Hello, this is OldKainen! Welcome to my guide of: Akasha, the Queen of Pain!
Akasha is a simple, powerful hero that dominates the mid-game with her nuking power. She's usually played as a mid, but Safe Lane (Solo or with Supports) or Offlane are also viable options for her.
The objective here is to show how she can be effective over the game, contributing to the team with proper items and strategies you can use!
Falls into late-game because of her nuke-dependency.
Needs farm and quick levels.
Overall stats gain is very mediocre.
When to Pick?
Queen of Pain is a powerful hero, able to burst people down in seconds with her skills. She absolutely needs both farm and levels, so she's usually played as a Mid (#2), or Solo Safe Lane (when your team do dual mid line-ups). Akasha can also offlane, specially because of her Blink that allows to escape dangerous situations and her nukes that help when farming. You can run QoP in offensive tri-lanes too, grabbing early kills to boost her farm and experience.
Queen of Pain excels at dominating the mid-game, so she's best in line-ups that want to establish control of the map early and end the game as soon as possible. She can go to late-game anyway, but have in mind that her nukes will be less effective as time goes on.
Queen of Pain skillset is simple: it consists of two nukes, a damaging debuff and a mobility skill - four active skills. Q ( Shadow Strike), W ( Blink), E ( Scream of Pain) and herUltimate ( Sonic Wave).
While her skills are very simple and easy to learn, Akasha's problems lies on proper positioning, map awareness and decision making. QoP abilities are made to kill and farm, her priorities in a match.
Queen of Pain, however, isn't a ganker that can rely ONLY on her abilities - especially because she has no way to deal with teleports. Shadow Strike is her only debuff, a long duration slow that deals damage. Blink is her mobility skill - allowing her to enter and quit teamfights when needed, chase people and escape too. Scream of Pain is her farming and nuking skill, an AoE nuke around her. Sonic Wave is her ultimate, a powerful wave of Pure damage that can bring down even spell immune targets.
Hurls a poisoned dagger which deals large initial damage, and then deals damage over time. The poisoned unit has its movement speed slowed for 15 seconds. An instance of damage is dealt every 3 seconds.
Shadow Strike is your first skill and your zoning tool. With it and a few right-clicks, you can easily make an enemy get out of the lane because of it's damage and slow. While the debuff lasts impressive 15 seconds, the slow decreases every second. This means that you only get the full slow on the first second.
Even though Shadow Strike scales better than Scream of Pain, Shadow Strikeis maxed at last, because burst damage is better than DoT damage for QoP. Two levels is all that you need - dealing a good amount of damage and zoning any enemy out of the lane. For a matter of comparison - Shadow Strike deals 200 / 275 / 350 / 425 damage over 15 seconds, while Scream of Pain deals 85 / 165 / 225 / 300 damage instantly.
Also, remember that enemies with less than 25% of total HP can be denied under the effect of Shadow Strike. That can be crucial if you are ganking more than one enemy at the same time - be sure they don't get the chance to do it!
Short distance teleportation that allows Queen of Pain to move in and out of combat.
Cast Time: 0.33+0.07 Cast Range: Global Max Blink Distance: 1300 Mana Cost: 60 Cooldown: 15 / 12 / 9 / 6
Blink is a simple spell - it is your escape tool, the way you enter or quit a fight, your positioning tool. Without it, Queen of Pain would be a very different hero. It used to be similar to Anti-Mage's Blink, but recent changes made it a bit different. The max blink distance is the same at all levels, but the cooldown at the first levels is much higher than before. Therefore, it is wise to max it after Scream of Pain if going mid, but is better to max it as soon as possible when offlaning.
One thing to point out is that you always get the max blink distance when pointing beyond 1300 range, differently of Blink Dagger.
Scream of Pain is Queen of Pain's main tool to farm, clearing creep waves and jungle camps, as well a ganking tool - helping to nuke people down. It's a nuke centered around QoP's body, so it is rather simple how to hit it - Blink close to the target and press the button.
