities and jungling on the side, this Crystal Maiden is also likely to have some spare cash. There's a good chance she will pick up a Blink Dagger
or Force Staff
for stronger positioning in ganks and fights; a blink initiation on you might force you to pop a BKB.
If Crystal Maiden has managed to pick up some farm, she should have the slots for boots, wards, TP, maybe smoke, a positioning item, and a survivability item. If she's bought a Ghost Scepter
, then you won't need to worry about her ultimate, but she will have decent survivability against you. If she's bought a Black King Bar
, then you can either purchase your own BKB in response or just try to kill her outright as she channels her ultimate, Freezing Field
, using Focus Fire (she'll be vulnerable to physical damage, and there's no way she'll be able to afford an Ethereal Blade
on a support's budget).
Overall, Crystal Maiden is a threat early game, but you shouldn't underestimate her ultimate lategame.
Bane can hurt. A ton.
If you encounter Bane in the mid lane, you might find he's actually a fairly strong midlaner (although if you come out even in lane then you should consider it a win for yourself since he won't contribute as much as other mid laners to the midgame). You might also encounter him as a support when you're on the offlane. His Enfeeble
, cast on you, can actually very substantially drop your DPS in half. You likely won't have to worry about it too much in lane since Bane tends to max it last, but a value point in it still can cut your last hit damage in half.
also hurts a ton, especially considering it deals Pure damage. Furthermore, Bane loves to pick up Soul Ring
because that means literally free, infinite Brain Sap
harass; the heal from Brain Sap covers the HP cost of Soul Ring's active, which covers the mana cost of Brain Sap, meaning he's lost maybe 20 mana and you've lost 300 HP. Nightmare
is a great setup for other stuns that might be used on you. Nightmare with Mirana
's Sacred Arrow
means you're one dead Windranger. Thankfully, Bane can't spam more than Brain Sap
in combination with Soul Ring
early game, as his spells are incredibly expensive early on.
When Bane hits level 6, Fiend's Grip
is also a strong ulti as far as lockdown goes since it pierces BKB. If you are a threat, it will be used on you often, and frankly there's not much you can do yourself; however, since it is channeled a teammate can kindly interrupt it, and probably save your life. A Linken's Sphere
in theory should help but in reality doesn't really help you much because literally all of Bane's spells pop Linken's.
Your best advantage against Bane is that he has a really weird cast animation. For newer players this will be a new concept, but for more experienced players they'll know about this. For every hero/spell there's a thing called a cast point. The spell doesn't actually begin until a short delay; for many heroes and spells, this delay is 0.3 seconds. For Windranger's spells, the cast point is 0 seconds on everything but Shacklshot, which has a cast point of 0.3 seconds. This is why when you press E for Windrun, you begin Windrun instantly. However, Bane has a cast point of 0.5 on most of his spells, one of the slowest in the game. For one, this means that juking is incredibly effective against Bane; he will try to cast that one last Brain Sap to finish you, but if you leave his sight within that 0.5 second cast time then he will not be able to use it. This means that you have more time to respond to him using abilities than you would for other Heroes. You can use this to your advantage to outplay Bane, and keep away from his lockdown.
Puck is actually voiced by the same voice actress as Windranger!
Puck can be a very elusive and dangerous foe. You can actually play Windranger similarly to Puck if you focus on mobility and utility items, and max out shackles early. Puck is a midlane or offlane playmaker who, once in possession of a Blink Dagger
, is extremely elusive.
What should worry you most about Puck is its silence, which can is hard to avoid due to its low cast point, and its potentially BKB-piercing stun, both of which are things that leave Windranger very vulnerable. During a teamfight Puck may cause havoc and set you up to die. What's more, since Puck is a playmaker, it tends to itemize with a strong utility focus, buying items like Scythe of Vyse
or Orchid Malevolence
that Windranger does not like.
However, you can respond by building the same lockdown in response! Puck is extremely vulnerable without its abilities; with an equally squishy base HP pool as Windranger and far less Strength gain, even getting off an Orchid silence on Puck means instant death. Because Puck is so mobile and can escape easily if it manages one spell, Puck will likely pick up a Linken's Sphere
as a luxury as well. Luckily, you'll be able to pop it and still have lockdown if you grab an Orchid or hex. I'd suggest you use Shackleshot to pop a Linken's against Puck because if you Shackleshot after an Orchid is used to pop then it's like that Puck will just Phase Shift
to dodge the shackles.
You'll likely run into Lich as an offlaner, as he makes a great lane support. Also, prepare to cry.
His most OP ability early game is Sacrifice. With it, he basically steals XP from you and gives it to himself and the carry he's babysitting! Any half-brained Lich will take Sacrifice first and the level advantage you might have had as a solo laner slowly disappears (he'll achieve level 2 faster anyways on account of STEALING YOUR XP). He will then proceed to spam Frost Blast
to zone you out. Really hard. There's not much you can do either! You could try to get him to back off with Powershot, but once he gets his Tranquil Boots
your harass will be for naught. He'll also have infinite mana from constantly denying you XP, with which he will harass you. It's also the easiest lane control mechanism ever, since he doesn't even need to pull the lane to keep it near his tower, meaning you will be in the danger zone where a rotating support could easily gank you.
Lich is one of the ultimate lane dominators, and you should try to focus on leeching what XP you can and not dying. Work towards a Blink Dagger and being more of a playmaker during the midgame, because you sure aren't going to have the levels and farm you needed in the early game.
If Lich doesn't make you cry in frustration and abandon in the early game, and you make it to mid-game with your sanity relatively intact, you can be happy that thankfully he doesn't scale all that well. In theory his Chain Frost
can bounce forever, but if it's flying at you, you can honestly just Windrun away from your teammates so it stops bouncing; if your team lets it bounce forever then it's more your team's fault that Lich wiped you out, unless of course you've been wombo-combo'd with Lich and, say, Enigma
. Furthermore, the attack speed slow from Ice Armor is totally irrelevant to you, although the bonus armor certainly does tank up his team against your Focus Fire (and have you wishing Lich were on your team, giving Windranger some of that precious armor).
