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The Lone Druid, Syllabear

Edit: Pictures will be fixed, pictures went haywire after editting earlier. I was told that some links aren't working as well so i'd be editting them as soon as I can.

Table of Contents -

You can use the search function to skip to a particular part of this guide by searching the keywords in orange.

I. Introduction [OO1]

II. Overview: A brief overview, abilities overview, and Pros and Cons [OO2]

III. Skill Build [OO3]

IV. Item Build [OO4]

V. Leveling and Farming [OO5]

VI. How to Play Syllabear [OO6]

VII. Team Synergies: Good allies, bad opponents [OO7]

VIII. Facts [OO8]

I. Introduction� [OO1]

First, before everything is said and done, I'd like to thank IceFrog for this great Syllabear rework. Now, You are reading this guide in hopes that you'd learn a thing or two about Syllabear. I'd like to take this opportunity to say that the concepts and strategies posted aren't league tested as I have never been played in a league before nor am I in a clan. Furthermore, these strategies and concepts listed in this guide are based mostly in my opinion and my experience in public games. I will also be using terms that I will coin, whether they have been used before or not, those terms will be used in conjunction to this guide. So without Further ado, let's get this show on the road.

II. Overview: A brief Overview, Abilities, and Pros and Cons [OO2]

Choosing Syllabear, I'm pretty sure that you are well aware that he has a bear which is more or less a Pseudo-Hero. Syllabear is probably one of the most gear dependent heroes in the game. Why is that? It is because of his lack of direct nukes, lack of direct disables, and lack of activated support abilities. He is basically the Lone Druid for a reason; He mostly buffs himself and his bear. However, that being said, syllabear is one of the best carry heroes given enough time to farm. A good thing to note for anyone who's just starting to play or is relatively new with this hero is that he cannot effectively kill early game. You would need to farm first, patience is key.


  • A fighting chicken: Namely, Spirit Bear.
  • An effective sidekick, the pseudo hero Spirit Bear
  • Good attack animation
  • Mana independence
  • Ranged and Melee Hero at the same time.
  • A possible tank (due to bear form's high hp and armor)
  • Good pushing ability


  • Low starting hp
  • Item dependent
  • Excessive farming required
  • Micro-control dependent
  • Proc based disable (Bear)
  • No escape mechanism

For his background story, hero description, stats, and complete information, click his portrait below.



Thoughts: This is syllabear's signature ability. His defining ability, his bear is essential to his early-game prowess. Remember that the bear is proc based and will not entangle on every strike. So please remember that you should expect for it not to proc all the time, but rather it will entangle 1/5 times. It also does normal damage so please keep that in mind. Another thing to note is that the Spirit Bear cannot chase on its own and will continue chasing down even if it blinks beside you unless another command is given. The return ability also ensures that you can send him anywhere and blink back to you. Useful for rune hunting, mine hunting, hero locating, anti-ganks, and picking up stuff from the base.


Thoughts: Rabid is the only spell that you really cast, the beauty of the buff is that you dont have to choose between you and your bear. You both get the buff. Another thing to note is that it is cheap and it lasts long, so you should be permanently rabid the whole game. There's no reason for you not to.


Thoughts: This is basically your "upgrade everything skill"


Thoughts: this is basically your "tanking" mode. It gives you a lot of survivability as well as a faster attack animation. Though it turns you to melee, the health/armor/attack animation boost should compensate for it.

III. Skill Build [OO3]

1. Spirit Bear

2. Synergy

3. Spirit Bear

4. Synergy

5. Spirit Bear

6. Synergy/Rabid

7. Spirit Bear

8. Synergy/Rabid

9. Rabid/Synergy

10. Rabid/Synergy

11. Rabid

12. Rabid

13. Attribute Stats

14. True Form

15. True Form

16. True Form

Skill Build Explanation: What you want early game is a bigger badder bear. While you definitely NOT scare anyone early game, your bear does. After all, who wants to fight with a unit with 2700 hp, does decent damage, has a high MS (especially if you get boots on your bear early) and has a chance to entangle you for a few seconds? More often than not, your bear will be disabled instead of you early game. As your bear builds up, it will be your crutch to getting bigger. Think of it as your guardian for the early levels. Getting Rabid later on gives you a much better benefit than getting it early on. You can get it earlier to get an advantage in pushing, otherwise, don't get it at all. If ever you do get earlier, get it after two levels of Synergy so that you can still Perma-Rabid. True form is for your late game.

