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5 Votes

Onii-Chan's guide to Sniper (6.84)

May 10, 2015 by TautologicalOxymoron
Comments: 18    |    Views: 37907    |   

Build 1
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Machine Gun

DotA2 Hero: Sniper

Hero Skills


2 12 13 14


1 3 5 7

Take Aim

4 8 9 10


6 11 16


15 17 18


Hello, and welcome to the guide of one of the most popular dwarf of gaming world, Kardel Sharpeye, better known as Sniper.
He is known for his insane range and squishyness. The later however can be fixed with a little farm. There has been a few changes in his skills lately, also update 6.84 introduced a few new items which is why i decided to write this guide.

I hope you will enjoy and learn a few new things.
Comments are always welcome.Do let me know if I am wrong somewhere or if I missed anything. And while you are at it, also leave a word of praise if you enjoyed reading this guide, it makes my day. c:

*If you are interested in his lore, you can check his wiki page. Apparently his **** tribe kicked him out for being too good, wtf right?


Well, Sniper is a ranged agility carry who can turn into one of the most game breaking team fighter with enough farm and right positioning. He has two passive and two active skills.


Consumes a charge to fire a ball of shrapnel that showers the target area in explosive pellets. Enemies are subject to damage and slowed movement. Reveals the targeted area. Shrapnel charges restore every 40 seconds.

Cast Time: 0.3+0
Cast Range: 1800
Effect Radius: 450
Effect Delay: 1.4
Damage per Second: 12/24/36/48
Move Speed Slow: 15%/20%/25%/30%
Shrapnel Duration: 10
Number of Charges: 3
Charge Restore Time: 55
Mana cost: 50
*Doesn't pop linken sphere

A few things that has changed about this skill:
  • Its damage type. Earlier this skill dealt physical damage which affected towers as well but now it deals magical damage so it no longer affect towers.
  • As mentioned in the description it now consumes a charge when fired which restores every 40 seconds. Which means its now possible to fire three Shrapnel one after another.
    However the damage and slow by this skill is provided by an aura, so multiple cast of shrapnel over the same area do not stack.
    But it does have its uses. Now with proper timing you can stack 3 jungle camps simultaneously! How cool is that. xD
  • Another major thing that has changed about this skill is that the damage, slow and vision provided by this skill now initiates after a delay.Sucks.
How you should use this skill:
  • To annoy the hell out of your laning opponents.I prefer to take a point in this skill as soon as level 2 since its mana cost is just a mere 50 and you wont have any mana issues with this skill.Try to avoid hitting the creeps in the laning phase with it as it will push the lane.
  • Putting more points into Shrapnel in the early game is a personal preference. I prefer not to as your opponents will try to avoid your level 1 Shrapnel same as level 4.Instead you should be maxing your Headshot skill which provides you better last hitting and harass. However trying to max it first is perfectly acceptable and depends on your play style.
  • Later in the game you can use this skill for farming and vision.Make sure you always fire Shrapnel at the start of all team fights as 30% move speed slow can be the deciding factor.
  • Use it to chase your opponents by firing it ahead of them or to prevent them from juking with its vision. You can also use it to help yourself or your ally in escaping as its range is a whooping 1800.


Sniper increases his accuracy, giving him a chance to deal extra damage and briefly stop the movements of his enemies.
Proc Chance: 40%
Damage: 15/40/65/90
Move Speed Slow: 100%
Attack Speed Slow: 100
Slow Duration: 0.5
Damage type:Physical
*cannot crit
*can lifesteal

Thing that has changed about this skill:
It can miss. Earlier Headshot could't be evaded but those days are gone for good.

Take Aim

Extends the attack range of Sniper's rifle.
Attack Range Bonus: 100/200/300/400

*Increases Sniper's total attack range to 650/750/850/950.
*With level 2 and higher Take Aim, his attack range is higher than the attack range of towers, allowing him to attack them without them being able to attack back.


Sniper locks onto a target enemy unit, and after 2 seconds, fires a devastating shot that deals damage at long range, and mini-stuns the target.
Cast Time: 2+1.17
Cast Range: 2000/2500/3000
Damage: 320/485/650
Cooldown: 20/15/10 Mana: 175/275/375
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked on impact. So the vision granting debuff is still placed.

*Assassinate places a debuff on the target as soon as Sniper begins casting.The debuff grants True Sight over the target. This means that Assassinate cannot be canceled by going, or be disjointed with invisibility.However, since units under the effect of Shadow Dance and Smoke of Deceit are immune to True Sight, they cancel the cast or disjoint the projectile.

*You can cancel the spell at any point before firing by pressing S. Use this to mess with minds of opponents with blink or Euls.

*The mini stun can be used to cancel channeling.



