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5 Votes

The Perfect Spot (Mastering Earth Spirit)

November 5, 2014 by lampy
Comments: 8    |    Views: 11942    |   


Swag Spirit Semi-Support

DotA2 Hero: Earth Spirit




Hero Skills

Boulder Smash

1 8 9 10

Rolling Boulder

3 12 13 14

Geomagnetic Grip

2 4 5 7

Magnetize

6 11 16

Talents

15 17 18


The Perfect Spot (Mastering Earth Spirit)

lampy
November 5, 2014


Introduction

Enter Kaolin, the Earth Spirit. One of the most highly underrated heroes to ever exist since Chen was introduced. Earth Spirit may appear intimidating to some, while he may just seem like a flat out useless hero to others. This is because Earth Spirit is one of the hardest heroes to play, and definitely one of the hardest heroes to master. However, there is no reason to fear. Practice makes perfect, and after playing a few games with Earth Spirit against bots you should have gained enough confidence to put your abilities to the test in pub matches. Aside from all that mumbo jumbo, Earth Spirit is a highly versatile Strength hero with a strong in-lane presence that thrives in early to mid-game team fights. With access to a stun, silence, and (slightly unreliable) form of initiation, Earth Spirit can find a place for himself in almost any type of team composition. Oh. And here's a bit of lore for any of those who are interested.

Deep amid the Upland crags and cliffs there runs a seam of sacred jade long foresworn by highland miners. From this rare material, the likeness of the great general Kaolin was carved and buried at the head of a stone funerary army ten thousand strong--a force of soldiers and holy men, jesters and acrobats, carved by crafstmen and entombed for millennia in the dark embrace of the Earth.

What the craftsmen had not known was that within the strange seam of jade flowed the spirit of the Earth itself--an elemental force at one with the planet. When the force within the carved jade found itself cut off from the life's blood of the world, it gathered its strength over the course of a thousand years and dug itself free and into the light. Now the great Kaolin Earth Spirit strides the Upland roads, fighting for the spirit of the Earth; and in times of need calls forth remnants of his buried army still locked in the loving embrace of the soil.

Pros / Cons

Pros


- Highly Versatile
- Strong Lane Presence
- Team Fighting
- Escape
- Can Also Help Teammates Escape


Cons


- Falls Off Late Game
- Lacks Reliable Damage Output
- Requires Practice and Skill
- Hates BKB

Stone Remnant



Description: Call a Stone Remnant to the target location. Stones Remnants have no vision and are invulnerable, and can be used with Earth Spirit's abilities. Calling a Stone Remnant consumes a charge, which recharge over time.


Stone Remnant is an ability that requires no skill points and it is automatically available for use at level one. Using Stone Remnant will allow for you to place a Stone Remnant down within your immediate vicinity. What are the odds, right? Stone Remnants are used in tandem with Earth Spirit's other abilities in order to make him one hell of a monster in lane. We'll get to that later, however. Stone Remnants provide no vision, do not obstruct movement, and are indestructible. Stone Remnants are tied to a charge system. You may carry up to six Stone Remnant charges at once, and placing a Stone Remnant will consume a single charge. Stone Remnant charges will recharge slowly over time, so be careful as to were you place them. Players new to Earth Spirit will oftentimes get either confused or nervous and place down all of their Stone Remnants at once in locations that they find to be convenient. While this is a definite way to play Earth Spirit, I would personally recommend only placing Stone Remnants when you know that you are about to use an ability. This ensures that you will always have a Stone Remnant to rely on, which can prove to be especially useful when either you or a teammate are caught out in a sticky situation. If you are still confused about the concept of Stone Remnant, come back and revisit this section after reading more about Earth Spirit.

Boulder Smash


Description: Earth Spirit smashes the target enemy or ally, sending them in the direction he is facing. If Earth Spirit targets an area, he will smash the nearest Stone Remnant in a 200 radius. The travelling unit or Remnant damages all enemy units it hits. If an enemy is hit by a Stone Remnant, they are also stunned. Stone Remnants travel further than other units.

