A Proactive Build for Invoker
Read This First
This guide presents what I consider the most entertaining way to play invoker. It is /not/ the best way to build him. I won't even claim it's a particularly good build. It is, however, easy to play and a lot of fun. Some aspects of this build are quite strong and I believe that serious players should try this build in order to test one extreme of Invoker's capabilities.
To be clear: This is a fun build. It can be instructive but should not be considered a recommendation for serious games.
The concept of this build
This build has two foci: movespeed and disables.
The build focuses on movespeed by abusing Wex and getting Boots of Travel and Eul's Scepter of Divinity (to reach 484ms). Afterwards, it uses Yasha to maintain max ms permanently.
The other focus of the build is disables. The build focuses on making Tornado a super long range disable. Later, leveling Quas makes it a long-lasting disable. It also emphasizes the disabling portions of Deafening Blast. Early Wex will improve the pacifism effect. The secondary reagent, Quas, will improve the knockback effect that precedes the pacifism. With these two spells, we'll have the capacity to disable an AoE for nearly 9 seconds at level 16. Eul's, which helps our movespeed focus, also gives us cyclone to disable single targets.
The combination of these two foci makes a hero that can be where he's needed at all times. He can aid greatly in chasing or fleeing, disrupt battles, disable groups of enemies and isolate key targets. He is also very hard to kill without strong burst or chain stuns. He can successfully run from Lycan during his ultimate and can get away from multiple enemies by using his many disables. His mobility and tornado allow him to push rapidly and still be at fights when he is needed.
It is called a proactive build because it anticipates enemy actions and prevents them from ever happening. This is done by getting places quickly and interrupting enemy movements with Tornado, Deafening Blast and/or Cyclone.
The Guide in Val's FormatKael the Invoker
Start: 2xTango, 3xGG, Circlet
Core: Boots, Eul's, Wand, 2xBracer> BoT> Yasha
Possible Extension: Hex, Manta, Skadi, Shiva's
If the above doesn't make sense, it just means you don't have experience with the way I write things. Have no fear, I'll be far more explicit below - the above is just a shortcut for those who are familiar with my format.
Hero Skills Important to this Guide
For a full description of the hero's skills and statistics, check out the hero page.
How it works:Wex grants 2% IAS and 1% ms for each level of Wex. This is granted once per active Wex reagent (you can have 3 reagents active).
Discussion:In this build, Wex will almost always have 3 active reagents to maximize ms. Simply press your Wex hotkey three times after invoking any spell to ensure that your ms is at its full potential. The only suggested time to switch from Wex would be to heal via Quas. This, however, is only useful when you don't anticipate any need to run to or away from a gank, push, teamfight etc.
How it works: It deals 77.5+(Quas+Wex)*21.25 damage (for a max of 375). Increasing Wex extends the tornado's range from 600 to 3100 units (each level increases the range by 410). Increasing Quas extends the duration of the cyclone from .6 to 2.2 seconds (each level increases the duration by .25 seconds except the last, which improves duration by .35 seconds). 25 second cd.
Discussion:This is invoker's bread and butter spell with this build. It's range is unbelievable and can be used to snipe running enemies. It can farm creep waves extremely fast (often, it can kill the range creeps outright). The disable time is helpful to gain position for you or your allies (both by fleeing or catching up).
This spell can be used to cancel channeling spells, as primary initiation from afar, to save people, to make sure enemies die and to push/farm. It has a fairly short cooldown making it your spell of choice for just about anything.
How it works:This spell does damage based on Exort, knocks back based on Quas and silences/prevents attacks based on Wex. The knockback ranges from .25 seconds to 1.75 seconds with each level of Quas adding .25 seconds. The pacifism effect goes from 1 second to 4 seconds with each level of Wex adding .5 seconds. The damage goes from 40-280 with each level of Exort adding 40 damage. 40 second cd.
Discussion:This spell is amazing. Once you are fully leveled it does 280 damage and disables an AoE for 5.75 seconds. The damage is ok, but the crazy portion is the duration of the disable. Our primary reagent is Wex and our secondary reagent is Quas - as a result the disable will very strong with this build.
This spell can be used to cancel channeling spells, as secondary initiation, to save people, to make sure enemies die and, later, to push faster. This spell has a pretty big cooldown and low damage for much of the game. It's mostly saved for team battles or used as a secondary disable to save yourself/allies or ensure an enemy's death.
Other Useful Spells
The following spells aren't needed to play using my build. You can go the whole game with just Tornado and Deafening Blast. If you can handle invoking more spells, these are some of the ones that work best with my build.
Ghost Walk provides an escape and a slow. Since we get Wex first, it won't slow us much. Later on, we get Quas and the slow on enemies becomes quite significant (up to 40%).
EMP is a crazy powerful spell against particular opponents. Strength casters are often rendered useless by a well-placed EMP (it can burn 400 mana). Since the mana burn and delay are only based on Wex, it'll be quite strong in this build.
Ice Wall provides the most ridiculous slow around. 80%. Gross. The issue is that it's difficult to place. Against melee opponents, putting one in the middle of a team fight can be quite annoying to them.
Level 01 - Quas
Level 02 - Wex
Level 03 - Invoke (invoke Tornado)
Level 04 - Wex
Level 05 - Wex
Level 06 - Exort
Level 07 - Invoke (invoke Deafening Blast)
Get Invoke as possible/desired
I generally keep invoke at level 2 for quite a long time since this build doesn't cycle through spells much. If you'd like, feel free to get another level earlier than I do (especially if you like using ghostwalk as an escape). The other thing worth noting is that you could move the early level of exort to level 1. In this case you'd go E, Q, W, I, W, W, I for the first 7 levels. This gives you a bit of an edge in laning, but makes you wait an extra level for tornado.
