The idea of this crazy build appeared in my head when I was looking for new ideas for Radiance heroes, unconventional but making sense instead of just slapping DoT on something unrelated.
Why Puck ? There are many arguments for a Radiance build on that hero.
- inflicting 17% miss chance on enemies;
- makes both farming and pushing lanes quicker;
- greater magical damage, coming continuously;
- inflicting damage even during Phase Shift (E) (!);
- paired with Octarine Core makes Puck the absolute teamfight destroyer, able to lock enemy heroes down with its ultimate, while keeping inflicting damage - with vulnerability periods of only 1,25s.
The damage output is actually sick and given the level 15 talent as well as the build including Power Threads and Hand of Midas, it's actually backed up by decent rightclick, both in terms of damage (boosted by Radiance and +50 level 15 talent, easily surpasses 200 by level 15) and attack speed (thanks to Power Treads and Hand of Midas).
This build have cons. The greatest one is probably the difficulty of hero itself. While not exactly the hardest, Puck is not exactly one of the easiest heroes in Dota either. Puck is actually quite easy to play in early game but this build actually diminishes the gain this hero gains from early items, such as Blink Dagger or Veil of Discord. It is advised to get Radiance by the 20 minute mark - in fact it is rather easy in most non-ranked lower level matches, as Puck is rarely picked there and people usually don't really know how to counter it.
Oddly, BKBs aren't that problematic. Given the continuous damage source and ability to easily evade opponents, Puck can just wait them out in most cases. Aghanim Scepter upgrade also allows its ultimate to ignore it. Passive reduction is much more troublesome than a short-lasting immunity, be it Pipe of Insight, some heroes' passive skills or talents.
I have already explained the Radiance, but why Hand of Midas? Well, for it's intended purpose: a farming tool. Puck, as many magic damage-based heroes, tends to lack a quick farming mechanism and as much as the spells are useful, the damage output doesn't scale well into late game. With the XPM and GPM boost from both these items, you can be full 6-7 slotted in 40-45 minutes. Especially if you hit the level 25 quickly and get the monstrous money boost that comes with it.
Bottle is not advised to get early, just for the purpose of getting Midas, and then Radiance, faster. Tangoes and shrines should be enough to keep you on the lane. It depends on situation though, if you don't feel so sure without it or are constantly harrassed, get it by all means.
The important part is to go for Octarine Core next thing after the Radiance. It gives you much needed mana and HP, reduces cooldowns, paired with Radiance gives a good semi-reliable recovery mechanism for teamfight, as well as boosts your right-click damage a fair bit. Spell lifesteal, lowered cooldown on Phase Shift and Illusory Orb and Radiance's miss chance are actually enough in term of survivability to counterweight lack of Blink Dagger - although that causes Puck to lose some of its initiating potential.
Skill build, as with most heroes, is elastic and depends on many factors, including opponent's roster, your team's behavior and coordination or your skill with Puck. The hardest part with suggested build is actually surviving early game - or at least not dying too much - given lack of Blink Dagger and low level of Phase Shift, you're pretty much stuck with Illusory Orb as your main escape mechanism. Basically, the suggested build is more offensive, with Puck having a constant strong lane presence, focused on getting both quick kills and quick last hits. If Puck is actually losing the lane, more defensive build, with Phase Shift leveled higher first, is advised.
One important thing is to level all skills by level 3, as all are equally important, even if they can't be reliably spammed yet: Illusory Orb as both a nuke and a chase/escape mechanism, Phase Shift for quick disjoints in dire situation and Waning Rift as both AoE damage source and a good way to force heroes relying on their spells back.
Your Early game will be very important. You shouldn't die, and try to get as many lasthits as you can. With some practice you should be able to kill most of your opponents on mid lane. Chose Midas targets wisely - you get Exp bonus based on your target. Gank when you get Ultimate but wisely too - your farm is most important in early game so don't die in stupid way or spend too much time that you could be using to farm setting up.
The tactics for ganks and teamfights is easy:
- get inside a group of enemies with your Ilusory Orb. Try to cast it outside of enemies' vision;
- use your ultimate to stun and immobilize enemies;
- nuke and silence enemies with Waning Rift;
- if they are dying - go help them, if not and they try to kill you - use Phase Shift and look at them melting because of Radiance :)
The best way is when your team has a good initiator that is able to take the focus out of you, like Axe. Wait for his initiation and then go inside with everything you have.
You must remember that you probably can't go solo for more than one hero (especially in late game - even with focus on damage and survivability Puck is still at its best earlier) so you must cooperate with your team and your game shall be easy to win.
Try to gank as early as you can but again - don't forget about your farm. Your priority is to make a Radiance fast. If you feel confident with only one lvl Phase Shift you should get easy kills from ganks cause your damage should be pretty good.
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