Range: 150
Radius: 200
Slam Distance: 500 / 600 / 700 / 800 (2000 when using a Stone Remnant)
Slam Speed: 1200
Damage: 125
Stun Duration: 0.75 / 1.25 / 1.75 / 2.25 seconds (When using a Stone Remnant)
Mana Cost: 100
Cooldown Time: 22 / 18 / 14 / 10

This is Earth Spirit's long range stun. You can use this on allies, enemies, and Stone Remnants. You should mainly be using Boulder Smash on Stone Remnants, as hitting an enemy with a Stone Remnant will stun them for a good duration of time. When using Boulder Smash on a Stone Remnant, think of that Stone Remnant as a Sacred Arrow, a stun capable of traveling great distances. The only difference is that aiming Boulder Smash can be a little more difficult, and that Boulder Smash is also capable of stunning multiple targets rather than just one. Using Boulder Smash on both allies and enemies can prove to be useful as well. You can smash enemies into your own team for a safe pick off, or smash an ally out of harm's way if they appear to be in trouble. Get creative!

Rolling Boulder


Description: After a 0.6s delay, Earth Spirit becomes a boulder, rolling in the direction he is facing and damaging enemy units, stopping if he collides with an enemy hero or is stunned. If the boulder rolls over a Stone Remnant, the Stone Remnant is consumed and travel distance and speed are improved, and impacted enemies have their movement and attack speed slowed.

Range: 800 (1600 when using a Stone Remnant)
Radius: 150
Damage: 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (135 / 180 / 225 / 270 when using a Stone Remnant)
Movement and Attack Speed Slow: 80% for 2 seconds (Only when using a Stone Remnant)
Mana Cost: 50
Cooldown Time: 16 / 12 / 8 / 4

Earth Spirit's unreliable form of initiation and escape. Being able to effectively utilize Rolling Boulder will either make you or break you as an Earth Spirit. If you pass through a Stone Remnant while using this ability, the distance that you roll is far greater and a slow is applied to enemies that you hit. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Traveling a farther distance makes it easier to connect with the enemy team, but it also puts you in a nasty position if you manage to miss your target. You'll end up traveling the full 1600 units, which will often place you under enemy towers and in other unseemly places that you would rather not want to hang around. Long story short, if you land Rolling Boulder, you put your team in a great position for the upcoming team fight. If you miss, you end up positioning yourself in an undesirable spot. Don't forget that you can use Rolling Boulder to travel over ledges and other forms of impassable terrain to escape from the enemy team.

Geomagnetic Grip


Description: Earth Spirit pulls the target allied unit or Stone Remnant to his location. Enemies struck by the flying target will be silenced, and take damage if the flying target is a Stone Remnant.

Range: 1100
Radius: 180
Pull Speed: 1000
Silence Duration: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Stone Remnant Damage: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250
Mana Cost: 75
Cooldown Time: 13

Using Geomagnetic Grip will pull the targeted ally or Stone Remnant towards your location. This ability is extremely useful in team fights, as it silences any enemies that come into contact with the Stone Remnant that you pull towards you for an entirety of 5 seconds at max level. At best, you silence the entire enemy team for 5 full seconds. At worst, you silence a single enemy for a hefty duration of time. Regardless, this ability wins engagements when used in combination with both Boulder Smash and Rolling Boulder. Use Geomagnetic Grip to pull allies to your location when they are in immediate danger. If you are clutch enough, you can use Geomagnetic Grip to help your teammates avoid Pudge hooks and Invoker sun strikes.

Enchant Remnant


Description: Earth Spirit temporarily enchants a hero, granting them the properties of a Stone Remnant. After 3 seconds the remnant shatters, releasing the hero and damaging nearby enemies.

