Invoker by many is considered to be an extremely hard and complex hero to play, and i am here to partly admit and reject that statement. Welcome to my guide to this archmage, and may i assist you to fullfill your role and play him to the limit of Invoker's capabilities. Since Invoker possesses 10 spells overall, i will not focus on all of them right now, but i can already note that he has a ton of utility, usefulness and anyone who finds playing semicarries, initiators, nukers and utility heroes fun will enjoy his presence.
- He can fullfill many roles much better than other heroes.
- He scales extremely well with items and levels, poses a serious teamfight threat on levels above 12, and has a ton of utility
- He can be a great asset to a duallane, can solo the hard lane, is a great canditate for middle lane and can do almost everything except for jungling and heavy roaming.
- Has lifesafing skills for both his teammates and himself, can stop a gank before it even started.
- Regen/rune/ Bottle independant even when soloing a lane.
- Great lane presence, regen, mobility and ability to retailate, join or finish ganks from up to global range.
- High casting ranges, no casting animation, good attack animation.
- A quick pushing strat with a hero like Enchantress will completely shut him down, due to his level reliance.
- Cannot roam or support on early levels.
- Extremely high cooldowns, ranging from 15 on the weaker spells and ending at ~40 for the heaviest teamfight ones.
- Low MS, supbar stats, mana, health, level and item dependant.
- Skills are more than easy to whiff, hard to compose and use.
- Certain hero or item counters (see below)
After you've read that much, i think we can proceed to know what exactly is invoker and why does he have such strange spells.
His main 3 spells are not spells in the usual meaning of the term, provide MS/AS/Agility for Wex, Damage/Int for Exort, regen and STR for Quas, are used to compose new ones with his ultimate ability - Invoke.
Invoke works the way that your current orbs are checked and a new spell is composed on the basis of which orbs you do have.
E.G. you have Quas, Wex, and Exort currently active, you use your ultimate and a spell, Deafening Blast, is conjured at your disposal.
You can have up to 2 spells at your disposal, provided you have an ultimate Invoke of level 2 or higher.
The way you level up your main skills is different as well, since you can get the first level of your ultimate at level 2, further ones at level 7, 12 and 17 accordingly.
Now that you know how do your orbs work, you may want to know what spells do they conjure, and that is when the fun starts.
I'll use Q, W and E for his orbs accordingly to describe how to create those.
QQQ- Cold Snap
This is one of your most versatile and useful spells, which works they way that every time a hero takes damage above 10 after reductions, he gets stunned and takes additional damage.
This spell is one of the best level 1 spells (level one Quas orb) and can be used just provided you have one of those. You mainly will use it for focusing down enemies, interrupting their animations, spells, in conjunction with the spells he possesses that deal damage over time, with friendly spells of the damage over time type and enemy selfdamage spells, e.g. Pudge's Rot or Centaur Warchief's Double Edge. This spells lasts up to 6 seconds on level 7 of Quas, and therefore can stun your foe for 9 instances of damage max, because it also possesses a slight delay between the stun instances, so you cannot stun an enemy more than 1 time in 0.6 seconds with maxed out Cold Snap.
CD is 15 seconds, so use it every time you find a worthy foe.
Mana cost is just 100.
QQW- Ghost Walk
A get-away spell at invoker's disposal, this spell in conjunction with your fast arms can save you from Pudge's Hooks, Tiny Tosses or other long animation spells. The way it works is it turns you invisible for the duration of 60 seconds(!) while slowing foes around you for the level of Quas up to 40% percent and yourself from 30% to 0% percent based on Wex.
There is not much to say about that, use it if you need to surprise an enemy, get away from him or slow him down, it is that simple.
The duration is 120.
CD is 60.
Mana cost is a whopping 200, so make sure you have mana both for it, and for invoke.
QQE- Ice Wall
One of the most underused, albeit useful invoker's spells, this creates a long wall of ice STRAIGHT IN FRONT OF INVOKER which slows foes up to a TREMENDOUS 140% based on Quas, lasts up to 12 seconds based on quas, and deals minor magical damage based on the level of exort. It slows down foes to a crawl, which is useful to almost any type of hero, mainly to skillshot and long chargeup type spells, such as Pudge's Meat Hook or Kunkka's Torrent. Your skillshots benefit from it as well. Does well with both Cold Snap and Ghost Walk due to the surprise element and damage over time.
Mana Cost - 175
EMP is a manaburning aoe ability which charges up for a period of 3-2 seconds based on the level os Wex, but afterwards burns a huge amount of mana (up to 400) based on the level of Wex and deals damage for every two points of mana burned. A great harassing tool, stops ganks, initiates teamfights or prevents them from occuring, all this at once is what EMP is. Just take note you'll need an ability of yours or a friend's to actually keep the enemy in the AOE for the 3/2 seconds during the chargeup,e.g long disables such as Black Hole, Overgrowth afterwards it'll deal 200 damage which is pure/hp removal damage so it is not reduced at all.
Mana Cost - 125
Tornado is a heavy cycloning spell which deals the heaviest damage instantly out of all invoker's spells. The way it works is it deals damage based on both levels of Quas and Wex, but keeps the enemies airbourne for up to 2.5 seconds based on Quas and travels up to 3000 range (3 screens) based on the level of Wex. Use this in conjunction with every spell of yours with a delay like EMP or Ice Wall. We'll get to combos later on though.
This is a buff placed on allied units, including siege ones. It increases the targets AS and Damage based on levels of Wex and Exort accordingly. Handy for pushing, putting this on your main damage dealer or on lesser levels, on yourself. Great targets for such a powerful buff are Lone Druid, his Summon Spirit Bear, Faceless Void, Phantom Assasin, and several other powerful carries. A fun tactic you can use is leave this on a siege creep and exit the lane, that combination does the most effect if you have more levels of Wex than Exort.