First, BKB is mandatory, as is Orchid or some other form of extra lockdown.
You'll encounter Storm Spirits often in the midlane. Early in laning you should avoid simply trading hits as he has more HP and far more armor than you, meaning you lose out. However, harassing via right click is still an option for you as you have a far longer attack range than he does.
Try to force him into bottle crowing or, even better, to retreat through constant right click and Powershot harass. You want to get a level advantage over him before he hits level 6. As soon as he hits 6, he will be much more mobile than you can hope to be. He will likely rush either an Orchid or Bloodstone
for his first item. If he's rushed a Bloodstone then you should be alright; his magic burst damage will be pretty high, but you have a good chance of escaping or even fighting back against him! However, if he's rushing an Orchid (you'll be able to tell by what items he is buying) then he stands a fairly good chance of picking you off once it's finished.
Your goal against Storm Spirit is to manage to lock him down and kill that slippery.....Hero. There are much worse words that I would like to use, but yes. He can be quite slippery at his best, and even once he falls off in terms of gank potential against you, he will be ganking your supports, or your hard carry, and a really good Storm Spirit is just going to mess with you and during teamfights use all of his utility to mess with you...unless you buy yourself a BKB. Where Storm Spirit has a stronger midgame once he gets his cores, with his burst damage and mobility, Windranger offers higher sustained DPS and much, much more strength while pushing as the game goes on. Storm Spirit can try to stop you but in a one on one situation, there's nothing he can do to you if you pop a BKB and focus down a key tier 3 tower or their last few raxes. BKB is your best friend to make sure Storm Spirit can't do anything to you during teamfights!
Lion is dangerous for you all game, and a BKB or Linken's is highly advised. You'll run into him both when you're offlaning or a mid, if he rotates in to try to gank you.
Early game, he has two good disables and enough mana regen to use them often. Hex renders Windrun useless as an escape; you don't get evasion during hex, and your base movespeed is also reduced. Earth Spike
stuns you and damages you. Both of these spells remain relevant until the late game against you, especially if Lion picks up a Blink Dagger. As soon as Lion hits level 6 you are in grave, grave danger; Lion's ultimate, Finger of Death
, scales weirdly; its damage doesn't scale into lategame while its cooldown decreases. The damage difference between his level 1 and 3 ultimate isn't that huge at 250 magic damage, but the cooldown is two minutes shorter. What this means for you is that he can basically one shot you once he hits level 6. There's honestly not much you can do about it yet except be very careful.
Mid to late game, his damage falls off, but his disables don't. Whenever your BKB is off cooldown, you are potentially in danger. However, Lion will also be squishy beyond belief, meaning you might not even need Focus Fire to finish him off in a few right clicks and spare yourself from his disables.
As long as you position yourself well throughout the game, Witch Doctor should not be a major threat for you.
In laning, he's honestly not much of a threat. If you position yourself poorly, his Paralyzing Cask
can stun you for a fair amount of time as it bounces between you and your ranged creep. If you don't, then it's a fairly underwhelming stun that only hits you in the head once and then fizzles out after one second. He won't be healing you to death, although his Voodoo Restoration
will mitigate some of the harass you might deal to him or his carry. He has a higher base damage than you, but you can still effectively trade hits with him if you've picked up a Ring of Protection
and he hasn't, due to his low base armor and your superior attack animation and BAT.
Even his ultimate does nothing to you; there is no way for Witch Doctor's ultimate, Death Ward
to hit you through evasion. In fact, if Witch Doctor doesn't manually target other members of your team during teamfights, you can literally facetank his ultimate for your team using Windrun. If you're not caught out of position and stunned severely by his Cask, then you should do just fine with Witch Doctor.
His most dangerous ability for Windranger is Maledict
. It has an awful cast range which makes it fairly easy to miss. However, if he does land Maledict, it can potentially be a death sentence for Windranger. You will have to be substantially more careful about taking damage or else Maledict might finish you off.
Zeus can be dangerous throughout the early mid game due to his magic damage output, but later on his lack of natural disables means, despite his high damage output, he's not a direct threat to Windranger.
If you find Zeus while you're offlaning then there's something very wrong with the other team's lanes. I get Zeus can as a support, but I don't think it's very good. Zeus wants a few core items to really get going; his ulti is actually pretty underwhelming without an Aghanim's Scepter
, and a Veil of Discord
can massively increase his damage output, as well as adding in an item like a Blink Dagger
or even just Eul's Scepter of Divinity
to fix his severe mobility issues. He also offers little more than damage and a ministun as a support; I guess the true sight from his Lightning Bolt
is also useful against invis heroes and for dewarding. Also, in lane, Arc Lightning
and Static Field
both would push the lane.
However, you're more likely to encounter Zeus in the midlane. While he has much higher nuke damage, you can take this time to really just farm up like crazy. You might not get many denies if he uses his Arc Lightning well to get last hits, but with his awful attack range and awful attack animation he won't be able to deny you either. His high magic damage is somewhat problematic for Windranger, but honestly you can probably keep his HP pretty low too yourself. Rune control is especially important so that you can prevent Zeus from spamming more spells.
You'll be fairly tanky by mid-late game, meaning his spells won't really deal all that much damage to you compared to what their carries do. His real danger is the utility of the global vision provided by his ulti; if you're alone the enemy team might try to pick you off. Also, his Static Field passive disables blinks, which may affect you if you bought a blink dagger. During teamfights, your BKB (which may not even be necessary if they're otherwise lockdown poor) is plenty enough to nullify Zeus' impact on you.
In the early game, Enigma is very likely to be jungling, as he is a very strong level 1 jungler with Demonic Conversion
. The main worry, then, is if Enigma comes out to gank you; his stun, Malefice
, is a fairly decent series of ministuns that may give another support the opportunity to catch up to you and finish you off. Other than that, early game you shouldn't worry too much about Enigma, having a ward or two for safety should be sufficient. If you can get vision into his jungle, you might catch him at low HP since Enigma might grab a Soul Ring
to cover his mana costs.
