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4 Votes

Medusa's Guide to Staring Creepily

December 27, 2013 by Gilga
Comments: 4    |    Views: 14539    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4


DotA2 Hero: Medusa

Purchase Order

Starting Off

Healing Salve
Iron Branch
Iron Branch
Iron Branch
Ring of Protection

Get These Early On (Phase, Treads, or Tranqs, Basilius and Midas Optional)

Phase Boots
Tranquil Boots
Power Treads
Ring of Basilius
Magic Wand
Hand of Midas

Offensive Core

Manta Style
Eye of Skadi

Defensive Core

Assault Cuirass
Black King Bar
Heart of Tarrasque
Shiva's Guard
Linken's Sphere

Other Possible Purchases

Boots of Travel
Shadow Blade
Drum of Endurance
Diffusal Blade

Getting Super Late? Start Getting These

Divine Rapier
Divine Rapier
Divine Rapier
Divine Rapier
Divine Rapier

Hero Skills

Split Shot

13 14 15 17

Mystic Snake

2 3 5 7

Mana Shield

8 9 10 12

Stone Gaze

6 11 16


1 4 18


Medusa's real sexy, eh?

Medusa is infamous for her being one of the hardest carries in the game, having the ability to tank significant amounts of damage as well as deal damage to multiple heroes at once as well as having an amazing ultimate. She also is one of the few heroes that benefits from getting all stats and their features.

Medusa is slightly held back by her poor stat gain, with her Primary Agility growth rate being a mediocre 2.5 per level. She heavily requires farm to be the unstoppable murder machine late game, and several of her skills already allow her to farm easily.

While being a hard carry presents some difficulty, Medusa isn't too complex to play, but requires carefulness, patience, and high skill with last hitting. She is also quite squishy without items, and shouldn't be focused on in fights naturally as the carry.

Pros and Cons


One of the Hardest Carries in the Game
Capable of Heavy AOE Damage
Has a Powerful Ultimate
Has a Decent Harass Tool
Not Difficult to Play
Can Be Disturbingly Tanky
Good Pusher


Very Squishy Early
Has Low Starting Damage
VERY Item Dependent
Lacks a Decent Escape
Countered Heavily by Mana Burn


Split Shot is an ability that is toggleable, and causes Medusa's basic attacks to split off into 5 separate shots which can hit up to 5 targets at the same time, at the cost of her attacks dealing only a percentage of her total damage. This skill allows Medusa to farm exceptionally well and push quickly with items. At max level, each shot will deal 80% of Med's total damage. Due to this, your DPS can be increased up to 400% in team fights, which is almost unrivaled in power late game.

Keep in mind thst Unique Attack Modifiers and some bonus attack effects, like Critical Strike, only work on the main unit you attack. The shots will split off to attack the closest targets to the main target, and Illusions will gain Split Shot if the skill is toggled on before the illusions are made.

Another bonus tidbit is that this skill is considered a Transformation Ability, meaning you can dodge projectiles and stuns with enough practice.

Mystic Snake is a powerful nuke that is really effective in lane as Medusa. When cast on an enemy, an inescapable Snake will rush and strike the unit, at max level dealing 200 damage, and then bounce to any nearby units. Each successive bounce will increase the damage dealt by 25%, up to a max of 6 bounces, which then equates to 450 magical damage on the final bounce. This skill also will steal 50 Mana from any target that has mana when hit, and 25% more mana will be stolen if the snake bounces to successive targets, stealing a max total of 476 at level 7.

This skill is what allows Medusa to harass and last hit relatively well early game, and due to the somewhat spammy nature of this spell (11 second cooldown), you can be a consistent threat. Use it to secure last hits while harassing heroes, which can almost refund the Mana cost completely if it hits a ranged creep and at least one hero. This skill does push the lane, so also be careful using it in easily gankeable areas.

An interesting thing to note is that Snake will do Pure Damage instead of Magical while units are under the effect of Stone Gaze, allowing a lot more damage to be done.

And Mana Shield is the Part 2 of Medusa's claim to fame as a Hard Carry. You can toggle this ability, and when it's on it will reduce 50% of all damage done to Medusa's HP, and cause her to lose Mana for the other 50%. At max level, each point of Mana will absorb 2.25 damage. So if Medusa would, for example, be hit for 300 damage, she would lose 150 hp and (150/2.25) ~67 Mana, not taking into account resistances. This occurs before other forms of damage reduction, like Armor, so getting an AC or something will cause Med to lose less HP, but not less Mana.

This is partly a reason why all stats benefit Medusa. More intelligence and Mana along with more Health and Armor cause this skill to be ridiculously strong later, with Med gaining thousands of effective HP with enough items.

