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Guide to Snowballing Alchemist

June 14, 2015 by Diadochi
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Carry Alchemist

DotA2 Hero: Alchemist

Purchase Order

Start items

About 10 mins (a little later if you went midas)

Before 20 mins

Extensions (how is game going, what do I need?)

Usual final 6


Hero Skills

Acid Spray

4 12 13 14

Unstable Concoction

2 8 9 10

Greevil's Greed

1 3 5 7

Chemical Rage

6 11 16


15 17 18


So, Alchemist, even in the current meta where he has the 2nd lowest win rate (40%) is still my favourite hero. To jump into it, why am I writing this guide?


-I think his loss rate is unfairly low due to everyone going "yea, alch gets 400g off first bounty rune and can buy people Aghanims Sceptre, I'm going to pick him" (ie they don't actually know how to play him, but pick him anyway). This is obviously not the best of thing to do. I hope that most/all of the people reading this do a bit of reading about a hero before playing them, at least before playing ranked! Hopefully, this guide will help those who are wanting to start playing alch as a first position, and maybe even those who already do will learn something.


, and just as important, is that people don't know when to pick him/don't have a team who knows how to play with an alch. This point I will discuss in depth later in the guide.

And lastly,

I want to provide suggestions of when to go certain items. Alch, as with most heroes, item order/final items should be determined by how the game is going and the composition of the teams. I can only assume people who automatically go for Hand of Midas and Shadow Blade despite the other team having great late game or your own team having invis heroes, respectively, are not playing to the game conditions! Another reason for his low win rate.

This guide is for building alch as a first position safe lane carry.
Why? Because when you play him with the right team (again, I get into this more later) I play him as a snowball hero. You want to farm quickly and hopefully come online in a decent way at 20 mins, which is earlier than a lot of other heroes. It's still important, and best, to continue farming after this, but you can kill heroes quickly at this point and contribute to the team.

Pros and cons

Just a couple of the main points:

+really fun, unique hero to play
+Fast farmer-VERY fast
+Large +very good AOE spell
+Great stun
+very strong mid game potential: can snowball easily.
+gets more out of plus attack speed items then any other hero (important point)

-Horrible stat gain
-Terrible armour (important for who is good against alch)
-Heavily dependant on ult (it is **** when it is on cd and a big fight happens)-> as a side not, always think about this when aegis drops! Most of the time even a farmed alch will just die if he has already used ult so normally best to give to someone who will be more productive when coming back alive.)
-Can stun yourself (hey, its part of what makes alch fun right?)
-Very item dependant- An alch without items is a liability to the team.
-Very dependant on ult- for 20 secs you are not nearly as useful


As said in the introduction this guide is for playing alch as the safe lane carry. In saying that when the enemy has an uber strong offlane and a weak safelane consider asking someone from the offlane to swap with you. Don't stress too much if you're having a bad early game as as soon as you get Maelstrom your farming speed increases a lot and, hopefully, if they are focussing on shutting you down this means that your cores are getting a lot of farm and will create space for you to farm in mid game. I had a game like this last week and we ended up winning.

Laning is pretty simple: go safe lane with a support.
->The big thing here is that you don't want to be aggressive. You want your support to keep the enemies off you and for you just to focus on getting the last hits. I often get annoyed when my support rages at me because they think you should go in and be aggressive. Why not do this? multiple reasons.


as said you want to farm. If you try and kill a hero and don't get it chances are you are missing creeps, and therefore gold.


lets say you do get the enemy hero, and hopefully you've even been the one to get the kill. Chances are you've taken a reasonable amount of damage and used quite a bit of mana. This will affect your laning as when the enemy comes back they will try and kill you. You will have to spend money on consumables, and time spent away from the creeps.


with the recommended skill build you will only have 1 level on acid and 1 on stun. This means that unless your support has a stun or can dish out heavy damage quickly you really aren't likely to get a kill. So why bother (going back to the first point and second point) decreasing your farm and having your laning ability compromised.

Important disclaimer:


If you can get a kill, DO SO!!! The point here is that you must use your head and not just go "o yea, the support wants to go, sure!" You're playing your hero, not them! You won't have level 2 stun until level 8, so chances are you won't be getting a lot of kills/any before this. If your support is amazing or you are having ganks from your team hopefully you will manage to get a few which is icing on the cake.

Carry a TP, and when you have your Maelstrom if the lane is pushed go jungle until its back to your tower. If you can you want to try stack a couple of neutral camps early, or even better politely ask your support to. Try and have your bonus gold at 36g/creep when you take out the stack as then if its say 10 creep you get not only however much gold you get but also 360g, which at 10 mins is a very nice bonus. The small camp is good to do this in as even with acid and maelstrom it is difficult to take out large camps stacked early.
Note:you don't particularly want to be stacking in the first few minutes as you won't be taking it for a while and if the enemy gets them this is counter productive. Start stacking when you are going to have Maelstrom in a few minutes.

