Settin' Stones: Offlane Guide to Winning With Earth Spirit (6.81 update!)
April 26, 2014
Earth Spirit is a unique and very powerful hero. I would rank Earth Spirit among the most versatile Heroes in the game in that he can be put into any role (maybe with the exception of a 1 position carry) and be extremely powerful. This guide focus's on his ability to safely farm the offlane solo. I'll be going into detail on item selections, ability mechanics, and general game strategies you should follow.
I don't intend this to be a quick little alt-tab guide. I intend this to be a comprehensive read-through to fully prepare players for playing Earth Spirit to his full potential. To have my builds in Dota 2 for easy scrub pwning you can follow these links to have the build + short descriptions to help in your decision making available to you in-game!
Friends, Foes and Counters
Your list of Allies
includes Heroes such as Ursa
, Legion Commander
, and Lifestealer
who can have trouble catching up to enemies. Using your abilities you can help them chase more effectively. You also synergize well with Lifestealer
because Rolling Boulder
allows you to load up a Boulder Bomb for initiation. Your synergy with Batrider
is because Geomagnetic Grip
allows you to pull him and his lasso'd victim to your location. Bloodseeker is on here because your Boulder Smash
will do ridiculous damage to a Rupture
'd enemy. Those spells together do a whopping 730 damage, most of which is direct HP removal!
have more to do with 2 things: Heroes with good, ranged stuns that stop you from rolling and heroes with long duration silences, especially those 6 seconds or longer that can limit your ult's effectiveness. Vengeful Spirit
happens to have a good ranged stun, along with Nether Swap
which can ruin your initiations. Bloodseeker is added here because his his Rupture
means trying to pull an ally to safety could instead mean securing their death. A smart Bloodseeker can be very frustrating to play against.
While Earth Spirit is a very powerful Hero in general terms, these are some Heroes Earth has some special counter effectiveness towards. You're able to pull out any ally trapped in Clockwerk
's cogs, and if Clockwerk tries to trap you you can either punch him out of his own cogs, or Force Staff yourself to safety and escape. Pudge
is countered because you're able to pull your allies back if he hooks them. Even if he tried to Dismember
them, your silence's AOE from the pull should be large enough to hit him and break the channeling spell! Remember that your pull is only considered a displacement so it won't otherwise stop the dismember. Bane
is somewhat countered by the fact that you can pull any of his trapped victims to safety. Same thing applies to bane if you manage to hit bane while pulling your ally in! While you can no longer Force Staff
or Geomagnetic Grip
Tresdin or her Duel opponent, you can still Boulder Smash
one of them! Try to punch Tresdin away from the duel to buy your ally some time!
Call a Stone Remnant at the target location. Stones Remnants have no vision and are invulnerable, and can be used with Earth Spirit's abilities. Calling a Stone Remnant consumes a charge, which recharge over time.
Earth Spirit can have 6 Stone Remnants active at one time.
Max Charges: 6
Charge Restore Time: 30 seconds
Duration: 120 seconds
Range: 1400 units
is a unique ability in that it's innate to Earth Spirit. It's available at level 1 without needing a skill point to be placed in it, and it's also impossible to level up further. Placing stones does not have a cooldown so all stones can in rapid succession if you wanted to (which you don't). It's also worth mentioning that you continue to recover stone charges even while you're dead. There is also no casting animation
which is very handy for emergency escapes and quick plays.
Though you may think managing your stones is difficult as Earth Spirit, it's actually not. Stones should only be set when you intend to use them for an ability and should not be placed randomly around the map. You just need to be observant of how many charges you have remaining before you begin an engagement so you can avoid looking like a total scrub. Although it says in the Wiki page on Earth Spirit that there is a limit to the number of Remnants you can have on the map, this is not the case.
The in-game description includes neither that text nor the limitation. It's unknown if this is a bug
, but my guess is that it's an intended change.
Stone Remnants provide no vision, they have no collision, they aren't counted as summoned units and will not do things such as block creep camps from spawning. Casting stone remnant is not considered a spell and will not provide any Magic Wand
charges. An easy way to think about it is that with the exception of how they interact with your abilities Stone Remnants essentially don't exist on the map.
Earth Spirit smashes the target enemy, ally, or Stone Remnant, knocking it back in the direction he is facing. The knocked back target deals damage to all units it hits. If the target was a Stone Remnant, damaged targets are also stunned, and the travel distance is improved.
