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Sando's Guide to Oracle (6.84)

May 13, 2015 by Sando
Comments: 32    |    Views: 82002    |   


Support

DotA2 Hero: Oracle


Purchase Order

Starting

Animal Courier
Observer Ward
Tango
Iron Branch
Clarity
Clarity
Clarity

Core

Urn of Shadows
Arcane Boots

Extension Options

Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Ghost Scepter
Mekansm
Force Staff

Luxury

Necronomicon
Orchid Malevolence
Scythe of Vyse

Optional

Black King Bar
Orb of Venom
Rod of Atos
Veil of Discord
Soul Booster
Magic Wand
Medallion of Courage


Hero Skills

Fortune's End

1 8 9 10

Fate's Edict

2 12 13 14

Purifying Flames

3 4 5 7

False Promise

6 11 16

Talents

15

Introduction



Oracle is a strong and flexible support hero, offering an extremely broad range of powers - you can influence almost any situation provided you can figure out the most appropriate response quickly.

The first thing I'll say is that Oracle is NOT a hero for beginners, your grasp of game mechanics and the different damage types of the many various characters and items in the game has to be solid. You need to be able to read what's likely to happen next in any given situation. If you get these details wrong, you can actually make things WORSE!

We will look at the variations of your abilities below, but I'm afraid I can't possibly go through every situation or hold your hand in more than a couple of walkthroughs. However, we will be diving quite deep into his abilities...here goes...

Strengths and Weaknesses

+ Good starting intelligence and gain
+ Long range attack and good movement speed
+ AOE Purge with damage and ensnare
+ Extremely flexible ability combinations
+ Excellent escape
+ Can save and heal allies
+ Strong nuking abilities
+ Not very item dependent


- Relatively poor strength and agility gain
- Somewhat level dependent, especially early on
- Reliant on allies to be truly effective
- Poor turn rate
- Abilities can backfire badly if misused
- Requires a lot of game knowledge

Fortune's End



This is usually your first skill pickup, and although expensive, has tremendous utility. At it's most simple it's a small AOE nuke and ensnare (transport spells still work), but it also purges enemies in the area, which is extremely unusual.

Being able to purge enemies at will is extremely useful - you can get rid of rune effects, positive buffs - even your own spell effects. Enemy went invisible once you started channelling? They won't be for long. Even the mighty Guardian Angel can be easily removed.

You can see a full list of what can and can't be dispelled here.

It has a channelled casting time, but this isn't quite as much of a disadvantage as usual - if you cast early or are stunned/silenced it will still cast, and inflict full damage and the purge - the only thing you lose is slow time. Basically each second you channel (up to 2.5) will equal the slow time. The minimum slow time it will inflict is 0.5 seconds, even if you cast it almost instantly.

One thing to be very aware of is that you only need to be inside casting range when you actually target the spell - if the target moves out of range once you've started channelling, it will still hit them. You've got to weigh up the relative benefits here of stopping them in their current position for a shorter time, versus stopping them for longer when they're further away (e.g. under a tower).

Ideally you want to channel this from outside of enemy vision so they don't retreat, giving it maximum effect, and also allowing you to potentially combo in Purifying Flames.

Be aware that this spell can be disjointed by a number of other abilities, but will still hit the spot where it was aimed at the time.

Once you have a few points in it, this is also your main farming and pushing spell - weaken enemy creeps to within the damage range of your current level, and then unleash. You can also stack up neutral camps and do this.

Fate's Edict



This is probably the most tricky spell in your arsenal to use correctly, but it is extremely strong when you get it right, and it's also very cheap in terms of mana.

It has 3 distinct effects that can have positive or negative impact depending on whether the target is an enemy or ally:

1) It gives the target 100% protection from magic damage (but not spell immunity) (Ally, Enemy)

2) The target takes 50% more damage from other sources
(i.e. physical and pure) (Ally, Enemy)

3) The target is disarmed and cannot right click attack (Ally, Enemy)

As you can see, the majority of the effects are bad, so we need to be really careful about casting it on allies - there are two key situations I would expect to use it:

A) You're out of combat and want to heal an ally with Purifying Flames. Unless they're farming they won't be too bothered.

