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5 Votes

[WIP] Clockwerk - one man army [compherensive guide]

August 2, 2014 by Meph0
Comments: 2    |    Views: 11616    |   

general build

DotA2 Hero: Clockwerk

Hero Skills

Battery Assault

2 3 5 7

Power Cogs


Rocket Flare

4 8 9 10


6 11



Good day fellow dota players, this is my guide to one man army - Clockwerk.
This guide is aimed at advanced players, for alt-tab guide for newer players, please look at other guides first.

You absolutely need balls and go big or go home mentality to play clockwerk, if you like to passively farm, this is clearly not the hero you are looking for.


Clockwerk is (counter)initiator and ganker that does well at all stages of the game and excells agains fairly immobile teams.
To be effective, Clockwerk needs a lot of experience early on in the game and this equalls to being solo offlaner / mid player.

Skill build

Standard build is maxing Battery Assault, taking single point in Power Cogs and taking Hookshot and Rocket Flare as your secondary spells.
For more in-depth skill justification, read section 'laning' bellow.

In mid to lategame, your Rocket Flare should always be on cooldown, you can either (counter)push waves or scout with it since it costs negligible ammount of mana and provides lasting vision over the area.

Power Cogs usage are described in sections 'laning' and 'role in teamfights'.

Hookshot can be used both offensive tool (for both initiation and counter initiation), defensive tool (you can hookshot onto allies/allied creepwave to escape) and scouting tool (this becomes relevant once you got your aghanims and when rocket flare is down).

[power coggs] + [battery assault]

This is the combo that makes you a 1v1 killing machine and as such, I will explain it in detail.

Surprisingly enough, combo sometimes hard to execute properly, especially during laning stage when enemies are next to the creepwave.

In order not to aggro the creepwave (and limit effectiveness of battery assault), you need to be either 500+ units away from creeps when you autoattack or alternatively, you will need to reposition away from creepwave within powercogs.

If your enemy is smart, he will try to position himself inside creep wave (wheather he is melee or ranged) and either manfight you or attempt to tp away (you can hope for RNG on battery assault or use cogs to cancel tp, which however also lessens your chance of killing the enemy since you are pushing him away from you and loose important cooldown - battery assault.

Another side of the coin is that once battery assault and cogs are down, you are commited to killing your oponent. If you are outnumbered, chances are you are dead.
Likewise, if you cae QE Invoker, chances are he is gonna invoker double forge spirit or some other nasty counter to you. Enemy might also use Force Staff to get away (albeit they will take burn, it's always better than taking full duration battery assault.

Rocket flare

Yet another amazing spell at all stages of the game.

There are clear benefits to it and also one strong caveat, it gives away your position.

Whenever you execute TP gank from base, preshoot this skill to place where your enemy is exepected to be or behind him, if you expect him to see you coming or have supports standing behind him (yeah, clockwerk is fairly predictable ganker and in high skill pubs people will counter him).

Another great thing about this spell is that it makes easy and safe to scout roshan (especially when there is jungle enigma or ursa/lycan that's missing from the lane).
If you spam roshpit consistently, your enemy either takes a chance to get caught in roshpit or sometimes won't even attempt taking roshan which is just as good.

This skill helps you to land hooks or finish enemies, even if you lose enemy in fog of war and there are multiple escape routes, flaring one and not seeing enemy can help you to land 'blind hook' on the other route.

But that's not it, more importantly, it's allow you to push waves and keep up on farm, because as a clockwerk, you are going to be hidden in fog from the enemy, waiting for enemy midder/carry to make that one mistake - farm one more creepwave.

It's also amazing tool to disable blink daggers and counters heroes such as Tinker or sandking that's casting Epicenter.

Item justification

Starting items are laid out in header of this guide and are good in pretty much every game.
Some players might opt for ironwood branch instead of aditional clarity, but generally aditional mana regeneration works better.

Your next basic items are going to be brown boots and either one of:
1) Phase Boots + Bottle
2) Arcane Boots (situationally followed by Mekansm)
3) Power Treads + Robe of the Magi

As much as I love phaseboots for aditional chasing/lasthitting power early on, some form of mana regeneration is absolutely necessary because with your base manapool you can only get single combo off (and kill single player as a rule) and then walk all the way back to the base to regen so you can go for pickoffs (more in sections bellow).

