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Peppo_o'Paccio's Super in-Depth Competitive Invoker Guide for All Skill Levels

January 20, 2015 by Peppo_oPaccio
Comments: 44    |    Views: 280082    |   


Build 1
Build 2

Quas-Exort (global presence and carry or pushing potential)

DotA2 Hero: Invoker


Purchase Order

Sample Build - Necro Invoker (Pushing Oriented

Sample Build - Vyse Invoker (Carry Oriented)

Starting Items

If You Can't Get Shared Tango Charges

Early Game, In This Order

Optional Extensions

Push or Carry?

Late Game Options

60+ Minutes



Hero Skills

Quas

2 4 8 9 23 24 25

Wex

10 16 18 19 20 21 22

Exort

1 5 6 7 13 14 15

Invoke

3 11 12 17

Talents


INTRODUCTION

Hello everyone, and welcome to




The purpose of this guide is making Invoker an easy Hero to learn, having some paragraphs that stick to the easier and multi-purpose spells and others that talk about the most effective "multiple" combinations with a Refresher Orb and whatnot.

This guide is meant to be coincise and easy to look at, so you won't feel like reading a huge manual. There are also many schematic representations of combos and situations for any type of game.




The written part of the guide is divided in two sections according to the skill build, the Quas-Exort section and the Quas-Wex section: the main reason of this dinstinction is that both your item build and your skill combinations will vary depending on the orbs you want to use, and mixing all together will be way harder to look at. Also, if you're learning to play the Hero, you can decide to focus on one build exclusively.

Pros and Cons



Being a pretty flexible Hero, Invoker synergizes very well with most teams and can be used at its best in every game. There are some downsides about the Heroes, but the most important thing you have to keep in mind is not if it's a good game for Invoker himself, but which build suits better in that situation.


The first pros and cons listed here regard Invoker in general, while the following ones are specific to the build (Quas-Exort and Quas-Wex).



Invoker

Pros
  • Can be built in different ways
  • Good teamfight contributor
  • Good carry potential
  • Not that item dependent early on
  • Has a reliable escape ( Ghost Walk)
  • Global presence with QE builds
  • High amounts of crowd control with QW builds
  • Has access to 10 "true" spells, more than anyone else
Cons
  • Rather squishy
  • Low base damage
  • Very, very, very level dependent
  • Heavily countered by magic immunity
  • Requires more practice than your average Hero






Quas-Exort

Pros
  • Global presence
  • High single target damage
  • Good pushing potential
  • Good teamfight damage
Cons
  • Needs a lot of early farm and levels
  • Pretty slow





Quas-Wex

Pros
  • High movement and attack speed
  • Large amounts of crowd control
  • Early ganking power
  • Can be ran as a ganker with an Orchid Malevolence
Cons
  • Not much single target damage
  • Doesn't grant pushing power or global presence


Similarities Between the Builds



Even though Invoker is pretty versatile and his playing style may vary, there's always a "base" that stays the same for all builds: a good versatile Hero is, in the first place, a Hero with good synergy between his spells, items and stats, so having a good base is what makes some of the most used Heroes really good.


First off, it doesn't matter what build you're using, you always need to unlock all your orbs by level 10: this means that you can't go Quas-Wex without a single point in Exort until level 19, as that prevents you from using a lot of your spells.

Invoker is a level dependent Hero, and as such he always needs a safe solo lane: the most common lane for an Invoker is mid, but in competitive games he's also ran in the safe lane versus a solo off-laner, which is even safer because ganking that lane usually requires a team to dive the tower.

As Invoker is, after all, an INT Hero, there are some items which work well for all builds: the Drum of Endurance is the most common one as it helps when using both QE (the aura gives more pushing power) and QW (the extra movement speed makes you even faster, plus it gives some stats) builds. Another item that creates big opportunities for spell combinations is the Eul's Scepter of Divinity, but we'll talk about it later. And lastly, talking about the late game, a Scythe of Vyse is never a waste of money, same for the other late game options (most notably the Black King Bar).

Lastly, remember that Invoker is not, by any means, the best mid Hero: he actually has very few ways of controlling the lane ( Tornado, which costs a lot of mana, has a long cooldown and only works for QW builds) and can't last hit properly until reaching a good level in Exort or getting a pair of Phase Boots. His harassment damage is good thanks to Cold Snap and he has decent rune control with Forge Spirits or high movement speed, depending on the build, but he actually doesn't build a Bottle.

Basic Spells



Starting from the basics, Invoker's arsenal revolves around three orbs, Quas, Wex and Exort. Using the ultimate, Invoke, after activating three orbs creates a spell you can use in fights.

Remember that the combination of orbs matters, but their order doesn't: both QWE and WEQ can be used to Invoke the same spell, Deafening Blast.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don't need to Invoke new orbs every time you want to Invoke a spell. Let me give you an example: you're playing a QE build and need to Invoke Forge Spirit; as you should be going around with three Exort orbs, you can simply do Q and Invoke (as the cobination is EEQ). This can also be used when you're ganking, say, with a QW build: Invoke Tornado and EMP and keep your orbs on Quas, so you can land your two spells and then use Invoke to gain access to the Cold Snap without needing to change orbs in the middle of the engagement.

Now, let's move on to the orbs.



Quas



Allows manipulation of ice elements and grants a permanent strength bonus. Each Quas instance provides increased health regeneration.

HP Regeneration Per Instance of Quas: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7
Strength Bonus: 2/4/6/8/10/12/14


Quas is basically the survivability orb, the one that lets you stay in lane without a Bottle: for comparison, a Ring of Health grants 5 HP/s and a Tango slightly more than 7 HP/s. Every time you get damaged and you aren't last hitting (or even if you are last hitting with the QW build), keep three Quas orbs up to get healed in a matter of seconds. If you're being pressured in lane, getting three early points in it gives you so much healing it will be impossible for you to get outlaned, unless you get ganked. Other than that, early points in Quas strengthen the Cold Snap a lot and make it even more annoying for the other laner. You want this orb first on the QW build because in grants access to the Cold Snap at level 2, which is way better than a low level EMP.




Wex



Allows manipulation of storm elements and grants a permanent agility bonus. Each Wex instance provides increased attack speed and movement speed.