This skill, following 6.78, has become a very powerful tool for initiation and damage. After activating Stone Gaze, any enemy that looks at Medusa, within a cone around her face, will be slowed and have their attack speed reduced by 50%. Along with this, any unit that looks within her general direction for at least 2 seconds total will be turned to stone for 3 seconds. This is a rather unique status, as the unit will be under the same restrictions as being stunned (no attacking, moving, using items or abilities) but will have 100% Magic Resistance. However, they also will take bonus damage from physical attacks up to a maximum of 50% at level 3.

This spell has great synergy with other characters that rely on physical damage. It's a bit expensive early on, so keep in mind both your situation and Mana pool when going for solo kills.

Skill Build

Getting levels of Stats at levels 1 and 4 is usually a good idea in order to offset early squishiness and last hit difficulty, or 2 and 4 for the Split Shot first build.

In most cases I opt to max out Mystic Snake first as the damage and mana drain beomes more irrelevant as the game progresses. This is why in builds 2 and 3 it isn't leveled until level 22 and up, as stats until that point would be more useful.

Maxing Mana Shield first in a difficult lane allows you to sustain yourself without worry of being bone dry in Mana aside from your ult, but it does make you slightly more reliant than you already are on items for damage early on. As such, getting this skill second is preferred, as you will begin to have a Mana pool to support it at that point.

Finally, maxing out Split Shot is good if you have uncontested farm or are jungling ancients, both of which are rare and usually going with build 1 or 2 is more successful.

All of the builds I listed above are situational, and therefore one should adapt their build depending on opponents, farm, etc.

Item Build

Medusa is obviously a carry, and thus requires carry items to be effective. She also happens to highly versatile in her item build, with only a few items (Like Divine Rapier, Butterfly, and Manta Style) being absolutely core on her.

Starting Items

In all cases, get 3 Branches and 1 set of Tangos. Also pick up a Healing Salve and Ring of Protection in addition to the above. Med has slightly ****ty armor at the start of the game and this start gives you several options, including turning those branches into a Magic Wand if you choose and turning the ring into either a Ring of Basilius or Tranquil Boots.

Early Items

For your boots, you can turn your ring into Tranquil Boots early on for sustain and protection. You can also opt to make it into a Basi for early damage and mana regen, which is always nice. Power Treads are useful as they provide decent attack speed along with the utility of tread switching. Phase Boots are also viable, as it gives damage which Medusa needs early on and an active to boost her naturally low movement speed.

The Hand of Midas is optional and shouldn't be bought every game, but gold and levels are good on nearly every hero. Just don't buy it every game unless you can get it quickly.

Offensive Core

For any Agility carry, Butterfly is usually the best choice for DPS. Giving you tons of Damage, Armor, Attack Speed, and evasion, it's an item that without a doubt should always be bought on Medusa by the end of the game. Just be aware of those who buy Monkey King Bar, of course.

Satanic, or a Helm of the Dominator, are both solid pickups when you start to get damage and attack speed. Helm is especially a good early choice, as it gives decent stats, damage, lifesteal and the ability to stack Ancient camps more easily, which you can kill very fast later with Split Shot.

Manta Style is another choice for nearly any carry, allowing you to purge debuffs, enhance damage, and push. You get a load of stats and benefits when you get this item, and a Yasha is never a bad choice early on if you feel like solely getting it. As said before, turning on Split Shot before using Manta causes illusions to get its effects, which makes you even better at pushing and even more deadly in teamfights (with Split Shot on illusions at max level, your total DPS gets an ungodly 644% increase).

Eye of Skadi is pretty nice to get on Medusa. It offers great stats and survivability, and could be a first major item pickup. The orb is super good for chasing and stacks with Satanic, so by all means get this item.

Mjollnir and Maelstrom are both excellent farming tools and offer loads of attack speed and bonus damage with lightning procs. Early on, getting a Maelstrom after boots improves farming and pushing drastically and is a cost effective choice if getting a major item is difficult to farm quickly. Overall, an very excellent choice.

To be honest, I don't often build Daedalus on Medusa until I get more big items beforehand. If you want raw damage after getting a Butterfly or something, feel free to buy one, though by that time I'd much rather get a Divine Rapier.

Defensive Core

A core item suggested by Valve by default, Linken's Sphere is a great item on Medusa and any hero in general looking for more survivability. Giving decent stats and a passive abliity to block a spell, it's a good item to start off with as it also lets use push with little annoyance.

Black King Bar is required in almost every game, and as a carry it's recommended to get should you tons of stunners and nukers. It's nothing to rush like Gyrocopter, but still this item is definitely worth the pick up.

