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Table Of Contents
(Click to jump to section. Use the "back" function on your browser to return here to the Table of Contents)

1. Overview

Disclaimer: No responsibility is taken for competetive play... actually I don't take responsibility for your non-comeptetive plays either

Viper is quite an item-independent hero that can flexibly wield a variety of items. However, survivability is an issue with him, so he is item-dependent in this one aspect. He also has nice DPS, which can be chosen to be maximized as well. The "Dodge" Viper item build is a balanced build concept that provides survivability and DPS simultaneously and cost-effectively. The recommended core items provide protection in ways other than raw HP and regen, turning you into a "Dodge" Viper, rather than a Tank Viper or DPS Viper.
[+] very strong early and mid game
[+] amazing lane control - harasses well and synergizes with lanemate
[+] great farmer due to high damage for last hitting
[+] great DPS
[+] innate slow ubituitously useful for ganking, saving allies, and yourself.

[-] effectiveness wanes in the end game
[-] no escape mechanism, thus item dependent for defense
[-] fragile and susceptible to stun -> nuke -> dead
[-] no stun, thus countered by teleportation

  • Babysitter
  • Supporting Chaser
  • Tank
  • Early Carry
  • Late DPS

2. Skill Build

Poison Attack Nethertoxin Corrosive Skin Viper Strike

(extra - suggested icon changes)
Level 1 - Poison Attack 1
Level 2 - Nethertoxin 1
Level 3 - Poison Attack 2 / Nethertoxin 2
Level 4 - Nethertoxin 2 / Poison Attack 2
Level 5 - Poison Attack 3
Level 6 - Viper Strike
Level 7 - Nethertoxin 3
Level 8 - Nethertoxin 4
Level 9 - Poison Attack 4 / Corrosive Skin / Stats
Level 10 - Poison Attack 4 / Corrosive Skin / Stats
Level 11 - Viper Strike
Level 12 - Corrosive Skin / Stats
Level 13 - Corrosive Skin / Stats
Level 14 - Corrosive Skin / Stats
Level 15 - Corrosive Skin / Stats
Level 16 - Viper Strike
Level +17 - Stats
1st -
You will find that Poison Attack lvl 1's harassing ability is much more useful than than Nethertoxin lvl 1's last hitting augmentation. You have full HP so you should harass, instead of staying fully passive and only trying to last hit.

3rd -
Get Poison Attack if the 1 sec cd is beneficial enough that you're being aggressive. Get Nethertoxin if you'd rather focus more on last hitting and farming up early on. Level 5 is the earliest you can get lvl 3 Poison Attack for orb walking, so whichever skill you get at lvl 3, it will both lead back to the same at level 5.

6,11,16th -
Viper Strike taken whenever possible. It's useful for increasing the amount of HP you can leave on a hero, finishing off windwalkers, and the lowered cooldown is invaluable as well.

9th -
- Poison Attack 4 Get it. it makes your orbwalking more powerful.
- Stats One stats at lvl 9 and Poison Attack at lvl 10 is an option for the extra nudge of survivability. Basically, the inevitable stats of lvl 15 gets to cut in line, and everything is maxed by level 16.
- Corrosive Skin Should be maxed soon afterwards, by lvl 15 most of the time.

3. Item Build

<CLICK: Items Information Page>

Starting Items Options:

Chicken Branch Branch Branch Tango Salve Clarity
Allows chicken to bring you Magic Wand if laning against a spammer, as well as other items for yourself and carry-lanemate - no guessing!
- Solo middle lane
- Rune-hog (attempt to bottle every rune every 2 minutes).
- best if you have chicken on your team to bring you stat boosters.

(589) Alternative to Bottle
Branch Branch Branch Gauntlet Tango Tango Salve
Other notable starts
(603) Balanced stats and healing:
Circlet Circlet Branch Tango Tango

(575/585) Maximizing HP (8 Str + Heal)
Circlet Gauntlet Gauntlet ( Tango/Salve )
Why not switch one gauntlet for 3 branches? You certainly can. The 2nd gauntlet is if you plan to make two bracers.

(575/585) Maximizing Damage (8 Agi + Heal)
Circlet Slipper Slipper ( Tango/Salve )
Why? Damage isn't Viper's biggest worry, but the extra damage when you don't have Nethertoxin can be preferred by some. Two sliippers can lead to buying PMS from the side shop as a substitute for Vangaurd.
* Branches > circlet/gauntlet/slipper/mantle if you don't make anything out of the latter items. If you end up selling circlet, let's say, you would have saved 79 gold in the beginning had you bought two branches in the beginning. Starting boosters are meant for the very beginning so 79 gold isn't to be shrugged off.