Once you have Phase Boots and Maelstrom, preferably by 10 minutes, you are able to jungle efficiently. At this point I attack the lane creeps (rather than only last hitting, but still ensuring I get the last hit) so that my farming speed increases and then when the lane is pushed I jungle until it is back to the tower. This maximizes your GPM.

Just 4 final point on how to maximize jungling:
-Alch is great for stacking camps as you can attack 1 camp, and then quickly use acid on another. This will maximize your farm and is something most other jingling heroes can't do.
-When attacking the troll camp you want to kill the small ones first as then the large one will summon skeletons. While everyone else only gets about 8g each from these skeletons you hopefully will get 36g each.
-Really do try and maximize how fast you take out a camp. What I mean here is you want to take out the large creep and let maelstroms lightning largely kill the smaller ones. This is especially so for golems as after killing one when you move onto the other large golem your lightning will kill the smaller 2 just produced. Again, you get a significant amount more gold from small creeps than other junglers.
-And, lastly, use Mjolnirs active to help you farm. It increases your lightning damage a lot and so your farming speed. This is especially useful against stacked camps. Also, use this active when you go back into lane and take out the large waves. ALWAYS TRY AND MAXIMIZE YOUR FARMING!

An example of why snowball alchemist is so crazy. Important point here is that its the supports who have done all the work by stacking for alchemist. Talk to your supports, get them to stack for you. If you can take out a couple of early quad stacks you will make a large impact very early.

Notes on your skills and skill build.

Acid Spray
-Used to be better when Unstable Concoction dealt half physical damage as this could be put down first to increase stun damage. Now, Unstable Concoction is magic damage only.
-Still a good spell with multiple purposes including: stacking camps, increasing damage against stacks, zoning out enemy heroes, and for pushing and counter pushing.
-Has a massive AOE.
-Only put 1 level on this early as it doesn't scale well
->At level 1 you get 4 armor reduction as well as 12 DPS. Successive levels you only get 1 more armor reduction and 4 more damage. When to put more levels on earlier?
->If you are having a heap of trouble early game. At high levels it is hard to stay in and will keep the enemy off your back a bit more. I used to get Soul Ring in such situations but if you are levelling this then you aren't levelling your stun. This means that every time you cast your ult you have enough mana to cast Acid Spray and so 800g on a Soul Ring isn't particularly worth your while.

Unstable Concoction
-Timer is now visible to enemies, which makes it harder to land as they will be more persistent in juking you or stunning you before you throw, leading to stunning yourself.
-Has an AOE affect (though small) meaning that it stacks great with spells that bring enemies close ie Reverse Polarity and Vacuum
-Can start stun and tp to defend a tower and throw stun at enemy. Great at defending towers and getting kills as many people don't realise it is you who is tping and don't run away or don't expect the stun. Be careful not to stun yourself! Especially important when an ally has just tpd to the tower and so tp time is large.
-Stuns around you when you let it explode on you. Great for heroes like SK and TA/ when silenced if you stay near the enemy you will stun them
-Can be used to commit suicide.

Greevils Greed
What really makes Alchemist unique by making him get more gold from every creep than other heroes. When taking out stacks or a large wave pushing a lane you get a huge amount of bonus gold, as well as what you would normally get from killing the creeps. A quad stacked camp is suddenly worth near 1000g and takes all of a few seconds to farm. You want to maximize this as much as possible! Have your team stacking for you as well as stacking 2 camps/minute mark. You get this up first so that by level 7 you start really separating from the pack in terms of GPM. This is what allows you to become 6 slotted before other heroes.

Chemical Rage
-The HP regen on this spell is severly under-rated. Since it got buffed to provide more HP regen in the latest patch alch is now able to get bursted down to 100HP or lower by a hero and turn it around and get the kill (especially when spell casters use all their magic and have to right click you down). This is because other heroes think you are low and just guna melt. However, when you are gaining 60HP/second bonus from this spell early game heroes do not have the DPS to finish you off. Charge your stun, drop acid, and get the kill, and watch as you are back at full health a couple of seconds later.
-good at helping you escape + chase due to the bonus MS.
-Most players, even good players, don't fully understand what the reduction in BAT does. They know it makes you attack faster, but not why. I'll take a moment to explain this important point.
Your attack speed is determined by the following equation:
(1 + IAS)*0.01 / BAT
Where IAS (max you can get is +400)is the extra AS you get from agility and +AS items, such as hyperstone. So, what reducing BAT accomplishes is allowing you to get more out of every point of agility and +AS items. How so?

