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6 Votes

Obtain cleave dismiss enemy team - Wall of text

December 22, 2014 by HurrDurr
Comments: 4    |    Views: 82407    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Pub slayer

DotA2 Hero: Sven

Hero Skills

Storm Hammer

1 3 5 7

Great Cleave

8 9 10 12 15


2 13 14 17

God's Strength

6 11 16


4 18

Who is Sven?

Sven in a nutshell is a baller rogue knight who doesn't give two ***** about other knights. He's a small(ish) blue guy until **** gets real where he turns red and starts shouting at his enemy (and allies). The most terrifying fight is not against the champion boxer wearing top tier shoes and equipment but rather against the large 7 foot man with bright red skin who also happens to be shouting at you about eating your flesh. Not a great time.

But in seriousness Sven has a large AOE stun with good damage, a cleave ability that hits everything around everything he hits. A warcry to increase all ally speed and armour (and himself obviously). And god strength granting him huge bonus damage for a small time. He's also got a piss poor mana pool but oh well eh.

Since the new update he also has absurd armour which gives him a much stronger lane. Sven also comes online as a carry very quickly often giving you the option to snowball before the enemy carry has even finished farming.

Sven's main attraction is that you can play him in a carry style and set yourself up for a very strong lategame but is a hero that doesn't leave his team to fend for themselves while you farm in the jungle. Sven can fight from as early to level 11 and with minimal farm can rapidly change the course of a fight. Not only that but Sven's laning, unlike most other carries like Anti-Mage is quite strong due to having a high damage stun which is even AOE.

Next up is Sven's ability to tear apart certain heroes that rely on massing the enemy. These include Meepo, Phantom lancer and recently Terroblade. Greater cleave not only melts low armour heroes but also their friends behind them as cleave only applies armour from the primary target.

Sven's arsenal

Storm hammer - A huge ****ing hammer that you throw at people. Sven even goes the extra mile and gives it some lightning properties because clearly throwing a hammer wasn't terrifying enough. Its got a large AOE which stuns everyone in the radius for 2 seconds at all levels. It does a good amount of damage but sadly does not go through BKB. You should never use this ability to harass in lane (almost never). Consider stealing kills with this as you are the carry. Use it in teamfights to land those 5 man stuns or to catch up to enemies with.

Great cleave - This ability means that when you hit a primary target a large cone behind that target also takes a percentage of the damage. This is very useful as the damage is pure in cleave. In other words hitting someone with -20 armour (slardar, cuirass etc) and critting for 1.5k damage will do 65% to everyone behind your target even if they have 80 armour themselves. It also rips through illusion based heroes and Meepo. Don't level it in lane as it cleave creeps which will push the lane.

Warcry - Low mana cost spell thats gives you and your allies bonus armour and movespeed in an AOE. Use it to chase and tank up in teamfights. Don't hesitate to use it to save yourself or allies.

God's strength - Grants you bonus damage for a short duration. But only considers BASE damage. (ie rapier's 300 damage does not give you 600 bonus damage at level 3 god strength). Use it in fight. Win fight. Win game.

When should I pick Sven?

As previously mentioned heroes with lots of illusions or copies (ie lancer, terror, meepo, naga) will be tore apart with greater cleave and storm hammer. Sven also does very strongly against teams without either disables that don't go through BKB or disables in general. Sven is very strong against enemy heroes that rely on magical attacks due to his ability to quickly farm up a BKB.

Sven is especially strong against heroes who have low movespeed or no ability in order to boost it. However even this is questionable due to Sven's lategame when he gets warcry.

Having the following allies make Sven significantly stronger.

Magnus - With his ultimate, reverse polarity, he sucks in and stuns in a large AOE. This is perfect for Sven's cleave. He can also enhance Sven's cleave and damage with empower. An great ally out of lane.

Dark seer - Another friend of Sven's in teamfights but not in lane due to his Q, vaccum doing much the same as Magnus' RP except easier to land but not stunning. His ion shell can also help boost Sven's damage a little. His surge is also very useful for Sven to chase.

Lion - Lion a best friend to any melee carry with his stuns, disables and life saving nukes. Sven is no exception, coupled they can nuke out the sun. Lion is also great because Sven needs the enemy to be slow or himself to be fast to get those massive auto attacks in. Lion can do just that.

Lina - Same reasons Lion except she has a stronger levels 1-5 but weaker 6. Her stun can be set up by storm hammer, leading to insane amounts of damage.

Leshrac - Once again, same as Lina

Ancient appiration - He's not bad at all, your stun and his stun can combo and his chilling touch is ok.

Keeper of the light - KOTOL GIFF ME MANA

Earthshaker - He's decent but he's melee, this really isn't ideal

When shouldn't I pick Sven?

