Vengeful Spirit is an incredibly versatile hero which can have a high impact throughout all phases of the game. Even if a game isn't going well, your three standard spells are all quite low risk. (Not your ulti though)
As a farming hero, she's not terrible as the projectile speed is pretty swift which allows you to last hit/deny and harass quite effectively.
That being said, it is in all likelihood that you will not want to assume farm priority over the more item dependent heroes on your team. You'll typically play a 4 position support which will mean roaming and ganking. Your job is to create killing opportunities for the heroes on your team that need babysitting.
+Decent scaling of skills throughout game
+Good projectile speed
+Easy to execute in fights
-Mana pool concerns
o Your effectiveness will depend on your map awareness vs your opponents
o Projectile range is somewhere between average to disadvantageous
You should be very flexible on the type of skill build you have when thinking about the first two skills. Most of the time you'll want to skill up Q-W-Q-W-Q-R as it keeps you a nice balance between stun nuke and harrass (which is the skill build above).
But sometimes you'll find yourself with a lane partner who really can't contribute much early on like Medusa. So your best move is to force the opposition to play very defensively till your mid or another support can come and set you up for a gank. In this way, Magic Missile should be used as a follow up disable. Use Wave of Terror to force your opponents to play defensively so skill Q-W-W-Q-W-R
Pretty much always leave Vengeance Aura for later and level Nether Swap when you can.
+Good stun duration throughout the game
+Easy to land
-Average projectile speed
-Can be dislodged
Magic Missile will probably the most valuable skill you have. Even more so than your ulti Nether Swap because when your job is to create killing opportunities. Magic Missile ticks big boxes in disabling, and nuking your enemy. The range is your biggest concern though so you'll have to be smart with your positioning in order to set up those ganks. As your movement speed isn't the best, you'll want to take advantage of fog or wraparound ganks or smoke.
The projectile speed and dislodge go hand in hand. Because your enemies can see it coming, it's quite easy to dislodge. Mirana Leap, Storm Spirit Orb Lightning, Blink Dagger, invis abilities with quick fade times will all make landing a stun less reliable.
Wave of Terror
+Strong armor reduction
+Low mana cost
-Alerts enemy heroes*
Wave of Terror is quite a spammable utility skill so in that regards it's very nice. It will provide an armor debuff on heroes which will make opposing heroes die a lot easier. The range is also awesome and better yet is the vision it provides is highly underrated. The vision fades very quickly though so make sure you're quick to act when you do cast it into fog.
As it's spammable, it's a decent skill for harrassing in-lane and will make your opponents think about playing defensively. Sometimes however you don't want enemy heroes to play defensively for instance when you're baiting to set up a gank. One way of running your combo is Wave of Terror first and then Magic Missile because as your opening skill, you can hit a line of unsuspecting heroes before they have the reactions to disperse.
I personally like to do the opposite which is Magic Missile first and then Wave of Terror. It guarantees a hit on the target you're focusing and anything beyond that is bonus. You pretty much secure a -1 in any fight very quickly this way and the quicker you can remove enemy heroes from a fight, the better.
+Allows good damage scaling of auto attacks
o Can push lanes
-Radius is only 900. Smaller than your ulti range
It's a nice aura. This is what lets you scale later on in the mid to late game. But you don't want to skill this up too early because it will affect creeps and it will shift lane equilibrium towards your enemy. Sometimes you want this, sometimes you don't. It's best to leave this later on though because that's when it'll be the most useful.
Additionally if you have max Nether Swap, swapping to initiate will put your team out of range of your aura. Something to consider when you're looking to initiate. You don't want to overextend as it will negatively impact your team's fighting potential when you do.
+GOES THROUGH BKB
+Great initiate even when in lane
+Great to run down stragglers
+Good escape when roaming
+Good to break base with
+Range scales up to something ridiculous
-***Puts you in a vulnerable position in team fights***
-Plenty of scenarios where it's useless
-Plenty of scenarios where it can be harmful to your own team
Players who make their map awareness and positioning a priority will really love this skill because it can change the landscape of a fight. I'll quickly run through the occasions when you may consider nether swap in chronological order of a game.