Say you have an agility hero with 200 agility and no +AS items. the equation becomes (100+200)*0.01/1.7(most heroes BAT)= 1.8 attacks/second.
Now, compare this to Alch with 200IAS (100+200)*0.01/1=3=almost twice the amount of attacks.

Also, as +400IAS is the max, this means that heroes such as Wind Runner and Troll Warlord who get max AS only attack (100+400)*0.01/1.55=3.2 attacks/second (troll). This is the same amount of attacks as alch gets with only +220AS, which mist alch players will get without a worry. The max attacks alch can have/second is 5. This is much greater then other heroes, and why Alchemist flourishes from +AS items.

I cannot exaggerate this enough: If you are playing Alchemist as a carry you need to be abusing the fact that you gain more from +IAS than ANY other hero.

This is also the reason why personally I only ever play alch as a carry as I don't think any other build takes advantage of this decrease in BAT. If you want to play a support (as a lot of people insist that is what alch is) there are plenty of other heroes who do a better job of this, especially as alch becomes a huge liability with no farm, as he isn't able to reliably disable like Lion Crystal Maiden Shadow Shaman or Shadow Demon.

Item build and rejected items

As previously mentioned this is one of the large motivating factors for writing this guide. Alchemist should be played depending on the team compositions as well as change during the game depending on how it is going. In saying that I have certain items I try and reach before 20 mins as I find having a target to work towards help me play and creates a more objective measurement of how the game is going rather than simply "its going good" or "its going bad". Although not central to alch I would suggest trying the same thing on any hero you play a lot as then you can make those goals harder to reach as you get better. This section won't so much have a strict build (at least after 20 mins it won't) but rather explain when to and just as importantly not to get certain items

Hand of Midas
One of those controversial items, especially on someone who has so much gold already.

-I recommend only getting this if you will finish it by 6 minutes at the latest. I optimally try and have it at 4 minutes which if your lane isn't hard and you got the first bounty (mmm 400g) isn't hard to do. I love when the enemy has a solo offlane and I have a strong support as this becomes easy to do and it sky rockets your GPM and also levels. If you didn't get the first bounty you probably don't want to be going for this unless you are basically free farming.

-When NOT to get this? I see alchs all the time getting this at 8+ mins which is too late I think. Rather get your boots which increase your survivability and ability to kill and be working towards Maelstrom



- If your team doesn't want to be taking the game late DO NOT get this item! If the enemy has greater late game than you you should not be going for Midas at all. Although you want to be farming you need to be ready to join fights as soon as possible to put down the enemy carries. For instance, yesterday I played a game where my team had myself as alch and an Invoker and the enemy had a Medusa and Shadow Fiend. I did not go Midas as I did not at all want the game to go late. Remember that A LOT of heroes will out carry you once they have items so you need to not allow them to do so.

-Paradoxically if your team is wanting to go late just check that your mid and offlaner/jungler aren't going for midas. If you end up with 3 you may find yourself in trouble mid game and not even make it to late game like you want. If your team has strong late game and not every man and his dog are going for midas THIS IS THE SITUATION WHEN YOU BUY IT! This is important, your team has to be able to create space for you to farm and if 3 of you are building midas they won't be able to create that space for you.

Phase Boots
These give you a nice damage boost as well as the most mobility with the active phase. Pretty straight forward

The beautiful mix of a great farming item for alch as well as an awesome hero killing item. Maelstrom is perfect on alch as your low BAT ensures you will get off lightning. I try and have this by 10 minutes, sometimes at 8(not if I went midas first). The lightning damage is massive at this level. Doing about 100 damage (after magic resistance) at 8-10 mins in the game is A LOT! When a squishy hero is in your lane and you have a support with a stun you have a very high chance of getting a kill. Just from getting 2 lightnings of you will do 200 damage alone, + your decent damage bonus from Phase Boots, Maelstrom, and maybe Midas, amplified by Acid Spray and your own stun as well as what your allies can dish out. Once you have Maelstrom you can start playing a bit more aggressive and trying to get some kills.

Even more lightning! As already mentioned alch benefits more from +AS items than any other hero. What's even better than an item which gives you +AS? One that has a built in PROC as well as an active. Once you have this you want to be casting the active on yourself when jungling and when killing a large creep wave as well (make sure your the one being attacked). Ideally due to the large benefits you want to build your Maelstrom straight into this but quite often circumstances interfere.

Skull Basher
An awesome item on alch, especially when your +AS is high and even more so as it builds into another item, which is great. I get this early as with your low BAT you PROC it enough to make it worthwhile.

