This is a guide to Outworld Devourer, formerly known as Obsidian Destroyer, fondly abbreviated as OD, often mistaken to be a contraction for Outworld Demolisher, and even elicits preposterous name possibilities such as Outhouse Decorator.
Outworld Devourer is a hero that can be devastating throughout the entire game if played well. In the competitive scene, he hasn't seen much light as of late, with only Mushi playing the hero consistently. However, watching a few of his games will be enough to convince you of the impact this hero can have on the game.
Outworld Devourer is primarily a lane dominator in the early game. Comparable to Razor or Viper, one of the main reasons OD is picked is to ensure that you win the mid lane. He can then transition into a scary semi carry into the mid and late game, and deal immense amounts of damage that cannot be mitigated.
With this guide, I hope to cover some of the nuances of the hero, what items to build, what order to build those in, what your role during each phase of the game is, etc.
Outworld Devourer's skills are all very synergistic in nature. They complement each other very well, which goes great combined with the fact that he has one of the highest starting INT and INT gain among all the heroes in the game ( Skywrath Mage, Dazzle and Lina are the only heroes with a better combination of the two).
This skill is your orb effect. It is what the makes Outworld Devourer extremely scary in the late game. Arcane Orb adds a percentage of your CURRENT mana as pure damage to your attacks. This means, your damage scales off your mana. Being a hero that naturally builds into INT heavy items, this synergizes excellently with your items. Late game, a fully farmed OD will have about 2.7k mana and 200+ int. Your auto attacks deal 200 damage by themselves. Arcane Orb will add a whopping ~240 pure damage to your attacks.
From mid game onwards, once you have a decent mana pool, you can leave this on constantly. With your passive Essence Aura, you can sustain the mana cost indefinitely.
Another nice thing about Arcane Orb is that it absolutely destroys illusions. Late game, all those split pushing illusions can pretty much get one shot by a farmed OD, even if they are pretty tanky themselves.
However, invest in this skill after you max your other two skills, because it scales off your mana pool. Early game, you neither have the mana pool for it to do much damage, nor have the mana pool to sustain casting it constantly. So, wait until you have your passive maxed out, and have a decently high mana pool before skilling Arcane Orb.
This skill is what makes Outworld Devourer the hero that he is. It helps him to be an absolute lane dominator. It helps him escape potential ganks. It helps him set up ganks. It allows his team to take 4v5 fights. It saves him from devastating ultimates, like Thundergod's Wrath or even Laguna Blade or Finger of Death if used correctly.
In lane, you can use Astral Imprisonment to secure last hits and deny creeps from your enemy laner. With the intelligence steal from the skill, this has multiple effects. First, you are out-CSing your opponent. Second, your auto attacks hurt a ton because of the int you gained which translates to damage since OD is an int hero. Third, the int loss means that you enemy laner cannot land his skills as effectively as he wants to. This means that the Dragon Knight cannot use Breathe Fire to harass you, Storm Spirit is hard pressed to use Static Remnant, Brewmaster can hardly Thunderclap or even Drunken Haze you.
Astral Imprisonment is also a fairly good skill to escape ganks. You see a gank coming, you can imprison one of the heroes, and either run away, or depending on how low they are, take two separate 1v1 fights, potentially turning the gank in your favour.
Another use of this skill is to set up kills. You can buy your team 4 seconds to get to you, as you find a straggler in their jungle.
Finally, keep in mind that units that are imprisoned by Astral Imprisonment are invulnerable to all damage except from OD's ult, Sanity's Eclipse. Make sure you aren't imprisoning enemies as your Zeus is about to ult. On the flip side, you see that enemy Faceless Void get a 3 man Chronosphere on your team? Banish him, and he can waste 4 of his 5 second Chronosphere contemplating how he missed catching you in the Chrono.
This skill is pretty much what defines a good OD player. Knowing whom to imprison and how to imprison can either make or break the game for your team. In teamfights, a good rule of thumb is to imprison enemy heroes that can have a big teamfight impact. Also keep in mind that you can imprison allies, saving them from potential death, buying your team 4 seconds to react, and help your ally out.
