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Most Concise Drow Ranger Alt-Tab Guide
The fourth of the longest alt-tab guides in existence.
by Melderv

Latest Changes:
  • June 23, 2013 - Updated to 6.78b, featuring the new Drow Ranger! It has no Dota 2 counterpart for now. Comment if you want one.


  1. Foreword
  2. Introduction
  3. Playstyle
  4. Drow Ranger's Skills
  5. Skill Build
  6. Item Builds
  7. General Strategy
  8. Counters
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Conclusion
  11. Replays
  12. Credits
  13. Changelog


This guide was written by a Filipino whose native language is not English. Comments? Debates? Suggestions? Share you Drow Ranger knowledge in the comments section on the right!

Traxex, the Drow Ranger is my first DotA Hero ever, and she is not a hard Hero at all. Most of you will probably look this guide up as a reference, as there are few advanced skills required to play Drow Ranger.

Since my first version was 6.49b, I was totally confused as to why her Ultimate was changed, and even got the impression DotA Heroes changed that fast (but was wrong).

And now she has been changed yet again, into a threat both inside and outside of battle. Her aura is now a global damage-dealing monster based on her agility for ranged units, and the only way to stop it is to get danger-close to her at all times. Not only that, it also functions as a lethal pushing mechanism outside a fight for all ranged units involved.

Now, why make a guide about this simplistic Hero? I mean, no complexities are even involved, and she completely goes off-track compared to your recent guides. The answer is: I just like Drow Ranger in general, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you about her.

Enjoy reading this guide to Drow Ranger! This is aimed at both beginning and experienced players!

History: This is Traxex's history in a table starting from 6.70.

6.70-6.71bNo changes.
6.72Restored Drow Ranger's night vision from 800 to 1800.
6.72b-6.72fNo changes.
6.73Base Agility increased by 4.
6.73b-6.73cNo changes.
6.74Silence AoE increased from 275 to 300.
6.74b-6.74cNo changes.
6.75Frost Arrow's slow increased from 50% to 60% at Level 4. Marksmanship Level 3 agility bonus increased from 45 to 60. Trueshot Aura damage bonus increased from 7/14/21/28% to 8/16/24/32%. Silence cooldown decreased from 15 to 13.
6.75bNo changes.
6.76Trueshot Aura mechanics reworked. Changed how Marksmanship bonus agility is granted.
6.76bNo changes.
6.76cBase armor decreased by 2. Marksmanship focus AoE increased from 375 to 400.
6.77Trueshot Aura now only affects non-hero units within 900 range.
6.77bNo changes.
6.77cMarksmanship bonus agility is removed when there are nearby enemy Heroes (instead of just being halved).
6.78Trueshot Aura increased from 14/18/22/26% to 16/20/24/28%.
6.78bNo changes.



Here we explain my perspective about Drow Ranger.

I play Drow Ranger rather sparingly nowadays, because I find it hard to farm effectively with her and to participate in clashes compared to other carries. However, it doesn't require a very skilled player to make her strong, and so we this guide is for teaching others how to make the most of that strength, how to add a little more, and to clear up a few things about her.

Here are Drow Ranger's major points:

Map Awareness: Drow Ranger is a hard carry. Hard carries function best at late game, and to keep them at bay, they are often the target of early ganks because of being fragile and weak. Good map awareness is required to keep an eye on every important thing happening all around the map, because Drow Ranger is susceptible to a large amount of death threats.

Attributes: Drow Ranger's gains are average, but she makes up for it with Marksmanship. Like I said earlier, Marksmanship gives her a significant boost each time she levels it up, so getting it is key to overpowering your enemies even with little items. Her attack range is one of the farthest (625) and movement speed is average. Her Armor is average as well as her base damage. She also have full night vision, compared to other Heroes (1800 instead of 800).

Keep in mind, I'm not trying to be redundant with the word average, it just is the word I use to gauge strength. Others are: poor, below average, above average, excellent.

