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Well, this is our second guide. We believe people enjoyed, loved and approved our first guide (Stay Cool, Shadow Priest Guide); judging by the response, feedbacks and comments we got and in a way it has made us attempt this feat again.

Those who have gone through other guides to refine their gameplay or for quick suggestions for improvement of the same will know that there is a dearth of a comprehensive, yet easy-to-comprehend guide on Medusa. It is this lack that has propelled us into writing this, what we consider, a much needed guide on Gorgon

We both, Andre and StarBreaKeR~, are former clan-mates and hence have played numerous games together in our college LAN and on Garena alike. And though, in the recent past this has become a bit complicated due to un-forseen circumstances, we hope to play once again in the near future. At present, after much fussing and debating, we have actually found time to take this step. [Andre from Hong KongNow back to India ;) and StarBreaKeR~ from India.]

Medusa- the farming machine, the late game carry, the right click hero. You love her, you hate her, but you simply cannot ignore her in the current metagame. Well, thanks to IceFrog (complete Medusa remake in 6.60), she has really made an impact on the DotA gameplay in recent times. Changing her skills has sent her to the top tier of heroes; a platform flaunted by the likes of Vengeful Spirit and PotM. Medusa is probably, the only hero that can DPS like a normal carry and "tank" at the same time; as the game progresses.

Well, probably the only serious counter to Medusa is Anti-Mage (or, for that matter any melee image hero possessing the feedback orb). Anti-Mage, we can safely say, is not a very popular hero in pro clan matches and pubs alike; so picking Medusa is fine in almost any kind of team line-up. But two thing must be made sure:

1. You get a Solo Lane in the team, and
2. The team has at most one more carry.

Still, many people like to take the so-called Personality Analysis Test before playing any hero. So, here it goes:

Pick Medusa only if :
  • You like to farm.
  • You can farm.
  • You enjoy your farm.
  • You have map awareness.
  • You like "Right Click" heroes.

Don't Pick Medusa if :

Strength 14 + 1.65
AgilityPrimary 20 + 2.5
Intelligence 19 + 1.85
Attack Animation 0.5 / 0.6
Damage 44 - 50
Casting Animation 0.4 / 0.5
Armor 1.9
Move Speed 290
Missile Speed 1200
Attack Range 600
Sight Range 1800 / 800
Medusa's starting strength is lowest among all heroes in DotA. Starting agility is ranked 38th among 101 heroes currently in DotA, higher than only 6 other agility heroes. In terms of base Intelligence, Medusa stands 43rd, not bad as an agility hero. With the recent nerf in strength gain, only 15 heroes are currently lower than Medusa. As far as agility gain is concerned, its not that impressive either. Medusa stands in what you can call as the lower tier of agility heroes. Surprisingly though, Medusa stands 12th among all heroes in terms of Intelligence gain. With average armor, below average movement speed and with just 53 base stats Medusa does not feel much of a threat stats wise. But her skills have unmatched potential to make her rich with items of your choice; that too at an amazing pace and with minimum effort.

Pros :

[+] A Tank with substantial DPS.
[+] Very Effective Farmer / Richer.
[+] Very profound lane presence / Control.
[+] Almost UnGankable.

Cons :

[-] Very poor starting stats as well as stats gain.
[-] Mana-Burn counters her.
[-] Useless without good farm / Completely inventory dependent.
[-] Little or no ganking potential.
[-] Late Gamer. No real early and mid game contribution to the team.

At present, Medusa's skills are simply awesome and aptly suited to her role in the game. The Split Shot and the Mystic Snake are perhaps the best farming skills among all heroes. They provide you with all the gold you need; annihilating wave after wave of creeps. The Mana Shield ghoulishly increase your EHP and her ultimate, Stone Gaze makes it almost impossible to gank her and stop her feverish rate of increasing riches. Hence, her makeover in v6.60 was duly justified. It made her into a tank renting out substantial dps.

Here we will highlight only the salient and important points about the skills so that you know "how to" and "when to" use them for maximum effectiveness. Numerical details of the skills have also been added for your quick reference.

Split Shot

Medusa magically splits her shot into four arrows. These arrows deal a lower percent of her normal damage.

* Ability Type: Toggle
* Targeting Type: Instant
* Ability Hotkey: T
* Mana Cost: 0
* Cooldown: 0

14 arrows each 45% damage
24 arrows each 55% damage
34 arrows each 65% damage
44 arrows each 75% damage

Notes -

* Only the primary target will recieve attack effects like bash and orb effects.
* Secondary targets will be the three closest enemy units excluding the primary target.
* If there are less than 4 targets in 600 aoe then number of arrows will decrease while the damage of each arrow will still be according to the level of the skill.