After purchasing an Aghanim's Scepter, you gain access to the wacky and wonderful ability known as Enchant Remnant. While sometimes considered situational, Enchant Totem allows for you to turn both allies and enemies into Stone Remnants for three seconds. Being a Stone Remnant, heroes become invulnerable to damage while being unable to damage enemies themselves. Enchant Remnant has both offensive and defensive capabilities. You can turn allies in danger into Stone Remnants and then pull them towards you with Geomagnetic Grip at increased speeds. Have a Blink Dagger or Force Staff? Move in on the enemy team and use Enchant Totem on an enemy. Proceed by pulling them towards you with Geomagnetic Grip, and send them straight into your allied team by utilizing Boulder Smash. Easiest pickoff of your life. Also, you can use Enchant Totem to shut down various enemy heroes. Did Faceless Void just throw down a Chronosphere? Enchant Totem, Geomagnetic Grip, and send the helpless hard carry back to his fountain with a swift Boulder Smash to the face. Enchant Totem also works wonders against Sven, Ember Spirit, and Sand King just to name a few. The stats from Aghanim's Scepter provide you with some solid stats as well.

Magnetize


Description: Magnetizes units in a small nearby area, causing them to take damage over time for a short duration. Any magnetized heroes cause nearby Stone Remnants to become energized and explode, applying/refreshing the magnetize debuff on all units near the Stone Remnant. This process can repeat multiple times. Stone Remnants are destroyed in this process. If an enemy hero is affected by silence or slows as a result of Rolling Boulder or Boulder Smash, all magnetized heroes share the effects.

Cast Radius: 300
Search Radius: 300
Explosion Radius: 600
Duration: 6
Damage per Second: 50 / 75 / 100
Mana Cost: 100
Cooldown Time: 80

Magnetize is a bit of a weird ultimate. It deals damage over time to all nearby enemies, and that damage over time is refreshed whenever enemies come into contact with a Stone Remnant that you place near them. So early game, you want to use Magnetize in team fights and continually place Stone Remnants in order to deal as much damage as possible. Magnetize also maximizes the efficiency of Rolling Boulder and Geomagnetic Grip. All enemy heroes affected by Magnetize will share the slows and silences that the two aforementioned abilities provide. Keep that in mind during team fights. Magnetize works well when used in conjunction with abilities such as Reverse Polarity, Vacuum, and Black Hole. While Magnetize may be no laughing matter early to mid game, the damage becomes a serious joke once you hit late game. Take advantage of your ultimate as many times as possible before it falls off completely and becomes useless.

Items

Core



Provides both you and your teammates some extra survivability during fights. The bonus health regeneration aura means that you and your allies will not be constantly traveling back to the fountain to heal up. Simply a standard item for Position 4 and 5 heroes. If an ally decides to build it, buy a Vanguard instead and build it into a Crimson Guard later on in the game.

Gives good mobility and nice regeneration. A well-rounded item that can help you with positioning and save allies when Geomagnetic Grip is on cool down.

Amplifies the damage of your rather weak abilities, which can prove to be extremely useful if the game drags out long enough. This item will essentially increase the amount of time that Magnetize remains potent.

Late Game



A solid late game item that provides you with lots of utility both inside and out of team fights, giving you access to the ability Enchant Remnant. It can help you save allied heroes and get easy pick offs. Aghanim's Scepter can also counter various hard carries such as Faceless Void. The stats that it provides you with are always helpful as well, giving you extra sustainability throughout the latter stages of the game.

This will make you a serious threat in team fights, especially if you can manage to get it off when all of your adversaries are clumped together in a big ball. Activate Shiva's Guard after initiating with Rolling Boulder. It also provides you with some extra armor to help you tank the heavy hitters as the game goes on.

Luxury



Armor and attack speed aura allow for you to gracefully transition into a late game sponge, capable of absorbing tons of physical damage. The more pain you can take for your team, the better. Certain hard carries on your team may want to buy Assault Cuirass for themselves, but there shouldn't be an issue as long as you consistently stick with your team and fight alongside allies.

What can I say? I think I've made it apparent by this point that the only thing that Earth Spirit is good for late game is receiving punishment from the enemy team. Purchasing a Heart of Tarrasque will give you that last bit of bulk necessary to become the ultimate late game team fighting tank.

