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79 Votes

The Modern Siren (ANTI alt-tab)

January 22, 2014 by Sp12
Comments: 25    |    Views: 381229    |   

Build 1
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Build 4


DotA2 Hero: Naga Siren

Hero Skills

Eelskin (Innate)

Mirror Image

4 12 13 14


1 8 9 10

Rip Tide

2 3 5 7

Song of the Siren

6 11 16


15 17 18

The Modern Siren (ANTI alt-tab)

January 22, 2014


I'm Sp12 -- I write guides here and can be found streaming at; if you have any questions/comments feel free to post at either. I'm often on the first 10 pages of matchmaking, so you might see me there.

This is a set of builds for Naga Siren. I love illusion based heroes, and Siren is one of the more versatile ones. Each build gets it's own minisection for you to check out, so consider this an anti-alt-tab guide. They are sourced from the various Dota scenes and my personal experience. The formatting for this guide is matched heavily with my Faceless Void guide, which you can check out if you play him.

Naga Siren is one of the most versatile heroes in the game. No matter how you slice her (stats, skills, armor/movespeed, ultimate, utility) she is a fantastic hero capable of fulfilling any role from 1-5.

As a hero Siren has two areas that need focusing -- serious mana issues and stacking stats/HP for her illusions. Teams build her a lot of different ways, which I'll try to cover in rough order of popularity. She used to be ran as a teamfight carry with Linkens, then as a hard carry, and is now run almost always as a support. This isn't to say that she's not an excellent carry -- she is.

Siren is relatively tanky (2.3 strength gain on an agility carry, 5 starting armor, easy get-out-of-jail-free ulti, illusions to dodge/confuse stuns), a strong pusher/teamfighter with an awesome setup/getaway ulti, and a great laner. She has a very strong single target initiation in the form of Ensnare, which helps secure early kills and makes her an effective Blink/invis/BKB hero counter. She's a hero that not only likes level 16 but has the stats and scaling to take it to 25.

Note that for time calculations this guide assumes around ~350 gold per minute. Early less is expected and later more, but this will help you identify the time constraints you're under for certain builds without having to run them multiple times. Siren can farm multiple camps at once/plus lanes with ease via Mirror Image with some basic attack move and Rip Tide micro, so expect literally insane gold per minute after 25 minutes.

Another important note is that skill and item build are not a one-size deal. If you go mid a bottle would make sense. If you're getting free farm in lane and your team is pushing heavily maybe early image levels should take priority; maybe you need stats early against a trilane or a single mirror image early against a Sven to dodge storm hammer. There isn't a way for me to offer alternative skill builds, but know that you can be successful with many different ones as all of siren's skills are fantastic.

Brief Playnotes

I'm not going to list out skills/whatnot, there's a lot of excellent videos and replays of how to play Siren. An easy way to get better is to watch replays on player perspective -- filter recent games for Naga Siren and very high skill level. I will cover some of the points I don't see people execute consistently, even at higher levels.

  • Beware the cleave and AoE. Leshrac and Tiny are pretty decent counters for having stuns as well as AoE
  • Ensnare is one of the few skills that goes through BKB. It also interrupts channeling spells, making it super great against heroes like Enigma or Lycanthrope that rely on magic immunity to make the most of their ultimate. Another important note is that it prevents heroes from going invisible, but is disjointable by going invisible before it latches
  • Your combo is image->ensnare->rip tide, not ensnare->image->rip tide. Ensnare has a long duration but the transformation time on images is significant
  • Speaking of transformation time you can dodge stuns/hits pretty easily with it
  • Your ult leaves them invulnerable for ~.1 seconds after they have control of their hero, meaning anyone with a BKB or blink is going to dodge any sort of non BKB-penetrating combo/initiation done with your song. It's not that good for initiating as they get a heads up as well
  • If anyone on the enemy team pops BKB in a teamfight pop Song of the Siren and ensare them. They are now playing 5v1 as their team sits there slept
  • Net works on courier. If someone is getting an item form a courier in lane you can net it, then sleep them while you kill the courier
  • Carry a TP scroll. If things look bad you can always sing then TP out (assuming they don't have BKB). This is especially true at level 16 when your ultimate has a 60 second cooldown. At level 6 180 seconds is a big deal, but still better than dying. At level 11 you can basically push out of position and sing when they come to repel you, sort of like how Lycan can split push then ulti away but better
  • Level one images are really bad except as distractions/scouts/single target spell deterrents/dodgers. They basically become twice as good per skill level
  • If you're still looking for items after all the items listed Butterfly, Eye of Skadi or Daedalus are the next items, but when games go long enough for you to consider ultra-luxuries at some point you need to stop getting items and start saving for buyback. For most of the game other items will give more survivability/utility/DPS, but evasion, Skadi, and crit obviously start pulling ahead lategame. With Skadi you will slow with your attacks while your illusions retain the manaburn orb


The Malaysian scene was the first to run siren as a support, a trend that has spread and become part of the core metagame. It's pretty viable as she has great (BKB penetrating) disable, laning utility, stacking and pushing with illusions, great farming for a support, and the ability to transition into a carry.

Get a support item, not all 3. As a support you should provide your carry with lane presence, harassing, coordinating for kills, and pulling as needed. You will not have many last hits, so consider ganking with your ranged root and AoE gush. First item is either Arcane Boots or Urn of Shadows, then the other.

