Omniknight is a powerful defensive support hero who is strongest in the early to middle game and scales ok into the late game.
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He is easy to play and boasts an exceptional win rate (approximately 60-61%) across multiple patches. He is however not a particularly common pick.
Crystal Maiden / Omniknight is actually quite a good support duo.
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The key to playing him well is choosing a draft that works well with him. Good drafts usually mean pairing him with strong damage dealing offensive heroes and preferrably other heroes who can provide disables (but damage is so important).
The other most important goal is to prevent your carry and/or mid feeding any gold advantage they gain from your support. When the difference is large, the gold change can be massive.
Omniknight is clearly the surgical boss in this picture with the different colored scrubs. Reference: https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmxjfeEw4LrXAXBkcHgJVfGqXgYOcken1m-J5vRJYq0zpz3iYJ
At normal skill levels (ie 2k-3k MMR) in the mid game you decide whether the carry survives and teamwipes the enemy in engagements, or you stuff up and your whole team dies. Also carries at that skill level like to do solo crazy plays when they are far ahead. If you take the effort to stalk them around the map, you can ensure they survive, and lecture them afterwards about not feeding and the amount of effort you put into their development so they could get ahead. This is why you are the boss at this skill level. It is rare for heroes to buy Diffusal Blades and other purges to specifically counter you at those skill levels but more common at higher skill levels.
Omniknight can solo offlane because he is hard to kill, and this has been done at a professional level (EG.Universe) and by high MMR players (Portent's 7k MMR Offlane Omniknight Guide). He can play positions 3-5 quite well, although a position 5 Omniknight will end up severely underfarmed and you will play a more wimpy/hiding type playstyle, with just Arcane Boots for the majority of the game.
- draft with high damage teammates
- stop carries from dying by using Purification/Repel/ Guardian Angel + other optional other item ( Crimson Guard/ Pipe of Insight/Mekanism/ Guardian Greaves)
- stalk them around the map to stop them dying when they do dumb plays
- buy Tango and later Claritys and Observer Wards to cast your spells until you get Arcane Boots
- further mana regeneration from Ring of Basilius or Void Stone
- further item options as mentioned
- again just keep your idiot carry alive when he/she does dumb stuff, this will stop large gold swings to the enemy team, and you will win most games. keep stalking him/her
Links to my other guides:
Organized Chaos: A comprehensive guide to (Hand of Midas) Chaos Knight, how to counter him and how to deal with counters (6.86)
Teleporting Ganking Drop Bear of Terror: A Guide to Ursa.
All guns blazing with no escape, a guide to DPS Sniper
Feel free to upvote or like the guide! Comments welcome.
Strengths and weaknesses:
- powerful defensive abilities with Purification, Repel, Guardian Angel and Degen Aura
- Repel and Guardian Angel scale well late game
- can create huge gold/exp advantage on your team side in the mid-game
- maximum effectiveness at level 7
- very easy to play from micromanagement perspective, only need to be able to single click allied heroes, and position hero well
- moderately farm dependant if you want to play him like a tank
- not farm dependant at all if you want to play him like a pansy (pro tip - just buy stacks of clarities and get levels)
- some scaling late game with Repel and Guardian Angel
- low damage output
- no inherent disable
- can be partially countered by Diffusal Blade, silences, and other purges
- can be partially countered by mana draining type abilities
One of the worlds most famous Omniknight players and DOTA 2 personalities, SirActionSlacks. Source: https://cdn0.gamesports.net/storage/77000/77211.jpg
You need teammates who can deal damage if you want to pick Omniknight
As Omniknight is primarily defensive in nature, it is best to draft this hero with high damage output carries and initiators. Your team needs to deal damage to defeat the enemy team. If your team lacks damage you need to pick a different support that can supply that damage (ie. Venomancer, Phoenix, Witch Doctor).
Examples of good high damage type teammates include:
Witch Doctor / Crystal Maiden (Repel and channelled ultimate)
Your role will be:
1. Enable your teammates to deal that damage for as long as possible, through your Repel, Guardian Angel and Purification abilities
2. Minimise casualities on your side of any teamfight, again through the above abilities, allowing them to escape when their health is low.
My goal is for my team to gain such an overall net gold and experience advantage through advantageous outcomes in each teamfight, to such an extent that Omniknight becomes no longer necessary to even participate in teamfights for your team to win when the late game arrives.
