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Ok, First things first if my guide is bad then I'm sorry because its the first time I made a guide so if you don't like it you can go look at another guide or be nice and keep reading. But this guide is just to show other people that want to play Io or to try and get better playing Io. To be honest most of the games I play I used Io and haven't lost this, could also be because I play with 2 of my friends who are preety good in the game and most games, the other team just give up and quit or we end up winning.

Hero Information


Advanced Statistics

Affiliation: Sentinel
Attack Animation: 0.15/0.4
Damage: 33-42
Casting Animation: 0.01/0.51
Armor: 0
Base Attack Time: 1.5
Movespeed: 295
Missile Speed: 1600
Attack Range: 525
Sight Range: 1800/800

The Good and The Bad

The Good

Range Hero
Very good support Hero
Can just come out of nowhere to with an ally to kill an enemy
Free Teleport
Good chaser
Can increase MS and IAS not just to self but to tethered unit too
Decent movement speed early game

The Bad

ZERO armor at the beginning
Not a good solo laner
Only 1 Disable(stun)
Needs a unit around him to get a kill

As you can see his good and bad is kinda balanced out. But the important thing to note is that Io needs his team mates as much as they need him to survive and to get ganks. Try not to get focused when using Io.



- Ability Type: Active
- Targeting Type: Unit
- Ability Hotkey: T

Io tethers himself to an allied unit, granting both units bonus movement speed. Any enemy units that contact the tether will be stunned. The tether will break if it stretches beyond 900 units. Lasts 12 seconds.

- Level 1,2,3,4
- Mana Cost 40,40,40,40
- Cooldown 12,12,12,12
- Casting range 1800,1800,1800,1800
- Area of Effect 900,900,900,900
- Duration 12/1.25 stun, 12/1.5 stun, 12/1.75 stun, 12/2 stun
- Allowed Targets any allied unit
- Effects 20%/25%/30%/35% movement speed bonus.

This skill is imba if used correctly. This is a great combo with all of Io skills. This could make you pull to your ally and both of you will run fast stunning anyone who hits the link. Good to be used while chasing or running away or if you just simply want to get pulled somewhere fast.

This skill also has a sub ability to break the tether if the duration hasn't finished.


- Ability Type: Active
- Targeting Type: Instant
- Ability Hotkey: W

Io summons 5 ancient Spirits over the course of 6 seconds; the Spirits dance around Io in a circle to protect him. If an enemy hero moves close enough to touch a Spirit, the Spirit releases its life energy in a burst, damaging and slowing all enemies in a 300 area of effect. Non hero units only take minor damage upon touching a spirit and do not cause them to explode.

- Level 1,2,3,4
- Mana Cost 120,130,140,150
- Cooldown 14,14,14,14
- Casting range None
- Area of Effect 300 (slow)
- Duration 6,6,6,6
- Allowed Targets Enemy Units
- Effects 25dmg/50dmg/75dmg/100dmg along with 30% slow

This skill makes the wisp a real wisp summoning spirits around him not just to protect him but to damage others. This skill also damages neutral or creeps by 25-30 damage. When this skills is used it brings out two other abilities which is move in and move out that causes the spirits to move away from you or come closer.

Can hit invisible units.


- Ability Type: Toggle
- Targeting Type: Instant
- Ability Hotkey: V

Io draws on more energy than he can safely handle, granting him bonus attack speed, but draining 2.5% of his current HP and MP per second. If Io is tethered to an ally the bonus attack speed is also granted to that ally.

- Level 1,2,3,4
- Mana Cost 2.5% of current HP and MP reduce
- Cooldown None
- Casting range None
- Area of Effect None
- Duration Self
- Allowed Targets Self
- Effects 60/80/100/120 IAS

To me, this skill is useless. But most players would argue to max this as soon as you max out Tether and Spirits. The disadvantage that you get from people focusing you because of your low hp and armor and you want to lose more hp and mana by using this skill? When this skill is level 4 it gives 120 attack speed and that is imba. Its good for taking down towers if there are no enemy heroes around.

This skill is situational, you can choose to atleast get 1 level of it and then stats then the rest later.

This skill gives bonus attack speed to a tethered unit aswell. Best tethered with a siege unit if there are no ally heroes around. Good for taking down towers.


- Ability Type: Active
- Targeting Type: Ground
- Ability Hotkey: R

Io temporarily relocates himself, along with any tethered hero, to the target location for 12 seconds.

- Level 1,2,3
- Mana Cost 100,100,100
- Cooldown 80,60,40
- Casting range Global
- Area of Effect None
- Duration None
- Allowed Targets None
- Effects Teleport after 2.5/2.25/2 secs

- Teleports tethered unit along with you.
- Enemies know when you are teleporting to them (vision)

This is his bread and butter skill. You can use this to teleport back to base tether an ally and bring them with you. When you gank you tether an ally hero and spirits then relocate to the enemy. I use this skill so many times when I have low hp relocate to base come back with full hp/mana and the enemies are like wtf?

