Porygon's Guide to the Grandest Magus of All
January 27, 2015
Hmmm... What a test this shall be.
WELCOME TO MY FIRST HERO GUIDE!
Hey guys! I've been creating hero ideas on this site for a while now, but never in my life have I made a hero guide. Hopefully, this meets the standards of the dotafire community.
This guide to Rubick is meant for beginners, though you pros could possibly pick up a thing or two while reading this guide. Enjoy!
I am Rubick, the Grand Magus.
To play as the Grand Magus, you must be the Grand Magus. And to be the Grand Magus, you have to know his story.
Rubick once lived in a magical tower, where his hobbies had included throwing assassins off the roof with his hocus-pocus. This went on and on and on and on, and like any crazy magus, he got bored of this simple repetitive act. So he said "I wanna be a Grand Magus!". He was immediately surrounded by the other magic-men of the land, who proceeded to challenge him to a shaolin showdown. However, contrary to the conventional rules of the shaolin showdown, Rubick was outnumbered 125454322542 to 1. When the battle begun, Rubick's opposition began to flail their magic sticks or whatever arcane apparatus they had at the time and conjured spells which were sent flying towards Rubick. Rubick was like "Looks fun, I wanna try!" he then copied every spell and cast them at the same time with his 6 refresher orbs and directed them at his assailants. The mages were confused and they were like "Hey, what the hell man, what you cast that on me for???" to each other, and they started to flail their magic sticks at one another instead until they all died. Since there were no longer any magi in the world to contest him, Rubick crowned himself the Grand Magus because that's how he rolls.
the real lore
Before we begin, let's take note that, as with any hero, Rubick
has his own set of strengths and weaknesses:
- Good disable early game
- Good pusher with Fade Bolt
- Very fast cast animations
- Good attack range and animation
- Does not need many items to be effective
- Can turn the enemies' spells against them
- Mediocre stat gains
- Low damage output (does not include damage from stolen spells)
- Can't do much by himself, usually needs follow-up from his team
- Squishy and easy to kill
- Effectiveness is somewhat dependant on the enemy's line-up
With that in mind, you must learn how to maximize your strengths and manage your weaknesses
in order to have the upper hand against your opponent. I'll touch on that in a later section.
Rubick is a hero that is usually picked up as a hard-support
. He is blessed with a great skillset that messes up enemy positioning, reduces their effectiveness in combat and turns their spells against them. Though some of his abilities may seem underwhelming, he is very effective and can contribute a lot to a team, if the player is skilled enough to utilise Rubick's and his enemies' spells
. However, he can't do much alone, so he needs his team to be there for him.
You may pick Rubick if:
Your team can be active from very early on.
Your team has heroes that do well in combination with Rubick.
The enemy heroes lacks mobility.
The enemy heroes have great spells for you to steal.
Do not pick Rubick if:
Your team has a greedy line-up.
The enemy team has too much mobility and burst.
The enemy heroes have few good spells for you to steal.
The enemy team is full of support-destroyers.
Suffer my sorcery!
(Mouse over the icons to check out the stats!)
Telekinesis is a stun with an instant cast animation that cannot be dodged. How good is that? You can even control where you throw your victim by pressing Q again (for all those non-legacy users like me) and targeting the landing location. Usually, you'd toss them away from you if you're running, to you or your teammates if you're ganking, or into other enemies if you want to stun anyone else
. Another good strategy is to throw enemies into a teammate's spell
(like Black Hole
or Kinetic Field
) to maximise their impact. If the enemy just happens
to be near a cliff, you can toss him up there to enjoy the view.
Aside from all the tossing, the reliable stun provided by Telekinesis helps to set up for other harder-to-land spells like Light Strike Array
and Split Earth
, making Rubick an excellent roamer when doing so with a support that can deal good damage but requires some set-up to land their spells.
This is one spell apart from his ultimate that makes Rubick such an annoying hero to play against. The stun doesn't scale very well, but its good cast range and animation, coupled with the ability to put an enemy out of position as well as stun other enemies the target lands on
, more than compensates for this.
