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8 Votes

So You Wanna Get Ripped? Slavisara guide to Sven

May 8, 2013 by Slavisara
Comments: 7    |    Views: 95786    |   

Typical Sven Setup (add/remove cleave/warcry levels as you prefer)

DotA2 Hero: Sven

Hero Skills

Storm Hammer

1 3 5 7

Great Cleave

9 12 14 15


2 8 10 13

God's Strength

6 11 16


4 17 18


So you finally made your way to this neck of the gym, eh bro? Do you think you really have what it takes to pump iron with the king of all carries...? Sven The Rogue Knight!

First things first, squid. There's a few things you gotta know if you're looking to lift with the champ. And i'm going to break them all down for you here in this nifty guide!

The things we will be going over are vital information for not only playing Sven, but also basic staples of carry-play in general! Read on if you have the brass!

Overview of Sven

Sven is an extremely useful carry with many tools useful for both staying alive and pumping out as much damage as possible. Sven is also not an extremely skill-intensive carry, so regardless of your experience with carries or DotA in general, he is a great hero to play whenever you find yourself needing a beefy truck to plow through your enemies!


+ Massive damage capability at early and late levels of the game
+ His stun, Storm Hammer is an amazing tool for CC and securing kills at all periods of the game.
+ Warcry is an amazing as a survivability tool as well as mobility asset
+ Counter-gank and devastating burst damage potential is prevalent throughout the game


+ Mana dependent early
+ Quite reliant on teammates to deal damage until core is achieved
+ His ultimate, God's Strength is his lifeblood or "power supply" for his damage dealing most of the game until he achieves enough farm for a high-damage item.

Overview/Explanation of Skills

Storm Hammer

This skill will be your main initiation, interruption, kill-securing, crowd-controlling tool for your entire career as Sven. Storm Hammer has a very large AoE, high damage, and higher-than-average cast range. But due to it's high mana cost, should be used SPARINGLY. It is not a viable harassment tool. This should be used to setup ganks, counter-ganks, initiate, or counter-initiate.

Great Cleave

This passive gives Sven cleave on all of his attacks. It also stacks with other cleaving items such as Battle Fury. That combination can be a truly brutal cleave combo that also gives you solid hp/mp regeneration. This skill should be stored for later, post level 6 or after you've achieved a solid damage item such as Mask of Madness to supplement your God's Strength.


Arguably one of the best skills in the game, and for good reason! Warcry activates for a flat 12% movespeed increase for yourself and all nearby friendly heroes within 900 range for 7 seconds. To add to it's glory, it also features a scaling armor increase at an interval of 4/8/12/16 armor, respectively. This ability is amazing for surviving teamfights, not only for you, but for your team. The armor increase can be a true lifesaver against melee damage-heavy teams. And the movespeed really gives you and your team solid control over the fight. Warcry is a very cheap skill that reduces cooldown time as you level it up, so getting it to maximum level is a very valuable asset to not only you, but your team.

God's Strength

This is it, this is where Sven truly shines. God's Strength is a flat 80 second cooldown, 25 second duration steroid of epic proportions. Your damage increases at an interval of 100/150/200% per level of your ultimate. This ability alone makes him a scary adversary when he has low-to-no farm at all. Combined with items it turns him into a ravenous killing machine! This skill has a reasonably long cooldown, so it is also best used sparingly. Try to use it only when you will get full use or vital use out of it. Such as teamfights, tower pushes, counter-ganks, etc.

Sven's Core Items and Luxury explanation

This section covers my itemization choices and why they are very powerful for Sven. But keep in mind this is a personal opinion/guide! If you find something that works better for you, or if you'd like to drop some of these items entirely because it fits your playstyle, be sure to do it!


Power Treads

The go-to boot of most heroes in the game. 55 movement speed, 25 attack speed, and the toggle-ability to change from strength to intelligence to agility and back again. Your core on any hero should always have a tier 2 boot selection, simply because almost all options provide a very vital power to your hero.

Mask of Madness

Mask of Madness or "MoM" as you will see it referred to online often, is a bread-and-butter item for Sven. The increased attack speed, combined with the power of God's Strength and Storm Hammer can turn entire teams into mincemeat in a moments notice with very little farm required. Mask of Madness also stacks with your Warcry ability as far as movement speed is concerned, which turns you into a very agile killer. The lifesteal is nice as well, but not nearly as lovely as the speed of both your attacks, and movement.

