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Meet the prevailing winds (Updated 7.21) (Multiple builds inside)

May 1, 2019 by Eddnamed
Comments: 2    |    Views: 32196    |   


Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

Offlane

DotA2 Hero: Windranger


Purchase Order

Example item progression

Starting items

Early game

Extra early options

Core

Core (alternate)

Extension

Situational

Lategame



Hero Skills

Shackleshot

3 13 14 16

Powershot

2 4 5 7

Windrun

1 8 9 11

Focus Fire

6 12 18

Talents

10 15

Hero Talents

+35% Ministun Focus Fire
25
+30% Cooldown Reduction
+1s Shackleshot Duration
20
Windrun Grants Invis
+125 Powershot Damage
15
+125 Attack Range
+30% Windrun Slow
10
+1.75 Mana/sec

A note from the author - Introduction

Now available ingame!
https://steamcommunity.com/id/Eddnamed/myworkshopfiles/?section=guides

Hello, I'm Eddnamed, and I wrote this guide for one of my favorite heroes of all time in DotA: Lyralei the Windranger.

The main goal of this guide is to introduce new and veteran players alike to the intricacies of playing Windranger, as her skillset allows for a very versatile style of play, by no means simple.

As such, most of the effort has been focused on the use of her abilities, alongside the standard builds I use, and upon which you will learn a jack-of-all-trades playstyle.

Don't forget that the builds detailed in this guide are not set in stone, and rather you should develop your own builds and playstyle.

More info about me:
Steam profile: http://steamcommunity.com/id/Eddnamed
DOTABUFF: https://www.dotabuff.com/players/108442315

"You don't even have a 50% winrate on Windranger, why should I listen to you?"
Windranger is my most played hero by far, and to you I reply practice makes perfect. I can confidently say she is my best hero, because by continuous trial and error (mostly error), I've learned a lot and improved my general playstyle.

Now, let's get started.

Who is the Windranger? - Lore

Reap the Whirlwind

The western forests guard their secrets well. One of these is Lyralei, master archer of the wood, and favored godchild of the wind. Known now as Windranger, Lyralei's family was killed in a storm on the night of her birth--their house blown down by the gale, contents scattered to the winds. Only the newborn survived among the debris field of death and destruction. In the quiet after the storm, the wind itself took notice of the lucky infant crying in the grass. The wind pitied the child and so lifted her into the sky and deposited her on a doorstep in a neighboring village. In the years that followed, the wind returned occasionally to the child's life, watching from a distance while she honed her skills. Now, after many years of training, Windranger fires her arrows true to their targets. She moves with blinding speed, as if hastened by a wind ever at her back. With a flurry of arrows, she slaughters her enemies, having become, nearly, a force of nature herself.

More at the Dota 2 Wiki: https://dota2.gamepedia.com/Windranger

The markswoman of the woods - A quick overview

Windranger
Name: Lyralei
In WarCraft 3 DotA: Alleria Windrunner
Also known as: Windrunner (before 2013-10-21 patch)
Roles: Carry, Support, Disabler, Escape, Nuker
Abilities: Shackleshot, Powershot, Windrun, Focus Fire

Pros

  • Can be played effectively on any lane and role.
  • Potential for a very long stun on 2 enemy heroes with Shackleshot.
  • Very long range, high damage nuke on low cooldown with Powershot.
  • High mobility and decent escape with Windrun.
  • High damage potential with Focus Fire while still being able to move.
  • Can quickly take down buildings with Focus Fire.
Cons

  • There are always more specialized heroes for any given role.
  • Shackleshot is very dependant on positioning.
  • Powershot requires good positioning and prediction.
  • Windrun can be easily countered by items like Monkey King Bar.
  • Very dependant on items for any core role.
  • Vulnerable to burst damage, especially magical.
  • Depends on her abilities to deal damage, thus vulnerable to silence.

A force of nature - Abilities

Shackleshot


Type:
Targets:


Active
Enemies
Shackles the target to an enemy unit or tree in a line directly behind it. If no unit or tree is present, the stun duration is reduced to 0.75.


