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Old 01-05-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Default The Arcane Witchcraft 1.


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Skywrath Mage is both a supporter and a ganker. He expresses his full potential in the early-middle phase of the game, since heís a great harasser and spellcaster. Heís very spell dependent and will need the help of other heroes to be sure the ultimate, that deals lots of damage, wonít fail.

Skills


Starting


Core


Luxury


Situational


Rejected


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This is the second guide Iím writing, Iím so excited. Or maybe not. Anyway, this time I decided to treat a new intelligence hero, Dragonus the Skywrath Mage. To be honest, heís the only one of the four new entrances Iíve tried. Love at first sight, ahah.

Hero introduction

Coming soon.

Background story

Dragonus is a sky-bound sorcerer astute in the arts of arcane warfare. Mystical in nature and veiled in secret motives he joined the sentinel to battle the scourge. He is said to come from the ancient bloodline of blood elves that has ascended to unknown heights in the arts of mystical magic. Itís suspected that Invoker and Dragonus were prodigyís of ancient time and were fighting for the prestige title of the supreme mage. The art of his supreme knowledge of magic enables him to seal any magic and his Mystic Flare is capable of burning any foe in matter of seconds. Many allies are proud to have strode alongside this mythical being, but few enemies have lived to survive the full extent of his mystical arsenal.
Skywrath Mage is a ranged hero, more precisely both a support and a ganker. Heís endowed of a great slow and of an almost-autocastable skill. The ultimate is majestic, but hard to utilize. The counterpart is that he totally lacks of survivability.

Pros
Disabler
Good slow
Huge ultimateís damage
Harasser
High intelligence gain
High MS
High skillsí casting range
Spammer

Cons
Item dependent
Low agility gain
Mana problems (early game)
Nearly no armor
No survivability
Non-instantaneous ultimate (deals damage over time)
Spell dependent


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Strength: 19 + 1.5
Agility: 18 + 0.8
Intelligence: 27 + 3.2
Affiliation: Sentinel
Damage: 36 - 46
Armor: 0.52
Movespeed: 315
Missile speed: 1000
Casting animation: 0.1 / 1.08
Attack animation: 0.4 / 0.78
Base attack time: 1.7
Attack range: 600
Sight range: 1800 / 800


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6.75
Skywrath Mage added to Captainís Mode
Concussive Shot cooldown decreased from 20/19/18/17 to 20/18/16/14

6.74
Base Intelligence increased by 3
Arcane Bolt bonus intelligence damage increased from 1.5x to 1.6x
Arcane Bolt manacost decreased from 90 to 70
Concussive Shot cooldown now scales from 20 to 20/19/18/17

6.73c
Fixed sound effect on Skywrath Mageís attack projectile

6.73b
Fixed Skywrath Mage not triggering Land Mines


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Arcane Bolt

Ability name: Arcane Bolt
Ability type: Active
Targeting type: Unit
Ability hotkey: C

The Skywrath Mage fires off a bolt of arcane energy to harm his adversaries. Deals an additional 1.6x the Skywrath Mageís intelligence and grants 325 vision around the projectile.


Notes
Damage type: magical
The projectile moves very slowly (500 ms) and you have 325 vision around it.

Explanation
Arcane Bolt is a skill that becomes stronger over time, based on the heroís intelligence. This means it doesnít deal too much during the early game, while later can be spammed effectively due to the low cooldown and the heroís high intelligence gain. Once casted, it can hunt the enemy the whole time until it hits him. Even if it also provides vision around itself, can be easily dodged due to his very slow MS (e.g. Black King Bar, Manta Style). Lastly, as I think itís the skill which casting animation lasts 1.08 seconds, remember to quickly move your hero once you casted it: if you donít, you could lose precious time.

800 casting range, 70 mana cost.


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Level 1: Concussive Shot
Level 2: Arcane Bolt/Ancient Seal
Level 3: Arcane Bolt
Level 4: Ancient Seal/Arcane Bolt
Level 5: Arcane Bolt
Level 6: Mystic Flare
Level 7: Arcane Bolt
Level 8-9: Concussive Shot
Level 10: Ancient Seal
Level 11: Mystic Flare
Level 12-13: Ancient Seal
Level 14: Concussive Shot
Level 15: Attribute Bonus
Level 16: Mystic Flare
Level 17-25: Attribute Bonus

Explanation
Concussive Shot is selected at level 1 to partially prevent ganks (even if, in many cases, it could be insufficient). Then, youíre going to maximize Arcane Bolt over Concussive Shot because of its very short cooldown. At level 4, youíll select Ancient Seal to silence, support your allies and slightly amplify your damage. Ultimate could fail several times, but you must risk because itís devastating, so itís to level up whenever itís possible. Concussive Shot is skilled two more times to further improve its cooldown and your damage potential. After that, Ancient Seal should have the priority, since a fourth level would be useless.