With bottle (asuming your mid player doesn't require it, which is the case with heroes like invoker, viper..) or mana boots, you can stay in lane and farm a bit after succesful gank.

Onether way to go is buying Power Treads and Sobi mask out right, since with propper tread switching it gives you sufficient manapool and also damage/survivability.
Sobi mask is part of your next core item, blademail.

This brings me to secondary item choice, in 90% of my games this is going to be Blade Mail. This increases your killing power drastically at early midgame, since with this item you should be able to take on any (non-mobility based) hero 1v1 (even carry who will have item advantage over you).

Next item you should be getting is definitely Aghanim's Scepter, since this decreases cooldown drastically and also provides good bonuses in form of HP+mana.
Purchase order is something you should definitely think about here, since your bottleneck still is manapool, if situation allows it, always get Point Booster first, followed by Staff of Wizardry.

Blink Dagger is simply amazing on clockwerk (after aghs) for the reasons stated in 'role in teamfights', it can replace hookshot as initiation tool and divide enemies.
Basically what you wanna do is blink behind closest enemy, use powercogs (divide) and then hookshot back to the closest enemy (both locking him in and creating double wall of powercogs in between your team and theirs.
Force Staff can serve similar purpase, although it's more of a utility item, you can hookshot enemy, cog and then safely get away.

Laning stage

If you are offlaning, your main job is to get level 6-7 as soon as possible.
There are basically 3 situations in lane, you cate trilane (carry+2 supports), duelane (carry+support) or you face solo player (applicable to mid as well).
Every situation requires different playstyle, as is explained bellow.
If there are more ranged enemies, you should play safe, whereas if you face melee duolane, you can go as agressive as you want.

You should always be very map aware and also carefully plan ahead.
If your enemy is on par with levels or farm with you (often the case), just runing into them under creepwave won't cut it, if they are smart, they will try to manfight you around creeps so your battery ***oult is fairly useles.
This is why you mostly want to wait for opportunity pick, rather then engage balls deep.
On level6, 1v1 initiation gets a lot easier, since you can pickoff people when they aren't close to the creeps and you won't draw their aggro.

Once you are level7, you generally wan't to execute Bone7's gank on midle, e.g. either TP to kill enemy mid player or walk from offlane trough rune.
I call it 'Bon7 gank' after pro-player, who is (in)famous clockwerk player.
And just like a clock, when he hits lvl6-7 he always used to do this (in fact he did it so often, that everyone started countering him and bait gank middle).
It's still very effective in pubs tho.

Laning A [support+core]

This is favorable lane for you, since if you play cautiously, enemy shouldn't be able to kill you.

To prevent support from getting too many levels, ask support for observer ward and block off standard spot (picture shows my favourite ward on radiant, albeit easy to deward, it gives a lot of intel).

Max battery assault and try to get as many lasthits as you can.
Any time enemies are close to creeps and each other, walk into them, use Power Cogs and immediately back off. This drains their mana and limits their ability to harras you or go for a kill.
On level 5+ (assuming you have boots) or even at level 3 (2-1-0 build), you should be able to kill support hero (who will be typically just level 3) and get away safely.

Laning B [trilane]

Your n.1 priority is not to die and leech as much experience as possible.
In this situation, you will generally want to diverge from standard skillbuild (battery first) and go for Rocket Flare maxing (1-1-3 build).
This is probably the worst situation you can get yourself into, but as long as you can stay in xp range and force supports to stay in lane, your teammates should have a good time.
If support due goes missing, you should try to communicate this to your mid player, since they are most likely retating middle.

Laning C [1v1 mid/offlane]

This is where clockwerk excells and very few heroes can actually lane against you.
You should be aiming to kill the enemy, disrupt their farm by walking in for lasthit and using powercogs to deal some damage and perhaps more importantly, draining their mana.

When in this situation, you might even want to skip skilling up rocket entirely and focus on on getting high levels of Power Cogs.

Role in teamfights - Divide&Conquer

Unlike typical manly initiators such as Axe or Tidehunter, clockwerks playstyle is more oriented towards making space (pun intended).
Example: Enemy initiated on visage in thight space near top rune, so I split ember spirit from rest of the team (axe and treant). And then went to engage on ember spirit who kept chasing for visage. In spite of enemy outnumbering us, we managed to kill off ember spirit 2v3.

