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19 Votes

Some Idiot's Guide to Venomancer

September 26, 2015 by Safecyn
Comments: 27    |    Views: 103492    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Ganking 2/3 Role Core

DotA2 Hero: Venomancer

Hero Skills

Venomous Gale

1 8 9 10

Poison Sting

2 4 5 7

Plague Ward

3 12 13 14

Noxious Plague

6 11 16


15 17 18

Some Idiot's Guide to Venomancer

September 26, 2015


Hello one and everyone! Safecyn here, bringing you a guide to Venomancer!





It's just... you usually interrupt me before I get the hero out, is all. It helps, y'know, set up some momentum and humor for the beginning of the guide? It's a useful gimmick, is what I'm saying.

Are you callin' me a gimmick?

Um... no. Of course not. I'd never dare to say something that accurate to your face.

... This was a guide?


Um... what?

That's personal opinion, of course, because, well... Venomancer is the reason I play Dota. He's the reason I got interested in the game all those years ago. Safecyn origin story here: when Dota 2's beta first released, two of my roommates in college (Safebulb and SafeWob, respectively) played it constantly, while I stubbornly refused to join. Then, one fateful day, I sat down and watched a professional game for the first time.

That game? EG vs. Mouzsports, that now-legendary game where Maelk went 0-20-21 on Venomancer. And won the game. BECAUSE. VENOMANCER. Since then, I've been a Dota 2 nut, and Venomancer has been my absolute favorite hero and will remain so for the rest of eternity, EVEN after the model change stabbed me in the heart. The snake's slithered up on my heart in recent months, I'll admit. Before you play Venomancer though, there are some questions you need to answer:

Do you want to play a hero that regularly gets double and triple kills, even when dead?

Do you want to play a hero that's capable of dealing over 1700 magical damage to all five enemy heroes with the press of a single button?

Do you want to win the Maelk award harder than anyone ever before you?

If you answered yes, then come my friend. Sit at my table, around my hearth, partake in my banquet. We are going to embark on a journey into the glorious world of sweet intoxication. Where we're going... we don't need antidotes.

Shut up and START already, ya weirdo.

Don't make me put arsenic in your coffee.

And do remember, this guide is just suggestions based on my own experiences and understanding of the game, and shouldn't be followed to the letter (especially because, if you just look at the pictures, you'll end up buying three mobility items before a Veil or an Aghs. Don't do that. Please? Ok, cool.) Being able to adapt to your specific game is what separates the pros from us rank amateurs. Feedback is appreciated, as long as it's constructive!

Amazing art by my friend Pounce!


  • Venomous Gale is one of the best lvl 1 skills in the game.
  • Flexible laner.
  • Can fill any role from 2-5.
  • Built in wards! (though they don't last as long as Obs)
  • Powerful pusher.
  • Good counter-push and high-ground defense.
  • Semi-item independent, but scales very well with farm.
  • Poison Nova goes through magic immunity, and will do damage once it expires.
  • Kill people while dead! A LOT.
  • His name is 'Lesale Deathbringer'. CLASSY AS ALL HELL.
  • Mana-starved in the early to mid game.
  • Poor stat gain across the board.
  • Squishy. Very, very squishy.
  • One of the slowest heroes in the game, with an abysmal 285 starting speed.
  • No hard stuns
  • Lacks an escape mechanism
  • Lacks initiation. Needs initiation.
  • Plague Wards can block teammates and get people killed.
  • Plague Wards can feed gold and XP to the enemy team.
  • Ability flavor text is honestly kinda lame


Venomous Gale

Launches a ball of venom in a line, poisoning enemy units so that they take both initial damage and damage over time, as well as suffering slowed movement. Venomous Gale deals damage every 3 seconds over its duration.

Cast Range: 800
Max Travel Distance: 850
Gale Radius: 125
Initial damage: 25/50/75/100
Damage over Time: 10/40/70/100
Move Speed Slow: 50%
Duration: 15

Cooldown: 22 Mana: 125

A concoction of various stings, poisons, and toxins gathered from the jungles of Jidi Isle, victims surviving it are rare.


This damage over time of this ability ticks FIVE times, so the raw damage this one skill does, before reductions, is 75/250/425/600. This means that, at max level, you get 4.8 damage for every one point of mana. That's awesome!