Attack Speed Bonus Per Instance of Wex: 2%/4%/6%/8%/10%/12%/14%
Bonus movement speed Per Instance of Wex: 1%/2%/3%/4%/5%/6%/7%
Agility Bonus: 2/4/6/8/10/12/14


If Quas is the survivability orb, then Wex is the movement speed orb: Invoker is one of the slowest Heroes in the game (280 movement speed), but a 21% movement speed increase paired with Phase Boots grants about 399 movement speed without even using the active of the Boots! For comparison, the movement speed of a Luna with Phase Boots is 380. Other than that, it also lets you hit much faster so you can make the most out of damage items (Vyse and Shiva's, though they're INT-based) and don't necessarily need a Drum of Endurance in your team.




Exort



Allows manipulation of fire elements and grants a permanent intelligence bonus. Each Exort instance provides increased attack damage.

Bonus Damage Per Instance of Exort: 3/6/9/12/15/18/21
Intelligence Bonus: 2/4/6/8/10/12/14


As you can clearly see, Exort boosts both damage and Intelligence: since Invoker is an INT Hero, he gets a lot of extra damage from Exort levels. Starting off with Exort already gives 11 extra damage, and two points add about as much damage as Phase Boots! If you're playing QE and your lane is going so well you don't need extra HP regen, more points in this orb make the Sun Strike much more dangerous. As you need to activate the orbs in order to get extra damage, you can't decide to balance Wex and Exort but need to choose one. Also, if you're playing QW, you still need to max Exort second because many Exort-based spells get extra damage the more you level it up: not levelling it prevents those spells from scaling into late game.




Invoke



Combines the properties of the elements currently being manipulated, creating a new spell at the Invoker's disposal. The invoked spell is determined by the combination of Quas, Wex and Exort.


Cooldown: 22/17/12/5 (16/8/4/2*)
Mana: 20/40/60/80 (0/0/0/0*)


As said before, Invoke is used to gain access to the "true" spells: the order of the orbs doesn't matter, so instead of having 27 different combinations you "only" have 10 abilities. The reason why you don't want to put a second level in it at level 7 is because you can already cast two spells with a level 1 Invoke, plus the mana increase might be a problem. Also, you shouldn't need more than three spells in a teamfight if you can Invoke the correct ones before starting to fight. Levelling it at 11 and 12 brings the cooldown from 22 seconds to 12, and by that time you should've just unlocked your third orb and the rest of your spell combinations with it. Bringing the cooldown from 5 seconds to 2 with the Aghanim's Scepter is not mandatory, but indeed it brings more options for teamfights: you can't do Tornado- Chaos Meteor- EMP- Deafening Blast without an Agh's, but at the same time you can keep either the Meteor or the EMP for later as the combination above seems a bit overkill (and useless versus magic immune Heroes). The choice is yours.

Invoked Spells



While Invoker seems a difficult Hero to play, you don't need good micro skills or excessive map awareness to play him well, you just have to use your memory: the spells are 10 and even easy to look at (the background color of them usually tells the orbs you need to Invoke them), plus you don't need to remember them all if you are playing the Hero for the first time. Here I'm describing them, but if you want to know about their usefulness read the paragraphs dedicated to skill combinations for the QE and QW builds.

Before introducing you to the spells, I want to link a website that helped me a lot when I was new to Invoker: Invoker Game by B¸vle, it's the fastest way to learn spell combinations without being pressured like in a normal game; it also has different game modes!



Cold Snap




Invoker draws the heat from an enemy, chilling them to their very core for a duration based on Quas. Further damage taken in this state will freeze the enemy again, dealing bonus damage. The enemy can only be frozen so often, but the freeze cooldown decreases based on the level of Quas.

Cooldown Between Stuns: 0.7715 / 0.7430 / 0.7145 / 0.6860 / 0.6575 / 0.6290 / 0.6005
Bonus Damage upon taking damage: 7 / 14 / 21 / 28 / 35 / 42 / 49
Cold Snap Duration: 3 / 3.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 5 / 5.5 / 6
Damage: 7 / 14 / 21 / 28 / 35 / 42 / 49
Stun Duration upon taking damage: 0.4
Stun Duration: 0.4
Range: 1000
Cooldown: 20
Mana: 100


Cold Snap is a very useful single target spell as it allows you to harass your foe in the laning phase or set up a gank with your team: as you only need Quas instances to Invoke it, everything - from bonus damage to the duration - scales with Quas levels. If you want to make the most out of this spell, throw an autoattack before using it on an enemy: this way you won't waste time with the backswing animation of the attack and will be able to ninja in some extra damage (see the second paragraph of the orb walking section of the Dota 2 Wiki for more information). Remember that spells also trigger the stuns, so you can cast Cold Snap just before your EMP hits to land an extra stun. A common combo, though not reliable, uses Cold Snap and Chaos Meteor: since the Meteor damage applies every split second, the only thing that prevents the enemy from being chainstunned is the cooldown between stuns, which isn't high anyways.




Ghost Walk





Ability invokes if Invoker has 2 Quas and 1 Wex instances. Invoker manipulates the ice and electrical energies around him, rendering his body invisible. The elemental imbalance created as a consequence slows nearby enemies based on the level of Quas, and slows Invoker as well based on the level of Wex.

Slows Enemy: 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% / 45% / 50%
Self Speed Change: -30% / -20% / -10% / 0% / 10% / 20% / 30%
Slow Radius: 400
Duration: 100
Cooldown: 35
Mana: 200


Ghost Walk will save your life, never forget this combination: it's a very effective escape mechanism in the early game, but you'll have to look out for Dust of Appearance and Sentry Wards if you keep using it too often. As you can read above, with enough points in Wex it actually makes you faster: that's why you can turn into a day ganker with a QW build, exploiting the sight range to stay from a safe distance and prevent the enemies from noticing you because of the slow. And even though it can save your life, don't keep it in your skills bar for too long, or you won't be able to use the rest of your spells in a teamfight! This is a mistake many new players do, and it's certainly a bad habit (well, unless you're ganking with an Orchid Malevolence). Another thing to keep in mind is that it gives a 35% slow with 4 points in Quas, which is pretty huge if you want to turn a fight. Lastly, if the enemies have no AoE stuns, you can use it after activating a Town Portal Scroll and it will make you invisible without stopping the channeling. Knowing this, you can basically run around your enemies versus a team with no AoE stuns as long as they don't buy Dust and Sentries.




