The New Sniper
September 17, 2012
Find yourself a good lane with decent support, if not- you're mid.
The orb of venom is just a fun item on Sniper that I will rush if I happen to be on a sidelane. If you are mid it might not even be worth sending the courier (or yourself) to the secret shop to get because in that case you will likely want a Bottle and are typically against another solo hero. Still, it is a short walk to the secret shop so if you need a bit more harassing power against your opponent in lane it is a really good option coupled with Snipers extended range.
It's pretty important not to push your lane during the early game if you want to farm well. Sure, taking a tower is great, but it's not so great if you push by yourself and a gank comes in from behind- YOU WILL DIE. Last hit every creep and deny every creep you can, if you have to let your opponent push that is just fine- draw the creeps beyond your tower and farm accordingly, hoping that they don't have support coming in to completely take your tower.
Play uber-careful until you can get your Shadow Blade.
Skilling Shrapnel at level 5 is completely optional, often I will max Take Aim and Headshot first. If your opponent is out last-hitting and pushing your lane you may want to pick up Shrapnel as a defensive measure.
Ganking and Mid Game into End Game
You can gank when level 6, but often your farm might be insufficient and your lane can be brutal, slowing you down.
You have your core items and you are now working toward your Desolator. The Urn is optional, something to turn your gauntlet into but you might find it easiest to just sell the gauntlet and pick up the Shadow Blade sooner. The Desolator is crucial and it is imperative that you do whatever you have to to just farm and not die (lose gold). If you have to turtle, so be it. This item on Sniper is incredibly brutal.
Either right before or right when you get your Desolator you need to sell your Orb of Venom since the Unique Attack Modifiers do not stack.
Once you have your Desolator you should be almost capable of soloing many of the enemies if you can single them out. Should they prove too tough you can always use Shadow Blade to escape to safety and, if you're lucky, pull off an Assassinate when they aren't expecting it.
Everything beyond that is just superfluous. Manta Style can be nice to scare off enemies, a Hyperstone can up your attack speed significantly, but often once you have the Desolator and your team is relatively similarly farmed it is practically game over.
Have fun, be polite
As Sniper it can be really hard to win but I hope this guide helps you to get closer to victory. I find that the Orb of Venom early is a great tool to harass your lane opponent and have an easier time last hitting and denying without too much worry of your lane opponent's harass. Still, you should be careful early on not to push too far forward and let any other enemy behind you.
Rule 1: If you don't have Shadow Blade and someone is behind you, you will die.
Rule 2: Dying is extremely detrimental to you obtaining your Shadow Blade and eventually Desolator. Play as cautious as you have to.
Rule 3: Desolator = Game Over, good job.