Black King Bar

"BKB" is, in my opinion, a vital pickup for almost any carry that finds themselves against a team that has a lot of magical crowd-control abilities. Even with all of his survivability in his skills, and all of his damage, Sven is just as susceptible to crowd-control as any other hero on the board. And that can be the bane of any hero, regardless of power or skill. Sven, being a strength hero also gains quite the damage buff from this item, netting the strength bonus damage AND the bonus damage from the item itself.

This item is best used at your discretion, but some examples include: at the start of a big teamfight initiation, when you know a CC-capable ganker is very close-by or visibly in proximity to you, or to avoid spiking yourself on an enemy Blade Mail!


Soul Ring

If your farm is going along nicely in lane, and you find yourself either being extremely aggressive with your babysitter.... Or being constantly under duress from the enemy team, this is a great pickup item for you! Soul Ring gives you much-needed mana-return during the lane phase at a good price. Whether using it often as an aggressive player, or using it to Storm Hammer a potential ganker, you will never find yourself without enough mana to send out that potentially lifesaving stun-> Warcry combo.

Armlet of Mordiggian

Armlet is a very nice pickup as well if your farm is better than normal early game, and don't find yourself under harassment from the enemy team. Armlet, while not so cheap, is a huge spike damage increase early in the game. That, combined with God's Strength spells waste for any attempt on your life, and any hero or tower in your way to a safe-lane to farm up your core items in.

Game Phasing for Sven

Early Game

At early levels, Sven should play the safe money game unless involved in an aggressive lane such as a trilane or a double-stun lane. I will touch on that somewhat later!

You should be focusing on securing last hits, and coordinating with your babysitter or jungle hero to either safely score kills or harass the enemy laner out of your lane. Do NOT attempt to make a greedy move early in order to perhaps score a kill, but in the end leave both you and your enemy waiting to resurrect in the fountain. Your job, as a carry, is to get farmed up enough to lay pain on the enemy team and to supplement your teams synergy. Spending time dead means spending time NOT farming, and that is a big no-no.

Mid Game

By now you should have farmed up your Mask of Madness, Power Treads, and Black King Bar or be very close to being complete with those 3 items. If you are behind, fear not! You can always find time to farm, just make sure to keep a Teleport scroll on hand at all times in case your team needs your muscles in a defense or offensive move.

If you are farmed, you should be participating heavily in ganks and teamfights. Warcry and God's Strength are amazing ganking and pushing tools, as well as power-players in teamfights. Use your Warcry to close the gap or buff your allies for engagements, and plow through the enemy team with God's Strength and Black King Bar active.

Late Game

This part is colored red for good reason. Because if you've reached this point in the game that is all you are going to see as the words RAMPAGE fly across your screen.

But honestly, let's get real here: You should be public enemy #1 to the enemy team, and a massive asset for your team at this point. You should have damage items built according to need, and you should be making attempts at Roshan at every opportunity. If a game drags out to Late Game for Sven, there is a very solid chance you are going to win regardless of how poorly your early game went. That is the nature of most carries.

Aggressive Trilanes/Aggressive Laning

Aggressive Trilane

Sven can be quite the bruiser in a trilane setup, with Storm Hammer and Warcry supplementing 2 other heroes that synergize well with him. The possibilities are many, but here are a handfull of heroes that work very well in a trilane setup with Sven:


It goes on and on, and there are plenty more combinations to choose from that supplement Sven well! Gather up some friends and practice some of these fun comps yourself.


This is the end!

This was my first guide i've made for DotAfire. Thank you for taking time to read it and I welcome any and all constructive criticism or advice anyone would be willing to give me as far as guide-making goes. Just send me a PM regarding anything in this guide, and I will make it my mission to have it fixed or added upon in order to make this a great and informative guide for anyone out there looking to play one of my favorite heroes.

Once again thank you for reading my guide and I hope to bring you many more in the future! Oats and Squats liftingbros!

Credit to joshuartmas and tiny_tyke of DeviantArt for the Sven pictures!

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