This spell is acquired at level 1 and usually maxed after Fade Bolt.
This spell might seem pretty underwhelming at first. For such a high mana cost at level 4, it only deals decent damage and adds a small enemy attack damage reduction, so it's bad, right?
On the contrary, Fade Bolt
is a pretty useful spell. The damage reduction takes away almost ALL the damage from normal creeps, which could potentially ruin a push for the enemy or aid an allied push
. Its long cast range and instant cast animation also means that it's really good for securing kills
, but try not to steal a kill from your teammates unless it's absolutely necessary.
At a 10 second cooldown, Rubick
can pretty much spam this spell (if he has enough mana regeneration, of course) to cripple the enemy team
. Even a small amount of damage reduction and chip damage goes a long way to winning fights.
This spell is usually maxed first by level 7.
This spell might reduce incoming magical damage by just enough so that you or your teammate may survive a life-threatening experience
. This tiny amount of magic resistance makes a difference, but is often unappreciated. If you ever feel like skipping this spell, do remember that Dota is a game of numbers, and any advantage you and your teammates can get is good
The first skill point is usually taken after maxing Telekinesis and Fade Bolt and this ability is almost always maxed last since his other spells provide more utility. Please, PLEASE don't get stats over this.
Most of Rubick's skillset is simple, straightforward and efficient, but he has the one spell that brings a near infinite number of options to the table. Last but definitely not least, the Grand Magus's most famous spell that defines his gameplay in any game:
When people think Rubick, they think Spell Steal. Of course, everyone knows what this spell does, and at times the effects of it can be quite devastating. Many pros have demonstrated what Spell Steal can do in a pinch, from making huge escapes to turning the tables of a teamfight.
This spell so special and so complex that it even deserves its own section for further explanation. With nigh thousands of possible spells that Rubick can steal, it's sometimes difficult to choose the right one. Here, we will discuss awesome interactions and not-so-fantastic incantations on our Grand Magus.
Spell Steal turns dota into a whole 'nother ball game. Players start acting differently, especially in the way they cast their spells. Pudges will almost certainly Rot
after using his Meat Hook
, and Tidehunters will definitely use his Gush
or Anchor Smash
immediately after Ravage
. Since you steal the spell which is last cast, you'll end up not stealing meat hook] or [[ravage This process is called buffering, and it'll usually leave you with a spell you can't use. Watch for enemies who do this, and try to steal their spell if they slip up.
In general, Spells which have a lower mana cost are great for Rubick
, for example), since it is not as taxing on his mana pool, but you'd still want to steal the spell with the highest utility
, regardless of mana cost (unless the mana cost prevents you from casting the spell).
More damage equals more kill opportunities. Even simple nukes are useful on Rubick because they increase his kill potential, and some even let him solo kill.
Positioning is key on every hero. More so for our Grand Magus here. These spells let you make surprise entrances, reposition in fights, and perform crafty escapes.
Remember, no matter how grand a magus you may be, DO NOT RUN INTO MULTIPLE ENEMIES ALONE
Disables allow you to cripple the enemy team, often to make daring escapes or hold them still for your teammates to crush them. Stealing disables quickly after an enemy has used it lets you turn the tables on them. For AoE disables, be sure to catch as many enemies as you can.
Some disables are also nukes. This kind of spell is valuable, because you can disable and nuke the enemy at the same time, greatly increasing your killing power.
These spells let Rubick destroy towers with ease. However, many of these spells cost a lot of mana, so Rubick should avoid spamming them without any mana regeneration items.
These spells let Rubick reverse the outcome of the fight. They're so strong that the orginal wielders of these spells would do anything to deny you the pleasure of using them.
Usually, you'd want to steal another spell after using the teamfight ultimate if Spell Steal is only at level 1, since the cooldowns of most teamfight ultimates can be as long as 2 minutes and the duration of stolen spells is only 3 minutes, and you've probably had to wait a while before you had the opportunity to use the ultimate optimally.
