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15 Votes

Universal Guide to Team Fight Powers

May 2, 2014 by Sando
Comments: 25    |    Views: 50490    |   



Introduction

This guide will take an indepth look at those rare and powerful abilities - team fight powers. We'll both section them for easy reference, and look at how they can be combined to maximum effect.

Obviously team fight powers aren't the sole decider who wins these fights - how they're used, countered and the equipment of each team also matters. There are also a number of other powers that haven't made it onto this list that are "almost" team fight powers, or can certainly target multiple enemies. Sometimes this has been done for brevity...sometimes I might just have missed something!

Please post up your thoughts in the comments section...

Sections

I've come up with 8 descriptors to try to make it easier to categorise the various powers:

- Amplify (Physical or Magical). There are abilities that magnify the damage of other heroes or spells.

Weave



- Grouping. These are abilities that move enemies more closely together, making it easier to hit them with other Area of Effect abilities.





- Disable. These abilities will either completely disable, or otherwise severely restrain their ability to move and fight.





- Nuke. Many team fight abilities have both a damage and disable component, which can make this category seem a bit confusing. We're only going to list here abilities where the primary output is damage.

Ghost Ship



- Channelled. These abilities must be channelled in order to maintain their effect, or require channelling before they activate. These spells generally benefit massively from good setup or interruption preventing effects.





- Setup. These abilities are usually fantastic for initiating or breaking away from a fight, and are often hugely helpful for other abilities which are difficult to land successfully.





- Defensive. These abilities are defensive in nature, healing or protecting your team in some way. However, very strong defensive abilities allow your team to play aggressively, or survive otherwise impossible situations.

WeaveBlinding Light



- AOE or Limited Targets. While all of the powers listed in this guide will target multiple heroes, some have a maximum number of targets they can hit, while others will simply hit everything in a particular area. For example, Chain Frost versus Macropyre.

Magic Immunity and Damage Types

It's important to understand damage types when it comes to these kinds of spells, and also what effect magic immunity will have on the result:

Magical - the most common damage type (all abilities listed below do magic damage, unless tagged differently). As a general rule all heroes have 25% magic resistance, reducing the listed damage to 75%.

Not many other factors tend to play into magic damage - occasional powers such as Null Field, or items like Pipe of Insight can reduce it too. It can be increased by Veil of Discord.

Universal - an unusual form of damage, it's basically magic damage, and is reduced by magic resistance as normal. However, it is NOT blocked by magic immunity.

Physical - essentially the same type of damage as right clicking on an enemy hero. Physical damage is reduced by enemy armour (or increased by negative armour), but it is not effected by magic resistance, and not blocked by magic immunity.

Magic Immunity - can be gained using abilities such as a Repel or Rage, but most commonly is from a Black King Bar. Magic "immunity" is not a completely accurate description - generally the hero who is immune cannot usually be targeted directly, and will not be harmed by magic damage.

However, some may still effect them in some way - the general rule is "the effect but not the damage". So for example a Black Hole would still disable them, but they would not take damage from it.

Colour Coding

Each ability has had it's various attributes categorised and colour coded to make it easy to see various aspects at a glance:

Game Stage:

Any
Mid
Late


This describes the stage of the game that the power is MOST useful in. Although any effect obviously has some use at any stage in the game, nukes with a set damage amount tend to drop off later on. In a similar way abilities like Weave tend to more useful later on when right click attacks are more effective.



Difficulty:

Easy
Easy-Medium
Medium
Medium-Hard
Hard


This describes how difficult the power is to land well. Obviously this is situational and can depend on what equipment you have to help you - none is assumed when rating these powers.

The main factors included in this rating are:

- Does it require channelling?
- Does it require good positioning around your hero?
- How long is the range?
- How big is the Area Of Effect?
- Does it hit all targets in the area or a limited number?



Cooldown:

Always Short
Short once Levelled
Reasonably Long
Very Long


This is the minimum and maximum amount of time the ability is on cooldown after use. Usually this time reduces as you level up the skill. Any time marked with a * is the cooldown time with an Aghanim's Scepter.



Aghanim's Scepter:

Recommended
Situational
Unusual or not Recommended
No effect for this Hero


Aghanim's Scepter's increases the potency of many heroes ultimates, but is not necessarily recommended even if it does work. This could be because the hero is a carry, and needs to focus on damage items, or it could be because the effect is lacklustre.

My Favourite Powers

While the rest of the article is as factual as possible, this section is purely my opinion (albeit justified) about what works best and why.

All powers have some element of balancing about them - the ones that potentially do the most damage or have the longest disables are generally the most difficult to use successfully, and/or have other weaknesses such as long cooldowns and high mana costs. Others are very situational and depend on good setup and/or having the right allies and opponents.

However, there are some powers that I hold above the others as the best mix of effect, flexibility and useability.

Reverse Polarity

Simply devastating spell that combines well with just about any allies, and at any point in the game. A large AOE, magic immunity busting stun is never a bad thing to have.

Although the starting duration of the stun is a bit less than Black Hole, it doesn't need to be channelled, has a lower cooldown and also has a much stronger grouping effect.

This grouping effect allows many spells with a small AOE to suddenly become far more potent - for example Maledict. It also makes spells like Epicenter and Chain Frost even more deadly.



Echo Slam

Wow, an instant effect AOE nuke that gets better the more enemy units are present. Not only that, but it has a reasonable AOE disable component and can be followed up with more disable from the likes of Fissure.

However, the nuke element is the real deal here - illusion heroes and minions are a favourite as their presence will only make your damage stronger. Although a little situational, I don't think there is another power that combines so much damage with so much disable, or can so completely devastate opponents in the blink of an eye.



Song of the Siren

A really strong and versatile ability that can work well in almost any situation. It makes a great setup for difficult positional spells, and also allows you to retreat from bad fights.

