Mangix, The Pandaren Brewmaster
+ Unusual and fun hero and play style
+ Get to control lots of different units
+ Split pandas have an assortment of stuns and disables
+ Very hard to kill
+ Easy to farm items
+ Necrobook owns invis/lothars heroes/counterwards
- Very vulnerable to silences
- Once your ulti is out, you're comparatively weak
- Not really an initiator unless you get dagger
- VERY weak to certain anti-summon abilities
I. Guide concept
II. Skill build
III. Item build
VI. Worst Enemies
Mangix DotA Hero - DotA Allstars Official Websites
I. Guide concept
This is a simple guide to using Pandaren Brewmaster in mid-level play using a particular strategy. The strategy revolves around the use of his ulti - in particular to when and where to use it, and what items to get in order to maximise its effectiveness.
Primal Split is a strange ulti because as an escape mechanism its very obvious and simple to use - simply press the button and run like hell, using the various abilities.
Primal Split's true power however is using it in group fights to totally mess up the enemy. Get right in there, spam your spells, get their attention - then split into the mini pandas and wreck their shit up. If the enemy tries to kill you while in split mode (no easy task), the rest of your team will beat the shit out of them. Alternatively if they ignore you, you can beat the hell out of them with physical damage, cyclone, stun, etc. The pandas also have a big 'presence' and as such they are hard to ignore.
Now all this poses a bit of a weird problem - if Panda is going to spend all his time in split mode during group fights, what is the point of getting the usual str items? Stuff like armlet, heart, etc... these items do NOTHING for Mangix while he's in Primal Split.
This guide will outline the basic ways of improving Mangix while he's in split form, and give you some simple gameplay tips to help you use the form correctly.
II. Skill build
Your primary slow/damage skill. Walk up to enemy, click button, hit enemy while they are slowed. Simple. Hits stealthed/fogged heroes.
A secondary skill that slows slightly, but its main use is to give the targeted enemy a massive miss chance (75% at level 4). Maxed midgame when its more effective than stats. Cast it on the enemy carry and watch them cry ^_^
An extremely useful offensive/defensive skill. Maxed during early/mid transition.
This is what makes Panda an interesting hero. Mangix splits into 3 mini pandas with their own abilities. Maxed whenever you get the chance. Improved by Aghanim's Scepter.
6: Primal Split
8: Drunken Brawler
9: Drunken Brawler
10: Drunken Brawler
11: Primal Split
12: Drunken Brawler
13: Drunken Haze
14: Drunken Haze
15: Drunken Haze
16: Primal Split
17: Drunken Haze
Some levels in Stats taken early because you won't need Brawler until level 10 or so, and those stats really help you pump out the Thunder Claps, which are basically the only thing keeping you alive at this level.
III. Item Build
i. Starting Items
I always get a chicken to start with. The chicken acts as your lifeline, it can deliver mana and hp items as needed, allowing you to stay in your lane and gain XP. Note: tangoes/salves/clarities/wards/whatever can be delivered via the chicken as needed - I will assume that you will buy whatever support items you need to survive the laning phase effectively.
Ring Of Regeneration
I don't tend to use the RoR to actually make anything, but its a solid purchase to survive the laning phase unscathed. It can be made into a Headdress of Rejuvenation if your ally needs the extra regen - remember, think team!
The magic stick is a solid item to keep your mana up while the nukes are flying around during the lane phase. I have begun to use this item a lot lately and I think its a really useful item. Later on you can make it into a magic wand and it functions as a sort of mini-mekansm. People often point out to me that I'm walking around with a full magic wand, like I'm some tard. They fail to realise that carrying around 15 charges on a magic wand is like having an extra 225 hp and 225 mana on call whenever you need it. For a hero like Panda, this is an absolute godsend.
GGBranch X 3 + Magic Wand recipe
Self-explanatory. Your panic button becomes more effective, and the stats are great for early game Clap spam.
Boots Of Speed
Don't be one of those people that wanders around the 15 minute mark and beyond without boots. Those people are retards. Mobility is everything, especially for a melee hero. Boots can be made into whatever you want, since it makes virtually no difference. I usually wait up for teleboots since this is a pusher style build.
Summary of starting items:
Optional starting items:
If your ally needs the extra regen.
As an alternative to magic wand, or for additional mana regen. Basil + Headdress makes your lane ally <3 you.