The catch is that Venomancer's mana pool isn't exactly large, so you need some form of sustain to cast this often early on. Also, since this is damage over time rather than a single burst of damage, it's somewhat mitigated by the enemy's HP regen.

It's still INCREDIBLY powerful, regardless. I have fond memories of hitting an enemy Bloodseeker with this and a single auto attack, him running away with his insane move speed, and then getting the kill on him 10 seconds later because he couldn't make it back to fountain in time. One of the few moments where I've literally lost control of my hero from laughing so hard.

Some more technical things about this skill that aren't obvious at first: while the gale only travels 850 units, the ball's radius of 125 actually gives it an effective range of 975. This means that, once you get used to this skill, you can hit heroes even when it seems like you can't! Rarely. Usually they're either close enough it doesn't matter or so far away it doesn't matter.

This is also one of the abilities in the game that allows an enemy team to deny their own allies. It's ONLY this skill, though, so don't think that you'll never get a kill with Venomancer once you get to a high enough skill bracket. Besides, in order to win the coveted Maelk award, you're not allowed to get kills anyways.

Two other notes: 1) this ability works on invisible heroes, so if you land it on a fleeing Riki or Clinkz, you can totally submit that clip to Headshot if you get the kill. 2) The slow from this ability isn't a constant 50% throughout, and actually gradually reduces over time. It's a constant rate, though, so you can make pretty easy estimates as to how much your target is slowed based on how long the skill's been active: for example, if the skill is halfway through its duration, the slow is 25%.

What's that work out to... 1% movement speed increase every .3 seconds?

Well look at you doing math! I'm so proud~


Poison Sting

Adds poison damage to Venomancer's normal attacks, slowing movement speed.

Damage per Second: 6/12/18/24
Move Speed Slow: 11%/12%/13%/14%
Duration: 6/9/12/15

The paralytic sting of the creature which caused his transformation now belongs to the Venomancer.


What if I told you that there was a hero that, at level 7, can do 384 damage to any unit on the map with a single right click?

Is it Venomancer?

IT IS SO. VENOMANCER. What's important to note first about this skill is that, while it ticks once per second and has a duration of 15 seconds, a single instance of this DOT is placed immediately on attack, so there's actually 16 instances of damage, hence why the damage dealt by this skill scales 42/120/234/384 and not 36/108/216/360. This passive is so insanely good it's not even funny. It's not a UAM, the debuff goes through BKB, you can't purge the debuff, , and to top it all off? Illusions get it! Both the slows and the damage, and the slows DO stack. If you're mid-lane and you get an early illusion rune, you can probably guarantee a kill thanks to the insane slow you'll put out.

One important thing to note though is that this ability is specifically coded to not trigger on-damage effects. This can be bad, because the damage ticks from this won't cancel Blink Dagger, Heart of Tarrasque, Living Armor, Refraction, etc, but it also means it goes through Backtrack, won't get reflected by Blademail, and won't get you stunned from Spiked Carapace. So that's pretty nifty.

6.85 update: The balance changes of the latest patch unfortunately 'fixed' the issue that this wasn't disabled by break. Which is a bit of a bummer, but what're you gonna do? Interesting note: while Venomancer is affected by break, his plague wards won't be able to apply Poison Sting either! Well played, Volvo.

I think that's it. Did I mention it's also a slow? It's also a slow. Oh, and it stacks with Orb of Venom, just in case you've heard otherwise. Anyways, movin' on!

Plague Ward

Summons a plague ward to attack enemy units and structures. The ward is immune to magic. Wards gain the Poison Sting level from Venomancer, dealing 50% of the full damage.

Cast Range: 850
Ward Duration: 40
Cooldown: 5 Mana: 20

A mixture of his old herbalist talents and newfound toxic mastery creates a living embodiment of plague.


First things first, I'm going to do the world a favor and make the title text for this ability NOT TOTALLY SUCK. Gimme a minute to... words... and...

Plague rises from the ground at the call of the Venomancer, eager to do his bidding.

BOOM. It's that easy, Volvo. I'll take my consulting fee now. A free ticket to TI6 will do, thank.

You think that's any better? That just makes him sounds like a necromancer, but with plague.



Nothing. Nothing. Anyways, there's a lot to this skill, so I'm gonna break it down in good old fashioned bulleted list form. Like so!