The only real counter to it is magic immunity, and even this counter is fraught with danger - as heroes with immunity can ignore the spell's effects, they aren't offered the protection it provides to enemies either. This can allow magic immune heroes to be picked off while their team mates are unable to help.



Fatal Bonds

This is just such a great spell, and will even effect magic immune heroes provided you cast it before they become immune. The fact that it amplifies any kind of damage makes it very flexible. It casts almost instantly, has a long duration, and unlimited range on the bonds once established.

This not only boosts the overall amount of damage caused to the enemy team, but also makes it extremely difficult for enemies to retreat on low health once bonded to their allies. Abilities that can hit multiple enemy heroes at once have their damage amplified substantially.

However, it does still have the draw back of requiring other heroes to be actually causing the damage to be amplified - it doesn't actually do anything by itself.



Guardian Angel

Rarely seen as Omniknight isn't a particularly popular pickup, this can still be a game changing spell. It can make your entire team basically immune to physical damage, and will only become more important as the game progresses and right click become dominant.

When confronted with physically invincible heroes there is a very limited amount that most teams can do to counter that - maybe if they have enough magic damage, mobility or disable they might be able to outlast or retreat successfully - but many will simply be helpless.

General Guide to Combinations

Although we look at each power in more detail below, it's worth going through the general theories of what works well together.

First of all, stacking team fight powers is almost always a good idea - simply having more of them can allow your team to gain a considerable advantage in big clashes, and put you onto the road to winning the game.

Be aware that stacking a massive team fight advantage will encourage the opposition to try and avoid big fights, using split push and "ratdota". You have to adjust your strategy accordingly and maintain enough map control to be able to force them to fight or lose vital buildings.

Look carefully at where your powers can fit well together, which powers work well on their own, and which needs others to setup or disable for them. For example, a power like Ravage or Chaotic Offering works pretty well without anything else. An ability like Death Ward is much less effective without good disables to help it.

Also bear in mind that some particular powers simply don't function well together, or take a lot of care, for example:

Stone Gaze + magic damage nukes = units that are turned to stone have 100% magic resistance, rendering your nuke useless

Blinding Light + Black Hole = Enigma doesn't want enemy heroes split up as it will reduce the number he can suck in, and you can even knock them free of it's effects. The only time this could work is if Blinding Light is cast once Black Hole has finished.

Weave + magic damage nukes = they don't actively impair each other, but there's no synergy there either.



Amplify + Nuke

Amplification on it's own does very little, it's all about what else you and your team can bring to bear to take advantage of it. Remember that other spells and items can contribute to this overall effect.

Fatal Bonds / Natural Order / Veil of Discord / etc + Any Magic Based Nuke

Weave / Stone Gaze / Desolator / other armour reduction etc + Any Physical Based Damage

Examples:

Fatal Bonds + Poison Nova
Stone Gaze + Death Ward
Weave + Omnislash



Setup + Disable
Grouping + Disable


Most Disable spells are very potent, but can be quite difficult to land well if they don't have a huge AOE (like say Ravage and Chaotic Offering), getting the right setup/grouping is hugely helpful.

Examples:

Song of the Siren + Kinetic Field/ Static Storm
Vacuum + Black Hole
Global Silence + Epicenter



Channelled + Disable


Channelled spells can easily be broken by even a single stun, as most heroes who possess them are support, so unlikely to have expensive items like Black King Bar to help them. The disable will also keep enemies in range to be damaged.

Examples:

Chronosphere + Death Ward
Black Hole + Requiem of Souls
Reverse Polarity + Freezing Field



Defensive + Squishy Team

While generally useful, defensive spells are especially potent when your team is quite squishy or the enemy seem to have a lot of damage. They can also be picked up as specific counters for certain enemy powers.



Disable + Disable


What's better than one big long disable? Two of em. Providing they're chained properly it can be a horribly long time before the enemy can even think about fighting back or retreating. Requires the rest of the team to do the damage, and good co-ordination not to waste stun time.

Examples:


Ravage + Black Hole
Reverse Polarity + Black Hole
Reverse Polarity + Overgrowth



Disable + Nuke


The classic combo, one player fixes them in place, while the other applies the damage. The enemy can't fight back or split, and have to take the full power of that nuke. These combos tend to be most effective midgame, and may also require some setup.

Examples:

Black Hole + Epicenter
Reverse Polarity + Macropyre
Chronosphere + Chain Frost

Auras

Auras are passive AOE effects generated by various hero skills and items. The right auras can be potent additions to team fights, and can be combined to great effect.

Examples would include:

Vengeance Aura + Inner Beast + Lunar Blessing

Natural Order + Assault Cuirass + Presence of the Dark Lord

Ring of Basilius + Essence Aura + Arcane Aura

Degen Aura + Shiva's Guard + Null Field

Wherever possible, try to stack auras and items up with relevant team fight powers - for example combining an Assault Cuirass with Exorcism and Omnislash.

Items

One of the most important things about team fight powers is that they aren't really replicated with item abilities like many single target powers. (e.g. Hex and Scythe of Vyse)

However, there are some items which can combine well with various team fight powers, or work well for synergy.

Blink Dagger and Force Staff

The most common initiation items, giving heroes that extra bit of positioning to get in the right place.

Aghanim's Scepter and Refresher Orb


Many powers are boosted by a Scepter in a variety of ways - boosting damage, reducing cooldowns or adding extra effects. The Orb is extremely effective, but allows you to instantly reset all your cooldowns, either using them twice in a row, or able to use them again much sooner. This is only really useful for abilities with Long cooldowns.

Veil of Discord, Assault Cuirass, Medallion of Courage, Desolator


Some examples of magic resistance and armour reducers, which work well as amplifiers for their various damage types.