Effect: Stun
Cast Animation: 0.15 + 0.45
Cast Range: 800
Shackle Search Range: 575 units
Shackle Search Angle: 46°
Success Stun Duration: 2 | 2.6 | 3.2 | 3.8 seconds
Fail Stun Duration: 0.75 seconds
Cooldown: 16 | 14 | 12 | 10 seconds
Mana Cost: 70 | 85 | 100 | 115
Pierces spell immunity: No
Blocked by Linken's Sphere: Only on primary target
Dispellable: Strong dispels only
Lore: Windranger's variety of bow skills includes an arrow with thick ropes attached to encumber any escaping target.

Notes:
  • Shackleshot travels at a speed of 1650 and can be disjointed.
  • Shackleshot always prioritizes units over trees as a secondary target.
  • The stun persists, even when the primary or the secondary unit dies, or the tree is destroyed earlier.
  • The stun also persists, when one of the targets gets freed from the stun earlier.
  • When the primary target dies before the shackle reaches it, it still can latch to a secondary unit and stun it.
  • Can latch on invisible units, units in the Fog of War and the trees from Sprout and Iron Branch.
  • Cannot latch on ancient creeps, Roshan, Warlock's Golem and the Primal Split spirits.

Usage, tips and tricks:
  • This is your most important ability, and differentiates good Windranger players from bad players.
  • As you practice, it will become easier to land double Shackleshots, and you will learn unique and often overlooked trees where you can land many seemingly impossible Shackleshots.
  • With one of the longest multihero stun durations in the game, a well placed Shackleshot can practically turn a 5v5 teamfight into a 5v3. Use this to your advantage.
  • Always try to position yourself in such a way that you can cast multiple double Shackleshots during a single teamfight, since the cooldown is relatively low at level 4 (12 sec. CD for a 3.8 sec. stun).
  • The search range angle is pretty forgiving, and can allow for double Shackleshots that look like they should not have landed, especially if the primary target is moving really fast.
  • If you are fast enough, you can plant an Iron Branch behind the target, reposition in front of it and get a full stun duration.

Powershot


Type:
Targets:


Target Point, Channeled
Enemies
Windranger charges her bow for up to 1 second for a single powerful shot, which deals more damage the longer it is charged. The arrow damages enemies and destroys trees along its path. For each enemy that Powershot hits, its damage is reduced by 20%.


Effect: Magical damage
Cast Animation: 0
Cast Range: 2600
Travel Distance: 2600
Damage Radius: 125
Max Channel Time: 1 second
Max Damage: 150 | 250 | 350 | 450
Damage Reduction per Unit Hit: 20% (30 | 50 | 70 | 90)
Cooldown: 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 seconds
Mana Cost: 90 | 100 | 110 | 120
Pierces spell immunity: No
Blocked by Linken's Sphere: No
Lore: During her early years of training, Lyralei learned to fire powerful arrows that cleaved even trees to reach their targets on the other side.

Notes:
  • Powershot travels at a speed of 3000, taking 0.87 seconds to reach max distance.
  • Powershot can damage units up to 2725 range away (travel distance + damage radius).
  • The damage is charged by 5 | 8.33 | 11.67 | 15 per 0.03 seconds channeled.
  • Destroying trees does not reduce Powershot's damage.
  • Powershot provides 400 radius flying vision as it travels, which sticks at its final location for 3.34 seconds.
  • Powershot can block neutral creep camps if timed correctly.
  • The channeling sound can only be heard by allies.

Usage, tips and tricks:
  • One of the most damaging, spammable, and longest ranged nukes in the early game, this is your absolute priority.
  • This is your primary farming tool: get the creeps low enough for lasthits, and line up your Powershot through them with the enemy hero behind them for some bonus harass.
  • Can also be used to farm jungle camps, but be aware of your manapool.
  • Use the vision provided to scout ahead for your team, for example, Roshan's pit, river runes, enemy ganking positions, etc. Once again, be aware of your manapool.
  • Use Powershot to finish off (or kill secure) fleeing enemies with low HP. Remember, you can aim it at fog of war, and it can hit invisible enemies.
  • Use disables to setup your Powershots. Even the 0.75 sec. stun from a single target Shackleshot can help finish off fleeing enemies with Powershot.

Windrun


Type:

Targets:


Buff
Debuff
Self
Enemies
Increases movement speed and adds evasion from all physical attacks, while slowing movement of nearby enemies.