EEE- Sun Strike
This is a hard to hit ability which does HEAVY unreducable damage in a small area, and if more than one unit is in that area, the damage will be spread evenly amongst them. Use it for killing, comboing with spells that keep your enemy in place, finishing off fleeing foes from GLOBAL range like that:
or simply threatening a rival in a lane from the same global range.
Take note it hits after a 1.7 delay, so care if your foe is either a Crystal Maiden with boots or a Manta Style+BoT+Drums Luna
EEW- Chaos Meteor
This is the heaviest nuke at your disposal. It pulls down a meteor from the unravelling skies, dealing damage based on the level of Exort and rolling further based on the level of Wex. It deals damage both on CONTACT with the foe (e.g. he is underneath, near or right below the landing point of the meteor) and sets them on fire, which deals roughly half the damage of the contact damage at max level of Exort. Combine this with spells that hold the enemy in place, Tornado to keep enemies there until the meteor lands, or somehow push them under the meteor, which we'll talk about further.
Mana Cost - 200
EEQ- Forge Spirit
This forges one/two spirits at your disposal, which last up to 80 seconds, have up to 400 mana, posess a whopping attack range of up to 900, all based on Quas, and deal damage up to 83 each, have 900 hp each and are enjoying an armor of 8 each based on the level of Exort. Use this to harass or attack your foe, disables help as usual. Each one of their attacks, provided they have 40 mana, melts the enemy's armor, which is quite handy.
If you posess more or 4 points in both Quas and Exort, you'll instead summon two spirits, which is twice as good.
Mana Cost - 75
QWE- Deafening Blast
Your ultimate, to some may think so, is a skill which pushes, damages and disarms enemies based on the levels of Quas, Wex and Exort accordingly. It is one of the superior disables in Dota and demolishes a team if they all group up. Combines perfectly with Forge Spirit, Chaos Meteor if used correctly, Ice Wall and EMP.
The SkillBuild is provided above, i'll explain why do we focus on solely two orbs mainly and only eventually put some points into the third one.
Q-W is a more of a competetive build for the serious games, which implies your team already has enough aoe damage, it provides much more utility but lacks firepower.
You'll put a point in the E orb just to have all the spells at your disposal up from level 5.
Q-E is a more of a damaging skillbuild which combines perfectly with disables and carries, or carries with disables, such as Faceless Void. It does have some utility but your team is going to provide it mostly as well.
The reason you do not go for E-W is since you will skip all the wonderful things Q provides you, plus most of damaging exort spells do not benefit much from W, and you'll put some points into that in your first build.
Ice Wall + Cold Snap
Chaos Meteor + Coldsnap
Forge Spirit + Cold Snap
Alacrity + Cold Snap
Ghost Walk + Chaos Meteor
Ghost Walk + Ice Wall
Ghost Walk + Sun Strike+ whatever you'll want
Ice Wall + Tornado
Ice Wall + EMP
Ice Wall + Chaos Meteor
Ice Wall + Deafening Blast
Tornado + EMP (earlier levels of Wex suppose you'll use the EMP before Tornado, later levels will have you using it in the listed order
Tornado + Chaos Meteor
Tornado + Sunstrike
EMP + Deafening Blast
Alacrity + Forge Spirit
Chaos Meteor + Deafening Blast (take note timing the deafening blast slightly after the meteor lands)
I guess that's all for skills, let's move on to item choices and why and where and with who.
Items that synergise with Invoker are mobility, utility, intellegence, damage and attack speed items. The perfect one for him, common thorought most builds is a Force Staff, which provides almost everything you'd wish. A boot choice for our pale life form is Phase Boots in all builds, since he is one of the slowest heroes in the entire game. If you want additional damage and feel like you lack health, get Power Treads, they seem fit too. Boots of Travel are either rushed or composed when you feel the need. Rushing them implies you do it after the typical core Magic Wand + Force Staff + Boots of Speedand may pay off in some cases, in other ones, stick with the basic Phase choice. Which one you are going to go next is all based upon the situation.
If your team has sufficient stuns and slows, go for the spamming build with an Aghanims' Scepter.
If you want to initiate, a Blink Dagger would be a great choice.
If you already have the tendency to spam, but do not have the means to do so, get a Black King Bar, a Heart of Tarrasque or a naked Reaver/ Vitality Booster into a Heart.
Orchid Malevolence is the perfect choice against spellcasters.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity is the way to go in a Q-E build to give you that MS and means to defend against carries, plus a EULS is your mini-tornado without damage, so combo it with the same spells as you could with tornado. It lasts for the same 2.5 seconds.
Shiva's Guard and Scythe of Vyse are both great ways to get your caster into late game, both are great means of defence against carries as well.
Eye of Skadi is your orb of choice, but you'll rarely ever get to the point you'll need an orb with Invoker.
That is exactly all you would ever need to know about Invoker's item choices, but the main part of any build is to adapt to a situation at your hand, since sometimes you'll have to start out with a boots+tango (hardsolo), get a blademail or a pipe, perhaps even do the damage carry role in a team if your composition lacks one! It is all about the enemy and your team's draft, and if you manage to connect yourself to it you'll be successfull.
I guess that's all for our elven friend, proceed to come online as early as 7-12 levels and start being an offensive spellcaster, since that's what Invoker does best. Peace to fellow humans, ascend, enlighten, admire and enjoy.
Thanks for reading my rather simplistic guide, i hope you'll provide some comments below. THanks.