Try not to hold on to a teamfight ultimate for too long. If it is off cooldown, use it when you think the time is right and don't wait for the perfect opportunity, because it will never come. If the spell is still on a long cooldown during a fight, you should probably steal something else and make yourself useful.
Scaling Carry Spells
Rubick doesn't do much damage with his attacks anyway, so these spells are not very effective on him.
Very, Very Short-ranged Spells
These spells are usually not worth the risk. Putting Rubick in the middle of the teamfight will get him killed. Stealing spells like these may be good in a pinch, but it's usually best to keep Rubick away from that scary Tiny
Spells with a health cost
Do you want to kill yourself? 'Cause this is how you kill yourself. Taking away your own health is never a good idea on a squishy support hero like Rubick. The only exception is if you want to suicide with Rot
or Mist Coil
morph strength gain
STEAL THIS SPELL
If there is a Morphling
in the enemy team, then you could steal morph strength gain from him to increase your tiny health pool. Just max out your strength, you don't really need your agility anyway. After morphing, you can steal another spell and still keep the health bonus. Even if you don't get Morph
is also a fantastic spell to steal.
STEAL THIS SPELL
This spell lets you regenerate your health for hit-and-run tactics. Also, you become a ward detector that actually buys sentries. This spell is really difficult to steal, though, since Slarks usually buffer with Dark Pact
STEAL THIS SPELL
Gives bonus damage, gives melee heroes cleave, what's more to love? Just steal this spell and put it on your carry if he's farming. He'll definitely appreciate it.
STEAL THESE SPELLS
Amplify Damage and Track are both excellent spells for Rubick to steal. The former is great for quickly destroying enemies with the help of teammates thanks to the negative armor debuff, while the latter gives your team increased movement speed while chasing and **** tons of bonus gold when killing. Both lets you reveal invisible heroes.
STEAL THIS SPELL
You can use this spell to reposition an ally to save him or find pickoffs more easily.
STEAL THIS SPELL
Dabble in the art of explosives! Get an early Soul Ring
, locate techies, steal land mines and watch as your enemies yell at their techies for being more of a team burden than he already is.
CAST AT YOUR OWN RISK
You might do a lot of damage, but if you don't do enough, you end up in a pile of enemy heroes just waiting to kill you. Using it on a solo opponent is pretty good, though. This spell is a double-edged sword for Rubick, so look for the right opportunity to cast it and don't be too hasty.
CAST AT YOUR OWN RISK
This spell is awesome for trapping enemies for your team to attack, but this spell has many downsides. Faceless Void
can still move in your chrono, so don't cast this spell specifically to trap him. If you accidentally cast it on your teammates, then Void will just waltz in, eat them up and say thanks to you for the meal. I usually never steal this spell unless absolutely necessary.
Since Rubick does not have Earth Spirit
's innate ability, there is no reason to keep these spells. The spells are still pretty useful in a pinch.
Spell Steal is an extremely useful spell, and can often mean the difference between winning fights and losing rax. Be sure to steal and use the right ones is every situation.
Level this spell whenever possible, because it is awesome and cool.
This section doesn't include all spells, but this should be enough for you to get the gist of which spells to steal and which you shouldn't.
Now that we're done with Rubick's spells and possible spells, let's move on to his Support Stealer and Master Mimic builds!
Support Stealer Strategy
Note: please don't do this to your carries.
This section teaches the ins-and-outs of support Rubick. If you want to learn how to play a core Rubick, see Method to the Master Mimic.
Support is the most popular way to play Rubick, and for a good reason! Rubick has a very reliable stun, a decent nuke, and a long attack range that enables him to harass, not to mention that he is not that item and level dependent (though he does need his level 6 to become more effective). Rubick is a good babysitter, and when combined with other heroes, Rubick becomes an excellent early game roamer and ganker. In the mid and late game, Rubick turns into a master of annoyance with repeated casts of Fade Bolt
and interruption of channeling spells and TPs with Telekinesis
, and also provides much utility with his Spell Steal
This section will be split into Early game, Mid game and Late game subsections. It will tell you what to do and your possible items during each phase.