Mekansm and Pipe of Insight

Defensive team fight items, providing healing, armour and magic block.

Black King Bar, Ghost Scepter and Shadow Blade

Can be very helpful when channelling spells. BKB works to prevent magical stuns, GS the physical. SB is hopeful they won't have detection.

Fatal Bonds

Amplify Limited Targets HP Removal

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 25


Fatal Bonds is one of Warlock's standard spells. It connects up to 6 enemy units (the closest to the initial target unit) for 25 seconds. Each unit takes an additional 20% of any damage inflicted to any other unit in the group, and because this is done by HP Removal, factors like armour and magic resistance/immunity will not reduce the damage that is passed on. (the first target's reductions do of course apply)

The best thing about Fatal Bonds is this works for any type of damage inflicted - physical or magical, and is particularly effective when combined with AOE nukes. For example, 5 units bonded together are all hit by a level 4 Dragon Slave:

280 damage - 25% magic resistance = 210 damage each (1050 damage total)
20% of 210 = 42
42 x 4 = 168 (each unit takes the 20% from the other 4)
210 + 168 = 378 each (1890 total)

That's a fairly minor nuke spell, but you can still see how much extra damage it causes. Think how much this could be with say an Epicenter and Poison Nova on top?

Level 3 Epicenter does 1100 damage per unit - 25% magic resistance = 825 each (4125 total)
20% of 825 = 165
165 x 4 = 660
825 + 660 = 1485 each (7425 total)

Obviously the spell does no actual damage on it's own, so needs to be combined with auto-attacks and AOE Nukes. It also works much better when used on heroes without creeps present - once units are dead they can no longer receive damage to send out to the others.

Best Combinations:

Echo Slam
Epicenter
Chain Frost
Poison Nova
Freezing Field
Requiem of Souls

Handy Combinations:

Eclipse
Death Ward
Ice Blast
Sanity's Eclipse
Call Down
Ghost Ship
Omnislash
Earth Splitter
Magnetize

Weave

Weave Amplify AOE Defensive Physical/Armour Reduction Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Late
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 40

Weave is Dazzle's ultimate, and is both an aggressive and defensive spell. Any heroes inside it's AOE when cast will have their armour either increased or decreased depending on whether they are allied to Dazzle or not.

The effect lasts for 20 seconds, with the armour increase/decrease ticking up/down every second - causing up to +/- 30 armour. This could mean up to 70% extra protection or damage from physical sources.

Obviously this works well with any right click damage (the main reason it is most useful late game), any also combines well with spells that cause physical damage. The biggest issue with Weave is the amount of time it takes for the effect to truly kick in - if the fight is over quickly then it can be minimal.

The other difficulty is that you usually have to wait for the fight to be committed to - if the opposition get hit and can pull back safely, they can wait out the effect. Likewise if they see you use it on just your own team.

Best Combinations:

Omnislash
Death Ward
Exorcism
Battle Trance
Eye of the Storm

Handy Combinations:

Stone Gaze
Earth Splitter

Stone Gaze

Amplify AOE Disable Physical Boost/Magic Reduction Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 90


Stone Gaze is Medusa's ultimate, and is both a potent slow/disable, and a physical damage booster. Any enemy units in the AOE will be slowed and eventually turn to stone if they have line of sight of Medusa over several seconds. This obviously makes it difficult for them to fight! Any units turned to stone take bonus physical damage and are disabled.

It does a set amount of damage against any illusion/summoned units present, helping to clear out the battlefield and deal with heroes like Phantom Lancer, Naga Siren and Chaos Knight.

Stone Gaze is overall a very strong spell, it's only real weakness is that it gives enemy heroes huge magic resistance if they are turned to stone - meaning that you could effectively block your team's own nukes from working.

Best Combinations:

Omnislash
Death Ward
Exorcism
Battle Trance
Eye of the Storm

Handy Combinations:

Weave
Overgrowth
Ravage
Dream Coil
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity

*Does not combine particularly well with AOE Nukes

Vacuum

Grouping AOE

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 28


Vacuum is one of Dark Seer's spells, and although it inflicts a small amount of damage and a mini-stun to it's targets, the real power of it is in grouping the enemies tightly together.

This makes it a fantastic setup spell for almost all other team fight powers, including your own Wall of Replica - forcing them to pass through it. You'll almost always want to use Vacuum to setup team fights above other abilities.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Epicenter
Chronosphere
Echo Slam
Requiem of Souls
Ghost Ship
Call Down
Wall of Replica

Handy Combinations:

Sanity's Eclipse
Poison Nova
Overgrowth
Dream Coil
Reverse Polarity

Black Hole

Grouping AOE Channelled Disable Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Hard
Cooldown: 180-200


Black Hole is Enigma's ultimate, and one of the most feared spells in the game. It is difficult to land against smart opponents, but can be absolutely devastating - disabling the entire team for up to 4 seconds and inflicting up to 560 damage. It will also gradually group the enemy by sucking them towards the centre of the ability.

This ability also has several drawbacks however - the first being that it is Channelled and thus requires you to either get the whole enemy team, or buy a Black King Bar to minimise the chance of disruption. It is also difficult to land as the enemy will rarely group nicely for you given the choice.

Finally, as great as this ability is, you need you team to follow up to inflict actual damage while the opposition are disabled - this is where the big AOE Nukes come in.

It benefits quite a lot from good Setup spells which make it considerably easier to land successfully.

Best Combinations:

Reverse Polarity
Vacuum
Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow
Epicenter
Echo Slam
Requiem of Souls
Ghost Ship
Wall of Replica
Death Ward
Freezing Field
Macropyre

Handy Combinations:

Sanity's Eclipse
Poison Nova
Disruptor ( Kinetic Field/ Static Storm)
Call Down
Earth Splitter
Magnetize

Reverse Polarity

Grouping AOE Disable Setup Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Medium
Cooldown: 100-120


Reverse Polarity is Magnus's ultimate, and probably one of the best team fight spells in the game. Once levelled it has nearly as much disable time as Black Hole, while requiring no channelling and providing a stronger grouping effect. Minor damage is inflicted.

