This guide is aimed at providing detailed information on how to effectively use Lone Druid. This guide will focus on laning, despite his categorization as a Carry/Durable/Pusher/Jungler. We will, of course, be focusing on the pusher and carry part of that categorization. Please rate and I hope you find this helpful!
Long before the first words of the first histories there rose the druidic Bear Clan. Wise and just they were, and focused in their ways to seek an understanding of the natural order. The arch forces of nature saw this, and so sought the most learned among them. Wise old Sylla, clan justiciar and seer, stepped forward for his kin, and to him was given the Seed with these words: 'When all of the world has dimmed, when civilization has left these lands, when the world is slain and wracked by the endless deserts at the end of ages, plant the Seed.' As he grasped his trust, Sylla felt his years recede and his vitality returned. Vast knowledge burst into his mind. He found himself able to project his very will into reality and, with some concentration, alter his own physical form as well. Yet subtle whispers and cruel ears brought word of the Seed and its power to other peoples, and a terrible war crashed upon the Bear Clan. As his ancestral home burned, Sylla took his burden and fled to the wild places. Ages passed, and time and myth forgot the Bear Clan, forgot Sylla and the Seed, forgot wondrous civilizations that rose and fell in Bear Clans wake. For millenia, Sylla has waited, waited for word from his deities, waited for peace to come to the ever warring realms, waited in exile and in secret for the end of all things and for the conclusion of his sacred commitment, preparing himself always to face and destroy whatever would dare threaten his purpose.
Lone Druid represents a team within one hero. The uniquity surrounding him is his "Summon Spirit Bear" ability, which allows him to summon a permanent (until death) Spirit Bear companion that can carry items and levels up as the Druid does. All of Lone Druid's other abilities, with the exception of his ultimate, revolve around his interaction with his bear. Lone Druid is relatively weak by himself (health wise), but with his bear he can really pack a punch. His bear produces money for the Druid, as well, making farming and money production a very easy process. Most people don't choose Lone Druid, due to the difficulty of controlling two characters at once, but if he is used correctly, he can make for a fun and easy game.
Two characters in one
Low mana cost on all abilities
Superior last hits
Good lane control
His effectiveness peaks earlier than most heroes
There is a loss of HP upon the Bear's death
Useless without his bear
Fairly item dependent
Harder to control two characters at once (NOT a newbie hero)
Overly dependent on gold intake
This is a list of characters that are effective counters to the Lone Druid. If you see them being chosen, I wouldn't suggest using the Druid.
Note: To give an item to your Spirit Bear, simply click and drag the item from your inventory to the bear.
You'll want to summon the bear immediately and farm like crazy. Although the Bear is strong no matter what, the Druid needs to get those items in to really make a difference. You need to keep back from the main fight, throwing in a thingy (not sure what it is) every now and then. Let your bear do most of the work. It's more OK if he dies. You can always resummone him. By level 10, you should have two Iron Branches, Boots of Speed, and some Salves. The Bear should have an Orb of Venom, Quelling Blade, Stout Shield, and Boots of Speed. Focus your energies on the Bear. You are really there to support him.
By now you should be more in on the action. If a hero strays behind your lines, you need to be there. Get the Bear on top of him and through your things (till don't know what they are). The enemy usually runs into the woods or down the lane. Activate "Rabid immediately. Your job is to chase them, with the help of your boots, and slowly wear them down and take 'em out. By level 15, you should own Tranquil Boots, a Quarterstaff, and one or two Javelins (plus the early game stuff) and the Bear should have Phase Boots (plus the early game stuff). Now is the time to strike. This is when your effectiveness starts and you need to push your lane before the enemy can catch up.
If all goes well, the enemy will be down to one tower now. Basically, your goal is to maintain your forward position. DO NOT push into the enemy base without the help of your teammates. Although, you should be tanked on damage and health regen, two or three enemies can still overpower you. Don't do anything rash. We cannot have you dying at this late stage. You should purchase the Oblivion Staff and Monkey King Bar (and have the above). The Bear should have a Hood of Defiance (plus the above).
Attacking the Opposing Base:
Once your team is in the base, you may solo buildings as you wish. However, never go farther than your farthest teammate. If three or more of the enemies are dead, than this is fine, but the key to Lone Druid is to not overextend. You need to be spamming "Rabid" and probably using your True Form to take out enemies and towers.
I always choose to lane. Generally speaking, your shortest lane is ideal, as it acts like the last 10 yards in American Football. For those of you who don't watch American Football, I will explain. In the last 10 yards before the end zone, the defense becomes more compressed and it is harder for the offensive team to get through this wall of men. Similarly, in DotA, the short lane is more compressed. The towers are the same distance apart, but there is more protection on your side of the river since you are within the range of your tower. The push may be harder, but the defensive payoff is enormous. It also makes levelling an easier process.
When engaging an enemy hero or tower, always activate "Rabid." This ability nearly doubles the damage done by Sylla and his Bear. If you get an enemy's health low enough, he will usually run down the lane or in the woods. Always opt for a pursuit. It may seem trivial, but getting early kills is imperative to Lone Druid's strategy. It will help with gold and experience, further increasing the raw power of Syllabear the Druid.
While laning, push whenever possible. Getting an early advantage help Sylla in the long run. Get down the lane as quickly as possible. DO NOT advance to the enemy's base without aid from your team. You're doing great so far but don't get overconfident and die. If you feel threatened, use your ultimate to discourage any attacks from enemy heroes.
Sylla is categorized as a Pusher and a Jungler. Most players advise jungling in the early game, while I suggest laning with a support. However, if you're on a lane with a hero that will soak up all the cash, jungling is a great alternative. Taking out two camps should get you to level two, and "Rabid." Proceed to harder and harder neutral camps to make more gold and earn more XP. Most people suggest doing this until around level 6 or 7, when you get your ultimate. You may then revert to laning, described in detail above.
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