+ Tough to take down
+ Good strength gain
+ High base armour
+ Can provide magic immunity to other heroes right from the start
+ Powerful Heal/Nuke that deals AOE pure damage
+ Passive skill becomes powerful late game
+ One of the strongest Team Fight spells
+ Good attack animation and base damage
- Severe mana problems without suitable extra equipment
- Spells require careful and accurate use to be effective
- Several key spells can be purged
- Slow casting animations
- Situational laning effectiveness
- Quite level and item dependent for a support
- No stun or castable slow
- Guardian Angel is NOT invulnerability. It protects you from Physical and most composite damage only.
- Unlike Black King Bar, Repel can be purged. For example, be careful of targeting Razor with a spell.
- His heal is expensive, especially early game. He won't want to use it before level 3, and it should be used offensively whenever possible. It's not really for sustain in lane.
- His casting speed is slow, and his ranged quite limited. Stay relatively close to him if you want his help.
- He can't heal you when you have magic immunity active.
- Just because Repel gives magic immunity, it can still be well worth buying a Black King Bar situationally. He can only Repel one target and it has a reasonably long cooldown.
- He's quite needy in both farm and levels for a support hero, try not to make him ward, and let him take farm at times.
- He has very minimal damage output, the rest of the team needs to compensate for that.
Purification is your only offensive spell, and even then doubles as a Heal! Early in the game it can really swing a fight - essentially you're doing double the number stated by both healing yourself/an ally AND damaging an enemy. This is a 720 damage difference when you get it to level 4, easily enough to completely turn a gank around.
It can can only be targeted on friendly units, with any enemy units in a small radius (basically melee range) around it taking damage. Generally you want to use it offensively wherever possible, although obviously it can be used to save allies too.
It inflicts Pure damage, which goes straight through magic resistance (but not magic immunity), meaning that the spell is roughly 25% more damaging than it looks on paper.
It has a very poor heal/nuke/mana cost ratio at early levels, and you don't really want to use it at all at level 1 unless it's to cause or prevent a kill. Later on it has a very high mana cost considering your limited pool, but is far more efficient.
Landing your Purification correctly really matters - and it's not easy against enemies who are aware of what you can do. It's much easier when either your lane partner or the enemy is a melee hero - two ranged heroes have no need to move that close to each other.
There are various tricks and items you can use to help you here:
- Enemy melee heroes will need to approach the creep wave to last hit, you can cast it on your team's creeps and minions.
- Your Degen Aura slows enemies down, and many of the recommended items above either boost your movement speed or allow you to decrease an opponent's. If you can get in front of them, you can zap them.
- Allied melee heroes with "space closers" are great partners - e.g. Slark, Pudge, Tusk, Clockwerk, Phantom Assassin etc.
Repel is a very strong defensive spell, allowing you to grant instant magic immunity to any unit (including enemies). This will remove most debuffs from the target, and protect them from the majority of spells. For example, if your laning partner was hit with a Gush, you could Repel them and instantly remove its slow and armour reduction.
It's general known as a "free Black King Bar", and cast on whoever needs it most at the time. The only difference is that Repel can be purged by the likes of Diffusal Blade, Demonic Purge and Unstable Current.
Remember that Repel will block you from casting Purification on the target, so it's important to heal them first if required. It doesn't stop them being effected by Guardian Angel though.
It's important to remember you can Repel enemy units too, so be careful when targeting. There may even be odd occasions where you do it deliberately - for example before a Song of the Siren to allow you to focus that enemy while their team cannot help.
More generally, give it to hero who you can least afford to get stunned or hit with magic damage in any given situation. This could be your initiator before a team fight, your carry, or even yourself.
An often underrated passive, Degen Aura reduces both the movement and attack speed of all enemy units near to you. This includes creeps - so can effect lane equilibrium - which is why we wouldn't always level it early when playing support.
It's a useful chasing spell once levelled - matching many active slows in effect, with no duration limit as long as you stay close. Combined with some useful items to further improve your chasing, this makes it easier to land a good Purification.
