This guide suggests multiple Ogre-Magi builds for different but specific purposes.
It was created because while playing around with the Dota 2 Hero Calculator, I learned how levels and items impacted the various strengths and weaknesses of various heroes, and WHY certain items become Core on various heroes, and why rushing Luxury items on certain heroes are a bad idea.
With that knowledge, I created a list of "best" items for Ogre Magi, each tailored to specific situations. Hopefully going through this thought process will help others understand how heroes and items fit together, so they can make their own "best" builds.
Yes, EVERYTHING can be said to be situational, and others will say "it doesn't matter what items you buy in pubs", but with those caveats, here are two builds, and some of the better item synergies on Ogre Magi.
The whole point of this build is to help your carry get a kill in lane. Your stun does not increase in duration, and your highest damage/skill level is to max ignite first (which also maxes your slow duration). You Bloodlust your carry so they can chase and get the last hit.
If you are doing anything other than lane support in a dual lane with an aggressive carry, USE SOME OTHER BUILD.
Your lategame transition is into ganking (if it's that kind of game) or more likely, team support/disabler.
The idea behind this build is to get the largest burst possible using Fireblast, by Level 7 (Multi-casted L4 Fireblast).
You will pick up some early-game items to help you gank, and if you do well, transition into a bigger item to continue your effectiveness mid and lategame.
As per DotaBuff at the time of this writing, this is the most popular Ogre-Magi build.
In almost all cases, you're best to get Arcane Boots on Ogre Magi, simply because he needs the regen and mana-pool to supply his hard-hitting, low-cooldown nukes.
However, Ogre suits a lot of other roles, albeit not optimally. Still, with the right items, he can fit into many strategies.
First, what Ogre Magi does NOT need is:
Ogre is already quite tanky. A Force Staff provides mana pool, buffs right-click and provides some hp regen, all of which help Ogre.
A Pipe of Insight is a tough item to get on many heroes, as it doesn't provide any stats. However, Ogre Magi is already tough, with good hp and armor, and will survive teamfights quite well with the addition of a Pipe.
Consider this option when facing a team of nukers.
Granted, Ogre Magi is not picked for his ability to push. However, if you find yourself to be a die-hard Ogre player and your team wants heavy push, choose these items. They actually fit remarkably well with Ogre.
Necronomicon: What's the most annoying thing to Ogre? No, it's not tying his shoes, but close; it's when squishies he's trying to gank vanish into thin air! Well, Necrobook 3 will solve this problem with some nice truesight. Furthermore, you get more Strength for extra tankiness, and more Intelligence for bashing people in the face! I mean... er... for more mana pool.
Ring of Basilius is a good item to get even before Arcane Boots, because sub-36 Intelligence, RoB actually gives better mana regen than a Sage's Mask, and it gives armor and regen all around you as well! This is one time that Ogre doesn't mind sharing...
I will note, from experience, that Multicast'ed Ignite isn't such a bad pushing skill for creep clearing, and Bloodlust'ing a catapult is actually quite effective for destroying towers (even if you have to fall back, heroes don't destroy catapults very quickly, and the catapult will continue to pelt the tower with its Siege Damage even after you leave - this is why you Bloodlust the catapult before yourself).
With only a single-target disable (unless you count the AOE from multi-casted Ignite), Ogre Magi is better at skirmishes than 5v5 initiations. However, with a Blink Dagger and a Veil of Discord, Ogre can jump in, stun or even outright kill a key target, and also debuff the entire enemy team (hopefully) with the Veil.
It ain't pretty - but neither is an ogre...
Granted, Ogre Magi isn't going to late-game carry as a right-clicker, but at around mid-game, with enough farm and a couple of early, cheap items, Ogre can hit the road with the best of them. Ow! The only way you can really get away with this, however, is against an enemy team with few hard disables, or when the enemies are distracted by your teammates and the enemies don't think that Ogre Magi is going to walk up to them and bash their faces in.
If you're going for this LOLZ build, here are some suggested items:
Rod of Atos gives a giant boost to Int for its cost, both boosting mana pool for spells, and also buffing health. It is +75 hp and +5 Int better than the effects of its components individually. The slow is huge (60%), and has a crazy 1200 range.
Crystalys is among the most efficient, early dps items in the game, for any right-clicker. Crit is good. Bursty is good. (Ogre likez both 'doze 'fings).
Skull Basher is a good way to get damage cheaply, with the added bonus of an occasional disable your target. It synergizes decently with Bloodlust's attack speed buff, and allows Ogre to club enemies a few more times in case they are thinking of getting away or casting some annoying spell.
In general, Ogre Magi should NOT be played defensively, or as a tank. He's tanky, but unlike Axe, Bristleback or Centaur Warrunner , Ogre Magi doesn't hurt people back as they hit him.
However, if you're getting focused heavily, then the following items could be appropriate:
Ghost Scepter: Do NOT buy this item when there are a lot of nukers on the enemy team, or you're just going to be dead faster. This item is to gain a decent, general stat boost while also making right-click useless against you for a short time (hopefully just long enough for your spells to come off cooldown again).
Blade Mail: I'm almost surprised I'm even suggesting this, but here are some situations where it becomes a really good idea. Blade Mail gives Int and right-click, both of which are decent on Ogre, and more armor, which Ogre actually doesn't need all that much unless facing massive right-click. Still, the mere fact of HAVING a Blade Mail can deflect enemies towards other targets, which is exactly what you want so you can be left alone to nuke, and nuke, and nuke. It's also quite good against glass-cannon (weak but hard-hitting) enemy carries like Phantom Assassin, Riki or Sniper, where they will literally kill themselves faster than they can kill you. Should an enemy have a BKB active, you can manfight them while Blade Mail is active, whittling their BKB time down, and then nuke their squishy butts when it wears off. The earlier in the game you get this, the more powerful (and annoying) it will be. Make the choice early!
Soul Booster is another of those items that has an effect greater than the sum of its components, without a recipe. Disassemble your Arcane Boots, buy a Point Booster, then the Vitality Booster last. Better yet, it builds into a Bloodstone, which is another great item. This item is SITUATIONAL, because you usually don't want to give up Arcane Boots on a support (since it allows your team to continue fighting), but if your team doesn't need the continual mana boosts due to their own item choices or heroes, then the Soul Booster is a great general-purpose item on Ogre Magi.
I put these items down simply because I don't think pub players buy these frequently enough.
Boots of Travel are BETTER than a TP scroll especially late-game, when you can get back on the offensive very quickly, or buy-back during the final assault on the enemy ancient, and be back in the action almost immediately. Also great for TP'ing to help a push, or to split-push.
Scythe of Vyse is one of the most powerful items in the game, on any hero. It also gives Ogre Magi almost everything he could ever want: mana pool, mana regen, more stats, and a long disable. The reason you can't rush this item is that the Mystic Staff and Ultimate Orb are just too expensive, and aren't that beneficial until the final item is assembled. Because Ogre falls off so hard lategame after BKBs are up and health pools are high, he really benefits from a big disable item like the "sheepstick" in the lategame, but needs cheaper items first, to be as effective as possible in the early and mid-game.
Bloodstone's ability to hasten your re-spawn is undervalued. Not only it is a support's dream for survivability and regen, it gives a boost to allies when you die, and gets you back alive much faster. Bloodstone is another item with no recipe, is assembled from relatively inexpensive items (875-1200 gold each), and gives a greater effect than the sum of its components' effects.
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