Mid to late game, Enigma's Black Hole
is game-breaking. If you are caught in it, expect to die. Always keep your positioning in mind; it's easy to accidentally end up sticking together just because it feels right to, but don't, always stay a decent distance apart lest Enigma hops in and hits you with a 5 man Black Hole. He will be fairly rich due to his ability to jungle and push early on with his Eidolons; he will have a Blink Dagger
by the time teamfighting starts.
If your team is sticking together too tightly, try to stand a little back from them. It does risk that you might get picked off from behind, but it's important that you stay out of Black Hole. If Enigma doesn't pop a BKB, then you can immediately save your team with the ministun on Shackleshot. If he does, he would be a worthwhile target to Focus Fire; if you can take him out quickly then you might turn around the tide of the teamfight. God forbid you get caught in a double Black Hole
Your experience with Lina depends on where you're laning and how Lina is being run.
Let's say you're in the mid lane. Lina is unlikely to come gank you if she's a support unless the midlane you're facing has a way to set up Lina's Light Strike Array
, which is otherwise not a very reliable stun due to its long cast time and effect delay.
If Lina is the other mid, then you must be careful not to end up in the way of her spells. Lina has an awful lasthitting animation given that she winds up her arm like she's playing softball or something, which means she'll have a lot of trouble denying you, with your higher base damage and much better attack animation. However, to compensate Lina will often spam spells to clear creep waves. This means you must be careful with the timings on her wave clear to be able to grab the runes at an appropriate time. However, she has no built in escape mechanisms, so if a support on your team rotates in to gank you have a good shot at killing her.
After a core Lina hits level 6, she experiences a power spike because she now has access to her ultimate, Laguna Blade
, which, in tandem with her other two nukes, might kill you in the span of her combo. Between levels 6 and 11, Lina's sheer magic burst is very dangerous and you should take care, especially of an Eul's-stun combo.
Lina as a core can be very painful; she can carry the midgame firing off her Laguna Blade left and right, and with Aghanim's she will consistently deal her massive 950 damage nuke into the late game. However, you will have the HP pool to survive her Laguna Blade and still be able to teamfight in the lategame. Furthermore, you will be tankier and have more consistent DPS, as well as superior tower-killing capacities and lower cooldowns.
As a support, Lina can be a bit underwhelming; her Light Strike Array requires setup against a good team as it's easy to dodge due to its long delay, and beyond that she can a nuke in her Dragon Slave
and her ultimate. However, her nukes will not be as relevant by the time they're maxed out as they would be when she's played as a mid hero. Furthermore, her Laguna Blade
damage will also fall off if she's on a support's level of farm, since it won't pierce BKB without Agh's.
Necrophos might be seen either while you're offlaning or in mid. If you find him in mid, I wouldn't really know how to respond; he'd probably be a fairly passive laner, though not easy to kill. He's not going to walk up to you and try to Death Pulse
you to death, that's for sure.
In an offlaning situation for Windranger, Necrophos can be extremely annoying. One early point in Heartstopper Aura
, although it does very slightly push the lane in your direction, also means you're going to run out of regen really, really fast. Order up some extra tangoes or get a value Ring of Regeneration just so he doesn't force you out of lane purely due to his aura.
Lategame, Necrophos is likely not going to be in a pure support role; if his team is smart they'll have found space for him to at least build an Aghanim's Scepter
, which makes his ult, Reaper's Scythe
, pretty ridiculous. Pray you aren't hit by it, and that the Faceless Void on your team backtracks it, or the Dazzle on your team manages a clutch save against it. It basically means that once you reach 50% HP, you die, and you stay dead for an unpleasant length of time, and furthermore you cannot help your team as you are disallowed to buyback. It's both potentially overpowered and not fun to deal with, as you can probably make yourself a sandwich, watch some TV, and still not be revived by the time you come back. A BKB or Linken's might be a good investment; the stun pierces BKB but the damage will not.
Shadow Shaman poses a direct threat to you throughout the game. A BKB or Linken's is advised.
You probably won't run into Shadow Shaman in the midlane, although if you do you should know that if you leave your lane you won't have a tower to come back to.
Shadow Shaman is a fairly selfless support whose disables both mean trouble for you as Windranger. First of all, he, like Lion, has a built in Hex. Hex is bad news for Windranger since it deprives you of evasion and reduces your base movement speed during Windrun, meaning if you were about to Windrun to safety, now you're completely exposed. Second, his other disable, Shackles
, is an extremely long channeled stun. Put together, his disables can last a very long time on a single target, which, if you are that target and you have no allies nearby, means you are a dead target. He combos well with Juggernaut
especially as a laning partner, as his Shackles
is a very long level 1 disable, giving both of those heroes enough time to really lay the hurt on you.
Shadow Shaman will likely purchase a Blink Dagger
or Force Staff
to rectify his slow movespeed; this means that even later in the game he can be a threat if he blink-initiates a gank on you. Bear in mind that you can interrupt his shackles with your shackles if he's shackling another teammate, and that he's extremely vulnerable during the channel.
Warlock isn't particularly dangerous to Windranger, although of course like all heroes he can present a danger.
You will not encounter Warlock in the midlane, unless the other team is made of potatoes who didn't draft a single midworthy hero, and their other four heroes are melee.
When you're offlaning however, Warlock will basically make sure you can't kill the carry he's babysitting, as he will heal away most of your harass. The worst he can do to you, as far as aggression, is catch you in Upheaval
and give another rotating support enough time to gank you along with their carry; Upheaval has a brutal slow and you should exit its AOE as quickly as possible, since even at level 1 it can be up to an 84% slow, and the amount of slow depends on how long he's been channeling it, not how long you've been in it. But there's nothing Warlock can really do to you alone. Do know that Shadow Word
can actually make for a pretty powerful DoT.