When hitting 6
Use it in-lane, preferably with your lane partner to set up a kill. You'll want to use it when an opposing hero is too close to the creep line and your lane partner is very healthy and set up behind your creep line. You'll want to communicate to them what you're doing. Like "stay just behind me, i'll go for a swap." That should just signal to them that you're about to put the enemy hero in a very safe position for them to engage.
If you can get the enemy hero underneath your tower at this stage. Even better.
This is best just around when you hit 6 as less aware players may not expect it and won't play defensively to account for it. Repeat this in lane when you can and you should be in a good position for the game.
With the element of surprise, you don't typically want to use nether swap at the start of a fight. The idea of nether swap is that it gives your team good positioning. When you're ganking you should already have this. The exception is when you're with a roaming partner. Enemy heroes typically feel safe in lane. They don't have to worry too much about something like Juggernaut Omnislash, Witch Doctor Death Ward, Luna Eclipse or Shadow Shaman combo. Nether Swap is a nice setup for spells which punish lone heroes.
In team fights
Nether Swap turns from an initiating spell to a responsive skill in team fights. Unless you're picking off heroes (ganking) you typically don't want to put yourself in the middle of a cluster of enemies. Save it to interrupt channeling spells, or running down enemy heroes later on.
Communication is key here. With Wave of Terror you can scout into the pit then swap for an Aegis steal. You don't have an AoE disable though so you'll most likely die at least once. When you see a bunch of them, you want to choose a squishy target which can counter-initiate or cause a lot of AoE.
Same as above. Except you're not going for an aegis steal and it's probably under an enemy tower. In this position however you'll want to swap with someone they're REALLY going to miss for base D. Usually a carry but don't go for someone with strong escape/tankability. You still want to guarantee that kill to put them -1.
These are pretty normal. Your usual GG Tangos, Branches, Salve and Clarity. Items which will help you keep up economic pace, stay in lane and disrupt the enemies farming. The clarity, buys you the opportunity to set up another good fight.
Boots of Speed are pretty normal, movement speed advantage is just really nice to run away or chase down.
Soul Ring + Bottle may seem unconventional but the combo is terrific for a roamer. NEVER get just soul ring. You really need that regen. The previous combo was Tranquil Boots and Soul Ring but Tranquils really suck now.
Although you're not mid, the Bottle still provides really nice regen which is topped up everytime you base or spot an opportune rune. ALWAYS CHECK that your mid doesn't need that rune more though. With the new bottle upgrade as well which lets you cast on allies, it's a nice semi-support item too.
The Soul Ring should make managing your mana a lot easier. Even if you're SUPER efficient with mana management, the soul ring will allow you to roam and initiate much more frequently. Ring of Bassilius is typically what players go for to manage their mana early game but I find this combo gets you online much more quickly between fights.
No Town Portal = No win.
Because your early skills are so effective and you're online for fighting almost immediately, it's far more valuable to get your other team members online quickly with items. That means your gold can be used on support items which will improve your chances of setting up ganks, avoiding ganks from your team mates and getting your team mates online with items from chicken. Good supporting wins games within the first 20 mins. You should always attempt to do this as it's never a bad thing to make that early win viable for your team.
I've put Medallion of Courage in this section rather than core because it's definitely an item which helps your team a lot and is something your gold will be far more useful on than your carry's. It opens up quick rosh's and with Wave of Terror just makes physical damage melt an opponent's HP.
Mekansm vs Pipe of Insight is usually pretty explanatory. How much of their damage is physical, how much magical? With VS you'll be swapping into enemies with fresh mana pools so pipe is quite nice here to stave off the damage from their spells.
Power Treads are good boots to get as the stat bonuses you get from tread switching are really good. As VS you'll be cruising through lots of scenarios from laning, to roaming to pushing etc. Treads are nice here because of that reason. You may not always need movement speed from phase boots as you'll want to make full use of positioning to land your magic missile. Tranquil Boots are just really ****py since they can't be disassembled and a lot of the time they'll be offline when you need them. Arcane Boots are kind've ok I suppose? But when you've got Soul Ring+ Bottle you've usually got no issues with mana.