This is your passive, and it synergizes extremely well with both Arcane Orb and Astral Imprisonment. This skill gives you some base mana, and more importantly, a 40% chance to refill a part of your mana pool for every ability that you cast. To give you an idea, a maxed out OD would have about 2.7k mana. A level 4 Essence Aura refills 25% of your mana pool, which is a whopping 675 mana for every cast. This allows you to indefinitely cast Arcane Orb, which costs 100 mana.
What's more, your allies will love you for it. Crystal Maiden pickers will look at you in envy. Their 2.5 mana regen per second is nothing compared to what your Essence Aura will do. Zeus can spam his Arc Lightning without ever running out of mana, Lina can Dragon Slave all she wants, your team will pretty much be on full mana as long as they are near you. OK, CM's aura is global, we'll give her that, but how cool is 25% of your entire mana pool compared to a measly 2.5 mana regen.
This is one of the most iconic ultimates in the game. The fact that it has a badass name is only eclipsed (huehue) by the even more badass sound it makes when you drop it on the enemy team.
This skill deals AoE damage based on the intelligence difference between OD and the enemy heroes. Moreover, if the int difference is greater than a threshold, it drains 75% of their mana. This skill makes OD devastating against late game agility carries. Just make sure that you don't drop your ult when BKBs are on.
To give an example, on average, your traditional AGI carry would have ~70 int (with all the gains from levels and items) at level 25. A farmed OD should have ~200. That is a difference of 130 int. At level 3, Sanity's Eclipse deals a multiplier of 10, which is 1300 damage (before reduction). Even INT heroes will generally have ~130-140 int, which means that this skill deals 600 damage. Getting a 5 man Sanity's Eclipse late game usually results in a won teamfight. Here's the icing on the cake: Use that Refresher Orb and drop another one for good measure. If any adamant hero survived the first one, they wouldn't survive the second.
However, I delay taking a point in Sanity's Eclipse until level 10, for the same reason that I delay Arcane Orb. Sanity's Eclipse scales off of how much intelligence difference you have compared to your enemies. Until you build a couple of items that give you an intelligence boost and have some int gain from levels, the damage from Sanity's Eclipse wouldn't be significant.
Outworld Devourer is a lane dominator.
You should ideally crush your opponent in lane. With a good base damage and the int steal from Astral Imprisonment, you should easily out damage your opponent, which means you should be able to deny every creep from him. Do not underestimate your harassment either. Your right clicks hurt really bad; use them well. If your enemy team picked properly, they wouldn't put a melee hero against you. If they do, you even have a good chance of getting first blood.
Outworld Devourer is a semi carry.
Keep this in mind at all times. If you aren't joining team fights, you should be farming. A maxed out OD can devastate the enemy team, however, he is also extremely expensive to farm up. So, stop daydreaming and kill those creeps.
Outworld Devourer is a great team fighter.
Pretty much throughout the game, you should be joining fights whenever possible. Your presence provides your team with plenty of damage ( Arcane Orb right clicks) as well as plenty of utility ( Astral Imprisonment on key targets). Consequently, you being there during a fight can definitely win the fight for your team.
Outworld Devourer is extremely squishy.
You are pretty much the definition of a glass cannon. Your attacks can sure pack a punch, but one well placed stun combined with a couple of auto attacks can send you back to the fountain the hard way, so keep this in mind. During fights, you shouldn't be the one in the middle of the enemy team. Stay at the periphery and unleash your damage.
The fact that OD is extremely squishy is enough incentive for certain players to build a Mekansm on him early game. This is a decision that needs to be made depending on the game. A Mekansm can be a good pickup to get some early armor and burst regen early on during the game, but keep in mind it delays your core ( Force Staff + Black King Bar).
Outworld Devourer should usually stick with his team.
This follows from the previous premise that OD is extremely squishy. You can't go off split pushing when enemy heroes are missing from the map. You are strongest when you are NOT being focused, so try to keep it that way. Being a relatively farm dependent hero, deaths hurt you a lot. An underfarmed OD late game is next to useless.