While Sven presents a very real threat while on the move with his ult up there are certain heroes that you should not pick Sven against.. The following list is in tiers of annoyance/counter abilities.

Not even once :
Omniknight. His magic immune stops your storm hammer while its flying in lane blocking those first blood attempts, his heal denies you all your kills and you close quarters nature means you get nuked every single time. Sven's damage comes from autoattacks which can only be possible when in melee range and while degen aura is not huge the slow does add up in conjunction with other slows. Not only that but his ult lategame with an ags means you are essentially useless for the first 5 seconds of the fight. This is usually when you waste your BKB and get stunned down afterwards. I wouldn't pick Sven against Omni if he also has a strong lategame carry. (ie if they have 4 nukers and omni then feel free to pick Sven)..

Abddon - Thats a pretty cool 1300 crit cleave, I'll just use this to heal myself thanks.
If this does happen then there's not a lot you can do except maybe bait out the ult and THEN hit the enemy team.

Mumble**** nonsense:
Viper - He slows your attack speed to nothing, your movespeed to nothing. That's usually a bad thing. But not to worry, a BKB is all you need for this guy.

Lifestealer - He just hits you harder than you hit him, your tankiness is to his advantage and he can pop his magic immune as your storm hammer is flying. Not great but once you start getting those daedullus crits you be fine.

Necrolyte - His ult just kills you in the lategame and he's a pain in lane. Your BKB negates damage but not the stun from his ult. Not much you can do against this one I'm afraid.

Ursa - He just wrecks you because he hits you far far harder than you hit him. But luckily you have a stun that Ursa dreadfully lacks. In lane he will easily outdamage you due to those fury swipes stacks. If he gets blink and BKB it'll be hard to match his damage.

Clinkz AND Weaver - These two are basically the same, they build linkens and annoy you. Both destroy you in lane. You need a good team for this one.

Visage - Stuns and slows. Not too bad. His birds will always do decent damage to you.

Razor - Steals your damage and slows you when you target him with your stun. Shouldn't be a problem after BKB.

Sniper AND Drow - Long ranged, slows you with slows and ministuns. Annoying in lane. Easy to kill lategame though.

Enigma - Black hole and midnight pulse go through BKB. Just try not to initiate first against him.

Invoker - With the new Quas/Wex invoker becoming more popular those EMP and tornado disables really shut you down in a fight if you don't have the mana for your skills.

Naga siren - Either waste ult due to her song or use BKB and go into a 1v5 fight. Not a fun choice.

Other moments when Sven might not be the best pick :
Your team is currently 4 carries. Don't be that guy.
Your team doesn't synergise. Nothing better than Sven ult and BKB only for naga to come in with a song.
Enemy team has 5 pushers. Sven comes online pretty quickly but you don't really want a 4 second BKB 20 minutes in.

Sven in the lane

Sven should be going safe lane(bot for radiant top for dire) with a support. He does well in hard lane but safe lane is generally better as it allows him to play more aggresive in lane with a great stun and a decent gap closer. He has decent starting damage but a quelling blade is quite needed to pick up those last hits that you would normally miss. He also needs a stout shield as he can easily trade hits even with range supports with his new armour buff. Its nice to lane with supports with powerful stuns or nukes. For this purpose I like Leshrac and Lina due to their high nuking power, range and above all the second stun which can be set up by the storm hammer. Farm as many creeps you can in lane but focus on those all important hero kills. A storm hammer coupled with auto attacks and nukes should take down even tankier heroes. Just be careful not to play over aggresive as Sven's escape, warcry is quite weak. You should either get boots first if you're having trouble chasing or running or a quick morbid mask from side shop in order to have less troubles staying in lane. You shouldn't take greater cleave as it pushes the lane but if you have good farm then take it for earlier teamfight prowess. Don't take warcry more than once as the armour bonus doesn't scale very well as earlygame heroes rely on spells more than auto attacks. Try not to use storm gaunlet to harass as Sven's feeble mana pool will be burnt very quickly indeed. After getting your mask of madness and power treads you should be roaming, looking for kills. Getting kills as Sven in the lane is relatively easy if you have another stun in your lane.


At around level 11 you should have mask of madness, treads and your starting items. You should be leaving your lane unless you're really winning it or have unopposed farm. Otherwise go to mid and look for kills. Don't be worried to pop the ult and mask as the cooldown is pretty minor. You should be careful around towers with mask on as you WILL melt. Try to have your mid bait their skills first before engaging. Ganking the jungle and top lane are also reccomended and its easier to kill junglers such as lfiestealer due to the fact they will be low anyway in the jungle. Carry a TP incase your support bot gets in trouble. If you just cannot find those all important kills then go to jungle and melt the camps with your greater cleave. Sven is a poor jungler at low levels but it should be enough to buy your black king bar. The main aim of this stage in the game is to farm your black king bar for the big game winning teamfights. Consider doing ancients with your ult for that final recipe or mithril hammer. Always buy ogre club first for a little bit of damage and tankiness. This is a huge advantage of Sven, if the lane is going badly he can easily transition into a roamer/ganker and then pick up the gold deficit.