Skill Build

Level 1 -Spirits/Tether
Level 2 -Tether/Spirits/Overcharge
Level 3 -Spirits/Tether
Level 4 -Tether/Spirits/Overcharge
Level 5 -Spirits/Tether
Level 6 -Relocate
Level 7 -Spirits/Overcharge
Level 8 -Tether
Level 9 -Tether/Spirits
Level 10-15 -Stats/Overcharge/Spirits
Level 16 - Relocate
Level 17-21 - Stats
Level 22-25 - Overcharge/Stats

This skill build may look confusing but its really up to you and how the game is going. But as you can see, sometimes I get stats over overcharge. I prefer the stats because it gives more hp/armor/mana which will make you survive rather than losing hp/mana with overcharge.

In the game

'Carry Build'

In the beginning of the game the item you should buy first is a Bottle because you will be using your mana early game to harras with spirits. You will also need the heal because most of the time you always get focused by the enemy hero due to your low hp and bad armor. If you are playing with friends, try to get them to buy a courier as you'll be supporting them most in the game and theyll support you by getting your items to you as quick as possible. With this Bottle you can relocate back to base and heal quickly.

If there is a chicken/bird use the courier to bring your 3 iron wood branches and 2 gauntlets. Then make them into a magic stick and urn of shadows as soon as possible.

---> then

By this time you should be around level 6 or 7 and should look to get some kills with your lane partner. The boots that you should get is treads but to be honest its up to you. I get treads and put it on strength for more hp and attack.

Now this is when you should look to gank with your lane partner.. You should always stay in your lane and just farm and look to use relocate when you see an enemy on their own. You have to make sure that your team mates are ready to kill with you when you relocate into their lane.

When you see an enemy on their own you TETHER to a team mate ->SPIRITS to start releasing the spirits around you ->RELOCATE to your enemy and ->OVERCHARGE so your tether unit gets the extra attack speed that they would have and then the enemy should be dead after a few seconds. Make sure you urn for extra damage if you have any and think that they wont die.

After your 4 main items its time to bulk up. I go for vanguard so you can tank a little bit. After all you are a strength hero and the regen would help very much.

You should always be looking to Relocate and kill an enemy and taking a team mate with you. If you don't get the kills its fine, you get money from assists anyway and most of the time at the end of the game you have the most assists. You will not be able to 1v1 anyone unless there are units you can tether to stun them.

After this stage it's completely up to the game what your next item should be, if they have too many nukers then go for a pipe, if your looking to give extra heal then you should get Mekansm

Which is why the next time I get is Dagon. Get your staff of wizardry first to give you a bit more mana and then move on from there. Upgrade Dagon so you can do more damage in that 12 second timeslot because relocate only lasts 12 seconds so you have to kill them fast otherwise you will be relocated back along with your team mate. Sometimes, I just leave my team mate to finish off the enemy if its not dead.

+ --->

You can even use relocate to help others if they are getting ganked. basically just relocate to them, tether so you run faster and then your back where ever you relocated from.

Thats it folks by this time the game is finished in most of my games but what I would suggest on getting next is HoT and replacing the magic wand and then you can buy Skadi to slow them down.

'Support Build' (Recommended/My Way)

Level 1-3 Spirits/Tether/Spirits

At the beginning of the game, the items that I should buy are Tangos/3 Ironwood Branches/ Gauntlets of Strength. This is just to give me that extra hp and then I upgrade them into a Magic Wand and Urn of Shadows.

As soon as I get to my lane, I use the spirits to harras them already so by the time I reach level 3 I have full mana again which means I should use it again to harras even more.

Level 4 - 7 Tether/Relocate/Spirits

So by the time I get level 4 and haven't used any other skill I use spirits again to harras as they do a lot of damage. Sometimes if we can go for the kill with my lane partner then we normally get it but around this time your item build should be atleast magic wand and 2 gauntlets of strength.

By level 6 I normally have urn and wand and I start to gank with my lane partner using Relocate and just pick the enemies off one by one. My next item should be Headress of Rejuvenation. Then from there I buy my boots which then I upgrade into treads.

Level 8 - 11 Tether/Overcharge or Stats/Tether or Overcharge or Stats/Relocate

By this time, My team has a couple of kills because I look to relocate anywhere on the map where I see an enemy on their own and me and my lane partner go and kill them. When there is a charge on Urn you can use that to damage them along hitting. I get the Natherezim Buckler and upgrade into Mekansm.

Level 12+

Wand/Urn/Treads/Meka are my main core items. After these I go for Linken's sphere and move on from there depending on the situation in the game. But I always look to gank with Relocate and get some kills for you or your team. Normally after I get linken the game is over but otherwise I'd go for Heart of Tarrasque or Eye of Skadi.

