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2 Votes

Who needs a blade when you have OBLIVION (Pugna for the pub scene)

December 22, 2014 by theMightyNugget
Comments: 5    |    Views: 17485    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Semicarry Build

DotA2 Hero: Pugna

Hero Skills

Nether Blast

1 3 5 7


2 12 13 14

Nether Ward

4 8 9 10

Life Drain

6 11 16


15 17 18

Who needs a blade when you have OBLIVION (Pugna for the pub scene)

December 22, 2014


Hey everybody, welcome to my guide to Pugna. This is my first guide so please let me know if anything is missing or incorrect :) I hope you enjoy! Please note that as of now the guide is unfinished, but will be added to over the next week.


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Pugna - Master of Oblivion

Lore: In the realm of Pugna's birth, near the vents of the Nether Reaches, there stood a lamasery devoted to the Arts of Oblivion, which drew its power from the nether energies. The Grandmaster of the temple compound had himself passed into Oblivion several years prior, leaving his academy without a leader. From the moment of their master's death, the regents of the temple began rites of divination to identify their master's reincarnation, and eventually all signs converged on the immediate neighborhood. Several villages squatted in the shadow of the temple, their alleys and plazas full of the laughter of squalling children. Pugna, a mere thirteen months of age, was but one candidate among the local brats, and on the appointed day he was presented at the temple alongside two other promising tots. The lamas offered a jumble of worn relics to the children, treasured possessions of their former grandmaster. One boy reached for a porphyry wand that had belonged to the lama...and put it in his nostril. An impish girl pulled out an amulet that had also been the lama's, and immediately swallowed it. Pugna regarded the other two coolly, gave a merry laugh, and blasted them with gouts of emerald flame, reducing them to ashes in an instant. He then snatched up the wand and amulet, saying 'Mine!' The regents hoisted the beaming Pugna on their shoulders, wrapped him in their grandmaster's vestments, and rushed him to the throne before his mood could change. Within five years, the temple itself was another pile of ash, which pleased Pugna to no end.

Pugna is a ranged intelligence hero who can be a support or a semicarry pusher. He has the highest primary stat growth in the game, as well as great movespeed. His spells allow him to be useful throughout the entire game, and allow him to counter both supports and casters as well as right clicking carries. Overall, Pugna can do huge amounts of damage to both heroes and buildings, helping his team take down the toughest adversaries.

  • Can work in a variety of teams and roles
  • Highest intelligence growth in the game
  • Great against squishy heroes/glass cannon carries
  • Good pushing and teamfight potential
  • Counters initiators and casters
  • Huge magical damage output with right items
  • Effective against magic immune heroes
  • 404 physical damage not found
  • horrible str growth and armor
  • Needs some amount of gold to be useful as a semicarry (not a hard support)
  • REQUIRES good positioning skills
  • squishy mess when stunned or silenced



Nether Blast is your point target aoe nuke and pushing spell. We max this first as it gives great damage output along with Decrepify. Later in the game you will be spamming it against creep waves and buildings instead, as it looses its potency against tanky heroes.

  • Cast this before Decrepify, this makes it easier to land the combo within 2 seconds
  • it takes 2 blasts to flatten a normal creep wave
  • Nether Blast only does half damage to towers
    does not go through bkb

DAMAGE: 100/175/250/325
MANA COST: 80/105/125/145

The Arts of Oblivion include a deafening blast of emerald flames from the Nether Reaches.


Decrepify is basically an ether blast without the damage. it makes the single target unit unable to attack or be attacked for up to 3.5 seconds. They also take 50% more magic damage. This is how you do a ton of damage with Nether Blast and Life Drain. You can decrepify an enemy carry to stop it from causing trouble, or decrepify yourself or an allied hero to protect them from physical damage.

  • Reduces most enemy heroes' magic resist to -25%
  • Does not stack with any other magical amplification other than Ethereal Blade and Ghost Scepter.
  • Slows enemies by 50%, allies by 25%
  • can be used with Ethereal Blade for a total of 10 seconds continuous banishment (but is better to stack the two)

COOLDOWN: 12/10/8/6

A now-mastered relic from his childhood, Pugna delights in banishing others into the Nether Realm, whether for good, evil, or simple enjoyment.