In most teamfights, your clockwerk should focus on counter initiation and trying to divide enemies (typically roshan fights or fights around highground.
If you can initiate by cutting enemies on highground, fight will typically go in your favor.
Example: Allied tinker got caught my 3 enemy heroes, with hookshot and cogs I safely initiated on our highground, allowing rest of the team to rotate and get a good fight (even when tinker was dead).

This has a lot to do with your positioning, you never want to go in 'first' or even stay too close next to your allies. If your team initiates on closest enemy, your first order of business should be using hookshot on other enemies and disrupt their ability to save their teammate.
This is why blademail is gonna be really handy, since often you are going to die in process. However, as long as you managed to split the fight, your team should be able to do the rest of the work and you WIN(tm).

If you endeup with zero deaths at the end of the match, you are probably playing the hero wrong (unless your team suffered no deaths and you raped enemy team 50:0, but that generally doesn't happen :-)).

Tinker and ways to deal with cancer2.0

PREFACE: I hate this hero with passion and currently, he is in every other ranked game I play. My hate towards tinker is so huge, that I _always_ counterpick it with clockwerk. Here is my collection of tips how to deal with tinkers of various skill levels and itemchoices you and him are going to make. This is probably geared more towards HS tinkers than random tinkers that are easy to kill and run one build every game (bots>blink>dagon3>eblade>dagon5).

This one is tricky, because well played tinker and farmed tinker is nearly unstoppable or there are better counters (such as nyx or storm spirit).
What makes clockwerk my poison of choice against tinker players is the fact that virtually every spell is great at dealing with tinker.
Another reason _why_ I pick clockwerk over anything else is that he DOESNT NEED FARM to shut down tinker (even if he has significantly higher level of farm).
In 95% of the cases, blademail is all you need to kill 10k net worth tinker.

Tinker is one of these heroes that can splitfarm whole map and steer farm distribution on his team heavily in his favor.
This is exactly the reason why clockwerk is perfect counter.
Once you get your Blademail, you can forget about the enemy team, you can forget about the rest of the world. There is only you and him.

Tinkers _always_ farm or fight, there is no plan C. When he is trying to fight, use all your abilities on him (arguably he is more exposed with his team than he is farming from trees in lane).

Rocket Flare serves two purposes, firstly, you need to find tinker and then you need to disable his blink.
This acomplishes both.
NOTE: Good tinker players will rotate their faces in direction that is facing their blink location after teleporting in and as such, they can shift queue all their commands so you won't see where they blink (this is 5k+ mmr stuff typically, but for completeness I had to state it here).

Hookshot into Power Cogs into Battery Assault will do the job in 90% cases.
NOTE: If tinker has already sheepstick, you will need to precast battery assault before you hook in, else he will rearm and keep you sheeped untill he kills you or gets away safely.

NOTE: Blademail is a must have against tinker, often he will march and this will increase your damage output substantially and also provide way to finish off tinker if he gets away from cogs (vengefuls swap, forcestaff...).
NOTE: If tinker buys Force Staff you need to match it with your own forcestaff or use Blink Dagger for initiation.
NOTE: If tinker has bkb, you are ****ed, you wont do much against him (you can buy bkb yourself and try again).

TIP: Pay attention to tinker TP patterns, most tinkers use fairly simple pattern:
1) TP on sidelane unless somebody is farming it.
2) TP mid if neither sidelane is available to you
3) TP to defend towers if you see the push coming

If your team is pushing bottom, you should be carrying TP and hide in top jungle (90% of the time it's that simple).

TIP: Smoke of Deceit will allow you to follow enemy creepwaves and place cogs right at the moment when tinker TPS, so he gets immediatelly knocked back.
Try not to aggro creepwave, not to reduce effectiveness of your botturf assault and spam Rocket Flare at him whenever possible.
If you just manage to stay on tinker, he will likely loose against your skillset.

When everything else fails (or even before), buy a set of observer wards and place them on cliff on the edge of the map, in positions wehere tinker is most likely to blink into.

If your initiation and execution is good enough, you should be able to beat any tinker regardless of his farm.

Happy tinkering in your grave, tinker pickers.


Thanks for taking time to read the guide.
I'm accepting any constructive criticizm (even grammar nazi comments).
Feel free to discuss.

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