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7 Votes

"I like this part" - Ogre Magi Semi-Carry Ganker

December 15, 2015 by Zrog
Comments: 5    |    Views: 92504    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4

#1: Max Nukes, Late Lust

DotA2 Hero: Ogre Magi

Hero Skills


1 3 5 7


2 4 8 9


10 12 13 14


6 11 16


15 17 18


First, this is a PUB build. You're not going to see any high-level players going Ogre Magi in a competitive game. I've seen only one exception in this Fnatic vs. Liquid game.

However, Ogre does have some things going for him that make him a decent ganker.

Pros / Cons

+ Excellent starting armor + hp
+ Stun
+ Slow / DoT
+ Buffs right-click carries

- Melee
- No big teamfight ability
- Very mana-dependent
- Weak to Silences

When to Pick Ogre as Semi-Carry

When to pick:
+ Weak or melee opponent mid-laner
+ Team comp can afford to give farm to a snowball-style semi-carry (offlane or mid)
+ Can be paired with a ranged, early-damage lane partner
+ Your team needs more stuns
+ Enemy team has squishy heroes (easily burst down)

When to Avoid:
- Strong ranged mid-lane opponent
- Enemy team has silences (Silencer, Death Prophet, Drow, etc)
- Stronger or level-dependent mid-laner on your team already
- A carry needs a ranged lane support

Analysis of Skills

One of the key's to understanding how to build Ogre is to understand the relationship between his skills.

Fireblast is a mana-inefficient but bursty spell.

Ignite is a chase and mana-efficient spell.

Some statistics for you:

Fireblast increases in damage by 55 per level of the skill after level 1.
Ignite increases in damage by 74/90/106 per level after level 1.
Ignite does 90% more damage than Fireblast at each level, without a Multicast proc.
Ignite is 15-22% more mana efficient per point of damage over Fireblast.
L1 Multi cast gives you a 2s Fireblast cooldown improvement for 30 mana, and a mere 25% proc chance of double-cast.
Fireblast's stun stays fixed at 1.5s duration, regardless of level

Let that sink in for a bit. The conclusions that I personally draw from this are:
- Multi cast at level 6 trades mana (which you can't afford at this point) for a slim chance at more burst (25% chance), and a slight buff to Ignite
- Ignite should be leveled as early as possible because of its superior damage scaling.

Given those relationships, consider the builds below.

Patch History / Nerfs

Soon after this guide was originally written (around 6.81 patch), Ogre Magi got a buff to his Multicast to increase its proc rate (patch 6.82), and he was picked frequently in the pro scene, and his winrate improved. However, IceFrog considered the new nuking power of Ogre Magi to be OP, and in 6.83, nerfed both the range and damage of Fireblast, and Ogre is now a rare, situational pick... otherwise known as "all the best meta-supports are already taken".

However, with the proc-chance buff to Multicast, it's now worth it to skill it at levels 6/11/16.

IMO, what reduced Ogre viability as a beefy, in-your-face support was the nerf to the Fireblast range (used to be 600, now 475).

In 6.85, Ogre Magi received a slight buff, with +1 armor and Bloodlust attack speed buff (+10 at each level), and even being able to cast it on buildings (I suppose this helps him defend against pushes in early game?). However, this doesn't seem to have brought him up to a "meta pick" again just yet.

Ogre Patch history.

Build #1: Max Nuke

Objective: The most burst, as fast as possible.

You skip Bloodlust until Fireblast and Ignite are max'ed, and only take Multi-Cast at levels 10 and 11.

+ High damage abilities early game
+ Delayed multi-cast means lower FB cost

- No Lust for chase or escape
- Can only execute full combo once without gear

Build #2 - Ignite and Lust

Objective: High harass, with chase and escape.

You max Ignite first, taking early points in it for harass, and Bloodlust at level 4 for extra chase or escape (self or teammate). This build leans more towards support or lane dominance rather than early, sudden burst.

Best used when up against tankier lane opponents that you and your lane partner can't take down in one burst, or when in a 1v1 lane with Bottle.

Again, because of the points mentioned above, I delay Multicast until Levels 10 & 11.

+ Higher harass
+ Better chase & escape

- Later max on nukes (less bursty)

Build #3 - Early Ignite, Late Lust

Objective: Max heaviest damage skill first, max nukes fast.