Stopping your idiot cores from feeding gold/exp advantage
The biggest pitfall is feeding kills when you are so far ahead gives a tremendous gold boost to the enemy team, especially if it is the carry. At 2-3k MMR levels this is VERY common as teammates get overconfident and start doing solo crazy plays.
This is bad as it lets the enemy team back into the game if you haven't taken at least barracks, especially if the kill is fed to the enemy carry.
You do however have the capacity to save your teammates when they do something dumb however and this is part of the reason why Omniknight is so strong at low skill levels
My advice at normal skill levels is to simply follow the snowballing teammate like a bad rash and try to do everything possible to stop him/her dying. This can be hard if they have a Blink Dagger.
Of secondary importance is to ensure another hero on the team has some form of disable as you do not provide any unless you farm either Scythe of Vyse or Abyssal Blade. But having teammates who can do this, then this problem is solved for you.
Also you are excellent against melee carries and most other support heroes (with some exceptions). With Degen Aura you can often manfight and just walk away (Purfication/Repel) if it is too difficult. You can also be an absolute pain and cast Purfication when the melee carry goes for the last hit on creeps.
For example a hero such as Slark is great to lane against. With Degen Aura you can out DPS him in the early game. If you pounces you can repel and walk away. If you get him low enough, a strategic Purification on either yourself or a creep he is trying to last hit can lead to him leaving the lane or even dying to you. This basically means either free farm for you (and none for Slark) or they need to keep a babysitting support in lane (meaning they can't go for ganks on your carry or mid).
My order of priority:
Purification > Guardian Angel > Repel / Degen Aura > Stats
Basic teamfight combination
Purification / Repel + optional Guardian Angel + optional items( Crimson Guard/ Shiva's Guard/ Mekansm/ Pipe of Insight).
Just do this whenever you think your team carry or mid (or other important teammate) is in trouble and you will win 99% of fights if they can deal any sort of reasonable damage.
My skill build is to max Purification as soon as possible, because this is when it is most useful. It is a huge heal-bomb, dealing 360 damage to all units around it, and healing an allied hero/creep/yourself the same amount. And its pure damage. This becomes less useful in the late game. That being said, I usually get either Degen Aura or Repel at level one, because level one Purification costs more mana to cast than the health it heals.
Guardian Angel I get at level 6, and ignore it until I max everything else.
I must confess I rarely use this in any offensive way, its purely a 'panic' button ability if the team stuffs up in some way during a teamfight like the carry nearly dying. And it is ideal to use it this way because it can completely turn around fights and turn a crushing defeat into a huge victory for your team. The problem with this ability is the short radius which it is effective around you. This is not a problem if you are farmed and an 'OmniTank' (provided the enemy can't kill you before you get your spells off). You can be in the middle of fights. If you are forced to play a wimpy position 5 Omniknight it is best to use an item such as Force Staff and hide in the shadows. Then Force Staff into the middle of battle and cast all your stuff.
Rarely I might use it offensively against a hero like Ursa to bait him into thinking he can kill me (then BANG Purification/Repel/ Guardian Angel - teammates arrive to kill the silly bear).
Repel is a magic immunity spell that you can cast every 12 seconds and lasts 6-10 seconds. It is like a free Black King Bar except your team gets it 4-5 mins into the game instead of 20-30 mins. And you can cast it every 12 seconds as to opposed to ~ 50-60 seconds with BKB.
This is a huge advantage for any hero that relies on not being disabled to deal any significant damage. ( Phantom Assassin/ Sven/ Ursa). This is a great ability. And only a single skill point is needed to be effective. I level this over Degen Aura if there are large numbers of magic dealing heroes/disablers.
Degen Aura is your laning phase ability and slow ability. You can use this to chase fleeing heroes and man fight against enemy supports, including ranged support heroes. You can also use this to run away, or slow down the enemy if they are chasing your carry. It is outstanding against enemy melee heroes who dont have an innate gap closing ability and I would preference this ability in this situation over Repel provided there isn't a huge amount of magic damage or disables on the enemy team.
Stats are self explanatory. Extra health, damage, mana and armor is always useful but not more useful than leveling any of the other abilities listed.