Ice Wall





Ability invokes if Invoker has 2 Quas and 1 Exort instances. Generates a wall of solid ice directly in front of Invoker for a duration based on the level of Quas. The bitter cold emanating from it greatly slows nearby enemies based on the level of Quas and deals damage each second based on the level of Exort.

Movement Slow: 20% / 40% / 60% / 80% / 100% / 120% / 140%
Duration: 3 / 4.5 / 6 / 7.5 / 9 / 10.5 / 12
Damage Per Second: 6 / 12 / 18 / 24 / 30 / 36 / 42
Cooldown: 25
Mana: 175


I have to admit, this is one of the least useful spells and you can overlook it if you're new to the Hero. It's pretty self-explanatory: the wall slows Heroes and deals little damage. It's best used in combination with some spells, mostly after a Tornado- EMP combo. Also, as the wall spawns perpendicularly, you can turn by 90 degrees if you need to catch an enemy in front of you but your Cold Snap is on cooldown; you can even use it to stop pushes or prevent the enemies from breaking your base (or one of your towers), especially when there are Treants or Necronomicon warriors. The combination is a bit hard to remember as there's an Exort instance, and you normally don't think about fire when watching a wall of ice, but it makes sense as it deals damage instead of disabling or draining mana.




EMP





Ability invokes if Invoker has 3 Wex instances. Invoker builds up a charge of electromagnetic energy at a targeted location which automatically detonates after a duration of 2.9 seconds. The detonation covers an area, draining mana based on the level of Wex. Deals damage for each point of mana drained.

Mana Drain: 100 / 175 / 250 / 325 / 400 / 475 / 550
Mana restored: 0.5x mana drained
Damage: 0.5x mana burned
Radius: 675
Range: 950
Delay: 2.9
Cooldown: 30
Mana: 125


This is the main reason why Invoker became so popular in the 6.80 patch: not only the delay is the same (2.9 seconds) at all levels, but it also drains a whopping amount of mana! If you go ganking at level 7 with 2 points in Quas and 4 in Wex, you can deal 250 (from the Tornado) + 162 = 412 damage to all Heroes you can get within the combo without even considering Cold Snap! And keep in mind it can make the whole enemy team mana-starved. Don't forget you also regen mana depending on the mana you drain, effectively making a QW Invoker - a mana-intensive Hero - much easier to play. Talking about the delay, casting Tornado first then EMP usually makes the enemies land at the right moment.




Tornado





Ability invokes if Invoker has 2 Wex and 1 Quas instances. Unleashes a fast moving tornado that picks up enemy units in its path, suspending them helplessly in the air shortly before allowing them to plummet to their doom. Travels further based on the level of Wex. Holds enemies in the air for a duration based on the level of Quas. Deals damage based on the levels of Quas and Wex.

Range: 800 / 1200 / 1600 / 2000 / 2400 / 2800 / 3200
Disable Duration: 0.8 / 1.1 / 1.4 / 1.7 / 2.0 / 2.3 / 2.5
Damage: 70 + 15 * (2 * Level of Wex + Level of Quas)
Cooldown: 30
Mana: 150


Tornado is the core spell of all skill builds: it's the perfect setup for Chaos Meteor and EMP and deals good damage while potentially disabling an entire enemy team. You should keep in mind the disable duration scales with Quas levels, so landing Meteors and EMP might be difficult after getting more than 4 levels of Quas. With some points in Wex the range becomes really long, so you can use it on a QW build to get kills from a long distance or set up ganks from very far away. The damage it deals when using this build is also rather high, you can even try to kill the enemy mid with a Cold Snap- Tornado combo.




Alacrity





Ability invokes if Invoker has 2 Wex and 1 Exort instances. Invoker infuses an ally with an immense surge of energy, increasing their attack speed based on the level of Wex and their damage based on the level of Exort.

Increased Attack Speed: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80
Increased Damage: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80
Duration: 9
Range: 650
Cooldown: 15
Mana: 45


Much like the Ice Wall, this is one of the most situational spells: casting it during a teamfight doesn't make that much of a difference, but it helps a lot in pushing. Every time you can, cast it on your team's carry when five man pushing (unless you aren't level 17 and your Invoke cooldown is still high). If you're playing QE, it's actually a good thing to have because it lets you split push much quicker: you can either cast it on yourself while sieging towers or, if you have to back up, use it on the Necronomicon Warrior (or on a Forge Spirit) and watch it melt buildings. Lastly, remember both Wex and Exort improve the spell, but using it with a QE build is arguably better because your team's carry is supposed to have high attack speed already, and it helps Heroes with cleave/AoE damage ( Anti-Mage, Ember Spirit, Sven, Luna, Gyrocopter...) a lot more.




Sun Strike





Ability invokes if Invoker has 3 Exort instances. Sends a catastrophic ray of fierce energy from the sun at any targeted location, incinerating all enemies standing beneath it once it reaches the earth. Deals damage based on the level of Exort, however this damage is spread evenly over all enemies hit.

Damage: 100 / 162.5 / 225 / 287.5 / 350 / 412.5 / 475
Range: Global
Radius: 175
Delay: 1.7
Cooldown: 30
Mana: 175


The Sun Strike is what makes QE builds so strong: if you have a lane with a good setup for Sun Strikes ( Shadow Demon, Bane, Venomancer etc.), getting kills when staying in lane boosts your farm by a lot; sometimes, Invoker players can even get Basilius, Boots and Midas by 6 minutes! Another use of this spell is, with good prediction, getting kills on fleeing enemies: it's pretty difficult and requires good map awareness, but it's very satisfying. Lastly, always remember not to hit more than one enemy: the single target damage of this skill is huge, but even one enemy creep can mess up the combo. That's why, sometimes, you have to aim the Sun Strike so you hit the enemies with its edge.




Forge Spirit





Ability invokes if Invoker has 2 Exort and 1 Quas instances. Invoker forges a spirit embodying the strength of fire and fortitude of ice. Damage, health, and armor are based on the level of Exort while attack range, mana, and duration are based on the level of Quas. The elemental's scorching attack is capable of melting the armor of enemy heroes. If both Quas and Exort are level 4 or higher, Invoker will create two spirits instead of one.