The best lane for you is always the safe lane. However a lot of Sniper player prefer the mid lane which is viable because of your long range but not recommended since Sniper has below average move speed and cannot control the runes. Even a half decent mid player with Queen of Pain or Puck will give you a lot of troubles.

If you do go mid then atleast make sure your support wards for you or ward it yourself, especially if you are up against gankers like Nightstalker or Pudge. With a little map awareness it can save you from sure deaths.

If you expect a lot of harassment during laning ( Necrophos, Viper, Drow Ranger, Kunkka etc) dont hesitate to ferry an extra set of Tango or salve,staying in lane for gold should be your top priority.

During the laning try to focus on last hitting and always keep an eye on the map. Since you are one of the most squishy hero early game without any escape ability (until you get your glimmer cape), you are going to be the prime target. A good way to increase your map awareness is to glance at the map everytime you get a last hit. With a little practice it will become a habit.
Whenever you see an enemy hero missing ( especially ganking heroes) try to play more passively because more often than not they are after your head. Try to stick to last hitting if you are in the safe lane. If you are playing mid you can try to gank one of the lanes after reaching level 6 with a rune.


You can start jungling quite efficiently after you have acquired your Maelstrom. It will increase your farming speed by a lot.
When jungling, always keep an eye on the clock and try to stack whenever you can.As mentioned before you can use your Shrapnel to stack three camps at the same time.
If you have opted for the Helm of the Dominator build you can use a dominated creep to stack the ancients for you. You can also dominate an alpha wolf.Its aura gives you and your team an insane 30% damage increase.You can command the wolf to follow you everywhere by selecting the wolf and then pressing M (default key for move command) and then clicking on yourself.
Also always keep a TP scroll with you at all times in case of team fight (or if you spot an easy assasinate victim. xD)

When farming the ancients try to kite them around with your long range to minimize damage.You can use your shrapnel to maintain vision.

Item Justification

Starting item:

A Tango for sustenance, and two iron branches and two Circlet mitigates your squishiness to some extent as well as provide some damage. You can later turn them into wand and Wraith Band from the side shop. ( Wraith Band recipe requires courier)

Early game:

Magic Wand is core on almost every hero for a reason. Burst heal and mana can save your life or give you enough mana for the Assassinate. Its especially useful against heroes who use lot of spells like Bristleback. Always and I mean always buy a Magic Wand.

Wraith Band gives you some stat and damage for last hitting.

Boots of Speed to escape ganks or for chasing.

Tp scroll because YOU MUST ALWAYS CARRY A TP SCROLL! It helps you escape as well as get to other lanes to help your team.


Power Treads are in my opinion the best boot for Sniper after boots of travel. It gives you 30 attack speed and +9 to the selected attribute. You can switch to agility when last hitting for extra damage or when you are healing for some extra hp and mana. You can switch to int when you are low on mana and strength when trying to escape.
Phase Boots is a decent alternative and could be considered for some extra speed and damage.

Glimmer Cape is preferred over Shadow Blade for multiple reasons.
Firstly,its almost 1K cheaper than shadow blade and 5 second is more than enough time for initiation or escape using invisibility.Also you spend less on an escape item which means you can rush your other items faster.
Secondly, you only miss out on the 30 damage from shadow blade and there are better and more cost efficient items if you are looking for damage.
Thirdly, you can cast it on your ally from about 900 units away. Nothing beats the feeling you get when you save an ally. Also,even though the glimmer duration is only 5 seconds, the cool down is also quite low,16 seconds,which means you can use it twice in a team fight.
And lastly and most importantly,it increases your magic resistance form 25% to 40% which increases your survivability against nukes significantly. And if thats not enough its active gives you an insane 66% magic resistance which stays for full 5 seconds even if you attack during the glimmer duration which means you can use it agressively as well.

Conclusion: Glimmer cape > Shadow blade on sniper.

Maelstrom: Your primary farming and aoe damage tool + Partially stacks with other UAM.

Helm of the Dominator: Life steal+ 5 armor+ dominate ability+ 20 damage+ 5 hp regen passive+ upgrades into satanic. Need I say more?
*You can go for MoM if you like to live dangerously and cant resist the extra attack speed,move speed and farming potential. I just find it a tad too greedy.

Moon Shard: 120 attack speed and extra night vision. Me likey <3

Desolator: After update 6.84 it costs only 3500 with a slight decrease in damage.If you dont intend to go for life steal item,this is what you need.

Sange and Yasha: Greater Maim + Headshot passive + Move Speed + Stats= Perma slow + tons of survivability.


Boots of Travel: IF YOU CANT ALWAYS CARRY A TP SCROLL! (or if you are six slotted or if you're a sucker for +100 move speed or if you cant resist red boots)

Mjollnir: +80 attack speed+ static charge + You already got maelstorm = why not?

Satanic because 25 strength + unholy rage = COME AT MEEE BROO!

Daedalus because easy build up ,lots of damage and red flashing numbers lol.