Effect: Buffs self (increases movement speed, adds evasion) and slows enemies in AoE around self
Cast Animation: 0
Move Speed Bonus: 60%
Evasion: 100%
Slow Radius: 325
Move Speed Slow: 15% | 20% | 25% | 30%
Duration: 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 seconds
Cooldown: 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 seconds
Mana Cost: 50
Pierces spell immunity: No
Blocked by Linken's Sphere: No
Dispellable: Yes, any dispel
Lore: Lyralei enchants gusts of winds to flight incoming attacks.

Notes:
  • Windrun interrupts Windranger's channeling spells upon cast.
  • The slow is provided by an aura on Windranger. Its debuff lingers for 2.5 seconds.
  • Windranger can still be blocked by other units when moving (without the invisibility talent).

Usage, tips and tricks:
  • Deceivingly simple, Windrun is your main survivability skill, allowing you to not only run faster but also evade all physical attacks (including towers).
  • Windrun will evade projectile attacks that are already in flight, meaning you can activate Windrun just before a ranged attack hits you and evade it.
  • This is also your primary chasing tool: activate Windrun to catch up to your enemy and slow them for up to 2.5 seconds after Windrun ends.
  • It has a low manacost of 50, so don't hesitate to use it when needed, but keep in mind the cooldown before reengaging. You don't want to be caught with your main escape on cooldown.
  • Be wary of purges in the enemy team: Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Oracle's Fortune's End, Shadow Demon's Demonic Purge or Satyr Banisher's Purge (via Doom Devour or Helm of the Dominator.
  • Be wary of True Strike on the enemy carry ( Monkey King Bar).
  • Windrun does NOT make you magic immune, so be wary of enemy disablers and nukers who can simply ignore your evasion to kill you.

Focus Fire


Type:
Targets:



Active
Enemy Units and Buildings
Windranger channels the wind to gain 400 additional attack speed against a single enemy unit or structure, though with a reduction to her attack damage. Extra damage from secondary item effects is not reduced. Lasts 20 seconds.


Effect: Increases attack speed but reduces attack damage against a specific target.
Cast Animation: 0
Attack Speed Bonus: 450
Attack Damage Reduction: 50% | 40% | 30% (30% | 15% | 0% with Aghanim's Scepter)
Duration: 20 seconds
Cooldown: 60 seconds (15 with Aghanim's Scepter)
Mana Cost: 75 | 100 | 125
Pierces spell immunity: Yes
Blocked by Linken's Sphere: Yes
Dispellable: No
Aghanim's Scepter effect: Reduces cooldown and decreases damage reduction
Lore: Lyralei's ability to bombard opponents with a flurry of arrows is unparalleled - even at the expense of accuracy.

Notes:
  • The cast range of Focus Fire always equal Windranger's attack range (except Hurricane Pike's active).
  • Focus Fire orders Windranger to attack the target upon cast.
  • Only reduces Windranger's main and bonus damage when attacking the target. Damage from item effects (e.g. Monkey King Bar, Diffusal Blade) is unaffected.
  • Focus Fire does not guarantee full attack speed. The provided attack speed can be negated by strong attack speed slows.
  • Windranger can switch attack targets without losing the buff against the Focus Fire target.
  • When the attack target is switched, the attack speed is adjusted as soon as the arrow is shot.
  • When the attack target is switched, the first attack against the new target deals reduced damage. The following attacks deal normal damage.
  • When switching back to the Focus Fire target, the first attack deals normal damage, the following attacks reduced damage.
  • When casting Focus Fire on a target while it's still active on another one, you will only get the buffs against the newest target.
  • While Focus Fire is active, when using the Move command to follow a unit (default M) or the Patrol command, Windranger will stop shooting but still move.

Usage, tips and tricks:
  • Focus Fire gives Windranger her carry potential.
  • Depending on the role you're playing, you might want to skip the first levels of your ultimate (especially if you don't have attack damage) and level up your other skills as needed.
  • Aghanim's Scepter is in most cases mandatory to unlock her full carry potential.
  • Remember, Windranger is not your traditional carry. You might end up killing a target too fast with Focus Fire and not be able to recast it on another enemy, even with Aghanim's Scepter. Use Focus Fire to burst down a crucial enemy hero to ensure your team wins a 5v4 teamfight.
  • Use Focus Fire to quickly take down enemy buildings if given the chance, but play conservatively in case a teamfight erupts. Bursting down an enemy hero can often be more valuable, since you can push much more easily after winning a onesided teamfight.
  • Learn to balance your caster and damage items. Too many of the former and your Focus Fire will deal little damage, too many of the latter and you might not have that crucial Shackleshot.