As great as this ability is, you need you team to follow up to inflict actual damage while the opposition are disabled - this is where the big AOE Nukes come in.

While you can initiate pretty successfully with a Blink Dagger, it's easier with a good Setup spell.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Vacuum
Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow
Epicenter
Echo Slam
Requiem of Souls
Ghost Ship
Wall of Replica
Death Ward
Freezing Field
Macropyre

Handy Combinations:

Sanity's Eclipse
Poison Nova
Disruptor ( Kinetic Field/ Static Storm)
Call Down
Earth Splitter
Magnetize

Ravage

AOE Disable Setup Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 150


Ravage is Tidehunter's ultimate, and is a great setup and counter-initiation disable. It throws every enemy unit up into the air for half a second before stunning them for 2.02-2.77 seconds and inflicting 200-450 damage each.

The best thing about Ravage is that it has a massive AOE - pretty much filling the whole screen, and making it pretty easy to hit with.

The downside of it is that unlike many other AOE disables, the stun does NOT go through magic immunity, and it has a pretty long cooldown time.

Ravage doesn't really require any additional setup or particularly benefit from other spells - it's more of a case that other spells benefit greatly from it.

Best Combinations:

Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow

Handy Combinations:

Sanity's Eclipse
Poison Nova
Call Down
Echo Slam
Requiem of Souls
Ghost Ship

Overgrowth

AOE Disable Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 70


Overgrowth is Treant Protector's ultimate, which locks down any nearby enemy units when cast. It's not a complete disable, as while enemies cannot move or attack, they can still cast spells and use items.

It does lock down units who are already magic immune, but enemy units can break free by becoming magic immune (i.e. wait until they use their Black King Bar before using this spell if possible). Heroes with a Manta Style can also use it to escape.

While the AOE isn't the best, the lockdown time is up to 4.5 seconds at maximum level, and Nature's Guise can help you get into position to cast it without a Blink Dagger. The other big advantage is that the cooldown is much lower than similar spells like Ravage and Black Hole.

It combines quite nicely with Static Storm and Global Silence, as between them they're very close to a full disable.

Best Combinations:

Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow
Vacuum
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Ravage
Static Storm
Global Silence

Handy Combinations:

Sanity's Eclipse
Poison Nova
Call Down
Echo Slam
Requiem of Souls
Ghost Ship
Earth Splitter
Magnetize

Dream Coil

AOE Disable Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 85


Dream Coil is Puck's ultimate, which latches a coil to all nearby enemy heroes. This causes an instant 0.5 second stun, and the coil will prevent the hero from leaving the AOE without being stunned and taking some damage.

The lack of a flat out disable makes this a little weaker than some other similar spells, but combines with Puck's Waning Rift to add some silence and extra damage. It's generally most useful for when your team has strong damage over time (DoT) spells that will continue to damage enemies if they stay in the area.

The long duration of the coil also makes it useful for heroes to follow up with big AOE nukes.

Best Combinations:

Death Ward
Freezing Field
Vacuum
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Ravage

Handy Combinations:

Macropyre
Sanity's Eclipse
Poison Nova
Call Down
Echo Slam
Magnetize

Supernova

AOE Disable Channelled Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 110


Supernova is difficult to define, offering both AOE and disable over a wide area. It maxes out at 600 damage, and 2.5 seconds of stun time. The ability is effectively channelled as you're unable to do anything else for the duration.

Due to it's unique setup and effect, Supernova is vulnerable to cancellation by rapid right clicks - so works best as a follow-up to big AOE disables. It can deal it's damage over the duration of that disable, and then add another stun on completion.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere

Handy Combinations:

Ravage
Upheaval
Overgrowth
Echo Slam

Kinetic Field / Static Storm

AOE Disable Nuke Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 14 / 85


Kinetic Field and Static Storm are almost inseperable as Disruptor's team fight combo. While it's fair to argue that Static Storm can do some pretty decent nuking, this combo is fundamentally about trapping and silencing as many enemy heroes as possible.

The difficulty with this spell is executing the combo quickly and accurately enough to trap closely packed enemy heroes - this is obviously greatly helped if you have good Setup and Grouping from allies. It works well with DoT abilities.

Some additional disable can be useful as the maximum duration on Static Storm is 7 seconds with an Aghanim's Scepter, while Kinetic Field tops out at 4. The scepter upgrade will also prevent item use, so stops players activating Black King Bars to escape.

Obviously it's also not a true disable, so has less impact as the game goes later and right click becomes more important.

Best Combinations:

Death Ward
Freezing Field
Vacuum
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Macropyre
Song of the Siren
Epicenter
Chain Frost
Wall of Replica

Handy Combinations:

Ravage
Earth Splitter
Ghost Ship
Call Down
Echo Slam
Magnetize

Chaotic Offering / Upheaval

AOE Disable Setup Channelled Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 50 / 165


Chaotic Offering and Upheaval are Warlock's "other" team fight combo, and is a great setup and counter-initiation disable. It provides a long range, 1 second stun over a large AOE that bypasses magic immunity, and also summons an increasingly powerful Golem to fight for you. This is one of the easiest and most reliable initiation spells in the game.

Upheaval provides a large AOE slow that can reach up to 84% provided it's channelled for long enough. It's long duration and high potential effectiveness makes it a potent follow up to Chaotic Offering, and is very useful to constant damage spells like Freezing Field and Death Ward.

