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108 Votes

Grimorum's Guide for Invoker

September 30, 2014 by grimorum
Comments: 72    |    Views: 706953    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4
Build 5
Build 6

Universal Build: 4 - 1 - 4

DotA2 Hero: Invoker

Hero Skills


2 7 9 10 19 20 21


6 16 18 22 23 24 25


1 4 5 8 13 14 15


3 11 12 17



Hi, I am Grimorum and I hope you find my guide helpful. I have played over 6000 games with invoker between Dota 1 and Dota 2.

Invoker was once an amazing Tier 1 hero; he was almost always banned or picked immediately. With 6.80 patch, Invoker might be a top pick hero once again! He is one of the top ten hardest hero to play, you must remember the orb combinations, and practice on and/or with bots. My recommendations works in most scenarios; adjust accordingly as you see fit.

Invoker combos and highlights are available on YouTube:

What is Invoker's Role?

Invoker is best played as a semi-carry. Normally, invoker needs to stay in lane until level seven and farm an important item or two. Invoker is too valuable to die, so avoid putting yourself in the front line after initiation. Positioning is supremely important for invoker; his best aoe spells are linear. Analyze whether you or your team should initiate. If the opposing team has better initiation, then you need to counter their initiation. My favorite section of this guide is about Tornado. To counter an initiation, always consider Tornado. It removes many buffs like Drum of endurance's active buff, Empower, Enrage, etc.

What Orbs Do I Focus?

Ghost walk was massively buffed and tornado deals good damage with amazing range. Wex/Qua's EMP is great against heroes with small mana pool. Unfortunately, Invoker's low damage base makes it very difficult to farm and level without Exort. If you have 3+ carries on your team, go W/Q, but that game is probably too hard to salvage. This build has very good crowd control, but you are unlikely to get kills in a team clash. I really like the new EMP buff in 6.79. My favorite build is v6.81b: Day Stalker; it is supremely good against Puck, Weaver, AM, Storm, etc.

4-1-4 got nerfed hard in 6.80. Spirits are more vulnerable and their range are reduced. Furthermore, Necronomicon received a nerf too. It is still a decent build. Consider this build when you are middle against SF/BS. This build hits single targets very hard, but does not have much mobility, crowd control, and lack early-mid game initiation.

Full Exort's Sun Strike is great against heroes with low health points; it synergizes well with Spirit breaker, Sand King, Legion Commander, Naga Siren, Bane, Nyx Assassin, Bounty Hunter, Night Stalker, Storm Spirit, Nature's Prophet, etc. The biggest drawback to this build is that it completely relies on your team to initiate. Fortunately, obtaining Eul's Scepter of Divinity will allow you to execute sneak attacks on a lone player; however, do not initiate with Eul's Scepter of Divinity in a team clash. I would only consider this build if you absolutely need exort and have good gankers. Bloodseeker comes to mind.

Pros / Cons

  • High damage output
  • Good push capability
  • Decent global presence
  • Arguably the funnest hero late game
  • 10 Available Spells
  • Potentially, the best late game crowd controller
  • Best late game spell-caster
  • Has one of the best counter-initiation spells
  • Requires more resources than most mid heroes
  • Lacks reliable flash farm ability
  • Lacks a reliable escape
  • Lacks early game burst damage
  • Not difficult to counter or shutdown in lane
  • Absent level 6 ultimate
  • Absent positioning skill
  • Slow Movement Speed
  • High mana costs/Long cooldown on most spells

Lane Strategy

Level 1 Invoker is the most fragile hero in Dota because he has no spells and only 280 movement speed! Practice map awareness and team communication. Due to Invoker's low base attack damage, Exort is a must against Bloodseeker, and Shadow Fiend. On the other hand, Quas is super important for survival in lane. Alacrity, Sun Strike, Forge spirit and cold snap are your primary spells for Exort in lane phase. Tornado, EMP, ghost walk, and Cold Snap are your best spells in the lane phase. Invoker is not good at capturing runes, so never buy a bottle. Try to stay in lane until level 7 unless a good opportunity arises. If you go exort, you are expected to assist team with Sun Strike or TP, so pay attention to mini-map and communicate with your team

Here are a few scenarios and options:

* Against good mid solos like Queen of Pain, Puck, Zeus, etc, just focus on farming and safely take runes or kill them with Forge Spirit. Either rush wand and boots or Hand of Midas or core item.

* Mid against a solo Drow Ranger or Lone Druid (farming heroes that don't use runes to gank): focus on last hits with Alacrity!

* Mid against two heroes: Your job is to stay alive. Last hit with Exort and prepare extra healing potions.