A wind of change - Talents in detail

I've found Windranger to have quite balanced talent choices all around, especially at levels 10 and 15, since they can have a very meaningful impact on the way you play a certain role through the mid game.

In general, you should try to look at your team's situation when presented with you talent choices, and pick one based on the impact you want to have from that point onwards.

Level 10

+30% Windrun Slow


Recommended for: Any role, especially Offlane.

It's effect is most noticeable when using Windrun offensively to catch up to enemy heroes, but it also increases your escape capabilities, especially against enemy melee heroes, since it lingers for 2.5 seconds after they leave the AoE. The total 60% slow (for potentially 8.5 seconds) can help land Shackleshot, or your allies's skillshots. Even if you only have one level in Windrun, a 45% slow for up to 5 seconds must not be underestimated.
+3 Mana Regen


Recommended for: Any role.

The dream of any hero, a personal Arcane Aura which stacks with Arcane Aura. If you find yourself always running out of mana on the least appropriate moment, this is your talent. It enables spamming Powershot to farm, Windrun to move around, and the ocassional Shackleshot or two in every teamfight. If you take this talent, you can skip mana regen items and go straight into mobility/damage items.

Level 15

+125 Attack Range


Recommended for: Core.

The equivalent of a Dragon Lance in attack range (minus 15), this talent is quite situational. Sure, it brings your attack range up to 725 from 600 without the gold or item slot investment, but if you already have a Force Staff you might as well complete the Hurricane Pike for the same effect. This talent will help you when chasing escaping heroes and when kiting the enemy melee heroes. Other than that, the benefit is minimal if your item build does not support Focus Fire yet, in which case you want to consider the other talent.
+125 Powershot Damage


Recommended for: Any role.

The equivalent of an extra skill point into Powershot, with an extra 25 damage on top, for a total of 575 magic damage. This talent will help you speed up farming lane and jungle creeps, as well as increase your burst damage.

Level 20

Windrun Grants Invisibility


Recommended for: Any role.

The go to pick of this tier, this talent grants you with a full 6 seconds of invisibility on a 12 second cooldown whenever you cast Windrun. It can make your escape ability viable even after your enemies have bought purge items. You will break invisibility whenever you attack or use an item. On the flip side, you can also use Windrun to set up Shackleshot without the enemy knowing about your position. Be wary though, as better opponents might find your aura slow as a pretty obvious tell if you wander too close. Whenever you're ambushing, stay at range, and act (or retreat) fast and decisively! You only have 6 seconds of invisibility after all, and probably no other escape option.
+1s Shackleshot Duration


Recommended for: Support.

This talent grants increases the full stun duration of Shackleshot to a whooping 4.8 seconds. Provided, of course, that you land it in the first place. Absolutely disastrous for the enemy team if you land it on 2 enemy heroes during a teamfight. Get this talent if you are confident on your positioning and Shackleshot skills, since you will not be hard pressed to escape from a stunned (or dead) enemy. Otherwise, the alternative talent at this level provides a much better option utility-wise.

Level 25

30% Cooldown Reduction


Recommended for: Any role.

There's simply no way you're not taking this talent. Basically a free, more powerful Octarine Core passive for the lategame, this brings down Shackleshot's cooldown to 7 sec., Powershot's to 6.3 sec., Windrun's to 8.4, and Focus Fire's to 49 sec. without Aghanim's Scepter or 10.5 with it. Plus, it works with items AND stacks with Octarine Core. At this point in the game, you should have more than enough mana to spam every single one of your abilities at will, with or without this talent.
+35% Ministun Focus Fire


Not quite recommended, very situational.

With this talent, a third of your attacks will proc a 0.01 second stun. Useful for annoying slow autoattack cores (uncommon during the lategame) or channelers (your Shackleshot/ Black King Bar should protect you from them. Other than that, the opportunity cost (and the winrate difference according to DOTABUFF statistics) is too high to pick this.

Like the wind - Versatility in the field

Lyralei is a very versatile hero, capable of holding her own in any lane, either as a core or as a support. Traditionally, she is played as a solo offlaner, eventually transitioning into a semicarry.