Scream of Painis also, a non-disjointable ability, so it cannot be evaded by teleport disjoints, only delayed. Therefore, it will hit an escaping enemy using Town Portal Scroll. It also fully affects invisible units and will hit units any units not visible (on the Fog of War) inside the radius. Have this in mind if an enemy is trying to juke you!
Queen of Pain's ultimate, Sonic Wave is quite simple - a big AoE nuke in front of her that deals Pure damage, ignoring Spell Immunity. It travels at a speed of 1100, in a cone-shape. It can potentially hit enemies up to 1350 range away - 900 Travel Distance + 450 End Radius.
The skill is your main killing power after getting level 6. With it you can deal up to 795 damage (before reductions) with two levels in each skill and Sonic Wave. At level 16, you total damage with your nukes reaches 1215 damage - a impressive number. However, since it stops scaling after this and items like Veil of Discord no longer increases your ultimate damage - an Aghanim's Scepteris mandatory for her, significantly decreasing the cooldown of your ultimate in 70% and increasing the damage as well.
This is the skillbuild is focused on offlaning - your main job there is to survive, therefore, Blink is maxed first for the low cooldown. Scream of Pain is the second skill to be maxed, so you can get some farm after the laning stage. Again, Shadow Strike at last and Sonic Wave is taken in every opportunity.
When looking at Queen of Pain, you'll see a powerful ganker, a prevalent hero during mid-game. While she falls off into the late-game, she's still has presence with good right-click damage and low cooldown nukes. Her item build isn't as flexible as other heroes, but besides Aghanim's Scepter and Black King Bar, everything else can be adapted to the situation. Starting Items:
Magic Wand s an optional extension from the Iron Branch(es) you got at the start. Providing a max burst heal of +255 HP/Mana, it can be a lifesaver, especially on a hero who face risks like Queen of Pain. It is always a good option against spamming heroes too, like your rival Bristleback or Zeus, as they are going to charge your wand really fast.
Bottle is a mandatory option for mid Queen of Pain (and good on offlaner QoP too), keeping your hero full on health and mana. Don't forget to spam it if you are regenerating at the fountain to accelerate the process. You can also share charges for your mates. Collecting runes is also part of your objectives if you get it, as can make plays easier with them. Check out the runes section for more information.
Cost: 75x gold
Do I have to say something about this item? Always keep at least one of it during the game, unless you have Boots of Travel. A TP can do a lot of things: escape a stunless gank, reach the other side of the map, setup a gank... I can stay here all day talking about it.
The Black King Bar is a useful item in every match - being able to avoid most of the nukes and disables for some seconds is a powerful advantage for a hero that needs to get close to do the job. The timing of it really depends on the match - you are having constant fights with the other team? Get it first. Some fight here and there? Get another item firstly. But always get it!
Made by Rubick's father, Aghanim's Scepter provides a good bunch of stats and a very useful upgrade for Sonic Wave. Most of the games you'll need it - the damage increase plus the amazing cooldown reduction from 135 to 40 seconds is great for Queen of Pain - you'll have a more powerful Sonic Wave for every fight, and you can also use it outside battles - to instant clear the creepwaves in the late game, for example.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a great tool for Queen of Pain - both offensively and defensively - you can dispel effects from yourself with it (like silences!), or use it to cancel channeled actions from your enemies (like Town Portal Scrolls!) - or simply disrupt an enemy for any reason. Great against target silences, to disjoint things around.
The Orchid Malevolence is a great offensive tool for ganking and fighting builds of Queen of Pain, allowing to disable a caster and amplifying any damage he takes during 5 seconds by 30% after the duration. While sounding extremely powerful in combination with QoP nukes, Orchid doesn't scale so well, especially because it can be dispelled. Therefore, we usually get it right after Power Treads, having one before 17 minutes it's the best way to use one.