Early Core:

(3,000-4,500 gold) - approximate total cost


"You never know when things will go to 5h17, so always keep some TP around." - gwho
Wraith Bands / Bracers - Stat boost is necessary for Viper, who is fragile. Multiple Wraith Bands is a cost-effective way to boost damage of ganking agility heroes that shine in the early-mid game. A couple of Bracers, on the other hand, will more effectively provide you the HP boost you so need.

Bottle - is the best source of regen on Viper. He's a ganker, and he uses all runes well. One slot, 600 gold, fast regen, and a measure against mana burners, makes bottle more effective and cost-efficient than other early regen items.

Which Boots?
Viper is one of those heroes that can wear any boot depending on the circumstances.

Rule-of-Thumb Method:
more Tankiness/ moderate dps boost/emergency mana -> Power Treads.
chasing plus raw dps -> Phasers
team has travels/ heavily gank oriented play / money to spare -> Travels

Phase Boots - With the major movement speed nerfing, the choice for Phasers is tempting as well. Great help with chasing, and fleeing. But once you land your Nethertoxin it should be easy enough to persist with subsequent attacks and the extra health from treads can make for for the lack of MS. If you get Lothar's, however, it substitutes for Phase mode so Treads for sure. A good choice for a non-Lothar's Viper as well.

Power Treads - Treads are great Viper most of the time because it gives the much needed HP, and you don't have to forego an offensive boost, but the big drawback is the low MS bonus. with a current MS of 285, he just really needs MS. but in the case of a tank viper, you can definitely go treads. The attack speed boost is better on you than attack damage because you get to Activate Nethertoxin more, which is far more substantial DPS. (see section 6-8 Synergy Formulas)

Travels - Good for maneuvering and ganking. Lacks stats, so use travels to get richer by killing and beef up with that gold.

Scroll of Town Portal - Get as needed. Scrolls become his early escape mechanism so 135 gold is definitely worth it. You're a good farmer, and it's used to be where you need to be for ganks.
Ensured Teleportation: once you get BKB, avatar -> teleport prevents interruption.

Wards: - Runes help your ganking and field-staying a lot, so warding a rune spot will be greatly beneficial. Also, wards can prevent your squishy death against surprise ganks. You are fragile and have no escape mechanism. The general skill of watching who is missing is important. (see section 4. Play Strategy: "Staying Safe") You aren't carry, so you can be one to put up the money for wards.

"Dodge Viper" Core Items Pool: You don't need all of these.

One item out of the mid-game picks is usually enough. Choose according to your situation and gameplay.

Mid-Game Picks:

Late-Game Picks:

Lothar's Edge - Strong offensive boost. Good for entering battle, and fleeing. Good players will dust you, though. In cases of strong invisibility counters opt for other items.
- Always get Treads with Lothar's.
- If you break invisibility with manual-casted Poison Attack, you will not get the 125 backstab bonus damage
- If you break invisibility using auto-cast, you will get the 125 backstab bonus damage, but you will not slow (but you still consume mana for the Poison Attack)
- Therefore when breaking invisibility, get about 400-300 range from the target (so that you will be within range for the second attack that slows him) and either:
1) do a regular attack to get the bonus damage, and then proceed to manual cast slow;
2) auto attack all the way to get the same effect as #1.
- Bottle is a must-have early on for supporting the mana cost of using it frequently or for entry and escape in one battle.
- Also, get Treads instead of Phasers. Lothar's already gives you increased movespeed and zero-collision.

Manta Style - is a great item on Viper because
- images benefit from Power Treads' stats.
- All stats benefit Viper well.
- combined with beefy items, images are pretty hard to kill. Offensively it's decent (criticals applied, raw damage and Nethertoxin NOT applied)
- image splitting helps you survive when running away.
- timing the activation of image splitting allows you to dodge a spell.
- Rune checks, since Viper makes good use of them.
* Images receive Treads' stats when you split image.
AGI - It is almost always best to choose Agility mode. Images in battle are mainly used for the extra DPS (and of course the initial guessing game). Since they die pretty fast if enemies decide to kill them, the extra HP doesn't do much in battle. It's usually better to squeeze out as much DPS as you can from them.
STR - But if you are using it defensively when fleeing, or when scouting, you will want them to last a tiny bit longer.
INT - Images can't use spells or Poison Attack so extra int is useless.
* Switching after you split images won't affect images.
* Images can't change stats even if you click on their power treads.
* For more image information (see section 6-5: "Images").

Black King Bar - Spell immunity covers Viper's greatest weakness (in a non-tank build) - stuns - allowing you to finish off heroes before running back, and preventing getting chain stunned. The extra damage is a thank you.

Butterfly - DPS + Evasion. Just one of the best items on Viper. Evasion is another qualitatively different addition for survivability, as are the other core items. Combined with Manta, your images gain evasion as well.

Luxury / Alternative Late-Game Items:

Depending on how your game is going and on situational needs, you can lean towards more offensive items or defensive items as deemed fit.


DPS Class:

Survivability Class:

Necrominicon - The golden rule for Necrominicon is that it synergizes with slow/stun for your minions to dish out damage. Viper is probably the only agi hero that synergizes so well with this str/int item. Necrominicon can actually be core; Normally, your allies act as your necrominions, but getting necrobook works well with or without your allies. It can even allow you to solo gank at times. Skip Bracers and Wraith Bands when going for Necrominicon

Assault Cuirass - Because your effectiveness wanes in the late-game, Assault Cuirass is a smart route to take, supporting the rest of the team with the positive and negative auras to shift the tides towards your team's favor. Armor and attack speed adds to DPS and survivability at the same time.
-Also, attack speed is a way to increase DPS of on-attack triggers like Nethertoxin and Critical. Even if you can't actually increase the numbers of Nethertoxin, by attacking more frequently, you use it more, thus increasing your DPS.

Monkey King Bar - The best counter to Viper is to simply TP out. Viper with an MKB removes this as an option against him. Truestrike and tons of damage makes for a good late-DPS Viper. But this comes in large chunks and leaves you with no added survivability. This is mainly for when you are doing very well.

Orchid of Malevolence - can be of more use to your team by weakening tanks, as your effectiveness wanes in the late-game. The silence is ever-so-useful, synergizing quite well with Viper as a chaser, since he can prevent his target from blinking or windwalking away. It's a good substitute for Butterfly if you would rather have trade 30% evasion and +30 attack speed (the one from agility) for silence and damage amplification on a single target. You get 20 less damage than butterfly nominally, but damage amplification makes up for it, on one target, on whom your allies can pound too.

Crystalys / Buriza - Buriza is best for maximum single target dps. Opting for just Crystalis is nice too because the primary effect (critical) can be attained cheaply for the performance and with a good buildup. Since cits obviously synergizes very well with attack speed, getting Hyperstone before finishing Buriza is a pitstop well worth it. (If you're going for Assault Cuirass, don't make a pitstop for Crystalys, since your aim would be to support your team, more so than sharpen your own sword.)

Heart of Tarrasque - A great late game item.

Situational Items:

Blink Dagger - If you were to play as one that really specializes in picking heroes off, the maneuverability can really pay off. You will be lacking in survivability, you may want some items to compensate either before or after getting Blink Dagger. Or this may not be necessary if your allies have innate abilities that can provide you the survivability (see section 5. Relationships: "Synergizing Allies")

Khadgar's Pipe of Insight - great when Viper is support and your team is facing lots of AOE spells.

Vangaurd - I feel kind of bad listing Vangaurd as situation because it is many times core in other builds, and is a solid item all around, except that it does not follow the Dodge-Viper concept of simultaneous augmentation - building up Viper's offense and defense in one economic swoop. However, HP, regen, and physical damage block is a wonderful package on Viper, complementing Corrosive Skin nicely. The best situations for getting Vangaurd are:
1) if you're making a fully dedicated tanking Viper (Corrosive skin against magical and Vangaurd against Physical - very nice);
2) if you plan on getting an expensive damage item next, like Radiance or MKB. Why? The build-up of those expensive damage items can take long, leaving you with little survivability boost for that long. Also, Nethertoxin and Poison Attack serve just fine early-mid game for doing his job of killing heroes and assisting ganks.
Force Staff

What About These Items?
Hood of Defiance - Only if you're getting Pipe as a supporter or tank. Don't stop at hood because the reduction is diminishing when stackign with Corrosive Skin and your innate 25%. You're better off getting Vangaurd which boosts your HP. Or Opt for BKB instead, which protects you from disables, your true weakness.

Orbs Effect Items in general - It's best to stick with Poison Attack. But the best secondary attack modifier is critical (not an orb, so you can get this any time) and then lifesteal. Once you get high attack speed so that you can attack multiple times within the 2 seconds duration of Poison Attack, you can use the other attacks to activate the other orb. (see section 6-4: "Orb Stacking/Conflicts")

Ring of Regernation / Sobi Mask / Ring of Bascilius - waste of money, waste of slot space. Bottle covers both for less total gold and uses only one precious slot.


Tank Build Items

The outlined Dodge Viper could certainly imply a very defensive build (bracers, BKB, Heart, but is not explicit about a full tanking build and discourages Vangaurd. The Dodge Viper build emphasizes a balance between survivability and DPS, but a fully tanking Viper will be a babysitter and eventually a tank that supports ganks mainly by slowing. For this reason...

- Phase Boots are bought for the movespeed/phasing. As a tank, your main role will be to slow. Even though Nethertoxin dispels phased mode, it is useful for reaching your allies and shielding them with your pipe.
- No damage items. Your main job is to slow, and Nethertoxin is still pretty powerful on low HP heroes, which you should be prioritizing.
- Vangaurd can be the first item in the tank build. In the long run, Vangaurd nicely softens physical damage while Corrosive Skin covers magical damage. Corrosive Skin is what really makes Viper viable as a tank.
- An early Pipe can be very helpful to your team as well, but don't go for Hood just for yourself.
- BKB isn't as important as getting Vangaurd or Pipe early so it comes after. Good for being durable in battle and doing what you need to for the duration of Avatar.
- Heart is for massive HP boost and massive out-of-battle regen.
- Vangaurd's damage block becomes less significant late game, and against monster DPSers, a Talisman of Evasion will go a long way in boosting your effective HP. (The higher your raw HP, the greater the benefit of evasion/armor/magic reduction). The Talisman of Evasion can be turned into a Butterfly if the game goes on, since it will be better to get some offense than more tankiness, and it maintains one slot, making for a full inventory of 6 items.
- You may want to trade Phase Boots for Travels at some point if desired. This is a general rule for many heroes going into the late-game. Doing this also maintains 6 slots while allowing teleportation.

As you can see, the Tank Build is much more "fixed" than builds incorporating offensive items.


4. Strategy

Early Game:
If you will not act as early carry, lane with your team's carry and abuse Poison Attack to allow your carry to last hit AMAP (as much as possible).

Opt to solo middle with a bottle if you will be playing early-mid game carry. It will be important that you do not die at all, as you will want to be ahead for the mid-game ganking, armed with level 3 slow, and your ultimate ASAP. As you put up great pressure against your laners, there can be a swift moment, when maybe you are in too deep or too overconfident, giving your enemies the opportunity to stun or nuke you. It will set you back, wasting all the harassing and gain that you have made so far, and rob your team of their powerful early ganker. Playing carry and being a few levels above everyone else is critical and immensely helpful when ganking.
Harassing Techniques:
-Manually casting Poison Attack will not aggro creeps! Also, Poison attack improves your range to 600 from 575. Being able to stand close to creeps can make last hitting easier.(see section 6-6: "Creep Aggro")

-There will definitely come times when you are chased backwards. If they do not pursue you until you die, they will inevitably turn around. When this happens, watch carefully for that moment they disengage and turn around and Poison Attack him with your best reaction speed. This scenario is always a freebie hit that you can land, provided they don't have any tricks up their sleeves. If you react quickly, you can even get in another attack or two on top of that using animation cancel/orbwalk, putting you ahead in damage exchanged and making them regret chasing you.
Staying Safe:
Even though Viper is very good at making someone feel like they are totally boxed in, there are surprisingly lots of counters to Viper. When playing Viper, the key is to recognize them, and keep yourself out of such situations preventatively, with:

1) Map awareness agianst getting ganked. Surprise nukes is Viper's strongest counter and biggest weakness. This is largely preventable with map awareness, knowing who is missing, and with wards - observers if they are windwalkers.

2) Maintaining distance when laning. Maintaining distance is the method of staying safe when up agianst opponents that you know will instantly convert you into gold and experience if you get clipped with a stun. (i.e. Rhasta + a DPS/nuker You know once you get caught, that's it.)

3) Knowing when potential death-dealers are "tied-up" in big battle situations. If you watch good replays, it will seem like Viper has no trouble walking into the heat and killing a hero. It actually isn't as simple as that. The reason he was able to do so was because potential threats against Viper have beeen tied up in one way or another and the Viper player was aware of his pre-occupation.
-An enemy Blood Seeker is chasing your ally who is low health. He will want to make the kill, regain his health he will lose in the chasing process, so he will not go for you. This leaves you free to help your ally by slowing Blood Seeker, or engaging the rest of the enemies in the big fight.
Maintain distance and stay safe by avoiding focus fire and having your teammates initiate. Close in and "dive in" when heroes are at low health and you can finish them using maximized Nethertoxin damage, or slowing them long enough for your team to help.

