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Storm Spirit is a hero with high mobility, offering lightning quick gank support. His spells indicate rapid usage to take advantage of their low cooldown. He comes packed with a melee ranged nuke, a fair length disable, a pseudo-slow and his signature no-cooldown pseudo-blink. However, he runs into mana problems as his ultimate drains based on percentage of his maximum mana pool, thus his electrifying potential won't be shown until he has his core items.
When to pick :
- Your team is planning on ganking heavily, even after mid-game
- Your team depends on a great deal of mobility (especially blink daggers)
- The enemy team has weak counters to your escape skill (e.g. Storm Bolt can be dodged, but Silence cannot and lasts for a long time)
When to avoid picking :
- Your team is a push based line-up
- There's a fair amount of silence on the other team (Death Prophet, Bloodseeker, Doom, Drow Ranger, Silencer, etc)
- You do not have good mana management skills (fixed by practice)
- You have a hard time farming up bloodstone (fixed by practice)
Check out the hero page for a full description of the hero's skills and statistics.
1. Static Remnant
3. Electric Vortex
4. Electric Vortex
5. Electric Vortex
6. Ball Lightning
7. Electric Vortex
8. Static Remnant
9. Static Remnant
11. Ball Lightning
16. Ball Lightning
Storm is fairly flexible in terms of build; however this guide will focus on maxing Electric Vortex first for better gank control.
This is one of many variations of working starting builds for Storm. Provides decent lasthitting, plenty of healing and cheap stats via branches. This build assumes that you have access to a chicken. The mantle can be turned into a Null Talisman later, the branches form the obligatory magic wand. Why no clarities? Simple. Storm, while being the most mana-intensive hero in the game, doesn't really need to spam his spells during laning, and his spells have pretty low manacost until he gets his ultimate. This is by no means a "must-get", you can alternate by getting more mantles, less healing, less branches. If you're up against an agressive lane for example, this build is pretty good, if you happen to solo against a passive laner, you might want to get less regen for another mantle.
6544 (7144 with bottle)
Rather expensive, but Storm needs Bloodstone as soon as possible to rack up charges. Bloodstone is the item that gives the most possible mana-regeneration in the game with enough charges. And this is key to playing Storm, because his ultimate drains a percentage of your whole manapool. It also gives a nice HP-boost, a good bonus considering Storm has to get pretty close to his prey to deal damage. The order you get the components varies depending on circumstances in your games:
If the enemy team is nuke heavy, get Point Booster and Vitality Booster first
If it's more of a DPS team, get Ring of Health
If you need to gank more before you get Bloodstone, get Void Stone.
The last piece you should get should ALWAYS be the Energy Booster (explained in rejected items).
Magic Wand is highly useful on all heroes, Storm is no exception. The charges can help you scratch your last mana together to Ball Lightning over a cliff, or catch up to a low hp enemy. Null Talisman provides cheap stats, some damage and mana/manaregen. Regular boots will do for now, you have Ball Lightning for chasing and escaping.
Bottle is optional. Storm can use it, but should really aim for a fast bloodstone, and bottle just delays that. on the other hand it provides regen, which Storm loves. The choice will largely depend on playstyle.
you should try to keep a TP scroll in your inventory from mid-game onwards. Storm is good at ganks and counterganks and a TP scroll lets him be where he's needed. You can also use your ultimate to hide in some trees (or over a cliff, etc) and use a TP scroll to get out of trouble.
Intelligence Power Treads: If the need for extra mana arrives or a slight bump in speed, you might want to consider taking Power Treads.
Possible Extension Items:
Guinsoo's Scythe of Vise will be the chief extension item of choice in 99% of cases. Hex is a priceless ability, useful for either preventing a second enemy from disabling you during your combo upon ROFLing in, or to extend your combo against a single target. The time that your enemy spends as a sheep will also serve to narrow the gap between the end of your combo and when you can cast Vortex again. This item grants additional int, mana regen, health and damage - all of which are stats that benefit a late game Storm. Ultimately, Hex is simply the best choice after Bloodstone.
Boots of Travel are perfect for any Storm planning on going into late game. Storm has huge farming potential with Remnant and Overload, which, combined with BoT, allow him to hop around the lanes farming at an incredibly rate - hopefully giving him the monetary edge on his opponents that he will need to carry effectively.
Whether or not you choose to get BoTs before Hex will depend upon your personal playstyle and the current state of affairs in the game. BoTs are more for farming and multiple-lane pushing, whereas Hex is an offensive/team clash/ganking item. If you feel that you can safely farm more without being a hindrance to your team or risking getting ganked, getting BoTs earlier can be gamebreaking. In all other cases - or if you aren't fully sure - going straight for Hex is probably the safest option.
Orchid Malevolence, while no doubt a great item, is overshadowed by Hex in nearly every respect. Typically, you will only want to consider this item after you've finished Hex and BoTs. However, there are some cases in which there is merit to getting Orchid first. These are:
The best item to provide mana regen is Bloodstone, so you should always go to the middle lane or the short lane, which are the ones that give access to the side shops or secret shops and keep you relatively safe until you have your ultimate. A double disable lane can give you or your ally the First Blood. If for any reason you're not going to rush BS, then pick any lane you like.
