Grand Magus Compendium - Radiant Kirby (by Culling)
September 11, 2015
Hello and welcome to my guide on Rubick! The current patch that this guide is effective for is 6.81b, September. I go by the name Dionysus in-game. Rubick is the first DotA hero who I've written a guide on. I've been playing DotA since 2005, when it was still a MOD for Warcraft 3. Usually when I play MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games, I pick the tanky bruiser role. I instead chose Rubick as my first hero to write on because his kit is so unique and his ultimate reminds me of Kirby and Rogue. If you enjoy playing a support/nuker who can displace foes and bolster his allies, then Rubick is your hero. I hope you can read the whole guide; thanks for spending time here.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them below in the posting section. You may be referenced in the guide if your suggestion is used somewhere on here.
Rubick's Role: Rubick the Grand Magus
is a Radiant Intelligence
hero who can be built either as a pure support or a nuker support. Many players regard Rubick
as being the best counter-initiator in the game
who punishes heroes that carelessly start a fight without regard to consequence. Valve has classified Rubick
. Oddly enough, he has NOT been listed as a
actually lists him as aPusher
. He has 1 passive aura and 3 active spells (one of which opens the possibility to using a 4th active spell). I would classify his spells as such:
Telekinesis - 1st Skill
Fade Bolt - 2nd Skill
Null Field - 3rd Skill
Null Field =Durable
Spell Steal - Ultimate
In terms of difficulty, Curse-Gamepedia
has ranked Rubick
at a difficulty level of 20
out of 30
. In several categories, I would rate him as such (on a scale of 1 - 5, 1 being easiest to grasp):
Hero / Item Knowledge: 5
- You must have a detailed knowledge of all spells and items.
Map Awareness / Knowledge: 4
- You must know much about warding, trapping spots, and support play.
Positioning / Reflex: 4
- You must know much about teamfight positions, ability timing, and juking.
Farming Ability: 1
- You don't need to know anything about farming - even though you have 1 Area-Of-Effect skill, you will mostly fulfill the support role.
- The amount of skill required to micro-manage (control other units) will vary, depending on the matchup you're going against.
Survival Ability: 3
- You just need a base knowledge of survival and sustainability because you have innate defense with your passive and your Crowd Control skill isn't hard to master.
Rubick's Lore: Any mage can cast a spell or two, and a few may even study long enough to become a wizard, but only the most talented are allowed to be recognized as a Magus. Yet as with any sorcerers circle, a sense of community has never guaranteed competitive courtesy.
Already a renowned duelist and scholar of the grander world of sorcery, it had never occurred to Rubick that he might perhaps be Magus material until he was in the midst of his seventh assassination attempt. As he casually tossed the twelfth of a string of would-be killers from a high balcony, it dawned on him how utterly unimaginative the attempts on his life had become. Where once the interruption of a fingersnap or firehand might have put a cheerful spring in his step, it had all become so very predictable. He craved greater competition. Therefore, donning his combat mask, he did what any wizard seeking to ascend the ranks would do: he announced his intention to kill a Magus.
Rubick quickly discovered that to threaten one Magus is to threaten them all, and they fell upon him in force. Each antagonist's spell was an unstoppable torrent of energy, and every attack a calculated killing blow. But very soon something occurred that Rubick's foes found unexpected: their arts appeared to turn against them. Inside the magic maelstrom, Rubick chuckled, subtly reading and replicating the powers of one in order to cast it against another, sowing chaos among those who had allied against him. Accusations of betrayal began to fly, and soon the sorcerers turned one upon another without suspecting who was behind their undoing.
When the battle finally drew to a close, all were singed and frozen, soaked and cut and pierced. More than one lay dead by an allys craft. Rubick stood apart, sore but delighted in the weeks festivities. None had the strength to argue when he presented his petition of assumption to the Hidden Council, and the Insubstantial Eleven agreed as one to grant him the title of Grand Magus.
Rubick in Original DotA:
was added to the original DotA on the last week of April 2011, as part of the 6.72 DotA Patch
. He shared his model with the Warcraft character Medivh
. More than a year later, he joined the roster of DotA 2 on the June 20, 2012 Patch
. Around February 2014, ziedota
decided to blog about Rubick's history
. He has been a favorite pick of many players ever since.