B) An ally is about to eat major magic damage that will kill or badly injure them.
You can protect and then heal with Purifying Flames. This is risky if the enemy have much physical or pure damage to bring to the party, and/or your ally will need to be right clicking soon after.

Casting on enemies can be equally fraught with risk, but very valuable when used correctly:

i) You can disarm the enemy carry and stop them attacking for up to 6 seconds, while making them 50% more vulnerable to physical and pure damage. Be VERY careful that your team isn't about to drop heavy magic damage on them. That Laguna Blade or Dagon user is going to be VERY unimpressed.

ii) You can use it to help gank enemies; that +50% damage is big provided your team is using the right kinds of damage. Be very aware of what abilities your allies have and pick the right moment to cast it, if appropriate.

iii) You can protect yourself or a team mate who's being ganked by casting this on the enemy who's hitting them. The only thing you really need to be aware of here is if your team is about to turn on some big magic damage.

As you can see, this is quite a complex ability and extremely situational...sometimes the best thing to do is not use it all. You often need to make these judgements quite quickly in a team fight or other clutch situation - the best advice I can give you here is to retain a sense of what kind of damage your team and the opposition is packing:

Mostly Physical or Pure: e.g. Dazzle, Enchantress, Alchemist, etc.



If you're with them: On these teams you can afford to be pretty cast heavy on the opposition to get the damage boost going.

If you're against them: Be careful about casting it on your own team as it will probably aid the opposition.

Mostly Magical: Batrider, Lion, Nyx Assassin, Sand King etc.



If you're with them: Be very careful about using this on the opposition as they will benefit from the protection.

If you're against them: Your allies might benefit from the protection at vital moment, just be careful about disarming carry type heroes.

Purifying Flames



This is your nuke/heal, although it requires combination with your other abilities to get the effect you want. Basically you combine it with Fate's Edict to maximise the heal, and Fortune's End to maximise the damage.

The first thing to be aware of is that the damage is applied instantly, while the heal takes time to build that health back up. The second is that the difference between the damage and heal if both are applied at standard resistances is 31.5/63/93.5/126 - i.e. not really worth bothering with to heal an ally on it's own.

Next the good news - considering the potential effects this spell has incredibly low mana costs and cooldown time. You can really use it a lot without emptying your mana pool too quickly or worrying that you won't get another chance to cast it. Also be aware that you can't actually kill your allies with it, only reduce them to 1hp.

We'll talk a lot more about this ability in the Combinations section below - it's the power that interacts the most with the others.

False Promise



How does this sound - an ability that makes it's target almost completely invulnerable for it's duration? They can continue to attack/cast and it constantly removes most debuffs. It has a 45 second cooldown. Not bad huh?

Any damage/healing the target takes during the duration is delayed until after it ends, when a reckoning takes place. You can see current balance of this by looking at the orb symbol above the target's head - a big fiery orb means they have a lot of damage coming, while a green orb means they'll be getting healed more.

Any healing applied during the duration is DOUBLED when it ends, and this informs a lof the common item choices on Oracle.

The only thing that can kill a target under False Promise is "instant kill" effects such as Culling Blade and Ice Blast - and only then if they're already under its health threshold. Be aware of this when playing against Axe, and cast early.


Spell usage here is relatively simple, for starters it makes a great escape for a squishy support - but you can still have some important decisions to make - generally in team fights. Who to save?

Generally I'd work something close to the farming priority here - carries first and foremost. You might even have to let less important allies die in order to keep the most important ones fighting. However, some consideration is necessary here - if your carry is probably going to be fine, keep other allies alive, especially if they have important abilities they haven't used yet.

Using it on yourself here is a bit dubious, but occasionally necessary. Opponents may try to focus you heavily to take you out of the equation (this means you're doing a good job). Positioning should be your first defence here, but occasionally you might have to use it on yourself - it can be better to have you in the fight than dead without having used it.

Skill Builds

The build at the top of the guide is your standard build, and it makes sense in most games to follow it. You start out with your "disable" to try to setup kills for allies, then a point in Fate's Edict for flexibility when healing, killing or defending.