Early Game

Invoker needs levels more than any other hero, so gank only with good opportunities. Must carry TP scrolls to gank or protect team. Do not level up your orb until you see your opponent and his/her items. Clarity potions help a lot because Invoker does not use bottle.

By the way, if the distance between you and your target is less than 600, you could do a slight turn and catch your target with the tip of your Ice Wall.

Mid Game

If you went fulll exort or 4-1-4, mana and cooldown restraints are an annoyance, but in a perfect world, invoke Forge Spirits first and Cold Snap or Meteor second. Invoke a third spell if you predict your Forge spirits will last throughout the upcoming battle. Early game, Exort builds are not proficient in crowd controlling, so you might need your team to initiate. If you do not have enough time or mana to prepare your spells for battle, it is better to push down a tower. Chaos Meteor or Tornado (if wex/quas build) a creep wave, then use your Forge Spirit to pull incoming creep wave away, then use Alacrity. Doing this will give you a minimum of forty seconds to destroy the tower.

It is almost always best to have Spirits summoned before battle, but beware of their expiration. Furthermore, consider summoning Spirits during battle if you have a Force Staff. For example: Force Staff yourself next to Brewmaster, then use Spirits and Cold Snap right next to him. The stun lock will prevent Brewmaster from using Ultimate for several seconds.

Wex Quas build does not have problem with mana. EMP has enormous mana recovery and mana burn potential! You need to actively coordinate ganks by scouting with Ghost Walk in the day time or initiate tornado/emp. Maintain your distance in battles. Wex Invoker has amazing MS and disables, but all that is wasted if you are chain stunned.

Late Game

Push side lanes with Forge Spirits to give your team more opportunities to smoke gank. During ganks, invoke Cold Snap first, then Tornado. Remember to prep orbs. Cast Cold snap, then immediately replace it with Chaos Meteor. When defending towers, invoke Alacrity first, then Tornado. Cast Alacrity on your carry or your Forge spirit, then replace it with Meteor. Against heroes with Black King Bar, consider initiating with Tornado and/or Emp/Ice Wall in hopes they pop the magic immunity. Then cast Alacrity on Forge spirits as your team retreats. Cast Ice wall so that opponents without BKB will have difficulty chasing. When slow sieging, do not rush it, let opponents make the first mistake. Target the tower and barracks with your Forge spirits, remember to use Alacrity!

Helpful Tips for Invoker's spells

Tornado can be used to stack creep camps by lifting them in at the spawn time. Tornado is a good spell to have ready against Pudge. If hooked, Tornado nearby anywhere asap and you might avoid Dismember. Tornado also gives a great area of vision! You can use it for Sun Strikes or hunt heroes in the trees. Tornado removes the following buffs:

Special Thanks to Mint & my brother for helping me test Tornado:

Debuffs Spells:
Debuffs Item's Active:
Debuffs Runes:
  • Invisibility
  • Haste
  • Double Damage
  • Regeneration
If timed properly, Tornado will ignore Spiked Carapace as long as carapace expires before lift duration.

Forge Spirit
Spirits with 6 levels of quas attacks further than towers. You can also block hooks/arrow by summoning spirit! Use smoke on Forge Spirits and have entire team backdoor by teleporting on Forge Spirits (Beware backdoor protection)! On Radiant's side, consider stacking ancients with Forge Spirit. Rune spawn is random, therefore, before the rune spawn, I like to send a Forge Spirit to destroy bottom rune at the 46th second and grab top rune at 55th second (during lane phase). Push lanes with Forge Spirits or scout with them. You could also pull incoming creep wave away from tower with a Forge Spirit; you can now attack the tower without enemy creep.

Cold Snap
Cold Snap has 1000 range, but Invokers attack range is 600. If Quas is low level, cast Cold Snap with a distance around 300 or your next attack will not trigger Cold Snap because it will be on cooldown. Most of the time, it is a good idea to use animation canceling during Cold Snap's duration. Aphotic Shield and Living Armor counters cold snap hardcore.

Level 1-2 Cold snap no longer cancels Salve/Clarities.

Damage over time spells works wonders with Cold Snap. Note: the stun only triggers on damage greater than 10 after reductions (creeps does not trigger cold snap against heroes with high armor). HP removal abilities like Urn of Shadows does not trigger Cold Snap.

Ice Wall
If Ice Wall deals 10 or more damage after reduction, it will trigger Cold Snap. Ice wall with two or more Exort will remove Templar Assassins refraction every second. Casting ice Wall in front of your tower can provide a great defense. Although opposing heroes are unlikely to be caught, you can destroy all the creeps with tower and Forge Spirits. Ice Wall does not necessary have to catch any enemy. You could use Ice Wall to block reinforcements.