IV. Item Build [OO4]

As you all know, the bear can carry items. Therefore, you outfit two heroes instead of one. Now, the bear, being a pseudo hero, cannot use everything. For one, it doesn't have mana (meaning you can't "use" items with spells). Another thing is that it cannot use "stats" directly like heroes do. So items will be discussed separately.

Core Items


alt Power Treads (Str)

Thoughts: Here's one item that is staple, i'd have to say that BoT is never worth it. There's only one hero that can use BoT and that is Tinker. Unless you're tinker and you rearm BoT then it will never be fully worth it. The ability to TP seems lucrative but as a dps/tank, you'd need more IAS. Int heroes might be more attuned to using BoT. Besides, the ability to teleport never saved me from a Laguna Blade/Finger of death. Nor did it gave me 150 more mana for a toss. Treads is almost always better than BoT and Phase. Stats + MS + IAS for 1850, never a bad deal. Don't forget that you can always change it to suit your attribute needs.

alt Mekanism

Thoughts: Here's something new, most people would more or less like to challenge this idea. The best reason is that it gives you a heal. Which not only saves you and your bear, but your team as well. Also, you do NOT have many activated spells that really use your mana. Since One (an old Syllabear ability on True Form) is removed, there is no other spell that you really use. So all that mana is wasted. Why not use it for more survivability. Besides Mekanism adds more stats and survivability to you AND your bear.

alt Eye of Skadi

Thoughts: This is your crowning item, many of you might not agree but this is probably the best item that you can get for Syllabear. The ranged version gives you a frost buff placer (slow) while it gives you survivability, mana, IAS, and damage. Price is more or less not much of an object since you are a farming machine. One good thing to add is that I always use this with a Helm of Dominator (later Satanic if I got the money). Since I almost always have a vlads on my bear, what happens is that I have a slowing mechanism in and out of true form and I have a lifesteal in and out of true form.

Spirit Bear

alt Power Treads (Str)

Thoughts: It gives the bear 30% IAS and 65 MS. Though it will never benefit from the stats because Spirit bear does NOT have any stats, 1850 is a good price to pay over 1500 to save 2 more slots (the equivalent of 1 Boots of Speed and 2 Gloves of Haste). Remember that more IAS is better for more entangles. Faster the attack, more chances to entangle.

alt Vlad's Offering

Thoughts: If you will ask why put this on your bear over Syllabear himself? It's because this is like one big aura put into one, it absolutely serves no other purpose than giving an aura. It doesnt give any other passive stats. Besides, your bear can use this all of the time, where as you shapeshift into range/melee so you don't get to use this all the time.

altStout Shield

Thoughts: This is arguably the best early game jungling item. If not then you are better off without this item. The simpliest of explanations as to why you get this is that the chance to mitigate damage is always good. It makes your bear tank last longer. Thereby less fountain trips, more tanking, and more XP. Speed and time is everything in terms of early game jungling. Use this ONLY if you are going to jungle at the start of the game.

Quelling Blade

Thoughts: This is for early jungling, the damage boost is good. This is given to your bear over Syllabear for the sole reason that the bear maximize the damage boost over you. With Synergy, this becomes an even more effective creeping item. Use this ONLY if you are going to jungle at the start of the game.

Luxury Items

alt The Butterfly

Thoughts: While some would argue that this is a MUST for Syllabear, i find that it isn't so. While 30% Evasion, 60% IAS, and 60 damage is REALLY alluring, you can easily get a skadi at almost the same price of a butterfly. Thereby making it a luxury item if anything. While some may argue that butterfly is more for survivability, this is the simpliest of explanations. Let's say you would be hit 15 times for 100 damage (after all reductions), with butterfly, you have 1000 hp. Having 30% evasion, theoretically, you still get hit 10 times out of 15. Thereby receiving 1000. However, having Skadi will give you 1675 hp (and actually some more armor reductions due to agi but we're not counting that for now). You still walk away with 175 hp.� Though some may say you may dodge more than 3 attacks you can also not dodge any of the 15 attacks. Also if you didn't dodge the first 10, the last 5 attacks becomes null since you already are dead. The point is, it is better to live through that situation than to play with chances. It is a concept that we try to tell our rogues in PvP for WoWand for Ragnarok Online before, there's no use evading when you are dead. It is a virtual certainty that you'll be hit. So the best way to survive is to prop yourself up. For Syllabear only.