Forged Spirits' HP: 300 / 400 / 500 / 600 / 700 / 800 / 900
Forged Spirits' Damage: 29 / 38 / 47 / 56 / 65 / 74 / 83
Forged Spirits' Armor: 0 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Forged Spirits' Attack Range: 300 / 365 / 430 / 495 / 560 / 625 / 690
Forged Spirits' Mana: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 / 350 / 400
Forged Spirits' Duration: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80
Number of Forged Spirits Summoned: 1 (2 if both Quas and Exort are level 4 or higher)
Cooldown: 30
Mana: 75
Forged Spirits' abilities



And this is the second reason to go for a QE build: you can get double Forge Spirits by level 9, which grant big pushing power and huge single target damage. The most common combination is pairing them with Cold Snap, so you can basically permastun a Hero. Not many people remember to use this skill in the laning phase, but it's actually a really big help: a Forged Spirit will help you last hit better, harass the enemy and - mostly - deny runes. Denying runes is so important because Invoker, being a Bottle-independent mid, might struggle versus Heroes that can keep their mana high and spam long range spells: this forces them to Bottle crow and play passive until their Bottle gets refilled. In the mid game, you can use your double Spirits to jungle faster or split push without being there yourself, they can grant a pretty big gold income; never forget they apply negative armor to both towers and Heroes!




Chaos Meteor





Ability invokes if Invoker has 2 Exort and 1 Wex instances. Invoker pulls a flaming meteor from space onto the targeted location. Upon landing, the meteor rolls forward, constantly dealing damage based on the level of Exort, and rolling further based on the level of Wex. Units hit by the meteor will also be set on fire for a short time, receiving additional damage based on the level of Exort.

Main Damage Per 0.5 Seconds: 57.5 / 75 / 92.5 / 110 / 127.5 / 145 / 162.5
Additional Damage Per Second: 11.5 / 15 / 18.5 / 22 / 25.5 / 29 / 32.5
Meteor Range: 465 / 615 / 780 / 930 / 1095 / 1245 / 1410
Main Radius: 275
Cooldown: 55
Mana: 200


This is the "high damage" counterpart of EMP: while the latter has a bigger AoE and drains mana, the former can decimate an entire team if aimed properly. The main combo requires three spells: Tornado, Chaos Meteor and Deafening Blast: this means you need to have your Invoke off cooldown if you want to play a good teamfight; you can also pair it with a Cold Snap, though it's much less reliable. If you have an Eul's Scepter of Divinity you can potentially one-shot someone with the Cyclone- Sun Strike- Chaos Meteor- Deafening Blast combo. Having high level in Wex makes the Meteor run much farther, it becomes really annoying for the enemies.




Deafening Blast





Ability invokes if Invoker has 1 Quas, 1 Wex and 1 Exort instances. Invoker unleashes a mighty sonic wave in front of him, dealing damage to any enemy unit it collides based on the level of Exort. The sheer impact from the blast is enough to knock those enemy units back for a duration based on the level of Quas, then disarm their attacks for a duration based on the level of Wex.

Knockback Duration: 0.25 / 0.5 / 0.75 / 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75
Disarm Duration: 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 / 4
Damage: 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 / 280
Range: 1000
Cooldown: 40
Mana: 200


The Deafening Blast synergizes very well with all skill builds: you can clearly see how it becomes more like a damage/positioning tool in QE builds but is mainly used for disabling Heroes with the QW build. We already talked about the Tornado-Meteor-Blast combo, but chaining Tornado- EMP- Deafening Blast is the ultimate teamfight disable for a QW Invoker: remember that if you use the Blast too early the EMP will make the knockback end prematurely, though the disarm will still apply for its full duration. If you're lucky enough, you can even push your foes onto cliffs with it; you can also pull them towards you if used at the right moment after a Tornado (i.e. when the enemy is falling and the Blast is just behind them).

Friends and Foes



Every Hero needs a helping hand in order to be as effective as possible, some more than others: Invoker can work with lots of different Heroes, depending on your main strategy and lanes.



Friends

















Teamfighters combo very well with Invoker's spells and grant massive damage with both QE and QW builds: you can play either as the main initiator or as a follow-up. It's always best to go Quas-Exort if your team is lacking some teamfight damage, while Quas-Wex is more useful for disabling enemies when initiating.









Setup Heroes are always mandatory for Quas-Exort Invokers: having a Shadow Demon setting up ganks in the safe lane or a roaming Mirana hitting 5 second arrows grants easy Sun Strikes all game long. The whole Invoker- Mirana- Faceless Void combo has been really popular in the competitive scene for quite some time.







Heroes who usually build a Necronomicon are also perfect teammates for a pushing Invoker, especially if going for early towers to prevent a hard carry from getting farm. Really, Necronomion Warriors add up: even two Necrobooks give enough momentum to bring tier 2s to half HP without being there yourself.







As above, pushers in general are good friends if you're going QE and want a quick Necro.







Fast-hitting carries like Ursa and Troll Warlord really benefit from Alacrity when using a QE build, same for Ember Spirit's and Kunkka's cleave. If you think about it, it reminds of the oldschool " Empowered Sven" combo, but with Alacrity instead.







Removing magic resistance is also very handy: being able to land a Tornado- EMP- Deafening Blast combo on a Decrepify'd enemy is so strong; same for Cold Snaps after an Ancient Seal.



Foes













Silences and chainstuns really cripple you in the early levels, but they're not the worst thing in the world; after all, have you ever played versus a team with no stuns? Still, in most of these cases a Black King Bar is needed, unless they're all close-range disables and you can still initiate from a distance. In fact, you don't even need to counter them if you're smart enough with your positioning.







Invoker really suffers from a bad start, and having difficult mid matchups has a big impact: try not to lane against an Outworld Devourer and Heroes alike, head to the safe lane in these cases if possible. Or, if you have good supports, you can call for Smoke ganks every now and then and keep your advantage.







You'd better pick up a Linken's Sphere versus those Heroes, as their ultimates go through BKB and you can't evade them if you get caught.