Below, you will see an in-depth look at Rubick's 4 basic abilities as well as the 364 other abilities (268 basic, 96 ultimate) he can use through copying:
In-Depth Abilities (click this 3 times if you load slowly)
Here is the complete look at the 364 abilities (268 basic, 96 ultimate) that Rubick can steal and use altogether. I've organized this into 6 main sections to make it easier to read. Miniature icons are not stolen skills in their own right, but they instead represent secondary actives available with a primary stolen skill ( Poison Sting is an exception, being a stolen passive together with Plague Ward). Additionally, you will also see 7 additional sections about certain skills below:
Radiant Strength (67 spells)
Dire Strength (56 spells)
Radiant Agility (55 spells)
Dire Agility (45 spells)
Radiant Intelligence (65 spells)
Dire Intelligence (76 spells)
The 53 Aghanim Heroes
Spells for Refresher Orb
Reusable Active Spells
New Button Active Spells
Spells to NOT Steal/Use
Spell Tier List
Spell Steal Ranking:
Let's make the distinction of what we call these 'powers' that DotA heroes can use. I tend to refer to actives as Spells
, while I tend to clump up passives and actives together in the terms Abilities
. To make it easier deciding which spells to prioritize, I thought I'd make a Spell Steal
ranking which observes several factors: (1) how well the spell does in teamfights, (2) how well the spell does for Rubick
, and (3) how much utility or damage potential the spell can offer. The 96 ultimates
will have their own ranking list, while the 268 basic abilities
will be in a different ranking list.
Tier List: Ultimates (96)
Tier List: Basic Abilities (268)
The Definitive Build:
Since we're through the lengthy discussion on skills and whatnot, items are the next big topic. You will always start out with 625 Gold
, unless you selected Rubick
at random, which will give you 825 Gold
. In most cases, you will be playing in the Bottom Lane
to assist your alliedCarry
. Otherwise, you will be playing in the Middle Lane
. Let's look at the two starting builds you can open with:
Starter Alternative 1: Bottom Lane
Starter Alternative 2: Middle Lane
Early Game to Middle Game
Late Game (Guideline Build)
To change up your build a bit, you can use these alternatives to replace Mekansm and Refresher Orb if you'd like. Also, after this section are the items which I don't think will benefit Rubick. The items are ordered from cheap to expensive:
Items to NOT Buy/Use
So you might be wondering why we skill up Rubick
the way we do. Rubick
is quite a level dependent hero at least until level 7. We pick up Telekinesis
at level 1
is the type of hero who does not need burst/nuke damage at the start of the game. If you pick up Fade Bolt
at level 1
instead, you will have no chance at contesting the rune when it spawns at 0:00
. After level 1 however, there is no disagreement on the fact that Rubick
must skill up Fade Bolt
at the respective levels of 2, 3, 5, and 7
. As your only damaging skill pre-level 6, you must prioritize Fade Bolt
for the two vital tasks in lane: (1) waveclearing enemy creeps and (2) harassing enemy heroes. Since the mana cost
of Fade Bolt
at all levels, I generally recommend reserving Fade Bolt
use once you're level 3
for efficiency's sake. For the levels in-between Fade Bolt
, you can just fill in with Telekinesis
at levels 4, 8, and 9
for the additional disable utility and Spell Steal
at level 6
to open up Rubick's playstyle. From there, you're free to decide the build depending on the enemy matchups - either put points into Null Field or attributes if the enemy team emphasizes magical or physical damage. Mandatorily, you should level up Spell Steal
at to decrease cooldown and increase duration.