Lategame, don't underestimate the damage amplification from Fatal Bonds
nor underestimate the power of an AOE 1 second BKB piercing stun ilke he has with Chaotic Offering
Tinker's early game is a tad bit weak because he isn't able to spam his spells with their long cooldowns. However, the game changes entirely once he picks up his BoTs.
First, delay his BoTs as much as possible. Spam Powershots and physically harass him (his Laser
will blind you and prevent you from harassing him sometimes, but he can't spam it all the time!), and force him to play safe and miss CS. If you keep his HP low enough, you might be able to force him to resort to killing stacked jungle camps for farm. You ideally want something like an Orchid Malevolence.
Once he does get his BoTs, always keep a TP on you, and try to predict which lane he'll be in beforehand. You need to lock down and kill Tinker a lot, and with some damage it's very possible for you to do. If you don't kill Tinker, then you haven't stopped Tinker, as he'll just TP to lanes and push the whole map; he can't farm when he's dead. You will stop having an advantage over him when he gets his Blink Dagger
....or will you? Luckily, Windranger's Powershot
can cut down trees. A lot of trees. Guess who will be hiding in the trees after he TPs and blinks away to safety? This might further deprive him of his sense of safety if you can guess where Tinker is hiding and Powershot that location, both stopping his second blink and perhaps setting up another kill on him.
Come lategame, Tinker can provide monstrous amounts of utility in a teamfight. Do consider picking up a BKB so he won't perma-hex you!
Queen of Pain is a very strong midlaner and a very good ganker. She has very high magic burst and mobility, meaning she is very dangerous to fight for Windranger until the lategame.
All I can say is try to break even in lane against QoP. She is also rather squishy, but her abilities are very powerful. Her Sonic Wave
will hurt a lot for the entire game because it's Pure damage. Her Scream of Pain
is a nuke on a relatively low cooldown. Her Shadow Strike
deals a ton of damage over time. Against QoP I'd definitely think about tanking up with some HP, like an Eye of Skadi
, a Satanic
, or even a Heart of Tarrasque
. Skadi is preferable due to the armor it gives. I would also suggest picking up another disable, like an Orchid Malevolence
; a silenced QoP is very vulnerable, and if you follow up with a shackle then a silenced QoP ends up dead. This will also force her to buy a Linken's Sphere
or a Black King Bar
It's always baffled me how Nature's Prophet is listed as a "Carry." I get that he can farm a lot and pretty fast, especially with his "steal all the last hits from a hard carry" ult, Wrath of Nature
. Yes, he can have some ganking power; he can teleport in globally with Teleportaion and finish off a weak enemy, suddenly turn a 2v2 into a 3v2, and trap people with Sprout
, and then maybe surround them with treants from Nature's Call
. I also get that he needs right-click power for him to effective push and destroy towers, since the treants themselves do little damage but can tank the tower damage very well.
However, Nature's Prophet has no attack steroid; his advantages are global presence and....an item advantage? Against Windranger, Sprout
is a useless disable since you can cut your own path out of the trees at any time with Powershot
. Nature's Prophet also gives you free shackle targets with which to bind him with his treants. His ulti accidentally hitting you might hurt a little in the midgame. The only threat Nature's Prophet poses is the items he builds, and if Windranger stays relatively close in farm, he's literally just food. Just imagine; he tp's in trying to get you. Say he gets a perfect initiation on you in a 1v1, managing to both silence you and Hex you. Great. He's taken out maybe half of your HP. About 3 seconds later he's running away from you, probably with a Shadow Blade, and if you saw him build one carry around dust! Maybe he Sprouts himself to try to protect himself. Too bad, he literally gave you a perfect shackle, and now he's dead.
Death Prophet is maybe 50-50 against Windranger. On the one hand, she does pose a few threats. Her AOE Silence
is pretty long, and by level 16 she has a 50% uptime on it, which is pretty bad if it lands on Windranger since you won't be able to BKB all the time. If you find yourself fighting DP alone, Exorcism
will do a ton of damage to you considering your low armor. On the other hand, DP is often squishier than Windranger lategame even if she builds up a lot of tank items; if DP is problematic then you can quite literally just kill her easily.
Poor Enchantress. Likely to jungle, you'll only encounter her early game if she decides to try to gank you. She has fairly strong ganking power if she picks up several disabling jungle creeps with Enchant
. Unfortunately (for her), Enchantress is a ridiclously squishy hero, with a Strength gain of 1. Literally the squishiest squishy in the game. This also means that by the time your Powershot is maxed out, it will take out gigantic chunks of Enchantress' HP, maybe half of it at once. What's more unfortunate for the doe is that her passive, Untouchable
, is completely irrelevant if you decide to focus fire her. There's no way her Nature's Attendants
will out-heal your Focus Fire DPS unless she maxed it and it's early in the game.
Pugna can be run as a core or a support. If Pugna is a support, the worst thing he can do to you is Decrepify
you, rendering you unable to attack for 3.5 seconds at max level and more vulnerable to magic damage. Beyond that, Pugna is commonly picked as an anti-caster when a support, meaning the focus is on the power of his Nether Ward
. Incidentally, Windranger has rather low spell costs for an Int Hero, meaning it won't really deal all that much damage against you unless it's earlier in the game when you're squishy; Nether Ward isn't going to instagib you like it might a Skywrath Mage
If Pugna is being run as a core, then he might end up as the midlaner. You won't really need to worry about Life Drain
; he'll be standing still, so you can probably like up a shackle on him and, if low on hp, just run away. Avoid letting the creep wave push towards your tower; chances are Pugna will spam his Nether Blast
, which will quickly wreck towers.
You'll run into Jakiro when you're on the offlane.
It's not too hard to deal with Jakiro generally because he has really awful cast times on all of his abilities. He will usually try to combo his abilities; his Dual Breath
applies a slow that makes it much easier to land his Ice Path
, at which point he will try to burn you to death with Macropyre
. As Windrunner, you can probably just run away if he manages to cast Dual Breath. However, his spells are also a great way of zoning people during fights; he, for example, might cut off your escape using an Ice Path, making you risk being stunned or risk not getting enough distance from his team. Jakiro is also not a squishy hero; he'll die easily to your late game DPS, but don't expect to get a kill on him until you do pick up that DPS. BKB completely counters this hero.
