Ogre Magi is an underrated support hero, with great ganking potential and strong stat increases as the game continues. Ogre offers a strong selection of nuking stuns and slows, and his ultimate can potentially stack them up for massive damage.
In many, many ways he's the least intelligent of all the intelligence heroes - his strength stat is higher than his primary stat for the entire game! This allows him to play more aggressively and soak up damage that would destroy his contemparies. His random, haphazard approach to nuking is both dangerous and unreliable...
+ Has both a slow and a stun
+ Good damage on both spells
+ Joint 2nd highest total stats growth in the game
+ Can buff carries and other team mates
+ Modest farm needs
- Ultimate is unreliable
- Slightly limited mana pool
- Melee attack makes it harder to deny and harass
- No particular team fight abilities
Fireblast is your stun/nuke, offering it's full 1.5 duration from level 1 - making it a great first blood skill. It's also relatively cheap mana wise, and the damage scales up pretty well as you level it. It's a 99% reliable stun, so very handy for setting up other heroes' abilities.
Generally you want to max this ASAP, although you should be aware that Ignite actually does slightly more total damage and scales more as you level it. The choice of which to max first will depend on the enemies you're against - ones with heals and escapes suffer more against the instant damage of Fireblast.
As you begin to level your ultimate, Multi Cast, you will find that you sometimes throw out multiple Fireblasts in one go, massively increasing it's damage (possibly up to 1100!), and slightly increasing it's stun time.
Ignite is your slow/nuke, offering strong damage over time. The slow effect is only 20-26%, a bit low compared to similar skills, but it does stay constant for the entire duration of the spell, rather than starting high and then tailing off.
It does do more total damage than Fireblast, and is also more mana efficient. However, the DoT nature of the attack means that some heroes may be able to evade or block much of the damage.
Once you start levelling Multi Cast, it gains an AOE around the main target and also has an increased casting range. The AOE isn't shown graphically, but try to remain aware of it so you hit as many enemies as possible. Once you've got the AOE, you can use this as a reasonable pushing spell.
Bloodlust is an interesting spell, buffing an allied unit with additional attack and movement speed. Early game this has limited effectiveness when compared to Fireblast and Ignite however - both of them offer a much more effective way of inflicting damage or helping allies escape.
Generally you'll have Bloodlust available once you've already got some points in Multi Cast, meaning that you have a chance to cast it on yourself and other nearby units every time you use it. At this point you usually have plenty of mana, so try to buff as many of your team mates as possible before team fights, ganks, etc.
You can also use it on summoned units - it looks freakin awesome when combined with Warlock's Golum :). It also means that you're still pretty useful to your team in the late game.
Be aware that magic immunity doesn't remove the effect, but does stop you casting (directly or indirectly) on allies with it.
Multi Cast is a very unusual ultimate, it's a passive skill that changes how your other spells work, while also providing a chance of multiple casts every time you use Fireblast or Bloodlust.
Here is a complete list of changes:
Chance to cast at least twice: 25% / 40% / 50%
Chance to cast at least three times: 0% / 20% / 25%
Chance to cast four times: 0% / 0% / 12.5%
Fireblast cooldown reduction: 2 / 4 / 6
Increases Fireblast mana cost by 30 / 70 / 110
Ignite increased cast range: 150 / 300 / 450
Ignite radius: 150 / 300 / 450
Bloodlust cooldown reduction: 5 / 10 / 15
Bloodlust radius: 575
Adds Unrefined Fireblast ability if you have Aghanim's Scepter.
Ogre Magi can work as a support hero in either the short or long lane, offering considerable ballast and powerful early game presence.
You want to pair him (or even tri-lane) him with a dangerous early game carry or semi-carry - someone who can follow up his combo with yet more damage to secure the kill. This is especially vital if you're with another melee hero, as you need those kills to establish lane dominance and allow you carry to farm.
A ranged partner is preferable, but again you want them to be dangerous so that your skills are properly utilised. Alternatively, you are a dangerous roamer and can quite happily leave the lane to go and pick up assists - this can work well if your partner can solo successfully.
As a support hero you should be providing Animal Courier, Observer Wards and other utility items as your team needs them. Grab some farm when you get the chance, as you do benefit from a bit of extra equipment, but the majority of your funds should be coming from ganks and assists.
I've put two different builds for this guide depending on whether you're hard or semi-support - Ogre works better as a semi-support, as you can get more equipment on him that allows him to be more aggressive and give him the mana regeneration to keep casting. However, he can work as a hard support - hopefully some gank assists will get you the gold you need for your basics, but your high stat growth will keep you in reasonable shape anyway.
The biggest difference between the two builds is whether to delay Multi Cast until level 9 - this saves you some mana on Fireblast, at the cost of potentially losing some damage and other benefits. Never rely on the possible extra damage you might get from Multi Cast - it's nice when it comes off, but even when max'ed it's never more than 50% reliable!
You're reasonably tanky and your right click is quite good, so don't be afraid to get stuck in during fights while waiting on your spells to cooldown...
I've gone for some fairly standard starting items - a mix of stats and regen, plus a courier for the team. This sets you up well for the laning phase, and gives you the raw ingredients for your core.
Ogre really excels when combined with other aggressive early game carries:
Heroes with bash passives really benefit from Bloodlust's extra attack and movement speed:
You particularly like playing against relatively squishy heroes - they will struggle to escape your combo, and once you start levelling Multi Cast you can potentially catch them out with big hitting spells (even if you don't know when you'll do it!).
As a caster, Ogre is pretty useless when Silenced, or Doomed. Getting your mana burned by Nyx Assassin or Anti-Mage can quickly make you nothing but a damage sponge too.
However, a much bigger threat are anti-tanks like Lifestealer, or spell resistant heroes like Pudge - it can be a real struggle to have much impact on them. Also be aware of enemy escapes - heroes with blinks, transports or maximum movement overrides can minimise the impact of your ganking spells.
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