Force Staff is really sweet to make up for movement speed issues. The thing is that you don't want to spend a lot of time chasing down an enemy as it means overextending. Force staff] closes distance really quickly in range for a [[magic missile or nether swap. If force staff can't put you in range, then it's best to break off. If you're chasing down with phase boots or whatever, you're probably diving too deep. Also, it's a really nice utility item to have. You can force staff yourself on to cliffs and swap, force staff an opponent out of base with wave of terror...just tons of fun with this.
Urn of Shadows is a great regen item to pick up. As a ganker you're always going to be near a fight so you'll harvest charges quickly. It's good to have with your team as well to keep them online longer.
Late Game Carry Items
If you're going really far into the game, all your supporting needs are being handled and you're in excess gold, it's time to start complementing your late game heroes. A lot of people will say that supports should stay really far away from carry items but really, if there's nothing else you can do and you get synergy from the items go for it. It will help keep the enemy late game heroes from getting online.
Desolator is a good item to get as it will stack with your wave of terror debuff and hopefully medallion debuff. Just makes melting through even some of the most tankiest heroes really easy.
Butterfly is never a bad idea for any agi hero. Despite it's expensiveness, it's a strong item to have on VS because the evasion will really help out when you've swapped into a crowd.
Shadow Blade I almost missed this item out. This is a great item to use for nether swapping into a crowd of enemies. Shadow Blade will make you disappear from the middle of them and allow you to live while you've put one of theirs in a terrible spot.
Sange and Yasha The defensive + offensive boost from this item really buffs up VS's vulnerbilities. STR, AGI and movespeed will really help out. AGI and DMG bonus is just nice.
Aghanim's Scepter Ulti boost reduces cooldown to 10s. Not bad. But to be honest, your ulti is so situational you may not need the 10s cooldown. A nice avenue it opens up though is being able to swap with creeps. If you are making full use out of Nether Swap though, go for it as the stat boosts from Aghs is still good.
Assault Cuirass This is just such a nice carry item. If your carry isn't going for this for some reason, then take full advantage because it just makes the damage output of you and your team so much larger. You'll rarely build this ahead of something like butterfly but in the rare cases you have a non AC carry on your side, get it.
To play a really outstanding VS, you'll need to be aware of some scenarios where having VS's skills will really pay off. Again in the chronological order of a game:
Before the creep timer
With some other roamers, you want to look to stay on the high ground of a rune spot. Runes are so incredibly powerful especially early on where every stat matters. With your stun, you can look to set up chain stuns with your team mates for an early first blood which many runes can help you initiate with. Even if it's a regen rune, if you spot a lone enemy hero going for the rune spot, a good series of chain stuns with your buddies will secure first blood. If no enemies are going for the rune, you can probably look to chain stun between the enemies towers for that first blood while they're busy creep blocking and in between towers.
Some of the most potent skills are ones which get channeled. Crystal Maiden Ulti, Enigma ulti, Witch doctor ulti, Pudge ulti. Nether Swap and Magic Missile will stop these stone dead. Always look to disrupt channel skills as it means they would have burnt lots of mana for very little effectiveness. This also counts for people trying to TP out.
X Marks the Spot + Nether Swap
This is just such hax. Get Kunkka to X you then nether swap with an enemy. You'll put your enemy at your position then return there once X Marks the Spot kicks in. This saves you and assures death for the lone enemy now in the middle of your team.
Escaping chase downs
When you're being chased, be aware of the map as you may spot a few opportunities to escape which aren't open to other heroes. Namely when an enemy hero is looking to cut you off or is running to the party late. So long as you buy enough time to let that distant hero catch up to you, you can nether swap with them to put good distance between you and them. A good example is running from a side lane home and being chased, then an enemy hero trying to cut you off at the river or Secret Shop route. Just swap with them and you're far ahead on the journey home.
To conclude my first ever guide. VS is a hero that can have high impact throughout the game. This doesn't mean that she's easy to play by any means. If anything it just makes the balance between farming and ganking all the more difficult as you have expectations of you all throughout the game but you don't want to fall behind on farm. The best way to deal with this balance is to play in a very support like manner. You want to make it so that every time you roam, you want a high probability your team will get kills.
Just keep that mentality in mind and you should be fine.
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