Salutations Cavalry Aficionados. This is a guide to Centaur Warrunner designed to introduce players to how this fine horseman will start team fights that will destroy the enemy team and leave your hooves bloody. First and foremost you need to understand that Centaur is a tank and your role is to initiate team fights, stun, and do a fair amount of damage with your cleave attack. However, if your team is not cooperating or refuses to back you up (or you don't tell them your plan of attack) then your opponents will feast on your sweet horseflesh.
While you are not technically a support, your abilities are designed to synergize with the rest of your team. You will help them take down tough heroes and get them out of trouble with your amazing global ultimate Stampede. Though you are able to take out some weaker (or stupid) heroes on your own, Centaur is best played in the middle of team-fight confusion.
As with every guide, the skill build and item choices are only suggestions based on what works for me. Some people may opt to max out Hoof Stomp earlier or get a point or two of Return before they top off Double Edge. It's all situational depending on how the game is going.
Once you've completed your core items Centaur has a fairly standard and easy to master attack sequence.
1) Group up with your allies and then use Blink Dagger to initiate on the enemy. Immediately
2) Hoof Stomp to stun your foe and follow it up with a Double Edge.
3) Once your opponent is stunned your teammates can come in and finish the job with whatever spells or attacks they have available. Most enemy teams will immediately (and foolishly) try to kill you with burst damage. This is where the real value of Return comes in. Once it is maxed out every attack against you also damages the attacker for a percentage value of your strength. If you have 100 strength this means they take 72 damage per attack. If you pop a Blade Mail they'll take significantly more damage than they dish out.
4) Once you are getting low on health, pop your Stampede and allow your allies to rush in as you beat a hasty retreat.
While you may not deliver the finishing blow, this sequence will get you tons of assists and put your team on the path to victory.
The earliest stage of the game is when Centaur is weakest and you should focus on surviving rather than trying to get early kills. At the beginning you should get a few points of Hoof Stomp so that you can stun enemies for your laning partner to do some follow up hits, or just to get away from a sticky situation. While you should put points into Double Edge early, don't use it unless you are certain that you will get a kill. Before you get a cloak, the ability does almost as much damage to you as it does to your enemy and it is surprisingly easy to kill yourself with.
That said, once you have your Hood of Defiance, which provides some magic resistance, Double Edge delivers massive amounts of cleave damage that can kill a weakened hero, or almost instantly destroy a creepwave or jungle camp.
Return is--by far--the best skill in your repertoire. Enemies quickly learn that attacking you is a losing proposition since every time an enemy attacks you they receive damage equal to 50% of your strength. I suggest putting one point into it early on, but waiting to max it out once you are a bit tankier.
Take Stampede at the normal ultimate levels of 6, 11 and 16. It is hard to express how useful a skill this is. You can use it to escape the center of a team fight where you've had your health knocked low. You can chase down and trample someone fleeing you and then Hoof Stomp stun them for 2.75 seconds and then finish them with Double Edge, or you can help an ally on the other side of the map escape certain death when they cry for help over the mic.
Above all else, Centaur's goal is to survive. This means focusing on regen early on. While you have some fantastic damage dealing abilities ( Double Edge, Stampede, Hoof Stomp) you will find that most of your value on the map comes when enemies attack YOU, and then pay for their mistake with Return and, later Blademale.
It is absolutely essential that you rush Tranquil Boots before anything else. These bad boys give you excellent regen, and let you quickly get back the huge amounts of health that you are going to loose as a melee hero who is ordinarily on the front lines. After this go right into building a Hood of Defiance, buying all the items as you go at the side shop. The hood provides you with lots of regen and survivability, but, just as importantly, it minimizes the damage that you take from Double Edge. Once you have the hood, you can pretty much spam this ability without worrying about any repercussions.
After this you go straight into building a Blink Dagger, which should be pretty easy to farm now because you can use Double Edge to clear jungle camps or creep waves and start to farm incredibly quickly.
Once you have this setup, join the rest of your team and start initiating small ganks and well-planned team fights as I explain in my tactics section.
Next you build Blade Mail to compliment your Return.
As of 6.84c, Centaur got an Aghanim's Scepter upgrade that makes him an even better team fighter. The upgrade to Stampede allows him and his team to share damage resistance and to move over obstructions. This can be used to charge into Rosh through the walls, climb onto base's high ground from a new direction, or escape from just about anywhere. It's definitely a worthwhile pickup.
Finally, a Heart of Tarrasque to make you much stronger and survivable.
Once you get to the late game, I like to pick up a Heaven's Halberd for the evasion and the ability to disarm troublesome opponents. Really, though, at this point there are a lot of items that might make sense. Sometimes I'll get a second Heart of Tarrasque, a Radiance (which is useful more for locating invisible Heroes than aura damage) o, or even an Assault Currias to speed up the whole team's attacks. It's hard to go very wrong as long as the rest of your build is complete. You will probably want to swap out the now-useless Tranquil Boots for Boots of Travel if you have extra gold.
In addition to being a fantastic initiator, Centaur Warrunner is one of the best wave pushers and jungle-clearers in the game making it incredibly easy to acquire farm for big items. Once you have your Hood of Defiance the process is simple: meet the wave head on and let them attack you as they take damage from Return. Finish the whole wave off at once with a Double Edge and then move on to another camp or wave. As long as you don't get jumped, this is a surefire way to get lots of gold.
Tiny is your classic compatriot, especially at the beginning of the game. He throws you onto the enemy hero, you stomp and you both finish off your opponent. Who needs a blink dagger when you have this guy on your side?
People you Counter:
drow and Sniper especially in the early game, your return will destoy pesky ranged heroes.
Huskar since Return deals physical damage, Huskar is pretty much neutralized by centaur.
Phantom Lancer his illusions get hit by return and your double edge can clear the whole pack at once.
People who counter Centaur
Lifestealer can bring down Centaur very quickly. Beware.
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