A greatly under-rated skill by many but it does increase your DPS by 200% at level 4. As mentioned in the hero page orb effects will apply to the primary target only. Even if you go for Crsytalys/ BuriZa the Critical does not get factored in each split shot. Few more facts about this skill :

*This skill can be turned on/off without having to sacrifice mana.
*It has no cooldown makes it so useful, especially for farming, and
*This skill is based on transformation ability so it can be used to dodge projectiles from Leoric, Vengful etc.
*Toggling this skill on / off counts as a spell and thus can be used to dispel Silencer's Curse of the Silence.

Also in a team battle, where you'll probably be the tank (obviously mid/late game) you'll be inflicting 75% of your actual damage to 4 targets at a time.

We both hate a rigid and set build for any hero. Skill builds, in our opinion, should be flexible and should depend on the gameplay style of your team and situationally, the opponent team. Still, considering almost every situation possible, we have finally come up with these three skill builds. We believe, at least one of them will fit into every game you play, no matter who the opponents might be.

Level 1 :: Stats (1)
Level 2 :: Mystic Snake (1)
Level 3 :: Mystic Snake (2)
Level 4 :: Stats (2)
Level 5 :: Mystic Snake (3)
Level 6 :: Stone Gaze (1)
Level 7 :: Mystic Snake (4)
Level 8 :: Mana Shield (1)
Level 9 :: Mana Shield (2)
Level 10 :: Mana Shield (3)
Level 11 :: Stone Gaze (2)
Level 12 :: Mana Shield (4)
Level 13 :: Split Shot (1)
Level 14 :: Split Shot (2)
Level 15 :: Split Shot (3)
Level 16 :: Stone Gaze (3)
Level 17 :: Split Shot (4)
Level 18 - 25 :: Stats

The basic trend, if you examine closely, is the same in all skill builds. You have to max out Mystic Snake first, followed by Mana Shield and then Split Shot; upgrading her ultimate whenever available.

The main difference in the three Skill Build Sets is that in Skill Build Set 1 you upgrade 2 levels of stats instead of Manashield before level 6. There is little difference between Skill Build Set 2 and Skill Build Set 3, but if you go for Skill Build Set 1 you can expect quite a different experience of playing Medusa.

To prove the above fact, we have presented a comparison for your convenience:

Consider, a vulnerable level 6 Medusa with no items. Now let us compare this fragile hero, assuming in one case you've gone for Skill Build Set 1 and for Skill Build Set 2 in another. (Note: EHP calculated with mana shield on).

* Avg Damage - 63
* 663 HP / 416 MP
* Armor - 3.6
* EHP against physical attack - 802.21

So you may say, "Cut the crap, dude! Skill Build Set 2 is way more imba compared to Skill Build 1!" And so we say, "Do not rush to conclusions my friend!" Let us analyze these figures again- only this time not only the maths but the real deal.

* Slightly more damage. Better last hit
* More mana to spam Mystic Snake
* More HP but less EHP
* EHP at level 1 - 516.65
* Can use ultimate always.

We hope you see the point we are trying to make out here. Skill Build 2 definitely gives you more EHP but if you go for Skill Build 1, you trade in 345 EHP as a bribe, to be able to use your ultimate in case of a sudden gank anytime.

And this is also quite possible if you spam Mystic Snake repeatedly (which we recommend you should after upgraing to lvl 3; for remember the Snake does return mana and Gaze requires just 100 of it). Of course, you'll have lower EHP but remember at level 6 with Skill Build Set 2, it requires just 331 damage (assuming you had a full mana pool- which is again, never possible because remember- you were spamming the snake) to effectively leave you with no ultimate.

Then again with the 2nd skill built you have more EHP at level 1, which may just be enough to save you from the level 1 ganks.

So, we leave it up to you to decide which built you would like to go for:
*Skill Build 1 is for those who like to play a bit aggresively.
*Skill Build 2/3 is for those who are more defensive in nature.

