|2.||Ways to play Invoker|
|3.||Pros / Cons|
|4.||Core item build explanation|
|5.||Luxury and situational items|
|11.||Quas-Wex->Exort build - one short chapter.|
|13.||How to cast 4 spells per one single combo|
|16.||6.80 changes: he's coming back!|
For starters, I apologize for any grammar mistakes I'll let to appear - english is not my native language.
This guide is written for the people who know how this hero works, what his spells do, and who want to get a bit more advanced with him - if Invoker is completely unknown to you, go look somewhere else. Also, be prepared for tl;dr =))
Invoker appears to be the most powerful and versatile Intelligence hero in the Dota 2 universe, though pretty hard to handle. His amount of spells is ridiculous, their utility is unmatched. Good Invoker can rape whole teams apart, kill farmed enemy carries in a couple of seconds, etc, etc. It's never wrong to pick him. His roles: Caster, Pusher, Carry, Ganker, Support(sometimes) - that is something no one else can keep. It's too much.
There are a lot of possible ways to play Invoker, but mostly all of them fit into one of three skillbuilds with two of three orbs prioritized - QE, QW, and WE. The last one is... well... not that good. You need a lot of crowd control provided by team members to put spells right in this build - which means, you need good Enigma, good Magnus, or something like that, otherwise all this damage potential gets wasted. Your HP level sucks, your Ice Wall sucks, your disables suck - duration is too small. Autoattack carries are built quite often this way.
Quas-Wex Invoker is quintessense of crowd control. When you play him like that, you get a huge teamfight control, thanks to EMP. Deafening Blast turns into a strong disable and disarm for quite a long time. What's not good, is that after main combo( Tornado- EMP- Deafening Blast/ Cold Snap) you become pretty much nothing. All you have after that is a high AS and MS, with kind of decent physical damage at early levels. This type of Invoker played a lot in competitive level. Your Sun Strike sucks, your Chaos Meteor sucks, your Forge Spirits suck.
Quas-Exort Invoker takes a bit of good from both builds mentioned above. Has a decent pushing power thanks to 2 spirits after 11th level. What's important about him - almost all of his spells(except for EMP) are VERY useful at almost all stages of the game - which means, you require a lot of mana, Aghanim's Scepter is an item to have at all costs, and you need a lot of regen. This is the build I'll be telling about in this guide.
After QE, I'll say a bit about QW build - just one chapter. Reason is that when invoker gets to lategame, all builds converge into single one anyway - and pretty much anything you can say about QE invoker, you can say about QW. Assuming we are playing strong and beautiful spellcaster invoker, not the autoattacking one. Pick Drow Ranger for that purpose.
Advantages of QE Invoker:
Boots? Phase Boots! Don't even ask me why, if you honestly need that answer, go check for brain cancer. After them...
All you need to act right - Eul's Scepter of Divinity and Aghanim's Scepter.
Why is that? When you get Euls first, you have a great mana sustainment, and its ability synergizes very well with other spells.
Someone would say "where is Force Staff?". Answer is: you don't need it in this build unless you have someone like Riki in the opposite team. It doesn't give anything I'd like to see on the item I buy first - 10 INT? Really? Skill is good, but it doesn't worth it. You'll have Cyclone to catch someone anyway, and mana regen is crucial here for the choice.
Aghanim's Scepter is an item you should buy most of the time you play Invoker. What's the point in buying something else like Scythe of Vyse first if you can provide a whole bunch of disables on your own just with your spells?! Btw, I think that delaying it until 17 lvl is utterly wrong. Think about it: from 12 to 17 you run around with a ****in' 12 sec cooldown on invoke, and all you can do in a teamfight - 3 spells. Not good. Buy Aghanim's Scepter asap, and it gets cut to 4, which leads to 5, 6, 7,... spells during teamfight! Turns into madness after 17th level. Though, getting Force Staff can be good before Scepter as well.