I found out this is the best skill build, after many mathematical calculations Iíll show briefly. They concern the damage you can deal per level in a time interval equal to 10 seconds, not considering the ultimate (that, as I said, can be evaded in many ways) and the targetís magic resistance, supposing that only three Ironwood Branches will give you extra intelligence (and a +5 from Mekansm by level 12), as well as the initial and remaining amount of mana.



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Against physical attackers


This build is suggested against physical attackers, your worst enemies. It aims to provide you some armor you lack. ęNormal is the type for all attacks, and makes the damage gets reduced by armor valueĽ (DotA Mechanics, Damage and armor).

Against spellcasters


This one works against spellcasters and aims to provide you some early stregth, without forgetting the precious armor. ęMagic is the most common ability damage type which makes the damage not reduced by armor value at allĽ (DotA Mechanics, Damage and armor).

Variant


A variant with an animal courier incorporated. I guess you could make one of your mates upgrade it to a flying one. The whole team will benefit from it, and it would be easier for you to complete items that require a recipe without losing too much time.

In each case, you can decide to swap an Ironwood Branch for a Clarity Potion if you want to play more aggressively.


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Youíre not supposed to solo middle, so preferably take position in the lower lane if youíre a Sentinel, or in the upper one if youíre part of the Scourge. Your aim is to harass the enemy melee hero, preventing him a good moment of farming, and of course to deny. Donít roam around the map.

Skywrath Mage hasnít a great mana pool during this phase of the game, so Energy Booster is the best item that will solve this problem. At level 4, without it, you have 468 mana points and youíre able to cast just a pair of combinations (an Ancient Seal + Concussive Shot + Arcane Bolt and a Concussive Shot + Arcane Bolt), so spend it wisely. Once you bought Arcane Boots at level 6, your mana points are about 809 (plus other 110 from Restore), that will allow you to cast the above-mentioned combinations as well as another Ancient Seal + Mystic Flare. Power Treads and Null Talisman will provide you less mana, but still sufficient to cast the entire skillset.


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Slow



Target unit is slowed by 80% (522 MS value decreases to 104).

According to the mechanics forum, MS is capped at 522 and 100. Setting the MS to 360, casting almost every combination of at least two of the above abilities will slowdown the targetís MS to 100. There are just three particular cases I want to analyze:

Guinsooís Scythe of Vyse sets MS to 100, so you donít need to use further abilities.
Any combination of three abilities is usually useless. At least until 400 MS, itís sufficient using two of them to decrease it to 100.
In both the combinations, just the first ability will affect the target. In spite of decreasing MS to 100, it reaches 180 in the former, while 216 in the latter.

Amplified damage



Ethereal units take 40% extra magic.

I think there are two important rules you must keep in mind in order to deal the maximum amount of damage. Supposing youíve bought both the items, always cast Veil of Discord as first and Orchid Malevolence as last (so, Ancient Seal as second). Below you can find some incorrect example.

Orchid Malevolence isnít casted at the end, and this makes Ancient Seal ovveride it.
Again, Orchid Malevolence isnít casted at the end, so this makes Veil of Discord and Ancient Seal ovveride it.
Even if Orchid Malevolence is casted as later as possible, youíll deal less damage because Veil of Discord isnít casted early.


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There are three kind of heroes who help you casting properly Mystic Flare.


Stunners which stun lasts at least 2 seconds. The most effective ones: they donít allow the targeted hero to cast spells.


Disablers which skill completely paralyzes the targeted hero. Pay particular attention if Black Hole is casted, as it moves the enemy a bit, and if your ally is a Batrider, agree in advance with him because he shouldnít move himself once having casted Flaming Lasso.


Heroes which skill partially blocks the targeted hero, who isnít disabled and canít move beyond a small area.


Heroes which most powerful skill deals a huge amount of magic damage. Ancient Seal will just amplify it.


Mana refillers. Youíre a spammer, so youíll benefit a lot from extra mana.


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Dreamish, marsh1616: I partially read their guides to Skywrath Mage, and theyíve been a nice term of comparison.

deathkidkun, Lycan, NinjaMovesPro, silvercover: Iíve been able to improve the guide thanks to their feedbacks.

thedune: he wrote a great commentary on marsh1616ís guide. I really appreciated it.

The guideís format is almost equal to my guide to Faceless Void, so I urge you to check it out, too!
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Last edited by Lycan; 01-17-2013 at 11:11 AM. Reason: bug fix
Old 02-18-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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How about early stats?