The praised sheepstick - aka Scythe of Vyse - is useful on any hero in the game. It's a kind of boosted Eul's - you can now attack your target, transfigured as a big punch bag for 3.5 seconds. While it suffered two nerfs in the last patches, this item is still very good, a targeted enemy under it's effects cannot dispel its effects by itself (there are a few exceptions: Slark, Abaddon, Tidehunter). A must-buy on Queen of Pain.
Necronomicon may sound strange for some people out there, but it is very fitting for a hero like Queen of Pain. QoP gameplay it's all about early pressure and estabilishing control of the map - one of the ways to do it is through heavy pushing, and what's better for pushing than two powerful extra creeps? It even counters invisible heroes (and Techies) at level 3, with a True Sight aura. If you are going for push-heavy strats, this is the item to get. Late Game Options:
The Boots of Travel is an item every hero in the field has to get during some point of the game and they are a must during the late game. No, don't throw your TPs on the ground, grab some gold (when you reach ~1800 gold) sell your Treads and get those boots. Not doing so will leave you very vulnerable to split pushing, so don't complain to your allies that you lost to rats when you were six-slotted without this boots.
One of the new toys of patch 6.84, Octarine Core is a relevant item for heroes that relies on nukes to do damage. The combination of its passives - a 25% cooldown reduction on all skills and items, plus a 25% lifesteal on nukes and the stats are very good for Queen of Pain, giving her a lot of sustain and presence in the lategame. Very useful in combination of Aghanim's Scepter+ Refresher Orb, greatly reducing its cooldown.
Eye of Skadi is the best item to boost up the survivability of Queen of Pain, the all-round attributes increases your armor, health, mana, attack damage, attack speed... It also includes a powerful UAM effect that bypasses spell immunity allows you to kite the enemies with ease. Very good option in any match for Queen of Pain.
The best option to enhance the physical tankiness of Queen of Pain, Shiva's Guard gives some good stats - high armor and intelligence, therefore, more mana and damage - combined with a reducing attack speed aura against enemies (that can't be blocked by any means) and a powerful AoE slow nuke. Combine it with Eye of Skadi to kite anyone for days.
Aether Lens is an item introduced on patch 6.86, a cheap item that favors casters, increasing the cast range of active items and spells, while increasing damage from spells by 8% as well. The HP regeneration and the increased Mana Pool it provides are also very helpful. Can be a very good choice if you wanna fight constantly.
I only recommend getting an Assault Cuirass if someone in your already has a Shiva's Guard, because the multiple auras of the same effect do not stack. The item goes well if you have partners that uses armor reductions debuffs too.
Daedalus is another very situational item - it provides a big boost to your physical DPS, but in a game where you can make good use of it, why bothering making one if you can get extra utility and presence from the items on the Late Game section? If you are behind this is item is super terrible, as it will not provide anything that you need to do a comeback.
Another extremely situational item for Queen of Pain, the Dagon, unfortunately it is a quite common item for her in pubs. While it add another nuke to your pocket, having debuffs (Orchid, Euls, Vyse) is way better, as they give something Queen of Pain don't have. Don't get this item at all, if you want more burst - Ethereal Blade is way better and cheaper too.
The Ethereal Blade is a situational good option for her - it combines better when you have allies that can make use of the debuff on enemies, guys like Skywrath Mage, Zeus, Lina, etc. Gives a good bunch of attributes, especially AGI.
Some people still rush this item every game, but it situational too. Linken's Sphere isn't cost-efficient in the stats it provides, but we get it for the active - being able to ignore a single-target spell every 17 seconds. It is needed when facing guys like Beastmaster, Doom, Bane or having too much trouble with constant target spells ( Storm Hammer, Mana Void, Lucent Beam).
Your base is getting invaded by mega-creeps? Mjollnir is the best item for base-defense. Simple as that - your team can't handle the creep waves? Try to get one of these, you certainly help.