Scythe of Vyse serves as a great form of late game disable. The active hex is rather relatable to Enchant Remnant, aside from a few minor differences. Scythe of Vyse also grants you some solid stats, which are always welcome.

Optional



A nice pickup to counter enemies such as Legion Commander and Phantom Assassin, I have found Blade Mail to prove itself to be increasingly useful when pitted against various adversaries. The purchase of this item isn't always justified, but it is definitely a solid choice if you are looking for some extra presence in team fights.

A little more flexible than Force Staff at the cost of the bonus stats and regeneration, Blink Dagger can oftentimes provide you with a more reliable form of mobility and positioning. I would recommend that only experienced Earth Spirit players looking to test new builds experiment with this item.

Purchase Crimson Guard if you end up skipping Mekansm. It will give you extra utility during mid game team fights, as the block chance and bonus armor are highly underrated.

Burst damage has uses outside of kill stealing, and Dagon can allow for you to continue to the bring pain to the enemy team even after the damage of your abilities starts to fall off. I'd also recommend purchasing this item if you still lack confidence in your abilities as an Earth Spirit but wish to make an impact on the game nonetheless.

A nice choice if your team is push-oriented or is looking for some extra movement speed. Make sure that no one else is buying it, though. This item is pretty much core if you decide to lane mid with Earth Spirit, as it gives you that extra kill potential needed to really get ahead of the enemy team.

A relatively cheap disable that backs you up with some decent stats as well. Make this purchase if you are running a little low on gold. Some Earth Spirit players consider this item to be core, but Eul's Scepter of Divinity really lacks the potency of some other items that can be picked up.

While purchasing Heaven's Halberd may seem like a questionable decision, especially for a semi-support, it actually makes sense the more you think about it. The maim chance can help hold back enemies from reaching their full potential, and the active disarm makes Earth Spirit even more of a threat when coupled up with the stun, slow, and silences that he is already equipped with.

Being able to amplify the damage of your abilities is pretty nice, and the active silence meshes well with Geomagnetic Grip. Works wonders against heroes with pesky escapes such as Weaver and Anti-Mage, as well as heroes completely reliant on their abilities such as Earthshaker and Shadow Shaman.

Not the best item choice, but it can work if your team is mainly melee-oriented by making your team overall more sustainable in fights. Check to see if anyone else on your team can make better use of it first, however, as Earth Spirit definitely doesn't benefit from Vlad's as much as others such as Lycan do.

Gameplay

Laning



Being a highly versatile hero, Earth Spirit can play any role from solo mid to jungler. However, in order to make the best use of his kit I recommend to play Earth Spirit as either an offlaner or a support. On the offlane, Earth Spirit can contest enemy farm by using Boulder Smash and Geomagnetic Grip and can escape from deadly engagements by using Rolling Boulder. I personally find Earth Spirit to play most effectively as a babysitting support, however. His abilities allow for him to keep his carry within relative safety while still providing the option to apply pressure to lane opponents. Earth Spirit generally prefers to be in a either a dual or solo lane. Despite generally playing in either position 4 or 5, the spirit of the earth is still dependent on levels in order to shine at his full potential.

Team Fights



Unless there is some form of initiation either bigger or better than Rolling Boulder, i.e. Ravage, you will be jumping head first into every single fight that your team partakes in. As Earth Spirit, you will want to disrupt the enemy team as much as possible before they can manage to get their magic immunity and disables up. Commence the team fight with Rolling Boulder, aiming for the largest concentration of enemy heroes. From there, prioritize silencing your enemies before stunning them, and then cast your ultimate as soon as you are given the opportunity. Although Magnetize hits hard, it is more important to create an opening for your team to strike rather than an opening simply for yourself. Plus, the faster you can silence your enemies, the more likely you are to survive the situation (Unless your adversary is Huskar, in which case run for the hills).

Using Abilities Smartly



It's good to know when to use your abilities, and in what situations.