Chaos Meteor
Meteor provides a small vision; Cold Snap that fogged target quickly! As of 6.81 Patch, Meteor is now stackable! Meteor with one level of Exort can be used as a scare tactic (Do not consider this without Aghanim's Scepter.). Meteor can also be used defensely; opponents will reconsider chasing you when meteor is following you.

Besides your team carry, Alacrity on Forge Spirits or siege creep is a great way to push towers from a distance.

Ghost Walk
Ghost walk can dodge certain projectiles. Invoke interrupts TP scroll, but Ghost Walk does not. In the lane phase, if you have QQQ orbs active, you could quickly hit WRV to Ghost Walk. Eul self, then shift QQWR works in Dota 1, but not in Dota 2 if an enemy creep is nearby. Perhaps Ice Frog will fix the auto attack bug one day. Ghost Walk and 7 levels of wex orbs provide near max movement speed!

Deafening Blast
This spell can push opponents on/off cliffs. If you invoke Meteor with EEW, a simple QR can invoke Blast after invoking Meteor. If you cast Sun Strike behind an opponent, but he does not run back, you could push him/her towards Sun Strike. Blasting an opponent can break trees if he/she backs into it.

Deafening Blast can also be used to "PULL" targets! Use Tornado or Eul first. If you time it properly and your target lands on Blast, they will get pulled towards you. However, this is probably one of the hardest things to do in Dota.

Sun Strike
Works great with Eul's scepter or two second stuns by allies. If someone is using TP scroll with low health, but your Sun Strike will not hit him/her before he/she TP, then target near the fountain instead. Bloodseeker may discreetly guide your Sun Strikes with vision. Sun Strike provides XP if you kill the hero with it! If you are running back to fountain, consider using Sun Strike to farm a creep or two or hurt enemy hero.

Countered by Arcane Boots and Obsidian Destroyer's Essence Aura. Do not focus Wex build if you predict two or more opposing heroes will get Arcane Boots. You can lure opponents out of position with EMP. Casting EMP in fog or directly on the tower might conceal your spell.

If you desire, four levels of Quas can be obtained by level seven if you do not use the skill point yet at level six. Likewise for four levels of Exort.


Aghanim's Scepter
This is my favorite item. However, Doom, Silencer, Nyx, OD, and NS counters this item. I like to get this item after one of the following: Force Staff, Drums of Endurance, Euls Scepter, Rod of Atos, or Orchid Malevolence.

Black King Bar
Great item for the Hybrid invoker. Activate this item after Silencer uses his ultimate. Enemies will charge in thinking they have impunity. Now is your best chance to Tornado, Meteor, Blast, and Ice Wall. On the other hand, if you activate BKB too early, Silencer can penetrate your BKB with ultimate.

Blink Dagger
Great mobility item in conjunction with force staff. Decent item to assist you in positioning for ice wall, cold snap, etc. I prefer forcestaff in most occasions. However, this item works well with max exort skill build. Eul/SS/Meteor/Blast deals about 1100 damage after reductions. Dagger can help you catch those elusive heroes with low HP like Anti-Mage, Slark, Storm, etc. Dagger also works amazingly well to help you setup the perfect tornado/meteor/blast/etc combo.

Drum of Endurance
Great affordable team item. However, this item does not solve invokers mana troubles.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Great item for any invoker build. However, it does not solve the low damage output of wex invoker. The 2.5 second lift duration is a perfect setup for sunstrike, meteor, and blast combo (Around 1100 damage after reduction). Also works great with dagger; Eul's 2.5 second invulnerability will buy time so you can dagger away.

Eye of Skadi
Slow effect penetrates magic immune heroes! Very good item choice to counter back! If many opponents have magic immunity, consider skipping aghanim scepter all together.

Force Staff
Great item for the team! This item has the most flexibility. Highly recommended against Stealth Assassin, nature's prophet, and clock. In addition, you can push enemies out of position, save your team, force enemy onto impassable terrain, etc. If you have fast reflexes, Force Staff yourself to dodge Impale after Vendetta.

Gem of True Sight
Gem works great with wex build. High movement speed and invokers disables makes him difficult to kill.

Ghost Scepter
Good stats gain and survivability against Ursa, SA, Huskar, etc.

Hand of Midas
Get this item if you can do so around the 6th minute. Otherwise, forget it. Invoker is more concerned about levels than gold, so transmute level six creeps for 2.5x the experience! Note: an entire set of beginning creep wave gives 227 XP. Transmuting with Midas on a level 6 creep gives 387 XP!