It really comes into it's own as the game goes late - if you're near the centre of the fight then several enemy heroes could be losing vital movement and attack speed.
The biggest issue with this ability is that you need to be close in order for it to work, and this can put you at considerable risk if you don't have enough farm to survive dangerous situations.
Simply one of the best teamfight powers available, it gives all nearby allied units physical immunity, plus a small amount of health regeneration. This can easily swing a team fight decisively in your favour, and only becomes more potent in the late game when physical damage is so key.
Bear in mind that some heroes with unique attack modifiers are able to change their damage type and may still be able to autoattack successfully (e.g. Outworld Devourer or Enchantress), and that heroes who deal a lot of magic damage like Zeus and Tinker aren't going to be too bothered.
It works by massively boosting the armour of your team - so enemies can still attack you, albeit almost all physical damage is rounded down to zero. However, this can mean that orb effects do still proc - for example Mjollnir dealing magic damage.
Guardian Angel does have a long cooldown however, making a Refresher Orb pretty desirable. It also has a relatively small AOE, centered around you when you cast it. This means that you need to be in the correct position to ensure that your whole team gets the protection from it, and that you only activate it once the teams are already engaged - if you go early the enemy can retreat, or you might lose allies if you go too late.
This makes it a tricky ability to use correctly - any opposition worth their salt will be actively trying to focus, disable or silence you before you can cast it. The ability is also lost for EVERYONE if you get purged while it's active. This is the price you pay for having such a strong ultimate!
Generally you want to give your Repel to another hero to let them initiate, so you can't use it on yourself.
So how do we deal with these issues? Partly it's why I recommend extra equipment and no #5 role on Omniknight - a Mekansm might keep you alive long enough to use it, Blade Mail might be enough to stop you being focused brieftly, or even better...
Aghanim's Scepter gives it a global effect - including all your buildings - making it considerably easier to activate at the right moment. Hell you could be back at the fountain and still help out! How they going to purge you now? It also boosts the duration to a full 10 seconds at level 3!
Due to the purges, be aware of likely Diffusal Blade carriers, Shadow Demon, Brewmaster, Bloodseeker etc on the opposition team.
Omniknight's skills are nearly all heavily defensive, but that doesn't mean you can't use them offensively. If anything it allows you and your allies to take risks that would otherwise be untenable - magic immunity is extremely powerful in the early game.
You can make life very frustrating for the opposition - they might think they have a very definite kill lined up, boom Purification, Repel. Suddenly that fight is turned around, or your ally at least safely out of trouble.
As the game progresses your Degen Aura and Guardian Angel really come to the fore - they're both extremely effective at preventing the enemy from auto-attacking properly. Your only skill that really drops off is Purification, and even then it's still useful for healing and pushing.
In a contested lane you should generally be reasonably far back, but within casting range of your ally, although in some cases you may go in to harass or deny. Your focus should usually be on being ready to heal/repel your team mate(s) as required.
In teamfights your role varies depending on your farming level - with lots of it you're tanky enough to stand front and centre, absorbing whatever the opposition throws out before casting Guardian Angel at the right moment.
Supports have a trickier time here - generally it's best to give another hero Repel and then hang back as much as possible to avoid being targeted. Wait until the fight is committed and then run in to the middle of your team to cast Guardian Angel, and throw out a Purication where needed.
Most people have Omniknight down as a support hero, and I broadly agree with that. However, he definitely needs some farm - a pair of Arcane Boots is the absolute minimum, and ideally you want some more survivability items on him to give you a bit more scope to play aggressively and time Guardian Angel to maximum effect.
It is possible to play him as a hard support (#5 role), dealing with Warding, but I think he works much better as at least a #4. In fact, he fits in reasonably well anywhere from the 2-4 role, there are a lot of different items that work well on him - from a very utility focus to almost a equipment heavy build.
It's important to note here that I don't think you should play Omni as an out-and-out #1 carry. He can become extremely tanky and difficult to kill, can substantially reduce enemy damage output....but his own skills/stats don't really work for inflicting damage either.