Ideally I want Tango, Stout Shield, Enchanted Mango x2 and a pooled ward from a support.
If I dont get the pooled ward from support go Tango, Stout Shield, Enchanted Mango, Observer Ward and two Claritys.
If I need to buy the courier as well I dont get the clarities.
If I need to get sentries then I get Tango, Stout Shield, Sentry Wards
WARNING: WALL OF TEXT
Your goal is to get fast levels and occasional last hits. You are extremely difficult to gank and zone out with heals/magic immunity and a slow aura.
This spell is essentially useless in lane at level 1. But it is VERY powerful at Levels 3-4. If your teammates want to go aggressive, this spell is not useful until at least level 2. You will be relying more on Degen Aura to get ganks. Counsel your laning partner if you have one, to just play safe until you are ready. Tell your teammate to not rely on you to get health regeneration until later. YES they need to buy Tangos and Healing Salves until you get mana regeneration items.
You want to use Purification at the very last moment. Hide your position until it is too late for them, then healbomb and walk up and hit them if they are not dead.
This is traditionally done in pubs and you will just have to put up with some other 3rd core taking last hits. Good partners in this phase are ranged heroes such as Windranger, Viper or Huskar, or initiators such as Axe/ Pudge. If they can survive in lane without you then you are free to roam/stack camps but often you will need to babysit them for a period of time.
Versus dual / solo lane
This is great because they simply cannot stop you getting experience from the lane. The only exception is a support such as Oracle who can solo zone you out, but if they choose to do that, the Oracle is engaged in stopping a support farming, while your teammates have one less roaming hero to worry about.
Don't feed. That's all you gotta do for your team to obtain a huge laning phase advantage.
A trilane can shut down your farm particularly with multiple stuns, but that is great for your team, because it means there are no ganks mid and safelane (and jungle) if they invest so much into shutting you down. So if you dont get farm against a trilane that is a victory for your team because your mid, safelane and jungler/roaming ganking support are essentially getting free farm or free ganks. Just set the goal of not dying and remember your team is winning their lanes whilst they invest so much to deal with you. If the supports go roaming, go to lane and get farm etc...
Safelane hard support
This is probably the most frustrating role for Omniknight because he is more fun with some farm.
Versus solo offlaner
Just walk up to the offlaner. Hit them with your big hammer. Trade regeneration with them. Do this as much as possible at Level 1. Against heroes such as Bristleback, Dark Seer, Tidehunter this will be very annoying to them at level 1 when they are relatively weak. Use Degen Aura, Stout Shield and Enchanted Mango to ensure they trade more regeneration than you expend if they want to stay in lane. Buy more tangoes or clarities and keep hitting the offlaner. Even if they are ranged. Try to zone them out. Tell your carry not to push the lane, or pull camps to deny experience. If the enemy offlaner is using more regeneration and getting less gold/exp than your carry, eventually your carry will be able to lane independantly without you against a weakened offlaner and you can start roaming around / farming other lanes without you worrying about the carry dying.
Versus dual offlane
This is a little more tricky. You wont be able to zone the enemy out but you can certainly trade regeneration with them. Remember you are position 5 omniknight and they are position 3-4. And you have degen aura/stout shield/enchanted mango to minimise any damage dealt to you. Keep doing it to ensure your carry can farm. Difficult offlaners for Omniknight are heroes such as Ursa or Oracle or Lich. You need to pretty much stay in lane. If one of the offlaners goes roaming then definitely go harassing.
This is slow. You need Iron Talon. Degen Aura and Stout Shield to minimise health loss to you. Purification to deal damage to multiple creeps whilst healing you.
You want to level Repel early against him to deal with Blade Fury. After this he is easy.
You need to play pretty defensively against this guy, he will hurt you and can purge you of Repel. Wait till he casts the purge ability before you cast Repel to escape ganks.
Obviously these guys are strong in lane and you don't really want to be trading hits with them unless you have to, to secure your carries farm.
The basic Omni Combo
Again, the basic combination is to save teammates is:
Purification/Repel + optional abilities (ie Guardian Angel/ Mekansm/ Guardian Greaves/ Crimson Guard/ Shiva's Guard)
Usually Purification/Repel is enough to save a teammate.