alt Satanic

Thoughts: Though I consider this as luxury, it can still be very well be viable (before upgrading Helm of the Dominator). The lifesteal is a good buff to being ranged since skadi isn't an orb for ranged heroes. The dominate creep ability is also good, albeit redundant for Syllabear. Satanic offers him more hp, in case you missed PVP based games and pvp 101, MORE HP IS ALWAYS GOOD. Plus with its reworked unholy rage, it gives you a temporary 150% lifesteal, think of it as critting to heal. For Syllabear only.

alt Heart of Tarasque

Thoughts: More hp is always good. Remember that dota is PvP based. Like we always say before when I used to play WoW, "There's no point having 100000 plus spell damage or 100000 dps when you have 1 hp, 1 hit, you're dead. You cant do damage when you are dead" this is the last of items that you should buy. Dota is about balancing your hero. For Syllabear only.

alt Buriza-do-Kyanon

Thoughts: The ability to crit is always nice. While you don't necessarily need to crit to be effective, the extra damage boost from Buriza and the crit mechanism makes you an even more formidable hero. While critting is proc based, its always the best idea to have high IAS first before getting crits. Hence this is more of a luxury item, besides the hefty price tag, you can live without the extra damage. Syllabear luxury item. Recommended for Syllabear but can be used on Spirit Bear.

alt Assault Cuirass

Thoughts: This is one of the "aura" items that works well with Syllabear, remember that you outfit yourself and your bear. The best thing about Assault Cuirass is that its an upgrade for Hyperstone, which you will almost always find yourself buying in a long game. Since the bear will benefit alot from it. It is also very effective if you intend to buy bashers for both Syllabear and Spirit Bear. Another thing to note is that this gives armor and armor reducing aura. Thereby making your attacks hit harder as well as boosting your aura. Recommended for Syllabear but can be used on Spirit Bear.

alt Cranium Basher

Thoughts: This is why Syllabear is item dependent. For him to be effective and to disable/support you are reliant to two things: Proc based items and Activated items. This counts as a proc based item, since you need your bear to attack continuously for this to proc. The beauty of this with Syllabear and his bear is that, you get two different bash timers since the bear AND syllabear himself can proc it using different timers. Recommended for Spirit Bear but can be used by Syllabear

Situational Items

alt alt alt - True Sight

Thoughts: These are true sight items. Remember to NOT be cheap and skip these items when you are against invisible heroes (may it be from lothars or from their abilities). Remember that dying from an invi hero takes atleast 250 and gives them atleast 250 gold as well (you lose laning/jungling time when you die dont forget that and they gain xp). Do remember that wards AND dust cost 200 gold. A measly investment for an honest survival. One important caveat, the gem can be put on the bear early game if you do decide to buy one. You should put it on your hero mid-late game since the bear will take a lot of punishment later. Also, if you can avoid it, try not to buy a gem. Only designated tanks should carry them. Also avoid them if you have allies that utilizes invisbility or if you are with Techies/Lanaya. You are bound to screw them over royally if you ever drop your gem.

alt Black King Bar

Thoughts: This item is very situational. if you ever encounter an casting intensive team, that is the only time to ever buy a bkb. Remember that more hp usually offsets nukes. Disables on the other hand, is the main reason to buy bkb. For Syllabear only.

alt Arcane Ring

Thoughts: This is a "key" item since it "unlocks" your bear's potential. If you want to play as "support" syllabear, you can use this on your bear to have a walking refreshment stand. This gives your bear A mana pool thereby giving it the ability to use items that requires mana (i.e., Mekanism, wards). The main reason to use this is to help your team by having your bear run and use arcane ring to give everyone mana. As well as giving your bear mana to use any other item you deam fit, you can even use Shiva's guard in conjunction to this. If you dont want to be a support syllabear, skip this altogether. Remember that this starts a chain with your bear so that i can use more abilities. It would also require more micro-controlling on your end. For Spirit Bear only.