The teamfights begin

As Sven you're a tank but you're not as tanky as most people think he is. Even with a BKB he will still melt to blade mail, axe in general and lifestealer and co. Luckily for you Sven can move in and get his rampage without even taking a hit. As Sven you should be moving in after the rest of your team. By this time the core of the enemy nukes and disables should already be used. It is at this time you pop your BKB, ult and mask of madness. Wait for the ideal moment to storm hammer, either saving it if the enemy team are crippled by slows such as upheaval or poisonous gale. If this is not the case then use it on the biggest threat or the largest group of enemies. If you have a dark seer or magnus try to coordinate your stun with their ult and Q respectively. At this point yu should simply hit the hero with the lowest armour to do pure cleave damage to the rest of the group or the biggest threat if they are not packed together. Another option is to go in without BKB and activate it during the fight when you have lots of debuffs and dispel them. You should use this option if your team are really too fragile to take some hits.
If the enemy team really don't want to teamfight because they are not ready yet then you can probably rush them by pushing or taking some towers. After every fight you should ALWAYS take a tower or some ancient creeps with whatever is left with your ult. Sven was not built for the lategame base crack wars. You need to win and win quickly. After a big teamwipe consider doing Roshan. Try to do him with at least 3 people as Sven without his ult has very little damage and he cannot solo tank Roshan. Warcry on cooldown to help your team and mask of madness when you're not being focused.

Its been 50 minutes and we've not won yet!

Generally speaking, your chances are now thin.
As you can see by not taking your game quick and early you risk getting outstripped in the lategame, when your BKB starts losing its vigour and your ult falls off in terms of damage. Sven should be going for the quick fight, quick push and quick win. A drawn out slugfest of teamfights and pushing is not what Sven is cut out to do. There's simply too much stuff that can shut Sven down in the late game. Abbysal blade, Vyse, Eul's, Heaven's halberd, Orchid. Not only that but Doom, Silencer, Lion, Shadow shaman and the like will all shut you down. But if you have made it this far and nobody has taken barracks yet, all is not lost. You just need to play smart and end it very soon.
Sell your mask of madness for Mjonnir or Cuirass. The increased damage is too much in the lategame for Sven to handle so buy an alternative attack speed booster or simply ask your team to buff you with Bloodlust or that sort of skill. You should focus on survival items from the 50 minute mark, sure you need your Daedullus but there is no need to buy things like Desolater or MKB. Once you get the money get satanic, coupled with BKB it will be tough to take you down without you dropping half the enemy team. Activate it when you are at about half health and your BKB is about to run out. You MUST hit something during the active even if its just a creep. Those few seconds for Sven is the difference between a rampage and a team wipe. In this same vein buy yourself a heart of tarraque. If the enemy team focus you buy a blade mail too. If the game has turned into ven vs (insert enemy carry here) then buy an abbysal blade to give yourself a small advantage over him. Finally consider buying boots of travel once you have everything else and a shadow blade/blink dagger if the enemy are sitting behind their towers and defending from afar, use these items to force a fight and win.


What are all these situational items for anyway?

An armlet is used if you are quite good at the game and you are able to armlet toggle your way past enemy chasing you down. Its also a decent offensive item as it grants you a large bonus to strength, damage and attack speed. I personally don't like armlet simply because Sven already has quite a bit to buy that by the time I can get my armlet its already fallen off in terms to effectiveness.

When/Why do I get this item : Enemy team has Axe, Venomancer or other damage over time. Enemy team has slow but hard hitters like Kunkka or Dragon Knight.

Battle fury's 35% cleave stacks with your natural cleave giving you 100% pure cleave. Often a single crit is enough to kill everything in an AOE in front of you with this item. It also gives a huge 60 damage as well as much needed mana regen. I sometimes get this item but it just doesn't seem to justify the cost. Its a decent item and allows you to pick up a ring of health in lane rather than morbid mask.

When/Why do I get this item : The game was over 25 minutes ago and you're just killing them for fun. Your team has no arcane boots. The enemy team's illusion hero has gotten absurdly tanky. Someone on the enemy team has 60 armour.

Bottle is a decent item but since you're not going mid you have no excuse to steal the runes and you should be staying in lane. But at least it gives you a way to get mana. Its a costly item thought and a support's arcanes should normally be good enough.

When/Why do I get this item : For some reason you're mid as Sven. You're going back to fountain after every fight. Its the late game and you REALLY want a double damage rune.