Her versatility is her strength, being able to adapt to almost any lineup and to fulfill any required role can often confuse your enemies during the drafting phase, and provides a wide array of options for your team to pick from.

With an attack range of 600, she is able to easily harass the enemy heroes during the laning phase, and with Powershot being one of the most damaging early game nukes her enemies quickly run out of Tangos and Healing Salves, allowing for easy kills with Shackleshot should they overextend.

Windrun can be either an offensive or a defensive ability, depending on whether she wants to slow the enemy, or run away from them.

Focus Fire can be used to burst down an enemy hero or tower, provided she has enough damage.

What really defines which role she's playing is her item build. As a core, she will often get damage items, while as as support, she will get more caster items. In any role however, mobility items are always in the mix.

Can't keep a good girl down - The Offlane build

Featherswing

Windranger can easily thrive in the offlane, since her attack range is enough to get last hits from a safe distance, and she can use Powershot from further away to get last hits and harass at the same time. Windrun makes her very hard to to kill despite being squishy.

Abilities: Focus on leveling up her Powershot on par with Windrun, with a point on Shackleshot when needed for ganks from your team. Delay Focus Fire until you have damage items or you can hit their tower uncontested.
Talents: The +30% Windrun Slow at Level 10 will synergize with the fact that Windrun is almost maxed by this point, resulting in a quite heavy slow for a long duration. This will help you escape easier, and later on will help your team catch up faster to enemies you're chasing. However, try to be conservative with your ability usage, since your mana pool can run out quickly if a fight drags on. At Level 15, picking +125 Powershot Damage will help speed up much needed farming, as well as increase your burst damage. Afterwards, pick the usual: Windrun Grants Invisibility at Level 20, and 30% Cooldown Reduction at Level 25.


Starting items:




Enough regen and stats to stay in the offlane. If possible, ask your support for the Observer Ward, and use it to either block the pull camp or provide vision from the other side of the trees to avoid getting ganked. Do not hesitate to buy HP/Mana regen in the form of Healing Salve/ Clarity if the offlane is particularly difficult.

Early game:

OR
Completing the Null Talisman is just natural considering you started with 2 out of its 3 components. Pick up a Magic Stick and then complete the Magic Wand. It can save you in clutch moments and provide enough mana for your skills. Take your Bounty Rune whenever possible (e.g. lane is pushed). Eventually, complete your choice of boots: Phase Boots for extra mobility and damage, or Arcane Boots if your team doesn't have them already on a support.
  • While laning, take advantage of your attack range and Powershot to last hit and harass the enemy heroes, but stay at range.
  • Save your Windrun for sticky situations, and ALWAYS make sure you have enough mana for at least one Windrun (50).
  • Use the courier to bring more regen as necessary.
  • A second Null Talisman can be an option if you don't really need the Magic Wand.
  • Every couple of minutes, you can use Powershot to push the lane and go take your Bounty Rune, without missing any creepwaves in the process.
  • Communicate with your team for ganks.

Core:

OR/AND
OR
Depending on how well you're doing, you might be able to pick up a fast Blink Dagger into a Monkey King Bar. You can buy a Force Staff or a Maelstrom instead, if you're not doing so good. In general, rush a mobility item and then go for damage.
  • By the time you get your core items, your team should be looking for fights. Make sure you are there to land your abilities when they happen.
  • Both Monkey King Bar and Maelstrom synergize well with Focus Fire, even without an Aghanim's Scepter, since you can proc it a lot with the sheer volume of autoattacks. The lightning bounce damage is not reduced by Focus Fire.

Extension:

Both choices are meant for Focus Fire. Aghanim's Scepter is definitely the best option, since it will allow you to Focus Fire multiple times during a teamfight.


Situational:



Black King Bar if you find yourself being disabled too much.
Linken's Sphere if there are annoying single target spells like Rupture.
Orchid Malevolence if you can't kill those annoying spellcasters, like Storm Spirit.
Diffusal Blade if you think you could use the mana burn or the purge slow, like against Wraith King.


Lategame:



At this point in the game, your itemization is up to you. Replace your Town Portal Scroll with Boots of Travel for an extra slot in which to fit your needs. Upgrade Crystalys or Orchid Malevolence into a Bloodthorn for even more single target damage. Expand your team's disable arsenal with a Scythe of Vyse. Or grab a Satanic for the lifesteal sustain during teamfights.