Ah, the unassuming, very pink and purple Dazzle. You'd think he's not much of a threat, but he can actually be a major pain.
First, Dazzle actually has a great attack animation and good base damage, as well as one more point of armor to start with. With a frankly great attack point of 0.3, he can harass you pretty well with right clicks alone, and if he picks up a Ring of Protection
he may very well out harass you.
Second, in the early game his slow, Poison Touch
, is absolutely brutal against Windranger, giving his team plenty of time to catch up and chainstun her dead. It also deals a fair amount of damage to you since you have low armor and his abilities all deal physical damage.
Third, his Shallow Grave
will, throughout the game, save key members of his team. It's like the opposite of Focus Fire; Windranger's ultimate marks a target for an overkill death, while Shallow Grave demands a target will live at all cost.
Finally, his ulti is a major issue for you because it reduces your armor substantially and it has a great range.
A good Chen will dominate the early game by coming into various lanes to gank with his animal menagerie. If you're on the offlane, keep a ward in the nearby jungle to tip you off to whether he will try to gank you. If you're on the midlane, then I have no clue what to do to be honest. Most Chen's I've ever played with were on my team.
Leshrac can be run as a core or a support. As a support you won't need to worry too much; Leshrac can be a bit underwhelming as a support given how expensive his spells are and how his stun, Split Earth
, will usually require some degree of setup to land. He might use his ultimate in a teamfight, but he'll run out of mana fairly quickly, and also die quickly. Don't get caught out alone with just him and his Diabolic Edict
though, all of that physical damage focused on you alone will shred through your armorless self.
Leshrac as a core means BKB is also core for you. You will want to focus him down as quickly as possible; a Leshrac with a Bloodstone
and a Heart of Tarrasque
late game will deal an absurd amount of magic damage during a teamfight. Luckily you can probably focus fire him down with your high physical DPS. However, don't underestimate his damage output; while his burst damage is low his sustained damage means he will deal out damage equal to any carry if left to continue his Pulse Nova
It depends on his build.
If you're facing a support Silencer who has a few levels in Curse of the Silent, you should just start crying now and accept that you will be losing a ton of HP and mana. I would even advise keeping Powershot at level one and saving your skillpoints so that you can dispel the later levels of Silencer's curse; a level 3 Curse will cause you to lose a fair amount of HP and, more importantly, deprive you of the mana you need to escape with Windrun in case something goes wrong. Curse can really hurt over time if Silencer spams it enough, and it's a complete pain to lane against it since none of your level 1 spells are cheap enough to dispel it every time.
If Silencer is in the mid or a support Silencer is using Last Word
or only maxing Last Word and ignoring Curse, I would suggest that you immediately respond by using Windrun. His followup damage will for the most part be right-clicks with his Glaives of Wisdom
, which will not actually hit you at all. Although Last Word's ominous evil laughter may cause you to panic, simply treat Last Word as a magic damage nuke and a silence; Windrun is the safest bet to make sure there isn't any follow up from a rotating support killing you.
His magic damage is limited in the early game since he'll have to choose between the damage of Curse and that of Last Word, but bear in mind that he will likely try to cast Curse after Last Word to maximize the damage dealt. Windrunning away will also put distance between you and him and maybe put you out of cast range of Curse.
A support Silencer who builds a Refresher Orb
can be a really, really major problem for Windranger late-game; Silence kills your damage output. Global Silence
pierces even spell immunity, but it is dispelled if a BKB is used after it is applied. What this means is that you must balance risking being disabled by Silencer's teammates by waiting to use your BKB to dispel Global Silence or you can risk being denied use of your abilities by using BKB early and hope Silencer doesn't immediately silence you. Bear in mind that both Windrun and Focus Fire are not considered buffs to Windranger and they cannot be dispelled by anything, so, combined with their 0 cast point, if you used them before Silencer casts Global Silence then your damage output, evasion, and bonus movespeed are basically unaffected. The cooldowns are also long enough that, barring a second Global Silence, you'll be ready to use your abilities again.
A carry Silencer will likely pick up a Orchid Malevolence
, which may be a good substitute for a Monkey King Bar
for him in ganks since he can basically silence you for 11 seconds unless you picked up a BKB (which you're probably saving for a teamfight) or a Linken's Sphere (which will not help you against Global Silence during a teamfight). If he's itemized in such a way, then I would suggest picking up an escape like a Blink Dagger
or Force Staff
; there's a chance that he'll have picked up a Force Staff
himself to solve his lack of positioning items. A Blink Dagger is actually viable during a gank by Silencer because of the way Last Word deals delayed damage. If he opens with a right click or his Curse to cancel a Blink Dagger, you can literally just Windrun away before he can do anything else and get to safety. If he opens with an Orchid into Last Word, he will have done no actual damage to you yet, meaning a Blink Dagger will not be deactivated and you can Blink immediately to safety. A carry Silencer is not too much of an issue during a teamfight; you can easily kill him if you cast Focus Fire, and he won't be able to retaliate very well, especially if you pop your BKB, which means he won't deal his extra damage with Glaives.
You will not run into Dark Seer until midgame unless the enemy team has horrible laning; Dark Seer is not a midlaner nor does he make for a good safelane support, nor does he make a good roamer. He is an offlaner who, after picking up some experience and managing to farm (possibly outfarming the enemy safelane carry if that carry is melee), does a ton of wombo-comboing in teamfights.
Most of Windranger's damage output is in her bonus damage and her attack speed from Focus Fire, meaning his ultimate, Wall of Replica
, is not of direct danger to you, since the illusions created from Windranger will be relatively weak with slow, underwhelming attacks. The real worry with Wall of Replica is the rest of your team! Although your illusion will be weak in comparison to you, an illusion made from Tiny
gets all of the benefit from his Grow
damage. If Dark Seer managed to farm up an Aghanim's Scepter
, that Tiny illusions is going to hit for more damage than Tiny does, meaning it will hit everyone like a truck. In a worst case scenario, you have an Agi hero on your team with high base damage who also built an MKB to counter evasion on the enemy team; the illusion produced from your teammate might deal substantial damage to you or even kill you!