Don't buy arcanes unless literally nobody else is.
Drums are not bad, gives some good stats. Buy these if you're going for the lategame.
Buy Midas if you're going for the lategame or you got first blood and 8 kills after that in 5 minutes.
I really don't reccomend soul ring but apparently this is a thing. Buy it at your own risk.

Special mention : Urn of shadows - I've never ever got this item because it costs 875 for a little bit of healing between fights, what is lifesteal for anyway, just hit some creeps in lane. Anyway the russian pudge on team probaly has already got one and is arguing with your Rubick about why they have 2 urns. So yeah. That's why its not in this guide.

Other Special mention : Blink is extremely strong but it is also expensive, I'd only ever get it if you're the team's main form of initiation or you're getting kited really badly.

We're down to our tier 3s and have been outplayed.

Now is the time for drastic measures. The game is by no means over by this point. The way to win a comeback game is to use comeback tactics, and items. This section should hopefully give you a deeper understanding of turning the tides in pub games.

Firstly tell your team to stay behind your final towers, deny any tier 2s you can and fall back to the high ground. From here you should be making your last stand. Firstly nobody should venture past the high ground except to clear the creep wave or ward. This is VERY important. You got here by feeding, you get out by not feeding anymore. Secondly you must change your attitude to the game. A teamfight where you pick off two but lose two is a VICTORY. They have higher levels, higher bounties (most likely) and give more experience and the opposite is true for your losses. Thirdly you should be warding the map at this point. Ward YOUR ancients, YOUR jungle and Roshan. You're not warding the runes because they are easily out of your control by this point. If they do Roshan and you're so far behind you can't stop them then try everything you can to stall 6 minutes while the aegis burns. Use smoke to pick off lone targets then all TP back. All carry TP. Buy single target items like halberd and cheap cost effective tank items like platemail or cloak. Pick off the enemy carry in teamfights and run. If the push comes mid, push both side lanes. Buy bassilius to help your creeps. Burn the enemy wave with long range AOE. So on and so forth. If you can do this until the enemy either loses their edge due to picking all midgame heroes or you overcome the gold difference you can slowly move forwards and claim the game for yourselves.
If it comes to it, buy a rapier and either win or go down in glory. Don't buy rapier except as an ABSOLUTE last resort. Good luck.

Supportish Sven

If Sven if unable to snowball out of control he has one added benefit that most other carries lack, he can switch to a support role and still possibly carry the lategame. In order to play support Sven you need to overcome the need to killsteal with your Q and dominating the fight with your ult. Instead spend your time pulling as a melee support is quite useless in lane, especially with Sven's weak mana pool and un-spammable spells. Instead try to lane with a ranged second stun carry and go for kills with double stuns. When you can buy urn and arcanes and start roaming as always. Use urn to mostly heal team though. Instead of mask of mandess you need to support your team and survive in the teamfight so buy a hyperstone which you can always buy into assault cuirass. If you really can't switch over to your lategame carry role and buy your cuirass and BKB and try to weaken the enemy team as much as you can and have your team finish them off. You should mostly use your ult to push towers rather than to fight in teamfights. Don't forget to buy your drums and help your base damage. Use the aura in teamfights and it will give your team a noticeable advantage. Remember that its better for you to die than your team and use your Q for saves and such rather than to land finishing blows.

Reasons for MoM

Everyone seems to think that Mask of madness is a noob item that makes you die in seconds. Not true for earlygame Sven. Warcry will negate the bonus damage and nobody earlygame can really stand up to Sven's sheer DPS (save maybe Ursa and terrorblade et al) and this is enhanced when you have a BKB as well. It also gives great lifesteal which makes your laning easier. Not only that but combined with warcry you have a very high movespeed which gives Sven his ability to dish large amount of damage due to his melee range.

If you don't want MoM then I mainly recommend an armlet due to it giving you essentially the same anount of DPS and also a dominator as you still need lifesteal.

It's here I need to add that in recent times a Dominator is a good replacement for MoM as you can use it to stack ancients for a more lategame Sven. I would only ever recommend this if you have better lategame than them and you think your team can survive the early game largely without your help.

Pros + Cons

Unavoidable 2 second AOE stun
Transition from support and carry
Easy to score rampages due to cleave
Great farmer
+16 armour to team in an AOE
Massive damage boost from ult

Poor against armour
Weak against omniknight and halberd
Poor intiation skills
After Daedullus damage is somewhat unreliable


21 september 2013 - added build 2 for high level play, added magnus and seer to friends list
17 october 2013 - Added support Sven
4 april 2013 - changed guide significantly - will add detailed description to ALL items and also pretty pictures. Will rewrite some major sections to reconsider for patches.
22 december 2014 - Re-wrote several sections due to patches

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