Obviously this combo does have disadvantages - the cooldown is a long time for a 1 second stun, and the Golem can be taken down quickly by purges or sufficiently farmed carries. Upheaval can quickly be broken if you are stunned or killed.

Best Combinations:

Freezing Field
Death Ward
Macropyre

Handy Combinations:

Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow

Chronosphere

AOE Disable Setup Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 60*-120


Chronosphere is Faceless Void's ultimate, providing AOE disable over a large area. It provides bonus damage to Time Lock while he's inside it, and also disables any evasion skills or items effected enemies possess.

It works extremely well with spells that require enemies to stay in the area in order for them to be damaged, and can also work well to setup other disables chaining on top of it.

The biggest problem with it is that the disable also effects allies - giving potential for it to backfire or otherwise impact badly on your team. Abilities that have a very short range tend to work badly with it until the user has a Blink Dagger (for example, Epicenter).

Best Combinations:

Death Ward
Freezing Field
Chain Frost
Macropyre
Vacuum

Handy Combinations:

Sanity's Eclipse
Poison Nova
Call Down
Magnetize

*Can disable allies and doesn't combine well with some AOE nukes in some situations

Epicenter

Nuke Channelled AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Hard
Cooldown: 110-150


Epicenter is Sand King's ultimate, a large AOE nuke. After a 2 second channelling time, a series of 110 damage pulses will be created from his current location, with the radius gradually increasing over time. Total individual hero damage ranges from 660-1320, with an additional 30% decrease in enemy movement and attack speed.

Due to the initial channelling and difficulty of landing successfully, a Blink Dagger is highly recommended, and the ability benefits greatly from any Setup, Grouping and Disable. Any magical Amplification makes it even more effective.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Song of the Siren
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Vacuum

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Ravage
Echo Slam
Dream Coil
Global Silence (usually prevents channel breaking)
Chronosphere (can be reliant on Blink Dagger)
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Chain Frost

Nuke Limited Targets Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 60-145


Chain Frost is Lich's ultimate, and can potentially inflict from 1680-3300 damage to a single target. Once fired, it provides a mini-stun to the first target, before the frost bounces to a random enemy within the bounce radius. If no target is available, it will end. It can bounce up to 10 times, and also causes a reasonable attack/move speed slow to each enemy unit it hits.

This random bounce makes it somewhat unreliable without Disable, as enemies can potentially split to try to reduce the damage or share it with their creeps or minions. This means that Chain Frost works best when used away from team fights in lanes. Grouping the enemy will also help maximise it's effectiveness by causing it to bounce as rapidly as possible between enemy heroes.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Vacuum

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Ravage
Echo Slam
Dream Coil
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Death Ward

Nuke Limited Targets Channelled Physical Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Cooldown: 80


Death Ward is Witch Doctor's ultimate, and can potentially inflict from 1920-4800 damage to a single target. It fires a constant stream of damage at a single enemy hero within range (you can target it manually). At level 3 this damage can also bounce to hit another hero, and can hit up to 4 with Aghanim's Scepter.

This is a channelling spell, and requires enemies to stay within range to inflict damage. This makes Disable extremely important to maximising it's effectiveness, although a strong slow can be nearly as good if you can avoid being stunned.

Remember that this spell inflict Physical damage. Countered effectively by Guardian Angel.

Best Combinations:

Stone Gaze
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)
Weave

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Ravage
Echo Slam
Dream Coil
Eye of the Storm

Poison Nova

Nuke AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 60*-140


Poison Nova is Venomancer's ultimate, and can potentially inflict from 432-1728 damage to a single target. It's a slow acting poison, taking up to 16 seconds to inflict all of it's damage...and it cannot be fatal on it's own, leaving victims at 1 hp.

The spell itself is relatively easy to cast - sending an instant burst of poison for a short radius in every direction...the difficulty lies in trying to get into the right position for a good cast. This makes it benefit greatly from Setup abilities to make it easier to use well.

It has perfect synergy with Fatal Bonds due to the amplified damage from multiple targets, and that the combination of spells can be fatal (as the name implies!).

Best Combinations:

Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Ravage

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Dream Coil
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere

Freezing Field

Nuke AOE Channelled Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Hard
Cooldown: 90-150


Freezing Field is Crystal Maiden's ultimate, and will inflict 830-2500 on average to a single target - however it could be much higher or lower than this depending on the random nature of the explosions.

While it has a big radius and good secondary effects, the problem with Freezing Field is more tied into the hero herself. It requires reasonably good positioning and also Channelling - combined with CM being pretty squishy, it's reasonably easy for the enemy to break the spell unless they're disabled for a long duration.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere
Moonlight Shadow

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Ravage

Echo Slam

Nuke Disable AOE Magical/Universal Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Cooldown: 110-150


Echo Slam is Earthshaker's ultimate, and it's both an incredibly effective nuke and disable. The actual disable is due to Aftershock, but is such an integral part of Echo Slam and you're very unlikely to have it unskilled.

Echo Slam has a claim for best team fight power in the game - but it is quite situational. It benefits massively from having MORE enemies in the area of effect - the more the better. This makes it incredibly useful against illusion heroes and minions.

The initial damage it inflicts uses universal damage, so will go through magic immunity (as will the stun), however the echoes are magical so will be blocked.

It has an almost instant casting speed, but your positioning has to be good to get results so a Blink Dagger is recommended, and the ability also benefits from any Setup and Grouping. Any magical Amplification makes it even more effective.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Song of the Siren
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Vacuum
Moonlight Shadow

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Ravage
Dream Coil
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Ice Blast

Nuke AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Medium
Cooldown: 40


Ice Blast is Ancient Apparition's ultimate, and it's more a long range nuke than a team fight power, however it's AOE and effectiveness can make it a real factor.

Although it delivers a fair blast of initial damage, followed by reasonable damage over time, it has two effects that make it especially effective in team fight situations.