Assault Cuirass is one of my favorite items to get on Medusa and any carry or tank looking for more effective HP and DPS. Building Armor on top of Health, Evasion, and Mana makes you ******edly tough to kill, and the armor reduction and aura is never a bad thing.

Bloodstone is an item that most would think, "Why would I get this on a carry?". However, Medusa benefits from everything Bloodstone provides and killing yourself is fun, free, and useful. You can build it from a Perseverance, which is a great choice early on.

Heart of Tarrasque is only sometimes built. This is mostly because you'll need to build lots of Mana, but as a staple for late game tank foremost i would still recommend it, though other options are available and usually better.

shivas guard gives Mana, tons of Armor, and an active and aura to help in teamfights. Especially nice to counter other carries, but usually this item is better off on someone like Timbersaw or Dark Seer as you need to focus on DPS, not complete tank like a Heart.

Other Possible Purchases

At some point, you should upgrade your boots into Boots of Travel in order to be more present in teamfights and pushes, plus the movespeed isn't half bad either.

Shadow Blade. An infamous item, like dagon, that is very situational on most heroes. However, it's like buying it on a Legion Commander or Kunkka: you get bonus damage, initiating power, and an escape which Medusa lacks. It's always fun to Stone Gaze out of invisibility in front of the entire enemy team.

Drum of Endurance, is cost effective, offers good stats all around, and an active that helps chasing and pushing. It's not too bad early on, as an Ultimate Orb is slightly more costly, but that at least builds into other items.

Diffusal Blade is a more situational item that I built a few times, usually to counter Warlock or someone. 42 damage at level 1, intelligence to give Mana Shield more use, and a great active make this kinda worth it.

Divine Rapier

Okay, it's a last ditch effort of course, but Rapier is a core item on Med, given her multi-target attacks and tankiness cause her to be an optimal carrier. If anything, this would be your final item, maybe get more if **** gets to be ridiculous.

And above all, change your playstyle and item progression based upon the situation, as adaptability instead of following a rigid build is usually a wiser choice.

Early to Late Game

In lane, one must above all survive and farm so that Medusa won't be a useless pile of **** come mid game. Focus on living through harass and last hitting.

Don't underestimate the power of Mystic Snake at level 7, as it will always kill the ranged creep of a wave and take a significant portion of Mana from enemy heroes, making it especially nice on heroes like skeleton king, Sven, or Lifestealer who have expensive spells early on.

Your ult is expensive at this point and shouldn't be used all the time without regen, though it does make you and other allies hit harder and can guarantee a kill or escape.

By the 20 minute mark, you should at least have one major item farmed up and can actively participate in fights and pushing. Mystic Snake is helpful still at this point, guaranteeing you farm after a few attacks with Split Shot. Always keep it on during pushing, but off when pursuing single targets.

Mana Shield is a must to keep on in teamfights, otherwise you will die pretty quickly when focused. Use your ult as an initiation, and then have you and your team wreck stoned enemies in the next 6 seconds.

At some point, you'll have to stop buying expensive things and start saving up for buyback. At this point, you should be frustrating to pick off and able to deal a load of damage. If you accumulate way more gold than needed for buyback and no end's in sight, start getting a Rapier to hopefully end the game in your favor as soon as possible. The later the game goes, the more powerful Medusa will become, and eventually you should be able to outcarry most enemy heroes if you're not too far behind.

Friends and Foes


Being accustomed to the hard carry role, Medusa is benefited greatly by supports who will help her farm safely and maybe get a kill or two in lane.

In addition, powerful intiators let Stone Gaze go off perfectly to allow for better teamfighting.


Any Hero with a way to deplete your Mana makes you squishier by a significant amount.


By this extent, Heroes like Naga Siren and Phantom Lancer also counter you as they often build a Diffusal Blade.

Heavy burst damage is also a problem, destroying your shield very quickly.

And of course

Who You Counter

Medusa's damage on multiple targets helps counter several pushers to an extent.

Stone Gaze will also counter both squishy targets and Heroes with channeling abilities.

Replays and Examples


Here's a video walkthrough of sorts on Ancient Jungling, courtesy of Na'Vi.


Medusa can be super strong, super tanky, and push hard, allowing her to be one of the best carries in the game. She's easy to learn, but somewhat difficult to master. She's not picked super often, but can prove to be worthy of one's patience and dedication.

Anything you think is inaccurate or could use some sprucing up? Let me know in the comments as feedback is welcome.

Thanks for reading my guide, i highly appreciate it, and I look forward to revising and making more guides in the future!

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