So, when do I want to have the above items? By 20 mins. I always aim to have Phase Boots, Skull Basher, and Mjolnir by 20 mins. If you got Hand of Midas you will be a whisker behind where you would otherwise (it will have payed for itself by 18 minutes if you use it every time you can). But what order do you get them all in? If I'm going midas, that first, if not, phase boots. After phase straight into Maelstrom, and its here that it may vary. If your team is doing good and you have space to farm I go straight for Mjolnir as it increases your farming speed the most (don't forget to cast your active while farming]] and that is what you want most. However, if your team is struggling I go for Skull Basher first.
I know this may seem odd as you aren't attacking all that fast at this point, but I find that its best for a struggling team.
-In fights if you bash an enemy who is killing your ally you have a 25% chance of PROCing a stun and letting your ally live.
-Also if your joining fights when you chase you again have a 25% chance of PROCing a stun that will allow you to do the extra bit of damage to kill.
-Lastly, it gives a whisker more HP and a nice bit of damage (especially when it PROCs). -Especially good against Priestess of the Moon Queen of Pain Anti Mage etc, people who really on spells to get in and out of combat.

Whichever you go for first by the time you have both as well as your Phase Boots you will be dishing out a lot of damage for this stage of the game as well as having massive farming speed, a really good active(especially for early-mid game) and a helpful stun PROC with a fast AS to make it even better.

Now, another important bit. It might not be in your best interests to go for these items straight away. If the enemy team is magic heavy you may have to go for the early BKB, or just an Ogre Club for some more HP. I do not like having to build a full BKB early as then it is down to 5 second duration very early, but do what you need to.

So, from here I don't have such a set build. I will no rather just talk about specific items and when they are good to get. I will mention ones I prefer to get as my final 6 though.

Boots of Travel
I normally get this reasonably early, generally at around 25 minutes. My reason being that I love manoeuvrability in DotA, and that it saves you money having to buy tp scrolls and also having to always have one on you. For alch I think they're particularly good early as it allows you to tp to pushing enemy lanes, activatemjolnir and get a heap of gold. It also allows you to be more useful to your team and join fights. (final 6)

Black King Bar
Basically vital for most melee carry really. Sometimes you need this before 20 minutes but typically not. I usually end up getting it after my Mjolnir and Skull Basher but if the teams going well I put it off until after another item. (final 6).

Abyssal Blade
Probably my preferred item to go after Mjolnier and Boots of Travel as with these items you can solo kill most heroes if you can catch them away from their allies. Especially good if the enemy has 1 particular hero you need to be shutting down,(especially early BKB builders) but is just really helpful for guaranteeing kills eg any hero pushing the safe lane by themselves (or just in the lane actually) you can pop outta the jungle and kill them without them having much chance of getting away. If my team is going strong/I don't need BKB yet I just prefer to buy it while moneys not an option. When the enemy carry/s come online in a big way it is hard to farm that 3.8K in one go so yea, generally just get it if I can. In saying this, please, if you need it/am going to need in soon, get BKB first. (final 6).

I really like this item on alch as you gives you massive lifesteal which vastly increases your survivability. If you want to go toe-to-toe with another farmed carry you really need this otherwise your health will just disappear. Goes really well with BKB as you pop both BKB and Satanic and the enemy will have real problems taking you down and you will be doing large amounts of damage. As far as orb effects go this is the best one for alch (final 6)
->yes, Mjolnir is an orb effect. When your lightning PROCs you won't lifesteal on that attack

Heart of tarasque
Gives you a hell of a lot more HP, and some damage. I don't normally get this on alch as you don't need the regen but more because I prefer satanic and generally you don't need both. When to get this?
->A good example from a game I played yesterday: The enemy Lina went straight for [{Aghanims Sceptre]] and and they also had a Juggernaut. When she got her aghs I had my BKB already but only about 1500 health. This meant that Lina could just chuck her ult at me and do almost 700 damage through my BKB (she only had lvl 2 ult) leaving me just over half health. Further, Juggernaut could just omnislash me and probably just that alone would kill me if I took all the hits. I didn't like the thought of this so I got a heart so that my HP would increase massively. Why not satanic, seeing as it gives HP also? It doesn't give enough, and having lifesteal isn't going to matter if you don't get to actually attack anyone.
-Just to give another example if someone casts a disable through your BKB you need to live through that spell before you can do anything, and heart is good for this.
-Definitely not a bad item for alch, and if you're having trouble surviving big ults this is probably the item you want to go

Assault Cuirass
I don't get this one as much as a lot of other alch players who seem to have it as part of their core alch build. I find this more of a situational build/after I consume a Nightshard. If the enemy has big physical ults such as omni-slash Death Ward or Exorcism I will get this early, perhaps even before a BKB. Alch has terrible armor and so really needs an AC against such spells. It ends up in my final 6 a reasonable amount just to give me a bit more protection from enemy carries right click damage such as Phantom Assassin Troll Warlord Wraith King etc. If the enemy doesn't have big physical ults or their position 1 is more magic oriented I wouldn't bother getting this.