Range for impact: 150 units from target
Radius: 200 units
Slam Distance: 500/600/700/800 units (2000 when using a Stone Remnant)
Slam Speed: 1200 units/s
Stun Duration: 0.75/1.25/1.75/2.25 seconds (Only when using a Stone Remnant)
Cooldown: 22/18/14/10 seconds
Mana Cost: 100
Earth Spirit's first spell is both functionally versatile and effective, yet can be practically very difficult to execute. Boulder Smash
has seen a lot of changes since he was first introduced. This move was typically maxed first anyways because of the damage scale and travel distance, but since his rebalance it's not unreasonable to max E first.
An important note to mention are that this spell can push both allies and enemies who are magic immune. Damage or stun cannot be done to a magic immune target, but hitting a magic immune target will still damage other units they collide with. This spell is considered displacement, much like a Force Staff
, so it will not interrupt channeling abilities. Punching a TPing ally to a safe location is an excellent idea! This does, however, mean the same for enemies. Punching a Dismembering Pudge
will NOT save poor little Crystal Maiden
This ability can be extremely difficult to aim properly, so you can check out the tab below for some helpful tips on working on your aim!
Aiming Your Shots
After a 0.6s delay, Earth Spirit becomes a boulder, rolling in the direction he is facing and damaging enemy units, stopping if he collides with an enemy hero or is stunned. If the boulder rolls over a Stone Remnant, the Stone Remnant is consumed and travel distance and speed are improved, and impacted enemies have their movement and attack speed slowed.
Range: 800 units (1600 when using a Stone Remnant)
Damage Radius: 150 units
Damage: 90 (135 when using a Stone Remnant)
Movement and Attack Speed Slow: 80% for 2 seconds (Only when using a Stone Remnant)
Cooldown: 16/12/8/4 seconds
Mana Cost: 50
will serve primarily as an escape mechanism and as an initiation tool. It's worth noting that the only thing that scales on this move is the cooldown, so it's usually maxed last. Once you begin rolling, there is typically no canceling it early. The only way to cancel a Rolling Boulder is to Force Staff
during the duration.
A very important mechanic of Rolling Boulder is that you will appear behind the enemy Hero you eventually crash into. This allows you to either body block their escape (made even easier with the 80% slow) or to push the fleeing Hero into your team with Boulder Smash.
On the topic of boulder travel distance, I'm pleased to say that the 1600 units you travel after consuming a Stone Remnant will happen no matter how far you've already traveled as a boulder.
If you travel 800 units and hit a Stone Remnant at the very end, you will then move another 1600 units, effectively moving 2400 units.
An interesting note about travel distance is that with a Force Staff
it is possible to cross ridiculous distances. The combo looks like this:
A Force Staff
provides exactly enough movement to allow your roll to pick up a stone at max range. This combo moves you unrestricted over 3000 units of terrain in a very short period of time.
Please know that a Force Staff
being used while already rolling as a boulder will break the boulder and push you the 600 units. Since the nerf to Force Staff's
travel time, you'd have to activate it within .2 seconds of casting boulder to reach a stone placed at the absolute maximum distance. It's difficult at first, but possible!
The reason this works is because Earth Spirit is considered to be under the effects of entanglement while using Rolling Boulder. This means you can do anything you would normally be able to do while netted, such as Force Staff
, casting either Boulder Smash
or Geomagnetic Grip
, and teleporting with a Town Portal Scroll
or Boots of Travel
. An excellent way to help ensure an escape is to roll into the forest and activate a TP scroll.
Activating Black King Bar
during the roll does not break the "entanglement" like it typically would for nets.
Although the Dota 2 wiki states that Rolling Boulder provides flying vision, that is not really the case. Earth Spirit maintains normal vision and gets 75/75 flying vision. This is a change from Dota 1 where Earth received full flying vision and is likely a bug since when Rubick
steals Rolling Boulder he receives full flying vision while using it
Earth Spirit pulls the target allied unit or Stone Remnant to his location. Enemies struck by the flying target will be silenced, and take damage if the flying target is a Stone Remnant.
Range: 1100 units
Radius: 180 units
Pull Speed: 1000 units/s
Silence Duration: 2/3/4/5
Stone Remnant Damage: 100/150/200/250
Mana Cost: 75
is Earth's pseudo Pudge Hook. While it unfortunately won't pull enemy units to your location, it does provide a lot of utility.