Dark Seer's Haste may allow another Hero on his team to catch up to you during your Windrun and kill you. His Ion Shell
also deals a lot of damage, but positioning yourself correctly will avoid most of it.
The most threatening possibility with Dark Seer is his ability to wreck your positioning with his Vacuum
and possibly set up a wombo-combo with another hero like Enigma
. Be extremely careful if the enemy team has one of these sorts of heroes with very long AOE BKB piercing disables, and make sure your positioning is absolutely perfect; a Blink Dagger may let you position yourself further from the team and let you still participate in a teamfight while staying out of range. Even without a wombo-combo Vacuum
is a powerful setup for many AOE abilities; Sven
's Storm Hammer
can suddenly be a 2 second stun on an entire team with Vacuum pulling them together.
In laning you might see Ogre Magi while offlaning. Although you could try harassing him, honestly it's kind of a waste of time; between his chunky base HP pool and his very high base armor, it's more likely he'll run up to you and hit you right back. His Ignite
is a pretty decent slow that also deals a substantial amount of burn damage over time, and his Fireblast
is fairly cheap and an alright stun length. In laning, I'd just play it safe around him, and not be too aggressive. He has some pretty good tools to harass and pose a threat to you.
After laning, all you really need to worry about is RNGesus blessing him. If he manages to get that 4x Multicast
against you, you're screwed, but if that Multcast flops you'll be fine. It's honestly all there is to it!
In lane, if you happen to get too many stacks of Sticky Napalm
on you and he's hitting you hard, remember to disengage; at the very least you can always Windrun away to curb his right click harass. Although you have a greater attack range than he does, what matters more is that his Napalm has 700 range. Just one hit is enough to kill your turn rate, meaning if you get a few stacks on you it becomes hard to disengage.
He'll be a threat to you throughout the entire game; Flaming Lasso
is a strong disable that kills your positioning, and while you're still relatively squishy in the early and mid game is when you won't survive being ganged on by Batrider and his team during a Lasso pickoff; late game you might survive, but your chances remain slim. Make sure ward vision is up, and buy them yourself if you have to if that incentivizes the supports to put up the wards.
If he doesn't Lasso you but Lassos someone near you like your hard carry, try to get a good Shackle angle on Batrider; Flaming Lasso is quite contingent on Batrider not being disabled while dragging your otherwise helpless teammate away.
The threat Rubick poses varies entirely on the other heroes in the match. The threat Rubick poses to Windranger is average during the early game.
Null Field is by far Rubick's worst skill. It may be slightly relevant if you picked up a Maelstrom as it will reduce Maelstrom's AOE, but by the late-game Maelstrom's damage will be largely irrelevant (you won't even get that many procs off as your physical damage will be more important and, moreover, you'll be killing people too quickly for it to matter), and honestly the timing of Maelstrom is far before Rubick would put points into Null Field. Null Field is an awful value point, and only has any substantial effect at level 3 or 4.
is always a danger to anyone in the early game. Do not get cliffed. Do not let Rubick lure you near a cliff. It's just not worth it. If you see a Rubick trying to cliff a teammate, immediately Shackleshot Rubick; the ministun might interrupt the toss of Telekinesis and cause your ally to fall in the same spot. It's also not a half bad stun, and as usual stuns are bad for Windranger.
is a rather poor nuke, but its attack damage reduction can severely mess with Windranger's early game damage output, since reducing her attack damage by 32 means during Focus Fire she'll pretty much hit like a ranged creep.
is the main reason why Rubick is picked up. With regards to your spells, Spell Steal is virtually worthless unless Rubick happens to play some Windranger; Powershot
, although better than nothing, is not the best nuke for Rubick to pick up, Windrun
means Rubick would be hard to kill but pretty useless otherwise, and Focus Fire
will mean very little for Rubick since he will have low right-click damage. Shackleshot
would be the most valuable skill for Rubick to pick up from Windranger, given that a two man shackle can win teamfights with a 3.75 stun on each one; however, landing it requires some practice, and whether Rubick lands it well or not depends in part on whether he's played enough Windranger to know how to land a Shackle.
It's far more likely that Rubick
is looking to pick up spells from other members of your team; the confusion he can sow and the counter initiation he is capable of of should not be underestimated. A Rubick is a wasted pick if all you have are right click carries; he can be an absolutely devastating pick if your team has both Enigma
Ancient Apparition can be a dangerous support, but needs a setup to reach his full potential against you. On the one hand, his Ice Vortex
amplifies magical damage, functionally making you squishier in the early game and rendering you more vulnerable for longer to magic burst. On the other hand, you can easily prevent his Cold Feet
from stunning you unless he has another slow or a stun added on top of his Ice Vortex, as Windrun lets you simply run away fast enough for it to fail. His Ice Blast
means you may have to be very careful returning to your base if low on HP after a teamfight, and it also means you should avoid relying on lifesteal to keep you alive during teamfights.
Disruptor's skills are all hard to land, and all often have some kind of delay, but a good Disruptor who can land all of his skills can make your life very miserable.
is a pretty decent nuke, but what's more important about it is its utility; every tick means two seconds have passed, which helps Disruptor keep track of time in combination with his Glimpse. It also provides vision, and ticks often enough to disable a Blink Dagger
renders Windrun useless as an escape; in order to escape Glimpse
a Hero needs to be able to put a good amount of distance between you and Disruptor instantly, like a Blink Dagger (which may already be rendered useless by Thunder Strike). The cast range on Glimpse is frankly kind of absurd at max level, meaning running away is not an option. Bear in mind that Glimpse can also make TP reinforcements difficult; an ally TPing from the fountain will be sent right back.
also prevents Windrun from being used as an escape, and in conjunction with Glimpse means you really, really aren't getting away. A proper escape ability like Blink or Time Walk
would let you pass through Kinetic Field, but Windrun's movespeed boost does nothing for you when you can't walk through it. In a teamfight, you should have a BKB up so that you can walk through Kinetic Field and not be zoned out by it. However, do note that it has a very low cooldown and is extremely spammable as a result; even after the fight, chasing or fleeing may be difficult if Disruptor is able to zone you out or block movemet.