Do I even need to explain this? Linken's Sphere + Black King Bar is the answer.

QUAS-EXORT



Between the two builds, the Quas-Exort one is probably the most difficult to play, no matter your skill level: if you're new to Invoker you need to know at least 7/10 spells, compared to 5/10 with the QW. And other than that, good QE Invokers need either good map awareness or team communication in order to land Sun Strikes, plus they have to be decent mid players and good farmers: a QE Invoker without farm slows down his whole team, though he can still opt for a "recovery Midas". Split pushing and good positioning are also needed, but they're not that important if you're still learning to play the Hero as they usually come with experience.

The skills you need to remember are, in order of preference: Ghost Walk, Sun Strike, Forge Spirit, Cold Snap, Tornado, Chaos Meteor, Deafening Blast ( Ice Wall*, Alacrity*, EMP*).

*The ones between round brackets can be skipped if playing Invoker for the first times.

Skill Build



The skill build is pretty straightforward: you want to get double Forge Spirits as soon as possible, then you want to prioritize Exort and Wex. As said in the introduction, you need to unlock your third orb by level 10, so you can have access to all your spells.

The levels of Quas and Exort are interchangeable until level 9: if you're having a hard time prioritize Quas for the healing, otherwise get more Exort damage for last hitting.

Always unlock Invoke at level 3, not 2: first, you can have Quas at level 2 in case you need to heal up; second, you don't really need to invoke Sun Strikes at level 2, but Cold Snap is definitely important. Why not getting Quas at level 1 then? Because your attack damage would be much lower.

As always, don't get your ultimate at level 7: you can already Invoke two spells with one point in it, and since you won't need to use more than 3 spells in a teamfight before unlocking your third orb it would be a waste of levels. Besides, you need double Forged Spirits as soon as possible.

Item Build



When playing QE Invoker, a good early game is needed in order to be strong in the mid game: the right mixture of items makes him able to survive the laning phase with ease and always have gold in the teamfight stage. As a mid, Invoker is rather item independent, but he needs levels much more than Shadow Fiend or Outworld Devourer.

Talking about recent Invoker plays, Necronomicon and Scythe of Vyse became the trend: somehow people stopped playing a high mobility Invoker (no more Blink Dagger and Force Staff, not even completed Boots!) and started building him as a dedicated pusher or a very hard farmer, given his farming capabilities. Midas into Necro is the most common build in competitive games, but Vyse is never overlooked and is first-picked a lot of times versus strong hard carries.



Starting Items





This is the most cost-efficient starting build you can get as an INT mid: the HP regen is usually enough until you get a Bottle, but since Invoker has Quas he's completely Bottle-independent. The Null Talisman gives a lot of damage and survivability for his price, two Iron Branches are the best way to fill your inventory. Remember, as a QE Invoker doesn't build Phase Boots, the Blades of Attack are completely useless; the Magic Stick is also a waste of money if gotten before the match starts, as it doesn't give any stats. If you really need the Stick, you can buy it using the Courier.



Early Game Items

Unlike QW Invoker, who has a mana-draining ability and doesn't spam his skills that often, a QE Invoker always needs to keep his Spirits up and look out for Sun Strike opportunities: you can clearly notice that, even when staying in the lane, the amount of mana you need to use is high. For this reason, a Ring of Basilius can give some extra mana regen that helps a bit, other than some armor and damage. Also, as Forged Spirits push quite well, being able to turn the Ring on grants some extra pushing power and well-needed armor (for the Spirits) when jungling or pushing. As always, remember to keep the Ring turned off in the laning phase, or you'll push the lane losing easy gold.



You always need to pick up Boots before rushing anything, especially on such a slow Hero: Boots of Speed are usually enough for the whole game, as neither Arcanes nor Phase are needed. I like to buy Treads after completing my Midas, but most pro players just stick to normal Boots.



I've already said more than once that Invoker is very level-dependent, and what's better than a Hand of Midas to gain extra exp? Its cost is quite high, but you should stick to the lane for the first 8-10 minutes anyways, so you have all the time you need. As a rule of thumb, never pick up a Midas after 12 minutes: 12 minutes is already a lot, but considering you should be playing in the middle lane and you can use it to recover from a bad start, it's still good to have by that time. For this reason, pick up the recipe before the Gloves, so you can skip it if you start falling behind. Also, always eat the big neutral creeps with the Midas! Most Heroes only need to eat big creeps until level 16, after which the extra gold you get by eating small creeps is better; Invoker's spells, though, scale until level 25, so levels are always better than gold.



Extensions

Most players prefer sticking to Boots of Speed, but I like the extra attack speed and versatility (Tread swithcing) quite a lot. I'd say they're not needed when going for a Necronomicon, but if you're going full carry with Vyse and Shiva's Power Treads are what you need. If you aren't sure about buying them, just keep your normal Boots until you need Boots of Travel.



This item is good on all Heroes, and Invoker is no exception. When using a QE build, attack and movement speed might be a problem: that's why a Drum of Endurance might come in handy. Don't forget about its aura, which is also perfect for pushing with your Forged Spirits! The active ability makes Invoker's gamebreaking teamfights even more gamebreaking.



The Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a controversal item, some players like it and others don't. The main reason to buy one is the Cyclone, which opens new paths in terms of both initiation and escape. The Cyclone-Sun Strike-Meteor-Blast combo deals the highest single target damage you can get, and Eul's components make it one of the best items in terms of mana regen; if you pair it with a Drum of Endurance your movement speed will actually be pretty high, especially with Boots of Travel. Much like the Power Treads, I wouldn't buy it if rushing a Necronomicon.



Core Options

The Necronomicon is by far the most used core item on a QE Invoker in competitive: with +24 INT, +16 STR (keep in mind Linken's only gives +15 to all stats) and two summonable units, it can be considered a "transition item" for the mid game. And the mid game is actually when it shines: pushing towers with the negative armor from Forge Spirit and the extra DPS from Necro Warriors is very easy. You have to upgrade it into level 3 as soon as possible, else it doesn't do much. What about the price? 5200 gold seems a lot, but QE Invoker is actually a very quick farmer.