Linken's Sphere
Great item against Doom, Nyx, and sudden Hex/Orchid. However, this item is very costly.

Amazing synergy with spirits/snap combo. True sight makes this item very useful against TA/BH etc. Great defense against Pudge's hooks. 4 summons and Cold Snap will likely kill your target. 4 summons plus alacrity can hurt towers real good.

Orchid Malevolence
Love this item for Wex build. It solves Wex invokers lack of damage and mana regeneration. This item works amazingly well with Cold Snap. Morph, Anti-mage, Lifestealer, Storm, etc are all going to hate you for this.

This works marvelous with cold snap, but this is not your item to buy.

Refresher Orb
I discourage 99% of invoker users to get this item. It is highly situational and requires perfect spell executions as well as positioning. Furthermore, BKB users will laugh in your face. You will need a minimum of 1700 mana to make good use of this item.

Rod of Atos
Works supremely well for the hybrid invoker. Unfortunately, Force Staff and blink counters this item. I find this item a lifesaver against Nyx Assassin. The active slow ignores spiked carapace, and the extra health helps invoker to survive Nyxs deadly combo.

Scythe of Vyse
Best item for ganking. Very costly, but it is worth the price. Get this item before Aghanim Scepter if you are desperate to end the game.

Veil of Discord
Works good if you manage to activate Discord before Tornado/Meteor/Blast combo. However, it delays your tornado slightly and reveals your location. As a result, your opponents have a better chance of dodging your combo. For this reason, I do not recommend Veil on Invoker.

Common Mistakes

Avoid double initiation. It is very frustration to see a ravage cancelled by a tornado. At level 13+, prep orbs for the next spell and replace the old spell asap (think twice before replacing Cold Snap). At level 17+, predict your next needed spell and invoke it instead of invoking only as needed. Avoid using Meteor to farm, it has a very long cool down. Although Invoker casts spells instantly, you must consider the turn rate or you might end up cancelling the spell (Pay attention to Napalm stacks). Cold Snap is usually faster than Tornado if your goal is to interrupt channeling.

Game Mode: All Pick

This hero is extremely fun, but playing against your worst enemies is a nightmare. Do not pick invoker instantly; try to avoid Silencer, Pugna, Doom, Outworld Devourer, and Nyx Assassin. Invoker needs levels more than any other hero, so solo mid is usually your best choice. Do not send a solo invoker to a suicide long lane; he is the most vulnerable hero at level one!

Etiquette and Morale

If your entire team refuses to ward, then step up and do it yourself. Avoid confrontation. Although ganking at early levels is not your role, I find it helpful to do so in public games. This will increase your teams morale and decrease your opposing teams morale. Requesting solo middle is much better than demanding it; you can reduce tension and gauge the cooperativeness of your team.


Radiant Ancient Jungling

Dire Jungle Invoker

I have not tried jungling on Dire in the new 6.79 patch.

Top Ten Weekly Appearances

Ranked #17 in DotaCinema's Hall of Fame:
Highlighted in DFX's Cinematic Montage:
Ranked #1 in DotaCinema's Top Ten Weekly:
Ranked #1 in WoDota's Top Ten Weekly:
Ranked #1 in WoDota's Top Ten Weekly:
Ranked #1 in Helical's Top Ten Weekly:
Ranked #1 in WoDota's Top Ten Weekly:
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My Dota Account

Please enter your questions at the bottom of this page. I will answer them at my earliest convenience. Thank you.

Dotabuff Account

Recent Matches

These replays expire fast so I uploaded them for everyone. Just download and move it to steam's replay folder: Steam\steamapps\common\dota 2 beta\dota\replays
Download Here: v6.79 4-0-4-1 Build:
Atos is effective against Nyx Assassin (Expires around Oct 22, 2013)
Download Here: Global Sun Strike Build
Download Here: Build #4, Push End ASAP!
Use Necromonicon's Active skill I was too lazy.
Download Here: Universal 4-1-4 Build
Adapt to situation. Quas, Sentry Ward, Orb of Venom, and Force Staff all necessary
Download Here: Universal 4-1-4 Build
My favorite: "Bring the Rain" combo
Download Here: Universal 4-1-4 Build
Download Here: Universal 4-1-4 Build
Download Here: Universal 4-1-4 Build
Download Here: Universal 4-1-4 Build
Refresher Madness
Download Here: Universal 4-1-4 Build

2014 Videos:

Patch Notes

- Forged Spirits 33% magic resistance removed
- Cold Snap damage reworked from the initial and secondary proc damage of 60/30 to 7xQuasLevel per proc
- Deafening Blast's Disarm is now dispelled when Magic Immunity is applied