We max Purifying Flames first due to it's utility when combined with the others, it's low CD and low mana cost. Next we max Fortune's End to get the most from our nukes and allow us to farm a bit if the chance arises. Finally we max Fate's Edict to give us maximum disarm time against enemy carries later on.

False Promise is simply too good to pass up, and should be levelled as often as possible.

Early levels are a big deal for you - while you can potentially setup kills from level 1, you lack damage and healing utility until you can get points in Purifying Flames. Level 6 and False Promise is obviously very important too. After this the levels don't matter quite so much - while nice, once you hit level 11 and onwards you're only making very incremental improvements to your skills.

Nuking Combinations

Using Oracle's abilities is often about combinations, and this is what grants you such a broad range of possible effects in one hero. However, many of his abilities can also have very negative or underwhelming effects if used badly - there are many factors you have to consider before throwing them out in a complex situation...

+ = 720 max damage.


Your most basic nuking combo, but a pretty good one at that. The most important factor to consider here is ensuring your Fortune's End bolt arrives just AFTER Purifying Flames - so you get the damage, but purge the heal from them.

With the limited targeting range of Fortune's End, you have to be careful that you either kill your enemy, or will be in range to land a bolt too. The ideal situation is to channel the bolt unseen for the full duration, release it, and then land Purifying Flames while it's in transit.

Also be aware that sometimes the longer stop duration of a fully channelled Fortune's End can be worth giving the opposition a bit of healing if it will give your team chance to beat on them.

+ + ~ 900 damage.


This is a more advanced nuking combo, and it's somewhat debatable whether it's always worth the extra complexity and risk...however, that extra 160 or so damage could be enough to finish off a target who might otherwise escape.

Basically we're taking advantage of the very short cooldown time of Purifying Flames - we cast it once, wait about a second, then channel Fortune's End. As soon as Purifying Flames is off cooldown, we release the bolt and cast Purifying Flames again before it hits. This gives our target about 3-4 seconds of healing time from the first cast, but gives us more damage overall.

+ + ~ 1020 damage.


Your final nuking combo, this is ONLY for when the damage will definitely be enough to kill your opponent outright, as you will be leaving a full heal on them otherwise. Follow the procedure for the first combo (i.e. cast Purifying Flames just as the purge bolt is about to land), and then chain another Purifying Flames afterwards.

Healing Combinations

You have tremendous ability to heal your allies through a combination of Fate's Edict and Purifying Flames - you protect them from the initial damage it causes, but the following heal will go through. False Promise can also come into this equation too.


(lvl 1) + = 399 heal max


A fairly straightforward combo, you cast Fate's Edict on your team mate, and then follow it up with Purifying Flames. Up to 399 HP healed for 150 mana. However, be aware that you are both disarming and amplifying damage from non-magical sources to your ally for the duration of Fate's Edict. Generally you want to use this away from combat unless it's a particular plan for a clutch situation.

(lvl 2+) + + = 798 heal max


A slightly more advanced combo, you can execute this from level 2 Fate's Edict, although it may be a bit safer to wait until level 3 to give you the extra time you need to cast it safely. Again we use the short cooldown time of Purifying Flames to get multiple casts out of it. As long as you cast it while Fate's Edict is active, you can stack up twice the amount of heals.

+ = 438 heal


We can take advantage of the additional effects of False Promise too - any damage or healing is delayed until after it finishes, but the effects of any healing are DOUBLED. This can mean that Purifying Flames is actually worth casting without Fate's Edict in this situation. You could potentially cast this 2x/3x for 876/1314 max heal.

+ + = 798 heal


Your basic combo, but with the additional help of Fate's Edict to remove the damage. However, be aware that you are stopping your False Promise target from right clicking, so use with caution.

Again, you can cast Purifying Flames x2/x3 for 1596/2034 heal. (the third stack is reduced as you won't have Fate's Edict still active).