If your team isn't focused on pushing because the enemies are evidently stronger in the mid game, just farm your Scythe of Vyse and stall until your carry gets his core items. Winning teamfights with a Vyse is easier, you can basically fight 5v4 if your team is quick enough to burst down the Hexed enemy. What else? Extra INT, mana regen and some good stats that never hurt.



Late Game Items


Click to read

Spells and Combinations



A good Quas-Exort Invoker should know how to use his spell arsenal at its full potential: with good positioning and timing, it's possible to get a triple kill in a teamfight in the blink of an eye. There are at least three combinaions for the QE build, all of them are important.




The abilities you need to keep in your two slots



Depending on the stage of the game, you always need to have the right skills up any time: since you'll never know when you need to teamfight or when you need to gank, having a good abilities already Invoked saves at least 12 seconds (or more in the early game), which can actually change the tides of a fight.


Laning Phase

/
Mid Game


Teamfight






In the early game, you always need to keep Forge Spirit up so you can use the Spirit to harass, last hit and deny runes; whether you want to have Cold Snap or Sun Strike in your second slot is personal preference, it also depends on your team (i.e. if you have good communication the Sun Strike might be better).

As for the mid game, after reaching level 12-13 you should really consider going for a Tornado-Meteor-Blast combo but, since you have double Spirits for a reason, you also need to keep them up so you can split push and farm more efficiently. Having the Tornado in your left slot makes you able to Invoke the Meteor without having to Invoke the Tornado before it, effectively saving 12 seconds or more; also, if you find a lone enemy with Forge Spirit up, you can Invoke Cold Snap after summoning your Spirits and use the combo listed below.

Lastly, the "teamfight" part is the most common one: Tornado in your right slot (this is important) lets you throw the disable and Invoke Deafening Blast before throwing the Chaos Meteor. Remember, always Invoke the Blast before throwing the Meteor.



Combinations you always need to know




This is your go-to combo for teamfights: a well-placed Tornado can even catch an entire team, and throwing a Chaos Meteor when they're airborne makes sure the Meteor will reach the ground before they can react. Lastly, the Deafening Blast will make your enemies slide through the Meteor for its whole duration, dealing huge overall damage; a Disarm is also applied after the Blast ends. It's not very difficult to perform, you only need to throw the Tornado, Invoke the Blast, delay the Meteor by a little bit (waiting too less or too much doesn't have a big impact anyway) and throw the Blast right when the disable from the Tornado ends.






This is a very simple and effective combo, much easier to perform than the previous one and doesn't even require timing between spells: you can Invoke and use Forge Spirit any time you want, then, as soon as an enemy gets too close, cast Cold Snap and focus them with both Invoker and the Spirits. This deals huge single target damage (remember the Spirits also reduce armor) and almost permastuns an enemy, making him unable to do anything. If you want to, you can also try to animation cancel with the main Hero so you can get closer to your foe.






This isn't really a combination, but you always have to remember it. Being able to Ghost Walk away after a gank attempt not only requires good reflexes, but also muscle memory: if you don't practice casting QQW as fast as possible when you don't expect it, you'll never be able to Ghost Walk under pressure.



Situational combinations/variants*
*Feel free to skip them if you're new to Invoker.




This is the main reason why you pick an Eul's Scepter of Divinity: it requires good timing, but can decimate a lone Hero in a matter of seconds. After you Cyclone them, wait a bit and cast a Sun Strike where they're standing (the exact amount of time you have to wait comes with experience, just try it), then instantly throw the Chaos Meteor and Invoke Deafening Blast, using it right after the Cyclone ends. As soon as you get an Eul's you should already be able to kill any Hero you're up against, unless they have magic resistance. The downside of this combo is that it doesn't matter how much you practice, you'll eventually mess up: it's a normal thing, but keep in mind the benefits outclass the risks by a lot.






This is very useful when your Deafening Blast is on cooldown but, as the Meteor already has a high cooldown, it happens a lot more with QW builds. Nonetheless, in the late game you might opt to intiate a fight with an EMP, in which case you might be left with a Chaos Meteor and a Cold Snap. Another (more realistic) situation is the early game, when your Tornado is too short and you can rely on Cold Snap procs with the DoT from the Chaos Meteor to keep the enemy in place: the Cold Snap adds much more single target damage, but it's less reliable as the enemy might try to run away from the Meteor. Nonetheless, when facing a lone Hero, keeping the Blast is in most cases the best thing to do, so don't forget about this combo.






This is kind of like a variant of the Tornado-Meteor-Blast combo for when both your Meteor and your Blast are on cooldown: it doesn't work well in a teamfight, but it's pretty strong versus single enemies. The Spirits are optional, but if you've casted Forge Spirit already, why not use them? As for the combo itself, the Tornado gives you enough time to turn by 90 degrees and cast a "parallel" Ice Wall, which means you get your enemy with the tip of the wall: this requires some tries (I myself get it wrong a lot of times) before getting the hang of it, but the slow from the wall is really huge; plus, they can't blink away because of the damage over time. If you want, you can chain Cold Snap or even Sun Strike to the combo.






This is the ultimate sieging combination: split pushing with Forge Spirit is already a fast way of reaching the enemy tower, and if no one is coming after you you can cast Alacrity on yourself and bring down that tower. As said in the "Spell Combinations" chapter, you can also cast it on your Forged Spirits or Necro Warriors if you need to back up, it still does its job admirably.



Aghanim and Refresher combinations*
*Feel free to skip them if you're new to Invoker.


Take a look at the Prove Yourself section.

QUAS-WEX



The Quas-Wex build has always been my favourite one, though pub players never used it: the amount of control it grants is really huge for one single Hero, and I always liked "racecar" builds in general. This build may offer less teamfight damage than the QE one, but having a mana drain and a super long disarm is gamebraking versus certain teams. The attack speed from Wex is nothing to laugh at either, as that makes some spells like Cold Snap and Deafening Blast much more useful.

The skills you need to remember are, in order of preference: Ghost Walk, Cold Snap, Tornado, EMP, Deafening Blast ( Ice Wall*, Chaos Meteor*, Sun Strike*, Alacrity*, Forge Spirit*).

*The ones between round brackets can be skipped if playing Invoker for the first times.

Skill Build



Unlike the other build you only need to max one orb, which is Wex: some Quas points will make the laning phase easier, but all your teamfight spells are based on Wex.