How do I play effectively (Early game/Mid game/Late game)
As soon as the game starts, buy your starting items. I usually start with a set of Tangoes and a Null Talisman. The Tango will ensure that you can enough regen to stay in lane, and the Null Talisman will give you plenty of damage to dominate your lane.
Early game, your job is to secure every last hit possible, while denying every creep you can. OD is an extremely strong laner (barring a few counters, which I'll discuss later) so use that to your advantage.
Here is a great video on how to play OD during the early game. It's a hilarious video too, so I highly suggest you watch it.
Spoiler: Click to view
I usually skip buying a bottle, because I don't need the mana from the Bottle, but you can buy one if you feel that you could use the HP regen from the Bottle. It can also come in handy for rune control. At about the 10-12 minute mark, your inventory should look something like
You can secure a gank or two if you see the opportunity for it while gathering the runes, but otherwise, just keep farming. Your Force Staff is essential for you to survive mid game fights. Without good positioning, you'll die easily since you're pretty squishy. Get that Force Staff and start working on a Black King Bar. By this time, the first towers should be falling and teamfights breaking out. You should also have a decent mana pool by now, and with 4 points in Essence Aura, you should be able to leave Arcane Orb on. Join fights, win fights, go back to farming. Your inventory during the first fights should look like:
Through the mid game, keep joining fights with your team, take towers, and keep farming. During the latter half of 20-30 minute period, you should have your Black King Bar. Once you have this, you can feel safe in teamfights. Keep in mind, you are still squishy, but at least you'll be safe from an unexpected stun that can lead to your death. Your inventory at around the 26-27 minute mark should be:
Now, start working towards your Scythe of Vyse. Depending on how the game is going, you can choose to pick up either the Ultimate Orb or Mystic Staff first. If you feel relatively safe, and aren't taking a lot of damage during fights, you can go for the Mystic Staff to gain a massive boost to your intelligence. On the other hand, if you are dying during fights, I would highly suggest picking up the Ultimate Orb first. While the Mystic Staff provides higher intelligence, the HP from the Ultimate Orb can come in handy. Once you finish the Scythe of Vyse, your impact becomes even higher. Hexing one hero and casting Astral Imprisonment on another hero results in a 3v5 teamfight for ~4 seconds. This is plenty of time for your team to win the fight, and clean up the two remaining heroes afterwards.
At this point, you have two options. You can either start building a Refresher Orb or a Shiva's Guard. Refresher Orb is usually the more aggressive option. It gives you the ability to cast two Sanity's Eclipses in succession, as well as two hexes and potentially getting two Black King Bars off. Shiva's Guard is the more defensive option - it provides a good chunk of armor, while providing utility from the Freezing Aura and Arctic Blast. Deciding which item to go for depends on the state of the game. Either way, once you finish one of those, you'll start building the other. In most cases, the game would have ended by the time you finish one of these.
In this section, I'll explain the reasoning behind each of the item choices and how they can/should be used.
Before I dive in, the general trend with item choices for Outworld Devourer is that, you are looking to stack as much intelligence as possible. This has a three fold benefit.
1. More intelligence means more base damage. Self-explanatory.
2. More intelligence means a higher mana pool, which translates to more damage from Arcane Orb.
3. More intelligence means that you are improving the damage your ultimate can deal, which is a significant portion of playing OD.
For boots, we go with Power Treads. Being a squishy hero, the extra strength from treads will give you some much needed HP. If you are good at tread swapping, you can keep these on int, and switch them to str when you feel the need to get some HP.
Looking at why other boots aren't ideal for an OD, Tranquil Boots don't do much for you, since you constantly need to farm which means that they are almost always in "broken boots" state.
Arcane Boots aren't needed since your Essence Aura provides you with all the mana you would ever need.
Phase Boots are sub-optimal since you already have quite good damage. The bonus damage from Phase Boots might seem nice but early game, your damage is fine. Your health pool is not. Moreover, Phase Boots fall off late game while treads retain their utility. With Force Staff and general positioning awareness, you shouldn't need the active "Phase" anyway.