You start off with with a Tango
, Healing Salve
for sufficient regen to survive the laning phase. Buy either an Animal Courier
or a set of Observer Ward
s, but if you have to buy both, then please do so. I find it better to have less items on myself than to have less vision on the map and get ganked. Get an Iron Branch
for some stats, and you're ready to head out.
If you've bought either a courier or a set of observer wards, then you can get an extra clarity. I like to save the extra 100 or so gold to buy a flying courier, but you can also use the excess money to buy Smoke of Deceit
If you don't have to buy the courier or observer wards, then you can afford a Sentry Ward
. Use them to deward the rune wards and wards in your pull camp if you know where they are.
At the end of the laning phase, you should already have these items through pulling creeps and ganking. Boots of Speed
is a mandatory pickup, as the speed up is very useful. Magic Stick
is an optional pickup, but it is an extremely useful item that gives you additional survivability and enough mana to cast spells in a pinch. You may get a Bracer
if you feel your survivability is somewhat lacking.
Always, ALWAYS have a Town Portal Scroll
with you AT ALL TIMES. This item must always be in your inventory. It allows you to teleport to other lanes to save or assist your teammates or teleport away from a dangerous situation after some juking. Read this guide to uncover the hidden potential in this often-underestimated item.
Do upgrade the courier! Buy it as soon as possible. It is of great benefit to your teammates if their items arrive early. Smoke of Deceit can be used all game in ganks and pickoffs and to sneak into the roshan pit without being spotted by wards. Get a Dust of Appearance
when facing invisible heroes so you can gank them. It's also your duty as a support to maintain a healthy spread of wards, as well as to deward.
Early game situationals
If you find yourself ganking and assisting in kills often, get an Urn of Shadows
! The charges you gain by just being near a kill can be used to heal your teammates or deal damage to an enemy during a gank. Though the damage dealt to enemies is very low, it does make a difference of 100 health and it cancels blink. If one of your teammates already has this item, do not make it.
It is possible that you will be stuck on your pre-core items if you're buying wards and not getting enough pick-offs, but getting these items by the mid game would be pretty nice.
Get Arcane Boots to help with your mana problems. After that, I'd usually start saving up for my first mobility item. Depending on your preference, you may select between Blink Dagger and Force Staff. I personally prefer Blink Dagger due to the longer range and shorter cooldown, but Force Staff has also served me well on many occasions, as you can use it after you get attacked to escape. Plus, Force Staff gives much-needed intelligence and a bit of health regeneration. You may also upgrade your Magic Stick into a Magic Wand to free up space for your other items.
Mid game situationals
If you still worry about your limited survivability, get a Drum of Endurance
before your mobility items. Eul's Scepter of Divinity
is a good pickup not only for the intelligence and mana regeneration, but also for the active. It disables an enemy for 2.5 seconds and prevents them from blinking afterwards, perfect for setting up for a follow up from your teammates or yourself with your stolen spells. Ghost Scepter
could be acquired to avoid all physical damage, perfect against physical attackers. If you can one early enough, Mekansm
is potentially a good item, but I don't usually build it because Rubick is really squishy and easy to burst down before he can use the heal.
It's late game! If you've been playing Rubick right and not feeding too much, you should have some excess gold to spend. Consider some of these items.
is where it's at! It puts your Spell Steal cooldown at 2 seconds
! This means you can steal a new spell just 2 seconds after stealing one! With this cooldown reduction, you can steal and cast nearly every enemy spell in a single fight if your fingers are fast enough and your mana pool permits it. Another good item option is a Necronomicon
. If your team is having some trouble pushing or sensing invisible enemies and wards, then the Necrobook is for you! Scythe of Vyse
is good for the hex ability if you think your team lacks disables. Shiva's Guard
provides an excellent attack speed slow aura that weakens the enemy carries slightly, and the active gives you a good slow that can change the course of a fight. Though I don't usually get it, you may purchase a Refresher Orb
if your enemy has any good teamfight spells. That way, you can cast them twice in a single fight! Linken's Sphere is good if you're constantly the target of single target spells like Doom
. You may also put the spell block buff on an ally that also has trouble with single-target spells but does not build a Linken's Sphere.
