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29 Votes

Sniper The Hard Carry by <VllX>

February 20, 2013 by vlladonx
Comments: 31    |    Views: 150744    |   

No room for a better hero

DotA2 Hero: Sniper

Hero Skills




1 4 9 10

Take Aim

2 3 5 7


6 11 16


12 13 14 15 17 18

Sniper The Hard Carry by <VllX>

February 20, 2013


This is a guide on how to make the best of Sniper and win the game. Some of my skill choices were highly influenced by Nova's choices since I read his guide before learning Sniper.

Sniper is possibly the hardest carry in the game. However it doesn't mean you should be inactive until late game, it just means it may be harder for you during mid-game but you are most likely to exceed every other hero's capabilities. (this means you will wreck pretty much anyone)

Picking Sniper

There are some heroes you should avoid.

Spirit Breaker is capable of killing you whenever he pleases so either be prepared to escape him early game or pick another character.
Lion will literally **** you up, given the chance. His ultimate does more damage than yours, but has a far longer cool down. So basically it's ok to kill him but not ok to be in his reach. Tough. Try to avoid playing Sniper when the enemy team has Lion.
Pudge. I bet you already know why he's bad for you.
Tusk's combo usually leaves you dead.
Nyx Assassin gets a dagon which is deadly in his combo.
Slark's Pounce is pretty **** for you as well so you better trust in Shadow Blade.
These are major ***** for you, others can be bad as well but you can handle them. Their danger arises towards mid game so you can dodge them with a Shadow Blade. Bounty Hunter can be quite an annoyance early game though.

It's also a good idea not to pick Sniper when you are up against many tanks.

It's good idea to pick Sniper against Meepo because it's easy to finish off one of his copies, Naga Siren because her ultimate has a slightly smaller radius than your Assassinate so if she uses her ult as an escape, so you can still target her once she's far enough for you to 'wake up'. Also, Engima's black hole doesn't usually affect you since you're far away, moreover you can stop with your ministun. Sweet.


As you can see the items are quite.... expensive. But you are well capable of that. Sniper is a really good hero to farm with.

Your first goal in the game is to get a Shadow Blade. Not only will it let you escape, but also go places otherwise you wouldn't dare to and get the kills.
You'd be surprised how much survivability do you get from it. It even lets you pretend to escape and then start a new surprise attack. Where otherwise any other item wouldn't let you get the kill OR survive.

I can not stress enough how important it is for you. You can even skip the boots, you don't even need them that much. Skip them if you can get Shadow Blade first and then consider buying them.

Once you've got em you can upgrade your boots, get the Ring of Aquilla and Power Treads for a little stat boost and go for Monkey King Bar, Daedalus and maybe even Eye of Skadi or Daedalus.
Now, to the why of such pick. You really don't have to waste your many on 'okay' items, you can go straight for the Monkey King Bar which has the highest damage output in the game (ommitting the rapier of course). It keeps you safe, makes it easy to get the kills.
If you play well, Monkey King Bar should be more than enough to make your enemies run as soon as they see you around. I prefer it over the Desolator because it gives an advantage in last hitting, and as a hard carry, Sniper needs it more the most. However if you feel like your team is losing - go for Desolator.

In case you don't see the reason behind the choice I'll explain. Desolator reduces the armor of the attacked unit, so everyone who attacks it does more damage to it. Monkey King Bar' crit. gives a stonger damage boost but to you only. So choose wisely.

Eye of Skadi boosts up your stats A LOT which is always good, and it gives you a good slow, therefore you get even more kills. It also slows the attack speed which makes it easier to kill tanky heroes. It is a Unique Attack Modifier so if you have or plan to have a Desolator, skip the Eye.

Daedalus is second highest damage output item. At this point, critical danmage output is just insane. The more damage the better!

Desolator is always good on sniper as well, it's of less use than other items unless your teams is losing.

Items such as Butterfly aren't what you're looking for for this build. If an enemy is dumb enough not to run at your sight they are either as good as dead or have a plan on how to take you down, so it's better in investing in every shot to make them count.


Shrapnel isn't something I use a lot. Get at least one point in it to speed up your tower push and to reveal the area in order to target the hidden enemy with your Assassinate, or save your teammate by slowing the chasers a little bit.

Headshot is just an AA (AutoAttack) boost. Makes half your attacks a little tougher, gives them a mini-stun (beware all the enemy channelers and fans of a TP scrolls!) Take it when Take Aim and Assassinate aren't available.