First of all, any enemy heroes hit are unable to heal/regen for the duration of the frostbite effect (up to 18 seconds with an Aghanim's Scepter), making items like Mekansm much less effective, as well as skills like Chemical Rage.

Secondly, any enemies with below a certain % of health during the frostbite time will automatically shatter and die - this % based scaling means it retains it's usefulness throughout the game.

Grouping skills are probably the most useful thing for casting this spell, as at short range the AOE size is pretty limited.

Best Combinations:

Reverse Polarity
Vacuum

Handy Combinations:

Black Hole
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)

Eclipse

Nuke Limited Targets Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 140-160


Eclipse is Luna's ultimate, and can potentially inflict 1200-3600 damage to a single target. It fires a series of Lucent Beams at random nearby enemies, making it much more effective when you can seperate a few heroes to take the full damage, while losing effect when the area is full of illusions, creeps and/or minions.

It's a nice easy spell to actually use, all you need to do is hit the button and then stay alive long enough for it to finish. However, getting the most out of it is trickier as enemies will want to fight with lots of units nearby. Setup abilities that give you the element of surprise are the most effective option for optimal damage.

Best Combinations:

Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow
Echo Slam (can clear extra units effectively)

Handy Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Ravage
Overgrowth
Dream Coil
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere

Sanity's Eclipse

Nuke AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 160


Sanity's Eclipse is Outworld Devourer's ultimate, a devastating AOE nuke that only effects heroes. The damage is difficult to calculate as it depends on the difference between OD's intelligence, and that of the target hero. Heroes with high intelligence might only lose mana, or will be completely uneffected if they have more than OD.

To give you an example, a level 25 Outworld Devourer with several intel items would do about 1400 damage to a level 25 Lifestealer with few intel stat items.

Sanity's Eclipse has a large AOE, long range and quick cast speed - making it pretty easy to use in almost all situations, and requires very little setup generally. (Although this does make it easier to use optimally). Magical Amplify effects are probably the best synergy here.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)

Handy Combinations:

Song of the Siren
Moonlight Shadow
Echo Slam
Ravage
Overgrowth
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere

Requiem of Souls

Nuke AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Hard
Cooldown: 100-120


Requiem of Souls is Shadow Fiend's ultimate, an AOE nuke damages and debuffs nearby enemies. The damage is a little tricky to calculate, as it depends on the number of souls he currently has, and how closer to the enemy he can position himself. At maximum effect he can do up to 2880 damage to a single target.

Almost as importantly, all nearby enemy units have their movement speed and damage reduced for up to 5 seconds.

Requiem of Souls is not the easiest skill to get away successfully, as he requires both the right positioning, and time to cast the spell, which takes a second. This makes a good Setup and Disable very helpful.

Best Combinations:

Song of the Siren
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity

Handy Combinations:

Echo Slam
Ravage
Overgrowth
Chronosphere
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Omnislash

Nuke Limited Targets Physical Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 70*-130


Omnislash is Juggernaut's ultimate, and can potentially inflict from 525-3000 damage to a single target. Juggernaut becomes invincible for the duration and will hop at random between nearby enemies, making it much more effective when you can seperate a few heroes to take the full damage, while losing effect when the area is full of illusions, creeps and/or minions.

It's a nice easy spell to actually use as the opposition can't really stop you once you start, but getting the most out of it is trickier as enemies will want to fight with lots of units nearby. Abilities that give increase your physical damageare the most effective option for optimal damage.

Remember that this spell inflict Physical damage. Countered effectively by Guardian Angel and Ghost Scepter.

Best Combinations:

Stone Gaze
Fatal Bonds
Weave
Echo Slam (can clear extra units effectively)
Eye of the Storm

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship Nuke AOE Utility Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Hard
Cooldown: 40-60


Ghost Ship is Kunkka's ultimate, an odd mix of damage, stun and utility. The first thing to note is that the boat takes about 3 seconds to get to its target, making it pretty easy for enemies to dodge unless you have some allied Setup or Disable to help.

The damage output is very good during the early-mid game, but drops off pretty rapidly afterwards - however this isn't the only thing Ghost Ship has to offer. It also has a 1.4 second AOE stun, and douses allied heroes in the area with "Rum". This offers them improved movement speed and 50% delayed damage reduction. This means they only take 50% of the enemy damage inflicted over the next 8 seconds, with the rest arriving once the buff expires. However, this delayed damage will not be fatal on its own.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere
Ravage
Overgrowth
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)

Handy Combinations:

Song of the Siren (with careful timing)
Echo Slam
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Call Down

Nuke AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 45-55


Call Down is Gyrocopter's ultimate, a pretty basic AOE nuke with some additional slow added into the bargain. It doesn't offer particularly stellar damage, but you'll find the 50% movement slow of the 2nd missile is still quite useful late game.

It's pretty easy to use due to the cast range (potentially global with an Aghanim's Scepter) and low cooldown time. However, it's still a pretty important power to get right in the early-mid game team fights where that damage is respectable. Just as importantly, hitting with that 2nd missile will make it very difficult for most enemies to retreat properly, letting you pick off stragglers.

Best Combinations:

Vacuum
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere
Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)

Handy Combinations:

Ravage
Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Thundergod's Wrath

Nuke Limited Targets Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 120


Thundergod's Wrath is Zeus's ultimate, a greatly feared global nuke that targets all enemy heroes no matter where they are. The only protection against it is invisibility - where heroes will be revealed instead of nuked.

There are two really important factors when it comes to using this ultimate well. Firstly, when in a team fight situation you should be near to the enemy when casting this spell - the damage from Static Field is extremely potent, especially later in the game.