I would get Either Meck OR ghost scepter and some more dps positioning orientated countering items. Blademail is useless... since skymage doesn't really have ANY hp to support a blademail.
I personally prefer Treads since he has a high stat gain so some Nice attackspeed actually pays of pretty good during the slow. You haven't listed Skadi as a luxury while that's one of the best dps increasing item for skymage actually. It gives him almost everything he needs.

25% more damage from the damage ampliciation combo tends to be less itneresting for me at ranged combat over the extra duration of silence. However since it's a section about dmg output i would list the icons at this area in the other you suggest they deal the most damage in the first place(it has to much differnt ways shows currently so it's easely mixing up for a reader however showing 1 thing twice since it's the "perfect" for nuking the shit out of an enemy mode i would list that mode twice.
So start the area with Veil, Seal, Orchid. icon's Instead of Seal, Veil, Orchid
The best COUNTER against Skymage are Crits actually 1 crit and you're dead meat.


Format:
At the item sections some icon's are not showing up,


Published, left commentary
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

I had already suggested to buy Mekansm (in the "Core" paragraph) and Ghost Scepter ("Situational"), but anyway...

Quote:
i would list the icons at this area in the other you suggest they deal the most damage in the first place(it has to much differnt ways shows currently so it's easely mixing up for a reader however showing 1 thing twice since it's the "perfect" for nuking the shit out of an enemy mode i would list that mode twice.
I didn't understand this phrase at all, it's so messy.

Quote:
At the item sections some icon's are not showing up
Which ones? I can see them all.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the Credits...
^_^
Can buying these items will make Dragonus stronger?..
3 Guinsoo's,Shiva,Skadi, and Boots of Travel?...
I will make him like Obsidian Destroyer..

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

Your final aim isn't to maximally increase Arcane Bolt, instead you should be able to survive enough to cast Mystic Flare (survavibility and slowing items), which deals a lot more and has a low cooldown.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:27 AM   #6
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10/10 (for the design.) clean orange!
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:51 AM   #7
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Why you not consider solo mid?Your team will greatly benefit from ganks with his Mystic Flare once you've reached lvl6.One just have to be defensive during early game;his 600 atk range is enough for him to last hit while evading harassment and dodging spells.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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thanks for the guide
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

Interesting, I was hoping for a guide like this. It's got clear and reasonably accurate information where it's necessary in a readable format. 9/10 Congratz.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:58 AM   #10
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please make an special mentioning for NA. He'l just kill you in a second .In teamfights he silence rapes you .On lane he burns your mana .When your alone the last thing you ll see will be a tiny bug exploding in front of you
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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added "the solo mid argument" in the "gameplay" paragraph!
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:13 AM   #12
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Well it's not the the Blood Elves because the model of the hero ain't dragonhawk rider...but guide ain't bad.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

Quote:
please make an special mentioning for NA.
I had already put Nerubian Assassin, with a bunch of other heroes, here: Allies and Foes>Foes>Mana burners. I'm not going to add a deeper explanation for every hero who has a relationship with Skywrath Mage, since they are over 100.

Quote:
the model of the hero ain't dragonhawk rider.
When at first I read this message, guess what? I started searching for a serious artwork to Skywrath Mage, and I finally found it (though I had to change the background from sky-blue to orange, since it wasn't in harmony with the guide's monochromatic style)!
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #14
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The designs are simple, yet very attractive. Ppl gonna love this, too!
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:45 PM   #15
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Awesome!!
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:47 AM   #16
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Great guide. But i think the best skill build is the alternative 1 with a level of Arcane Bolt at level 2 and putting bloodstone in rejected is a mistake. Ancient Seal is too strong to max it later; it's also kinda silly not count a bit of your ultimate in the damage count: you have it and you make kills only with it. Maybe you'll do only half the damage but with a level 4 Seal is still a big deal, not counting the fact that the damage of your mates is amplyfied too and the silence. Quoting: "Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse is the best luxury for Skywrath Mage. Thanks to a mana regeneration bonus of 150%, you'll be able to spam effectively Arcane Bolt". You seem to forget that Bloodstone gives 200% + charges and that your ultimate costs 800 mana and you want to "spam" it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