How to use Viper Strike:
Maxed out, it only has 30 seconds cooldown and 725 damage over time(543.75 after 25% reduction). So:

- when enemy HP is low and might get away (run speed, blink, invisibility, etc.) to kill him with the DOT, even if he does blink away.
- in 1vs1 situtations, as a surprise nuke to throw off their sense of whether they can win the fight or not
- for the greater slow (up to 80%) for letting your team pound the target.
Orb Walking
This is the most foundational skill of playing Viper well, because he is a support DPS chaser whose fearsome weapon is slow. (see section 6-3: "Animation Cancelling / Orb Walking" to learn how to do it)
Using the points mentioned above, and knowing that your era of dominance will come to an end, you should gank gank gank whenever possible in order to make the most of your "timed life" and give every ounce of advantage to your team.
Your late game role is much the same role as Mid-Game: to slow and pick off weak heroes. But the battlefield has become more intense, and you are not as dominant as you were early and mid game. Therefore you will have chosen whether you will be a glass cannon, support, or a tank. But luckily in the case of the dodge viper build, you will have reasonable survivability as well as DPS. But you require finesse and good timing that comes with awareness. So you are by no means invincible; your enemies can pop you in a blink if you are not careful. The best thing to do is to stay alive and contribute DPS and focus fire, doing everything you can to avoid focus fire yourself. The only exception may be is if you can take down the enemy carry. You can defend, sweep through neutral creeps, and take on Roshan with pretty good speed. Viper is a great farmer, and even more insane late game, and 1-2 minutes bench time can make a huge difference in your gold to dominate the late game with amazing items.
5. Relationships

Synergizing Allies:

These allies grant you the ability of some core items, and allow you to build bigger items instead.

Shielder-Healers (free BKB + Mekanism)

They can do both, rather than just one, doing much to prevent your quick squishy death, allowing you to further chase and kill.

Invisibility Granters (free Lothar's)

These provide positioning and an escape mechanism. They can also stun =]

Chase Assisters (free Blink Dagger)

(Dark seer is actually everyone's best ally =]) Most of the time, getting Blink Dagger can be a bit risky because that's 2k gold with no added survivability. But with abilities like surge and toss you basically have a blink dagger. In chasing situations, distance-closing abilities works best on a hero who can slow, since this allows the rest of your team catches up to attack, instead of that one hero alone.

Ogre Magi gets a special mention because all his skills work in tandem with Viper. Nothing is wasted: possible ultra nuke, stun, more DOT, and AS/MS increase cast on Viper. Ogre makes a great ally, but isn't as big of a threat as an enemy, unlike the following "two-timers."
(The Two-Timers)

Due to your slowing ability and fragility, heroes that can dish out fast damage and have strong disables simultaneously make the best allies and and worst enemies.

Powerful Two-Timers

These heroes have a strong mix of both damage and disables, making them fearsome ganking partners and most feared enemies of Viper at the same time.
  • Lion has two disables and two nukes, topped off with mana drain.
  • Tauren Chieftain's moves are awesome for both initiating and finishing off your slowed target. Mad range, mad nuke, and mad chase-killing ability.
  • Mirana can cloak a whole army, catch up and kill your slowed target, stun, and simply leap to impassable terrain, countering your slow.
  • Anub'arak Hussein Obama has incredible nukes and the element of surprise. Also an annoying mana-burn that really works against you. He can shut out your ealry and mid game shine-time due to these factors.
Strong Disablers

Silencers + DPS

Ally - prevent deadly spells on you. Also nice DPS to combine with slow.
Enemy - With slow, fragility, and no escape mechanism, all you have is your DPS. You become useless in your role to slow enemies and become a glass cannon. Their DPS can work against you as well.



If they calculate that they can survive the DPS duel in a 1 vs. 1 situation, or if it's 2v1, then the decision to engage is totally in their hands and you don't have an escape mechanism.

Chasers/Durable Attackers

Enemy - These are also pretty durable, so they can usually walk up to you and kill you, if you don't have backup nearby. They all usually outlast you 1vs1 situation.
Other Worst Enemies:

Superior Harassers

- Their spammed harassing spells outrange you. Most are nukers as well.
- When laning against Lich, you can use chicken-fountain-bottle-replenishing trick, as well as magic wand/stick against Dark Ritual. Also pad your HP with stat boosters to build tolerance against his nukes.
- Atropos's spells in succession will undo all of your harassing, and you can easily die b/c of your low HP pool. If Atropos has a lane mate, it allows him to position. Very dangerous.
- Enchantress out-lanes you by dealing greater damage in an encounter, even though your range is the same.
* Unlike against Lich, magic stick is not effective against Atropos or Enchantress.

Mana burners

- If you can't slow or use ultimate, you're just a strong ranged creep. In laning and harassing situations, the best way to cope is to use bottle as reserve mana and replenish as you move in to use your spells for the sudden kill-gank.

6. Extra - Tips and Mechanics

6-1 Mechanics to Note

(if you fine errors here, please point them out thanks =] )

- Nethertoxin is physical damage, not magical.
- Nethertoxin does not work for your images.
- Corrosive Skin's poison part works for images, but not the extra magic resistance aspect.
- Criticals, bash, Nethertoxin, Poison Attack, and normal damage all happen in the same attack, as long as Poison Attack is on auto-cast (no critical or bash on manual-cast)
- Both Poison Attack's damage and slow do not stack, meaning hitting a target with Poison Attack before the 2 seconds effect is over will simply refresh the timer, instead of increasing damage over time or slowing at a higher percentage.
- Poison Attack adds 25 range to your normal attack range of 575.
- Orb spells like Poison Attack, Searing Arrows, Frost Arrows do not trigger Magic Stick / Magic Wand counters.
- Ghost Form used against Viper will block the physical damage portion (including Nethertoxin), but not the Damage-over-Time portion or the slow effect.

-all percentage increases act on your base value and don't "stack" (multiply) with other percentage-based items.
-Evasion of Butterfly / Talisman acts independently from other blocking items like stout / PMS / Vangaurd, and one will trigger if the other does not. good thing =]
-Stout Shield / Poor Man's Shield / Vangaurd does not block magical damage

- Poison Attack will break Phase Mode - use regular attack if you wnat to remain phased
- Lothar's Edge's 125 backstab damage will not take effect if you break invisibility with manual-casted Poison Attack.
- breaking invisibility with auto-case will give you backstab damage, but it will not slow, and it still consumes mana for the poison attack. subsequent auto-casted attacks will slow, however. Therefore, break invisibility around 400-300 range so you will be within range for the second attack to land the slow.
- With Ghost Scepter during Ghost Form, use Poison Attack (spell) as a loophole around the physical atack disables.

6-2 How Nethertoxin Damage Is Determined

Base bonus damage starts off as 2/4/6/8 damage for enemy HP = 100% to 80%, and doubles for each 20% HP the target is missing.

-Nethertoxin only works on enemy units (enemy heroes, enemy creeps). Does NOT work on neutral creeps or allied units.
-Against creeps, the bonus is halved.

As you can see, you do more damage the lower your target's health is. This skill really casts you as one that picks off weak heroes, and Poison Attack allows you to slow healthier heroes down to eventually kill them.

6-3 Animation Cancelling / Orb Walking

<CLICK:: Animation Cancelling Page>

Animation Cancelling is an micro control technique for attacking by giving a new command after the point of actual attack. Doing it results in your hero not going through the aesthetic animation sequence AFTER the the point you actually attacked, allowing your to utilize that time to do other things earlier, rather than stay stationary unnecessarily. The most common usage is to enhance chasing.

Orb Walking is simply Animation Cancelling with an added spell/ orb effect on every attack - when you use Poison Attack instead of regular attack.

How to Animation Cancel / Orb Walk:
1) Give the attack command.
2) Wait for the actual attack point.
3) Immediately after the attack point, give another command (usually the move command) to cancel the portion after the attack point - called backswing animation. Giving a new command any time during the backswing animation is fine, but the closer it is to the attack point, the more time you will save. However, if you do it any earlier than the attack point, it will force you to complete the backswing animation, and you lose out.
-When chasing, give the move command in the predicted path your target is running.
-When backing up, but not completely fleeing, as in lane micro or neutral creeping, give the move command between 90 and 180 degrees, instead of 180 degrees backwards. This reduces the turning time, while getting you out of the enemy's attack range. Works best if you have high move speed or higher move speed than your target.
4) Attack again, repeating #1-3

6-4 Orb Stacking/Conflits

<CLICK: Orb Stacking Page>

Viper's Poison Attack lasts two seconds. When getting another orb/attack modifier on Viper, you use the minimum attacks necessary for perma-slow and use the other attacks for the other orb. Some secondary orb effects can require some highly polished mechanical skills. High attack speed is especially helpful for using multiple orb effects with Viper.

To utilize both Poison Attack and lifesteal together, you must toggle auto-cast to swtich between one orb and the other - could be challenging.
Lifesteal (MoM, HotD, Satanic - Vlads does not conflict, but useless to ranged units anyways), & Feedback (Diffusal Blade).
- Auto-casting - Poison Attack
- Manual casting (becomes useless) - lifesteal/feedback
- No casting - lifesteal/feedback
To utilize Poison Attack and critical together, you can auto-cast to critical when it doesn't slow, OR use manual-cast to slow when desired.
Critical & Bash
- Auto-casting - crit/bash when it procs, Poison Attack when it does not
(still consumes mana and shows attack animation when crit / bash procs, even though it does not slow)
- Manual Casting - Poison Attack
- No casting - crit / bash chance
Chain Lightning and Desolator - can be used with manual-casted slow alternatingly, but chain lightning is outdone by Radiance, and corruption is outdone by critical and other DPS items. They can work, but non-orb substitutes have the edge over them.

-Maim and Skadi Don't ever get them; Poison Attack and Viper Strike slow at a higher percentage.

6-5 Images

<CLICK: Images/Illusions Page>

- Images don't get the bonus damage from Nethertoxin.
- Images don't get direct damage bonus from items like Demon Edge, but do from stats, like Yasha.
- Corrosive Skin's poison part works for images, but not the extra magic resistance aspect.

The following items and effects DO work on images
  • Stat bonus items. Images gain hit points from strength, armour and attack speed from agility, and bonus to damage from your primary stat. I believe they also gain hitpoint and mana regeneration from stats as well.
  • Feedback (Diffusal Blade/ Manta Style). Only works on melee images. Ranged images do not burn mana.
  • Critical Strike (Crysallis / Buriza ). Just the critical strike ability is transferred to images not the bonus damage from the item.
  • Evasion (Butterfly, Radiance)
  • Raw movement speed gain items (Boots, Treads, Teleboots)
  • % Movement Speed gain items (Sangeyasha, Yasha).
  • True Sight (Gem of True Sight)
  • Radiance burning aura (Radiance) - Note that while images get the burning aura only one such aura will apply to an enemy at a given time (i.e. 4 images do not mean 4xdamage from the burn aura). Also note that only the aura damage and evasion bonus transfers to images. The bonus damage from the Radiance item itself does not transfer.
  • Direct Hit Point bonus items (Vitality Booster, Point Booster, Soul Booster, Heart of Tarresque, Manta Style)
  • Direct Mana Point bonus items (Energy Booster, Point Booster, Soul Booster, etc)
The following items and effects do NOT work on images (despite what the attack animation might suggest!)
  • Direct bonus to damage items (i.e. items that say +x to damage do not give that bonus damage to images)
  • Direct bonus to armour items (Chainmail, Platemail, Aegis etc). Note: Java's Premium Naga Siren Guide says the opposite so I am prepared to be corrected on this point!
  • Direct regeneration items (Ring of Regen, Ring of Health etc)
  • Increased Attack Speed percent (Hyperstone, Treads, Hand of Midas, Monkey King Bar, Butterfly)
  • Lifesteal (Satanic, Mask of Madness, Mask of Death, Helm of Dominator)
  • Frost Attack (Eye of Skadi)
  • Chain Lightning (Maelstrom)
  • Cleave - Percentage Splash Damage applied to nearby targets (Battlefury)
  • Bash - % chance to stun (Cranial Basher). To be precise it is a bit more complicated than just saying it doesn't work - see notes below.
  • Maim (Sange, Sangeyasha)
  • Corruption effect - minus to armour upon hit (Stygnian Desolator). Bear in mind however the images will benefit from the corruption given by your main hero so it's still a decent option
  • Return damage % from melee attackers (Blademail)
  • Damage block (Kraken Shell, Stout Shield, Vanguard)
  • Spell items - images can't cast spells (Dagon, Ginsoo,
  • Mechanism, Manta Style, BKB etc)
  • Magic resistance items (Planewalker Cloak, Aegis) - images only get innate hero resistance.

6-6 Creep Aggro

When you give the command to attack an enemy hero and there nearby creeps allied or belonging to the target hero, they will switch their target to you.

