Here is my guide to Elder Titan! The Titan is a versatile and powerful GANKER/INITIATOR hero with excellent team fight/ganking potential.
He will likely see a lot of competitive play because he is powerful throughout all phases of the game, is relatively item independent, and because he can solo the offlane effectively. He is usually played in 3 through 5 roles in professional teams.
The Titan is also unusual in that his greatest skills probably lie in COUNTER-INITIATION. He is at his best when he is using his skills to follow up on an enemy's teamfight initiation, punishing enemies who rush in and clump together following a Ravage, Chronosphere, Black Hole, and whatnot. This is why his winningest matchups come against tanky initiators like Tidehunter, Sand King and so on.
Incredible teamfight presence
Abilities scale well throughout all phases of the game
Needs very few items to be effective
Can handle virtually any laning setup, including solo offlane and mid.
After a 1.4 second channel, lays down a 475 dotameter AOE stun around you and your ancestral spirit that does 80 damage at all levels and puts opponents to sleep for up to 5 seconds. Levels increase the duration of the stun.
There are two main drawbacks to this skill:
1) If you are interrupted during the channel, the spell is cancelled and put on cooldown.
2) Enemies stunned are woken up when they take hero damage.
For this reason, you want to keep two things in mind. First, you will usually be using this skill with your ancestral spirit, which has a 1200 dotameter cast range. By abusing this range you can often cast from unreachable positions from behind trees in the fog of war, for example. Secondly, you want to use the stomp to position enemies in places where they will be most vulnerable to non-hero damage: in the middle creep waves, under towers, and the like. This can be particularly devastating early-game.
This skill is excellent for trapping enemies diving on your towers. Tower damage won't wake them up, and they will die.
Your stomp is physical damage, but the spirit stomp is magical damage. Make those mud golems quiver in fear.
Cast your ancestral spirit BEHIND the enemy heroes when setting up a stomp gank. When they see you coming, they will instinctively retreat and eat the stun.
If you cast this without summoning your ancestral spirit, it will appear for the stomp; this means that a lvl 1 stomp actually does 160 mixed physical and magic damage.
This is the skill that makes you such a good initiator. Creates an independently controllable proxy for you at a point up to 1200 dotameters away; the spirit deals damage to every enemy it passes through, and gives you a 9 second damage and movespeed buff after returned, depending on the number of creeps and heroes it passes through. It has Echo Stomp and Natural Order abilities.
In lane this skill will be your primary harassment and farming tool. It is difficult to micro the spirit, but if you are ****py at micro (like me) just do the following: cast the spell so that the enemy heroes and creep wave are between you and the cast point, and then immediately return the spirit to you by hitting w again. Do this whenever you have mana, timing it so that the spirit snags a last hit and some hero damage. Use the buff to get a few easy last hits afterwards, it's quite substantial.
In Teamfights and Ganks you will be using the spirit to initiate with Echo Stomp. As noted above, try to position the ancient behind heroes so that their natural impulse to flee pushes them into the oncoming stun. Remember that you have insane cast range, so don't put yourself in danger to initiate. At higher levels, the damage buff you get from the spirit passing through heroes is pretty substantial, so don't waste it. Go punch guys.
FINALLY, this skill is amazing for sieging the high ground on enemy Tier 3 towers. It provides sight and is invulnerable, so use it for giving vision of enemy heroes. (It's also good for catching jukers)
Gives a significant debuff to base armour and magic resistance in a relatively small 275 AOE around you and your ancestral spirit. Note that the gaudy 80% armour reduction only applies to starting armour and armour earned from AGI gain; it's a good counter to AGI carries. Keep in mind that you can use your spirit as a buff placer without putting yourself in danger.
Ah, your godly team fight spell. Sends out a 1.6-kilodotameter long, 300-dotameter wide crack in the earth towards the target point that splits open after a 3.14 second delay. Deals 35% of enemy max HP as MIXED (magical and physical) damage at all levels, and a slow that increases with levels.
So, you want to cast this on guys, preferably many of them. They are going to see you do it and try to get away. So your best move is to put all of the targets to sleep for 3-5 seconds with Echo Stomp and then just let this puppy do its work (your spirit will amplify damage because of Natural Order, as well, so leave him in melee range of the targets if you can). This can be tough if your allies are unsleeping them, but hopefully the citizens of dota will learn how not to do this.
You can also just piggyback on another ally's initiation and lay this thing down after a Black Hole and whatnot.
FYI this thing is a nightmare for enemies in the Roshan pit. The rosh pit is scarcely 300 dotameters wide, and everyone inside will eat your ulti when you lay it down. As a bonus, you can cast this thing really far away and the length is huuuge, so you don't have to risk yourself much to **** with enemies in the rosh pit.
Your role on a successful team is to survive long enough that you can use your awesome teamfight and ganking abilities. With this in mind, the major purpose of your items is to help sustain your mana pool and boost your survivability. You are not a righclicker, and when you do need to run around pounding people, the damage boost from your ancestral spirit is more than sufficient.