1) Like it's name suggests, Plague Wards provide vision on the map for the 40 seconds they're alive. The sight range on these babies is 1200 at day and 800 at night, making them inferior to Observer Ward for sure, but seeing as you get 12 of them a minute, it more than makes up for it.

2) Leveling up this skill increases the HP and damage of your wards: at max level each ward will have 450 HP and do 34-42 damage. Not shabby, especially considering:

3) Each Plague Ward has its own Poison Sting that's half as effective as yours. The Poison Sting of plague wards also won't deal any damage when Venomancer has an active Poison Sting on their target, so keep that in mind.

4) The damage from the wards is coded to come from the wards themselves, not Venomancer. Meaning that you can't be killed if someone runs into a wall of your wards and pops Blade Mail, which should be comforting.

5) Plague Wards are fully magic immune, so big creep wave clearing spells like Dragon Slave and Illuminate do squat diddly against them. And while we're talking about pushing:

6) Lane creeps and towers will always target Plague Wards AFTER all other creeps and heroes, so they can't pull too much aggro off of any creep waves you might be pushing with. On the other hand, that means they'll live longer to deal damage.

7) Every Plague Ward provides a bounty of 20/25/30/35 experience and 14-17 gold. You're not quite as bad as Broodmother when it comes to giving the enemy team an advantage if you don't use your units properly, but it's definitely a concern.

8) You can manually choose targets for your wards. It's true! I'm in the habit of having Plague Wards be on a separate control group so I can quickly tell them all to focus one target, but boxing them shouldn't be too much work.

9) The attack damage from wards is not reduced by Damage Block, so Poor Man's Shield, Vanguard, and Tide's Kraken Shell are powerless to stop the annoying, tiny bits of chip damage they toss out.

10) The cast range of this ability is, as listed above, 850, and the attack range of the wards themselves is 600. This means that this is, theoretically, a 1450 range slow. In practice, it doesn't really help much with catching up to people because of how horrendously slow Veno is, but... it's a thing!

Am I honestly supposed to remember all of this? This seems like an awful lot of minutia for a skill that doesn't seem to do all that mu-


We.. should talk about the ultimate?

That's what I THOUGHT.

Poison Nova

A spreading ring of poison that does damage over time to enemy units around Venomancer. Poison Nova cannot deal lethal damage; targets will be left with at least 1 health.

Radius: 575
Nova width: 255
Damage Per Second: 30/55/80 (58/81/108)
Duration: 16
Cooldown: 140/120/100 (140/120/60) Mana: 200/300/400

Aghanim's Scepter: Increases damage and decreases cooldown.

In the Acid Jungles, creatures releasing noxious poison to their attackers is common; Venomancer spreads this plague beyond the Jidi Isle.


First and foremost, TITLE TEXT DUTY AGAIN. Seriously, Valve, why such half-***ery and neglect for snakey?

The most malicious of predators release toxins that leave their victims barely alive, preferring to strike the killing blow personally.

If I ever got into modding, the first thing I would do is alter the title text of Venomancer, dang it. It's seriously so bad QQ.

Get over yourself. Anyways, I can already see how this section is going to go. It's an ability that does crazy amounts of damage, Venomancer is amazing, and Icefrog is an idiot for making the cooldown with Agh's scale non-linearly. We GET it by now, Safecyn.

Um... hehe, what? There's... there's definitely nothing wrong with having Aghanim's Scepter knock off 40 seconds from the ult's cooldown. It's an expensive item and all, it should give crazy amounts of upgrade for no reason, hehe...

Obvious favoritism is obvious.

Yeah, you got me there. But you know what you missed out on in your 'analysis', scrub?

No, wha... wait, nonononononono


Always remember, boys and girls:


Someone plz tell me who to credit for this it's amazing.

Disclaimer: As of 6.85 this math is now wrong. The general argument about why Veils/Aghs on Veno is good still applies, but keep in mind that the exact numbers are now incorrect. Thanks, Icefrog. Love you too~

I was honestly hoping that after you left this out of the Omniknight Guide, you'd given up on this.

Nah. I just decided there really wasn't anything mathematically interesting about Omni. Venomancer tho? Hellll yeaaaah.

Well, you won't let me leave unless I bite so... I guess my jaws are snapped. What will you be doing today?

Nothing too complicated, I just want to show off how much damage Venomancer can put out with the touch of a button. Then maybe after that I'll show what he can do with two!

Ugh. Alright then, let's get it over with.

