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The Lynchpin Oracle (7.20e)

January 10, 2019 by TransactionComplete
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Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

Mobile Artillery

DotA2 Hero: Oracle


Purchase Order

Starting Items

< 12:00

< 20:00

<30:00

<45:00

Utility / Situational

Continuous



Hero Skills

Fortune's End

1 8 11 14

Fate's Edict

4 9 13 16

Purifying Flames

2 3 5 7

False Promise

6 12 18

Talents

10 15

Hero Talents

-5s Fate's Edict Cooldown
25
+2 False Promise Duration
+50 Movement Speed
20
False Promise Invisibility
+150 Cast Range
15
+120 Gold/Min
+1s Fortune's End Max Duration
10
+25% XP gain

Introduction

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.

Teamfight: Critical Factors for Oracle Success

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS


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:

1) Status of Allies


This is your #1 priority. Always know who needs healing, make sure to Q any ally with a negative debuff, and anticipate incoming magic attacks so you can W your allies and keep them unharmed. If an ally is getting chased down, root the pursuer. If an ally is caught in a duel with LC, either 'W' LC or Ult your ally.

2) Status of Enemies


Be aware of any and all buffs on your enemies so you can dispell them with Q. Be able to appropriately prioritize using your Nukes for healing or damage.

3) Battle Composition, Hero Position


Be able to anticipate enemy convergence on an ally hero who is out of position or too deep. A well timed anticipatory 'Q' can root multiple enemies and stop a quick kill in its tracks. This is just about as important as being on top of your general healing game. If an enemy auto-attack hero is the lynchpin on the other team, prioritize disarming him with 'W' over saving it for heals early in the fight. If an enemy escape hero is low on health, like Anti-Mage, make sure you Queue your 'Q' and pop off an 'E' before he blinks away. Your Fortune's End will follow him wherever he goes, even all the way back to fountain if he TP's to base. Also, know which enemies are channeling spells so you can Eul's them.

4) Valuable Sacrifice Opportunity


If your team is routed, know when to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. Oftentimes if you throw yourself at pursuers to save your hard carry, you'll be able to get a kill out of it if you Ult yourself and focus down one of their glass cannons. This can also be useful in a team fight depending on circumstances. Often if you get the entire team to focus you down at the start of a fight, your own team can flank or engage in a more advantageous way. One wombo combo that works well is this strategy + Enigma's Ult.

MOBILE


Whether you go the heal-centric route or the nuke-centric route, move speed is the most critical stat for your effectiveness and survival. It will enable you to bait in team fights (people love to focus you once they figure out how critical you are to the team's success), chase down routed enemies, and quickly reach ally heroes in dire straits. Since you'll be performing the roles of both nuker and healer, you need to be everywhere at once.

ARTILLERY


Cast Range is just as important as move speed. In fact, early game it is more important which is why Aether Lens comes before Eul's. Its primary effect besides enhancing Oracle's chasedown capability is psychological. In my experience, enemy heroes often flee when they see Oracle charging a 3.5 second root a mile away. Opening a teamfight with Oracle's mile-range 'Q' often disrupts enemy formation. It also discourages efficient farming in lane. But most importantly, it's necessary for nuking down fleeing heroes. I'd say well over half of my kills as Oracle were only possible because of my Aether Lens -- and these are kills that wouldn't otherwise be made for the team.

Laning: Critical Factors for Oracle Success

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.

Note on Skill Progression (Mobile Artillery Build)

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.

Note on Talents (Mobile Artillery)

1st Talent
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.

2nd Talent
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.

3rd Talent
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.

4th Talent
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.

Note on Talents (The Priest)

The only difference in Talent progression for the Priest is the +25% XP gain.

Note on Utility Items

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.

Pros / Cons

PROS

    Strong Healer
    Strong Nuker
    Strong Single- and Dual-Target Disabler
    Soft Counters Auto-Attack Heroes
    High Utility
    Hard Counters Legion Commander and Necrophos
    Not Very Item-Dependent
    If played well, can make the single biggest difference in the game.

CONS

    Not Durable Without Ultimate
    Susceptible to Ganks
    Often Becomes Primary Target in Teamfights by Mid-Game
    Effectiveness is Diminished if Oracle Is Not the Only Healing Support on Team (same goes for all hard supports)
    Damage Dealing Capabilities Fall Off Late Game

When To Pick

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)

Note on Experimental Bio Weapon Build

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.

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