Geese, what a greedy alchy this makes.

Hope your team is able to cope! The only reason I get this occasionally is if the enemy has 3+ heroes who are will get/have blink. A couple of days ago I played a game where the enemy had a Crystal Maiden [{Earth Shaker]] and Shadow Fiend so I decided to build a Radiance. When did I get it? After my Maelstrom, I think I ended up finishing it just at 20 minutes. Why so early? If you're going to build a rad you may as well build it early and utilize the increase in farming speed it provides. It took me all of a couple minutes to finish my Mjolnir after I got this. Its a great item, especially now that it has a miss chance associated with it, but unless the enemy have blinkers its just not worth it as it is difficult to save 3.8K early and your team will have to work all the harder. Especially good against Templar Assassin as its ticks get [{Refraction]] and also stops her blinking. Don't be that guy who farms a rad thinking this makes you a hero killer and run out of jungle and die.

Orchid Malevolence
I know, seems like a really weird item for Alch. The good thing about it is that it give you a decent amount of AS, +damage, mana regen so you can cast your spells however much you want and a good active. You would consider getting this item when the enemy is packed full of heroes who are dependant on spells for kills or getting away. This include Juggernaut Queen of PainPriestess of the moon Storm Spirit Faceless Void etc etc. Its actually really effective for this! The problem is that it doesn't maximize your farm speed as much as other items and you need to make it early for it to be effective as otherwise people will have Manta, BKB, or Euls.

Silver Edge
I've never actually gotten this item for alch as I play him as a farmer and this doesn't do much in that area. In saying that Silver Edge is a whole heap better than the Shadow Blade everyone seemed to get alch as it provides more strength and the backstab also causes a damage reduction which is wicked. You generally get this as your first item but without maelstrom your farming speed wont be as high as it should. You farm fast after maelstrom though so you could go this as a 2nd item rather. Also, there's the fact that people can buy dust and sents and set you up for an easy death. With SB now being upgradeable though it is a much better item.

Obviously goes well with your AS and you normally end up with pretty good damage too so critz are nice. I used to not get it simply because in your final 6 items there are other things you need more but after consuming a Nightshard so that your AS is high this woulb be like icing on the cake. Definitely should be considered as possible 7th item rather than 6th I think.

More of a luxury item, usually after you are 6 slotted. It gives you a massive AS boost but if you need generally need other items items before this ie-Mjolnir and Abyssal Blade so you have something to PROC, Satanic for tankness + survivability, BKB so you don't just get disabled and killed, and generally your last slot is needed for AC, MKB, or HoT. Not that you can't get it as your final 6th as you've got some nice PROC effects and a reasonable amount of tankness already.


Solar Crest when playing position 1 and wanting to farm this isn't the best item. In other instances it may be good, but not for this alch.

Mask of Madness
This used to be my favourite first item when alch got extra HP from his ult. Now you are too squishy and nukes can kill you easily if you have a MoM activated. For a melee squishy hero it just make you too vulnerable now.

Battle Fury
I've tested this and with the increased time it take to make this over Maelstrom its not worth it. Maelstrom is the farming item of choice for alch due to his high chance of PROCing lightning. You will be able to take out stacks earlier with maelstrom meaning that your can get other items faster than if you waited to get BF. Further, Maelstrom upgrades to an item, mjolnir, which is simply amazing on alch and, as mentioned, the active is incredible for taking out stacks.
-> In the PR vs alliance game recently PR went for a BF. So why on earth am I telling you to not build BF? I'm assuming people reading this guide aren't in teams which were in qualifiers for TI15. In that game the alch had not only a BF but also phase boots by 10 minutes (even with a death). Since this game most of the alchs I have seen have been building BF instead of maelstrom, but they only finish their BF at 16+ minutes and only have boots of speed. There's obviously a difference between the general player and professionals so please don't try and emulate them. Go for maelstrom by 10 mins and your farm speed will be huge and you can build this into a mjolnir which is great on alch. You do not need a Midas, BF, and Mjolnir as I see some alchs trying to do.
->Personally even if I can get BF really early I'd rather spend the extra 1125g for a Mjolnir and get a whisker under half the damage but also +80% AS (which is what alch wants), an awesome passive and active (very strong in early game). The mana and HP regen isn't an important factor for alch although obviously it does help a little.