PF Level


1

2

3

4
Heal no Edict


31.5

63

93.5

126
Heal Per Mana


0.63

0.9

1.1

1.26
Heal with Edict


99

198

297

396
Heal Per Mana


0.99

1.65

2.2

2.64

Common Mistakes

It can be quite easy with Oracle to make a blunder which actively hinders your team - the most common ones are all centered around Fate's Edict, with a smaller element around Purifying Flames.

Fate's Edict we've already talked about a lot, so I'm not going to repeat it all again. The main thing is to be extremely conscious of when you're going to cast it and why. I'd suggest always being very considered when you first start playing him - it's probably better to avoid major gaffs here than get absolute maximum benefit from it. As you play him more, you can afford to be more instinctive and push harder for best effect. Casting it on your own team is always the riskist option as you can't purge it from them like you would an enemy.

Purifying Flames - remember the risk/reward trade off here. There's no point "healing" an ally without them having either False Promise or Fate's Edict on them already, it's really not worth it. You'll actually end up healing an enemy for more than you damage them unless you can purge or kill them soon afterwards.

If in doubt...

Fortune's End
- never helps your enemies, although it's impact can be minimised by other factors. It never effects team mates.

False Promise
is never completely the wrong answer - the worst you can ever do is waste a 45 second CD and some mana. It definitely can't have a bad effect on your allies past missing a more valuable opportunity to cast it later.

Role

Oracle is usually played as a support in any level of competitive gaming, although he can be played as a mid/semi-carry in pub games due to his nuking ability and good BAT. In this guide we're focusing entirely on the support aspect.

He's comfortable as either a #4 or a #5 - a few items are necessary to bulk you out a little and minimise any mana problems you may have, but otherwise you can perform your role well with very little.

More farm is obviously useful on him, but don't start taking it away from heroes with a higher priority without good reason.

Due to his unique combination of abilities, healing items tend to be very useful, and you should be picking them up if nobody else is. After that, grab whatever utility and survivability items you need.

Laning with Oracle

Oracle is a good lane support, although you do need to be very aware of your limitations at low levels.

First of all, you have an excellent long range attack, and quite good armour for a ranged intelligence support. You can actively harass most opponents with little fear of retaliation, although that doesn't give you licence to over-extend and put yourself in trouble.

Your first spell, Fortune's End is very good for first blood, but it lacks damage by itself, and also requires some careful setup to get the best effect from. You want to get just within range of the enemy offlaner, but hidden behind trees so they can't see you. Channel the spell for as long as possible and ping your team mates to go in. If the enemy starts to run, make sure you release the bolt before they get into range of their own tower.

Having up to 2.5 seconds of "stun" time at this point can be extremely decisive, with the added advantage that you can purge some escapes like Windrun, Shadow Walk and Surge - just remember to cast quickly before they get away. This makes a great setup for abilities like Sacred Arrow, Torrent, Split Earth etc.

At level 2 you gain Fate's Edict, giving you the ability to disarm enemies for defensive purposes, or make them more vulnerable to non-magical damage. This ability and it's use depends a lot on the abilities of your lane mates - you NEVER want to give the enemy 100% magic resistance if your side still has spells to use, but it works great if they only have physical or pure damage.

Levels 3 to 5 you start gaining the ability to heal and throw a stronger nuke, however you really need more points in Purifying Flames to make it as effective as possible. You can then start healing your team mates if required.

Oracle is a reasonably good roamer, and you can certainly setup kills provided your other lanes have at least some nuking/stunning/slowing power, I've managed to grab plenty of assists by heading to mid with an invisibility rune as early as level 2.

As the game progresses you should generally try to be around the action areas like all good supports - however I'd say this goes DOUBLE for a hero like Oracle who is so centered on changing the course of fights, you really can make a difference by being there. Occasionally you might want to solo a lane for a bit to get your level 6 or grab some farm once Fortune's End is at a decent level, but always try to be present at fights.

Items

Starting:



A fairly standard set of starting items for a support hero, we pickup the main utility items and a basic set of stats and regen. Personally, I prefer stocking up on Clarity potions as opposed to more branches on the grounds that I'm going to need plenty of mana, and it's going to be a while until I get more regen.