Wild winds rising! - The Midlane build

Flowersong Tempest

Windranger's best lane is arguably the midlane, as she benefits from both gold and levels. With a good waveclear nuke in Powershot, and the potential to solokill with Shackleshot and Focus Fire, there is no doubt the enemy midlaner will have a hard time against her. Her high mobility allows for quick ganks at the sidelanes, while her tower killing potential means the enemy cannot leave their midlane uncontested to gank their sidelanes.

Abilities: Focus on leveling up her Powershot on par with Shackleshot, with a point on Windrun when needed to escape incoming ganks. Level up Focus Fire whenever you can.
Talents: At Level 10, the choice is yours. Increase your potential utility with +30% Windrun Slow, or spam your abilities with +3 Mana Regen. At Level 15, picking +125 Powershot Damage will help speed up your farming, as well as increase your burst damage, while picking +125 Attack Range will help chase and kite, provided you have some damage items already. Afterwards, pick the usual: Windrun Grants Invisibility at Level 20, and 30% Cooldown Reduction at Level 25.


Starting items:




Kindly ask your supports for Tango (Shared). Circlet and Mantle of Intelligence provide much needed stats and can be easily upgraded into a Null Talisman. When needed, plant your Iron Branch and immediately use your Tango (Shared) on it to maximise your regen. Don't hesitate to use your Faerie Fire for the burst heal at the last possible moment if you're escaping a gank. As usual, block the creeps. If required, ask your supports for an Observer Ward on the enemy highground.

Early game:


Get your Bottle delivered ASAP, but don't neglect bringing Healing Salve and Clarity if you need them badly. You have to stay on the lane. Eventually, get your Phase Boots and transition into your desired core items. If the enemy midlaner is quite the spellcaster, you can have the courier bring you a Magic Stick or Magic Wand for the burst heal when needed.
  • While laning, take advantage of your attack range, high starting damage and Powershot to last hit and harass the enemy hero.
  • Save your Windrun for sticky situations, and ALWAYS make sure you have enough mana for at least one Windrun.
  • Every couple of minutes, you can use Powershot to push the lane and go for the river rune, or, if the lane is already pushing, use Powershot to scout a rune location from your lane.
  • Communicate with your team for ganks.
  • If the creepwaves meet in favor of your enemy, get close to the enemy creepwave, right click the enemy hero and run back to pull the creeps closer to your side of the river. You don't have to actually attack the enemy hero to do this, but you must be within 500 units of the enemy creeps.
  • Bottle alone might not cover all your regen needs. Don't hesitate to use the courier to bring more regen as necessary, especially if you don't have a Bottle yet.

Core:


Pick up your Blink Dagger ASAP and then invest into a Monkey King Bar. Keep up with the ganks to rack up gold. Use your Blink Dagger to help setup Shackleshot. Monkey King Bar provides the highest DPS increase to your Focus Fire.
  • By the time you get your core items, your team should be looking for fights. Make sure you are there to land your abilities when they happen.
  • Press your advantage after successful ganks by using Focus Fire to quickly take down enemy towers if out of cooldown.

Core (Alternate):

Maelstrom is a cheaper alternative to Monkey King Bar if your farm is not on point. It will also speed up your farming on lane and jungle creeps, but it does not provide the same DPS.

Extension:

Your best bet for more damage: add crits on top of Focus Fire to burst down enemy heroes much faster.


Situational:




Black King Bar if you find yourself being disabled too much.
Linken's Sphere if there are annoying single target spells like Rupture.
Force Staff if the enemy heroes are focused on disabling your Blink Dagger or as another escape option.
Orchid Malevolence if you can't kill those annoying spellcasters, like Storm Spirit.
Diffusal Blade if you think you could use the mana burn or the purge slow, like against Wraith King.
Hand of Midas if you are really ahead, but keep in mind the opportunity cost of delaying your core items.


Lategame:



At this point in the game, your itemization is up to you. Replace your Town Portal Scroll with Boots of Travel for an extra slot in which to fit your needs. Upgrade Crystalys or Orchid Malevolence into a Bloodthorn for even more single target damage. Expand your team's disable arsenal with a Scythe of Vyse. Or grab a Satanic for the lifesteal sustain during teamfights.