Middle Lane Solo

Mid lane is probably the safest lane to farm, in our opinion, as its the shortest. You will probably meet only one hero on the opposing side. He too will try to concentrate to farm rather than harass you. Problem arises in case of a rune whoring Zeus or Beast Master or Nevermore. Another major drawback is no access to goblin shops. Countless useful itemsBoots, PT, PMS, Sobi, Stick, RoR can not be bought without going to the baseProvided you don't have a chicken or the secret shopNearly half the distance to base. Well, maybe if you random Medusa, then you can go for a chick. But other than that we would strongly discourage you from buying one. This may seem a major problem in pub matches but in high level matches this will not be an issue; since supports will get the chicks and wards for you for sure.

You can go for the above build if you are sure of your laning abilities, possess a keen map awareness and are confident you wont be ganked (assuming your team has warded the river). If the above fit into your gameplay style, you can be sure the opponent mid solo hero will not be able harass you much. Fast farming helps you get Perseverance quickly, which is further helpful in laning as it helps you spam the snake repeatedly.

This one is a much more balanced out built, though it provides less right click power. But you can still stay in lane amidst harassment and ganking attempts.

Bottom / Top Lane Solo (Sentinel / Scrouge)

This lane is quite suited to Medusa like gameplay. Mainly because she has such good lane control. Again, this lane might be a bit risky for farming once the lane is pushed (so, if possible try to deny and try to get only the last hit).

The main advantage of a side lane is that you are most likely to face two opponent heroes. Even if these heroesHero combos like Sven-Lina; WD-Vengeful have aggressive spells, you can have lane dominance from level 5 (but try to remain defensive before that) onwards; again, thanks to the incredibly powerful Mystic Snake. But, you may not get the "I-Last-Hit-All-Creeps-From-Level-1" confidence. This config works best with a jungler who can pull the lane when you have pushed too far.

(Magic Wand)

Simple all round wand lover's build. Magic Stick will be bought from goblin shop asap and this gives you lots of inventory space for a quick PMS, boots or RoR.

This is what we call "The Rambo" build for side lane. The RoP is to be coverted to RoB asap and do make sure that your RoB is always in "Hero Only" aura mode. You don't want to push the lane too forward with armored creeps. But if you go for RoB, do remember that you get more mana regen with Sobi Mask alone after a few levels32 int to be precise with no items is what Medusa boasts of at lvl 7. But, the +6 damage and armor makes RoB a better choice.

Possible Useful Items from Goblin Shop :

You can get PT on the side lane before your perseverance. Helps in better last hit, escape and stats manipulation. Or, you may go for the boots only if you prefer to rush your core items. If you are in mid lane always tend towards getting the perseverance faster, as the secret shop is closer than the base.
Many players like to go for a PMS with Medusa even though the damage block is insignificant because she is ranged and not a melee. But the increase in agility does enhance your right click power.
The stick / wandRefer to the wand centric item built is very useful against spell spammers like Bristleback and also serves as a anti-gank tool against PotM, Slardar, Alchemist etc. Stats from gg branches and the burst regen can be the difference between life and death on many occasions.
The Butterfly Effect! Better last hit, better survivability and IAS. Well, actually early game is the time when you accumulate a lot of gold (other than uber late game). So, we prefer an eaglehorn rush rather than these items. Also the early game is dominated by nukes and burst damages thus the evasion is not of much use.
The advantages of RoB over Sobi Mask are mentioned in the RoB oriented starting item build. You can skip Perseverance and go for Manta Style straight, and still have mana for spamming the Mystic Snake.

Medusa, for a better game, should always solo. This hero does not need any kind of support or babysitting early game unlike many other carries. With a little map awareness you can "farm safe" even without wards. In competitive matches, however, strategically placed wards give added advantage to the already "ungankable" Medusa. But Medusa has one and perhaps the only disadvantage- she cannot get kills easily. Well, in a sense we mean that she has nothing to hold down the enemy for eg. a slow or stun (except for her ultimate which is also situational). Thus, being a hero with tremendous dps she needs only one thing- Disables!. A problem? Not exactly! What for do we have supports? They always provide the disables and aid your cause. So here is a list of the legendary disablers of DotA who are superb allies for Medusa.

Btw, did we forget someone? Ah, the lovely Maiden with her seducing aura.

As already mentioned before, always insist on going as a solo laner. You can either go mid-lane or bottom (sentinel) / top (scourge) .