Core:



A few essentials make up our core - we don't necessarily have to rush them, but we want to get hold of them in a reasonably timely fashion.

The Urn of Shadows bulks out our slightly poor health pool, making us better able to survive burst damage and get off those critical spells. The added mana regen has obviously benefits, and the heal ties in with False Promise, as well as giving us a "free" way of healing allies. Can be substituted for a Bracer if your team already has one.

Arcane Boots - a lot of people seem to suggest Tranquil Boots are preferable on Oracle, but I don't really agree. They offer you more movement speed and some regen (provided you're not getting too hit too much), but less utility and a smaller mana pool. You can potentially combine them with a Soul Ring, but this can leave you vulnerable to burst at vital moments.

Personally I prefer the arcanes for the bigger mana pool and the utility they offer your team.



Optional Extras:



All of these items can be a nice way of gaining extra utility or padding out your stats.

Medallion of Courage can be very useful as a way of boosting your allies armour, or reducing enemies, while giving you extra mana regen. I'd potentially pick it up when my team has a lot of physical damage.

Magic Wand is nice when there's a lot of spell spamming in lane, and can provide clutch healing/mana at vital times. Combines with False Promise.

Orb of Venom is a nice cheap pickup if the opposition is vulnerable to damage over time, and gives a bit of extra slow.

Rod of Atos is almost a luxury, but provides you with a strong slow, lots of extra HP and intelligence. Helps you survive, keep enemies in range and adds some power to your right click.

Black King Bar another almost luxury item, it can be vital against teams with a lot of burst damage, silence or crowd control.

Veil of Discord offers nice survivability and stats, plus some extra juice for your nukes. Generally I'd pick it up if my team has a lot of magic damage.

Soul Booster gives you a very efficient boost your health and mana pools, along with some regen. Again, it's almost a luxury item, but you can use the booster from your arcanes to help keep the cost down. Builds into Bloodstone if you get very rich.



Extension:



Generally these items are for when you're either in a #4 role, or the team has been doing pretty well and you have enough gold to grab some bigger items.

Mekansm
is generally my first choice if nobody else on the team has one. Great survivability, team fight and healing boosts. Has obviously synergy with False Promise, doubling the heal to 500hp.

Force Staff is a very useful utility item, giving you another escape, more mobility and ways of repositioning friends or enemies.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity
is another common pickup. Helps a lot with your mana regeneration, and also gives you a full "disable" and extra movement speed. The reason this is so popular is that it dispels the target once the active has finished, giving you another way of debuffing Purifying Flames from enemies.

Ghost Scepter another great survivability item with some extra stats included. If you use both this and Fate's Edict on yourself, you're immune to both physical and magical damage for a short duration.



Luxury:



Some potential late game luxury items for you to drool over. To be frank you won't see them in many games, and a lot of the extension items are actually more practical and useful. However, you might occasionally find yourself sitting on a lot of cash...

I'd generally advise a Scythe of Vyse as it's frankly never a bad option, giving you a great disable and bunch of nice stats.

Orchid Malevolence is a cheaper option, giving you a strong silence and lots of right click potential.

Necronomicon
is great for pushing and true sight, plus a boost to your strength and intelligence. Good utility against teams with lots of invisibility.

Good Allies



Mana batteries are pretty helpful for a mana dependent hero like you.



Any extra heals your team can supply will benefit a lot from False Promise. Dazzle also offers even more guaranteed survival time with Shallow Grave.



Lovely combination between Purifying Flames and Ice Blast - since, they can't heal while it's active, you don't have to worry about purging your flames.



Now we're talking...he has his own heal, but more importantly, gains massive extra damage potential from low health. You can lock his health low with False Promise, but guarantee his survival for the next 7-9 seconds. His heal works overtime at low health, and the results will be doubled when Promise ends. His strong magic resistance at low health also lets you cast Purifying Flames on him without Fate's Edict safely.



While you can help all allies, the ones who can benefit the most are "glass cannon" carries, especially ones who like using lifesteal. You guarantee their survival for a decent period, meaning they can continue to pump damage out even if heavily focused.

