|2.||Teamfight: Critical Factors for Oracle Success|
|3.||Laning: Critical Factors for Oracle Success|
|4.||Note on Skill Progression (Mobile Artillery Build)|
|5.||Note on Talents (Mobile Artillery)|
|6.||Note on Talents (The Priest)|
|7.||Note on Utility Items|
|8.||Pros / Cons|
|9.||When To Pick|
|10.||Note on Experimental Bio Weapon Build|
Want to be the Lynchpin of your team? The reason why your carries carry on, your map stays brightly lit, and your enemies hide their daughters? Then step into the shoes of the Weaver of Fate.
Oracle is my main hero and has been since 2016. I've put a lot of hours into trying different builds and strategies with him and there's two particular builds that prove highly effective 95% of the time: the Mobile Artillery build and the Priest build.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Oracle, here's a quick rundown. Besides his obvious strengths of Nuking and Healing, his third (and probably his greatest) strength is how often he is underestimated by his enemies. No one expects Oracle to be as OP as he is, especially so early in the game. Players generally know his Ult is a problem but they often forget how quickly Oracle can melt them if he engages in earnest (as early as level 3) even if they have as much as 60% HP.
He hits hard very early on, he keeps allies in-lane during laning phase, he Thanos Snaps low-hp heroes trying to flee, and he keeps the hard carries alive in team fights through the end. Beyond that, he effectively counters most auto attack heroes with his disarm -- this means heroes like Drow, LC, MK, Viper, and Spec will have a hard time if they don't kill Oracle fast.
To maximize team synergy, make sure to let your mates know to run TO you, not AWAY from you if they're in trouble. This issue arises a lot in low MMR brackets. I can't tell you how many allies have died because they mindlessly ran back towards base or shrine or who knows where instead of towards the Oracle.
This goes without saying, but it's not as simple as it sounds. As Oracle, you have to be aware of four things simultaneously in every team fight. Think of Oracle as the "eye in the sky"; at any given moment you might have to play an offensive role, a defensive role, a sacrificial role, or a babysitter role and the needs will shift multiple times every fight. To perform as Oracle should, be keenly aware of the following:
During the laning phase, you should always try to be aggressive when you can. Obviously get in the Denies but don't be afraid to take a few LH here and there; if you can get your Eul's and second Wind Lace early, you'll probably be more effective early- and mid-game than the rest of your team.
When you're not denying, you're harassing heroes. Spam your nuke spells and only reserve enough mana for one clutch play (Usually that's enough for two 'E's and a 'Q') or one solid heal ('W' -> 'E'). Oracle has a pretty impressive mana pool once he gets his Mana boots.
If you are getting out-harassed, just focus on Denies and keeping your lane buddy above 50% HP.
At Level Three: Whenever you get an enemy hero down to 60% hp, go on him with your lane buddy. It's almost a guaranteed kill if they aren't disable or escape heavy.
One other random tip: Always 'Q' the enemy creep buffed with Dark Seer's Ion Shell. It completely counters his pushing ability.
Your 'E' is your bread and butter, so max that first -- always.
Your 'Q' and 'W' are a different matter and require explanation.
Cooldown is the important factor of you 'Q' -- damage not so much. You want to be able to use it frequently, and keeping your target virtually perma-rooted is pretty sweet at max skill-level, but...
The duration of your "W" makes the difference between getting in only one heal or two heals.
I've found through trial and error that maxing your "artillery" skill before putting a second point in 'W' isn't actually ideal for a nuke-centric Oracle. Here's the reason: You won't really need to be casting root after root quickly until late game when enemy heroes are beefy. Up until the Mid game, one 3.5 second root is enough to get the kill. To maximize your utility as Oracle, it's best then to alternate between your 'Q' and your 'W' -- especially if the enemy team has auto-attack heroes or magic casters.
Even as a Nuke-centric Oracle you still have to be every bit the effective healer as well.
Unless you're 4 levels behind, you shouldn't ever go with +25% exp gain. The +1 second of root is way too useful. With level 4 Fortune's End and the +1 second root talent, you can virtually perma-root your target or delay their entry into a teamfight so badly that their formation instantly crumbles. To balance this out, I'd suggest buying 1 or 2 Tomes if your carry is good on levels and no one else is significantly underleveled.
Like I said earlier, Cast Range and Move Speed are King. Always pick cast range, never +GPM. Oracle isn't reliant on luxury items -- All oracle really needs most of the time is Eul's, Aether Lens, Mana Boots, and an extra Wind Lace. Not very expensive.
With Eul's and a 2nd Windlace, you'll be able to escape or chase down an enemy 90% of the time (provided they don't have blink). +50 MS is pure overkill. Invisibility effect on your Ult, however, adds a lot of value to your healing. But use your judgment here: if there's a BH or Riki on your team AND another hero that uses shadowblade, consider forgoing Eul's and get the +50 MS. Instead of Eul's, maybe buy a different disable item or even an Urn.
Again, there's some nuance to this one. 95% of the time, +2s of your Ult is the best choice -- but if the other team has two effective auto-attack heroes (like a fed Drow and a Void) OR a lot of magic damage, it might make more sense to go for rapid magic immunity. Use your best judgment.
The only difference in Talent progression for the Priest is the +25% XP gain.
Obviously you're only going to get one or two of these items, if that. I've included all items that Oracle might need to use. Choose based on need.
Oracle is always a pretty great pick EXCEPT in the following conditions/circumstances:
1) Team already has, or will have, a hard support or heal-centric support.
2) Enemy Team has Axe
3) Team has low durability
Exceptionally great times to pick Oracle:
1) Your Team has Legion Commander
2) Enemy Team has Legion Commander
3) Enemy Team is Auto-Attack heavy (2+)
4) Enemy Team has Pudge ('W' counters Pudge disease aura AND Ulti)
5) Enemy Team has Dark Seer
6) Enemy Team is Magic Damage Heavy
7) Your Team has a super durable hero like BB or Centaur
8) Enemy Team has Necrophos
9) Enemy Team has Sniper ('W' counters Sniper's Ulti)
This one is a WIP and might not be very viable in most situations. It's also more theorycraft than a build tested in-game, although it has been pretty effective the few times so far it's been battle-tested.
It is a lot of fun to play though. Try to rush the Agh's -- Agh's makes your heal targets virtually unkillable so long as they aren't 1v5ing.
Use this build if you're used to playing Oracle the normal way and want a change. There's something to zipping around the map at a permanent max clip and rapid-firing 360-damage nukes every second. This won't do much vs tanks but it will be a problem for any hero that isn't sufficiently durable.
The Talent progression also allows you to maintain permanent magic damage immunity on two allies if you're good at juggling your targets.