Hello, I am Loveless and this is my guide on Windranger. Any and all of my guides are built around my personal opinion of the Hero and how they should not only be built, but played. It is built off what I have done myself, which is a mixture of my own ideas and what I have seen others do, to make it the best I will be able to put forward in game with that Hero.
I will be going over the Hero Skills, Recommended Items, my Likes/Fears and Play Style for each phase of the game. Again, these are all of my personal opinions and you can take them with a grain of salt. Start with the build and use it until you get used to the hero before you start to build differently for every match.
Shackleshot is one of the best disables in the game with a long duration stun that can hit one or two heroes with one of the longest stun duration in the game. If you do not hit a unit or tree behind the target, they instead recieve a ministun which still has it's useless, such as to stop a hero channeling an ability.
Powershot is a long range skillshot that if used correctly, can be a fantastic nuke and get you kills every teamfight. It does less damage the more units it passes through, but always use it to open a fight and every time it comes off cool down in that fight, if you can land them that is. Doing so will ensure you a kill, though it can be mana intensive.
Windrun gives Windranger the ability to tank, chase, run or simply get into position for her Shackleshot, Powershot or even her ultimate Rapid Fire in some cases. The skill gives you a significant speed boost, a 100% chance to dodge all physical attacks for it's duration and slow enemies that follow in the path you just ran with it on.
Windranger's ultimate is Rapid Fire, a channeling ability that gives her max attack speed against a target unit or building. Do not forget that last part, as it makes half this hero what she can be at her full potential: Using her ultimate on enemy towers can quickly rip them down, even ensure you the last hit even if your allies are trying to take it from you. Later in the game once you have built up enough damage, using Windrun to open up and tank physical attacks, Rapid Fire can eat an enemy's health in seconds.
I will most likely hear a lot of **** about not having Orchid Malevolence as my core item. Anyone who tells you it is core on her is most likely high, while it is a very good item on her, I know there is a lot more you can get that is better in just about every way.
You are focusing on being a support carry by helping out your own carry while doing as much damage as well, you will want Phase Boots and Force Staff as your two core items. Use Phase Boots after Windrun for a significant boost in speed and it is extremely useful for the positioning requires of Shackleshot. Force Staff will further help position yourself/heroes for your Shackleshot with a little practice. On a side note you don't have to waste Shackleshot just to quickly stun a channeling enemy, Force Staff can do this too. Last on this style of build, you will want to get a Scythe of Vyse, giving you even further disables, improving your damage and mana for your overall skill spamming.
Helm of the Dominator is great because you should be stacking the jungle and pushing lanes, the active and bonus damage from this item can easily do that. The item can also be good as an early item, giving her an exceedingly high lane presence. The item that confused me the most when I saw it was Mekansm, but believe it or not, Windrunner is an excellent choice to carry it. The bonus armor and boost greatly benefit her, because due to her skill set, she usually works her way into the center of battle anyway.
In order to play a decent Windranger, you have to understand something: She isn't forced to perform one single role. More so, she is meant to fill in any gap that is made by your team composition. If your team lacks a reliable carry, for example Spectre or Morphling, you will want to focus on being your team's Carry as the game progresses on. However if you do have a carry that can be relied on, you will want to work around supporting that carry into Middle and Late game. However if you land a Hard Carry like Faceless Void or Phantom Assassin, you will want to do a mixture of both, Carry and Support. There has been talk of this role existing before, a Support Carry is a hero that exists to carry in the absence of a carry during Middle Game and falls off towards Late Game, giving room for the Hard Carry to grow into the team's main carry. Windrunner is also one of the few heroes who can solo against a duo lane, making her a fantastic pick if your team has a jungler or dedicated roamer.
When the game starts, do not creep block. For our mission, you want to simply last hit and keep hold of the lane. Don't auto attack the creeps or pull them into your tower, simply focus on getting last hits and denies. Every once in a while if you can land an auto-attack on an enemy hero without the creeps attacking you, go for it. The slow ping of damage like that over time will make a huge difference. Only use Shackleshot if the opening is prime and gives them a good chance of taking a real beating for it. No point in a stun if you cannot back it up with some solid damage. Only use Powershot when you know that a hero has a high chance of dying, use it as an opener or a finisher, it is up to you. Most use Shackleshot then follow it up with Powershot to ensure a clean hit for full damage.
Your Goals Early Game:
Pushing is key here and since you can use Focus Fire on Towers, this is easy. The reason for focusing on pushing so much is that Windranger is much more effective when you are controlling the map. You will see this when you are being agressive and the fact that you can take down most heroes alone, sometimes even two against one with your core build. When you have pushed up to a tower and the creeps die off or an opponent is likely to come defend it, leave the area and go find an easy enemy hero to gank. Open by surprising them with an auto attack or two, followed by Shackleshot and Focus Fire, if it is up. Once they escape your range, use Powershot. Then push the nearest open lane and repeat the process until you find yourself entering the late game.
Your Goals Middle Game:
Late game Windranger begins to naturally fall off as her skillset reflect that of a nuker-class hero. She takes a much more support-carry/semi-carry role now, unless she was played well and had some luck along the way, making her quite good with a Black King Bar in hand. If your team is having trouble with a hero that can blink or become invisible ( Anti-Mage/ Rikimaru) instead get a Scythe of Vyse over the Black King Bar.
Your Goals Late Game:
Well, that sums it all up for Windranger. For now and forever, please leave any comments about the Guide with what was good and what was bad, it will improve this and any future Guides made by myself or even others.
If you have any guides you would like me to make, please feel free to PM me or post in this guide's comment section to discuss it with fellow DOTAFIRE members.
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