Nether Ward is your teamfight spell and is what allows your team to hard counter huge mana users like Skywrath Mage and Outworld Devourer. Using this ability places a Ward that fires green lasers at people when they cast a spell, damaging based on how much mana they use. You should hide it behind the lines of battle, like a juke spot in a tree, as the ward's range is completely broken. The mana flares that the ward fires will also have a mana drain effect applied to the target, making it useful against mana-starved Earthshakers and Chaos Knights.

  • Be careful where you place the ward, as it gives a substantial bounty if destroyed
  • Mana flares pierce BKB
  • last 30 seconds with a longer cooldown, so timing is crucial

DAMAGE PER MANA: 1/1.25/1.5/1.75
MANA LEAK: 1.5/3/4.5/6]

While at the lamasery for the Arts of Oblivion, Pugna learned to dominate his classmates with a simple ward charged with Nether magic.


Life Drain is Pugna's ultimate. It is a 10-second channeling ability that siphons the health from an enemy hero and into Pugna. When combined with decrepify, it deals huge dps and heals Pugna's health and mana. This is a tool for killing as well as staying alive, as Decrepify and Life Drain together will protect you from physical damage as well as giving you crazy amounts of heal. It has a pretty good range, so you will be wanting to cast this from the sidelines as opposed to the stun-crazy center of the teamfight. Life drain can also be cast on a allied unit, causing Pugna to drain his own hp into him/her. This should only be used to save an important hero or carry, as you do not have much health to spare.

  • Aghanim's Scepter reduces the cooldown on Life Drain to 0
  • Like Nether Ward, Life Drain goes through bkb
  • Is interrupted by stuns like any other channling ability

DRAIN PER SECOND: 120/160/200

Pugna has truly become more powerful than even the grandmaster of Oblivion.

Item Choices

The Items you will get as Pugna depend largely upon what role you will be taking up in the game. Usually I play pugna as more of a ganker/semicarry, since he is not the best support in the world (this doesn't mean you can't buy wards! The world needs more wards!), hence we will focus on that stlye of play in our item build. If you would like to play pugna as a support, I have provided a build up top that needs much less explaination.

Ganking Semicarry

When we start out, you will usually be going to your team's hard lane (Pugna can lane mid, but usually there is a better hero for that on your team). I like to pick up some quick regen along with a Circlet. In Pub games, you will usually have to buy an Animal Courier. If not, buy a Gauntlets of Strength for your bracer.

As you enter your lane, hopefully picking up some last hits, you get enough gold for a Bracer. in a few more minutes, you hopefully can manage to buy some Boots of Speed, along with upgrading your team's courier to a Flying Courier

If you are able to get any early kills, spend your cash on Town Portal Scroll and Arcane Boots. Try to decide what you need to build for core. If you get several kills in less than 10 minutes, you should consider getting a Null Talisman to build into dagon later.

By this time its past 12 minutes into the game. Since you are in a pub game, most people will be out of their lanes ganking. Use of your Town Portal Scroll is very important to help out your teammates. Usually I start ganking one I hit level 6 and get a kill in lane. Now, you have to decide what you are going to build for the midgame.

  • Cost: 4200
  • 10 each attribute
  • 390 health
  • 280 mana

Aghanim's Scepter should be on your shopping list almost every game. It gives you some nice stats, as well as giving you new killing power. Life Drain has increased damage and no cooldown! Now you can pretty much keep this on people from almost 1000 units away while your team helps keep them in place. This is so huge for midgame Pugna, as you will have less than 12k hp even with scepter. The life drain will keep you alive and net easy kills. Get this item!!!