Items to AVOID:

alt alt - Hood of Defiance / Linken's Sphere

Thoughts: Bkb itself should be enough. If you are up against heavy spellcasters, then better to go with bkb. Getting a linken's sure gives you stats and the ability like Roshan's, protect yourself from a target spell once every 20 seconds but you surely don't need that ability all the time. The money spent can be better be used for something else. The hood of defiance is useless now since One is removed from true form. if you are thinking that it is used for better spell damage mitigation, get more hp. At least, more hp is flexible and can mitigate physical damage.

alt Boots of Travel

Thoughts: Unless you are an int hero, this item should be avoided completely. for you are paying for boots and 2200 to have the ability to teleport every minute. Which isnt all that great, you really dont need to teleport every minute. Some will argue that teleporting to a critical location is the real beauty of this item. You have rabid and it increases your movement speed already. Traveling and juking shouldn't be that hard, besides treads are more cost efficient. You wont use tp more than 14 times to make this worth it.

alt Battlefury

Thoughts: Cleaving is cool but for that price? I don't think so. Plus, it becomes useless when you are in ranged form. Not to mention that is practically your whole early-mid game. You'd be in ranged form. The hp regen is good but the mana regen is redundant, do you cast spells?

Suggested Acquisition order: Not counting your suggested laning items, the very first things you should acquire is treads for both you AND the bear. This should easy farming a bit and give you a little bit more survivability. Next is you get the mekanism for the extra survivability. Then you can buy a mask of madness for Syllabear (you will be saving it for vlad's), and now is the advisable time for you to start collecting items for Skadi. It is more advisable to acquire the ultimate orbs first as they give you stats. After that, get whatever you think will help you and your team progress.

V. Leveling and Farming [OO5]

I will separate leveling/farming into two sections as Syllabear is one of the few heroes who can effectively jungle at level 1.


More or less, I suggest you to Jungle almost everytime since jungling early has benefits. Theoretically if you dont die, do it properly, your team doesn't die, and your opponent doesn't die. You can and will outlevel them, and outfarm them. I've proven this time and time again. Jungling gives you more gold too. Refer to this link for information about jungling as I will refer to some key elements in there.

The advantages of jungling: The most obvious benefit is that you get more money, if you manage to creep 3 camps per minute on average (Camps 3,4,5 for scourge and camps 10,9,7. These creep camps give the same values)� this should give you 350-400 gold each minute. Which is equivalent to last hitting around 6-9 lane creeps. Unless you are a last hitting god and can last hit everything, jungling will always give you more gold. Which is what Syllabear needs. Another benefit is safety from ganks, as soon as someone is missing from a lane, you should be aware that he could be ganking you (this isnt hard since you arent minding a lane, you're just up against AI who will basically hit the nearest target almost always so its easy to check the whole map and be mindful of all opponents. You should also help with calling MIAs since it is easier to do that as you're just jungling). One more benefit is that you are "solo", which means XP acquired goes to you alone. Faster leveling. Last advantage is that you get another "solo" lane since you are jungling.

The disadvantages of jungling: Of course, jungling early doesn't come without a price. An obvious disadvantage is that you can't defend one lane and you might be pushed abit more on certain lanes. Another is that you don't get to push towers. Third is a teammate will be forced to solo and he could be harrassed in a dual lane.

If you intend to jungle, there are three items that you should buy with your 603g (assuming you picked and not randomed, if you get more than 603, save the remaining money for more stuff later on).

alt alt alt

Your starting items should look like that. Getting 1 healing salve will make sense later on. Basically those two other items are there to make it jungling feasible and easier. I will also divide jungling to two parts as scourge jungling and sentinel jungling is a bit different.