Boulder Smash- This ability will be used primarily in lane in order to pick up early kills. You should also be using it to harass the enemy by disrupting last hits. Aside from that, this ability still plays an important role throughout the latter stages of the game during team fights. Stuns are always welcome and wanted, however the oftentimes shaky accuracy of this ability makes it somewhat unreliable.

Rolling Boulder- This is how you initiate team fights. It is somewhat ineffective during the early game due to the linear nature of lanes, so avoid from using it before the ten minute mark unless you are absolutely positive that you can hit your target.

Geomagnetic Grip- This ability takes priority over everything else other than Rolling Boulder in most situations. Having a five second silence is just too good to pass up. You should also be using this ability to save your teammates whenever possible. When given the choice between saving an ally and picking up a kill, always go for the ally first. Gold comes and goes, but the thankful appreciation of a teammate stays with you forever. But seriously, chances are that the ally you save needs their gold more than you do. Friends first. Just make sure not to abuse your power, as you may come off as annoying if you are pulling people to your location every time Geomagnetic Grip comes off cool down.

Magnetize- Your ultimate is strong early game, just make sure not to invest in it too much by diving for an enemy or by throwing down too many Stone Remnants.

Friends and Foes

Friends



Generally speaking, Earth Spirit enjoys the company of any hero with some form of disable or lockdown. This makes it so much easier to land abilities and secure kills on the enemy team.

Skywrath Mage hits enemies hard with both a slow and a silence, effectively creating easy targets for you to shut down. Your stun also works well in combination with Skywrath's ultimate.

Bloodseeker can completely immobilize enemies by casting Rupture on them. Bloodseeker and Earth Spirit are also both members of the "Awkward Heroes that Aren't Allowed in Captain's Mode Club". So that's a thing.

Shadow Shaman can disable enemies with shackles, hex, and even his ultimate if he is skilled enough.

Invoker's Ghost Walk and Cold Snap can make easy targets out of many heroes.

Brewmaster has a slow worth mentioning.

Both Ember Spirit and Storm Spirit can hold down enemy heroes for respectable periods of time.

The list goes on and on. Bane, Sven, Witch Doctor, Enchantress, Enigma, Vengeful Spirit, Wraith King, Nature's Prophet, Spirit Breaker, Mirana, Axe, Meepo, Disruptor, Legion Commander, Ancient Apparition, etc.

Foes



Dazzle and Omniknight can both get work done for their team without worrying at all about Earth Spirit. Omniknight can heal teammates and grant them magic immunity, which renders poor Earth Spirit almost completely useless. Dazzle can shallow grave and heal up any of his allies that manage to get caught out by Earth Spirit. Weave also greatly reduces the armor of both you and your allies, which sucks as Earth Spirit generally builds armor for late game.

Huskar can solo Earth Spirit without a care in the world. High damage output and a strong initiation can take out Earth Spirit in an instant. It doesn't help that Huskar gains magic resist the lower his health gets.

Doom. This ability alone ruins Earth Spirit. Enough said.

Invisibility heroes not reliant on their abilities such as Clinkz and Riki can catch Earth Spirit off guard and murder him before he has a chance to react.

Since Earth Spirit will oftentimes be in the center of all the action, it is easy for him to get caught out in a stray Black Hole or Chronosphere. Watch out for those.

Meepo wrecks Earth Spirit. Nets and poof lock down Earth Spirit, and Meepo can prevent Earth Spirit from escaping with enough micromanagement.

Black King Bar absolutely neuters Earth Spirit. Magic immunity renders the spirit useless. Make sure that you aren't performing too well, or you'll make the enemy team feel forced to purchase Black King Bars.

Heroes such as Axe and Legion Commander capable of forcing Earth Spirit into melee combat can tear through him if he is not equipped with Blade Mail.

Earth Spirit is useless without his abilities. The likes of Silencer and Drow Ranger tend to find that funny and take advantage of that fact as a result.

As odd as it may sound, Earth Spirit is also countered by one of his closest friends, Bloodseeker. Rupture prevents Earth Spirit from initiating with Rolling Boulder, and also keeps him from pulling allies that have been ruptured to safety.

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