This is the biggest problem with picking Omniknight - where to lane him?
For a support hero he's really quite demanding in terms of farm and experience needs, and he can't farm the jungle until probably level 7. He's not particularly good at zoning out enemy offlaners, and has fairly poor killing power at early levels.
He can do ok in tri vs tri lanes, where Repel can really help your team mates out of tricky situations, and prevent magic heavy damage. However, overall he's not a very strong trilane support and your other hero picks will have to cover for him somewhat in the hope of payback later on.
One useful tip if you do have to trilane is to stack a medium/hard camp as much as possible. Once you have sufficient Purification damage you can farm it fairly quickly for a big burst of gold and experience.
Solo Mid or Offlane?
Ok these lanes should at least sort out our experience/levelling needs, but Omniknight isn't especially brilliant as a solo. He can't gank anything like as effectively as many heroes, and while he's reasonably good against melee heroes he gets destroyed by strong, ranged enemies.
This generally makes mid too much of a loss to your team, leaving the offlane. Omniknight can do ok here, but he'll struggle for hits and will need to be careful - properly chained disables/silences won't give you much chance to get off a heal or Repel. Slows are much less problematic as you can Repel them easily.
I'd say generally avoid solo mid, with offlane potentially open against enemies who lack lockdown and Silence, just don't be too greedy.
Dual lane Support?
This is possibly your most suitable laning configuration. You team up with either a strong ganking hero or one with good harassment potential:
For example, Slark or Pudge can make a good kill lane partner - they close the space, you use Purification on them, and can protect them from self-damage/counter-attack using Repel. It can work well, getting you fast farm and levels, but it's somewhat risky.
The alternative is allies like Silencer, Viper and Huskar. They have very strong laning presence, with you providing the assistance to let them be more aggressive, knowing that you have their back if they get jumped on.
Both of these lanes require good judgement to pull off - some enemies heroes are just unsuitable to play them against, while other times it can work well. Consider what enemies heroes can do against your combo. Generally these types of lane are more suitable for the offlane, just be careful against very strong defensive trilanes.
A slightly unusual set of starting equipment. As a support we should at least help out with the Animal Courier, allowing our hard support to deal with warding.
Due to his expensive healing abilities and hefty base armour, we can usually get away without a Healing Salve, allowing us to carry more mana regeneration and keep using our skills. It will probably be a while before you can get Arcane Boots as a support, so don't be afraid to buy more Clarity potions to tide you over.
The semi-carry builds usually stack up some extra stats for an early Bracer, although you might well need a Stout Shield in some lanes.
Aggressive space closers are great allies for you - they jump in, take damage and get next to their target to attack them. You use Purification to heal them back up to full health while their opponent takes a load of pure damage to the face. Repel helps them avoid counter-spells and allows them to play really aggressively.
Big tanky melee heroes are other good friends - with your help they're incredibly hard to bring down, while your might also get to throw out some bonus damage for them.
These heroes have some serious lane control on their own, and your presence allows them to push this even more aggressively, safe in the knowledge that you'll be ready to help them out if they need you. Can be incredibly hard to lane against.
For a hero as mana dependent as you, these guys can really help out, especially early game.
Probably your favourite team fight ally. You can Repel an enemy just before she uses Song of the Siren, making them immune to the effects while the rest of their team is. This allows your allies to focus them 5v1. Also very helpful for reseting fights and allowing you perfect timing or recovery for Guardian Angel.
Uh horrible, horrible purges. These guys can take away both your lovely Repels and even the mighty Guardian Angel.
Mana-burners and intelligence stealers are horrible for a strength hero who's so ability-reliant. You'll have a hard time laning against them, although Mana Burn isn't quite so bad due to your low intelligence.
Long silences and disables are really bad news for you - preventing you using your abilities at the right times and potentially letting them focus you before you can cast Guardian Angel.
These guys all have abilities which allow them to put out considerable amount of non-physical damage, potentially circumventing Guardian Angel.
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