As soon as the clock hits 0:30 you should be near at least near camp 10, hopefully you stayed in mid lane for a bit and soak a little bit of xp before you start jungling. Now head to camp 10 and start killing, you wouldn't be fast enough to kill camp 10 and have respawns for them and try not to double spawn (double spawning is when you pull creeps at the right time causing them to lose sight in their camp area and spawning more creeps as the clock hits its respawn timer) since double spawning will more or less make it harder to kill camp 10 and cause you to take more damage this early. Saving your bear is top priority right now as it needs to last for awhile. Now finish camp 10 and move to camp 11, this is where you're going to have problems since camp 11 has stronger creeps. Usually after finishing camp 11, you'll get a level off. This is where the healing salve comes into play. As soon as you finish camp 11, your bear will be around 300-700 hp. Use that healing salve on your bear. Move to camp 9, don't forget to level your bear AND remember this well. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT LEVEL your bear while it has healing salve on. It will cause that healing salve buff to be gone. So level it to level 3 AFTER the buff has expired. Now� finish camp 9, camp 10 should've respawned by now. Go back to camp 10. if you're fast, camps 11,10, and 9 will have no creeps so you'd have to share mid lane for around 15-30 seconds, enough for one creep wave. Just move around 11,10, and 9 untill you reach level 5. Once you reach level 5 (with level 3 Spirit Bear) you should move to creeping camps 9,8, and 7. One important tip is that you can use quelling blade on a tree on top of creep camp 8. It will save you a LOT of time, instead of walking around the whole area. Rinse and repeat


As soon as the clock hits 0:30 you should be at mid, hopefully you stayed in mid lane for a bit and soak a little bit of xp before you start jungling. Head towards camp 3, you will almost certaintly not get to kill them before 0:45 at your level. Don't try to double spawn either, this can cause your jungling to be impeded. Now finish camp 3 and head to camp 4, now here's where a bit of trouble will hit you. Your bear should have around 500-800 hp after you are done with camp 4. Use your salve on your bear. Remember the same tip above, do not level your bear when the healing salve buff is still on your bear. Let it finish before leveling it. Now go to camp 5 and finish it up. By the time you are done, camp 3 and 4 should've respawned, go to camp 3 and finish it. Then camp 4, then camp 5. Rinse and repeat. The beauty of the scourge jungle is that the creep layout is good. Though you might not be able to use your quelling blade, like in the sentinel jungles, the creep placements are good. Not too strong, not too weak either.


  • Spawn your bear ASAP. Do not, under circumstance let it die unless you can respawn him (having his cooldown ready)� in your early game. Your bear dying cripples you early. So do NOT ever let him die early game. If you have to tank for a bit, do so. Don't worry bout ganks. Most of the time, you wont be ganked in your jungle early game.
  • As soon as you get entangle with your bear, jungling gets easier as they cannot attack while entangled. This means less damage taken.
  • Focus fire, it is very important to focus fire the weakest targets first.
  • try to avoid getting close, you are a ranged hero for a reason
  • Don't be afraid to take hits for the safety of your bear. Losing the bear early will impede your jungling


Now you that you choose to lane, one the theme of your laning is, SURVIVABILITY. Syllabear is a big target early game. You have no escape mechanisms and you have low hp. So your items should look like this

alt alt alt alt

By getting 3 gauntlets of strength, you basically give yourself the needed survivability to last for awhile. Now laning should be a easy since you have two chances to last hit. Below are some tips on how you approach your lane.

  • Use your bear to harass your enemy heroes, especially from level 5 when you get entangle. If you manage to entangle, quickly select your hero and bear to keep attacking the same target. this is more suited for harassing ranged heroes
  • You can use your bear to hit creeps while your hero harasses the enemy hero and your bear last hits.
  • You can use your hero and bear to last hit, this ensures the most gold.
  • You can use your hero and bear to harass a hero
  • You can use your bear to harass one hero, and your hero to harass another.

Remember to not lose sight of your hp. When laning, the bear's safety is not much of a concern. Do remember to deny your bear if ever. He gives 100 gold to whoever kills him. Don't give free 100g to just anyone.

VI. How to Play Syllabear [OO6]

Now here are some tips to play Syllabear. Do put into your mind that you only need Sylla to survive but that doesn't mean your bear should go suicidal. If you bear dies you take damamge so do remember that. Remember that the bear is your bestfriend.

