Tequoia: Bushes Knocked Down the Towers
November 11, 2012
What is Nature's Prophet?
If you're looking for a guide on Nature's Prophet you're probably frustrated by his presence in games you've played.
A good Nature's Prophet player will be continuously pushing throughout the duration of the match. If you've encountered one of these, you'll notice that this makes pushing with your team much more difficult. Right after a good team fight where you came out on top, you'll try to trudge forward and take a tower, only to spend a majority of your enemy's dead time fighting creeps.
You may also have already been at a tower, but Nature's Prophet had been busy too, and now you are in a situation where you must either take the enemy tower, or teleport back to defend your own. This is a tough choice, and is extremely annoying.
However, this is Nature's Prophet's job, and Nature's Prophet is the best pusher in the game
What is Nature's Prophet not?
Nature's Prophet is not a carry.
Nature's Prophet is not a support.
Nature's Prophet is not a tank.
Occasionally, Nature's Prophet will hit it off well at the start of a game with many successful ganks resulting in kills. This results in better items, a stronger global presence, and more kills. Nature's Prophet can snowball like the rest of the lineup and can carry a team.
But, this isn't what he's made for. Nature's Prophet excels in pushing, and early-game ganking. Your job as Nature's Prophet is to scan the map continuously from Level 2 onwards. As soon as you have your teleport, you should be checking all three lanes for fights to help in, or low healthbars to secure a kill on.
Why Nature's Prophet is not a Carry
The reason why some new players incorrectly speculate that Nature's Prophet should indeed be played as a hard carry is because of snowballing players that can rack up early game kills for big ticket DPS items mid-game. Nature's Prophet is one of the most item dependent heroes in the game, and without them he is nothing. With them, he packs a punch and his teleport can put him right behind you at any time.
Building Nature's Prophet with the expectation of making it big and being a carry can result in tragedy. Only when your team is down one or two carries should you ever consider trying to build for damage. Otherwise, you're much better off going for a hardcore pushing build.
Overview of Abilities
Sprout creates a ring of trees around the target point, which may be an enemy or friendly creep or hero, or empty space.
Sprouting around a friendly often gets them killed, but it does occlude sight from the enemy. This will not fizzle incoming projectiles. Only sprout a friendly if you absolutely know that they will be saved by this, and sprouting the enemy will not be more effective.
The trees created by sprout can be destroyed through traditional methods. A Tango
will destroy the tree and heal the enemy. A Quelling Blade
can cut down the tree. Abilities ( Telekinesis
, etc) that destroy trees will kill sprout trees.
Sprout trees do provide a small amount of vision, while obfuscating enemy vision like a normal tree. This can be used to isolate an enemy for an easy kill (it can catch more than two), or hide yourself as an escape mechanism. You can also use your trees to gain vision to high ground in very rare situations where you may need it.
Teleportation is a skill completely unique to Nature's Prophet, allowing him to teleport anywhere on the map at any time. Unlike Boots of Travel
, Teleportation does not require a friendly unit or structure to act as a beacon.
There are far too many applications of this ability to go into depth. Your main job will be to go everywhere. I suggest maxing Teleportation after putting 1 point into Sprout and 3 points into Nature's Call. The benefit of maxing Teleportation is a 20 second cooldown, without which your ganking power and global omnipresence is seriously hindered.
Use Teleportation to:
- Go back to spawn. Nature's Prophet has a low mana pool. Frequent spawn fountain trips frees the courier up and keeps you trucking.
- Go farm. Because of how item dependent you are, you need to be farming as much as possible.
- Push lanes. Teleporting directly to an uninhabited lane will let you sweep a wave.
- Hemorrhage a lane. If the enemy is at your barracks, you can teleport to near their barracks and kill the creep wave. This ends their supply of backup, which will cause the tower to fire directly upon them and eliminates their meat shield.
- Gank. Establish your global presence as soon as possible. Once you're level 2 and have a point into this ability, you should be scanning lanes constantly for someone to gank.
- Backdoor. When the enemy is pushing a lane, you should push the opposite lane. Make them have second thoughts about letting you push.
This ability converts a static tree into a treant minion. Trees are considered creeps. They deal 22 damage with an attack speed of 1.75 seconds. They are not damage powerhouses, but with 550 health they serve as good shields. They are your main tool in jungling.
