|2.||Storm's foes and allies|
|3.||Pros / Cons|
|4.||Skills (perhaps the part that needs the most explaining)|
|5.||Just an extra bit about the awesomeness of Ball Lightning|
|6.||Lane Matchups (Solo-Mid)|
|7.||Items (another part that needs a lot of explaining) (also a bit about Bottles and Runes)|
|8.||Creeping / Jungling|
Welcome to my Storm Spirit guide!
In this guide, I am going to offer the most concise details about every single aspect of Storm. I wrote this guide because I couldn't really find an in depth guide on a hero that I've been playing for so long. I will try to give some insight that I have accumulated throughout the years of DotA. Enjoy!
Before you pick Storm Spirit, a few things should come to mind....
As we all know, no hero is perfect, and there are always counters to each and every one.
Lets begin on when NOT to pick Storm Spirit~
This part is probably the chapter which deserves the most clarification, as the knowledge of the following should allow you to realize the full potential of this hero.
Storm is an intelligence hero, and he needs a lot of mana, therefore we should focus on building INT stat items as possible.
Raijin creates a remnant of himself containing his essence. The Static Remnant will release its stored energy whenever an enemy unit comes near it. Lasts 12 seconds.
You should rarely depend on your Static Remnant for reliable damage. One thing that deserves attention is the mana cost. At level one, its only 70 mana. In my build, I max this skill last. If you max it too earlier, the mana cost will be too much for you to handle. Since it has such a low mana cost and cooldown, you can use it to last hit, and get an Overload charge. (More explanation about Overload later.)
But Arterial, isn't this skill the only nuke for Storm, and isn't Storm a nuker?
Firstly, Storm should not rely on his spell damage. Storm's main damage source should be his auto attack, which is usually an Overloaded hit. Before level six, your Remnants usually don't hit heroes. This is because your Remnants appear directly on where you are standing, and no one would want to walk on them. If you want them to land, you have to walk really close to the opponent hero, which means you have to take unnecessary damage. If you max Remnant, your laning phase would be horrible, as your lane would be pushed so far that you cannot farm creeps. Note that Static Remnant takes one second to materialize before it is active, and during the 12 second duration, it grants flying vision. Furthermore, even though the activation AOE is 235, the explosion deals damage in a 260 AOE.
Storm focuses his energy to rip open vortex drawing an enemy to it. This process slows the Storm Spirit down for a brief period.
Your main disable. Pulls the enemy towards you, while disabling them during the period. Note that Storm is also slowed in the process. At level three, this skillcan usually pull the enemy into your Static Remnant, and this should be your bread-and-butter combination.
REMEMBER TO USE AN AUTO ATTACK BEFORE YOU CAST STATIC REMNANT IN COMBO WITH ELECTRIC VORTEX!
As mentioned before, a deceivingly large amount of your damage comes from your Overcharged attacks. When you use Vortex, you gain an Overload charge. If you use Remnant immediately afterwards, you are wasting an extra charge.
Storm Spirit becomes overloaded with electrical energy whenever he casts a spell. The charge is released on his next attack as an electrical burst, dealing damage and slowing nearby units.
A skill that is usually overlooked. At level four, it deals an extra 90 damage, while applying a 80% MS slow and a 50% AS slow for 0.6 seconds. This activates whenever you cast a spell, even if your auto attack projectile is in motion. Therefore, this skill is maxed first. (This doesn't mean that I don't take Vortex). As I mentioned in the previous skills, Remnants don't usually hit, and you usually use this skill to harass. With Overload, you can constantly harass your opponent with a charged attack (and sometimes even a second attack when slowed). Furthermore, as you usually use Vortex and Remnant in succession, Overload is charged twice.
Storm Spirit becomes enveloped with energy, losing his physical form, and travels until he depletes his mana or reaches his target. While in this form, he deals damage to nearby units based on how far his electrical form has traversed. Damage, speed and area of effect improves per level.
Storm's signature skill. There isn't a skill that shows the slightest resemblance when compared with Ball Lightning. You can use this skill to deal damage, escape, initiate, avoid projectiles, and a lot more. Answering the previous question, why should we build INT stat items? The reader that attends to details would have realized that Ball Lightning uses mana based on a percentage. To put this bluntly, the more mana you have, the more mana it needs. Therefore, we should build items with mana regeneration, instead of items with flat INT stats. A counter-productive item would be Eye of Skadi. During late game, you will never run out of mana from using your first two skills. However, if you buy a Skadi, your mana usage for Ball Lightning skyrockets, which in turn, lowers your total efficiency.
Note that I still pick Shiva's Guard. This is because items and spells can be used during Ball Lightning. This may seem like a small factor, but these split second decisions can change death to life. If you activate Orchid Malevolence on your target before you hit, you deal an extra 25% damage.