Guinsoo is far better than Bloodstone, and it also synergizes with Mystic Flare. Even if you're still suffering mana problems, the addition of a Void Stone will work better than Bloodstone w/ charges.
I have to agree on what you say about the skill build. It's viable, but you must be very good at casting your ultimate and have decent allies (who block the target, and spellcasters); while the first skill build depends less on your capabilities and everyone can handle it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #18
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Get the Ancient Seal first if your enemy is Pudge,he will rot to die.. muahaha
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:33 AM   #19
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fine... rated 1/10!
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:04 AM   #20
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Why to skill more than one level of concussive shot? It doesn't improve much at all. Attribute bonuses are much better and the longer silence is much more useful.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:13 AM   #21
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Ur guide helped me a lot! Thanks! KEEP IT UP!
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:48 AM   #22
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@AtomOfUniverse
I've never said maxing Ancient Seal soon is a bad idea, it works wonder if you interact well with allies. Anyway, an addiction of 150 damage is really a big problem for the enemy, moreover in the early phase of the game and that's why I tend to skill Concussive Shot soon, it's just a waste later.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:59 AM   #23
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i think that this certainly helps younger players. gonna try some of it out :P
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:26 PM   #24
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

mek is not "a must." you have great range on ur spells, don't position urself like a dumbass.

basi is not a must i'd rather get nulls which contribute to arcane

tranquil shouldn't be rejected, i get them every game as dragonus. start with a chick + rop + 2 branches + tango + clarity, finish tranquil in sideshop by min like 3, then i already have great ms for ganks and can't be harassed out of lane.

idk why u'd get atos over/before sheep
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:28 PM   #25
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

awesome guide
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:25 PM   #26
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@ultqq
One of the main weakness of Skywrath Mage is the almost total lack of armor, so Mekansm and Ring of Basilius are the best items to buy in order to partially solve this problem (considering they are cheap, in comparison to Shiva's Guard and so).
Even if you're able to position yourself correctly, there are still many ways in which you can be involved (example: Blink).
I don't like that much your argumentation for buying Null Talisman. In the guide I repeated many times I would rather skill Arcane Bolt later and, also, I want to analyze this suggestion with a concrete hypothesis: at level 5 (with level 3 arcane bolt) you deal the misery of further 14 damage and, above all, 2.6 less armor points.
You could answer to my first assertion about the lack of armor saying something like: ¬ęTranquil Boots provide you a +3 armor bonus¬Ľ. They aren't a bad pair of boots but, the fact is, Arcane Boots totally overhang them, due to the other well known problem of Dragonus: mana.
Of course Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse is better than Rod of Atos, but it's very hard to farm and so the latter seems the best choice, since it has various utilities.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:04 AM   #27
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Nice guide.. really helped a lot
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #28
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I think NA deserves to have a more special mention than the other mana burners. its not the mana burn that will be the problem but the damage since your dependent on int for your first skill. not to mention he can easily reflect back the damage as of the new skill, imagine reflecting your ult's damage right back and getting stunned.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:19 PM   #29
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Found a nice combo: necro focussing with ulti a hero and dragonus get 1.5 sec stunned hero 4 his own ulti after the 900 dmg (only 1.5 sec not 2) necros ulti will do 900 dmg too :)
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:33 PM   #30
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ok, sry. forgot the heroes base magic resistance (25%) so: 775+ (775*0.9*0.75=542.625) =1317.625
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:41 PM   #31
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

This is a great guide, but dude, you should list down magical burst nukers as well because Dragonus helps them amplify their damage with ancient seal and stuff.

Oh, and does Ancient Seal stack with Decrepify?
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:13 AM   #32
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

nice guide!
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #33
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Worked!!
He does scale decently into late game,but should not try to kill a Centaur Warchief by himself.

Learnt the hard way. XD
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:25 AM   #34
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NOOB GUIDE ! arcane boots on mage is like it on destroyerur far better off with int treads that increase ur as and mana poool but mostly arcane bolts dmg,
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #35
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

@deathkidkun
I did a couple of tests and, yes, Ancient Seal stacks with Decrepify, and the casting order doesn't affect the final result: you can decide to cast Ancient Seal both before or after Decrepify.

@Mr_Cuddles
What's the difference between a level 7 (level 4 Arcane Bolt) Skywrath Mage who wears Magic Wand, Null Talisman, Power Treads Int and a specular one who wears Arcane Boots instead of Power Treads? The first will deal just 12 extra damage (not even considering the magic reduction). The increased AS is not crucial, you're skill dependant. With Arcane Boots you're more flexible while spending mana, because you know you can partially restore it in not even a minute.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:09 AM   #36
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great guide :D
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #37
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cool man
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:05 AM   #38
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The picture, a girl? 10/10 for the guide!
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #39
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

I'm still not convinced that maxing concussive above arcane bolt is a good idea tbh. The calculations you did only considers one shot of bolt, while in reality with 2 CD you should be able to cast 2-3 ABs. It doesn't guarantee a hit while target is in effect of seal, but overall it deals more damage (despite the need of more mana) and should be considered.

Nice guide though, it certainly contains an extensive amount of research especially in the combos order part.

Any thoughts on ethereal blade as luxury? Mystic flare+Seal+EB is epic
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:56 PM   #40
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Default Re: The Arcane Witchcraft

roflll rated 10 1
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