You'll have to pick between
Bottom Lane or Middle Lane, depending on what your team needs. For both lanes, it's vital that you know how to deny creeps. Denying is the act of killing your own creeps or towers when they drop below a 50% / 10% health threshold. Denied creeps will reward 36 EXP to nearby enemies while towers will reward 100 - 160 gold, depending on the tower's tier. Back on topic, let's take a look at what it means to reside in either one of these lanes:
Rubick's Runes: Runes
are special consumable items that give you a powerful effect for 30, 45, or 70 seconds depending on the type of rune. They spawn either in the middle of the north riverside OR in the middle of the south riverside. The initial spawn time of a rune will be 0:00
. After that, runes will spawn every 2 minutes
on one of the sides. The rune types will always be different from the previous and successive ones. You may refill a Bottle
by storing a rune inside for 2 minutes; when those 2 minutes are over, the rune will automatically be used. My recommendation of runes for Rubick
will be in this list. If you plan on going into middle lane, it will primarily be your job to ward around rune areas and obtain them. Here is the list of runes:
Warding: Observer Ward
and Sentry Ward
are perhaps the 2 most important consumables you could purchase as Rubick
, if not the most important in DotA 2. It is immensely important that you know about their item information as well as how to use them. Here are their profiles:
Observer Ward Profile
Sentry Ward Profile
Rubick's Good Allies
Rubick's Bad Allies
The Study of Matchups:
If you've played DotA 2 or any other MOBA game, you probably realize that matchups are not necessarily black and white. The advantages and disadvantages around certain heroes or groups of heroes are not quantifiable in a simple way. Even though we can make an outrageous theory thatStrength
heroes (due to stable damage and high health pools),Intelligence
heroes (due to crowd control and burst damage), andAgility
heroes (due to evasion and critical strikes), it would be a mistake to make this assumption. DotA 2 is such a radical game that not only incorporates a base-level game theory like roshambo
, but it evolves outward to include playstyles, skill builds, item choices, lane partnerships, whole team compositions, and random number generation to make matches dynamic. If we do want to go back and play on the idea of rock-paper-scissors when considering matchups, I'd like to propose an idea which expands it further so you can understand the complexities within analyzing counters. This is my Roshambo
The DotA Attribute Triangle
Now that we know and recognize this as being just simply the Attribute Combat Triangle
, there are also other variants of roshambo
such as in Item Choices
or more importantly, Hero Roles
. For instance:
Roamers will always prey on
Carries in the early game. You can't relegate this fact - this is an issue of timing in the game. With principles of karma in mind, the opposite will be true in the late game.
Initiators will (for a fact) get countered by
Counter-Initiators. This is our case. Rubick
is an Intelligence
hero who dominates other
INT heroes and counter-initiates against
initiators. How can we be so sure of this claim? Look at the last two abilities in his kit - Null Field and Spell Steal
. Rubick's playstyle stresses that the player who plays him must exercise patience, execute precise timing, and coordinate teamplays to win.
When to pick Rubick:
Now that you know a bit more about the chemistry of DotA 2 and Rubick
, let's look at when the appropriate time to pick him is.
+ When you understand that your role will prioritize supporting your teammates over assassinating enemies.
+ When there are at least 2Initiators on the enemy team.
+ When your team has already chosen aLaner for top lane and the jungle.
+ When there is a weakMiddle Laner on the enemy team.
+ When you lack a flexibleLane Support on your team.
+ When you lack a reliableDisabler on your team.
+ When you need to apply more AoE damage together with aNuker on your team.
Don't Pick Rubick:
- When you are feeling particularly kill-hungry and lazy to ward for the team.
- When there are noInitiators or only 1 or 2 Semi-Initiators on the enemy team.
- When there is a strongMiddle Laner on the enemy team who emphasizes auto-attacking.
- When your team needs a strongPusher to shove the lanes and keep the enemy team preoccupied to roaming.
- When your team already has a solidLane Support andDisabler to provide the team assistance when it needs it.
- When there are manySilences and Orchid Malevolence / Black King Bar Core Buyers on the enemy team.
- When there are 2 or more(Ranged) Carries on the enemy team who lack an interesting Ultimate.
Rubick's Actual Matchups:
While you can depend on DotaBuff
to give you a reliable idea of Rubick
matchups, here's an in-depth look at select heroes themselves and strategies to deal with them.
Rubick as a Counterpick (18 heroes)
Counterpicks against Rubick (25 heroes)
Tips and Tricks
Seeing as this is an in-depth guide to Rubick
and DotA 2, I thought it would be useful to provide a small reference for terms you will encounter when you play DotA. Well seasoned gamers can probably skip this section, as they will already be familiar with these terms. For those who aren't, I suggest you take a quick glance and familiarize yourself with these definitions:
Glossary of Gaming Terms
Here are some tips and tricks for using shop items and Rubick
Item Tips and Tricks
Other Tips and Tricks
Wandering Harlequin's Regalia Set
Councilor's Complete Raiment Set
Spellbinder's Shape Set
Inscrutable Zeal Set
Peculiar Prestidigitator Set
Resonant Vibrance Set
Garb of the Cruel Magician Set
Thanks to Xyrus for his contributions to "Other Items".
Thanks to Pourquoi for his contributions to "Build" and "Core Items".
Thanks to Curse-Gamepedia for all the information resources used to supplement this guide.