Elder Titan does not need to build POSITIONING ITEMS to be effective. Unlike most other initiators your ancestral spirit gives you the ability to initiate/counter-initiate at a distance. So save the 2k you'd spend on a Blink Dagger and invest it in other items that boost your utility.
Turn your two gauntlets into an urn asap, because the added mana regen will help you keep up your ancient spirit harass. If you manage to net an early kill, a couple of Urn charges will be useful, because they helping you to stay in lane and push. Don't forget to use offensive urn charges on low HP heroes. And Boots, because boots.
With these in hands you are more than ready to rock and roll. The Urn, Boots, and Wand will give you all the HP and mana you need to sustain mid game pushing, ganking, and teamfighting. If your team already has a few heroes that are likely to pick up Arcane Boots (or you are going mid, which means a Bottle), you can go with Power Treads for the increased surviviability, they are also quite good on you.
You are a superb mek carrier for a STR hero. Gives you health, armour, pushing power, survivability, everything you could want (plus attributes!). I usually pick up the Buckler first, because its active is underrated. Buy if nobody else is getting one.
Someone should be buying this almost every game. Why not you? Purchase anytime the enemy team has many wizzards.
The most costefficient stat item in the game. You benefit greatly from everything it provides. Don't be shy about burning charges! Use them when fleeing, chasing, or sieging towers. If someone else is buying a mek and you are not worried too much about magic damage, pick this one up.
HP and Mana are your most-needed resources, and you are already a great pusher. A very good option if you have other team members taking care of utility items, or you are dealing with invisible enemy heroes
Just as an overall support/utility item. Use it to escape/help allies escape, or throw enemies out of position. If you are up against a Clockwerk or Riki it's worth rushing this, because otherwise they are very difficult to deal with -- they can easily take you out of a fight.
Your #1 luxury pickup in most circumstances. The flat armour bonus is great, the INT solves your mana issues completely, and the active will boost your already-beefy teamfight presence.
Again, you shine as a utility teamfight presence. This is your wheelhouse because of the aura and the extra survivability. A solid pickup after the Shiva's guard if the game goes late and nobody else has bought one.
Because, you know, you can cast your insane team clearing-combo twice in one engagement, dealing 70% of their total HP as damage
Because you need to survive things in order to kill stuff, or whatnot
If you're facing an overfed carry or difficult-to-lock-down hero like Weaver. Stats are splendid, and solves all mana issues.
Good positioning and use of the ancestral spirit is your best weapon when it comes to successfully getting all your spells off in a team fight. But hey, sometimes you screw up and sometimes the other team has a lot of disables. In this case, a black king bar is not a bad option.
You may have to buy this in lane if you're taking a lot of harass.
If someone else is definitely going to buy an Urn of Shadows it's not a bad idea to pick up an alternate early item to solve your mana issues. This combo could keep you up enough to sustain in lane, and also free you up to jungle effectively.
You should not be the one buying wards on your team; that's for supports. But, hey, you really don't need a ton of cash to be effective, and wards win games. So if you don't have supports, swallow your pride and buy this stuff.
One reason Elder Titan is consistently picked in pro games is his versatile laning. He can be played solo mid, solo offlane, dual lane, and as a trilane support.
If you are laning with a carry, you are not going to be after last hits. Use your ancestral spirit to harass enemy heroes, making sure that you do not walk the spirit through creeps-- you'll steal last hits and push your lane. If the enemy heroes are melee don't be afraid to trade some hits while your damage buff is up. If your carry has a disable or a lot of early-game damage ( Juggernaut, anyone?), go head and use Echo Stomp to setup kills for them.
If you are laning with a support you are basically in the same boat, but you can use the spirit to get last hits. Your damage output at level 2 is pretty significant (280 composite damage, even before your ancestral spirit buff), so you can go ahead and get kills if your laning partner has a disable.
Elder Titan is perfectly viable at mid against anything other than the top tier, thanks to ancestral spirit. Use the spirit to harass the enemy, and then call it back to get last hits. While the buff is up, you can out-last-hit most opponents. Use the spirit to push the wave and snag runes; Echo Stomp to win races to rune spawns.
Here your strategy is much the same as at mid, except you will have to be a lot more conservative when it comes to punching the creepwave -- you don't have a good escape mechanism. Abuse your ancestral spirit to get last hits from a distance, and just stay frosty till you hit level 6.
You can even buy a Bottle and bottle crow to keep up your harass if you go this route, it's not a bad option.
Your best ability as the Titan is your ability to initiate at a distance; these guys all have abilities that screw up your positioning.
CLOCKWERK IS A HARD COUNTER TO YOU. His rockets give away your position; if he can follow up with a hook, cog, and battery assault he has basically rendered you completely useless. If the other team has a clockwerk I recommend getting a Force Staff ASAP so you can force yourself out of the cogs.
These invis heroes can scout you out, revealing your position and assassinating you before you get a chance to contribute to the team fight. Despite your general tankiness most of these guys can solo kill you if you are caught out alone. Use map awareness, sentries, dust etc to deal with these guys.
These clowns can initiate on you quickly and from distance, ruining your natural positioning advantages and often disabling you.