Items: Drow Ranger is item dependent. She is not overly item dependent, but she cannot survive without items. She is an average item dependent carry. Unlike Soul Keeper, who cannot live without items, she manages to retain part of her power using Marksmanship, a quality unique to this Hero.

Gold and EXP: Drow Ranger does not farm easily. She has no AoE spell to clear creeps, nor does she have any burst damage skill (like Dwarven Sniper's Assassinate) or a map control skill (like Spectre's Haunt). Take note that I can only compare her to other hard carries. She relies solely on your last hitting skills and attack damage to hastily kill creeps/waves.

Skills: Her Frost Arrows is considered one of the best slows. She also has one of the longest silences, as well as being AoE. She has a mediocre aura, and a "steroid" Ultimate. All lead to her being a carry that can usually gank (with her slow and night vision) and counter spellcasters (with her Silence).

Here are a few reasons why to pick Drow Ranger for your games:
  • Farming Skill: You can keep on farming for a set period without going off-track. This is very important. The key words are "set period" and "off-track", the two weaknesses of most players who carry. Some players tend to overfarm, so to speak. All that they do is farm the entire game without contributing much to the team. That's bad. The other thing is not farming enough. They are easily distracted by the urge to kill or gank, and do not have the proper mindset to farm.
  • Raw Power: You like Heroes that boast great strength. Drow Ranger will often be on the limelight for being exceptionally strong. They know you can be that strong, but still, she will hurt a lot and her presence will make a difference.
  • Gamebreaking: You like Heroes that make a difference. One of her abilities that do that is Silence. A 6-second silence for the team is, simply, gamebreaking. This is one of the skills that matter. Another is her Ultimate, Marksmanship, which provides an insane amount of raw agility to her, and a percentage to other ranged units.



Hard Carry: A hard carry needs to farm for, again, a set period of time without going off-track. Set an amount of time and dedicate that time to farming. Looking for open lanes, killing neutrals as you move, avoiding ganks, and participating in won battles are key to giving you the farm you need. But do not overfarm. Once you reach your core, stop being dedicated to farming and participate in team fights.

NOTE: Do not choose Drow Ranger if you have two (or even just one) allied Heroes competing for your farming. All of you will fail.

Ganker: Part of Drow Ranger's presence can be devoted to ganking. Why let an amazing slow go to waste? Why not use her Silence? These are questions I ask newer players, and they can only answer with "damage". Well, not everything must be about damage, my friends.



Drow Ranger

Background Story: Traxex was a skilled archer in her oppressive underground homeland, the Underdark, until she grew sick of her kin's evil ways and fled to the surface world. As a part of her resolution, she joined the Sentinel, bringing her excellent marksmanship to the fray. Some of her abilities include stripping magical beings of their voices, and enchanting her arrows with an icy cold. While such powers are valuable, her true origin will never cease to linger around in the judging eyes of others.

Custom Story: You feel nothing when you are hit. A cold so chilling embraces each arrow of the Drow Ranger, numbing your senses to a sheer halt. Magic is frozen as the voice from your throat dwindles to nothing. Help is but a scream away, but none will hear you. You are merely a target of this ranger's unparalleled marksmanship; each arrow shoots true and as bitter as the freezing cold. You feel nothing when you die.

Just wanted to sneak it in. /ninja

Strength - 17 + [1.9]
Agility - 26 + [1.9]
Intelligence - 15 + [1.4]

Attack Range:625

Frost Arrows - (Active, Unit, Enemies)
____________________Induces a freezing effect to the Hero's attacks. Each attack slows the enemy's movement and attack rates. Does not affect magic immune units.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
1120625N/A1.5/7Slows attack speed by 5% and movement speed by 11%.
2120625N/A1.5/7Slows attack speed by 10% and movement speed by 24%.
3120625N/A1.5/7Slows attack speed by 15% and movement speed by 37%.
4120625N/A1.5/7Slows attack speed by 20% and movement speed by 60%.

  • This skill does not stack, but is prolonged on successive casts.

  • The first duration is on Heroes, and the second is on creeps.

  • This skill is an Orb Effect as well as a Buff Placer.

  • This skill does not work on magic immune units.

