I'll be straight. I end up playing the five/hard support most games. This means I'm starting off with next to no items and have to work my way up. The core of this guide stems from my need for a completely reliable build that lets me always have my skills available. So, when utilizing this build the priorities you should be considering are:
- Attempting to always have Shackle and Powershot on standby
This guide is also designed for lane support Windrunners. I would not recommend this build for mid, but it does work acceptably well (even after buying the Courier and Wards).
Selecting Windrunner skills is more an art than a recipe. As with most heroes not taking your first skill before you see what you are up against is key. For instance if you are against a Juggernaut you absolutely need to take Windrun first otherwise you are giving them first blood. Generally speaking if they have any sort of kill lane, you need to take Windrun first but otherwise I generally find myself taking Shackle.
Shackle should be a priority but getting Powershot up to level 4 is key as well. Because of innate magic resistance to all characters Powershot has a really small window of usefulness as a damage output mechanism. Once the enemy team gets their second or third big item you are going to be throwing Powershots at everything but doing little damage. The skill build described expects this and optimizes for that early Powershot to be maxed by level 7.
The one major, obvious thing is the lack of getting Focus Fire. The only real utilization of Focus Fire is when you are trying to knock down towers and I do get it sometimes when I level up near a tower but in practically every other situation the increased attack speed vs. damage output is not worth it. It's highly unlikely you're going to have someone stunned for long enough to use the entirety of focus fire on an enemy hero and most likely throwing Powershot and then using Phase Boots, a Force Staff or Windrun to chase is much more effective for the same cost of mana.
The early gain of stats is actually the crux of this build. Windrunner by default is a very weak hero HP wise and so being able to get some blanket stat increases is extremely helpful. Additionally since you get intelligence gain as well you grow your mana pool and mana regen rates much more quickly which means you can use your key skills more frequently.
The only alterations I make to this build order is when you have enemy heroes with significant slows like Lifestealer or Drow Ranger. Sometimes just one or two points isn't enough! Additionally if I get any other kind of boots other than Phase Boots I will always get one more point of Windrun to compensate, and if I don't get Force Staff I will do the same. The rule of thumb is you need four points of escape and Force Staff and Phase Boots count as one point each.
Since I generally play hard support I am buying the Courier and the first batch of Wards, even if I end up suicide laning. If someone else buys the Courier I may opt for a Ring of Protection and then build into Tranquil Boots, but this is generally the exception and not the rule. Phase Boots are still preferable. The usual Tangos and Healing Salve are usually plenty of regeneration to bring you to where you can purchase your Ring of Regeneration, and the Iron Branch works into the Mekanism later.
So for the early game the order is pretty strict. You need to buy your Ring of Regeneration, which allows you to really stay in lane a tremendously long time and if you are aggressively harassing (you should be as hard support) you are likely to be burning health to the occasional aggressive creep. Since you have such low health this is definitely a key early item. Only after you have a Ring of Regeneration should you consider buying the Flying Courier, but the timing works out that by the time you've collected enough money for both of these items people will start needing their first batches of recipes and well items.
The next thing to get is Boots of Speed, which is definitely required around this time since Windrunner is actually a slow hero in comparison to others, so getting this early speed is quite important.
What I consider the cornerstone of this build is the early Void Stone. I feel it is trivially hard to accumulate the 875 gold for it and unlike a Basi Ring it actually scales with your hero. The magic number for being able to throw consecutive Powershots is +13.3 mana regen a second but in practice at least +6-8 is plenty. Since you get early stats this quickly becomes a reality and you will be able to spam a lot of skills at the time of their peak usefulness (you can generally find a way to get a Void Stone by at least 7 or 8). Just to reiterate, a Void Stone is completely essential to a Windrunner. If you rush Mekanism you won't have enough Mana to go around, and a Ring of Basilius does not provide enough regeneration to make up the difference.
Next is the Force Staff. I generally build this before I build Mekanism but I feel these items are interchangeable. I like the Force Staff because it can help save your team much more frequently than a well placed Mekanism in the early to mid game. A good push from a Force Staff is likely to move your target out of harm's way rather than lend them the health to take one or two more hits. Additionally a Force Staff is extremely useful to chase people that are getting away, or push your carry in for a last hit. Never have a game without it.
Mekanism is mekanism. If someone else builds it, you build some other disable item listed like Orchid Malevolence, Heaven's Halberd, or Eul's Scepter of Divinity. The Rod of Atos is an item I tend not to buy but if it is an item you are fond of this is the reason to slot it in. I don't mention Scythe of Vyse because implicitly as Windrunner your goal is to eventually have a Scythe, and you should be perpetually plodding towards that goal. These options listed are only replacements for Mekanism. On the defensive side this slot could be a Black King Bar or Ghost Scepter depending if these things would help.
Scythe of Vyse is something that was just mentioned as an item you will always be working towards. When it comes to Windrunner who has one disable, the ability to have a second strong disable is extremely potent and if you get a Scythe your usefulness will double and it's likely you will maybe be able to get one-on-one kills. Unfortunately not all games go well, and you might have a situation where you are burning through Sentry Wards and Dust of Appearance and never really getting the 2700 gold needed for the Mystic Staff- and you should always try to get the Mystic Staff first. The Mystic Staff gives you damage and even more mana regeneration and if you are following the path listed above will increase your threat level quite a bit while a point booster tends to leave you in an awkward situation where you never have enough money for Mystic Staff and you only gained a little survivablility in the meanwhile. When all has gone totally wrong, use your Void Stone to make a Eul's. You'll know when it's time to give up and just make a Eul's- trust me.
Eul's is generally a good backup item to get but really it doesn't mesh with this build. It's still generally better to get a Scythe.
Finally for the last late game item I find that Eye of Skaldi is the best item. When it's very late in the game and you've been able to clear a few dozen waves of creeps to split push or defend this item will become available to you. The bonus to health and the bonus to stats just simply compounds over your already stellar mana regeneration and often you will be quite tanky while your health regeneration is on the low side. During a late game situation being able to knock down an opponent's attack speed and movement speed can often force an opponent out of position or allow your team to chase an otherwise fast hero. Often this is an impossible task as you need this extra slot for words and Dust of Appearance.
As further support of buying an Eye you must consider that just having more health is valuable and the +20 Strength as well as +250 health provides ~+300 health. The +20 Agility gets you a bonus to armour, not to mention the increased attack speed. The rest of it is just gravy and the ability to slow anyone just by hitting them without cooldown is just amazingly useful. After midgame I tend to get extremely good farm and so I can usually get this item if we are on the path to victory.
In short, maximize your Powershot, get two ranks of Windrun and then maximize Shackle. From then on dump everything into stats. Buy a Void Stone, and get boots with a preference to Phase Boots. Buy a Force Staff. Buy a Mekanism. Buy Wards (you are the support after all). Pretend that you will get a Scythe of Vyse, and when creeping reality starts to set in get a Eul's. Eye of Skaldi is a pretty good last item, and make sure to carry Teleport Scrolls. Always carry teleport scrolls.
DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.
Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved