Hero Stats and Abilities:
Mercurial, The Spectre
A guide by Motas
Mercurial, The Spectre
A guide by Motas
Instead of having me waste your time by giving you the abilities and everything that goes with the Spectre, just go to this link http://www.playdota.com/heroes/50
For beginner DotA players, Merc can be a hard hero to figure out. It takes quite a while to understand what makes this hero so special and not one of those joker heroes. Merc is not noob friendly, but when mastered, everyone will hate you and want you on their team. Ever since 6.60, Merc's potential and strategy is still becoming more evident
Mercurial is a hero with 2 passive skills, 1 nuke-like skill, as well as a map hack ultimate. She (yes, Mercurial is female) is an extremely fragile hero in the first stage of the game, thus making farming a top priority as well as surviving. If played right and given the right items, the Spectre will be feared by all enemy players. The mid-game stage is where the Spectre starts to shine and get kills. After the mid-game phase, the Spectre becomes a hero hunter as well as a pusher for the team.
-Attack animation can be cancelled for easy farming
-Great late-game hero killer
-Dispersion allows for easy pushing
-Ultimate is a map hack hehehehe
-Very fragile hero in early game
-Must be map aware at all times (this can be a pro or a con depending on the player)
-Very item dependant
Hero Level | Skill Point (Level of skill)
1. Spectral Dagger (L1)
2. Desolate (L1)
3. Spectral Dagger (L2)
4. Desolate (L2)
5. Spectral Dagger (L3)
6. Haunt (L1)
7. Spectral Dagger (L4)
8. Desolate (L3)
9. Desolate (L4)
10. Dispersion (L1)
11. Haunt (L2)
12. Dispersion (L2)
13. Dispersion (L3)
14. Dispersion (L4)
16. Haunt (L3)
The remake of Merc in 6.60, was an added vision applied to the Spectral Dagger Path. This was added to help the Spectre use the dagger for scouting purposes. The purpose of this item build is to provide the Spectre with attack speed and movement speed. This is because you will be chasing heroes all game with the Spectre. If you have the element of surprise, it doesn't matter how fragile you are.
vs vs Power Treads vs Phase Boots vs Boots of Travel:
There is a legitimate case for all three forms of footwear and this may come down to player preference.
Personally, this guide will prefer the use of Power Treads (Str) because of the added survivablilty.
The attack speed is critical in the early portions of the game for farming, but not completely necessary. You really don't need treads until you start killing and chasing heroes. If you find that you can't chase heroes, (unlikely) Boots of Travel are preferred for the movement speed. You really don't need the Phase Boots because the Spectral Dagger Path gives you zero collision.
EARLY TO MID GAME:
For the Spectre, Early Game is classified as level one through until you get your core item (it could last a while if you're doing poorly)
Early Game Items (What you want at the end of early game)
X3 (preferably X2)
For the Spectre, surviving is the main goal as well as farming.
The items you get should vary depending on the situation. For the most part, you'll want this for your -ap 5v5 matches:
X4 X9 charges
You can go further (with more money of course) to make the circlet a Wraith Band. But you'll want to get Treads ASAP.
Harass the enemy with your level 2 Spectral Dagger if they are a fragile hero, if not, conserve your mana for your first chase/escape. You can also use it to get fast creep kills as well as harass if its aimed right. Only chase them if you really feel that you can get a kill. Never chase past a tower, you are guaranteed to die even if you kill the hero.
Most of all, the single most important thing for the Spectre is to last hit. Without money, the Spectre is useless. You need to survive in your lane as long as possible in order to get the most from your money. Use a courier or share your friends if it is doable.
Finish off your treads and then start building your wraith bands, depending on how the game goes, you'll want anywhere from 1-3 Wraith Bands. Afterwards, move on to getting two Blades of Alacrity. They add to your damage (being an Agility hero).
Diffusal is a core item due to a number of reasons. It is decent on most chasers especially because of the Agility bonus. Including stats, gives a total of 22 Agility as well as an added 6 Int. The best part about Diffusal is the Feedback and the Purge. It helps deplete mana so the enemy cannot fight back as well. The Purge helps you with early ganks and chasing opponents.
ITEMS GOING INTO LATEGAME
By itself, BKB is an amazing item. This whould only be obtained if the enemies are miraculously able to nuke you into submission even after you've chased them down.
Vlads should only be obtained if no one else on your team has it. Every team should have at least one teamate with it. If you're by yourself, don't get it.
GOOD LUXURY PICKS:
Manta is a great addon to a great hero. What better than to up your agility even more, and split into three Specs all with the Desolate and Feedback ability.
Crit will apply to both you and your images, as well as added attack damage, which makes it a good pick for the Spectre.
In truth, heart is a luxury item on every hero, it goes for the Spectre as well. As the game goes longer, heart will add to your survivability against the massive tanks that you may try to take down.
Though it adds great attack damage, the burn effect of the Radiance allows chasing to be a little easier. Damaging opponents while you chase them. Haunt images also get its effect, making it a must have for the Spectre.
Though it's an Agility item, it has bad synergy sith Dispersion. In any case, the MKB counters it, and you'll have all the attack speed you'll need without it anyway.
At first, MoM seems great for producing a burst of attack speed to crank up the damage Desolate deals to the opponent, while providing a healing effect while laning between fights. It will onlt slow you down on your way to get your core.
Dagon is mostly ridiculous on many tank-ish and DPS heroes. Sure it can be upgraded 5 times, but it's not really worth it. It may net you a few kills, but come late-game, you're gonna wish you didn't get it.