This guide isn't for a position 1 alch. It doesn't increase your farm at all so don't get it.

Armlet of Mordiggian
Armlet is good on alch if you aren't first position. However, the point of Armlet is that it be gotten early and yet it doesn't increase your farm speed. With the damage you take from armlet and the creeps you won't be able to take out as many camps which is what you want to maximize.

Heavens Halberd
Again, a good strength hero item but not for a farmer. It doesn't increase your farm speed at all compared to the other items listed so when your wanting to farm its not productive.

Just a quick mention, I aim to be 6 slotted, preferably with level 2 BoTs, by 40-45 mins. Everything after this is like Icing on the cake; If you haven't already (chances are you won't have if your 6 slotted at 40 mins) buy people aghs and also yourself a Nightshard. Usually by 50 mins I end up being fully 6 slotted with a consumed nightshard and have either bought a aghs or be very near to one. Since I have started playing alch as a hardcore first position hero I haven't had games go for an hour as you are able to end by 50ish minutes, usually getting a rax quite a bit earlier. Don't over-extend, just get the rax and fall back. You have a huge advantage at this point which shouldn't be thrown away!
-> Just had a game that went 55 minutes. I ended up with level 2 Boots of Travel Satanic Monkey King Bar(the had a troll and riki) Abyssal BladeMjolnir Black King Bar A consumed Nightshard and had given away 2 Aghanims Sceptre and finished the game with 5K (I could have bought another sceptre). Effectively, I was 10 slotted at 55 minutes and this is the sort of game you want.
-Also, My highest GPM game was with alch at 1137. I was fully 6 slotted at 30 minutes with my final score being 9-0-9. I've only had 3 games with over 1000GPM but they have all been with alch and all since the last patch. I have quite a lot of 900GPM games with him.

Friends and foes!

So I'll start this section with talking about heroes you are particularly good or bad against before going on to discuss team composition which is equally important.


Special mention goes to . Bloodlust gives you another +50 IAS which is awesome in its own. Further it also gives you extra MS to help chase/get between enemy heroes quickly. He also has Fireblast and you like supports with stuns and Ignite is also good stopping heroes running away and especially blinking

Alacrity is actually better than Bloodlust for alch as it gives more +IAS as well as a buff to your damage. While Invoker works great with alch due to this they normally don't have alacrity ready and you need a good one who can instantly make it 1 of his spells. Invoker players also tend to like casting this on themselves rather.

I've sadly never had anyone play IO when I was alch. However, like the above 2 heroes he increases your AS which is what you want. Also really good lane support as he can heal you meaning that you can go for more last hits and not have to worry so much about harassment.

Axe is great with alch as you can cast Mjolnir on him when he uses Berserkers call. Especially early this will do a surprising amount of damage. DO NOT FORGET TO CAST IT ON HIM!!!! NOT YOU!!!. Call also goes through BKB which is terrific as it gives you the couple of seconds you need to kill the enemy carry without having to go toe to toe with them. You also have abyssal to use after call/to save axe if need be.

are both good with you as Reverse Polarity and Vacuum bring heroes very close together for you to stun. This is especially easy with RP as they are already sitting there stunned together.

Just a quick mention of and here. Both can make a heap units which you can kill VERY easily. This is especially so for broods who don't bother controlling their spiders, made even easier when you have Mjolnir. If you are laning against a brood I would skip Hand of Midas so that you can get your Maelstrom faster. Likewise if you can farm the creeps from Tombstone you will be surprised at how much gold you get. While not actually good against the heroes, these 2 can make you rich even faster.


A real pain- his ult stops health regen which eliminates the survivability provided by Chemical Rage. If you got Satanic this will also stop your lifesteal.

His ult reduces armour, of which you have none. You will need an AC against slardar.

and You REALLY need your ult to be effective. If you don't have it you aren't getting the benefits alch gets from +AS. If you get duelled or doomed when out of your ult you are in serious trouble.

Reduces your armour as well as very high physical damage when she has some items. Can really hurt you quick. Note, you are also good against her though due to acid tacking off Refraction.

and ] both have massive physical damage ults. Again, with your tiny armour they will hurt a lot. Probably will need an AC.

Now, just as important to know who your friends and enemies are is when to actually pick Alchemist. From what I've seen of when people pick Alch it seems necessary to point out.

-Biggest no no?


This is very important as you need the jungle to farm. This is not for heroes such as Enchantress or Enigma etc who jungle at the start to get their core item/s but rather for heroes who also need it for their farm. Examples include DoomAnti Mage Ursa Meepo Lone Druid Lifestealer Faceless Void etc. If you are playing first position you need the jungle. If your team mates have chosen these heroes or other jungling dependant heroes DO NOT CHOOSE ALCH.