First off, let's do some basic multiplication and see how much damage this skill does on its own. level 6 is 12*36, level 11 is 14*58, and level 16 is 15*81. HOWEVER, this spell does an additional tick of damage when it's first cast, so the damage scaling of this ability is actually 468/870/1296. Interestingly enough, although you get two additional seconds duration when you go from level one to level two, you actually get MORE damage going from level 2 to 3... the damage gain on each level up being 402 for the first and 436 for the second. Though I suppose if want to get REALLY technical, you gain the most damage when you level up this ability for the first time, since you're going from 0 to 468 but...

Gabe N. save me, we're going to be here FOREVER.

Now, those numbers seem impressive and they are, for sure. But these are raw: if we take the innate 25% magic resistance of heroes into account, the ability really only does 351/652.5/972 damage to all enemy units in a huge AOE. I use "only" just the slightest bit tongue in cheek there, because it's still a crazy amount of damage: for commparison, Laguna Blade, with Agh's, does 950 damage to a single target. Now, this is instantaneously and not over a long duration and can be fatal but you get what I'm saying, yeah? Still good, and we haven't even touched on the Aghanim's Scepter damage output!

Yaaaaaaaay. Please Safecyn, give us mooooooooooore.

Don't mind if I do! With Agh's, the raw damage output of Poison Nova becomes 870/1296/1836. Which... is crazy! Even after MR, that turns into 652.5/972/1377. Leshrac, eat your heart out. Imbalance demands it.

Now, you may be wondering why I'm talking about magic resistance so much. Those of you who have read my Zeus guide should know where I'm going with this, but THIS time... this time I'm probably going to do the math right the first time around. Probably. That's right, I'm going to take this time to show just how much more damage you'll get from a simple, relatively cheap pick up: Veil of Discord.

Now, it's tempting to think that it's as simple as reverting the numbers, right? All but two heroes have 25% MR and Veil reduces MR by 25%, so we just go back to listed values, right? Well unfortunately, that's not quite how multiplication works. When calculating magical damage, the following formula is used:

Actual damage = magical damage (1 − natural resistance) (1 − resistance bonus) (1 + first resistance reduction)

By plugging in our basic numbers (25% resist and resist reduction, respectively), we get Actual Damage = Magical Damage * (1-.25) * (1+.25), giving us the shorthand formula AD = .9375*MD. So even with Veil of Discord, your spells are doing just under 94% of the printed value. Still though, that makes non-aghs Poison Nova go from doing 351/652.5/972 damage to 438.75/815.625/1215 damage. Add Veil of Discord on top of Aghanim's Scepter, and you'll be cranking out a total of 1721.25 damage.

Yeah, ok that's great and all, but it's all magical damage. A Black King Bar pick-up and it's all useless, right?


Wh... what?

Oh, you'd think you'd be safe, wouldn't you? But that's the beauty of Venomancer. Oh sure, you might not take any damage while magic immune, but that debuff? It still gets placed. So when your puny little 5 second BKB charge is gone, there's still 11 more seconds of pain coming the way of the enemy carry. The debuff can't be purged off either, so Diffusal Blade won't save you, Riki. You'll die like the squishy little bugger you are. (Which reminds me, it's worth nothing that this spell will fully affect invisible units.)

So... Veil/Aghs is core then, huh?

Oh yeah. Purchase them in whichever order you can afford, though it's worth highlighting the fact that Agh's does give you more damage than Veil, so it's ideally your first pick-up unless your team is full of heavy AOE magic damage.

This is going to impact how long the items section is.

Y-yeah. We should probably go there now.

EXCEPT OH SNAP A 6.85 UPDATE: So this math is now 100% wrong, thanks to the changing scaling of Poison Nova in this patch. I'm leaving that all up there for reasons I already touched on, so here I'll discuss briefly what 6.85 did to Poison Nova

First, make no mistake. This skill was BUFFED HARD this patch. Icefrog, thanks for giving my snake some love. While the damage per instance was nerfed, this thing is now a constant 16 seconds per cast which is AMAZING. Just for comparison, where a level 1 Poison Nova used to deal 432 total magical damage, it now deals 480!

Each tick is, however, reduced by magic resistance, which means that Veil of Discord is now a more important item than ever before for ensuring you do massive damage. As a a matter of fact, because of how the skill was buffed, this should now ALWAYS be your first pick up, even if you're doing well. It's true that Aghanim's Scepter now makes your spell even MORE powerful than before, but because the spell was buffed significantly the item is also less necessary. Still great. But on the fringe of luxury, for sure.