Since Scythe of Vyse's Hex no longer disables evasion, you might have to get Monkey King Bar to deal with evasion. But analyse the situation first - can you burst your target down with nukes? Therefore, there is no need of MKB in that kind of situation. But you are facing a Centaur Warrunner with Heaven's Halberd plus the buff of a Solar Crest - your team won't be able to nuke him unless you focus all the spells on him, which is a bad option. In this kind of situation, MKB can help.
The game is ultra late? Have too much money even if you buyback? Already got Upgraded Boots of Travel? Nothing more to buy? Well, you can buy a Moon Shard and immediately consume it for +60 attack speed. This isn't cost-efficient, but can give you an edge against enemies in the late game.
Since Queen of Pain is a middle laner by nature, therefore I made a special section for Runes, useful for any mid.
The Bounty Rune is good for everyone. Some gold and experience help everyone, especially on a hero that depends to get some fast levels, like Queen of Pain. Remember that the starting rune effect is doubled, don't miss it! - it can give you an edge if the enemy mid didn't got one of the starting runes, as you'll get level 2 first and your Bottle will be closer.
The Rune of Double Damage is the best rune to apply some pressure with harass, and lane control - you can easily get/deny every creep with it, and if the enemy tries overextend, you can punish him with death.
The Rune of Haste ensures that no-one can escape you, especially because of Blink. A very good rune if you to want to gank, but it can also help if you are trying to disengage.
The Rune of Illusion is usually considered a bad rune for gankers, but that ain't true - they can provide a little bit of damage and can tank tower hits when you dive. They are a useful scouting tool and with proper micro, you can make them looks like your real hero, making the enemies waste their skills on the copies. As the game goes late, you can use them to easily farm a jungle camp for you or to tank Roshan (don't make they attack, just place them near him!).
A real gank oriented rune, the Rune of Invisibility lets you wander across the map without being detected by normal wards (Sentry ones still show you). Be careful with heroes that can detect your movement with their skills, like Phantom Assassin or Slark, however. You can use it as a scouting tool too.
The Rune of Regeneration is more of post-gank rune, letting you recover all damage you suffered and mana used. If in lane, you can use it as a free-harass tool, active it when you are a little damaged and without full mana and cast your spells on your enemy while the rune is working. Just don't over extend your spells, otherwise smart enemies may setup a gank on you.
This special section is to evaluate the difficulty for you against heroes that you can face when playing Queen of Pain in the middle lane.
Difficult: Medium-Hard Shadow Fiend can be a hard hero to put pressure on - he can trade back your hits with triple Shadowraze and right-clicks, especially if he has souls in Necromastery. Be careful when attempting to gank him with team-mates: if you are not 100% sure that you can take him down quickly, he can turn up 2vs1 situations and get a double kill. Enjoy the first minutes in the lane, as your right-click power will be better than his and try to zone him out with Shadow Strike.
QoP vs Lina matchup is a 50/50 trade, she has more nukes, you have more mobility. Even if you have a Blink, be careful with her stun, especially if she has Laguna Blade (it will probably kill you). The same way, try to force her out of the lane with Shadow Strike and Scream of Pain.
Difficult: Medium Magnus isn't that hard to deal with, especially because he is a melee hero, but he isn't that easy to bring down. You can zone him out, but you can't deny him farm at all - he has Shockwave, with it he can farm from up to 1300 range away from you. Be careful around him when he get level 6, a misposition and he can bring you down with his combo.
The Storm Spirit isn't that hard when facing him in mid. He's frail and slow before level 6 and he needs his Bottle full all the time to make use of Overload. If you attempt a gank on him before six, it can be fairly easy, because the amount lockdown to bring is a lot less than when he gets Ball Lightning.
The little tricky dragon, Puck can manage the lane as well as Queen of Pain, having high mobility and facility to escape ganks as much as you do (even better, I would say). Be careful around this guy - it is harder for you to escape a gank made by him with his allies than the other way.