Kiting - This is one complex micro-control maneuver. The thing with kiting with syllabear is this, while you move your hero (or bear, depending who is getting chased). Remember to have the other hit the opponent, as the other hits the target, remember to switch back to the one getting chased and go in circles, avoiding any further contact and if possible, making him go through towers/allies/traps. The point of kiting is to have a bait and the other to do the damage. One important caveat, as soon as you get an entangle off, don't forget to focus fire with both bear and your hero.

Escaping - Syllabear's main escape mechanism is his bear. When an opponent is entangled, that is the best time to run. Remember that the bear will not stop attacking the target and can teleport and will teleport (if it isnt within range) to you at any given time. use that to your advantage.

Pushing - Syllabear is one of the most amazing pushing abilities in the game. With the bear's demolish and your heroes normal attack. You can basically eat up towers. Remember that at the very least, a tower kill is around 450 (if you last hit the tower that is). and there are 11 towers in the game (9 before throne and 2 at throne). So if you get the chance to destroy towers, please do so. 9x450 is a lot of gold.

Hero Hunting - one of the best attribute of your bear is that it is fast. This gives your team a lot of sight for your target and if you are lucky, an entangle. Just one entangle can mean death for anyone being chased by your bear.

Rosh - Syllabear is one of the few heroes who can effectively kill rosh early. Just remember to have lifesteal on your bear.

Harassing - Having a bear that can easily be resummoned every 3 minutes should be abused. Don't forget to harass with your bear especially early game. The trauma that a 2700 hp bear who entangles with a fast IAS and an incredibly high MS can put some trauma to your opponents. Use this to your advantage.

VII. Team Synergies: Good allies, bad opponents [OO7]

This might seem redundant and it might quickly outdate the guide so I will not post actuall heroes but I will give you a description of heroes to lane with, against, and not to lane against.

Good Allies

Nukers - having the bear pull an entangle really makes nukers happy. Since they practically get to unload on an immobile target.

i.e., Lich and Luna

Invisible heroes - One you pull off an entangle, nothing beats an invi hero coming out of stealth and starts whacking at your target. This usually gives them the instinct to "run" even if they can kill one by fighting and flee.

i.e., Clinkz and Bounty Hunter

Disablers - nothing beats a hex, stun, slow. A stunned opponent has more chances of getting entangled and get dpsed to death.

i.e., Rhasta and Lion

Bad opponents

Nukers - Having low amounts of starting hp can be a drag, one laguna blade or finger� death can really kill you.

i.e., Lina and Lion

Invisible heroes - They are a pest to almost everyone early game. Don't forget to ward/dust to counter them.

Disablers - same as nukers only more annoying. Remember that they can also disable your bear so watch out.

i.e, Vengeful Spirit and Rhasta

VIII. Facts [OO8]

Here are some facts with Syllabear

  • Syllabear and his bear can reach the maximum ms of 522
  • The Spirit Bear is considered an ancient
  • When leveling your bear up, it removes all the buffs/debuffs on it
  • Entangle is a mini-stun
  • It takes the bear around 15-30 hits to kill the tower.
  • The bear can use items/spell as long as it gains mana somehow (i.e., point booster)
  • The bear doesn't have natural mana regen. So if you ever give it an item taht directly boost its mana, it will not recover its mana unless taken to the fountain or gets a mana regen aura.
  • Rabid can be purged.
  • When an opponent is entangled, even if it activates invisibility, he can still be seen.
  • However, if the entangle runs out, you wouldn't be able to see the target anymore.
  • Having Syllabear gives you a chance to do a level 1 Rosh kill.
  • The most effective animal courier is the bear.
  • The Spirit bear CAN pickup Aegis of the Immortal, so watch out.
  • Syllabear's abilities do NOT consume a lot of mana.

Thanks for reading my guide, I hope the long read is worth it. I'd like to thank IceFrog for keeping dota alive and for continuously making updates. Thank you to the site for hosting my guide. Thank you for reading.

- Fornicaras

US West/US East

Syllabear the Lone Druid
Author: Fornicaras
Map Vers.: 1.00

The Lone Druid, Syllabear

A Comprehensive guide to Syllabear

Date Posted: 06/13/09
Last Comment:24/07/2010
Total Votes: 27
Current Rating: 4.77
Views: 26556

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