You've got my wind up - The Support build

Falconside Armor

Windranger is a great laning partner. With the ability to easily harass from range with autoattacks and Powershot, and a decent stun and slow, the enemy offlaner often has stay back and not contest last hits, or risk death to a well placed Shackleshot. When roaming/ganking, the Shackleshot into Powershot combo can force the enemy to retreat, only to die under their own tower when diving with Windrun.

Abilities: Focus on leveling up her Powershot. Decide whether you need Shackleshot more or Windrun more, and level them up accordingly. Both provide good utility, so make sure to have at least a point in each. You can delay leveling up Focus Fire until you can push towers with your team since it's not very useful without damage items.
Talents: At Level 10, the choice is yours. Increase your array of disables with +30% Windrun Slow, or spam your abilities with +3 Mana Regen. At Level 15, +125 Powershot Damage to increase your burst damage capabilities. At level 20, if you can land those crucial Shackleshots: +1 Shackleshot duration. Otherwise, pick the usual Windrun Grants Invisibility. Finally, 30% Cooldown Reduction at Level 25 since you most definitely have several support items that benefit from it.


Starting items:




Buy your preferred mix of support items. Make sure your team has an Animal Courier and both Observer Wards are out of stock. If your supporting partner has not done so already, share Tango with your midlaner. If you have leftover gold, consider buying Sentry Ward and Smoke of Deceit. Otherwise, feel free to pick up more regen in the form of Tango/ Clarity, stats as a Circlet or movespeed with a Wind Lace.
  • The placement of the first Observer Ward is often crucial to the early game. You can give it to the offlane to block the pull camp, place it on the midlane highground, on the rune ward spot, or where the river meets your lane to check on the enemy offlane's position when pulling.

The support items:



Buy them throughout the whole game, trying to split the responsibility between you and the other support. The Tome of Knowledge should generally go to the lowest leveled hero of the team, but if nobody is buying it you might as well do it yourself. Use Smoke of Deceit with your support partner to gank during the laning phase, and later on to gank the enemy jungle. Never neglect Sentry Wards, even if there are no invisible heroes in the enemy team, use them to deward at least the most common warding spots. Buy Dust of Appearance if your cores won't do it.
  • Windranger can fill a position 5 hard support role, but I would not recommend it unless you know what you're doing, since you will find yourself with no items at all, while she requires at least some degree of mobility for positioning and good ability usage.

Early game:


Getting Boots of Speed is your absolute priority, but don't hesitate on getting a Magic Stick earlier if you need it. Try to always have a Town Portal Scroll ready in case you need to respond to a gank in another lane. Every couple of minutes, go pick up your Bounty Rune if your support partner hasn't already.
  • Depending on who your support partner is, you might find yourself either roaming for ganks or babysitting your safelane. Make sure you know when you can leave your safelane and when you should not (mostly depends on how independent your safelane hero is). Coordinate with your support partner.
  • When babysitting, Windranger can easily zone the enemy offlaner from afar thanks to her attack range and Powershot damage.
  • Do not aim your Powershot at the creepwave, since it will push it pretty heavily. Try to aim at the enemy offlaner while hiding behind fog of war, so he cannot dodge it easily.
  • It's easier to Shackleshot the enemy offlaner to a tree when coming from the side of the lane, rather than trying to Shackleshot him with a creep from the front.
  • When ganking, you must line up your Shackleshot correctly, otherwise it will be a waste.
  • When diving the tower, activate Windrun just before its attack hits you, to tank for the most amount of time.
  • When the enemy responds to a gank, try to avoid diving. Windrun will not last long against disables. Plot alternate escape routes behind the enemy tower in case you were already diving and someone teleports in.

Early game options:


OR

If your supporting partner has the Arcane Boots covered, feel free to pick up Tranquil Boots or even Phase Boots. A Magic Wand can help you keep up with the HP and mana. Optionally, get an Urn of Shadows for healing after teamfights, or to stop Blink Daggers on the enemy team, if your team doesn't have one already. If your team lineup has several spellcasters, consider picking up a Crown in anticipation of a Veil of Discord.

Core:

Pick either one, or both if you want. In teamfights, mobility is the key to your positioning. And positioning can make the difference when trying to land that crucial Shackleshot.
  • By the time you get your core items, your team should be looking for fights. Make sure you are there to land your abilities when they happen.
  • Press your advantage after successful teamfights by using Focus Fire to quickly take down enemy towers if possible.