Item Progression (Core)

Core? You're actually doing two this time around?

That's right, we're pulling out all the stops on this one. While core Venomancer is my hands down favorite way of playing the hero, and how I think he's strongest, playing him as a support is perfectly viable, so it's worth going through that separately. Right now though, we're focusing on our farming Veno.

Starting Items

If you're the team's mid-laner, it's pretty good to start out like this:

Now, if you can get your team to pool you two tangoes so you can grab your bottle quicker, even better, but this is pretty much what I consider the 'Bottle Rush' build these days. It'd be faster without the Circlet, true, but with Venomancer in particular I feel the extra stats really do make a difference when it comes to both last-hitting and surviving in lane. If instead, you've managed to be the team's safe-lane farmer, you're stuck in off-lane, or you just want to prioritize last hits and don't plan on spamming spells, do this:

Whether you get the Bottle first anyways is up to personal preference, but my advice would be to get it all the time, unless you're the one position safe-lane farmer. The mana regen is crucial for maintaining pressure on the enemy team with Veno, but if your role is to statically farm it isn't as necessary.

Early Game

and OR

Ring of Aquila is an amazing cost-efficient item on agility heroes, particularly ones that need mana regen. +18 overall damage, some strength, some intelligence, some armor, what's not to love? This is your first pick up after Boots of Speed.

Null Talisman will also help pad your general stats, particularly your mana pool, which is lacking. This will build into Veil of Discord later on, so it's more than just a value pick-up.

Lastly, your boots: for yours truly, Arcane Boots are almost always the go-to: between these and Ring of Aquila you'll be able to spam your spells on a pretty regular basis, nabbing those early kills and getting your team ahead. If you're more focused on farming, however, Power Treads are the way to go: you can still tread switch to help with casting spells, and the extra HP from strength treads will help you survive ganks. Attack speed's always good too, though Venomancer doesn't benefit from it quite as much as other heroes, since Poison Sting won't stack with itself.


OR OR , then and .

Not one, not two, but THREE choices of mobility/initiation item for this hero. Decisions decisions, eh? Here'e the tall and skinny:

- Shadow Blade: good damage and attack speed, plus the move speed and invis can be used for both initiation and escape. Initiation is dependent on the enemy not having true sight, however, and if you get caught out... you're just dead. The preferred item on a more farming oriented Veno, as it'll lead into Silver Edge, and your team will hopefully have a designated initiator that isn't you.

- Blink Dagger: excellent mobility and initiation, in fact the preferred initiation item if you're the primary fight starter. Unreliable as an escape, particularly because of how slow Veno already is, but an overall flexible and strong item, and the one I personally go for the most.

- Force Staff: good for giving Venomancer the escape mechanism he so desperately lacks, though sub-par as far as initiation goes. Definitely more of a defensive item, though the HP regen and additional INT are both useful. Can always be considered in addition to one of the above items, though it'll delay your other core items considerably. Almost necessary against Clockwerk.

Whether you get your mobility item first depends on how the game is going. If it's a super passive game or, on the flip side, if you're doing REALLY WELL, springing for Aghanim's Scepter first can really help your team snowball: all that damage while the enemy cores still don't have BKB? Insane. Whether you get Veil of Discord before Agh's is also dependent on how well you're doing: if you're off to a slower start, Veil is an easier build-up and provides you good survivability to keep you alive long enough to farm that scepter.


A natural extension from Shadow Blade that'll give you even more slows, more survivability, and the ability to break pesky passives while reduces damage. For the hardcore farming Veno, it offers a heck of a lot.

Say goodbye to any mana problems once you pick this up. The armor and the aura do wonders for your survivabilty, and the active adds another punch of magic damage to your combo, while slowing people even more. Pretty awesome.

Some might immediately call me a noob for putting this on here, seeing as none of Veno's spells stack with themselves and their cooldowns are pretty low. But the regen this item provides is pretty dang useful, and in an extended teamfight, being able to use your ultimate, and then immediately have it on again if the fight's still continuing once it's done ticking out can be game-changing. Not a common pick up, though, for sure.

Orchid gives Venomancer a lot of good stuff: mana regen for more spells, attack speed for more DPS, a silence to counter-play those who might want to initiate on him and burst him down, and a damage boost to his combo. Pretty. Dang. Awesome.