Finally, Static Storm
is an amazing skill with Aghanims, but only when properly combo'd with Kinetic Field
. If you haven't popped your BKB yet when he manages to land this combo on you, you are a sitting duck for the duration; Static Storm is functionally an AOE Doom
with Aghs, and as one of few mutes in the game means not even your items will work.
However, there is one caveat; if you've already popped your BKB and become magic immune, absolutely none of Disruptor's skills affect you, not even Static Storm. During a teamfight, then, the most important thing is the timing of your BKB use. Bear in mind that Disruptor has extremely low cast times on all of his abilities. While against a Bane
you can predict when he's about to cast a spell, for Disruptor, barring his formation delay on Kinetic Field, drops his spells instantly. Predicting when he will drop his Static Storm is best then; he'll probably try to catch more than one hero in it (although he may be willing to use it on just one hero considering it has only a 70 second cooldown at max level). Don't be late on your BKB pop.
Playing against Invoker varies on which type of Invoker he is. There are several; most common are Quas-Exort and Quas-Wex Invokers; the first is more carry-oriented and the second is more teamfight-oriented. However, know that the simplest counter to all types of Invoker is a BKB, which renders everything but the Pure damage from Sunstrike useless against you (and I'm not even sure about Sunstrike).
Playing against a Quas-Exort Invoker means he'll have a much easier time last-hitting during laning; with a few points in Exort, Invoker will have a ton of bonus damage that lets him CS pretty well despite his awful base damage, and maybe even have right clicks stronger than you. However, a Quas-Exort Invoker isn't going to be that effective against you. For one, your Windrun
renders his Cold Snap
useless; he can't ministun you if he can't hit you. The same goes for the additional damage from Forge Spirit
. Deafening Blast
will deal some nuke damage, but without points in Wex will not disarm you for long. Ice Wall
's slow can be overcome easily early on with Windrun. Only the magic damage from Chaos Meteor
and Sunstrike pose a threat, and both can be dodged if there is no setup.
A Quas-Wex Invoker may prove to be problematic though. You'll have an easier time in lane as far as CS is concerned, but the CC from a QW Invoker is what makes Invoker such an amazing teamfight Hero. Tornado
travels an absolutely absurd distance with some levels in Wex, settng up an EMP
which will hamper how many spells you can cast in earlier teamfights, and the disarm from Deafening Blast
also cuts down on your DPS. Even in lane, EMP spams after a certain level can zone you out while burning away your mana.
Get a BKB!
The main concerns KotL poses to Windranger are his Mana Leak
and his Blinding Light. Chakra Magic
will keep his allies' mana up, but it the skill doesn't have that much impact until at least two or three skill points have been invested in it. His Illuminate
is also not hard to dodge, and you can probably guess the angles he will be using to try to hit you with it because otherwise he will end up pushing the lane, which benefits you by letting you maybe get some CS under your tower.
Mana Leak, however, makes Windrun an awkward escape. If there is a support rotating in to gank you, you face the choice of staying still and risking your life that way, or running away and risking dying nearby, but outright stunned instead.
Blinding Light applies an 80% miss chance if you are hit with it for up to six seconds. It's actually very powerful in that regard, as it pretty much makes everyone on Kotl's team Windranger. Picking up an MKB as one of your damage items is suggested so that you aren't blinded mid-teamfight.
The only other danger is if he picks up an Aghanim's and provides a major vision advantage to his team during the daytime.
It's a fairly mixed bag against Outworld Devourer.
During laning, OD will likely dominate you. Since you're an Int hero, the Int steal from Astral Imprisonment
means you'll be trying to last hit with like 30 damage by the end of laning. Trying to trade harass is also a very delicate dance; while you outrange him, he has a lot more armor and more starting HP.
I would definitely avoid stacking damage items alone against him. While during the early-mid game against OD you will mostly suffer mana loss from his ultimate, Sanity's Eclipse
, if you only stack damage items while OD builds up his Int his ultimate may end up dealing a lot of damage to you. This is because among Int heroes, Windranger doesn't have a great Int gain at only 2.6. If you only build damage items like Maelstrom and MKBs while OD builds up things like Scythe of Vyse
, you may find that in lategame you only have 100 Int while he has 200 Int. He'll never one-shot you like he might one-shot a brainless Agi hero like Phantom Assassin
or Troll Warlord
, with their embarrassing Int gain of 1, but a 1000 damage nuke is not something to scoff at. Having, perhaps, an Orchid Malevolence
and an Eye of Skadi
would go a long way to heavily mitigate the damage he can potentially deal with his ultimate. Furthermore, a BKB will block the damage from his Arcane Orb, greatly reducing how much damage he can deal to you, as well as prevent him from using the actives on Orchid Malevolence
or Scythe of Vyse
, both items that OD likes to pick up while stacking Int. If you are only affected by OD's mana loss, you, as Windranger, are in a good position; while losing 75% of your mana might be absolutely devastating for an Int hero like Shadow Shaman
or Skywrath Mage
, who, with their high mana costs, will basically be unable to ever cast their ultimates in a teamfight as a result, all of your mana costs as Windranger are fairly low, meaning you're guaranteed to get at least some spells off.
Skywrath Mage will dominate you if he is a lane support, and remains absolutely deadly through the midgame.