  • Cost: up to 7720
  • 57 health
  • 25 intelligence

While dagon is most definitely a pub-only pick for pugna, It is one of the most fun items in the game if you have already got a lead. Combined with Decrepify, you will deal about 1000 damage with it! It also gives you a great boost of intelligence. Build dagon if you are ahead in gold, as this is better for securing more kills. If you are behind, do not buy this item, as it is crazy expensive and you could get much more cost-effective utility on other items. Still, though, it is one of the most fun items you can play on pugna, and you should pick it up wherever it is suitable.

  • Cost: 3100
  • 350 health
  • 25 intelligence

Rod of Atos is a great cheap buy on Pugna, as it gives you some badly-needed health as well as some extremely cost-effective intelligence. It also gives you a great active that works well with Life Drain. Cripple is an extremely spammable skill with a cast range that needs to be nerfed so bad its not even funny. Rod of Atos + Aghanim's Scepter = dead enemy. Overall, a great cost-effective choice that gives you great utility in many situations.

  • Cost: 2300
  • 5 each attribute
  • 5 armor (plus 2 from restore)

Mekansm definitely falls more under the support role, but even a semicarry should consider it in some situations. Most teams in pubs never buy a mek, so ading one to your arsenal will benefit your team hugely. It gives the squishy pugna some mush-needed armor and another reason to be feared as a pusher. Simply take a creep wave against a tower, wait till some are low, then pop your mek and spam Nether Blast. Just remember that there is no "i" in mekansm; It is an item to benefit your team. Overall, not the best possible item, but very cheap to build and gives your more utility for its cost than many expensive items.

Okay. Its late game. You have been dominating with your mad Pugna skills. You need some items to carry into the later part of the game. On the other hand, maybe you haven't been doing so well, you couldn't afford Aghanim's Scepter until 30 minutes in, and got nothing else. The important thing is figuring out how much you are going to be able to spend before you choose your items. The following is a list of late game/luxury items, as well as some situational and alternative ones.

Late Game

Shiva's Guard is a solid lategame pickup, giving you a ton of armor and intelligence, as well as a good active. As a bonus, Decrepify works with arctic blast!

Scythe of Vyse is considered by some the best item in the game. you get a huge stats boost along with crazy mana regen and one of the best late game disables ever. If you have the money and your team needs one, do not hesitate.

Orchid Malevolence is not always suitable, however the silence and damage amp works nicely with your playstyle, while giving you great mana regen. Not the best pick since unlike Rod of Atos, sythe of vyse, or shivas guard, you get no tanky benefits.

Ethereal Blade is more of a trololol pickup than anything. if you have been completely dominating the game, pick this up along with dagon and live drain to oneshot everyone. Also gives you a bit of armor gain from the agility.

Situational/low on money

Soul Ring can be a good fallback item for the early-midgame, giving you some decent regen and armor at a low price.

Drum of Endurance can give you a cheap stat boost for you as well as a speed boost active for chaasing and escaping. Not ideal, but a situational pick if you are behind and desparate for stats.

Magic Wand while a support will usually build this anyway, it is more situational depending on your lane. pick one up if you go against a trilane or some spell spammers ( Bristleback and Batrider, i'm looking at you.)

Ghost Scepter gives you an escape if the enemy carries are getting out of hand. stack the duration with Decrepify to get out of a hairy situation unscathed.

Black King Bar is considered core by some, but you don't see this often in pub games. If you really need it, pick it up to give you some more health and spell immunity.

Gameplay tips, tricks, and combos.

Early game

  • Try and communicate with your lane partner about when to cast spells. if you can land a Magic Missile or Chaos Bolt on a decrepified hero, it makes your chances of getting a kill all the better.
  • Make sure to harass the enemy carry. You have pretty decent range, so denying should also be a piece of cake
  • When attacking, go Decrepify immediately into Nether Blast, this makes it much easier to time.
  • When going for a gank, place yourself near the escape route so that your victim gets the longest Life Drain duration possible.
  • Cast any spells/items you have before life drain so that you dont interrupt the channeling time.
  • Remember to decrepify someone before your team casts spells like Finger of Death of Laguna Blade, which will give you even better nuking power
  • On the other hand, don't decrepify someone just to steal a kill from a rightclicker.

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