Town Portal Scroll rotation to save teammates
When I get to level 4 (Level 2 Purification, Level 1 Repel, Level 1 Degen Aura) I want to have a Town Portal Scroll and enough mana available so if I need to go safe a teammate from a rotation (ie mid) I can. You have the capacity to totally foil 3 man gank with your abilities, and the benefit to you is that you can farm the lane whilst the hero gets regeneration. The most important thing to remember is you are usually babysitting someone. You rotating somewhere else could lead to that person getting ganked. You get to decide in that situation who is more important and who survives. IE you are the boss.
Repel/ Town Portal Scroll to escape losing battles
If your team is losing a battle, try to bait as many of the enemy to chase you, then cast Repel/ Town Portal Scroll and escape back home. The only counter to this is Diffusal Blade, other purges, or magic immunity piercing disables.
Some notable synergies
This is a nice combo. Pudge hooks them, you cast Purification/Repel to damage the enemy and give Pudge damage free Rot and in the early to mid game this leads to any hero essentially getting annhilated. Arcane Boots means Pudge can keep hooking.
This is also a nice combo. Berserker's Call/ Purification/Repel/multiple Culling Blades in the early mid game is simply just lethal. Blink Dagger and Blade Mail on Axe makes it very devastating. Vanguard makes Axe less reliant on you to survive.
Again Hookshot/Cogs/ Purification/Repel is very strong
Another nice combo. Bristleback can just spam unlimited Quill Spray's and never die.
Leshrac/ Zeus/ Invoker/ Shadow Fiend/ Sven/ Phantom Assassin/ Ursa/ Death Prophet
Cast Repel on them and get them to spam their abilities. These guys can potentially dish out so much damage that the enemy simply has no option but to retreat if they can't kill them because of Omniknight.
Purification/ Guardian Angel etc to try to save them if they get into trouble.
This is literally the only core item that you need on Omniknight. It is obviously better if you have more so I will discuss them further. You can delay getting this item by just buying a whole stack of Claritys until you get gold from kills. Later in the game this can be disassembled and made into either Octarine Core, Aether Lens or Lotus Orb.
Optional items I get:
Orb of Venom
Get this if you want to be a big pain in lane. It will delay you getting Arcane Boots however, and the laning phase doesn't last forever.
If you need to jungle get this.
Ring of Basilius/ Void Stone
These items are great as they give you extra mana regeneration.
Ring of Basilius can be built into Vladmir's Offering. Void Stone can be built into Eul's Scepter, Linken's Sphere, Scythe of Vyse or Lotus Orb so its much more flexible.
Urn of Shadows
Every team should have one, if no one is getting this, get this for extra health regeneration. It also gives you extra health stats and mana regeneration.
Mekansm/ Guardian Greaves
Extra healing is amazing in teamfights but it will really hit your mana pool.
Guardian Greaves is special because it can be used against silence abilities such as Global Silence or Orchid Malevolence to purge the silence and allow you to cast your abilities.
Pro tip: Urn of Shadows and Mekansm/ Guardian Greaves heal can go through Repel, but Purification will not
Pipe of Insight
If the enemy deal largely magical damage (ie. Radiance burn from Spectre/ Alchemist/ Lone Druid, Zeus/ Invoker/ Jakiro) this is an excellent item, and someone on your team should get it. It synergises well with Omniknight, giving you the capacity to provide area effect physical immunity, area effect magic resistance and single target magic immunity.
Vanguard/ Crimson Guard
If the enemy deal lots of small damage but rapid hits this item is great. Examples being Phantom Lancer and Windranger. Crimson Guard is very nice against physical damage heavy teams. Vanguard can be built into Abyssal Blade if you want a magic immunity piercing stun.
Very good mobility item. Use this to get into middle of fight to get off your Guardian Angel. Massively game changing. Can also use as an escape, or to get your carry to safety.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Huge boost to mana regeneration, and gives you an ability to stop teleporting heroes, buy yourself time if you are target of ganks. You walk faster and your aura makes them walk slower. Good against Faceless Void's Chronosphere and Axe's lethal Blink Dagger/ Blade Mail combination against carries.
Extra armor, extra mana, huge AOE slow, there is so much to like about this item if you have 4k spare gold.
Excellent against Diffusal Blade, silences, Doom and other single target abilities. Gives you mana regeneration.