As for the other skill build, the levels of Quas and Wex until level 9 are interchangeable: I usually pick up two points in Quas before maxing Wex, taking the third point between level 5-7 depending on how my laning phase is going. As for the Exort point, simply get it when you can't put other levels in Wex: as you should be having three points in Quas, this always happens at level 10.

The fourth point in Quas should be gotten before starting to max out Exort because it strengthens most of QW-based spells ( Tornado, Cold Snap, Deafening Blast) and allows you to Invoke double Forged Spirits by level 19.

Invoke should be unlocked as soon as possible, this time: having Cold Snap by level two makes zoning much easier and can lead to early gank attempts (if your supports rotate to your lane). Then, as always, wait until level 11 and 12: you won't need extra points in Invoke until you unlock Exort, as you should be using three spells only in teamfights and ganks.

Item Build



Unlike the QE Invoker, a Quas-Wex Invoker doesn't need levels as much and can focus on utility items: the Drum of Endurance is a perfect example, as it not only synergizes with Wex but also boosts the team's mid game. The best part of a QW Invoker is that he can be played as a dedicated ganker, which makes him a strong pick versus squishy carries that rely on their skills like Clinkz, Weaver and Juggernaut.

After seeing a lot of plays, the common Scythe of Vyse QW Invoker started falling off: it's a really solid pickup versus carries that need to be stopped, but most of the time either the QE build or other Heroes are preferred in this situation. Then, the Orchid Malevolence-based build saw some play, and it's still used: Ghost Walk makes you run really fast with a high level of Wex, and combining the invisibility with a Cold Snap makes you much more versatile than a Drow Ranger or Clinkz. Still, getting some utility items and finishing a Scythe of Vyse is never a bad idea; after all, Vyse is the best item in the game in my opinion (after the Blink Dagger).



Starting Items







There isn't much to say about this starting set: the Blades of Attack make last hitting much easier and bring you very close to completed Phase Boots, while three Iron Branches will be turned into a Magic Wand later. Two shared Tangos are more than enough to survive the early laning phase and perfectly fill your inventory. If you're playing a pub game where supports don't help you you can still go for Blades of Attack and a Tango, though your early last hitting will suffer.



Early Game Items

As said above, Phase Boots are your main priority: Invoker's base damage has always been low, having 24 extra damage by the 5 minute mark helps a lot. The movement speed is nothing to laugh at, either: the Phase active coupled with Wex makes you impossible to chase (especially because you have early access to Ghost Walk, too) and a very good early ganker. You don't need the attack speed from Power Treads anyway, and the extra mana from Arcane boots is wasted since you already have EMP.



The second item you need is the Magic Wand: it's a very cost-efficient item I get on most Heroes, and you should really buy it when you have three Iron Branches in your inventory already. The burst heal can save your life and, since you could go gank early on, you'll fill the Wand in no time. Invoker also has some mana problems before buying Force Staff/Drums/Orchid, especially if landing the EMP on a single enemy, and even 10 extra mana can help you land that extra Cold Snap in some cases.



A casual Bracer is picked most of the time for two reasons: first, you can build it into a Drum of Endurance; and second, obviously, Invoker's HP isn't that high and, as you should be more active than a QE Invoker, 119 extra HP will save your life eventually. It's a very cheap item I like to buy especially before an Orchid, it may not seem much but I feel so much safer with it.



Extensions (if going Vyse)

The Drum of Endurance is a cheap addition to your arsenal that strengthens stats and movement speed. I think it fits very well on a QW Invoker because it has everything Invoker needs, from extra HP and mana to early game buffs. It doesn't cost much and works both as a defensive and offensive item, plus it comes with 5 Endurance charges: don't be afraid to use them even to escape/engage ganks, as you won't need them nearly as much in the late game when your team already has high attack speed.



This item is clearly less useful for QW builds, but I think it's a good item on Invoker in general: the Cyclone can be casted on yourself to avoid single target stuns and wait for your Ghost Walk/Force Staff to come off coldown, and the extra movement speed makes you reach almost max movement speed with Phase Boots and Drums. When using the Cyclone for offensive purposes, the Eul's Scepter of Divinity lets you land easy Ice Walls and time your EMPs if the Tornado is on cooldown.



Many people say mobility on a QW Invoker is wasted, but positioning is so important on Invoker the Force Staff is never a bad choice. Landing a five man EMP requires you to be rather close to the enemy team, and this might put in a bad spot: being able to Force Staff out can save your life a lot of times. Also, I'd say it's a must-have versus Clockwerk and Nature's Prophet, you can even use the Force to save your teammates.



The Blink Dagger is a bit different: I hardly ever buy one on Invoker, but it works really well if you're an experienced player and can use all skills. Landing a Blink- Ice Wall on a fleeing enemy is very satisfying, and a "reverse" Deafening Blast to push them towards your team is also helpful. It doesn't give stats but, after all, it's such a good item even without them.



Core Options

Every INT farming Hero is supposed to buy one, and for a good reason: notonly a Scythe of Vyse gives a lot more mana, but it also grants one of the best disables in the game. A QW Invoker hits pretty fast by himself, adding 35 extra damage is no joke. Stats also help a lot, especially if you don't go Drums first or don't get mobility items.



The Orchid Malevolence, instead, transforms you into a really solid ganker: much like a Clinkz, you can go invisible with Ghost Walk and wait for a good opportunity to land the Orchid Malevolence + Cold Snap combo, resulting in an easy kill most of the time. The earlier you get it, the better it is. What's the downside? You're squishier than with a Vyse, but with the gold and levels you get from ganks it shouldn't be a big problem.



Late Game Items


Click to read

Spells and Combinations



The job of a Quas-Wex Invoker is to land a Tornado- EMP combo on as many Heroes as he can: this obviously requires good positioning, and if the enemies are smart enough you won't always be able to catch them all off-guard. The combinations are very few easy to remember, but that doesn't mean they're less effective than a Tornado-Meteor-Blast combo.




The abilities you need to keep in your two slots



Again, remember this is a very useful thing to keep in mind: going around with random skills is the best way to join a fight unprepared, and since the Invoke cooldown is pretty long before level 17 it's best to know what you have to keep.