Leveling Nature's Call gives you an additional maximum treant. Any trees in the AOE will be converted into a treant. Casting this ability on fewer trees than you can convert will be a waste. At level 1, you receive a maximum of two treants, at level 4 it can give you up to five.
Nature's Call can be used on Sprout for up to 5 treants. If you're lucky, casting Nature's Call directly under a trapped enemy in Sprout can further block him in, giving you additional time for free potshots.
Their move speed is 300, their lifespan is 60 seconds. The cooldown on this ability is 37 seconds. Treant's main purpose is pushing alongside creeps. With good micromanagement, they can be used to block enemies' paths, forcing them to reroute.
Wrath of nature
The most annoying ability in the game, hands down.
Wrath of Nature builds damage the more units it hits. Cast at the edge of the map you don't want to take the most damage, and as it snowballs it will deal the most damage away from where you clicked.
This ability may be cast once every minute. It's best applied when you can see red dots in all three lanes. Cast in the lane you intend on teleporting into, and it will assist the creeps in the other two lanes for a passive push advantage.
This ability can also be a good finisher in teamfights, and it can also be a good initiator. One of the most annoying things about playing Nature's Prophet is the very casual damage you take. He won't even intend to hurt you, but just by being in lane farming you'll suddenly be hit by a flying truck from across the map. This weakening allows for a much happier teamfight, and assuming the teamfight lasts 60 seconds, it can also be finishing move for a rampage.
Wrath of Nature is benefited by Aghanim's Scepter
. This gives the ability 18 bounces instead of 16, and the base damage is increased from 225 to 275. Each bounce gives it an additional 7% damage. The 18th bounce will therefore do 870 damage. This annihilates creep waves and gives a serious ouch to any enemies.
Cast it often, cast it carefully.
Playing a Pusher
You are Nature's Prophet. You are a pusher.
One of the most important items you can get as a pusher is Aghanim's Scepter. This is because your ultimate, Wrath of Nature
, is one of the best ways to passively push all lanes. This update will give increase the ultimate's base damage, while pushing its maximum damage capacity skywards. The maximum damage produced by each call of Wrath of Nature will increase by 3907 points of cumulative damage, and your final strike will be a maximum of 941 damage over 620.
Your help in teamfights will also greatly increase, and your ability to sweep entire creep waves up will never go unnoticed as your enemies will have to deal with creeps pushing down their towers.
As mentioned in the introduction, one of the huge bonuses of pushing continuously is being able to quickly pick yourself up if your team loses a big fight. If you lose at their gates and all three lanes are pushed past the river, by the time they reach your side of the map your team will be back up to finish what they started.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
The Necronomicon is an amazing tool that produces two allied creeps under your control every 80 seconds that will last 35 seconds.
The Necronomicon Warrior
has three abilities. Every time he hits an enemy, it will burn 25/50/75 mana and deal 60% of that back as damage, which stacks with his 25/50/75 base damage. This means that a Level 3 Necronomicon Warrior will deal 120 damage every 0.75 seconds, burning 75 mana in the process. Should he be killed, which can happen via abilities like March of the Machines
, he deals 400/500/600 pure damage to the offender. This can result in some very comical kills.
More importantly, the Necronomicon Warrior grants truesight. This means you are getting a free gem that lasts 35 seconds every 80 seconds. The Necronomicon is an invaluable tool against Riki
, Nyx Assassin
, Templar Assassin
, or anyone else that has happened to pick up a Shadow Blade
The Necronomicon Archer
has a passive buff that gives a 3%/6%/9% bonus movement and attack speed buff to all allies in the area. He also has an active ability that burns 125/175/225 mana to a target enemy every 20 seconds. With very simple micromanagement, you can easily burn 550 mana on a single target throughout the course of a teamfight. He also does 120 base damage every second.
This book comes in handy while pushing lanes, ganking enemies, soloing Roshan, in teamfights, and whenever you're fighting enemies with annoying AOE nukes. It is an extremely good item and is absolutely worth the time it takes to get the feel for it, and the money to level it to 3.
Beyond the Book
Because of how inexpensive your pushing items are, it's very likely you'll complete them with time to build something else. If you end up with this spare time and extra money from all the creeps you farm, look at the other areas on supporting and carrying.
If you're on a team that's losing teamfights, you may want to pick up something like the Veil of Discord
if your team is magic based. If you have a melee heavy team, consider upgrading your Ring of Basilius
to a Vladmir's Offering
for super awesome armor bonuses and lifesteal.
