TwillyFSniper's guide to Sniper (for 6.83 )
March 5, 2015
Always start with stats in mind, even against a Pudge. Get some Iron Branches, a Circlet, and some Tangoes.
You should always build Power Treads for Agility. ALWAYS. Of course, unless you know you can clutch with one of the other two. The Morbid Mask for lifesteal durability, Claymore for more damage, and to build into Shadow Blade. Buy Town Portal Scrolls to keep your farm advantage, or to be in lane to farm. Wraith Band should be the first thing you get though. It gives really nice stat boosts early for only the cost of two Circlets or so.
In the middle of the game is when you get killfeed. Take advantage of this and the farm advantage you should have to buy the bulk of everything you need to build. All the Agility and Damage you can afford. Of course, getting Maelstrom for farm, Helm of the Dominator for durability, and Shadow Blade for an escape mechanism.
The late game should be just the wrapping up of what you had done midgame. Just finish out the build then. Get things like Desolator, Butterfly, or Daedalus preferably, unless you need more escapability.
If you want probably the best ranged pushing in the game (other than Razor's with this item and Aghanim's Scepter) get Sniper a Heart of Tarrasque. It gives him a huge boost in Health and Health Regen. Giving you that survivability you may need.
Manta Style gives you a great illusion active, makes pushing an awful lot faster, and gives less vulnerability to assassins. Eye of Skadi gives you the extra slow you may need to catch up with the enemy to keep attacking, and good stat boosts. Diffusal Blade is good against nooby duplication heroes such as Phantom Lancer and Meepo, due to Purge. Also, stat boosts. Force Staff is the item of these worst for Sniper. Force is a good thing to have, but it's really better for Windranger, because she's Intelligence-based, and it's only stat boost is Intelligence.
Blink Dagger is a decent replacement for Shadow Blade, in the correct situations. Blink Dagger is great for solo pushing Snipers. Blink Dagger away from threat. Leave. Unless you know you can secure a kill at the distance. Do this when an opponent is super weak, like against a squishy carry or support. Just hit, hit... Until they are running and leaving. Assassinate. Dead. Possible double, triple, and ultra kill if it's done right and if you have a team. It can even be a Rampage kill.
Desolator, Butterfly, and Daedalus are just flatly for damage output. Desolator gives armor penetration (that's practically what it is), Butterfly also gives attack speed and evasion. (I'd put it in core if it were cheaper). Daedalus is feasible to use as a crit super boost. I don't recommend making Mario Party 7 out of DotA myself though.
Max out your Take Aim early to push out the tower and win your lane pretty much without trouble, by early midgame (about level 9). Get this as early as possible.
Shrapnel is useful to keep the enemy out or hurt them if they try to come in lane to kill. However, I only reccomend that to be levelled once, if at all. It's not extremely powerful, and it takes mana. But, it has it's uses, I guess.
Headshot is a great ability to level up for the damage boosts. It also singlehandedly makes Sniper look super OP, at least in the minds of rage-a-holic noobs that only know how to feed. He's not just to let you know. Unless you build him that way. Then you are scum. No Divine Rapiers here!
His ultimate, Assassinate, should be levelled ASAP, it is a great way to take out enemies low on Health. It does cost a good deal of mana, but it is the ability to have to take out enemies from over double the range of a tower away.
Teamwork and Countering
Sniper is supposed to deal most of the damage in a fight. His range and DPS makes him the obvious carry in most teams. Sniper works well with assassins, carries, and slowing abilities.
Let us use Clinkz as an example, since he is perhaps one of the best. He has assassin-like traits, and is great at pick offs from a range. Clinkz uses his Skeleton Walk, and then ganks using his Searing Arrows and possibly Strafe. He gets a kill. Sniper goes in. Clinkz and Sniper both fire at the team. With one left, Sniper uses his Assassinate. Team Wipe.
Other great combos with Sniper are Sven, Magnus, Bounty Hunter, Windranger, Slark, and Nyx Assassin.
Sniper does well against heroes like Drow Ranger, Tinker, and Gyrocopter. He outranges all of them, and Sniper can counter most all of their maneuvers for said reason. Drow Ranger's Frost Arrows and Marksmanship boosts won't count if she can only feed you, Tinker has no poking opportunities against you with his Laser if you outrange it, and Gyrocopter falls flat for Sniper because Sniper's DPS and range make prey out of Gyrocopter's burst-based ability set.
Sniper, however, will do pathetically against Razor, Bounty Hunter, and Bloodseeker. Razor's Plasma Field counters high range, Bounty Hunter is extremely difficult NOT to get countered by for heroes like Sniper, and Bloodseeker... He's Bloodseeker. His new Blood Rite ability is OP (Been there since they added Techies, or even before that), and his Rupture combos with that and his Thirst gains to become frustrating.