-Your team needs to be strong in the mid-game (as mentioned if need be you can definitely come online at 20 mins but you really do want to minimize how many fights you are in before 30 mins). What this means, and what a lot of people don't understand, is that you don't pick alch when you have a team full of core heroes. You want to have a proper 5th position (the one who should help you in lane) such as LionShadow shamon Lich Shadow Demon etc, I'm sure you get the idea. You want to have a 4th position who also isn't too farm dependant or at least only needs 1 item before they can have a big impact. Examples of this include Sand King[{Earth Shaker]] Enigma Lina Tidehunter. Common trend? Heroes with strong AOE spells/strong nukes that the enemy is not going to want to go into. Lastly, your 2nd and 3rd positions need to not be jungle dependant heroes as well as being carries/cores who are good mid game. Such heroes include Queen of Pain Broodmother Death Prophet Dragon Knight Razor Slark[[Storm Spirit]. Having push potential is obviously good (as seen by having 3 of these heroes being great pushers) as this keeps the enemy focused on having to defend and off you. The other category listed as heroes who are good at ganking and have a large impact with only 1 item as again this keeps the enemy off your back.

Now, to give some specific examples of a good lineup to choose alch in:

- Sand King jungle, Queen of Pain mid, Centaur Warrunner solo off and Lion bot with you
-> This gives your team good QOP with an SK and QOP (cent can also contribute if he's good), a tanker, a great in lane support AS WELL as one who can quite happily solo support until SK gets his Blink Dagger. All in all they should be able to handle the enemy for at least 20 mins.

- Dragon Knight mid, Crystal Maiden with you, Timbersaw offlane with a Priestess of the moon supporting him or roaming.
-> CM is a good pick as the 5th position in such a lineup as every other hero in the team benefits from the mana regen. She also provides a disable and some AOE. DK provides push and tank as well as more carry without needing the jungle, Timbersaw also provides more tank and AOE, while POTM provides a nice stun that will work with your team (who can set her up with their own stuns and a little AOE. Another strong team that will be able to handle itself while you farm

- Storm Spirit mid, Shadow Shamon with you, Tidehunter offlane with Warlock
-> Storm Spirit is a ganking hero who will keep the enemy busy elsewhere as well as helping get kills bot. Shadow Shamon can solo support for a while at least if needed as well as having great push. Tidehunter provides tankness and great AOE, especially with a storm who can zip in and grab a kill. Warlock provides great lane support for tide ensuring he will get good farm and another great AOE spell, which can also help push. Note I only put Shadow Shamon safelane instead of Warlock as with his disable you may be able to get some early kills, especially if storm helps your lane. Another good team lineup that will allow you space to farm.

NOW, as I think when not to choose alch is obvious enough I will only include one example of when not to pick him.
- Templar Assassin mid, Doom jungle, Centaur Warrunner solo off, and Lina with you.
->I've tried not to make this too unrealistic by having TA be 2nd/3rd position who doesn't use the jungle. However, Doom needs the jungle like you and likely won't want to leave it when you need it so you will have 2 heroes having to split farm. Cent won't be supporting as he is solo off (important point here, you have a farm dependant hero in jungle AND offlane) and Lina isn't a good 5th position as she needs her euls to control fights and be effective and if she's solo supporting she won't have it ages. Unlike other supports mentioned her disable is also unreliable meaning she is an easy pick off. Further, both her stun, cents, and your own are unreliable stuns which isn't good. This line up won't be able to hold out while you farm, especially seeing as you will be splitting farm with a doom.

REMEMBER- look at your team line up before picking alch. If your allies are showing that they want to pick a hero that isn't going with your lineup, such as a jungler or a bad 5th position, try talk them out of it. Bring up that you are jungle dependant and that the team will need to create space otherwise you will just be another alch contributing to his terrible win rate and making me sad.
-You want:
1. Good gankers
2. Good pushers
3. The least farm dependant support/s possible.

Aghanims Sceptre

Wouldn't be much of a guide if I didn't talk about this!! Its definitely an AMAZING change to alch, but I think due to this change people are playing alch more and not understanding the hero. Just because you can buy aghs for people now doesn't mean alch must now be played more as a support, or that you even have to buy people aghs until you yourself are fully 6 slotted!!!