Take Aim is Sniper's signature skill. It extends your AA's range. Take shots at enemy heroes, creeps, neutrals or even towers before you are in their range. It's a great skill on mid-lane that keeps you safe and harassing, in ganks (often gives you the last hit just with AAs) and pretty much anywhere. Take it whenever possible. NOTE: it lets you outrange a tower after 3 points in this skill.

Assassinate is as good as it sounds. A long shot to finish a fleeing opponent. There are a couple of things to know about it to use it well.

  • The magic resistance. Every hero has it so when calculating if your ultimate can kill them, take a quarter off your current Assassinate damage and see if enemy has more HP than that.
  • Only use it to kill. Sometimes there are situations when it helps to use it without a chance to kill, but usually it's a bad idea.
  • You will not break the invisibility while 'locked' on a target, only when you actually make the shot.
  • Storm Spirit will evade your ult with his Ball lighting, but any invisibility (of any hero) will not. Also, silence will break your 'locked' state of Assassinate.

Also, keep in mind that with every point you put in Assassinate you also increases the range you can 'target' an enemy with.

How to play Sniper

It's in your best interests to go mid. Some heroes such as Lion or Pudge on middle lane can make your game very challenging though.
But there you farm best. Kill the ranged creep first not to pull the creeps too close, but last hit everyone else. Deny often when possible, but always choose last hitting over denying. Here is a little helper for the Last Hitting.

Don't forget to harass your enemy though, they get a little edgy when denied their farm and try to attack you. Thing is, even though you have less hp, you only need to make sure they have less than 300, so you could retreat to the tower and Assassinate them before they are gone.

If you are lucky you will kill the enemy a couple of times in a row (put a ward on the top of their side of the stairs from the river, that ensures they receive the Assassinate they deserve) you will either be given another enemy hero that will have less xp and gold because they didn't go mid, which you can take advantage of; or free farm. Don't push the line, avoid ganks and get your gold.

If you see enemy idiots who think staying at their tower with low hp is better than going back to base.... well teach them the error of their ways, remind them how important map-awareness is and how painful it is not to have it.

Once you have a Shadow Blade you can roam freely, help defending and pushing, even gank alone if you want. At his point you get a lot of gold and grow very fast. Getting the Eye of Skadi will be a breeze, and Monkey King Bar will probably be the item you get to successfully defend your base and push or finish the last team fight and destroy their base.

In team fights, it's your job to be hard to focus on. Avoid being in anyone's reach, stay behind your team but as far as possible from the forest where the sneaky ones can try to gank you from. If someone comes for you don't hesitate to use the Shadow blade. Do it, wait as long as you can and get back into the fight once you're out of enemies' reach. Sometimes it has to be 5 seconds run, sometimes even less. Depends on the circumstances, but don't take too long with full hp.

By the time your build finished you're able to kill tanks before they can reach or escape you.

'How to' for Shadow Blade

There are a couple of things to know about Shadow Blade.

  • You CAN use it when silenced. It's painful to see Drow silencing you before even beginning the fight, so by the time you need to use an ability ( Assassinate) you're no longer silenced. What a waste of time and mana, Drow.
  • Even when tracked or near a Gem of True Sight it gives you a huge speed boost (+20% movement speed)that helps escaping. You also go through units so going through creeps can be useful while escaping to slow the enemies down.
  • Use it when heading out from the Fountain. Your mana will be restored, by the time you'll get to your destination the cooldown will finish, but speed boosts last full 9 seconds. Also, if the enemy team has Zeus use it more often: invisible units do not receive any damage from Zeus's ultimate.
  • Do not wait to use the Shadow blade until you have almost no hp. Ping + fade time(0.3s) + time to hit the hotkey; will equal close to 0.7s or even more, and that's a lot when being hit.
  • ALWAYS keep COOLDOWN in mind. Your decisions to use teh Shadow blade must almost solely depend on it. If you can encounter enemies (or more enemies) soon - think about your actions. Breaking invisibility is also very risky. You get used to the feeling of having ~10 second cooldown since half of 19s cooldown you spend invisible.


Play smart and aggressive and you will get fat. Sniper is the kind of hero that should not be allowed to get fat, because when he does, he can bring the whole team down.

Good luck to you in mastering this beautiful hero, if you liked this guide and it helped you - make sure you vote it up so other players would be able to see it too.
If you didn't like my guide, go ahead and downvote it but please tell me why in the comments.
Feel free to give me any feedback in the comment section bellow :)
If you like the way I write my guides feel free to check out my Riki and Viper guides and vote them up as well!

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