Secondly, you can use it to finish weakened or fleeing heroes - however, you shouldn't just use it to killsteal - only do so if your team can't catch the enemy.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)

Handy Combinations:

Moonlight Shadow

Exorcism

Nuke Limited Targets Physical Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 100


Exorcism is Death Prophet's ultimate, a powerful pushing and team fighting spell. It's not really a conventional nuke as the damage is dealt over a 30 second period in small doses. However, the total damage inflicted can be very high, with up to 27 spirits attacking for 53-58 damage each hit.

The damage inflicted is Physical, so it can be used on buildings, and goes through magic immunity. However, it is reduced by armour, and can be blocked by abilities like Guardian Angel.

Exorcism also heals Death Prophet for 25% of the damage inflicted once it finishes, and will be instantly dispelled if she dies, so it is important to try to stay alive for the duration.

While ghosts will try to focus whoever DP has attacked last, the total number of enemy units in the area will soak up some damage generally, so this works best in a straight hero vs hero team fight.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Weave
Stone Gaze

Handy Combinations:

Moonlight Shadow (once Exorcism is cast you can stay invisible)
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere

Magnetize

Nuke AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 80


Magnetize is Earth Spirit's ultimate, a long duration nuke that can have additional slows and silences added to the mix if he can hit with his other skills. While the standard damage is reasonably low at 300-600 per hero, this can be extended up to 1800-3600 with perfect remnant usage. More likely you'll end up with maybe 1-2 extensions.

Good Grouping will help you land the power successfully on the largest number of heroes, while Disable makes it easier to refresh the duration. Be careful not to use your follow powers until the disable has expired, as you're not chaining properly, and you might accidently knock enemy heroes free of their radius.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Chronosphere
Vacuum

Handy Combinations:

Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)
Ravage
Overgrowth
Echo Slam

Earth Splitter

Nuke AOE 50% Physical Damage/50% Magic Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Medium
Cooldown: 100


Earth Splitter is Elder Titan's ultimate, a strong scaling AOE nuke that contains both physical and magical damage - meaning that all enemies hit will take at least some damage from one or the other. Any enemy unit hit will take 35% of their maximum health as damage, which makes this scale extremely well into the late game, and useful against tanky heroes.

It takes some practice to get used to hitting with Earth Splitter - the 3 second delay is usually enough time for enemies to avoid it if they are not slowed or disabled. However, you should note that at long range (~2400) they will often not see it coming in time to dodge it, as it will activate almost as soon as the crack arrives.

It's also worth noting here that Elder Titan's other abilities do integrate quite nicely with it - providing the potential for a long setup stun, armour reduction and magic amplification.

Good Grouping will help you land the power successfully on the largest number of heroes, while Disable makes it almost certain to hit to full effect.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Vacuum
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Handy Combinations:

Chronosphere
Ravage
Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Song of the Siren
Weave
Eye of the Storm

Wall of Replica

Nuke AOE Physical Damage/Magic Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Late
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 100


Wall of Replica is Dark Seer's ultimate, and while not strictly a nuking spell, it is all about inflicting damage on the enemy team. WoR is great because it turns the enemy's strength against them - the more damage their carry has, the more your illusion of their carry will do.

Wall of Replica does do a mild 150 damage to any enemy hero who crosses it who hasn't already got an active illusion, but the real damage comes from the illusions themselves. With an Aghanim's Scepter they can do up to 140% of their creator's right click, even if they do also die much more quickly.

Good Grouping will help you land the power successfully on the largest number of heroes, while Disable is vital to give your illusions time to inflict damage.

Due to the range and size it's relatively easy to hit with, but smart wall placement will maximise the number of times enemies have to move through it, and make them uncomfortable with their positions.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Vacuum
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Handy Combinations:

Ravage
Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Song of the Siren

Eye of the Storm

Nuke Limited Targets Physical Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 60-80


Eye of the Storm is Razor's ultimate, a series of rapid lightning strikes that cause minor damage and reduce enemy armour. Although the individual strikes do have a pretty minimal effect, the overall effect can be pretty impressive at 1600-5300 total damage.

The spell will always focus the enemy unit with the lowest health within range, and with an Aghanim's Scepter the strike time is as frequent as every 0.35 seconds, which can mean a fairly rapid reduction in armour and finish off low health enemies.

This spell inflicts Physical damage, so is reduced by armour, but goes through magic immunity. With it's long duration it's difficult to keep enemies within range for the entire time, even with some strong disables.

The damage will stop and the armour debuff will be removed if you die, or after the duration.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Weave
Stone Gaze

Macropyre

Nuke AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Cooldown: 60


Macropyre is Jakiro's ultimate, an area of effect nuke that covers a large area in flames that burn for 7 seconds. While the potential total damage is high, it's difficult to actually keep enemies in the area for the entire duration.

It's worth talking about Ice Path here as any Jakiro worth his salt will be attempting to use the two in combination to lock down enemies for 2 seconds, but even then, with his slow casting times it's not keeping them in the AOE for long.

Certain map positions do lend themselves to longer burn durations, but usually you'll find good Grouping will help you land the power successfully on the largest number of heroes, while extra Disable makes them stay in the effect for longer.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Vacuum
Chronosphere

Handy Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)
Ravage
Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Song of the Siren

Pulse Nova / Diabolic Edict

Nuke AOE Magic/Composite Damage Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Cooldown: 0


Pulse Nova is Leshrac's ultimate, and is an out and out nuking spell. It can be instantly activated or deactivated and uses mana constantly to maintain. All nearby enemy units are hit for 66-200 magic damage per second while it's active.

It's worth mentioning Diabolic Edict here too - as it's unlikely any Leshrac worth his salt would charge in without both active. It puts out about 1600 composite damage (a type of physical damage that is also reduced by magic resistance, but goes through magic immunity) over 8 seconds at level 4.

