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28 Votes

Peppo_o'Paccio's guide to the Rogue Knight

December 14, 2014 by Peppo_oPaccio
Comments: 25    |    Views: 271654    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

Carry with snowballing potential (safe lane, aggressive dual/trilane, mid)

DotA2 Hero: Sven

Hero Skills

Storm Hammer

1 3 5 7

Great Cleave

8 9 10 12


2 4 13 14

God's Strength

6 11 16


15 17 18


Sven, the Rogue Knight, is a powerful STR Hero known for his high carry potential: while there are many items that can work on him, as he needs a couple of minutes (~20) to become really strong you want to maximize your early game advantage and get the most cost-efficient items. Not only this guide will cover one of the most effective ways to get an early lead with him, it also shows three different - both because of the skill build and the situation you should use them in - builds for any type of game.

The hard carry build is something I've worked on for quite some time, and I'm very happy about the results: stacking ancients with a Helm of the Dominator not only is easy and useful, but it also makes the "afk-farming role" more exciting to play. The second build is for when you want to play with two core Heroes in your lineup - may it be another carry like Luna or Lifestealer or someone with high carry potential like Shadow Fiend or Lone Druid - and your team lacks mid game power; very useful if you're playing mid ( Storm Hammer is actually very good for lane control) or in an aggressive trilane, especially in team matches. The last one is the good old support Sven that I still find pretty strong with an appropriate partner (e.g. Leshrac, Enchantress, Crystal Maiden...) to gank with.

Pros and Cons

Since there are three builds, I'll actually list the pros and cons of all of them that will cover both Sven's capabilities and the usefulness of the builds themselves:

Carry Build
  • Cost-efficient item progression (again)
  • High movement speed with Phase Boots
  • Early game killing potential ( Storm Hammer)
  • Cleave damage in teamfights
  • Lots of different options for the late game
  • Can recover from a bad early game
  • Decent mana management
  • Good AoE stun useful for both aggressive trilanes and mid lanes
  • Poor autoattack damage early on
  • Very easy to kite (again)
  • Doesn't have the highest carry potential
  • Arcane Boots may sometimes be useless

Hard Carry Build
  • Cost-efficient item progression
  • Makes you able to stack and farm ancients
  • Early game killing potential ( Storm Hammer)
  • Huge cleave damage in teamfights
  • Lots of different options for the late game
  • Warcry makes this already tanky Hero even more resistant
  • Sven's abilities ( God's Strength and Warcry) make him scale very well into lategame
  • Really, really mana-intensive
  • Poor autoattack damage early on
  • Very easy to kite (damn you Weaver)
  • It's difficult to keep up with the enemies if you get stopped early on

Support Build
  • Doesn't need many items to come online
  • Good for ganking combos in other lanes
  • Can still scale into late game if fed
  • Has got one of the stongest stuns in the game
  • Has got a movement speed buff ( Warcry)
  • Warcry makes you a very resistant support, too
  • God's Strength makes you even a good DPS Hero
  • Really, really, really mana-intensive
  • Dependent on Arcane Boots
  • Might be a bad choice if you don't manage to get kills
  • Pretty useless without a good partner to gank/get kills with

When to Pick Him

Carry Sven isn't one of those situational carries, but as he still needs a bit of time to farm his core you have to let him play an easy laning phase. He's good at all stages of the game, though he shines when your items are more than the enemy carry's (mid-late game) and, as his HP is pretty high, you'll never have the "squishy lineup" issue.

Summarizing, play hard carry Sven if:

  • Your team lacks stuns;
  • You have less than 3 melee Heroes already;
  • You have enough space for your carry to farm for ~20 minutes;
  • You can (most of the time) slow/disable your targets so Sven doesn't get kited;
  • You want to combine AoE ultimates ( Black Hole, Reverse Polarity...) with cleave damage.

Also, don't play hard carry Sven if:
  • Your team is mid-game oriented;
  • You'll be playing versus a strong lane;
  • You can't manage your mana efficiently (very important!);
  • You forget to activate your abilities and items in teamfights.