Bad Enemies



Silence type abilities can be a real problem for you, without your abilities, you're just a big creep.



A Silence, plus lots of transport abilities and easy ways of dodging some of your damage. A pain.



A good friend, but also a bad enemy. Ice Blast disables heals, making you much less useful, and False Promise unlikely to lead to survival.



Another real pain - he has multiple tools for disabling or removing the threat from heroes you've used False Promise on, plus pure damage from Brain Sap which can bypass Fate's Edict.



Both of these heroes have easy access to pure damage orbs, allowing them to massively damage any allies you use Fate's Edict on.

Summary

Oracle is a complex and powerful hero capable of great feats, but also of badly hindering his team if played poorly.

He's a strong and somewhat item-independent support hero with a reasonable right click and a broad range of skills. His most unusual spell is a "purge on demand" - allowing him to strip enemies of buffs - invisibility, haste, Empower, Bloodlust and many others.

He combines extremely well with heroes who require setup for unreliable abilities, glass cannon carries and other healing heroes.

Test

Think you're ready to play Oracle? Try out some of the questions below!



1. One of your allies is on very low health and has a tier 3 tower projectile flying towards him - what should you cast on them?

A) Purifying Flames
B) Fate's Edict and Purifying Flames
C) False Promise
D) Do nothing, you can't help

Spoiler: Click to view


2. During the early game, your Alchemist is being clicked down by a much healthier enemy Spirit Breaker in lane, and is desperately running back to your tower. Your Fortune's End has already been used, and you have Fate's Edict and Purifying Flames available. What do you do?


A) Cast Purifying Flames on Spirit Breaker
B) Cast Purifying Flames on Alchemist
C) Cast Fate's Edict and Purifying Flames on Alchemist
D) Cast Fate's Edict on Spirit Breaker
E) Do nothing, you can't help

Spoiler: Click to view


3. You're laning with Luna, who's just reached level 6 and has plenty of mana available. She's just been stunned and is now being chased away from the creep line by a pumped up enemy Sven with a big health advantage. You don't have False Promise yet, what do you do?

A) Cast Purifying Flames on Luna
B) Cast Fortune's End on Sven
C) Cast Fate's Edict and Purifying Flames on Luna
D) Cast Fate's Edict on Sven
E) Do nothing, you can't help

Spoiler: Click to view


4. You TP into mid to help out in a fight between your ally Outworld Devourer and an enemy Batrider, who are both level 8, you're level 5 with a standard Q-W-E-E-E build. Match up each answer to each scenario (e.g. A1, B2 etc):

A) Cast Fate's Edict on Outworld Devourer
B) Cast Fate's Edict on Batrider
C) Cast Fortune's End on Batrider
D) Cast Purifying Flames on Batrider

1) Batrider is on low health
2) Batrider is trying to flee
3) Outworld Devourer is on very low health
4) Outworld Devourer has used Sanity's Eclipse

Spoiler: Click to view


5. You and your ally Slardar are trying to chase down an enemy Templar Assassin who's trying to run away on low health, having just activated Refraction. What order should you use your spells?

A) Fortune's End, Fate's Edict then Purifying Flames
B) Fortune's End, Purifying Flames then Fate's Edict
C) Fate's Edict, Purifying Flames then Fortune's End
D) Fate's Edict, Fortune's End then Purifying Flames
E) Purifying Flames, Fortune's End then Fate's Edict
F) Purifying Flames, Fate's Edict then Fortune's End

Spoiler: Click to view


How did you get on? (Post up in the comments section below)

If nothing else these examples will hopefully have helped develop your understanding of the thought processes that go into playing Oracle successfully. Real situations aren't always so clear cut in terms of the right answer - what if you have both Lina and Alchemist lining up next to you in a fight?

What if Lina has an Aghanim's Scepter? Is it worth casting Fate's Edict on your carry who's under False Promise to keep them alive when it ends?

There's so many possible situations or factors that are out of your control (e.g. team mates who don't understand what your powers do) that can occur that it's impossible to always produce the right answer, but we still need to try to come up with the best possible response as often as we can.

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