Laning Phase


Mid Game


Teamfight






Early on, Cold Snap grants safe harass from a distance to zone out the enemy laner and Tornado is a good way to farm the creep wave and hit your foe at the same time. If you play smart enough, you can even get a solo kill in the mid lane by using Cold Snap while animation cancelling to get close and landing a Tornado after the enemy tries to hide behind the tower.

After reaching a good level in Wex you need to Invoke Tornado and EMP for both ganking and teamfighting: chaning a Cold Snap or Deafening Blast to them gives you plenty of teamfight potential.

As for the teamfight stage, same as above: unlike the QE build, you don't even need to Invoke new skills when the enemies are approaching as five.



Combinations you always need to know




This is your go-to combo when you need to gank single Heroes: even at level 6-7 your Wex should be high enough to deal huge single target damage (412 with four points in Wex); the Cold Snap ensures they get killed after landing from the Tornado- EMP combo with no mana. You can start throwing the Tornado from a very long distance, then chain the EMP as you stun them with Cold Snap.






The Tornado-EMP-Blast combo is the teamfight combination: as said above, Tornado and EMP already deal decent damage; add an AoE mana drain and a long disarm and you have to ultimate teamfight disable. Sometimes, if you throw the Deafening Blast too early, the "push" effect might get interrupted: that's because the EMP damage stops the Blast, but keep in mind the disarm still applies. It happens a lot to me, too, but it doesn't make a difference at all.






This combo is strictly needed for the Orchid Malevolence build only: getting a quick Orchid transforms you into a Clinkz-kind of Hero, just with more teamfight potential. Using Ghost Walk with high points in Wex makes you run really fast, and if you don't get too close to the enemies (including creeps) - which should be easy during the day - you can potentially solo kill anyone with a Soul Burn- Cold Snap combo. If it doesn't suffice, you still have a high damage EMP or Tornado.



Situational combinations/variants*
*Feel free to skip them if you're new to Invoker.




This is simply a variant of the ganking Tornado-EMP-Cold Snap combo, very handy if you're ganking two Heroes at once: if you can land a good Ice Wall, the slow will be really huge. You can also use it if you don't want to waste the Cold Snap, though its cooldown isn't that high.






Can you guess which combo this is the variant of? It works the same way as the Orchid one works, but you need to have more damage since there won't be no Soul Burn.






And lastly, the other variant of the ganking combo features the Ice Wall as a lockdown: this is especially useful with the Orchid Malevolence, since getting kills on fast Heroes might be difficult, but can also be used with a Scythe of Vyse. Another good thing about this combo is that gankers that tend to jump in like Centaur Warrunner and Axe will think twice before Blinking into an Ice Wall, making this combination much scarier than its single target counterpart.



Aghanim and Refresher combinations*
*Feel free to skip them if you're new to Invoker.


Take a look at the Prove Yourself section.

PROVE YOURSELF



This section regards curiosities and challenges for you: have you ever wondered what's the best Refresher Orb combo? Are you experienced enough to know what build you have to use in a specific situation? Find the answers here, in the "Prove Yourself" section.

Advanced Aghanim and Refresher combinations



When the game drags long enough and the most important enemies don't pick up a Black King Bar (or their BKB has a short duration), it's time to pick up an Agh's and start doing work. Most of this combos are not needed to play a good Invoker in general, but knowing them can come in handy from time to time.



Aghanim's Scepter combinations




This is the most obvious teamfight combo with an Aghanim's Scepter: it combines the huge amount of damage from the QE build with the mana drain from the QW build. It requires good positioning and a nice opportunity, but even getting three enemies might win the teamfight for you. It's best used on QW with at least 4 points in Exort, but the other way around also works.






This is a variant of the Forge Spirit- Cold Snap combo, but it has a good setup and a ton of extra single target damage: if you need to bring down a very tanky Hero, this is the right combo. Most of the time you can skip the Spirits and go for a straight Cold Snap, but if no one can assist you the Tornado- Chaos Meteor setup is needed. This combo also works for QW builds, especially if you use EMP instead of the Meteor.







Refresher Orb combinations




This is the most common Refresher combo, and for a good reason: it's very convenient and deals huge damage at the same time. It's basically the common Tornado-Meteor-Blast combo with the two final spells repeated another time. If you have an Aghanim's Scepter you can even try to land an EMP before the first Meteor Blast, making this the same as the first combo in the " Aghanim's Scepter combinations" part with the last two spells repeated. Keep in mind you have to wait for the Tornado disable to expire before throwing the first Deafening Blast, at which point you can refresh your cooldowns and cast the final part.






If you have a Refresher Orb, this is the highest damage combo you can do: as you may think it requires a lot of practice and sleight of hand, but if done correctly it basically doubles the EMP and Chaos Meteor damage; same for the mana drain. If you're afraid you could mess up, just throw one EMP and double the Meteor only: some Heroes (especially supports) will be left with no mana after one EMP already, they wouldn't receive the extra damage from the other one anyway. Remember it consumes a lot of mana (1375!), so make sure your mana pool is big enough before initiating fights with it.






If you have an Eul's Scepter of Divinity, this should solo kill most Heroes: considering the Sun Strike deals pure damage, you're granted 950 damage from just that. It's very difficult to aim, though: you can throw the first Sun Strike and Meteor as for the normal combo, then you have to cast a Sun Strike a bit farther (where the enemy gets pushed by the Blast); the second Chaos Meteor and Deafening Blast are easy to land, but missing the second Sun Strike means 475 less pure damage.




Sample Builds - a QE/QW Quiz

Situation #1
vs


What is the best build?

Make your guess, then read the explanation



Situation #2
vs


What is the best build?

Make your guess, then read the explanation



Situation #3
vs


What is the best build?

Make your guess, then read the explanation



Situation #4
vs


What is the best build?

Make your guess, then read the explanation



Situation #5
vs


What is the best build?

Make your guess, then read the explanation

CREDITS



All the guide was made entirely by me, Peppo_o'Paccio.

I'd like to thank every person and website that made the pictures I edited and added to the guide, which are:


And, obviously, thank you for reading the whole guide! I hope you liked it as much as I like the Hero. I also hope you now enjoy using Invoker and learnt something new.

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