In this build, you take Ignite first. It does 63% more damage at L1 than Fireblast, for 27% higher mana cost.

While it can be argued that an early stun is more important than a slow, an extra 50 damage at L1 is pretty decent.

Use this build if you're going for a L1 gank and don't have anyone else with a slow. Also of note: the range on Ignite is higher than on Fireblast.

+ Earlier slow with longer range
+ Max nukes quickly

- No L1 interrupt
- No Bloodlust for chase / escape until L9.

Build #4 - Mid

It's possible to take Ogre Magi mid and snowball, treating him as a semi-carry ganker, but if you do this, I really recommend a Stout Shield, in case you face a ranged opponent, and even against a melee opponent, a shield will allow you to trade hits and take some creep hits like you wouldn't believe.

If you're going mid, you really want a Bottle, and you can go two ways with your skill build, although early Ignite can really help harass your opponent out of lane, as it does excellent damage.

If you choose instead to max Fireblast, you need to wait until L6 to make much use of it as a nuke, because the damage (and range) is frankly terrible without it, as of patch 6.83.

After Level 6, you really need to go gank, because you need to make early use of your levels to help your team. You will fall off HARD in the late game (after 35 mins, usually), and you need to either have fat carries or end the game by then.

Early Items

Why would you want Ring of Basilius, Orb of Venom, or only brown Boots?

Simply put, a Basilius benefits both you AND your lane mate, and gives more mana regen than a Sage's Mask on Ogre, until he clears 35 Int or so.

The Orb of Venom seems like a strange pick, until you consider that Ogre really has only enough mana for one-and-a-half nuke combos early game, and then needs to go club his opponents to death. The Orb of Venom helps with the clubbing part, which Ogre likes.

Brown boots are something you CAN sit on for awhile, but ideally you really need Arcane Boots ASAP. If you're really snowballing hard, you can stay on brown boots until Orchid, and buying early Robe of the Magi to build your mana pool.

Core Items

A lot of people underestimate two things on Ogre: his right-click damage, and how terrible his mana regen and mana pool are in the early game. You need to itemize for at least the second item, but you can be surprisingly effective as a right-clicker with good items, too.

These are some suggested item pairs that are worth 5000-6000 gold, which work well together:

If you're going semi-carry Ogre, I really recommend an Orchid Malevolence as your first major item; it has almost everything the already-tough Ogre needs: Mana Regen, Mana Pool, Extra Lockdown (Silence), and Damage. You can even skip Arcane Boots if you are farming well enough and already have a Bottle and/or Ring of Basilius. You can also disassemble the Ring of Basilius for the second Sage's Mask.

Another very excellent item for a heavy-nuke team is a Veil of Discord. You'll need another mana-regen item with it, such as Arcane Boots or Eul's Sceptre of Divinity but it massively increases the amount of nuke damage your team will dish out in a teamfight, and its area of effect is HUGE. The most difficult thing about saving for this item is the 1250 gold pattern, and its component items aren't the best early choices, until the Veil of Discord is assembled. Consider this often as a 3rd major item on Ogre, after another pair of suggested core items.

Another good item pair is a Force Staff and a Eul's Sceptre of Divinity. Both are utility-heavy items and give Ogre even more flexibility to help his team. Both can be used offensively, defensively, and give Ogre the stats and regen he needs to be dangerous.

Dagon allows Ogre to go after tankier targets, and allow his combo of nukes to stay lethal even while opponents gear up. If you're going this route, you should also try to afford a Soul Booster for the mana regen (and tankiness). However, once BKBs are on the field, Ogre will fall off sharply, and a Dagon item choice doesn't do anything to offset this. If you go Dagon, you're committing to snowballing hard, or failing hard. Dagon is a situational choice, best used against enemies that don't have high magic resist or get BKBs as core items (Luna, Sven, Lifestealer, Huskar, etc).

Edit: I've put boots as its own section. While Arcane Boots are normally core on Ogre Magi as a support, when you're semi-carrying and have access to another mana-regen item with Int growth, you can choose pretty much any boots you want (except Tranquil Boots, which don't really give Ogre anything he needs). Phase Boots give better right-click and chase, and Power Treads gives right-click and a bit of flexibility (change to Str for toughness, Int for right-click & mana pool).