There's one more thing. All I'm speaking of means that you can cast a lot of spells and switch fast between them. If you can't, master it with bots - Invoker's power lies in spells amount he can cast.
Hand of Midas
If your laning goes exceptionally well, and you can get it in 5-6 minutes, don't hesitate. Remember that this will delay your core items a bit - buy this only if you don't expect a lot of early teamfights.
Buy this if you lack some mobility. Not necessary at all, though acceptable, breaks through riki's smoke, helps to avoid ganks. Good to have.
Black King Bar
Reasons are clear. If you die chainstunned all the time, buy it.
Boots of Travel
Example: You failed a lot, underleveled, you team is losing, but somehow holds it, it won't be for long. Buy BoT and try to push other lane with spirits - underleveled Invoker is not a big problem for other team anyway. I've won some game with this strategy. No one expects this from you - that's your chance =)
Another mobility item, for aggressive initiation or for setting up Ice Wall. Also works as escape mech. Good to have, lack of stats is its problem.
Daedalus, Monkey King Bar, other damage items.
Buy that if your main carry in the team is taken down. No matter what people think, Invoker CAN carry through autoattack damage, he just never excels at it - other carries are better in that role. Very situational, rejected most of the time.
Somehow fits into "other damage items", but deserves a special mention. When you combine your spells with this item, damage increases by 40%, which is a lot. Very good to have, but doesn't worth its cost, because the damage you get is only for one target.
Veil of Discord
Awesome to have, AoE + 20% for magic damage - a lot, especially if you are not the only caster in the team.
If you really need this, you should not be reading this guide. Go and rape.
Eye of Skadi
My preference, love it on Invoker. Gives a great amount of stats and BKB-piercing slow. Why to buy it? Invoker's autoattack damage is pretty high, and he actually CAN beat someone to death in lategame after he's out of his spells - for example, to finish someone off after deadly combo, with damage amplified by alacrity and coldsnap. No one can walk away from you with that slow, because you have Euls already, and Wex level is pretty high in the lategame.
Scythe of Vyse
Good for setting up a spell combo. Nice to have on Invoker with the same measure as on pretty much any INT hero.
Damage, attack speed, damage amplification, silence, great mana regen - what can be better? Very good to have, mostly built for Wex build, which lacks autoattack damage.
2 spells in combo
These combos can be used in earlygame, when your Invoke cooldown is still very high, and switching is impossible.
Most common, known, and used, Chaos Meteor-> Deafening Blast. Requires some skill, common sense, or just someone's stun before casting. Pretty straightforward. Opponents who caught in it just stuck eating meteor's **** while not being able to move thanks to blast's disable.
Other popular combination is Forge Spirit -> Cold Snap. Cold Snap reacts on damage, spirits provide that damage, melting enemy's armor in the process. Easy to use, strong and beautiful. Just don't forget you have other spells to cast...
Ice Wall synergizes with Cold Snap and Forge Spirits pretty good too - making it almost impossible for enemy to escape. Another 2 good combinations. Or one, but with 3 spells.
Deafening Blast-> Sun Strike. Hard to land, but useful thanks to Sun Strike's damage. I don't use it a lot.
Ice Wall-> Chaos Meteor. Enemies can't move, why don't we burn them while they're vulnerable?
Cold Snap -> Alacrity.
Do I need to explain this? Point and shoot.
3 spells in combo
When you hit 12, you should forget about casting 2 spells during the fight. Really. Pick one of those:
Tornado -> Chaos Meteor -> Deafening Blast.
Enemies are caught in the air, they land right into falling meteor, then pushed in meteor's way by Blast. Very hard to avoid, easy to cast, source of your kills through the whole game.
Cyclone -> Ice Wall -> Forge Spirits -> Cold Snap.
Enemies are caught in the air, the land right into Ice Wall, they can't move, just point and shoot...
Most powerful burst damage in the game:
Cyclone -> Sun Strike -> Chaos Meteor -> Deafening Blast.