In DotA, if Ball Lightning deals the killing blow on an enemy, you do not gain as much experience as you usually do. This is because in programming, an invisible and seemingly nonexistent Storm Spirit "clone" is made during Ball Lightning, and it also shares the experience with you.
Most people decide to play Storm Spirit because of his ultimate.
As I have mentioned before, it has so many uses. You can escape, chase, deal damage, and do whatever you want.
But now, THINK OUT OF THE BOX!
When playing Storm, critical thinking and thorough planning are both very important. For example, no one expects you to fly half a map to accumulate damage for your ultimate. No one expects you to steal Roshan and get away with it. No one expects to see someone charging from impassable terrain.
Utilize this element of surprise to your advantage. A good Storm player can and should play mind games with the opponent. Just when that Vengeful Spirit thinks she can kill you with a Magic Missile, use your ultimate to dodge it. Even if you see that your mana is so low that you can barely initiate your ultimate, still try to time the your ultimate, so that you don't waste your last speck of mana. Sometimes, a half second Ball Lightning can save you from a Fissure of death.
In this section, I will be discussing how you should face the common mid-laners. Yes, dual mid is a thing, but I will not be commenting on that. One thing to remember is that for most of the below matchups, the difficulty will greatly drop after you get your Orchid Malevolence.
Queen of Pain
Difficulty: Very Hard
Being solo against Queen of Pain is definitely going to be painful(pun semi-intended). It would be quite difficult to win the lane against her. The ideal situation would be for you to reach Level 6 before her, but this would prove to be very difficult. Don't bother trading damage with her, your Static Remnants have no chance of hitting. The only reasonable way of getting damage on her is to farm with your Remnants, and attacking her with your Overloaded attacks. Try to stay out of Shadow Strike's range, you really do not want to get hit by it. Have Ball Lightning ready if you really want to try killing her, even though it would be really difficult (unless you have a huge mana pool). Be careful when she has her Sonic Wave ready, you do not have enough HP to survive one combo.
Difficulty: Very Hard
NA is the bane of all low HP Intelligence heroes. Unfortunately, you are one of them. The funny thing is (ignoring skill reworks and changes), NA has been buffed in nearly every patch. The only up-side you have against him is that you are ranged while he is melee. Even though it would normally be a bad idea, try keeping your mana pool low when you are laning. Force him to get hit by Static Remnant and Overload when he tries to farm. (Be careful, he can activate Spiked Carapace and simply walk into your Remnants, and you would be in big trouble.) Impale has an insane duration and range (its longer than the actual cast range), so try to stay out of it's way. BE EXTREMELY ALERT WHEN HE REACHES 6! Alert your teammates as soon as you see him missing, and be very careful yourself, as you might be his target altogether in the first place.
Silencer has become a very strong laner since Last Word was reworked into an active skill instead of a passive aura. This is a good and bad thing. The good thing is that he can no longer silence you whenever you use a spell, which means you won't be interrupted in your combos. The bad thing is, the duration of the silence is a lot longer, and now Last Word deals damage (quite a lot of damage, in fact). Most of the time, you should use a spell when he casts Last Word on you, as you will not get disarmed if you do so. You will take the damage from Last Word no matter if you cast a spell or not. Don't trade hits, Glaives of Wisdom deal more damage than your auto-attacks. If he uses Curse of the Silent, use Remnant to dispel the debuff, it will save you HP and Mana in the long run. Again, try to reach Level 6 before him. You can't fight him when he has Global Silence ready. Moreover, be aware of when he has it ready, as he can bait you into a very bad situation, then cast Global Silence.
TA doesn't really have what it needs to kill you, mainly due to her short auto-attack range and lack of real control. However, be careful of her Psi Blades bounce, the bounce is pure damage. Don't use Electric Vortex to pull her to you, she will do more damage back to you. Try harass with auto-attack and loaded attacks, but don't bother trading when she has Refraction on. She has no way of getting close enough to damage you without you noticing, and even after 6, you can Ball Lightning away if she slows you with her Psionic Traps. Check her inventory every now and then, and be a bit more alert when she has her Blink Dagger.
Nightstalker poses no threat during the morning (you don't say), but it's really hard to force him out of a lane due to his innate bulk. Be very aggressive in this lane, he has no way of punishing you back during the morning. Force him to use Void to farm, and keep his mana pool low. As he is a melee hero, make him eat your Remnants when he needs to farm, and when you see an opening, chain your combo together and try to net a kill. When you reach the nighttime, he turns insanely hard to face, and I would suggest you change lane when this happens. During the night, he has a huge MS and AS boost, Void's slow is strengthened, and most importantly, Crippling Fear makes you entirely useless. A good Nightstalker will use Void to harass you until you are low enough, in which he silences you and kills you before you can Ball away.