If your team needs more damage, consider a Desolator
. The desolator will help your treants and creeps push down towers because of the armor debuff, and will help your team whittle down tanky enemies.
If you have one annoying ******* on the enemy team ( Morphling
, Faceless Void
) that is getting a little too out of control, you need to pick up a Scythe of Vyse
or an Orchid Malevolence
to shut him down before you let your enemies get carried to the ancient.
If you're dieing a lot in lane, you're not helping your team at all. You need your gold, and your team needs you to not feed. Picking up an escape item is usually a good idea.
It's crucial to be aware of your surroundings. Buy wards and ward the jungle and secret shop on your enemy's side of the map if you're getting countered hard. Buying a Shadow Blade will usually end up in your enemy buying dust to hunt you down. A blink dagger is an extraordinarily unusual item on Nature's Prophet, but if you happen to notice an enemy before you get hit by anything, a blink dagger is the perfect escape mechanism.
There are also some single-target abilities such as Track
and amplify damage that can foil your previous escape plan, which would make the linken's sphere so much a bad idea. It has some additional stats that can prove useful, as does everything that builds off the Ultimate Orb
Maybe even crazier than a blink dagger, I get odd looks for buying teleport scrolls. It saves you the 20 second wait from double-tapping W, and can allow you to return to base faster if you immediately notice an enemy is inbound after teleporting into a lane.
Playing a Support
Nature's Prophet is better not played as a full support character. His ability to farm is very rarely matched, but if the call of duty falls upon him to pick up the courier and ward the runes, so be it.
Without items, you have no disables, stuns, or silences. In all honesty, Sprout is a bit of a pathetic ability in terms of hero containment. Any enemy with a blink, invisibility ability, or tree-smashing ability can easy escape. If your carries aren't ranged based and have no stuns of their own, then your trees won't help them get a kill at all.
In order to sufficiently support, you must pick up what many call a core item on Nature's Prophet.
Scythe of Vyse
The Sheepstick is a full disable that also slows the target considerably for 3.5 seconds. This is a pretty long time. The Guinsoo also provides stats and some mana regen. Combined with your sprout, you can trap an enemy in a very bad situation for up to 8.5 seconds, which is usually enough to kill someone.
The orchid does two things: silences an enemy, and increases how much damage they take. It also gives you bonus mana regen, and benefits your damage in three ways: raw damage increase, intelligence increase, and attack speed increase.
This is a very, very useful item that can be compounded with your sprout for an extraordinarily painful experience. Unlike normal circumstances, an enemy struck by the Orchid cannot blink or hide themselves when surrounded by trees. They are exposed and vulnerable with 25% of all damage dealt being added up for a final hit after the effect expires.
Unlike the sheepstick, however, it is not a full disable. The silence lasts 1.5 seconds longer, but it does not prevent them from attacking. This means that the sheepstick would be better for someone who has heavy auto-attack damage ( Drow Ranger
, Chaos Knight
), and the orchid would be better against someone who relies on abilities ( Viper
, outworld destroyer, Lifestealer
Both items are very good, and picking one over the other probably wont cost you the game. The Orchid also has a benefit of being cheaper than a sheepstick and can be built with many smaller parts, so if you're struggling go for that. If you really hate somebody, get both and watch them cry.
Playing a Carry
You're a very late game carry. Think along the lines of Phantom Lancer. Your goal is to farm up your selected carry items as soon as possible. Until you get your items, you're just an additional source of right-click DPS and a nuisance with your sprout.
This will never end well if your enemy team is competent and has an actual hard carry. If not, and it's a pubstomp, this is how you kill people.
massively reduces armor of enemies and heroes. Along with helping you push, it can leave a hero naked to physical damage and synergizes well with any right-click hero.
is needed because of how little damage Nature's Prophet does. You will need the additional crit damage to be of any use as a hard carry. Because the enemy wont have any armor from your Desolator, this item will get you hitting very, very hard.
is a good idea because you will be very squishy following this build, and it helps with damage output. More of you means more targets, and it means more autoattacks. Illusions benefit from Daedalus' crit bonus.
Playing a Sidecarry
If you have one good hard carry and you're going to be taking up a sidecarry role to help your team deal more DPS, here are some good items.
gives you health and incredible lifesteal. It increases your durability in teamfights and allows you to stick it through and spam right clicks.