For Mid Solo: You don't have to rune whore but if you have a lane opponent like Zeus or Nevermore, you would like to get the rune now and then to deny them the lane advantage. But doing that may deny you the ability to farm at frequent intervals which you know by now is most essential for you. Needless to say, while on lane you have to try to last hit every creep. Medusa is all about farm and if you don't start well you might take time to catch up. Denying, if you are able to, is always an advantage but not as important as trying to get every creep that comes in your lane. Considering, the opponent hero goes missing for collecting runes and wastes a bit of time in effort to deny, you should be able to manage 60-80% of the creeps. Your goal in 10 min should be around 45-55 creeps. Spamming of Mystic Snake should be done from level 5 onwards (Level 3 of Mystic Snake). It is at this point of time that your lane domination will really start getting stronger and there will be little resistance to your farming. Aim for 100-120 creeps by the time the clock shows the 20th minute mark into the game.

For Side Lane Solo: Side lanes will almost surely be occupied by two heroes. And many times you may encounter hero combos like Lina-Sven or Witch Doctor-Vengeful Spirit etc. The trick to facing these lanes is to tower hug and leach exp till you are level 5. After that you can spam your snake and dominate the lane. As for farming, you might not get the great start that you might have got as in a mid solo, but with Medusa's awesome farming potential you can catch up pretty fast!

The most important skill that you will use in early game is to farm and harass is the Mystic Snake. So, we thought of dedicating a small section on how to use it effectively. Here it goes..

Well, as you all can see the snake can be effectively used from level 3 (of Snake) onwards. It is very effective vs a dual lane where you can have almost all your mana back you used in casting the spell. Even in single lane it can harass pretty much doing 332 or 276If the enemy hero is melee he is likely to be hit in the 2nd or 3rd jump rather than the 4th or 5th jump if he is range damage and steal 48 mana from the opponent for a loss of onl 72 mana. Level 4 is even better! A quick look at the tables tells you how powerful this skill can be.

Level 3: As soon as the creep wave collide go and hit the ranged creep (the one at the back). Then, keep hitting a creep that is not being attacked by your ranged creep. Wait till one of the melee creepThe one your creeps are attacking, it will lose more health than the one you are attacking reaches orange healthIf you are using it at max range" or red healthUsing at point blank range. Now make sure that the enemy is inside 500 AoE of the ranged creep and let go the snake. You have got at least 3 creeps in the wave! It's that easy. Example of AoE is provided in the pic below.

Level 4: Same as the level 3 but you can skip the 1st step of hitting the enemy ranged creep a shot.

Positioning is always crucial if you want to hit the enemy hero with the snake. It's better to let the snake go from beyond the full view of the enemy hero eg. from behind trees or from uphill in the mid lane. Even at point blank rangeSnake travels less thus less reaction time for enemy to react
Also it may be noted that once the snake has picked a target, it cannot be dodged by skills such as Leap.

Here are two replays which are awesome depictions of Medusa's role in the game. You'll see how she can virtually change the entire game single handedly. If you have any more such replays feel free to suggest or mail us (e-mail ids provided below).

(Links to
GosuGamers DotA | Replay: LGD.sGty vs EHOME
Map: 6.67c
Warcraft Patch: 1.24e
Tournament: WCG Asian Championship
Medusa: LGD.ZSMJ.sGty
Gosu Rating: 9.1

GosuGamers DotA | Replay: LGD.sGty vs
Map: 6.67c
Warcraft Patch: 1.24e
Tournament: G-League Final
Medusa: LGD.ZSMJ.sGty
Gosu Rating: 8.6

Guide by Sibasish "Andre" Dey and Anindya "StarBrea[K]eR~" Bangabash.

Special thanks to
for lot of help, valuable suggestions and reviewing the guide.
Also others in playdota who encouraged us with comments, compliments and suggestion. And Andre's geeky friends from IIT Kharagpur.

Guess the guide is finally finished but don't think this is over. We are still open to any and every useful suggestion/advice. So feel free to let us know what's in your mind!

Suggestions, mistake notification (syntax as well as logical), improvements and questions can be either posted as a comment to this guide or mailed to - Andre - StarBrea[K]eR~

Strategy, Item builds and gameplay questions can be mailed to any of the above as well.

EHP calculations and questions regarding the any graphs in this guide is to be mailed to Andre only (StarBrea[K]eR~ is an alchemist. Knows nothing regarding mechanics. :P)

*5th August 2010 - Few Improvements and implementations based on the suggestions provided by various users.
*30th July 2010 - Guide Published.
*9th July 2010 - Started Writing the Guide.

Medusa the Gorgon
Author: †André†
Map Vers.: 6.68b

The Complete Guide to Medusa

Instilling Paralyzing Fear

Date Posted: 07/09/10
Last Comment:16/08/2013
Total Votes: 376
Current Rating: 8.85
Views: 741169

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