Great item for any mid laner; it gives you sustained regen without ever having to go back to base. It also allows you to bottle up runes, which can prove useful both offensively and defensively. A timely Rune of Double Damage or Rune of Haste can make the difference between dying to a gank, and turning it around and getting a double kill.
A great utility item, which comes with the added benefit of providing you with more intelligence. Force Staff is a really versatile item in the sense that you can open up multiple options with it. Here are a few:
1. You see a three man gank squad from the enemy team chasing you at the bottom rune. Cast Astral Imprisonment on one of them (preferably a CC hero so you aren't CC'd), then use your Force Staff to push yourself across the cliff on to the high ground. There goes that gank for the enemy team.
2. You see an ally out of position that just got roared by the enemy Beastmaster. Use your Force Staff on your ally to move them towards your team into safer territory.
3. You are sieging the enemy base, but cannot get an opportunity to break in? Force one of the enemy heroes into the middle of your team; you have an easy kill, and it's now 5v4 for your team, giving you the chance to enter their base.
In fact, I cannot possibly think of all possible things you can do with a Force Staff. It's just that versatile. To give you an example, here's a video showing something that's completely out of the ordinary that you can do:
Black King Bar
Given your incredibly squishy nature and insane damage, it's highly likely that you have a bull's eye painted all over you. The enemy team will, in most cases, try to focus you down. For this reason, it's almost essential that you don't get controlled in the fight. A stunned OD is a dead OD. Black King Bar gives you the ability to avoid most controlling abilities in the game. However, there are some abilities that do go through it, but you can't do anything about them. You'll have to improvise using your Force Staff or depend on your allies to bail you out of those. For the rest, however, a BKB works wonders.
ALWAYS TURN ON YOUR BKB JUST BEFORE ENGAGING IN A FIGHT. Well, that statement wouldn't hold true as you get more experienced with the hero, but for beginners, it's a good way to ensure that you don't get caught off guard. As you get more experienced, you'll learn when to turn on your BKB, potentially a second or two into the fight, giving you that extra second or two of BKB timing.
Scythe of Vyse
Another item that provides a massive intelligence boost, along with an almost game changing active to hex people for 3.5 seconds. Between this and Astral Imprisonment, you can take two enemy heroes out of the fight for about 4 seconds. It is also extremely effective in helping you secure solo kills. You see an enemy hero, hex them before they can BKB, and pound away with your Arcane Orb.
What is better than a Sanity's Eclipse that catches all 5 heroes of your enemy team? It's the second Sanity's Eclipse that cleans up the two heroes that survived the first one. Being able to refresh your Black King Bar is another game changing move that can net you a potential 19 seconds of magic immunity (although your BKB is more likely to be down to 5 seconds by the time you complete a refresher). What's more, being able to hex two heroes using your Scythe of Vyse, using two Arctic Blasts from Shiva's Guard, these are all immensely powerful during the late game. This is a luxury item that makes you almost unstoppable late game.
This is another item that gives you a massive intelligence boost, combined with great utility in the Freezing Aura and the active Arctic Blast. As a teamfight starts, you can cast Shiva's Guard to slow down the attacks of enemy heroes, giving you an edge. It is also useful to catch up to escaping enemies with the slow from the active, as well as discouraging enemy heroes from chasing you if you are disengaging. Make sure you cast the active from this item as the fight starts.
DO NOT BUILD
Aghanim's Scepter only gives you a measly bonus to your ultimate, which I think is not worth it. With Outworld Devourer being pretty farm dependent already, it isn't advisable delaying your other items for this minor damage increase.
While an Orchid Malevolence might come in handy for ganking with its silence and damage amplification, I feel that it delays your Force Staff and Black King Bar which are far more essential for you. You are primarily a team fighter rather than a solo ganker, so this item is sub optimal on OD, in my opinion. You also don't need the mana regen that it provides, thanks to Essence Aura.
Do not build any items that have unique attack modifiers. Your Arcane Orb is a unique attack modifier in itself and it doesn't stack with other UAMs. This makes those items pointless.