Eye of Skadi's
Unique Attack Modifier is uniquely unique in that it stacks with lifesteal. The slow benefit is similar to that of Drow Ranger
's Frost Arrows
. This will allow your carry to get many more hits off, and will slow down the attack speed of whatever it hits. This is very effective against heroes like Ursa
, whose Fury Swipes
depend on getting many consecutive hits. The slowdown is also rage inducing to these melee heroes.
Not to mention, Eye of Skadi is the best single item source of stats in the game. An Eye gives you 675 health and +25 damage.
Monkey King Bar
is a good idea if you're up against Phantom Assassin
or a windrunner that is really ruining your day. Its True Strike will allow you to puncture through their evasion abilities (including any enemy Talisman of Evasion
), and the ministun akin to Sniper
is also very annoying. This item does not
affect Faceless Void
is one of the best sources of attack speed in the game, and it gives your autoattacks a sort of AOE splash. This is a good pickup against someone like Templar Assassin
because of her hit-based shield, or any illusion based carry, such as Naga Siren
, Phantom Lancer
, or anyone whom has happened to pick up a Manta Style
Heart of Tarrasque
is a very last-ditch effort item. If you're getting beat on and focused hard, you may want to farm one up. It's the best source of health, and because of its regeneration bonus, will keep you on your toes as you push lanes.
. Always as the most futile of efforts, never as a joke. Do not throw games with this item. If you're taking it up the *** because you're the idiot that decided it was a good idea to go Carry Nature's Prophet, this is your last ditch item. Farm a Heart, farm a Divine, and pray to your deities of choice as you prepare for your final move.
I mention the Divine Rapier, even though it's a pretty obvious Hail Mary Mother of God item for any hero, because of how desperate the situation is where Nature's Prophet is the sole carry on a team. He does not have the damage output of any other carry. With a Divine and Daed, he can, however, match the damage output of other big-ticker heroes. A little teamwork a divine goes a very long way in a bad situation.
Friends and Foes of Nature's Prophet
's Precision Aura
grants a huge damage bonus to all ranged creeps. This makes pushing even easier, and you will never see enemy creeps on your side of the river.
Aside from this little caveat, Nature's Prophet goes well with anyone. His omnipresence is beneficial to anyone, his sprout helps every ranged carry get more kills, and his pushing helps every team composition possible win.
's Split Earth
is an AOE no-target stun that can easily nab a Nature's Prophet in the safety of his sprout.
is a another AOE no-target stun that can destroy trees on top of just being a jerk.
can trip up Nature's Prophet inside of his sprout like two kids with a jump rope.
Queen of Pain
, and Phantom Assassin
all have blinks (as does anyone packing a Blink Dagger
) which can easily escape and enter into a sprout circle for a kill.
This game was played right before I submitted this. It shows very good execution of game theory. Both teams appeared competent. My team won.
All of us have a very rough start, top lane is getting beat up, bottom lane is a solo Tidehunter versus Centaur. I stumble at the very beginning in jungling, but still manage to get my Staff of Wizardry and begin ganking. It starts with Tidehunter suggesting that (now that he has his ult), we kill Centaur, and we do. From there on it's more ganks until I have my Necronomicons and we begin pushing down towers.
I manage to split put the entire game. My team is very well focused on middle, so the enemy team has to defend at all times. When people do leave middle to either push an empty lane back, or to try and stop me, my team advances and kills stranded defenders. Whenever my team loses, there's so much creep to kill before reaching a tower they never succeed in taking tier-1 mid. Both top and bottom tower losses were denials. Wrath of Nature is used liberally throughout the match to soften enemies and make people think twice about advancing after a loss.
I quickly nab a level 3 Necronomicon and work on my Aghanims. By the time I get it we have a clear advantage, and this doesn't stop after the upgraded Wrath of Natures start rolling in. I begin to solo Roshan with the help of the necronomicons, my team joins me, and I end up taking the Aegis after we have a blunder where nobody has inventory room for it. I never lose the aegis.
After bottom racks are destroyed, I have so much gold I quickly finish my Orchid and upgrade my Ring of Basilius to a Vladamir's Offering just to have spent the gold on something. We have one more teamfight near the enemy ancient before we win.
It was a fun game, and very coordinated for a pub. It was also very quiet, nobody blamed each other, and it was all "ggwp" at the end. Extremely good demonstration of how this guide should play out.