Blade Mail/ Ghost Scepter/ Shadow Blade
Useful if you are getting targeted
Scythe of Vyse
Additional disable, HP and mana regeneration.
Gives you a huge mana pool and reduced cooldown on your abilities with spell lifesteal.
Great aura, every team with right click heroes should get this.
If you need to deal with large creep waves this is good but hopefully the game doesn't go that late.
Also helps with large creep waves. Good for every team to have a Radiance carrier for the 17% miss chance, unless the carries have true strike (ie. from Monkey King Bar). Obviously will increase your survivability if you have Octarine Core.
This item is ok if you are able to fight in the front lines with your team, but there are other heroes who carry this item better.
Funnily enough you are not a bad Divine Rapier carrier because your abilities make you hard to kill, but I am sure there are other allied teammates who this would be better on.
I dont use this item. You dont need lower health during fights because the enemy will go for you anyway. Arcane Boots and Ring of Basilius/ Void Stone gives you heaps of mana anyway.
My view is that it is better to spend 4k gold on other items (such as Crimson Guard, Guardian Greaves, Pipe of Insight, Force Staff) than to buy this for a just an upgrade on your ultimate (the skill I use the least due to the cooldown) to make it global and last a little longer. It might be argued that a split pusher such as Anti-Mage or Nature's Prophet might make use of this, but by the time you get 4k gold usually the outcome of the game is already decided, or if they are smart, they already have bought a Diffusal Blade to counter Guardian Angel. If you are having trouble casting Guardian Angel on teammates, just buy a Force Staff for 2k gold.
Same thing as Aghs. Overkill with the Guardian Angel ability and ridiculously expensive when other cheaper items give so much more in teamfights.
Hand of Midas
LOL your team needs you now, not at 30-40 mins... you don't scale that well with farm anyway...
Diffusal Blade and other purge abilities
These remove your Repel and Guardian Angel abilities which can be a bit annoying. This is why I tend to focus on other items which buff my team (ie. Crimson Guard, Pipe of Insight etc). The popular Aghanim's Scepter/ Refresher Orb route which only upgrades your ultimate for 9-10k gold, is completely countered by Diffusal Blade and purges, while the other items tend not to be.
Linken's Sphere is kinda a weak counter to Diffusal Blade. Certainly get this if you are dealing with a hero like Doom, Necrophos or Legion Commander. It may take the enemy up to three Diffusal Blade charges to kill you, with Linken's Sphere active.
Ideally you want to do is ensure your team's carry is so far ahead by the time they get these items and abilities so it doesnt matter if they can purge Repel, they still die.
Helm of the Dominator can be also used to dominate small satyr banisher creeps who have a purge ability, so be aware of this.
Invoker Tornado will remove Guardian Angel but not Repel.
Enchantress, Outworld Devourer, Silencer
Impetus, Arcane Orb and Glaives of Wisdom deal pure damage which goes through Guardian Angel. Enchantress Impetus also goes through Repel. Thankfully these heroes tend to be very easy to kill.
Berserker's Call goes through magic immunity (ie. Repel)
Counter Helix does pure damage now, and goes through Repel and Guardian Angel
Culling Blade will kill heroes if below the threshold, regardless of Repel or Guardian Angel
Midnight Pulse and Black Hole will go through all your abilities. I would suggest hiding your position so you don't get caught.
Silences, Doom, Duel
Against Global Silence or Puck you or your teammates will want Guardian Greaves
Against other targeted silences you will want Linken's Sphere
Against Doom/ Duel/other stuns you will want Linken's Sphere
Omniknight is the boss because he decides who lives and who doesn't on your team.
Easy to play support with high win rate.
Draft with high damage output teammates.
Basic combination is:
Purification/Repel + other abilities ( Guardian Angel/ Crimson Guard/ Guardian Greaves/ Shiva's Guard/ Pipe of Insight etc...)
Buy Tangos until you have level 2 Purification
Buy Claritys after then until you have Arcane Boots. Extra mana regen from Ring of Basilius or Void Stone.
The popular Soul Ring/ Aghanim's Scepter/ Refresher Orb build just doesn't work for me. Consider buying other items (ie. Crimson Guard, Pipe of Insight, Vladmir's Offering) for your team.
Keep your carry alive at all costs with your basic combo. Stalk them across the map incase they do stupid plays, you can save them.
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