About the mid-game oriented skill build: it's much more viable in other situations, especially if you have a harder carry in your team. Playing mid Sven is possible, especially because your ganks past level 6 will be extremely powerful and a Bottle covers your needs mana-wise. Being able to carry auras is also pretty good, especially in a pushing-oriented team; you can also grab a Blink Dagger and become a strong (though unreliable) initiator and chaser.

Summarizing, play semi-carry Sven if:
  • There's a harder carry in your team;
  • You have less than 3 melees already;
  • You team needs an initiator or a semi-carry;
  • You can adapt your item build according to the situation;
  • You want to be useful in the mid game by ganking and carrying auras;
  • You want to combine AoE ultimates ( Black Hole, Reverse Polarity...) with cleave damage.

Also, don't play semi-carry Sven if:
  • You forget to join fights and keep farming in the jungle;
  • You forget to activate your abilities and items in teamfights;
  • You have a very safe lane and can afford more expensive items;
  • You are the only farm-dependent Hero in your team and you want to go into late game.

Support Sven, on the other side, is viable in any situation unless you already have a melee support or you're playing dual lanes with a melee carry.

Summarizing, play support Sven if:
  • Your team lacks stuns;
  • Your team needs a hard support;
  • You already have a Mekansm carrier in your team;
  • You want to smoke gank with another support in a trilane;
  • You need a setup stun for unreliable stuns ( Split Earth, Light Strike Array...).

Also, don't play support Sven if:
  • Your team needs a Mekansm carrier;
  • You'll be playing dual lanes with a melee carry;
  • You already have a melee support in your team;
  • You can't manage your mana efficiently (very important!).


Even if its level 1 damage is poor (100), his stun duration is 2 at all levels: getting early kills, even at level 1, should be pretty easy with good follow-up damage.

At level 4 it deals a whopping amount of damage: a 2 second AoE stun with 325 damage makes Sven a good support Hero and initiator, too.

Use the stun before engaging a teamfight, then activate your skills ( God's Strength, Warcry) and items ( Drum of Endurance, Armlet of Mordiggian, Black King Bar, Mask of Madness...) and get within melee range to land some easy hits.

Don't be afraid to "waste" it if all the enemies are clumped up in one spot: being able to deal such AoE damage to 2-3 Heroes is pretty efficient for its mana cost at level 4.

Its cooldown time makes you able to use it even twice in the same fight: throw your Storm Hammer at the beginning of a fight, then use it to chase fleeing enemies.

Sometimes, you might want to max it out by level 10 (and get the second level of Warcry later) since it helps a bit when jungling and you may need the extra cleave damage earlier.

Remember when you assembled a Helm of the Dominator to stack ancients? Well, after you have 3-4 points in this ability you'll can farm them in little time.

This is a great ability to have because if you manage to initiate with a 3 or 4-man Storm Hammer everyone in that group will get the cleaved for the 2 seconds.

Warcry is a very underrated skill: as the armor it gives gets doubled between level 1 and 2, and you won't need cleave damage in the laning phase either, I suggest getting two points in it before level 6 and then leaving it last.

16 extra armor is huge: always activate it in conjunction with God's Strength after initiating a teamfight! The armor (and movement speed) gets passed to your teammates too, what else would you need?

Don't forget about the 12% movement speed increase! Stacking movement speed with items such as Phase Boots, Drum of Endurance and Sange and Yasha solves your "kiting" issue and, thanks to God's Strength, still makes you able to deal a huge amount of damage.

This skill, along with your stun, is your go-to spell when playing support: a Hero that can do a 2 seconds (potentially AoE) stun and then speed up his team like a Drum of Endurance is already enough; add his late-game presence with God's Strength and you have a perfect example of a "carry-support" like the almost forgotten support Gyrocopter.

This ultimate is very particular and can be used for two purposes, depending on your role:
  • As a carry, to improve esponentially your damage in teamfights;
  • As a support, to have late game presence and be stronger in ganks.

As it has an 80 second cooldown, you can easily use it to ensure a kill on a Hero you're ganking (as said above) and, probably, still have it up for the next teamfight.

The mana cost is pretty high for such a Hero, especially if you want to cast your other abilities first: always double check your mana before throwing a Warcry that leaves you with 190 mana in a decisive fight.