Lion has a lot of early game potential, and might just kill you before you even reach 6. Due to his aggression, he should have an earlier 6, which can be very very dangerous for you. Farm passively, don't fight him unless you are extremely positive that you can take him down, and try to leave some mana for you to Ball away in times of trouble. A good Lion player will skill Mana Drain just to screw with you, and there is really not much you can do if he stuns and drains you. Attack him only when he has spells on cooldown, or you can see that he does not have enough mana to blow his entire movepool on you. Remember, a Level 1 Finger of Death already deals 600 damage..
Laning against a Pudge has never been a difficult task (Pre-6, that is). Make him eat Remnants when he last hits, but try not to pull him in unless you are looking for a kill. Pudge is exceptionally tanky, and a Level 1 Rot already has a 20% slow, making it hard for you to escape. Be careful when he hits 6, as he has enough damage to kill you from full health. Try to stand between him and a creep, or simply stand out of his hook's range. You should be fine if you do so.
Difficulty: Really depends on the player
Laning against SF really depends on how good your opponent is. If he is a good player, you will get completely decimated at Level 5, and if he is bad player, you will completely decimate him at Level 5. Use Electric Vortex when you want to deal damage to him, as you have no other way of making him walk into your Remnants. His health pool is quite low, which makes killing him a doable thing. Try to be aggressive, but not too aggressive, as SF is famous for punishing overconfident players. Try to kill him at Level 6, as you have a game-changing ultimate, while he does not. (SF players never skill Requiem of Souls until Level 9 or 10.) Don't get too cocky though, SF is also notorious for being able to get back in the game despite a very weak early-game.
Batrider is a very strong laner, no doubt about that. Get a Magic Stick or Magic Wand as soon as possible, it is the best available way to counteract his Sticky Napalm. Try to beat him to Level 6, which again, will be quite difficult. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF HOW MANY STACKS OF OIL YOU HAVE ON YOU. As a rule of thumb, always back off when you have 5 or more stacks, and consider backing off when you have 3 to 4. He can solo you when he reaches 6, and chances are, you will be dead during the duration of Flaming Lasso. When he reaches 6, try to stay out of his ultimate's casting range (he needs to be in almost melee range to do Lasso you).
Bloodseeker is known for his sustain, and if he builds a Poor Man's Shield along with a Quelling Blade, harassing him would be quite futile. However, there is one thing which keeps you safe most of the time. If he maxes Blood Bath, he won't have enough MS or damage to kill you off. If he maxes Thirst, he won't be able to sustain himself if you are aggressive enough. One thing to keep in mind, Rupture does not damage you when you use Ball Lightning. A good Strygwyr will silence and Rupture you at the same time so you can't Ball Lightning away. If (and only if), he Rupture's you without applying Bloodrage's silence, consider fighting him back, as you have a great chance of out-damaging him.
Viper doesn't counter you as bad as he counters others heroes, mainly because all of his spells are slows and DoTs (damage over time). His Orb attack ( Poison Attack) hurts pretty hard, and if he Orb-Walks you (using the Orb as a spell instead of an auto-attack modifier), he can damage you without drawing aggression from the tower or the creeps. Moreover, his passive Corrosive Skin gives him innate Magic Resist, while slowing and damaging you when you attack him. Try to stay near max health, as this reduces the effectiveness of his Nethertoxin. Try to trade hits before Level 5. This is because his Orb effect has a cooldown when it is lower than Level 2. When he reaches Level 3, the Orb effect's cooldown is removed, which means that trading will hurt you a lot more. Ball Lightning can be used to dodge his ultimate, Viper Strike, and to block a few ticks of the DoT he dishes out.
Difficulty: Really depends on the player
Similar to Shadow Fiend, laning against an Invoker depends greatly on two things. One, the skill level of the player. Two, which Invoker build he is going for. As most pub players usually go for the greedy Quas-Exort build, you should pay more attention to your early and mid game. Even though I would say Quas-Exort isn't the best Invoker build, it has a lot of solo-killing power. Invoker has a better attack animation and range, so try to just farm. Unlike most heroes, Invoker's power does not have a sudden increase at Level 6, while yours does. Cold Snap has a huge casting range, and be careful of this spell when you dive him (as you will draw creep aggression). Moreover, be aware of Sun Strikes when you are low, don't walk in obvious paths. Try kill Invoker before he reaches a second Level of Invoke, as before that, he can only have one spell saved in his arsenal.