First, Skywrath can harass you to the ends of the earth with Arcane Bolt
in lane, and probably zone you out with his very high base movespeed and the range on Arcane Bolt. You can't even dodge this as it's a spell, and frankly it hurts. So, your HP will be low. Next, he has his nearly instant cast silence, Ancient Seal
, which incidentally also amplifies magical damage, meaning you're even more vulnerable to magic burst in the early game than you already are. His Concussive Shot
applies a slow that can help set up a kill on you, especially if you're already silenced from Ancient Seal. Finally, once Skywrath hits six (while zoning you out all the way), an Ancient Seal-Concussive Shot- Mystic Flare
combo can pretty much guarantee your death with the sheer quantity of magic damage, and can make you even deader if he works with someone with a reliable stun like his ex-girlfriend, Vengeful Spirit
You must make sure Skywrath doesn't absolutely cripple your start; repick if you're not confident you can bounce back! If you can make it to the late midgame and lategame with a reasonable amount of farm, then you will have several advantages over Skywrath. First, BKB renders his skills useless, meaning he won't be able to hurt you during teamfights. Second, during a teamfight, his ultimate is likely to end up hitting more than one Hero, which turns it more into an AOE nuke rather than entirely wiping out a Hero. Third, Skywrath is going to be squishy. Incredibly, incredibly squishy. He already starts off with negative armor, and his 0.8 Agi growth means he will basically be armorless throughout the game, as well as his poor 1.5 Str gain meaning he will also have a low HP pool; if you focus fire him he will die very quickly.
I have never played against a Shadow Demon, only with one a few times. People rarely ever pick him in pub matches because his abilities are really powerful....only with proper team coordination. Just be aware that his Disruption
can be a very powerful setup for ganks that turns unreliable stuns like Mirana
's Sacred Arrow
's Split Earth
into surefire hits that will wipe you out. Also bear in mind that Demonic Purge
doesn't really affect you besides the slow; unlike other Heroes who may have buffs they apply to themselves in order to increase their damage, your Windrun
and Focus Fire
are not considered buffs, meaning they cannot be purged in any way.
Oracle can be an incredible pain to deal with as a support.
First, Fortune's End
stops you from running away with Windrun, although thankfully it can't debuff Windrun since Windrun isn't a buff, meaning if the only other followup he has is a rightclicker you will be safe. Purifying Flames
is also a decent nuke if it is purged afterwards with Fortune's End.
The bigger issues for you, though, are Fate's Edict
and False Promise
Fate's Edict will not save one of Oracle's teammates from your physical damage output...unless he casts it on you, in which case you are disarmed for six seconds, which is a lot of misssing DPS. It also can't be purged on you by anything but BKB, so not even an Eul's self-purge will stop its disarm. It also wombo-comboes well with pure damage like that of an Aghs upgraded Laguna Blade
, since that damage is amplified by 50%.
False Promise is also an issue. First, it means that you will need to carry around Dust to ensure your kills. It also applies a strong dispel, meaning that perfect two-hero Shackleshot is now a 1-hero Shackleshot. It also makes determining whether you've managed to actually finish off the hero a much more iffy question. However, in some cases it might turn to your benefit; if you have a Maelstrom, that Hero, who is not going to die for 7~9 seconds, is now a great hitting totem for you to get a ton of Maelstrom procs on!
Visage, like Shadow Demon, is a rarely played hero in pubs, and I've only seen a Visage once in an actual match, and on my team at that. I will note that whenever you and Visage are nearby, you will be dealing enough damage for him to spam fully powered Soul Assumption
nukes, or basically a 400 damage nuke every 4 seconds. Also, his familiars can chain stun you if you are careless with your positioning; in a lategame teamfight they can stun for up to NINE seconds in an AOE if Visage uses his familiars, resummons them, then uses Refresher Orb
to resummons them again! I would advise staying near a tower if Visage tries to gank you with his familiars; while they can't hit you through Windrun, if you're not near a tower that will hit them they can stun you until your Windrun duration is over (early game of course) and then start hitting you again, with their damage refreshed. Also, you will deal a lot of damage to Visage, as after only one second of Focus Fire you will strip away all of his Gravekeeper's Cloak
Techies is actually very dangerous to Windranger throughout the game, although this is dependent on the skill of the player.
First, Windranger is very vulnerable to his Land Mines. With your low HP and low base armor, he can probably kill you in one blow with only two level 1 land mines (bear in mind they deal physical damage, which Windrun does not block, nor is it reduced by the standard 25% magic resistance!). Most heroes can maybe survive three! Suicide Squad, Attack! will also probably kill you from full HP at level 1, which might just guarantee him first blood.
When juking through the trees, you may actually want to try cutting your own juke paths using Powershot instead of using the standard juke paths in case Techies has planted mines in common juke spots.
Luckily, Windranger heavily prefers farming in lane to farming in the jungle, and in the path of creeps in lane you are safe from land mines. You aren't safe, however, from Remote Mines
once Techies hits level 6. Stasis Trap
is also a very long disable.
Lategame, you make a good de-miner due to your good range, but it's very dangerous nonetheless. And never, ever be too cheap and not be willing to buy Sentry Wards or a Gem to de-mine Techies; your supports will thank you profusely that you take a little out of your farm so that they can finally afford boots.
Winter Wyvern is pretty new to the scene, and I haven't played a game outside of bots that's had a WW. WW likes to keep her distance from teamfights due to her spells' long cast range. Her Cold Embrace
is problematic for you as the physical damage block means your primary source of damage, Focus Fire, is no longer applicable; it does, however, give you time to reposition yourself to immediately shackle the Hero who emerges from it. More importantly, you are a good target for Winter's Curse
. You deal a lot of damage and are important in a teamfight, while being somewhat squishy during the early and mid game. However, luckily, if you aren't the target of Winter's Curse, you're unlikely to kill your ally. Despite your high physical damage output, since you aren't Focus Firing your ally, you won't deal lethal damage to them, as opposed to if an Agi hard carry who just popped Mask of Madness
standing next to them murdering them outright.
Well, that's it for my obscenely long guide on Windranger! I probably won't be revisiting this guide after the near future since I'm leaving Dota, and I'm probably wrong on a lot of points, but maybe you learned something from reading it!