Needs some skill, but when timing is right, unleashes immeasurable amount of damage. With 7th level of Exort, most of your enemies will die from it. Try it with Orchid, Veil, Ethereal Blade, and Undying in golem's state running around... :-D
There are many other combinations for him, these are most used and easiest ones. Turn on you brain and you'll get a lot more. Learn to cast everything in time, and it will be alright.
As I mentioned before, this hero needs middle lane. Or a solo easy lane. At all costs. Offlaning with Invoker is also kind of possible in pub(though it won't be generally EQ - it is QW). Invoker, supporting someone on the lane, has completely no sense. Don't pick it if you won't get a solo lane.
Buy your starting items, like shown above, and go take you place at 1st middle tower. If there's a melee enemy against you - buy a ward, and put it on his highground for harassment and sunstriking when needed.
Your main goal here is to farm a lot, and prevent your opponent from farming, if it's possible(farming prioritized). Early Midas can be a good asset for you - but it has to be fast. Exort provides us a good damage supply, and outlasthitting someone won't be a problem. Get Quas at 1st level, to get Cold Snap asap. Harass your opponent as much as you can. If he dives your tower, Cold Snap ensures the kill, if he's not - it's awesome harrassing tool.
After finishing Phase Boots and getting 7th level, there's 2 ways of how things are going.
1. Your lanes are strong, your carries are farming, no one's feeding -> stay on your lane. More you can farm fast->stronger you are in the whole game. Farming is essential for Invoker. Help your lanes with Sun Strike when it's required, but don't go away from your lane. Don't forget to call misses if enemy's mid is going to gank. Start roaming after you've farmed your regen items at least, Eul's at best.
2. At least one of your lanes is failing, feeding or just outplayed -> gank. Just one thing. INVOKER IS VERY LEVEL/EARLY FARM DEPENDENT. If you go gank, you have to be SURE that time won't be wasted. Say your teammates to get some mana, to prepare, then go gank. If you'll come for nothing, or even die, that will ruin your early and mid game. Try to take that kill - or time is wasted.
That's the time when Invoker is on his peek. Roaming time. You need to roam on the map and kill everything that moves. Keep enemies from you carry. That's the idea. Don't forget about their jungle. Walking alone, with wards around and common sense turned on is acceptable - you have enough of escape mechs now to pick one of the crowd, kill with single combo, and walk away without even being noticed. You might get a lot of kills and assists in this period of game - don't waste it.
You've farmed a lot. You've killed a lot.
If that's the case, you won't feed period changing. Act the same as in the midgame. Kill, push, win.
If that's not the case, changes are:
1. Don't walk alone, be with your team
2. Even if you haven't dominated midgame, you're still a powerful damage asset - don't forget it
3. Everything else is the same.
Thing is, if you killed a lot, then enemy team is underleveled compared to you. If you failed in it, your strength is the same(because your damage doesn't really depend on luxury items), but they are stronger - you're easier to kill. Don't walk away from your team. Kill, push, win.
, , ,
Pretty much any stunners as well are good as a teammates for you. To execute your AoE combos, you need enemies to be gathered in one place and/or stunned. That's the way it happens easier.
- strong and straightforward counter. Can't survive his combo. No way.
- do I need to explain?
- their harrassment is just too high to stay safe on the lane. Towerhug and be outfarmed. With QoP you need to max Quas before Exort, because of dagger's damage - your attack will be weaker, and her attack animation is better->lasthitting is screwed. You won't lose the lane completely though.
Be careful about picking Invoker when you see these heroes in enemy team.
Here I will speak about kinda hybrid build: early QW with transition to Exort.
Spell order justification
I don't really like pure QW build, because when it comes down to the very beginning of the lategame(like 30 minutes or something), your damage turns to nothing, while your disabling power doesn't scale a lot with remaining Q and W levels. Thing is, after 20-25th minute supports in the other team usually have a couple of Arcane Boots, thus making your EMP useless when playing against a decent team. That means, to be effective as you were not so long before, you need to start maxing your damage from spells - it sucks by now, but EMP sucks even more. Not maxing Wex further than 5 and switching to Exort is a way to do it.