Octarine Core is actually a pretty nice pick-up on Veno if you've got the money. It'll tank you up and give you that sweet spell-steal, though only Venomous Gale and Poison Nove will heal you. The really nice thing here, apart from the additional HP and mana, is the cooldown reduction: with Agh's, you'll be Nova-ing on a 45 second cooldown! You can practically use it to push out creepwaves at that point. If... I mean, don't do that, but you could.

Manta Style is surprisingly good on Venomancer: the active will save you from being silenced before you can cast your ultimate, the extra move speed is nice for someone as slow as Veno, the extra stats tank him up, and the illusions, as mentioned earlier, get a Poison Sting with a slow that stacks with yours. Not. Too. Shabby. In fact, with 6.85 giving illusions your damage from Poison Sting, this may have worked its way up to core on a 2 position Veno. We'll have to see!

Guardian Greaves are another great item if you need to purge a silence off yourself to ensure your spells get off in a team fight, plus the aura and burst heal will keep you alive longer too. If you're the only reasonable carrier for this item on your team, its' not going to hurt you too badly, especially if you already went Arcanes.

Eye of Skadi. I love this item on Venomancer. I just DO. Getting an Orb of Venom on the hero seems so silly, but once you're farmed up and it's been turned into this, you are TERRIFYING. Tanky, hard hitting, inescapable Venomancer coming to sting you right in the rear.

Butterfly is a good item for increasing Venomancer's survivability, and the Flutter active will help him catch up to fleeing heroes to hunt them down. He doesn't get as much from this item as other heroes, since most of his damage doesn't come from right-clicks, but if you're looking for a fifth or sixth item you could certainly do worse.

Black King Bar is for those games where there's so much dang lockdown, you're not going to get a single Poison Nova off without magic immunity. The extra HP and damage is also kinda nice.

Boots of Travel are for the late game, when you need to always be able to teleport around to exactly where you need to be. Venomancer is a strong pusher with his Plague Wards, so this is almost certainly your boots of choice in the late game: backdoor for the win, man.

Scythe of Vyse: because hex is good on everyone. Like, for serious. Particularly for Venomancer, this gives him a hard disable to stop TP's, catch up to people, or save himself from initiators, as well as giving him good stats and a mana pool that removes all his spellcasting woes.

Sange and Yasha probably should have been higher up at the top of this list, but... I forgot about it and am only adding it in now. Bad guide writer is bad. This is a really nice and cost-effective pick-up on Venomancer, padding out his stats while providing him with an additional slow AND a move speed boost. If you're shooting to end the game earlier on, this can do wonders to keep your snowball up.

Item Progression (Support)

And now for support Veno! The whole idea here is to a lot with a little, gold-wise, since you're mainly going to be harassing people out of lane and stacking/pulling.

Starting Items

and or

No myseteries or secret strategies here: the Tango is for keeping your health up in lane, the Clarity and Mantle are for keeping yourself topped off and ready to use spells, and both the Mantle and Circlet will build into the Null Talisman you'll need for your eventual Veil of Discord. Whether you get courier or wards depends entirely on what your other support buys, and if they don't buy either? Forego the Mantle of Intelligence and grab both: you'll be able to pick it up later in the side shop.

Early Game

Cheap and efficient stats are the name of the game here, and both the Null Talisman and the Bracer will build into your next tier of items. Since you're not going to have the luxury of going for that Aghanim's Scepter (unless you start snowballing out of control, of course), these items are crucial for making sure you don't immediately get blown up before you can contribute to a fight. Your boots of choice in a support role should always be Arcanes: they'll keep your mana pool up and let you aid the rest of your team keep theirs up as well, and they can be built into Guardian Greaves as well if you're the only Mek carrier for your team.

Core Items

OR , OR , and

Since you're going to be supporting, your core item build needs to be a bit more malleable: you have to fit your team's needs after all.

Drum of Endurance is a good item for padding your stats and giving you some much needed movement speed. If your team is more push-oriented or doesn't scale as well into the late game as the enemy, using the charges during tower sieges will help you take them faster.

If you're the only person on your team who can consider buying a Mekansm, you should probably get that instead of completing your drum, however. It's also a great item to help with pushes and gives you some nice armor and regen to tank yourself up.