This ability is also extremely useful for rescuing at-risk allies as you can safely pull them to your position; even over unpassable terrain. Like your push, this ability will also not break channeling abilities, making pulling a TPing ally to your location a smart idea should they be in danger. However, unlike your push, this spell is not able to pull a magic immune ally
This spell is also especially effective with Batrider
, as you can pull Batrider
and his lassoed victim to your location without breaking the lasso. While it's typically less useful, it's also worth mentioning that you can push with the same effect using Boulder Smash
. You're also able to pull allies out of many other abilities, such as out of Clockwerk
's Power Cogs
You'll be using this ability to CS during the laning phase. Even though the range is reduced you can safely secure last hits from safe distances, and the cast range is within the EXP range so you should feel safe kiting yourself on the edge of that range. Because of the 0 second casting time of Stone Remnant
you should practice with dropping stones and immediately pulling them to secure CS and hopefully harassing in the process.
Magnetizes enemy units in a small nearby area, causing them to take damage over time for a short duration. Any magnetized units cause nearby Stone Remnants to become energized and explode, applying/refreshing the magnetize debuff on all enemy units near the Stone Remnant. This process can repeat multiple times. Stone Remnants are destroyed in this process. If an enemy hero is affected by silence or slows as a result of Geomagnetic Grip or Rolling Boulder, all magnetized heroes share the effects.
Cast Radius: 300 units
Search Radius: 300 units
Explosion Radius: 600 units
Duration: 6 seconds
Damage per Second: 50/75/100
Cooldown: 80 seconds
Mana Cost: 100
is an extremely powerful ulti that can output massive amounts of magical damage and disables to the entire enemy team.
Important mechanics to take out of the wall of text that describes this ability are:
When an affected enemy is within 300 AOE of a Stone Remnant, the debuff is refreshed/applied to ALL heroes in a 600 AOE of the stone (Example)
. Each enemy Hero can only be refreshed by a Stone Remnant one time, but exposing a Hero to multiple Stone Remnants continues to refresh the debuff.
Once a Stone Remnant refreshes the debuff on an enemy Hero it will disappear after 5 seconds. This stone can still continue to refresh the debuff on other Heroes it has not refreshed yet and can still be used by your other 3 abilities until it disappears.
Affecting one hero with the silence from Geomagnetic Grip
or the 2 second slow from Rolling Boulder
will apply that debuff to any other hero on the map currently affected by Magnetize.
If this ability is cast on a magic immune enemy, they will receive the debuff but not the damage. This does mean, however, that you can refresh the debuff while the enemy is magic immune and when immunity ends they will be under the effects of Magnetize and receive the damage. As of 6.81 this spell also effects invisible enemies.
Your job for the first 10 minutes of the game will be to stay alive. If the enemy lane is especially dangerous then stay back, kite inside EXP range and secure what CS you can using your spells. You'll want to secure as many of your early game items as you can to help alleviate your early mana issues as soon as possible.
You're able to roam early and and assist in other lanes if you're needed, but waiting until you reach level 6 greatly increases your killing power. Once you reach level 6 you should evaluate the state of the game.
If any lanes need ganking you should rotate and make it happen. It's not out of the question for you to gank your own lane if the enemy lane is squishy enough and vulnerable to the silence.
Earth Spirit is extremely powerful at this stage of the game. If you catch almost any enemy Hero solo roaming or pushing you should be able to gank them.
Either that, or you should group up with your team and try to push. While you're not especially good at pushing lanes or towers, you are very threatening to any heroes trying to defend their towers.
Press your advantage now and try to shut down the enemy team as much as possible. If a team fight happens, you MUST be there for it.
At this stage in the game your spell damage becomes much less threatening, but your disables can still be powerful. A lot of your utility also comes from being able to control positioning of your allies and enemies. Taking fights around the river or especially fighting over the Roshan Roulette can be very advantageous to you as there is a lot of potential to knock an enemy onto a cliff or into the river and remove them from the fight. Stay close to your team and be ready for team fights. There may be opportunities to pick off Heroes and turn fights into a 4V5 in your favor!
Thanks for reading through all this. Hopefully you're more confident your capabilities with Earth Spirit. Take this information into your games, work on your execution and become the ultimate pub stomper!
Please also check out my support guide to Earth Spirit if you want to further increase your versatility with the Hero! One of the many powerful traits of Earth Spirit is his ability to flourish no matter what role he takes, and the difficulty in countering him makes picking up Earth Spirit almost always a good choice! Feel safe in picking Earth Spirit and practice him in many roles.
Good luck and have fun!
[12/31/2013]- Fixed some factual mistakes (thanks to people who pointed these out!) and added a "counters" section.
[4/26/2014]- Finally updated. Guide is up to date as far as 6.81!