-I generally don't buy this for anyone else until I am 4 slotted and have a Skull Basher (IE, I have 1 more slot and need to finish abyssal). Even at this point I may well finish my abyssal or get my 6th slot full. Your farm is more important and once you have this many slots you will be the target in team fights. Because of this its important you can either survive or kill a few heroes/the enemy carry before you do. If YOU don't have items than you aren't going to be able to do this and


that farming you've done is for nothing as you will just die. DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO BUY THIS AT ANY POINT BEFORE YOU ARE 6 SLOTTED OR VERY CLOSE TO!

->When do I buy it earlier? This is equally as important as telling you to focus on yourself.
-When you have awesome ults on your team that benefit from it. Obvious inclusions here are Lina Zeus Warlock Witch DoctorOmni Knight Sand KingEarth Shaker etc. Note, this can actually be particularly important if your team is losing earlier and the enemy is trying to take a T3. If you already aren't dying and are being effective bulking up someone else's ult may actually be better. Its really hard to push into a big AOE around 30 minutes. I know what you're thinking, "but you said only pick alch when you will be doing good mid game, why would you be struggling?" It's as simple as people fail in DotA all the time. If your mid or offlaner did **** in their lanes they won't be contributing much and your team will be in trouble. Do what's best for the team: if buying someone else and aghs will contribute more than you getting another item, do so.

-The same holds true for when the enemy is carry heavy and your team has been owning them. Don't muck around, you want to end the game or at least get a rax and not even chance them coming back (especially important when your team has lots of streaks going-if the enemy carry gets a double kill on you guys it can give them enough money to come online in a big way). In such situations you may again want to buy someone an aghs. The heroes mentioned previously can help get a rax a lot easier with an aghs at 25 minutes than an alch having another item. If you have your Mjolnir Skull Basher and an Ogre Club just after 20 minutes and your team is doing really well before your even online seriously consider getting an aghs to improve a big hitting ult. If they are managing to own as 4 then chances are with you having a lot of farm (compared to the enemy carries who have been put down by your team) and a big ult with an aghs you will be able to take a T3 and maybe even a rax. Biggest thing here is not to over extend. If they fort and use their ults and the fight isn't going as well as you'd like fall back, heal up, and go again. As said, the last thing you want to be doing is giving away kills.

So, all in all use your discretion. Remember it is a team game and that in some situations it is best for the team to buy someone an aghs while at other points its not. The simplest way to think about it is if your already effective in team fights it may be best to buff up an ally than to buy yourself items.

O, and lastly, as mentioned previously alch is a liability to the team with no farm. This is why I don't like alch being played as a support aghs giver. If you are support you aren't going to have items and so your farm speed will be slow, meaning it will take a long time to farm an aghs. Then when you give your hard earned aghs away you will have nothing and, as said, be a liability. Alch is item dependant and so if you have no items you aren't going to be doing a lot at all, your farming is slow, and you will be a bloody easy kill. Even if you aren't position 1 you should really be position 2 or 3 as this will allow you to get enough farm that you have enough of your own items to have an impact wile still being able to buy aghs.


I'm all out of advice. As I did with my Lina guide (check it out if you like Lina!) I'll finish with a summary of the important points.

1-Important to remind you not to go midas, or at least not if you don't have it really early, if the other team has greater late game. Alch gets out-carried by a lot of other heroes when they have items so you want to be able to join fights early and end quick in these games.

2-During early game play passive. Remember, if you aren't getting kills and are taking damage this affects your laning ability and so farm. Unless your pretty sure you can get a kill focus on farming the creeps. If your ally abuses you just remember it is you playing your hero, not them.

3- Once you get your maelstrom start taking to the jungle when your lane is pushed. Also, you can consider going for kills a bit more now but you still want to be focussing on farming rather.

4-Alch thrives on stacked camps so when nearing your maelstrom get your support to stack some camps for you, or do it yourself. Remember to double stack with acid and activate mjolnir; both increase your farm speed.


Don't have a set build for alch

- you need to adjust your build to team compositions and even then you may have to deviate your item progression depending on how the game is going. Especially don't be that alch everyone hates when you have an invis on your team already and another team member who needs SB and get one yourself.



If you pick alch late with a stupid line up this is on you. Lots of people are open to reason, if you've already chosen and you see they are thinking about another jungle dependant hero suggest they not do so->explain to them why. Likewise with having your 5th position being item dependant.

7-Yes, alch can buy aghs for others now, this doesn't mean that you have to do so! Use your discretion and decide what's best FOR TEAM! I've won my last 10/11 alch games and in maybe 2 of those have I bought aghs for others before 35 minutes.

8- If you play support alch please consider choosing a better 5th position who has better disable and only needs one item to have a large impact.

Please, help me get this awesome really fun hero off of having the 2nd lowest win rate. He has a terrible rep at the moment yet he was the super carry of TI13.

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