- Fixed Invoker's Chaos Meteor to stack multiple meteors correctly
- Fixed Invoker's Chaos Meteor to deal the proper number of damage instances at 1 and 2 Wex
- Ghost Walk slow no longer affects magic immune enemies
- EMP delay increased from 2.6 to 2.9
- The Cyclone effect of Eul's Scepter and Invoker's Tornado can now be purged
- Necronomicon
Necronomicon Warrior's movement speed rescaled from 330/360/390 to 350
Necronomicon units XP bounty increased from 59 to 100/150/200
- Pipe of Insight
Pipe's active buff is no longer dispellable
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Cyclone now deals 50 damage to enemy units when they land
You can now cast Cyclone on yourself while you are magic immune

- Forge Spirits armor reduced from 2/3/4/5/6/7/8 to 0/1/2/3/4/5/6
- Forge Spirits attack range reduced from 300->900 to 300->690
- EMP burn increased from 100->400 to 100->550
- EMP delay from 3.7->2 to 2.6
- Alacrity manacost reduced from 75 to 45
- Ghost Walk movement speed from -30/-25/-20/-15/-10/-5/0 to -30/-20/-10/0/10/20/30
- Arcane Boots: Manacost increased by 10
- Blink Dagger: Blink no longer has a manacost (Target can blink even if you mana burn)
- Drums of Endurance
Number of charges increased from 4 to 5
Recipe cost increased from 800 to 875
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Cyclone cooldown reduced from 25 to 23
- Necronomicon
Bounty increased from 100/125/150 to 100/150/200
Unit's armor reduced from 6/8/10 to 4
Cooldown increased from 80 to 95
- Refresher Orb: Recipe cost reduced from 1875 to 1800
- Rod of Atos: HP bonus increased from 325 to 350
New Meta: Refresher Invoker!
- Ranged Heroes now get the same denied experience as melee heroes (instead of less)
- XP bounty of level 6 creeps was reduced to 119. This indirectly nerfs Midas for Invoker.
- EMP restores Invoker for 50% of the mana it drains from heroes (excluding illusions)
- Invoke Max Spells rescaled from 1/2/2/2 to 2
- Alacrity manacost decreased from 100 to 75
- Ghost Walk slow increased from 20/23/26/30/33/36/40 to 20/25/30/35/40/45/50
- Ghost Walk cooldown decreased from 60 to 35
- Tornado damage rescaled from 70+(Wex+Quas)*20 to 70+(2*Wex+Quas)*15
The following changes are an indirect nerf to Invoker
- 4 hero XP bonus changed from 15+6*Level to 20+5*level
- 5 hero XP bonus changed from 10+5*Level to 15+4*level
- Level 11 XP requirements reduced from 6500 to 6000
- Level 12 XP requirements increased from 7700 to 8200
- New Force Staff: +10 Intelligence & +3 Regeneration
- Drum of Endurance: Recipe cost increased from 750 to 800
- Drum of Endurance: Bonus damage decreased from 9 to 3
- 65 Heroes got buffed (Invoker's buff did not make W/Q viable and hardly helped Exort)
The following changes are an indirect buff to Invoker
- While empty, Bottle causes Couriers to move 30% slower
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Recipe cost decreased from 600 to 500
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Movement speed bonus increased from 25 to 30
- 29 heroes got buffed (Not Invoker)
- 38 heroes got buffed (Not Invoker)
- Invoker base damage decreased by 4
- Team AoE bounty for kills with 2 heroes around changed from 9*Level+95 to 12*Level + 125
- Team AoE bounty for kills with 3 heroes around changed from 8*Level+20 to 10*Level+40
- Chaos Meteor damage increased from 80+Exort*30 to 80+Exort*35
- Chaos Meteor land time decreased from 1.5 to 1.3
- EMP can no longer hit Invulnerable/Tornadoed units
- EMP cooldown increased from 25 to 30 seconds
- Sun Strike damage type changed from Magical to Pure
- Sun Strike now reveals the area it will hit before the damage impact
- Tornado cooldown increased from 25 to 30 seconds
- Tornado Damage decreased from 77.5+(Wex+Quas)*23 to 70+(Wex+Quas)*20
- Cold Snap no longer triggers on self damage

Keyboard Setup

Mine may not be the best, but this is how I use my hotkeys:

1,2,3,4,5 = Inventory
6 = fortify
7 = transfer items
8 = grab stash
9 = courier
0 = shop
` = Sticky
Tab = quick buy
Caps lock = all summons
Ctrl = all units
m = move

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