Remember that the extra damage depends on your STR points, not on your damage points: only the extra strength from stat-based items ( Heart of Tarrasque, Linken's Sphere, Satanic) gets multiplied.

Items Explanation: Carry Build

This is a mid-game oriented build: Sven has many built-in damage steroids and can get away with buying a Blink Dagger in the mid game without sacrificing damage. A Blink-stun initiation ensures you can start a fight before getting initiated on or chainstunned to death and grants easy kills on lone Heroes. In the late game, if you played it well, if the enemy has one of those hard carries like Spectre or Phantom Assassin you should have been able to shut them down, while if they have a more mid-game oriented carry like Slark or Juggernaut your net worth should be higher than theirs.

Starting items


Again, the typical starting items: you can also get a Magic Stick and a Clarity (or an extra Iron Branch) instead of the Stout Shield if facing an aggressive trilane, but you'll eventually need a Shield anyway.
Again, you can buy a Clarity instead of a Branch (even if not going for the Magic Stick) to get more early game presence, but you'll probably waste it if fighting 3vs3 (or 2vs2) since the enemies will eventually attack you when using it.

Bottle Rush

If you're going mid, I suggest taking a Bottle as soon as possible: in order to do so, you need a shared Tango for HP regen and some Iron Branches for better last hitting and some survivability.
If you think you'll be facing a very strong mid like Queen of Pain or Storm Spirit (that can deal you heavy damage since you're melee), you might opt to get a Stout Shield and maybe an extra Tango from the supports: they'll delay your Bottle by a bit, but you'll have a safer early game.

Core items

If you're mid, always rush a Bottle! Getting rune control is pretty easy with Sven, given his long-duration stun and movement speed buff; runes also give you a huge advantage when ganking other lanes and the Bottle itself solves your early mana problems.
What Boots should you get? I almost always go for Power Treads, because extra attack speed makes you able to hit more frequently after stunning and Tread switching also helps when you have a Bottle. The only time I go for Arcane Boots is when I'm playing an aggressive trilane and my teammates need to spam their spells or when I'm in the safe lane and none of my teammates are building them.
A Magic Wand solves your early mana issues and removes those Iron Branches obstructing your inventory. If you're laning versus Heroes that tend to spam their spells, buy a Magic Stick right after Boots of Speed (or even before if you're getting pressured a lot).
Now, build your Blink Dagger. I absolutely love this item, every carry with a stun should make one: much like a Wraith King, you can keep afk farming for 10-15 minutes and then, as soon as you get your Dagger, five man with your team and push towers. This item is so good because, unlike WK, Sven's stun hits in an AoE, so you can potentially disable the whole enemy team!
Last but not least, don't forget your Black King Bar: you'll need to get one 99% of the time, and if you're playing in that 1% you probably shouldn't have picked Sven anyway. Sven's power comes from his stun-ultimate combo and, since his early game damage comes from God's Strength, you don't really need to build damage items before the mid game. Moreover, BKB not only protects you but also gives you a good amount of damage.

Items Explanation: Hard Carry Build

As said in the introduction, the main problem of all hard carries is that this meta is mid-game oriented and doesn't have enough room for the most farm-depentent Heroes to farm their core: that's why you get an early Helm of the Dominator, so that you can easily get a tri or quad stack and farm it to get a big chunk of your Black King Bar (or your next core item). The core build is a mixture of the most cost-efficient items ( Armlet of Mordiggian for example) and some staples that should never miss on a carry in a serious match like the Black King Bar.

Starting items

Choice 1

These are the usual starting items for basically every melee carry: a Stout Shield gives you good survivability, while two Iron Branches add a bit of autoattack damage and mana points.
At least a Tango and a Healing Salve are needed, as you should be taking a decent portion of damage since you're melee.
Some players pick up a Clarity, too: while I try to stay away from it when playing carries, I guess it's a nice pickup if you have a lane with big killing potential. You can still wait for your mana to come up even without a Clarity potion, as you should focus more on last-hitting than on getting kills.

Choice 2

This starting set says "I want to freefarm!": the Quelling Blade gives you a higher last-hitting damage, and the extra Iron Branch adds some stats and can be built into a Magic Wand.
Be careful, as you don't have a Stout Shield! The enemy attack damage is much stronger without one, so consider picking it from the side shop if you encounter aggressive Heroes.