Monkey King Bar because fuxk Phantom Assassin and Brewmaster.

Manta Style because you are a fan of naruto lol. Okay no Manta Style is awesome and core if the opponent team has lots of gap closing heroes like Anti-Mage, Qop, Riki, Pudge and Spirit Breaker to name a few.It increases your survivability by 66.66% againt pudge's hooks lol. Well you shouldn't pick sniper in the first place if you see your enemy pick those jerks( Yeah there are too many counters to sniper T_T ) but if you do, always make a manta style. It gives you stat, speed, and illusions. Always good to have those.

Blink Dagger because its a positioning+ escape tool and sniper needs both. Needless to say blink sniper is the most fun sniper. ( Comment your match id if you build blink sniper please , always fun to watch xD )

Eye of Skadi because lots of stats + attact speed and move speed slow + stacks with life steal.

Butterfly because best agility item + evasion + Flutter (Hella expensive though)

Black King Bar if too many spell casters. You'll never need it if you are good with positioning though.

Hand of Midas: If you are the only hard carry and having a free farm.

Divine Rapier for the lulz. (or to win that crucial final battle)

Perseverance because you are brain dead. Seriously. Delete dota.

Invisibility : Tch

Harry Kun: I'm s-sorry! I will never use it again. *Sets invisibility cloak on fire*
Ron Kun: Bloody hell!

lol Okay! Invisibility! Like it or not, you're gonna have to deal with it in Dota, so lets get it over with.

Tbh the Hater San is quite right, invisibility is a highly unreliable escape mechanism, almost useless in higher levels of play and should be considered only for ganking and initiation.

This is why we don't buy invisibility items just for its invi.

Shadow Blade :
+22 damage , +30 attack speed
Well you don't get much besides the damage and attack speed with this item. You do get a 20% move speed increase with shadow walk and 175 bonus damage when attacking to break invi but thats not worth the 2800 gold.
However after 6.84 its not that bad of a choice since its upgrade is quite strong:

Silver Edge
You need a Sange and a recipe besides the Shadow Blade for this item.
It provides the much needed strength stat (+16) for sniper. It gives a passive lesser main which fully stacks with the lesser main of Heaven's Halberd and the greater main of Sange and Yasha and thats not even the best part.
When attacking to end the invisibility, it deals 225 bonus damage to the target, disables their passive abilities, and reduce their damage output by 40% for 4 seconds! This attack can not miss, not even the almighty backtrack can do anything about it.
You should definetly consider it when you are up against heroes with strong passives like Phantom Assassin, Enchantress, Faceless Void, Ursa, Viper to name a few.

Glimmer Cape
Your go-to item when the enemy team has a lot of nukers or Dagon carriers. It gives you a effective 40% magic resistance and its active gives an unreal 66% magic resistance bonus. Its not just your escape item, you can pop your gimmer and start fighting back against nukers. Its an easy item to farm as it costs only 1950. You can even disassemble it later in the game to buy a Silver Edge if you want.

When not to buy invi items?
When the enemy team has heroes like Bounty Hunter or Slardar as Track and amplify damage will make the shadow walk and glimmer useless.

When the enemy has invi
They are going to try and use their invi for initiation. Its quite easy to counter with a pair of senty wards when in lane. Just ask your support to buy one for you or get one yourself. The 200 gold gives you 8 minutes of vision which more that pays for the investment.
Once the laning ends try to stick with the team or buy a Manta Style.As long as you have more farm than the enemy, invi shouldn't be a problem.

Random videos for teh lulz

Some final tips

Try not to pick Sniper if the enemy team has Storm Spirit , Nyx Assassin, Pudge, Anti-Mage, Queen of Pain etc.

When you do pick sniper, try to have atleast one tanker in your team who can keep the opponent busy,like Axe and Centaur Warrunner while you fire away.

Never initiate a team fight and mind your positioning. Its always better to take a few seconds and find a decent positioning before you start going haywire on them jerks.

Don't play like an idiot once you have bought your Glimmer Cape or Shadow Blade.No,it does not make you invincible.

Try to look at the map as often as you can.

Don't rage quit.

Farm and survive.


((oh btw, if you don't have a Sniper set and want one, you can get the complete gunslinger set by completing the training mode in dota 2 huehue ;) ))

Change log

4th May 2015
- Guide first published
- Headshot skill info corrected. (Special thanks to OldKainen and HamsterTamer)
9th May 2015 (Had an exam that day,didn't go well)
- Updated the previous build and added 3 new ones.
- A couple videos added in the "Change log" section.
- Two new sections "Random videos for teh lulz" and "Invisibilty: Tch" added.

To be added in the future:
- "Build discussion" section.
- "Allies and Foes" section.

Here are some crazy 6.84-**** before we say goodbye xD

((P.S : Stay strong meredy! Abeonim Believes in you! ))

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