+= then


NOTE: While Tethered to a unit (preferably a hero) what you get is what they get for example you heal yourself with Urn of shadows they get healed 400 HP too. This works with clarity aswell as tangos/healing salve and any other healing.

With Mekansm, your ally would get healed 500 HP because what you get is what they get aswell. 250 HP from Meka + 250 from you.

The person your tethered with also get the heal from your lifesteal if you decide to get it.


Any of these boots would do. But I prefer to get Strength Treads because the extra hp would help and you can switch the stats around for example if your low on mana and have full hp change the treads to int. Boots of Travel is also good as it gives you map control aswell as another teleport but I think that your relocate is good enough already. You should change your boots after you get all your items and replace treads.

Situational Items

Heart Of Tarrasque

More HP Duh. Also helps when your tethered to a unit and they get your regeneration from your Heart Of Tarrasque.

Eye Of Skadi

Gives you good overall stats and slows the enemy down when you are chasing . Costs a lot but should be affordable late game when creeps are easy to farm from.


Gives good heal but you are a strength hero and with other items like vanguard/HoT you have good regen already. You can still choose to get this because after all you are a support hero

Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse

Extra disable would help. Would really be good for your mana problems.

Stygian Desolator

More damage plus reduce damage on the enemy every time you hit? Your allies would be happy while your tethered to them with imba movement speed.

Shiva's Guard

Again, would solve out your mana problems, good aoe damage that you lack along with even more slow if you don't have already.

Linken's Sphere

Gives good regen plus blocks most spells. Should be gotten if there are too many nukers.

Khadgar's Pipe of Insight

Good magic resistance along with regen too.


More Attack Speed and you can use the barrier on your tether unit so both of you can just go in and kill the whole team.

Helm of the Dominator
Mask of Madness

These would be situational as the healing also affects the tethered unit.

Rejected Items

Sange And Yasha

Your already fast when your tethered to a unit. Better off getting skadi than this even though its preety expensive.

Lothar's Edge

No need to be invi if your also with your team mates and you tether yourself to safety. No one could chase you.

Blade Mail

Better off to get a different item like guinsoo to disable them.

Orchid Malevolance

You can get other items that would give you mana and provide disable/slow (i.e Guinsoo and Shiva). This gives you more IAS but you can use overcharge other than this.

Black King Bar

You can cast your spells from far away meaning you wont get targeted first. Let a carry like Mortred carry this.

Gem Of True Sight

Dont think about carrying one of these. If the enemy sees you with it theyll focus you and steal the gem.

Good Allies and Bad Enemies

Good Allies

Basically any hero with a disable would love to play with Io but any of these:

And many more other disablers that would just basically be a definite kill to your team. You have to make sure that you tether and then relocate to your enemy and have your team mate ready to kill with you. otherwise the enemy might get away and youve lost your chance until your next ulti.

Other heroes that would love to be with you would be:

These heroes would be so happy tethered with you. This is because you are giving them extra movement speed while slowing down your enemy with your spirits. Pudge could just use his ulti after you relocate next to an enemy. Troll could hit them even faster if you have overcharge plus his ulti. Tether/Overcharge with Ursa = GG. Balanar would be even more faster while you run with him and ofcourse Rhasta could just cast all of his spells and kill the enemy after youve stun/slowed/tped.

Bad Enemies

Now its time for the bad enemies. If your in a lane against 2 stunners and have low hp and still no armor. You will basically not stand a chance. Try to change lane as soon as possible if you have 2 of these in your lane:

Other enemies that would kill you quick would be the nukers. They can take you out very quickly if you have low hp and not being careful at what your doing. Some example of nukers:

Other annoying heros that youd go against in the lane would be:

Your early game might not be good due to any of these guys so just make sure not to die a lot and stay with your team mates. A hook from pudge would just take you away from your team and he'll just eat you apart.


For a kill tether to an ally(stunners would be best) spirits and then relocate next to your opponent if they run they might survive, if they stay they'll die. Use Urn and Dagon if their not dead or leave your ally to finish them off.



Attachment 23438

P.S With this guide I've lost like 2 games with Io and won so much. If you would like me to put up images in games let me know and i'll try put some up on my spare time. I will try and get a replay up as soon as possible. Leave comments please

Thanks to XeNiM666 telling me where to go to make spoilers.
Thanks to Ramomar for showing me how
Special announcement to the mugs Skektorr and Sc0rch3R

Io the Guardian Wisp
Author: SayNoMore
Map Vers.: 6.68c

How I play Io

Io The Guardian Wisp

Date Posted: 08/03/10
Last Comment:21/01/2012
Total Votes: 63
Current Rating: 4.42
Views: 109569

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