Early game items

As usual, get your Boots of Speed as soon as possible to have better killing/escaping potential.
You should take a Magic Stick as your second item because burst healing is the best way to counter aggressive lanes: if you feel like you lack regen and your health is always low, this is the cheapest option that solves your problem.
Power Treads are definitely your boots of choice here: you might ask why I don't suggest Phase Boots since kiting is a big problem for Sven, and well, the answer is simple: your first skill does a 2 second stun, which is enough for your teammates to follow up with teamfight ultimates or single target disables.
Lastly, build a Helm of the Dominator starting from the Helm of Iron Will: your objective here is getting early survivability (and even, though in a very small percentage, sustainability thanks to the lifesteal) and the ability to get an early lead in gold, everything without assembling a huge item you probably won't need after the mid game (like the Vanguard).
Remember to dominate a jungle creep and use it to stack ancients! If you don't know how to do it, you can just hit them with your dominated creep at X:53 and run away, so when they come back another group of creeps gets spawned, too. Read here for further information.
Then, get a Magic Wand if you still have some spare Branches or you're facing a lane that tends to spam a lot.

Core Items

This is what my inventory looks like after building up my core: disassemble your Helm of the Dominator as soon as you get the other components for the Armlet of Mordiggian, using the Helm of Iron Will to complete it and leaving the Morbid Mask unfinished for now.
The Black King Bar is what makes Sven so threatening in fights: without an ability that makes you magic immune, you're prone to getting slowed (and kited) or - worse! - disabled to death. The extra STR also translates into damage, and the damage the BKB itself gives is quite worth it.
If you haven't yet, go farm the ancients you should've stacked: as your level of Great Cleave should be 3 or 4, you can easily run away from them and, as they're returning back to their camp, get a few hits; keep doing so until there are less creeps so that you don't get killed when trying to fight them.

Late Game Items

Sven is one on the very few Heroes whom I like a Mask of Madness on, the reasons being his lack of mobility (and attack speed, as he's a STR carry) but high damage per hit and armor (thanks to, respectively, God's Strength and Warcry): if you can get it quickly enough, you'll be unstoppable! Make sure you have a BKB though, or you'll get nuked/disabled to death every time.

Go for it if you had a good time farming and you're sure the enemy carry won't be able to kill you despite of the damage amplification. Do not buy it if the enemies have a strong single target BKB-piercing disabler like Bane or Beastmaster or you'll just make the enemy carry's job easier.

Vlad's is the other choice for when you want to build your Morbid Mask into something: it's not needed, but if you feel that extra 1100 gold delay won't make that much of a difference, get this over damage items. It's also good for when you want to kill Roshan, since not only the lifesteal but also the damage increase applies when fighting him.

This item is good at all stages of the game, its cheap aura scales well into late game. It's even more appealing if you have one or two more melees in your team, as the lifesteal only applies to them (and you).

The Daedalus is your main option for when you need to hit harder: the damage increase is huge, and some lucky crits can be really scary (especially with your cleave damage). For this reason, you should buy it straight after after the BKB most of the time.

While the extra damage doesn't get multiplied by your ultimate, the crits get amplified by your Great Cleave! That's why it's such a good pickup on Sven.

Sven's natural STR growth is pretty big, so raw HP shouldn't be a problem, but if damage (and not survivability) is what you really need don't be afraid to get a Heart of Tarrasque: lots of HP regen, a good amount of HP and 40 damage (coming from the +40STR) that gets amplified by God's Strength: this means you get +120 extra damage with this item, even more than with a Daedalus (without counting crits) or Abyssal Blade!

Consider getting this instead of an Abyssal Blade if there isn't a really strong carry you need to bash and if the enemy team is made of 2-3 core Heroes.

The Assault Cuirass is one of the best items for Sven: it covers both your offensive and defensive needs, especially the lack of attack speed. Extra armor is also more valuable than extra HP on the majority of STR carries.