As an alternative to magic wand or whatever. Those of you that prefer bottle style of play know who are, and can adjust the starting items accordingly. Personally I prefer to let the mid solo hero deal with runes.
ii. Midgame items
= +++ Recipe
Agha is your midgame goal, item-wise. Agha makes your ulti stronger, so its one of the main ways of improving your performance in team fights. Along with this, it gives you a substantial chunk of stats, hp and mana, which is essential for spamming clap to both farm and harass enemies. Don't forget you have your magic wand as a panic button if you run out of mana to cast your ulti.
iii. Endgame items
= ++ Recipe x3
Necronomicon is your lategame item because it gives you a veritable army of destruction together with your split mode pandas. Besides being two little mean fuckers that can really hurt your enemy, they give your pandas true sight and endurance aura which is really useful for fighting and chasing. A little-known fact is that the true sight mage, when killed, deals 500-odd points of PURE damage to the person who killed it. So it packs a surprising punch (a good thing, because its easily focused and killed lategame). Necrobook is also a great item for killing wannabe heroes like drow and nevermore that rely on lothar's edge to escape, and it can destroy wards that might otherwise be used to spot your allies e.g. broodmother. In higher tier play, it can be used to destroy observer wards that have been placed for map control.
iv. Luxury items
Pipe is a great teamplay item and particularly useful in the current metagame which favours a lot of nukers. Its also extremely useful for Mangix. You can either cast it just before you hit Primal Split, giving your team a nice anti-magic boost while you fight. Alternatively you can save it for the "oh shit" moment when you come OUT of Primal Split, where everyone on the opposing team gets to vent their frustration on your poor panda.
Dagger is not 'core' as such because its not really useful while you're in split mode. Obviously, its THE chase/initiator item, especially in serious CW-type games. Panda just needs other items more than this one. If you get dagger before Agha, you will be able to chase/initiate a lot better.
Untested: can dagger be effectively used to escape after Primal Split runs out? In other words, is there a 'window of opportunity' there that can be abused to dagger out of trouble? Could be interesting. Obviously, AoE DoTs like radiance, necro aura, etc, will fuck this up.
[text to be added]
v. Carry Items
When you get to late late late game and you start to swim in money, what are the items to get to become a killing machine while in normal panda mode? Any of these are excellent (but really.. this section is kind of easy 0-o):
Items to avoid:
Don't get Buriza on crit heroes.. its just so noob. MKB is way better. Or Deso.
Early game strategy
Use Thunder Clap to harass, and initiate ganks/fights. Be clever about it - sometimes you want to Clap to actually deal damage effectively, and thus avoid damage to yourself (harass). Other times you want the enemy to become aggressive towards you so that incoming allies can gank the enemy effectively (aggressive initiate).
Using Primal Split:
in this sequence of pictures you can see me initiating with Thunder Clap against a Luna that had been chasing my ally (puck). CM has bitten me and Luna has eclipsed me - at this point I hit my ulti to escape the disable and continue the fight. Of course I could just ulti straight away (and sometimes this is necessary - a hexed/stunned panda can't activate his ulti) but in this case its better to chew up the disable and then escape it, allowing jugger AND me to continue chasing luna.
Now here's me chasing Luna in split mode, and you can see Earth's projectile flying through the air. It has a long travel time BUT its also got an extremely long cast range so its all good. Luna is about to get stunned.
Stunned Luna, hit her a bit then chased her then activated cyclone.
Followed up the cyclone with use of magic wand to gain mana in order to execute Luna with Clap =) Beware, when targets come out of cyclone they will drop to the ground and then do a little twirl and THEN come out of it. Don't waste your precious clap.
Another thing to note is that you should remake your control group as soon as you split into the pandas. The following picture shows me splitting in the middle of a fight, after having clapped them all. I will reselect the pandas and map them to CTRL+1 (my usual hero shortcut). I'll then use the TAB key to cycle between the Pandas in order to use their abilities. Its essential to use control groups to use your pandas effectively and not lose control of them halfway through a fight because of a misclick or whatever. Later on you'll have your necrobook minions in your control group as well, although I generally don't have enough micro to use their abilities AND the minipandas' spells =p
Quite simple - PUSH, PUSH, PUSH! (or alternatively - GANK!) Anytime your ulti is available, push like a madman. Don't be a muppet and use your ulti too early - use it when the fight begins, when people start to hit you with spells and damage.
It can get quite chaotic with all your summons flying around. Just try to control them as best you can. Remember to initiate with necrobook minions, then clap AND drunken haze, then hit ulti. Cyclone someone, stun someone else, just raise havoc!
An important detail to remember is that Earth is immune to magic and as such he can be used to interrupt horrible ulties like Enigma's Black Hole, etc. Note the damage and armor bonuses on Earth here in the picture - having an ally with Vladimir is very useful.
These replays are not clan wars or anything serious, just some fun games against average skill players.
Attachment 3129 : it takes me FOREVER to get my core in this game, shocking. Dual lane with juggernaut at start. I get a triple kill in this game ^_^.
Version 0.2 - Added Worst Enemies section. Improved chicken text. Added Manta and Dominator to Luxury items. [work in progress, do not comment on these parts yet please]
Version 0.1 - Posted guide. Please post criticism, suggestions, etc. Please bear in mind that visually the guide is a work in progress, I intend to add more coloured text, rework the style of headings, re-order sections, etc. Please focus on content and concept at this stage!