You can turn mana regen into farm, something few supports (CM, SD, Lina, Leshrac) can. Make sure you use illusions to scout and net in ganks/teamfights. Your song makes and breaks the midgame. You have pretty good pushing power with illusions, but make sure you're there for fights. Halberd or Necrobook are standout support items that make your illusions tanky while providing lots of utility. Necrobook is more pushy while halberd is more teamfight.


As you get towards lategame you can get Vlads/Diff as you start to rightclick more. Diffusal provides some extra utility with the purge and manaburn but you can grab pure support items here instead, though admittedly Vlads+Diffusal is pretty good.

Linken's First

This build rushes Linken's, and was seen dozens of times at TI2. Linken's makes teamfights very difficult to take as you'll always get song off as you want to disrupt or initiate a teamfight, plus it makes your farm very rapid and safe.

Basically it gives you a pretty free license to be out of position split pushing as you just sing tp as soon as they show up and pop your Linkens. If you do notice 3+ heroes miss all you do is leave images to push while you move off map to jungle. Travels are gotten in games where you want to farm/split push incessantly.

The RoH with PMS+6 armor makes you very hard to harass out of lane/lets you jungle freely, and song makes you hard to gank (even at level 6). The buildup to Linken's isn't that great but isn't bad and as soon as it's done you can just start spamming images down lane or in jungle. In classic Chinese style Hand of Midas can be gotten before you finish Linken's (either after RoH or before if you really forced the offlane solo out).

If you made it to Linken's on either regular boots Boots of Travel are good for the farm, push, and chasing power they give as illusions don't get the attack speed from Power Treads only +8 of a stat. Same thing as North American build -- Naga is commonly built towards 3 items lategame -- heart, diffusal, and manta. Linkens+Manta and your illusions make it very risky for the other team to try to use single target disables on you in teamfights.


The most viable carry Siren build right now, a fast radiance on Siren is even more disastrous for the other team as a Battlefury Antimage. Creep waves, neutral camps, and towers melt before your burning illusions

Soul ring is your goto regen item in the current version, though you have to be careful using the active only as needed. You can get arcanes or drums to fill your manapool if you have to do things early, but ideally you'd just sit in lane with a ring of regen and farm a radiance.

Once you have radiance you cna start split pushing, though don't neglect your very strong early contribution from you skills. Song and net make for very strong teamfights, and radiance can stop creep waves from coming in during pushes.

Radiance lets you farm multiple lanes/camps at once, using Soul Ring to solve your mana issues short term. You won't be spamming rip tide to clear camps, rather just abusing radiance burn. You can just shove (attack-move) illusions down lane and it will require a hero there to stop the lane from pushing.

Farm items and become impossible to deal with.

Vlad's Armlet

Originally a terrorblade build I faced in a clanmatch, I've recently seen this exact build on a quite a few agility carries -- Spectre, Anti-Mage, even Juggernaut. I think it was originally inspired by Chaos Knight's build. This build focuses on a weird item for an agility carry -- Armlet of Mordiggian. It actually makes use of three of the most cost efficient items in the game (armlet, Vlad's, drums) to give you a strong midgame with a good lategame transition. Armlet/drums have solid synergy with Siren. Her built-in illusions benefit from armlet health and drum aura -- activate your armlet before you split! Vlads is good for teamfighting early as always, but this build does not solve your mana issues without arcanes on you and preferably at least one other hero.

HoIW and basilius give you your early game regen, but your goal isn't to farm. Get your core (or even part of it) and start fighting. This build gives a lot of early stats which gives you a pretty strong 12-20 minute timing window to push with team and force teamfights. I get an extra early level of images so I can have them maxed at 10 and not 12.


Manta or heart are the obvious transition out of this, as you'll hopefully be winning teamfights with your Vlad's+Drums aura and armlet illusions. Manta gives you more illusions to benefit from your items while also stacking movespeed and stats for them/you. Heart becomes an awesome endgame item as it lets you leave Armlet on all the time. Diffusal remains relevant as always.

So which do I pick when why?

Pick based on the role your team needs you to fill. If you need to be an ultra hard carry go radiance. If you need to go mid pick some modification of the 2nd build. Aggressive trilane carry? Armlet Vlads sounds good. Support? Support.

I can't give you a list of every scenario and every pick, so here's an easy pro/con table for the builds to help you choose.

Ability to farm with mana regen
Amazing skillset
Carry transition
Not going to get out of control like a carry
Poor starting int

Early sustain
Annoying split push as soon as you have some levels in mirror image
Comes partially online fast
Moderate buildup
Very strong farming ability
Scales well lategame
Makes you a very resource intensive target to gank/stall ala Morphling
Stats for illusions
Requires at least one other item to become a huge presence in fights
Not that fast at farming

Radiance gives insane GPM
Fragile, all-in early game
Limited early HP

Early HP and stats
Good teamfight auras
Comes partially online fast
Easy buildup
Super cost-effective
Benefits illusions well
Great transition into diffusal/manta/heart
Armlet requires attention to turn off/on
Does not solve mana problems more than partially
Tight on item slots


So there's the most common/effective playstyles for Naga. If you have any questions/comments/criticisms feel free to post them. At the very least I'd like a comment why if you feel like downvoting :P. If you feel it was worth the read a vote up helps get builds seen more, and I certainly would love to see some more non cookie-cutter Sirens.

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