Everything I wrote about items in QE build, fits nice here - maybe, except Hand of Midas, because you really need to max your mobility in this build, that's why Force Staff is the first one to buy. Eul's Scepter of Divinity should not be built asap here - because most of your combos with it won't be useful till lategame - that's about Sun Strike->..., etc.
Cold Snap for harass and kill, Tornado for chasing. EMP for early teamfights. Behaviour remains the same - except for the thing that you don't have sunstrike. Be free to pick one level of Exort if you feel that you need it. Best combo here: Tornado-> EMP-> Cold Snap. Needs some skill - timing is crucial. This build is more into ganking, because instead of mid-to-late peek, you have a midgame one.
Mid and mid-to-late remaing the same, with one thing changed: look for teamfights, your solo killing power equals zero till the very late.
Overall, your behavior when playing that type of Invoker is always the same when with QE build - you're just a bit faster and teamfight-oriented. Remember that delaying E points significantly decreases your lategame viability.
P.S. Don't speak about 4second disarm from Deafening Blast. If by the time you have 7th level of Wex enemies' carry doesn't have BKB with Invoker in the opposite team, he has a brain cancer instead.
P.P.S. Many points here which I didn't cover. Be free to ask, any suggestions appreciated. If you guys want, i'll create a full-scale guide.
1. Having your Quas at 4-5th level and not maxing it further helps to execute your Tornado- Chaos Meteor- Deafening Blast perfectly: you don't need to wait for some time after Tornado before casting Chaos Meteor, just cast one spell after another. Ice Wall's 100% slow is more then enough with 5th level of Quas.
2. Harrasing with Cold Snap is more effective when enemy is surrounded by your creeps.
3. Cold Snap activates with instance of DAMAGE, not when you hit your enemy. Keep that in mind when playing against Templar Assassin - Refraction counters it.
4. Sun Strike on a fleeing enemy has to be landed about 600-700 units away from his current location. Skill comes with practice, try and you'll succeed.
5. You can use EMP to scare your enemies a bit, to stop them from pushing your tower, etc. It's useless, but they don't know about it, right? =)
6. Don't throw your Tornado when it's not needed - sometimes Chaos Meteor-> Deafening Blast is more that enough(when in Black Hole, for example).
7. Ice Wall can work as a ranged slow if you can turn for the right angle. Range is about 600.
8. Try Refresher Orb when you are skilled enough - you'll like it.
9. Positioning is crucial. Stand behind your tanks, and remember that your combo should hit every hero possible. If there's BKB popped up, wait till it ends before casting your long-cooldown big-***-damage spells like Chaos Meteor.
I'll add some more, if anything'll come to mind.
Strange, but almost all of really decent players i've seen in public seem to be unaware of that technique, though it seems pretty simple after a little practice. So:
0. You need 7th level of Quas to do this. It is possible from 5th, but it's way harder.
1. Invoke Tornado, then next spell: Chaos Meteor, EMP, Sun Strike, Ice Wall, etc.
2. Cast Tornado by pressing F(it was invoked first, so it's first in the queue).
3. Immediately invoke another spell from the same set above. Tornado's duration is 2.5 seconds, while Invoke's cooldown is 2, so you have a half second window. You have both needed spells right now at D and F.
4. Cast both invoked spells with appropriate timing.
5. When Invoke's cooldown is over, immediately invoke Deafening Blast, then cast it whenever possible.
If everything is timed right, enemies will get a tremendous hit. Good luck practicing that **** :D
Simple rule about all of it: when you casted something from F key, immediately Invoke new spell before you cast anything else.