Situational Items

Taking these items usually means you're veering away from carry and more towards a support role. This route is best taken when the game goes long and Ogre is starting to fall off in power, due to BKB/Pipe or increasing hp pools. As a semi-carry with some items already, you can afford to buy an item for the team.

Defensive items include Blade Mail, Ghost Sceptre and Black King Bar, if you find you're being heavily focused.

Ogre is a good carrier of the Gem of Truesight, because he's so tanky and usually isn't an initiator. He can also lock down any invisible opponent he finds, so your team can come help beat on the sneaky twerp.

Items like Mekanism have usually been bought before Ogre gets around to thinking about it, but if your team is full of carries, you should probably buy it once you've created space by being a baller.

Pipe of Insight is an often-overlooked item with gives a massive survivability boost against magic damage (for your team as well, if you remember to activate it!), and its hp regen is excellent as well, allowing you recover quickly for the next fight.

Finally, Vladmir's Offering is an item you buy to help your team, and so your melee carry doesn't have to buy a lifesteal item for teamfights.

Luxury Items

Necronomicon is a great item that gives push, tankiness and manapool, but doesn't do much for Ogre's mana regen, which is why it's luxury and not core. Once you go Necrobook, you'll usually commit to getting it to level 3, for the Truesight, which means spending 5200 gold. If you're spending all your gold on this, you'd better hope that someone else has some Arcane Boots to replenish your mana...

Scythe of Vyse is a great item, but its major component parts are very expensive (2700, 2100 and 875). I personally think it's an item that's best used once you have better right-click, so you (or a farmed carry) can be beating on the enemy while they are sheep'ed.

Bloodstone is largely a defensive item. Ogre is pretty tanky, with a decent strength gain, and usually won't need a defensive buff this expensive. However, if you went Soul Booster, you might as well finish the Bloodstone.

Shiva's Guard is a great item against right-click carries. Other than that, it doesn't really give Ogre anything he doesn't already have or can get from better items: armor, a slow, and more int. However, as a 3rd or 4th item, it lets Ogre start going toe-to-toe with right-clickers, while also buffing his right-click!

Aghanim's Sceptre... the ever popular. As a 3rd or later major item, it sounds nice - gives stats, hp/mana and another nuke. However, wouldn't you prefer a Dagon for a nuke, or a Soul Booster if you needed toughness (and regen)? I don't think it's a bad choice, but there are better ones out there.

Less Desireable but Popular Items

Rod of Atos

Despite how good it sounds for the cost, I find that Rod of Atos doesn't solve Ogre's mana-regen problem, and Ogre is already pretty tough and has ways to chase.

Blink Dagger

This item could be rushed if you are the initiator, or are pairing up with another mobile nuker, such as Queen of Pain, to go after single targets. However, without an AOE stun or nuke (aside from later levels of Ignite, if that counts), I don't really think this is the best way to play Ogre.

How to Play Ogre


You're going to lose your lane if you don't get aggressive. As a melee hero with lots of hp and armor, you can afford to saunter up to enemies and start clubbing them in the face. You can even tank a bit of creep aggro to do this, as long as you do more damage to the enemy than you take. The idea is to burn through his consumables, and then get him low enough that you can nuke him down, or be forced out of the lane.


While keeping enough mana for a two-spell combo, initiate with Ignite, and then interrupt or stun a key target. After that, you turn into a punching bag without proper positioning, so try and live long enough for Fireblast to come off cooldown again.

If you've buffed your right-click, and you want to be able to go club people in the face repeatedly, you'd better think about a Black King Bar, or you're going to get slowed/stunned/kited and killed. This isn't the most effective way to play Ogre Magi, but it sure is fun!

If you have a Eul's or Force Staff, remember that both can be used offensively or defensively. It's surprisingly effective to use Eul's on a teammate so your opponents are encouraged to change targets.

Author's Website: Dota 2 Lists

I've recently created a blog called "Dota 2 Lists", which gives ideas for tri-lanes, powerful dual-lanes, team ideas, drafting tips, ideas, and analysis, and dota2 online tools that a player might find valuable.

Feel free to comment - I'd love some feedback.

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