Thank you for visiting my guide to Earthshaker. Earthshaker is a very strong hero that is picked in competitive games and plays an important role in any public matchmaking game.
It is important to realize that any hero can be played in many different ways, this guide is aimed to help players use Earthshaker in an initiative and supportive role. Earthshaker normally cannot heal or protect allies directly through his spells. His main potential comes through the effective positioning of his spells. When used effectively he can help secure kills for a carry as well as wreak havoc during a team-fight.
Content that I believe is critical, but can be demonstrated better elsewhere will be sited.
Most supportive/initiative builds follow the same pattern.
Your ultimate is favored, with fissure being the primary spell utilized. One point of Enchant Totem allows for a maximized use from Aftershock. Tooltips provide the basic information, but some additional (and hopefully helpful) information is also provided.
This ultimate ability is what makes your hero a force to be reckoned with in a team-fight. The more enemies (heroes/creeps) around the more damage you will cause to the area. If there are enough enemies this spell alone can turn an entire fight and severally damage the entire team.
This guide features a relatively cookie-cutter build for a supportive Earthshaker. Your main starting items are going to be regeneration items and iron branches.
1 x Tango
1 x Healing Salve
2 x Clarity
2 x Iron Branch
This will leave you with a little bit over 200 gold. Here your situation will dictate what item is most appropriate.
Your team must have an Animal Courier, and as such if there is no heavy support that buys one, you would be next in line as the carry will want to get the best start possible. This does allow you to get a third iron branch anyways. In the event there is already a courier, Observer Wards are always an excellent choice. If you do feel wards will be unnecessary the next best item will be a Ring of Protection making it easier for you to finish a Ring of Basilius. Do not get this item if you are laning with a partner that plans on doing the same as well. The aura does not stack. Opt for the previous options or Magic Stick in that case.
Core items for Earthshaker are very simple. You will need items to ensure you have mana to initiate and a way of effectively positioning your spells. So ultimately, mana and some type of fast unheeded movement. Generally the inexpensive mana regeneration items come first followed by the most appropriate initiating item. However, if a gank goes your way and you are able to afford a positioning item incredibly early, grab it while you can.
These items will solve most of your mana problems.
Ring of Basilius
There are some other options out there in the event you just don't have enough mana. If you are finding that you aren't getting nuked/harassed a lot, but somehow don't have the mana to finish the enemy off in the beginning an inexpensive Soul Ring can provide that boost to get you just enough mana to have a combination ready. With this item and arcane boots, you will have all the mana you need to spam Fissure if you desire. It is recommended that you put the money into savings for a Blink Dagger, unless you feel you will need the extra mana for fights.
You absolutely need mana to get a fissure off for decent damage. Remember that the fissure created lasts for 8 seconds regardless of spell level. So if an opportunity to trap an enemy presents itself, capitalize on it. The trapping can cause FAR more damage than the spells' direct damage. Just make sure that you have the regeneration needed for a next opportunity. Don't get caught being helpless. Soul Ring can provide some extra mana if you think you need it, but it is not recommended.
Now as for positioning.
Blink Dagger is your standard tool for getting your Echo Slam positioned where you need it, when you need it. There are other options out there however. If you aren't doing so great in the beginning and don't believe you will ever be able to save up enough for a Blink Dagger, try to get yourself a Force Staff. It is cheap enough to slowly build the components, and still have all the same uses as blink dagger, just a little bit trickier to use. There is also the plus side of effecting the enemy as well. Shadow Blade can have the same essential purpose. Sneak up and Echo Slam when the enemy is grouped up. This item is the least recommended, by myself, as it cannot instantly get you where you want, and can be made difficult to use through proper detection.
Your ability to afford these items will be difficult without kills, you are a hero required to buy some supportive items on top of the fact that you won't be able to farm like a carry.
Your core items MUST come first, without mana or positioning, you will most likely do poorly, and if you don't it is because your team is pulling good weight and/or the enemy team is screwing up all over the place.
After your core items you should be able to rack up some money through hero kills or at least spam some empty lanes for easy money on waves. Core items won't keep you useful the entire game, so make sure you pick up the items that will compliment how you will be playing. Although games will usually not last long enough for you to get all of these items, you don't want to waste your money and be stuck fighting carries that can insta-gib you later in the game.
Scythe of Vyse
As a support you can lane with another hero or go solo, either option is viable.
Hopefully you are playing with another carry/semi-carry and you will want to let them get the last hits, while focusing on denying your enemies.
If you are laning with a partner keep your eyes out for heroes that stick next to the tree line. If they make a mistake, and are being chased by your creeps while you have an angle that allows you to block them, do so. Even if your spell is level 1, having them trapped will allow your creeps and ally to take out a large chunk of their health. If they aren't very good, they may try to run around or fight and generally die. If they are decent, they will use tangos to eat around the trees blocking them. Even if they do not die, you can force them to use up a lot of their regeneration early. Heroes with stun make this job considerably easier. Wards are very critical to avoid being ganked, something your carry needs to avoid. A well placed fissure can dissuade a gank, or turn it around, but you need to know they are coming in the first place.
Block, deny, and ward. If you can do these things, an ally carry should be having a blast with easy farming. Your job during early laning is successful.
When playing solo, you will need to focus on the same trapping techniques. Ideally you will do more damage since your level will be higher. However, since you are a melee unit that does not boast incredible survivability right off the bat it will be difficult for you to get decent creep hits/denies against a competent enemy. As a solo, effective managing of Clarity Potions is critical. You need to capitalize on every mistake the enemy lane makes in order to get some decent kills and gold. Communicate with your team when setting up for a gank. An unsuspecting stun can allow for an easy trap with Fissure.
You are on your own, you can't spam nukes, and you don't have a large amount of damage to dish out other than your Fissure spell. Get the best creep score you possibly can and trap when you get the chance. Do not push one bit, otherwise you will give the enemy the chance to harass and deny you with ease. After a few levels you will have become a very strong roamer capable of effective ganks early in the game.
Thank you for visiting this guide. I hope that you found it both helpful and informative. I understand that it is a bit lengthy, but hopefully it offers something for newer and mediocre players. If you feel that this guide is missing something critical, or you notice an error that slipped past me, please inform me. I'm sure I will notice a few things I should change as well. Also understand that this guide is focused on an initiating/supportive Earthshaker, not a fighting oriented one.
The information provided below has been tested to a certain degree, but not knowing currently how to check the code of Dota 2 itself, I simply trust these sources.
1.) antiweltteilchen (http://dotasecrets.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/total-annihilation-echo-slam/), 26 Aug. 2012
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