Both of these spells have a relatively small AOE, centered on Leshrac so he pretty much has to charge into the thick of the action to be effective. This means he benefits greatly from Disable and Grouping to keep as many enemy heroes as possible both in range and not attacking him.

Best Combinations:

Warlock ( Fatal Bonds/ Chaotic Offering/ Upheaval)
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Handy Combinations:

Ravage
Overgrowth
Echo Slam

Song of the Siren

Setup AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 60-180


Song of the Siren is Naga Siren's ultimate, and one of the best setup abilities in the game. While it doesn't actually do any damage (in fact, it actively prevents your team from damaging opponents), it provides the ideal way to get other heroes into the perfect position to unleash their own abilities.

This can even be used near towers to "pause" the fight while reinforcements teleport in help. Or it can be used to safely retreat from a fight that's going badly.

Magic immune units remain uneffected by Song of the Siren and can fight as normal, but this can actually work against them as they won't be protected like their team mates, and will be forced to fight against superior numbers.

The biggest difficulty with Song of the Siren is the timing of allies casting has to be precise on some follow up spells or the effect could be completely negated.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Echo Slam

Moonlight Shadow

Setup All Allied Heroes Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 100-140


Moonlight Shadow is Mirana's ultimate, and is a useful setup and ganking spell. After a reasonable fade time, all allied heroes gain invisibility for a short duration.

The best way to use this is to cloak while out of enemy site, and fall on them unexpectedly - this element of surprise can quickly destroy even a superior team. It can also be used to escape or limit targetting during a fight, but you must expect any reasonably good team to have detection items prepared for this.

Moonlight Shadow is a great setup for difficult positioning spells, as heroes may well be able to creep into the right place unseen. It's also pretty handy for channelling spells as heroes can regain their invisibility after casting, after the fade time.

Best Combinations:

Black Hole
Disruptor ( Static Storm/ Kinetic Field)

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Ravage
Death Ward
Freezing Field

Stampede

Setup All Allied Heroes Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 60-90


Stampede is a multi-purpose power that briefly gives your team maximum movement speed, while inflicting a small amount of damage and a slow.

In team fights it can be used either to start a fight, or to withdraw from one that's going badly. It can be pretty effective against powers such as Guardian Angel if they try to use it to press the attack.

It can be combined with abilities that are centered on the hero, and/or are difficult to land. For example, it gives you a much better chance of landing a good Reverse Polarity if you haven't got a Blink Dagger.

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Ravage
Black Hole
Reverse Polarity

Global Silence

Setup Global Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 140


Global Silence is Silencer's ultimate, a useful setup and initiation spell. It's especially useful for counter-initiation and preventing enemies from firing off their big team fight powers. This gives your team vital time to focus them down.

It's very easy to use (press and go), with the main skill being in the timing - too early or too late and you could be in trouble.

It's quite a nice backup for channelling spells - as only killing the caster or a passive bash or Skull Basher/ Monkey King Bar could potentially allow them to break it, most of these are melee range.

Handy Combinations:

Overgrowth
Echo Slam
Death Ward
Freezing Field
Epicenter

Guardian Angel

Defensive AOE / Global Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Any
Difficulty: Medium
Cooldown: 150


Guardian Angel is Omniknight's ultimate, an incredibly strong defensive skill that essentially gives all nearby allied units (global with Aghanim's Scepter) physical damage immunity. It also provides a small amount of healing (125-175 total) to each unit.

There are a few difficulties when it comes to using it however - without the Scepter, the AOE is quite small, so you need to be pretty much right in the middle of your team, and closer to the action - putting you at risk of being focused, stunned and/or silenced.

The other big thing is timing - you have to wait for the fight to be committed to before using it, or the opposition will simply be able to withdraw and wait it out. Be aware that the power can be purged from you by a Diffusal Blade or Demonic Purge, removing it from all allies too.

This power only becomes more valuable as the game goes late and physical damage becomes more and more dominant.

Handy Combinations:

Death Ward
Freezing Field

Effectively Counters:

Eye of the Storm
Death Ward
Omnislash
Exorcism
Battle Trance

Hand of God

Defensive Global Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Mid
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 30*-160


Hand of God is Chen's ultimate, a global heal that effects his creeps and all allied heroes. The heal is very strong in the early-midgame, essentially acting like a global Mekansm to turn close ganks and team fights. The limited nature of the heal (400 maximum) makes it much less relevant in the late game.

With an Aghanim's Scepter the cooldown is greatly reduced, and he may just be able to use it twice in the same fight if it's very drawn out.

Blinding Light

Blinding Light Defensive AOE Aghanim's Scepter

Game Stage: Late
Difficulty: Easy
Cooldown: 12-20


Blinding Light is unlocked by Keeper of the Light's ultimate, and is a large AOE knockback which inflicts a high (80%) chance of miss on effected enemy heroes for 3-5 seconds. This is especially useful in the late game where it can cripple enemy damage output and give your team a decisive edge.

Because of the knockback it can also disrupt enemy positioning or even push them onto impassable terrain and trapping them if they don't have mobility items/abilities.

However, be very aware that Blinding Light tends to move enemy heroes away from each other, making it very difficult to combine with other AOE powers effectively. Done badly, you can even knockback enemy heroes to safety, out of Black Hole, etc.

Spell Steal



Spell Steal is Rubick's ultimate, and worth a chapter dedicated to it. As you no doubt know, it allows you to steal the last spell that an enemy hero cast and use it for several minutes or until you die.

This makes Rubick an incredible jack of all trades, able to steal handy spells like Meat Hook all the way up to a Chronosphere or Black Hole. This makes him an extremely strong counter to many of the team fight powers listed here - as he can simply take them and use them for himself unless your team can disable him in the process, and then cast one of your other abilities.

This is particularly difficult for ultimates that need channelling as you can't simply stop using them to cast something else. The option of course is simply to kill him as soon as possible!

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