Zeus has a lot of early game damage, but he really has no way to keep you in a certain place. The lack of a real stun (except the ministun from Lightning Bolt) makes it easy for you to escape from his grasp. Trade with him as early as you can, his auto-attacks are just pathetic. Try to deny as many creeps as you can, so that he either loses experience or is forced to use skills to farm. If you get an earlier 6 (which you should), you can have a try at killing him, as he has no escape and not enough damage to take you down. Even though its quite difficult, you can try to dodge Thundergod's Wrath with your Ball Lightning, as it renders you invulnerable and untargetable.
Your main aim is to force him out of his lane. Tinker has a very flexible build, and your playstyle should change according to his build. If he is a burst Tinker, in which he maxes Laser and Heat Seeking Missile, try to force him out of the lane (don't forget the Blind effect of Laser). If he is a pusher Tinker, in which he maxes March of the Machines, try to pull your creepwave as far back as possible, so that he will have to lose farm and experience. Killing him would be easier if he goes for the pusher build, but no matter which build he goes for, his first item should be Boots of Travel. Similar to TA, keep tabs on his inventory, and try to delay the boots as long as you can. Try not to fight on top of a March, its damage is deceivingly high.
Warlock's playstyle usually revolves around teamfighting, and if you can bait his ultimate before a teamfight, that would be extremely beneficial for your team. However, do not underestimate the damage from Fatal Bonds and Shadow Word, as they can bring you really really low. Warlocks are usually very passive before 6, as they really don't have a reliable way of killing you. Try to get an earlier 6 to kill him, even though his heal is usually enough to bring him to a healthy amount of HP.
Yes, you read that correctly, Storm can jungle.
And he can Jungle efficiently. Very efficiently.
But in order for that to work, you first need to know a bit about the basic mechanics of DotA (and DotA 2 of course). First, take a look at the picture.From the picture we can see that there are 12 camps, 2 small camps, 4 mid camps, 4 large camps, and 2 ancient camps. We should focus our attention on any camp bar the ancient camps.
Creep stacking is a skill used in higher level matches. Ever found clearing camps too easy? Ever thought that Static Remnant is a waste of mana when you can only hit a few creeps in the camp? Then FEAR NOT! Creep stacking can help you! Creep stacking is just pulling the aggression of the camps so that the jungle creatures will follow you out of their designated spawn point. If you manage to pull them out of their spawn point at X:00 time (X can be any number greater than 1), another camp will spawn in the point, and when the jungle creatures that were chasing you returned to the original point, there will be two stacks. (Remember, you can stack more than two.)
If you stack a few camps, you can quickly clear them with your low cooldown, low mana, high damage AOE nuke. If you are opting to do this, remember to max Static Remnant instead of Overload, so that you can clear that camps quickly. Furthermore, if your support is free, tell him/her to do the dirty work for you (after all, you will contribute to the team more than the support, right?)
But Arterial, won't that jungle creeps kill you before you kill them? (Especially with so many of them @[email protected]!)
FEAR NOT, for you have Smoke of Deceit. After stacking a certain amount of creeps, activate Smoke, and then start clearer them up with Remnants. Because of the Smoke, creeps will not be able to see you (even after you cast a spell), so you can clear multiple camps in a short duration without even getting hurt.
Some small tips about jungling.. (Well actually it's quite important and I doubt you'll find it in other Storm guides..)
Quoted from http://www.playdota.com/learn/jungle
- The first wave of neutral creeps spawn at 0:30
- After this, neutrals will spawn at each camp on every minute (x:00)
- Creeps will not spawn if a unit is within a certain rectangular area of the given creep camp at the next minute mark
- This includes your hero, any creeps (neutral or otherwise), wards and DEAD creeps (that leave a corpse - a creep takes between 15 and 20 seconds to disappear, so if you kill a camp at x:55 leaving a corpse in the area, the next wave will not spawn)
- All neutral creeps have some AI (some are "smarter" than others)
- higher level creeps (level 5/6) will attack a low hp hero rather than creeps
- predictability of neutral creep AI will allow you to jungle effectively
- High level Centaurs/Furbolgs will use their stomps when 3 units are at melee range
- High level Satyrs will send out a shockwave when 2 units are in range of the wave (careful of chicken!)
- Neutrals can be "kited" by ranged heroes due to their predictable aggression patterns
- Since neutrals will not respawn at the designated time if units are in the area, you can pull the neutral creeps out of this area and make an additional camp (creep stacking) by engaging the creeps and then running out of the area"
Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading my Storm Spirit guide~
I'll update this guide whenever I feel the need to.
Practice makes perfect, try out the methods that I have mentioned in this guide, and wish you luck.
"When a warm front and a cold front love each other very much...a storm is born! " - Storm Spirit
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