If what you need is survivability, never buy a Heart before getting an Assault Cuirass: armor is always better than raw HP after reaching about 2200HP (depending on the armor of the Hero), and it isn't a problem at all for a carry Sven; +40 damage might seem more appealing than negative armor and attack speed increase, but you won't stand a chance versus a farmed carry without armor.

Consider starting from the Platemail if you're being pressured a lot or if you had a bad early/mid game; go for the Hyperstone if you're having a good time.

One of the most common late game items for melee carries: the Skull Basher is already a good addition to your arsenal straight after the Assault Cuirass, but the full Abyssal Blade is a really strong upgrade to the item.

Consider buying this for outcarrying a stronger Hero like Anti-Mage, after the Cuirass: if the negative armor (and extra armor for you) isn't enough, a couple bashes will give you the upper hand; if random bashes still aren't enough, you can still rely on your single target BKB-piercing 2 second stun (and on your 2 second Storm Hammer, also).

One of my favourite items on Sven. We said a lot of times that kiting is a big issue for this Hero, and that's when Sange and Yasha come into play: the extra movement speed will make you able to catch those running enemies; the extra HP is also welcomed as your damage comes from your STR points.

The Yasha component also gives you more attack speed: don't get distracted by the fact that it's AGI-based, it is really worth it. The maim from the full SnY is also pretty noticeable if it procs on the right Heroes. It's basically a cheap version of the Eye of Skadi combined with a long (though unreliable and sometimes unnoticeable) slow and some extra movement and attack speed.

If you're six-slotted and just waiting to buy a new BKB to refresh its cooldown, consider getting Boots of Travel first: the extra movement speed will make reaching the enemies after your Storm Hammer easier, and being able to teleport to creeps is crucial when all your towers are down.

Linken's is actually a situational item, but as it gives overall good stats I think it's always a nice item to have. The buildup is expensive but not too much (2100 + 2100 + 875 + 875 + 1325; many late game items have components that cost 2400 or more), and the extra regen isn't that bad.

Consider getting this instead of the BKB if the enemies have no crowd control abilities but just single target BKB-piercing spells like Fiend's Grip, Nether Swap and Primal Roar (or very few stuns besides them): the extra regen and stats are already worth the extra money, and since it roughly gives as much damage as the BKB you're basically getting a spell block instead of magic immunity. Otherwise, if there are plenty of nukes and disables in the other team, get this after the BKB if those ultimates that ignore magical resistance really make you lose fights.

The +15 STR gets translated into damage: 55 (considering the extra damage) isn't that much, but it's still 1 more than the BKB you're substituting.

The Monkey King Bar is, basically, a counter to evasion: if the enemies have a Phantom Assassin or a Hero that will most likely build a Butterfly ( Anti-Mage, Weaver, Luna...), you should definitely choose this over the Daedalus.

Always start from the Demon Edge, because by the time you start buying it you probably won't have enough inventory space to carry both a Javelin and a Demon Edge. Also, by doing so you'll be able to finish your MKB from the main shop.

I usually don't buy a Halberd on Sven, but if I get outcarried - especially versus BKB-independent Heroes like Weaver or Phantom Lancer - I consider this a very good choice. The extra evasion will make you difficult to deal with, and the STR components give you both HP and extra damage.

The Disarm, along with the evasion, is the best feature of this item: if you can evade hits and prevent your enemy from attacking at the same time, nothing can stop you.

Items Explanation: Support

First things first: what does "position #4 support" mean? In a normal team you have two supports, one called the "hard support" (also known as he "position #5 support") who buys most of the Observer Wards and is left with very little gold throughout the game, and one called the "semi-support" (i.e. the "position #4 support") who benefits from extra gold and can be a Hero with carry potential like Silencer, Mirana and Tusk. The number means the farm priority of the Hero, so the team's carry will be the position #1, the mid laner the position #2 etc. This means that Sven should be played much like a snowballing Hero instead of a passive support, since given enough money he can actually outcarry the enemy Heroes.

I personally like playing support Sven, I think he has a lot of hidden potential: his first two abilities are definitely support-oriented (or, still, good for both carries and supports), and his third one ensures he can transition into a decent damage dealer in the late game. Don't forget he's one of the very few supports that can grant extra survivability (and even movement speed!) to his team, and for this reason I consider him a very solid pick. God's Strength even gives him extra damage for teamfights and makes smoke ganks (even without the full team) a piece of cake. He's also one of the best roaming supports, as not everyone has a 2 second high-damage stun and a movement speed buff.