Being a glass cannon, it's extremely important to be aware of which heroes can help you in fights, and which heroes you need to watch out for.
Do you notice what all the above heroes have in common? They are tanky heroes that usually stay in the front of your team as the fight breaks out. This gives you a clear path to stay at the back of the fight and rain down your attacks on the enemy team. Pretty much any hero that keeps the enemies' attention off you (by drawing it themselves, in most cases) is a great ally.
All the above heroes have at least one ability that can clump enemy heroes up for you, setting up for a great Sanity's Eclipse.
This sneaky little bug is the bane of your existence. With Vendetta, he can sneak up on you, and deal some hefty physical damage. He follows it up with a Mana Burn, which is extremely powerful against you. Mana Burn burns your mana proportional to your intelligence, and deals an equal amount of damage. With your huge mana pool, you are taking a load of damage from this skill. If this doesn't already kill you, he can follow up with an Impale or Dagon, finishing you off. You probably shouldn't be picking OD if a Nyx has been picked, but if you are in a situation facing against him, make sure you have vision all over the map. Have allies call out when Nyx goes missing, and build that Scythe of Vyse as soon as possible. Ideally, stay close to an ally hero whenever possible, and have sentries watching out for Nyx. If you catch sight of him, hex him and finish him off before he can do the same to you.
This is a peculiar foe. While he is extremely squishy himself, he feeds on other squishy heroes. His Smoke Screen ensures that you cannot cast Astral Imprisonment on him/you to get away. Moreover, the miss chance from Smoke Screen means that you aren't hitting him 70% of the time. As soon as he builds a Diffusal Blade to keep you within the Smoke Screen, you are pretty much toast. To counter Riki, make sure you have sentries across the map, have your team carry a gem if possible and take him out as soon as you see him. Since he's extremely squishy, this shouldn't be too hard.
A counter to pretty much any hero in the game (apart from maybe Wraith King), if he gets his Doom off on you, there goes your teamfight presence. You cannot cast your Astral Imprisonment, no Sanity's Eclipse, you cannot even get your Scythe of Vyse off. You are pretty much dead, or forced to run back to base. And, a good Doom would definitely Doom you in most cases. In this case, there is nothing much you can do. A possible way to avoid this situation could be to force Doom to use the Doom on an allied hero. This can be done by staying farther from Doom's cast range when the fight breaks out, or having your team focus Doom first, forcing him to use Doom on a different target. Once Doom is out of the scenario, you can reign supreme once again.
Another hero with the ability to silence you at will, his Global Silence can hurt your impact in team fights, giving the enemy enough time to find you and kill you. Curse of the Silent combined with Last Word will force you to take damage. His Glaives of Wisdom deal pure damage based on his intelligence, which hit hard.
Foes to watch out for
All the above heroes have a silence that can lower your impact if they catch you with it. Be careful when engaging these enemies.
Counters in lane
Razor can be extremely annoying to lane against as an OD. His Static Link drains your damage, which was your main asset to lane dominance. You can try Astral Imprisonment, but the link persists through it, so you'll still have to move away to break it. Being a squishy hero, his Plasma Field can pack quite a punch, especially if you are caught on the edge. His Unstable Current slows and damages you if you try harassing him. Overall, he is a good counter to OD in lane.
As already mentioned, Silencer is a pain to play against, as OD. He can constantly spam out Curse of the Silent and Last Word against you, and you don't have the HP pool to deal with it. His Glaives of Wisdom can hurt if he gets a value point in it early as well.
Sniper is a pretty decent counter to OD because of his Take Aim. He can heavily outrange you, which means that you cannot deny creeps from him by casting Astral Imprisonment on him. His Headshot and Shrapnel are annoying to deal with, and he can harass you out of lane from more than 1000 range away.
Viper's passives are really hard to deal with for any hero in mid. His Nethertoxin makes his last hitting pretty strong. With Corrosive Skin, he can return plenty of harassment, and his Poison Attack allows him to orb walk you to death if he sees an opportunity. This is another match up that you should probably avoid if possible.