The Templar Assassin is kind of a glorified melee hero, but she has some tools to stay and contest the middle lane. Be sure to burn her Refraction shield ( Shadow Strike is your best bet) when attempting a kill - one layer can block a complete Sonic Wave.
This guy is somewhat similar to Storm, but Tinker has high nuke potential and he can farm with tranquility using March of the Machines. Your best bet here is to deny him farm, delaying his much needed Boots of Travel. Be careful around him, as a Tinker with fast finger can burst you down quickly during the late-game.
I almost said that this guy is an easy matchup, but that wouldn't be fair. A good Invoker would do his best to secure farm, disrupt ganks and even counter-gank you back with his multiple spells. Be extra careful around Cold Snap, with proper skill, he won't allow you to Blink out. Abuse his frail to zone him out and pay attention on what kind of build he's using - if Quas- Wex, he can try to escape you with Ghost Walk, if Quas- Exort he can use Forge Spirit to fight back.
The Outworld Devourer isn't a common mid these days, but he's definitely strong on proper hands. His Arcane Orb will reduce your mana pool and damage early on, making quite hard to contest the lane. Be careful around him after level 6 - the Harbinger can deal a great amount of damage with his Sanity's Eclipse.
Even being melee and not tank at all, Ember Spirit has some tools to ensure his position in the lane. Be careful around him when his Flame Guard is up, as it deals high tons of damage while protecting him from your nukes. He can also harass you back and even disjoint your skills with Sleight of Fist. Try to explore his lack of mobility until level 6 to win the lane and don't
The main greek god, Zeus is another slow and frail hero in the mid, but his nuking and harassing skills built in Arc Lightning and Lightning Bolt guarantee his position in lane. Abuse your mobility before he reaches level 6 to zone him out - but don't overextend if he has his ultimate, he can easily kill you too.
Different from most of the middle laners, Pudge doesn't need farm at all to win the lane, his aims are levels and kills. I suggest getting a ward to have some vision around his movements, so you can dodge his hooks with Blink. Don't forget to say when his missing and when his back, to ensure he can't gank at all. If he tries to stay in lane, abuses his slowness to harass him.
Very popular back in the 6.84 era, Leshrac - the Shiny Pony of Death - can control the lane well with his Lightning Storm and fight back with Split Earth. Explore his frailness to deny him farm and experience, much needed things for him.
Another uncommon middle laner these days, the Admiral Kunkka is a tough guy that can harass you with his Torrents and Tidebringer. Be careful around his combo after level 6 - it can kill you easily. Use your range to deny him farm as much as possible and if he attempts to get very close, a Shadow Strike can punish him.
Two of the most commons Io matchups, Io- Sven and Io- Tiny are probably the hardests matchup for any midlaner. They have high kill potential, can control the creeps easily and can kill you after level 2 with certain tranquility. Do the basic here: survive and try to get some farm with safety. Ask your mates for smoke ganks and aim Io first, always.
The patch 6.84 made Dragon Knight relevant again and he's another tough melee guy. His farm cannot be 100% denied because of Breathe Fire and his Dragon Blood ensure high resistance to right-click harass and regeneration to stay in-lane. Do your best to deny him farm and don't get too close, as his Dragon Tail is a damn long stun!
A powerful lane dominator, Viper will give you a hard time due of DoT skills and high resistance to magical damage with Corrosive Skin. Again, do the basic here: survive and try to get some farm with safety. If he doesn't get early points on Corrosive Skin, punish him properly with Shadow Strike and Scream of Pain.
I know that there are some other heroes that are played as a mid, but if they aren't here it is because they aren't that common or much different from the heroes listed!
Summarizing, Queen of Pain is a ganker and team hero, able to bring down multiple targets during skirmishes. She is most present during mid-game, but she scales decently to late game with proper items.
Well, if you got here thanks for the reading! I will continue to improve and add useful information whenever I have time to do so! Stay tuned!
If you want to make a comment or suggestion, feel free to use the comments section below! And please, if you downvoted, please do a comment and say why you did it!!