Starting items

Courier + Observers

As said many times in this build, Sven is a very mana-intensive Hero: sacrificing the gold you usually spend for a Healing Salve and getting a second Clarity and an Iron Branch instead is, in my opinion, worth it; you can still minimize the damage taken with Warcry. But if you want, feel free to drop a Clarity and the Branch for a Salve.
A single Iron Branch gives very few stats, but sometimes even 2 mana points are enough to land a decisive stun; you'll craft it into a Magic Wand later, which is one of the best items for supports.
A Tango is always needed: four charges that you can use to regen your HP, cut trees in the Radiant forest to pull your creepwave through camps, or both.

Smoke + Sentries

Your secondary choice if someone in your team has already bought both Courier and Observers: Sentry Wards will make you able to deward your pulling camp if it gets blocked or simply spot invisible Heroes in your lane; the Smoke of Deceit should be actively bought by you (if playing in a trilane) because you can make exceptional ganks with a good support partner.
If your team has a Courier but doesn't have Wards (or vice versa), consider delaying the Sentries and buying the other item: always prioritize those two unless someone's already bought them.
You can drop a Clarity and the Iron Branch for a Healing Salve, as said above.

Early game items

Typical early game items for mana-intensive supports like Nyx Assassin or Earthshaker: Boots of Speed as soon as possible make sure you can catch those fleeing enemies; the burst regen from the Magic Stick is always welcome, especially because you didn't buy much early regen and Sven tends to waste a lot of mana.
Arcane Boots are probably the best choice for this Hero for the reason above; you don't need Tranquils and Phase either because of, respectively, your defensive ability and your long-range stun. But if you're playing in a trilane and the other support is buying them, you can get away with Power Treads and focus more on farming in the downtime (es. go mid when your mid laner goes to gank or teleport to the hard lane if your offlaner dies) than stacking and pulling.

Mid game options

One of my two favourite items to rush straight after your "core": it consists of very cheap components and gives both mana regen and the ability to heal teammates (or yourself). With this item, Sven is truly a perfect support and doesn't lack anything.

Remember you can use the Urn charge on enemies, too: it's especially useful if they're low on HP and/or your team has other DoT spells to combo it with. Spells that deal damage-based damage (yes, you read that right) like Maledict and Soul Assumption, along with Ice Blast that prevents enemies from regening HP, combo really well with it.

This is my secondary choice: if one of my teammates already has an Urn, I tend to pick it (or, rarely, just skip it). Actively using the Valor on a target enemy makes them much more squishy, and the extra mana regen is always welcome.

It's also very useful for fighting Roshan, since the armor reduction applies to him and makes him so much easier to kill. If my team's strategy includes actively fighting Roshan, I make sure I get a Medallion of Courage as soon as possible.

Last but not least, the Blink Dagger, a mandatory item for Sven: since his Storm Hammer is such a good stun, making him a dedicated initiator - especially when playing a support role - isn't a bad idea.

Even if there's another initiator in your team, if you're getting fed and stomping the enemies being able to chase down everyone is invaluable. Especially if gotten when the enemy supports are still squishy, ganking with a Blink-stun initiation is really scary.

Late game items

If your laning and ganking phase went perfectly, you won't have any problems snowballing into late game with a big gold income, especially if taking lots of early towers: a BKB is the perfect item if you managed to keep your damage high with early level advantage.

As said before, the extra HP makes you stronger both survivability-wise and damage-wise: add the extra damage from the Mithril Hammer and you'll get magic immunity and mid-game presence (that gets amplified by God's Strength).

The Blade Mail is most of the time a bad pickup for supports, but it has a completely different purpose on this Hero. Much like a Wraith King (who can Reincarnate), Sven can actually deal huge cleave damage if not stopped: the attacking enemies, seeing they get damaged, will eventually stop attacking you, which in turn lets you deal more damage in a teamfight. It kind of plays a psychological role.