Fairly boring and standard. Decent stats and plenty of regen. The GG branches build into wand and the circlet can be used in a bracer.
This is fairly conservative. I can often get an earlier Eul's (or at least voidstone) by putting off some of these items. If you don't feel threatened by your paper hp, feel free to put bracers off as far as until you have Eul's and BoT. If you do feel threatened or aren't sure, get these items before moving on to the core.
The unchanged items are still here to help with your paper HP. Eul's grants you an ms boost and an additional disable. It can also handle your mana needs quite well. BoT gives you the mobility you need to start being your team's knight in shining armor. With 484 ms and teleportation, you can be where you need to be to gank, push, countergank, teamfight and just outright save allies who were in the wrong place. Next we get Yasha to permanently move at max ms - great fun.
Possible Extension Items:
This item might seem odd, but it's fairly effective (also cheap since you have Yasha). The idea is to go to a lane, push it quickly with your spells, spawn images and move on. The images give you a way to deal minor damage to buildings (if you can push that far) or push a little farther at very little risk to yourself. This kind of pushing puts a lot of pressure on the enemy.
One more disable (one of the best in the game) and infinite mana. Also some marginal survivability and dps (due to Wex and Yasha's IAS).
Shiva's is a great survival item against physical DPSers. It does wonders for your terrible armor. It also provides generous mana and an additional AoE nuke to push with or a slow to chase/escape with.
If you want to DPS some - this item works. It gives survivability and your attack is now a slow that's useful for chasing, escaping and reducing physical damage from some heroes.
GameplayYour job with this build is to set the pace of the game. You decide when fights will occur. You make pushes happen and break them. You set up ganks and counter them. Control is the name of the game and, with 9 seconds of AoE disable, max ms, teleportation, and a single target disable, you are its master.
You suck. Getting Wex makes invoker quite bad early on. It's just a fact of life. You'll have a short, long distance disable that does a decent amount of damage. Your hp is terrible. Your last-hitting is ok. Your movespeed is below average. Do your best not to die and (once you get your first level of invoke) use tornado to punish enemies out of position. You need to farm as best you can.
Once you reach level 7, you'll have 2 AoE disables (invoke deafening blast) and not much mana - they'll aid you in emergency situations, but you certainly can't afford to spam. Your early game ends when you get either BoT or Eul's.
You are strong now and getting stronger. Tornado lets you farm quickly. Your increased ms lets you get places. Participate in ganks with Tornado, Deafening Blast and Cyclone. This is where you can start playing savior with your disables. Farm up what remains of your core.
Continue ganking and counterganking and make the transition to breaking teamfights with Deafening Blast. Use Tornado to force the enemy to fight out of position. Use Cyclone to isolate a single enemy or to remove a dpser for a while. When no teamfight seems imminent, put pressure on the enemy and farm by pushing lanes with Tornado. Siege their base and break teamfights with deafening blast.
The fact that you're fragile really hurts now. You really want to end the game fast. If you go for Shiva's or Manta, put pressure on all their lanes. You can move between them quickly enough due to your perma-haste and teleportation. If you go for Skadi or Guinsoo, put pressure on lanes, but then try to force a teamfight - use deafening blast to win.
Not Quite this Build
Date: 29/08/2009 00:39
Patch version: 1.24
Map: DotA Allstars 6.62
Game mode: -rd
Game length: 1:06:46
TwoGirlsOnePuck, level 23 (Mid), APM: 94,
ChainOfCommand, level 24 (Mid), APM: 77,
specterding, level 24 (Top), APM: 62,
Blackroz_64, level 22 (Top), APM: 48,
Phoenix.Val, level 25 (Bot), APM: 101,
beat.it, level 23 (Mid), APM: 79,
bin555, level 23 (Top), APM: 78,
MangJose26, level 20 (Bot), APM: 95,
Phoenix.Rose, level 19 (Bot), APM: 87,
javier.tejeda, level 19 (Top), APM: 104,
A replay from when I was evolving this strategy. It's a pub and it does a great job of showing the power of tornado. High ms, eul's and deafening blast are also quite useful. I believe this game was one of the main inspirations for me to make an even more ms and disable-heavy build. I sadly couldn't find the replay I wanted. Looks like I'll have to play as invoker until I get one that shows how this build works appropriately.
Uhmmm... in my defense, I choose not to take several kills against the noobish lycan in my lane in order to not ruin the game for my friend (the enemy Obsidian).
SIG Stomp with the Proactive Invoker Build
Date: 14/10/2009 16:27
Patch version: 1.24
Map: DotA Allstars 6.64
Game mode: Normal mode
Game length: 47:20
desu-, level 16 (Top), APM: 102,
bwtw, level 13 (Bot), APM: 51,
2advanced, level 18 (Mid), APM: 166,
SiP.JasoN-, level 13 (Top), APM: 96,
kOlxd, level 13 (Bot), APM: 65,
Artthot, level 14 (Bot), APM: 81,
NEMESIS4Dota, level 21 (Mid), APM: 98,
M-Bison, level 13 (Top), APM: 86,
Phoenix.Val, level 17 (Bot), APM: 101,
prophet_gab, level 23 (Top), APM: 113,
A stomp of a game, which makes it less interesting for illustration. Still useful because it highlights the pressure invoker can put on lanes and shows some good abuses of Tornado's epic range. I also get to max ms despite failing at building Eul's on my first try (silly recipe changes got me all muddled up).