I think, this is all I can tell about QE Invoker. Everything else comes with experience. Master him, and you'll be unbeatable. Don't master him, and be beaten by someone who did. Honestly, I don't really know if any guide that you read can help you with playing him - because it is all theorycrafting, and when it comes down to a real game, no matter how many guides you have read, if you're experienced, you own. If not, you're owned. Invoker will always be in god tier or in **** tier. Never in the middle of it.
Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks for reading.
My dotabuff rating
Pretty low winrate on him, simply because I play pub a lot, and Invoker needs cooperation to be useful, and it's kinda rare to see when you're playing without your friends =/ Especially, when some firstpickhuskarursa**** asks you to buy Mekansm and wards xD
This is about one more important thing - for Invoker to be effective, his team needs to know what he needs, and how he works. Or at least to listen to what player's saying.
Good luck and goodbye, win with Invoker, be happy!
P.S. Here I have one question for community - for those who will read it till here :)
WHY IN HELL INVOKER NEEDS DRUMS OF ENDURANCE? A lot of people in pub pick it just because it's in recommended items. It gives nothing but a bit of a movespeed, doesn't really worth its cost since it's half of any really decent item - Euls, Aghanim, etc... I do need some explanation for it.
- Alacrity manacost decreased from 100 to 75
- Ghost Walk slow increased from 20/23/26/30/33/36/40 to 20/25/30/35/40/45/50
- Ghost Walk cooldown decreased from 60 to 35
- Tornado damage rescaled from 70+(Wex+Quas)*20 to 70+(2*Wex+Quas)*15
Seems that IceFrog decided to buff QW build a bit, giving a bit of additional damage to Tornado. I don't really think that's gonna return Invoker back to his previous state, before that stupid -4 base damage nerf, more like a candy - tasty but not really needed.
QQW buffs are also seem useless: cooldown looks good, but still I always had enough of it with 60 secs of CD - don't know why Invoker needed it. Slow buff is useless as hell - while slowing down enemies, you're doing nothing but showing enemies big red message in caps: USE DUST AND KILL ME, I'M RIGHT HERE.
Alacrity buff seems even more senseless to me - using it early requires a ton of mana anyway, not to speak about that strange skill build that you're gonna go that way... 25 manacost difference doesn't really change anything in mid and lategame.
I'd say, after this update no one will see a big change here. Invoker remains the same.
He's got a significant buff&nerf in 6.80 version:
Forge Spirits armor reduced from 2/3/4/5/6/7/8 to 0/1/2/3/4/5/6
Forge Spirits attack range reduced from 300->900 to 300->690
EMP burn increased from 100->400 to 100->550
EMP delay from 3.7->2 to 2.6
Alacrity manacost reduced from 75 to 45
Ghost Walk movement speed from -30/-25/-20/-15/-10/-5/0 to -30/-20/-10/0/10/20/30
-EMP delay increased from 2.6 to 2.9.
That nerf was kinda expected, now it gives people a chance to flee away safely, and needs some other crowd control spells in addition to Tornado and Deafening Blast to hit. At least, that is correct for the first 10-12 levels.
-Ghost Walk slow no longer affects magic immune enemies.
Does anyone care?
Max Exort Invoker received a great indirect buff in this patch.
-Cyclone now deals 50 damage to enemy units when they land.
Which means, people can't shift blink away right after duration ends because it deals damage now. Instakilling initiators with a blink became an easier job than before.
Meta still unchanged.
- Added some pictures, color to guide.
- Added Hand of Midas into situational items.
- Added QW->E item and skill builds, added chapter about it
- Added Skywrath Mage as an earlygame enemy.
- Moved Orchid Malevolence from luxury items to situational.
- Added 6.78 changes and my thoughts about it.
- Updated my games count, according to DOTABUFF :-)
- Added a quick guide for casting 4 spells in a single combo.
- Changed one single phrase around the guide: it faced a lot of criticizm here. "Three possible ways to play Invoker".
- Added 6.80 changes.
- Added 6.81 changes.
- Minority of little fixes around the whole guide.