Your goal on a solo-lane is simply to farm that Bloodstone quickly, while occasionally ganking if a good opportunity arises. If you lane against a melee hero you can harass him quite well, the slow from Overload hurts melees that are trying to last hit and you might even hit a Remnant sometimes. It's also easier to Vortex melee heroes. If you're up against a dual lane or a superior laner, just stay passive and farm. Remnant is a poor nuke during laning, but it's cheap and can be used to get some last hits you would miss otherwise, or to stop that Brood from pushing your tower. Overload is also a nice last hitting tool. Check the rune spawn locations from time to time, whether you have bottle or not.
Storm loves ganking. Try to sneak up on your enemy without using your ultimate, every manapoint counts until you have some charges on your Bloodstone.
How to gank a lone hero:
If he doesn't have an escape ability/disable, try to put a Remnant on his escape-route, hit him with Overload, Vortex, hit Overload, Remnant, Overload. If your allied ganker has a disable, make sure you don't overlap it with Vortex and use the disable-time to put a Remnant on your prey. Finish with short Ball Lightning + Overload combos until he is dead or you have to retreat because you're out of mana. You can also try to Ball Lightning in front of him, Overload, and put a remnant in his escape route. Be careful about towers or other enemies. Keep an eye on your mana because Storm without mana is a marginally stronger version of a ranged creep.
If your prey does have a disable/escape ability, its usually good to start the gank with a Ball Lightning from fog keeping the distance as short as possible, Overload, Vortex, etc. Sometimes its better to waste one Overload and make sure the victim doesn't blink away by using Vortex immediately after Ball Lightning.
Some examples to get you started:
To see Storm in action, watch this link.
General tips on ganking:
Mana-management is important, especially in the ganking phase. Death is a serious setback, especially for Storm once he has Bloodstone charges since they are cut in half every time you die. Be careful of silence and disables, if you have mana and are aware of your enemies, its often possible to avoid them with Ball Lightning.
Initiators are your best friends. They can blink in while you use Ball Lightning to arrive at roughly the same time, giving neither the victim nor his team a chance to react. Ideally, the hero with the dagger has some sort of burst damage and benefits from your disable/slows (e.g. Ursa).
Carry TPs with you. If you see a gank/countergank opportunity, TP there, Ball Lightning in to get fleeing enemies, or disable enemies that are about to kill your allies. You won't be able permagank until you have enough mana regeneration. A 2v1 gank might very well cost you 3/4 of your manapool or even more. Hence, go farm a lane after a gank.
Don't die. Of course dying is always bad, but for certain heroes its worse than for others. This is especially true after you gained Bloodstone-charges. Storm isn't a very good hero without charges, he simply can't sustain his enormous mana needs. That said, it's entirely possible to not die with a hero that has a 0 second cd escape spell, which is one of Storms major strengths.
Never stand still and auto-attack in team fights, unless you can be sure you won't get focused. Do not initiate team fights, let an ally like Earthshaker or Sandking do that for you. You can go in shortly after, but let him eat the first barrage of nukes. Your job is to disable a key-hero, slow others down for your team, deal damage with Remnants, Ball Lightning and Overload. Terminate escapees from successful team battles. Use your ultimate to stop the enemies from focusing you (Ball Lightning grants invulnerability for its duration and you're an invalid target for most spells).
Never get chain-stunned or silenced, it will get you killed in no time. Use your mobility. Remember, you can go anywhere you like, so it might be a good idea to Ball Lightning over the bulky/initiating heroes and pick off a Lion, Lich, etc.
Another thing to note is that Storm is exceptionally powerful in his own base, because he can replenish his mana fast there. You can Ball Lightning (it's possible to drop a remnant during Ball Lightning btw, same for vortex) in to harass and destroy a creep wave, Ball Lightning out, replenish at fountain, rinse and repeat until the other team is too weak to keep the push up.
Adjust your play style according to how well you're doing. A fat Storm can be a huge pain in the ass, because he is extremely hard to kill if played well. With a large amount of mana regen, you just have to wait a few seconds for an empty mana pool to refill. This means you can be more aggressive and pick off the fragile heroes very often/fast to be an even bigger pain in the ass. On the other hand, a Storm that didn't farm well or died many times isn't much more than a supportive disabler with a blink-like ability, and can't be as aggressive.
As an afterword, please remember that a guide is just that: a guide. There may be times when you feel that maxing Static Remnant or Overload will help you more. Guinsoo first? Try and be flexible, especially when dealing with enemies and supporting your team mates.
Note: to view the following replays, your WC3 version must be patch 1.24b If you need a version switcher you can find one here
Super apologizes to everyone, and big sorry to Val. Thank you for putting up with me!
This guide is called a "Community Guide" for a reason. It was made by a number of playdota community members in the strategy forums. Swiftkick, Val, Lifeburns, Sonicspear, Syaska, kawumm, EyeOfFire, teStud0, Zephirdd and The Other Guy contributed sections to this guide.
A very special thanks to bountyface, 3995elits, Cerebros, Prizo, gotahemmi, leomon235, Bacconaise, Thrasher, feral_nature, Lifeburns, Skaro, EternityPala, DarkMedina, UTDC.Justin, YaNK_FaN, BabyComix, hajasmarci, Shiyoko, turtle.slayer, Sykik, ^Eternity^, alia, mxt, moja, gwho, Obession, nix, Kasad, anarky2k7, andrfid, Brejdi, Leak-, Fire Lotus and Propapanda for being AWESOME .