Core options:




Depending on what your team needs, you might find yourself buying one or several of these. Solar Crest is great when your team has a lot of physical damage. Conversely, Veil of Discord is great when your team has a lot of magic damage. Mekansm can help turn around teamfights, and Eul's Scepter of Divinity can disrupt the enemy's placement, purge you from silences and other debuffs, purge enemy buffs, or save you from certain death by giving you a couple more seconds for Blink Dagger, Force Staff or Windrun to come off cooldown. Kaya can help with your mana management, while Spirit Vessel can help cover your team's HP needs (or be used against enemies). The Glimmer Cape is a great pickup if the enemy team is magic heavy, and can be another escape alternative if you picked the +1 Shackleshot duration talent at level 20.

Extension:

Aghanim's Scepter enables your transition from a support spellcaster to a semi-carry, so consider it as an option when your team starts lacking damage. The investment is high since you also need damage items for Focus Fire to come online, so choose carefully.


Situational:




Black King Bar if you find yourself being disabled too much.
Heaven's Halberd if there is no other way to control the enemy carry.
Lotus Orb gives you the utility of a basic dispel, allowing you to remove silences and other basic debuffs from you and your teammates, in addition to reflecting single target spells back to the caster.
Orchid Malevolence if you can't control those annoying spellcasters, like Storm Spirit.
Rod of Atos for the fast heroes that can dodge up your Shackleshot, like Dark Seer or Bloodseeker.
Pipe of Insight if the enemies deal a lot of magic damage and if your team does not already have one.


Lategame:

At this point in the game, your itemization is up to you. Combine your Arcane Boots with Mekansm into Guardian Greaves. Expand your team's disable arsenal with a Scythe of Vyse. Or grab an Octarine Core for survivability and ability spamming. There's also the option to transition into more physical damage items.

Here, have an arrow. No, in fact, have two - Allies

Blade and bow

Good synergies (in no particular order):


Not so good synergies:

That… wasn't nice - Enemies

Best versus:


Countered by:

  • Heavy disables: Needless to say, getting chainstunned is the nightmare of any hero without magic immunity. Play around them with good reflexes, casting Windrun before the first stun can often save you when the damage dealers are autoattackers.
  • Heavy spell damage: Avoid getting jumped on by heroes like Tinker or Puck, who can easily bring you from 100 to 0 in a couple spells. Do not stick around the enemy Venomancer at all.
  • Purges: Be wary of heroes who can purge your Windrun like Oracle or Shadow Demon, and of Diffusal Blade's on the enemies' carry. Get a secondary escape mechanism, like a Force Staff.
  • Silences: Since you depend heavily on spells to deal damage, heroes like Silencer or Skywrath Mage can be a pain to deal with. Try to get the jump on them and kill them before they can get a silence off. Be wary of enemy heroes carrying Orchid Malevolence or Bloodthorn.
  • Passive return damage: Since Focus Fire is often your primary damage dealing ability, be careful when casting it on Axe, Centaur Warrunner , Bristleback and Spectre. The high amount of attacks on the first two can often mean: killing any teammates around Axe, or killing yourself against Return. The high amount of damage on Bristleback can mean a lot of Quill Sprays if you're not attacking him from the front. The same goes for Spectre's Dispersion, but you can't really play around it.
  • Honorable Mention: Broodmother's spiderlings cannot be cleared easily with only Powershot, so you will need help from your team against her. The same spiderlings can also mess up some of your Shackleshots if you're not aiming for the heroes. Be sure to have detection around the webs, since if she has Orchid Malevolence or Bloodthorn you will not be able to escape easily.

For a detailed list of matchups, check https://www.dotabuff.com/heroes/windranger/matchups

Good shot, right? - Closing words

Congratulations! You've made it to the end of my wall of text. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. By this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how to play Windranger in any role, but don't forget: practice makes perfect! Experiment until you feel comfortable with your build and playstyle, and remember: the path to victory is not set in stone.

Feel free to leave your feedback, and thank you for your support!

See you on the battlefield!
Eddnamed

Loading screens' credits go to their respective artists.

2019-02-14 Updated for patch 7.21
2019-05-01 Updated ability stats

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