Late game situationals
Be a dapper magus with a Pipe of Insight
. Have a little whiff and gain magic resistance and health regeneration. Let your teammates have a sniff and give them a shield that blocks magic damage. The second-hand smoke also gives surrounding allies a little health regeneration. The Pipe gives teammates additional survivability against magic damage. Get this item if your enemies have a large amount of AoE magic damage, if one of your teammates has not bought one already. You may purchase a Heaven's Halberd
to disarm an enemy carry to prevent him from mowing through your team unchecked.
Now is the meta of early game rune-camping. Enemies will casually stand around the rune spot, sometimes unaware that there's a cliff right next to them. Get them stuck up there and prevent them from making any early game impact! While you're at it, proceed to place your wards if you have them. If you have no idea how, where and when to ward, visit Wulfstan's informative Guide to Warding
. After you're done with this guide, of course.
What you want to do in the laning phase is to protect your carry and create kill opportunities. Harass the enemy repeatedly with your attacks if their heroes are weak laners, but try not to draw the aggro of creeps. Avoid using your spells to harass at this stage as they deplete a big chunk of your mana pool. If your enemies are strong laners and are pushing back your carry, preventing him from farming, you should stay back and focus on keeping him alive by lifting and tossing enemies away from your carry until you have additional reinforcements.
In a ganking situation (other allies came to gank or your enemy overextends with low enough health or both), you can lift the enemy and throw him towards you and your allies and cast your Fade Bolt to kill him. It's an added bonus if you could throw an enemy into your tower's range while it's not hitting any creeps, because that pretty much means that you dealt an additional 150-200 damage, or even more if your team dishes out some extra disables.
If your carry isn't having any trouble without you around but your teammates are, you should roam and help other lanes. Get smokes and go make surprise ganks on enemies to ease the laning phase for your team. It would be better if you had another support hero, like Earthshaker
, to accompany you when roaming and ganking.
Good map awareness is key! Ping your teammates at risk and notify them of missing enemies if they don't notice (just alt-click the missing hero's portrait on the top of the screen) and retreat to your tower if you suspect your own lane is about to get ganked.
After the laning phase, ganks and teamfights increase in frequency. You'd want to be as active as possible during this stage of the game. Stick with your team and attend as many fights as possible. Maintain ward coverage on the map, defensive wards if your team is forced to turtle and offensive wards if your team wishes to push into enemy territory. If the enemy team is playing passively and avoiding fights, you may go to a free lane to farm your core items or smoke gank with your team, depending on the hero picks. Just don't get caught without any teammates near you.
In a lategame scenario, teamfights should be abundant as long as the teamfight ultimates for both teams are off cooldown. Similar to the mid game strategy, you have to be with your team and participate in fights, only now you and everyone else has more gold. Stay a good distance away from your teammates at all times, far enough to avoid getting hit by large AoE spells but close enough to steal spells and counter-initiate. If your team is killing Roshan, stay outside the pit! Keep a distance between you and your allies, as previously mentioned. Continue to look for single pick-offs with Smoke of Deceit, and push your advantage if you have more heroes than your opponent by forcing teamfights. Maintain ward coverage as usual and buy detection if necessary.
If you follow the instructions included in this guide, you will be ready to play support Rubick!
NULL FIELD BUILD
Though this may be a little controversial, I do think that this build could work. It plays around with the bad scaling of Telekinesis, and by that logic, it makes sense to level his Null Field to protect the team instead of the additional 0.25 seconds of stun. The drop stun might be useful, but it is not very reliable, so I've been testing the waters with this build to see its effectiveness. I haven't tried the Null Field build yet, but I'm just putting this out to promote some healthy discussion in the comments section below. Do post constructive criticism and use logic to win arguments, don't be a ****.
Prepare to be tested!