Next, your initiation item. Blink Dagger has already been discussed, so I'll skip that for now. Glimmer Cape, on the other hand, is far more useful for your team as a whole, as it'll let you keep your cores alive if they need to escape or tank through some heavy magic burst. It's the best for initating, for sure (the invis only lasts five seconds, after all) but it can work. If you've got the money, you can always pick up a Blink Dagger in addition to this.

Finally, we have Veil of Discord. This is on the edge of being a luxury item for the support Venomancer as well, and if there's another hero on your team who can build this, it's probably best to let them do it.

For Rich Supports

Many of the items listed in this section have already been discussed, and it's worth mentioning that if you feel your money would be best spent doubling up on some of the item choices listed in the core section, that's perfectly viable. These are the items that haven't been listed in any part of this guide yet, however, and why they're solid on Veno:

Eul's Scepter is on the cheaper side and gives Venomancer a lot of what he could use: a bigger mana pool, more mana regen, and movement speed! Glorious movement speed. You can also cyclone yourself to avoid getting blown up, and cyclone the enemy without worrying about purging your spells off of them.

Assault Cuirass doesn't provide enough that a core Venomancer needs to be a worthwhile pick-up, but having one when you're a support will make you tankier and benefit your carry: freeing up one of their item slots by getting this for them can be super useful.

Vladmir's Offering works under similar logic: the mana regen, armor, damage, and lifesteal you get are certainly NICE, but they don't benefit you directly all THAT much. But when you're supporting, if you can get this so your carry can benefit from all that? Totally worth it.

Lotus Orb is just plain fun. It's actually really nice for Venomancer, giving him good sustain and some extra armor, but again: this is for your carry more than you. Using the active purges things from them, and then gives them a protective bubble that's all 'go ahead. Cast spells. See what happens, punk.'

Allies and Enemies

How have your fingers not fallen off? You've done so much dang writing already.

My venom sustains me. And by venom, I mean coffee. And by sustains, I mean 'keeps me awake and dulls the pain from my soon to be arthritic digits'.


Heroes that provide a buff to your magical damage output and heroes that might pick up that Veil of Discord for you are great pairings with everyone's favorite Deathbringer. Pugna and Undying even show up wearing matching colors with you. Jus' sayin'.

Crystal Maiden is a favorite partner for all heroes that have mana issues early on in the game, and she supplies slows and a harder stun to pair with your abilities. Plus, think of the insane amount of damage Veil of Discord, Poison Nova, and Freezing Field will do when combined together. KotL also helps you with your mana early on, and a Keeper/ Venomancer offlane can be an absolutely nuisance to go up against. Horses and poison and wards, oh my.

Venomancer fits right into a pushing line-up, his wards clearing out creep waves and damaging towers like no one's business. It's worth noting that since they're ward-type units, they won't get any added benefit from Howl. I know you were thinking it, don't try and deny it. When doing a straight pushing strat, you'll obviously want to max wards first, since they'll go down super fact against tower shots before level 3.


Heroes that can get the jump on you and tear through your tissue-paper hide are the bane of Venomancer's existence, slow and squishy snake he is. It should be mentioned, though, that between Venomous Gale and Plague Ward, you actually completely wreck TA in the mid-lane, so there's a good chance you can keep her down long enough to tank up against her eventual bursts.

As a hero who's damage output relies on casting spells, heroes that can silence him will, obviously, irk him to no end. Especially if they can then turn on him and murder him in the fanged face before the silence is over.

Heroes with increased magic resistance or the ability to go magic immune for long periods also present a problem for our beloved Venomancer. Glimmer Cape is probably the reason he doesn't exist in competitive anymore, as it basically ensures the enemy carry will never drop from your spells. And Pipe! Hello item that makes Poison Nova do close to 25% less just from the active alone. You're a good item and I love you most of the time, but when I play Veno I really wished you didn't exist.


All done! Now go forth and prosper, my budding young Plague Wards. Overwhelm your enemies and make them suffer! Don't listen to anyone who tells you he's not a good hero, trust in Safecyn.

Trust in Safecyn? That doesn't just sound like bad advice, that sounds like an example you'd give to a child about what bad advice sounds like.


On a serious note, thanks all of you for reading this guide. I'm open to suggestions and constructive criticism, so feel free to call me out on what I messed up! Safecyn, signing out.

Remember: always shake your boots out when camping. ALWAYS.

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