Hyperstone is usually better suited to strength heroes, because their primary stat doesn't give them any speed. Your core items will give you enough attack speed. You don't need this boost.
When I end the Game:
My items usually end up like this at the end of the game: (If the game is somehow drawn out this long)
A few notes:
1. The items (in order to be obtained) is treads, followed by 1-3 Wraith Bands for upped stats and survivability, then Diffusal, then you should get Manta or Radiance. After that get Heart or get the Manta/Radiance that you didn't get.
2. In most games, the game should end by the time you get heart.
Explanation for the order:
Treads get you ready for ganks and chases around mid-game. The Wraith Bands make surviving a little easier as well as getting kills in ganks. Alacrity Blades up your DPS as you go for Diffusal.
From this point, its up to the player.
You can either:
From here, get heart for increased survivablilty as well as great synergy with Dispersion.
How to Play as the Spectre:
Much of the commentary about how to play The Spectre has already been covered in the other sections, but I'll provide a brief summary here. For strategy purposes we'll divide this section into a few categories.
No matter what game you're playing, the most critical basic skill that you need to learn is orb walking. Not really, the Spectre's attack animation has an interesting feature. As sson as you see the damage on the enemy (usually a creep) immediately click to move somewhere and then immediately back to attack the creep. In this way, the Spectre doesn't let the chakram have a backswing. This can quickly be cancelled to go into another attack. In this way it is like orb-walking, except no orb is involved, and you're not really walking, more like attacking.
Crossing Any Terrain:
Wait, did I hear that right? Crossing any terrain? That's right! The Spectre can cross any terrain. All you have to do is hurl the Dagger in any direction. Whether it be up a cliff in the river or through the trees to attack an opponent, or maybe to escape your enemies. Once the Dagger is thrown, simply continue to click the direction you want to go until the Spectre crosses the terrain. She can do this because the Dagger gives Merc zero collision with everything.
It can be a great way to freak out your opponents, stay in the trees, use the Dagger through the trees and then come out of the trees to chase down your opponent. That'll keep him freaked out and just a bit paranoid.
In order to use the Dagger effectively, shift-clicking can be used to ease your burden. Simply hurl the dagger and then hold down shift, from there, proceed to right click where you want Merc to go. Right click a path up the terrain and She'll follow it easily.
When chasing someone (such as Magina), if you targeted them with Dagger, and simply right-click to attack them, Spec will follow them using the shortest path available, usually bypassing most ledges.
Here's an example (with pictures )
Here's the wall I will attempted to pass through.
This is where I launch the dagger
This is where I cross the terrain.
The end result.
Early kills with the Spectre:
The Spectre has a method to quickly get kills in the early game stage, as soon as you get haunt, you are a potent threat. Before this however, you can assassinate any hero that is in your lane provided they are alone. Make sure your dagger is at least level 2 before attempting this, it also helps if Desolate has 1-3 levels as well. Attack them with the Spectral Dagger and run through the creep wave. The Dagger will slow them down and speed you up.
At this point, one of a few things can affect the outcome. If the opponent has no idea what the Spectre is capable of, he'll probably run away. That is the dumbest thing an opponent could do. Desolate is activated if the enemy is by himself with no creeps or friends. This adds damage that cuts through his armor. If he runs into the forest, you can totally kill him no problem.
A smart player will stay and fight you with his creeps. For this reason, make sure the creeps are dead or a really close to death before you attack. After you get the Manta Style, it doesn't matter how many creeps he has, your images will kill the creeps. Wanna know what the best part of Manta is? The best part is that the images get the Desolate ability as well. Their attacks are also cutting through the enemy's defense.
Though the term sounds bad, it really isn't (for you). When the Spectre uses Haunt, an image of the Spectre appears next to every single enemy hero in the game for a few seconds. By now, you may have noticed that once you've researched Haunt:
What is that? That my friends, is your map hack. It allows the Spectre to take the position of any image of her on the field.
Let's take this scenario for example.
You are at your base perhaps healing or purchasing items, while doing so, you look at your map. You notice the enemy Butcher Pudge by himself (no creeps) in his own lane with only half his HP. Perfect!!! Activate Haunt by pressing the hotkey ("T") and look on the map where he is. An image of you will appear next to him and start attacking. Immediately press the hotkey for Reality ("R") and click near your image. You appear next to Pudge fully healed and equipped with some items, now take him down!
At this point, there are 2 different approaches to this chase.
1. Click on the Manta Style and watch Pudge die.
2. Get ready for a long chase into the woods or somewhere else.
In either situation, if he starts to run, throw the Dagger at him and finish him.
For situation 2, throw the Dagger at him before you start attacking, it is a pretty good nuke remember.
If you are playing the Spectre right, everyone will hate you by the end of the match, except for your teammates. You should even be able to kill heroes with full HP whenever you want. This is when the game gets fun. You very quickly establish a level gap of 2 or 3 on each of the enemies. Not to mention the enemy will have nightmares about the Spectre for the rest of their lives (at least for the rest of the game).
Be careful though, not all Spectre players are invincible, just watch this video.
It's EPIC, watch it at 1:46 for the Spectre.
Here's a match where I played the Spectre in a 5v5
I get a few lame deaths, but overall its a pretty good match.
(The zero collision caused me a problem, but it was worth it)
Here's a pro replay I found with the Spectre. 5v5 -ap mode
Sure its in 6.59d, but it still brings out the best of the Spectre.
She escapes through the forest using the Dagger, and other ganking techniques. The player goes for a Radiance after the 3 Wraith Bands.
Just remember to have fun with Merc the Spectre.
I'd like to thank IceFrog for making DotA (especially 6.60)