-Creep aggro effect is 500 distance from your position.
-Creep aggro lasts 2 seconds
-The location of the Hero does not matter; you can click a hero accross the map, but if there are creeps within 500 distance of you, you will aggro them.
-The aggro occures the moment you click the attack command, rather than when you actually attack them.
-Giving the attack command while outside of 500 creep range causes the moment of aggro to be triggered when you actually attack (again, the condition that creeps within 500 range applies)

-To minize damage from creep aggro, you can use the move command or right click the ground to get within range of the target hero, and issue the attack command at that moment, rather than giving the attack command from the beginniing.
-Spells don't trigger creep aggro, even if you target an enemy hero. Poison Attack is considered a spell, so it does not trigger creep aggro, which you can use to your advantage.
-Creep aggro is not always a bad thing. It has 500 range, so you can aggro them without being hit at all and keep the creep conflict closer to your tower.

6-7 Tower's Targetting Priority

Viper shouldn't be afraid of tower diving if it means killing a hero. So here's some info about the towers targetting AI to use to your advantage when tower diving and being near the tower in general:

The towers' target acqiusition priorities is in this order:
1) that which is attacking the nearby hero
2) that which is attacking the tower

(strikethrough are incorrect. erased for the time being)
3) that which is closest
4) creeps over heroes

-The tower will finish continuing to attack the current target before acquiring a new target. The listed order applies during that interval when it looks for a new target.
-If there are multiple units targetting the hero, the tower will attack the closer one. (*confirmation needed)
-what #4 means is that in a situation where creeps and melee heroes are attacking a tower, the tower will attack creeps before the Hero. And if it's ranged creeps and melee heroes, then the tower will target the melee hero (defaulting to #3)

1) When tower diving - 1) use the move command/click ground and; 2) Orb Walk, rather than chasing having right clicked the hero. This will reduce the amount of time that the tower recognizes that you are attacking the hero, putting you lower on the priority chain.

2) Preventing tower targetting you - Since the tower finishes attacking the current unit, you can temporarily stop attacking the tower when the unit about to die to ensure that the tower won't attack you.

3) But if you do get targetted by the tower - attack an allied creep with almost full HP or full HP and the tower will cycle to a different target.

6-8 Synergy Formulas

1) DPS (Attacking) :
The synergy formula for physical attacks is: high attack damage * high attack speed * an attack modifier. The same concept is contained in the fact that 5*5 is greater than 4*6 or 3*7, even though they all add up to 10. What this means in terms of practical application is that, given a finite amount of resources, they are best allocated so that the each factor bolsters one another via the multiplicative effect to maximize the output/usage. This is also known as synergy. Having 200 attack damage when you have almost no attack speed boost is not as effective as diverting some of that investment into attack speed. Your overall DPS and effectiveness (when orbs are applied) is what we're trying to maximize. The variables being multiplied are damage and the frequency of damage (attack speed) which results in your damage/time value. The third variable, which is effects like slow and chain lightning, usually benefit more with attack speed, since it activates upon attack. Other modifiers like critical and cleave make their foundation upon both damage and attack speed.

2) Survivability:
The factors for defense is high raw HP, reduction (armor and magical), and special blocking abilities like invisibility/dpell immunity/damage immunity/Lifesteal
In early game as well as later on, a boost in raw HP helps immensely. On tanking heroes, damage block provided by Vangaurd or Poorman's Shield is quite invaluable and sometimes underestimated. Viper goes under the category of fragile DPS machine like Razor, Clinkz, Sniper. His main weakness is getting stunned then nuked. Because Viper's playstyle isn't like that of Clinkz, where he can high-tail it any time, we compensate for for this weakness in the item build, whereas it would not be worth doing for Clinkz.

-Credits and Thanks-

Thanks to every one of you who took the time to read my guide and posted feedback here and in the original guide thread. All of your comments helped to shape this guide for the better. There are a lot of better players out there than myself, and all your insights are appreciated. I just happen to be one that likes organizing the info. =] I drew upon a lot of sources and existing Viper guides for major and minor points and in hopes of being as comprehensive as possible. I hope my guide has been useful for you.

- Ramomar for the artistic banner and aesthetic help
- Vindicate for some deep discussions =] as well as Antifate, dondy, and Merkaba
- All previous Viper Guide writers, especially DrDragun's <-- *click*
- Everyone who commented and helped point things out

Image split of a "dodge" Viper w/ Manta,BKB,Butterfly

Viper the Netherdrake
Author: gwho
Map Vers.: 6.64

Dodge Viper

Dodge Viper

Date Posted: 07/01/09
Last Comment:09/10/2013
Total Votes: 277
Current Rating: 8.26
Views: 602334

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