Rubick is not the easiest hero to play, but it is definitely rewarding and fun to master. To become the Grandest Magus in all of dota, you'll need:
When you see an awesome spell like Laguna Blade
or Reverse Polarity
being cast, do you have what it takes to steal it before they cast another spell?
This is where reflexes come in.
Here's a trick to increase your speed with steals: Expect what is coming
. See that Enigma
with Blink Dagger
? You know that he will be coming in to use Black Hole
anytime soon. This means that you should be expecting a Black Hole
when your teammates are clumped up. Wait for him to pop the Black Hole
, and when it comes, you'll be ready to steal it. Another example: Slardar
comes sprinting in with a Blink Dagger
, and you know what that means? He's gonna stun your teammates! With this in mind, you might be able to lift him after he blinks and before he stuns.
Besides that, the more you play Rubick
, the faster your fingers will move to steal the desired spell. Basic muscle memory.
So you just stole Primal Split
... Great! Now do you know how to use the spell effectively? Can you make a big impact on the game with that spell? Do you even know what it does?
The answer to the three questions should be 'Yes'. If not, you have some work to do. If you steal a great spell that you don't know how to use, then you might as well have not stolen anything, and if you die to a spell effect you didn't know a particular hero had, you can't make your plays. To make the most out of Rubick
, you need to play often and know what every spell does
If a teamfight breaks out, are you standing at the edge avoiding spells OR soaking up the teamfight ultimates
? Whether it is Ravage
or Black Hole
, you should try not to be caught by them
. Getting hit would usually mean that you can't steal the spell. Stay behind your team
and let them go first. Never
stand in front of your teammates during a fight. Briefly appear to use your spells, then disappear behind your teammates
. Put yourself in a position where you can immediately steal an enemy's spell when he casts it. Make your enemies know that you're the most annoying piece of **** around.
Curse of the Silent
There are a lot of things going on in a teamfight. Can you look past the clutter of useless spells to notice the one worth stealing
? The more you play, the more visible these valuable spells will seem. However, being frustrated or tired will have a negative impact on your focus, so keeping a cool head and having plenty of rest
will help you to sift through the useless spells and get to the gold.
Steal the right spells and use them on the right targets! Do you cast Wraithfire Blast on an Earthshaker who had just used all his spells OR a Witch Doctor channeling his ultimate
? Sometimes, stealing Magic Missile
can be better than stealing Black Hole
, but judging when
is the difficult part. If your decision-making isn't very good, the only thing you can do is get more experienced at the game. Watch pro games, read guides (heh) and play more dota
, and you'll find yourself making clutch plays in no time.
Are your actions and movements predictable and stale, or is it unpredictable and constantly changing
? Combine your stolen abilities with your own in unexpected ways, and it will be difficult for enemies to keep up with yoour antics. Before the game starts, you must think: what can I do with my enemies' spells?
Prepare yourself for whatever combos you might be able to pull off (e.g. Smoke Screen
) and execute it quickly.
This doesn't just apply to your spells, it also applies to your movements. When juking in the trees, I usually don't take the safest path, I take the most unexpected path or double up on them and usually survive. The 'safest' path is only safe because it is closer to your tower/defense structure, but it is the most commonly-taken route, which means that enemies are probably gonna go down there looking for you anyway. Think out of the box, and it will make it very difficult for enemies to predict your actions
isn't the only hero that this knowledge can be applied to. Though you don't get to use your enemies' spells, you can use this information to aid you when you're playing another hero, even one as vastly different as Anti-Mage
To the newer players out there, don't fret! This doesn't mean that you can't play Rubick
at all, it just means that you'll need a little work to master this hero and be an expert at dota. Keep on playing and be as eager to learn as the Grand Magus himself
, and you'll be a master stealer in no time!
That's all, folks!
Well, that's the end of the guide. Hopefully, you've learned a thing or two about the Grandest Magus of all. If you want to critique this guide or if you have anything to add, do so in the comment section below. Thanks for reading, and I wish you budding magi luck out there on the battlefield!