This guide is based off of laning mid and snowballing from lots of early kills, which I think Dragonus is fantastic at. Skywrath mage in my opinion is the absolute definition of nuker as he has some of the best magical burst capabilities in the game from level 6 onwards and as long as you maintain a level advantage can completely blow people up throughout the entirety of the game.
A highly placed mage in the court of the Ghastly Eyrie, Dragonus lives a troubled existence. Sworn by birth to protect whoever sits within the Nest of Thorns, he hates the current Skywrath queen with all his soul. As a youth, high-born, he was a friend and companion to the eldest Skywrath princess, Shendelzare, first in line for the Nest. He had loved her warmly and unshakably, but as his studies took hold, his mind turned to arcane learning and the mastery of Skywrath sorcery.
Obsessed with matters aetherial, he missed the mundane signs of courtly treachery that hinted at a plot against Shendelzare, and lost his chance to foil it. When the court was shaken by a swift and violent coup, he emerged from his studies to discover his oldest and dearest friend had been lost to him. The Nest of Thorns now belonged to Shendelzare's ruthless younger sister, and Dragonus could do nothing. The magic of the Skywrath Mage serves only the sworn protector of the Skywrath scion, so to act against the Nest would render him helpless. He clings to his post, believing it to be the best hope of one day restoring his true love to her rightful place. Meanwhile, his secret is known only to the goddess Scree'auk, whose magic it was transformed Shendelzare from a crippled physical creature into an embodiment of pure vengeful energy. While he dreams of restoring his beloved queen to the Ghastly Eyrie, he dreams even more desperately of restoring Shendelzare herself to a fully healed physical form. The duplicity of his role at court tortures him, for he is a noble and good-hearted creature; but the worst torture of all is imagining the hatred that Vengeful Spirit must hold in her heart for him.
Skywrath launches a slow-moving bolt of arcane magic, dealing damage to an enemy unit based on Skywrath's intelligence.
Mana CostMANA COST: 70/70/70/70
ABILITY: UNIT TARGET
AFFECTS: ENEMY UNITS
BASE DAMAGE: 60 / 80 / 100 / 120
INT DAMAGE MULTIPLIER: 1.6
Very low cooldown, low manacost magical nuke that scales with skywraths intelligence, making it relevant in the mid-late game instead of falling off in effectiveness like most nukes. Max this first.
Skywrath sets off a long range shot that hits the closest hero within a long range. Upon impact, it deals damage and slows in an area of effect.
Mana CostMANA COST: 110/110/110/110
ABILITY: NO TARGET
SHOT RANGE: 1600
DAMAGE RADIUS: 200
DAMAGE: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200
SLOW DURATION: 4
A low damage magical nuke with a solid slow, targets closest enemy hero. Put one point in this early then max it last because the slow and slow duration is the same at all levels.
Skywrath seals the targeted unit with an ancient rune, silencing it and causing it to take additional damage from spells.
Mana CostMANA COST: 80/90/100/110
ABILITY: UNIT TARGET
AFFECTS: ENEMY UNITS
MAGIC RESISTANCE REDUCTION: 18% / 24% / 30% / 36%
DURATION: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Silence and magic damage amplification. Always use this when going for a kill because of the extra damage the enemy will take, especially if they have an escape which will be disabled by a silence.
Skywrath uses his ultimate magical ability to conjure a precise and violent mystical field that lays waste to his adversaries. Deals massive damage distributed evenly among any Heroes in the area over 2 seconds. Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Mana CostMANA COST: 350/575/800
ABILITY: POINT TARGET
DAMAGE: 600 / 1000 / 1400
SCEPTER COOLDOWN: 20 / 10 / 0
The main component of Skywraths' solo kill potential. Deals huge magical damage in a small area over 2 seconds. Lethal when combined with slows.
When laning mid 1v1 you should be throwing out arcane bolts for harass constantly from lvl 1 onward, since the cooldown and mana cost is so low you should be able to spam it enough to force your opponent out of lane. If they dont leave the lane after being harassed down to around half health you should go for a kill at lvl 3, by waiting for them to get as far away from the tower as possible and then slowing them, followed by a silence and then followed by spamming arcane bolt/auto attacks. Note: silence should be used first if against a hero with an escape or stun.
You should get a fairly fast bottle to keep up your mana for arcane bolt spamming, you also want to get every rune if possible to keep your bottle topped up and if you get a good rune, like a double damage or haste, you should go for a kill.
Once you hit level 6 you should definitely be able to kill your opponent mid, by slowing, followed by silence followed by dropping an ult just in front of the direction they are walking. The slow should allow mystic flare to damage them for the full duration and almost guarantee a kill. This is when you want to start ganking side lanes with your level advantage.
Be aggressive, roam constantly and look for kills. Skywraths' solo kill potential is huge and with a level advantage you should be able to surprise people and blow them up before they can even react. Always make sure to turn a kill or two into a tower push instead of just leaving and looking for more kills, this will open up the map for you to roam and pick off lone heroes.
This is how you snowball, not by being passive and farming, you will get new items by killing people.
Skywrath does not shine in the late game. You want to dominate the mid game enough to a point that your enemy can't recover from.
Easy, you need mana early game and arcane boots are the perfect way to fix this.
Road of atos
Simply put this item is incredible, especially on skywrath mage. I always get this item straight after arcanes - it's that good. The slow combines with your ultimate so well and the stats are exactly what skywrath needs.
Great item, much needed escape as well as being good for chasing/surpising heroes, stats provided are also really nice.
Another core item on skywrath in my opinion. This will solve all of your mana problems during the mid game so that you can stay roaming around the map for longer, movespeed is always good too. The active is also great. If you come across two enemies while you are alone you can eul's one of them and then burst the other down, when the hero you used the eul's on comes back down you can then either run, or kill them too.
Scythe of vyse
Great late game item, offering brilliant stats and arguably the best disable in the game. Useful for killing tougher targets or taking someone out of the picture while you kill his friends.
Another good, sensible late game item, again gives great int and armour as well as a useful active.
Boots of travel
Once arcane boots start to feel lacking in the mana they provide, upgrade to BOT's, they are awesome - sick movespeed and free up and item slot from tp scrolls.
Only get this if you have either hex/shiva's already, because you need huge amounts of mana to support 2 mystic flares in a row with 0 cooldown.
Solid item if you want protection against physical damage, don't hesitate to pick one up if needed.
If you are balling out of control then this is a fun item, increases your ability to blow people up. Only get this if you are very far ahead because skywrath doesnt benefit from the agility at all.
Another fun item if you are balling, simply more burst.
Why you shouldn't buy bloodstone
A lot of people rush bloodstone on skywrath, I really don't recommend this as you dont need all that much mana regen early on, arcanes and a bottle is enough to keep your mana high enough to gank. Bloodstone also doesn't increase your kill potential at all, when for the same price, you could have an atos and a force staff, offering much more utility. By the time you have a Eul's as well, you will have all the mana regen you could possibly want.
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