Its components give you a variety of things: armor, damage and mana. It's a pretty good investment if you can keep up with the enemies, but if the enemy carry has a BKB or you simply can't stay in the frontlines you'd better not take it.

This is already a pretty good item for AGI or INT-based supports, but it's even more effective on strength Heroes: extra survivabilty and evasion make you much harder to deal with, but the extra HP also translates into extra damage.

Again, I suggest taking this if you aren't doing that well because it's made from relatively cheap components (except for the Talisman of Evasion) and helps your team a lot in the right circumstances.

Although the Maim won't be that useful, the Disarm is what you're looking for: use it on the enemy carry after he activates his BKB, if he has one. He will probably wait for your Disarm and then pop it, but if you let him use it before and your team survives the first part of the teamfight you can render him useless.

This is the perfect item for when you didn't succesfully transition into a carry role and you're left behind: what you're looking for is the strong ultimate upgrade and relatively cheap stats, and you should be able to farm at least the first two components in little time by jungle farming.

Remember to always start from the Point Booster and then get the Ogre Club: you really need to buy them in this order because, as a support, being more survivable is your main priority, and you don't get many benefits from extra INT and AGI anyway.

Vlad's is overall one of the best support picks: a cheap late-game aura that, as it's percentage-based, always scales well. If there are at least 1 or 2 more melee Heroes in your team, you should definitely take it.

As for the Medallion, it's also very good for fighting Roshan: the extra damage increase makes you able to kill him quickly, while the lifesteal prevents you from getting low on health after he dies.

If your team keeps getting towers and you manage to get a quick Blink Dagger, a Mask of Madness can even let you surpass your own team's carry's farm: the Berserk active is very good for jungling and farming ancients, other than getting kills, and the extra lifesteal makes you able to jungle farm 24/7. Remember: if you want to buy a MoM, buy it straight after the Blink.

Don't use the active when you're teamfighting unless you have a BKB or you need to chase fleeing Heroes: you'll take 30% extra damage from enemies, which will make you die right after landing two or three swings. On the contrary, if you have magic immunity, the benefits surpass the downsides, as the huge attack speed increase synergizes extremely well with God's Strength.

Skill Builds

When playing carry I think the best skill build is only one, and it's basically copypasted from Luna: you obviously have to max out your Storm Hammer first, but since you won't need the Great Cleave before the laning phase ends (on the contrary, it pushes the wave which is a terrible mistake) you get two points in Warcry and leave it last. You will need full levels on your Cleave by level 12 because by that time you should be killing ancients and jungle creeps to get extra gold, not to mention it's also very strong in early teamfights. As always, max God's Strength as soon as possbile since there's no reason to skip it besides the (negligible) mana cost.

Storm Hammer
Storm Hammer
Storm Hammer
God's Strength
Storm Hammer
Great Cleave
Great Cleave
Great Cleave
God's Strength
Great Cleave
God's Strength

If you are supporting, on the contrary, you won't need the Great Cleave to farm so you can focus on maxing out your Storm Hammer and then your Warcry, since extra armor is so valuable on supports and it also gets transferred to teammates. I usually take a stat point at 4 to get extra mana, but you can max Warcry by level 9 if you want; I just think that what you really need in the early game is the extra movement speed, so the cooldown reduction and extra armor don't have that much of an impact before the big teamfights of the mid game.

Storm Hammer
Storm Hammer
Storm Hammer
God's Strength
Storm Hammer
God's Strength
Great Cleave
Great Cleave
Great Cleave
Great Cleave
God's Strength

Friends and Foes


Sven is both a big teamfight contributor and a very good setup for chainstuns; whether you're carrying or supporting you should lane with Heroes whose spells deal a lot of damage but are difficult to land. The fist line is for supports, the second line is for carries and semi-carries:

In teamfights, your best friends are those initiators that grant you free hits for a couple seconds. Some of them are:

Teammates with damage buffs are also pretty helpful:


Sven's foes are those that can kite him, especially if they have a slow that goes through BKB:

BKB-piercing single target spells are also pretty scary for him, since he relies on his Black King Bar most of the time:

Update History

11-23-2014: Done some cleanup, again.
6-15-2014: Done some cleanup and edited the semi-carry build.
2-6-2014: Written the first part of the guide.

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