Silence - (Active, Area, Enemies)
____________________Stops all enemies in a target area from casting spells. Casting range of 900, AoE of 300, and cooldown of 13 seconds.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
190139003003Enemies affected cannot cast spells.
290139003004Enemies affected cannot cast spells.
390139003005Enemies affected cannot cast spells.
490159003006Enemies affected cannot cast spells.

  • This skill does not include items and their active abilities.

  • This skill disables Permanent Invisibility.

  • The skill does not work on magic immune units.

Trueshot Aura - (Passive, Allied Ranged Units)
____________________An aura that gives all allied ranged units bonus damage based on your agility. Gives a percentage of your agility as damage.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
1N/AN/AN/A900N/AGives 16% of your agility as damage.
2N/AN/AN/A900N/AGives 20% of your agility as damage.
3N/AN/AN/A900N/AGives 24% of your agility as damage.
4N/AN/AN/A900N/AGives 28% of your agility as damage.

  • Can be toggled on and off to affect creeps or not.

  • This affects allied ranged creeps within 900 range, but is Global for allied ranged Heroes.

Marksmanship - (Passive, Self)
____________________The Ranger's accuracy has increased. Bonus is removed if there are nearby enemy heroes within 375 AoE.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
1N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AAdds 40 Agility.
2N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AAdds 60 Agility.
3N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AAdds 80 Agility.

  • One of the coolest looking icons in my opinion.



1. Silence
2. Frost Arrows
3. Frost Arrows
4. Trueshot Aura
5. Frost Arrows
6. Marksmanship
7. Frost Arrows
8. Silence
9. Silence
10. Silence
11. Marksmanship
12. Trueshot Aura
13. Trueshot Aura
14. Trueshot Aura
15. Stats
16. Marksmanship

Justification (Standard): Silence is the skill that will keep drow rapists at bay during those annoyingly expected tri-lane first blood attempts. I always take it as my first skill, but only because a 11% movement speed slow for one person is not going to make any difference. It's like Venomancer's Poison Attack. Ahh, so now you remember how shitbrix the slow is by itself.

What happens next is we completely forget about it until we reach Level 8, where we can prolong the duration of the silence during those vital team fights. Nifty.

Frost Arrows is taken second but maxed out first. This is one helluva slow considering not all people feel the need to buy a Boots of Speed when everybody's Level 7 but you do, and well, a 60% movement slow and chasing becomes much more efficient. Not only are you going to force them to at least consider buying BoS when they can't escape from you and your supposed lane partner, but... okay, that's pretty much all you're doing.

I'll discuss Orb Walking with this skill later on in General Strategy. Just remember that Frost Arrows overrides every other orb you give Drow Ranger. Which means that you do not slow when you add Lifesteal. I'll be talking about this also on General Strategy.

Trueshot Aura is taken at Level 4 when it is most rewarding. For 16% more damage based on your agility at Level 1, all the other upgrades are obviously worth taking only later in the game (for 4% more each).

Marksmanship gives you the biggest boost in AGI in the game from just one skill. It makes no sense not to take it. You'll particularly feel it the most during Level 6, when you have piss-poor AGI at the beginning.

Keep in mind, 1 point of AGI gives Drow Ranger: +1 attack speed, +1 damage, and 0.14 Armor. 7 points of AGI gives her a full 1 point of Armor.

Justification (Ranged Team Build): The main difference is the presence of Trueshot Aura early over Silence, to the point that we substitute Stats for it at Level 4.

The first situation why you will follow this build is when there is not much threat coming from spellcasters, and you are the only carry they are relying on. This is highly unlikely in an organized game. Why? The enemy will always prioritize early gamers over late carries. Also, the skill build relies on your farming skills so bad, that you must have some tier item by the end of Level 11 just to make use of this build.

The second choice for picking this build is because you have a ranged damage-dealing team, or a ranged pushing team. Trueshot Aura gives a global damage boost for your allies (as well as catapults within 900 range) so it makes for an excellent pushing strat when coupled with another overpowering pusher.

This is highly effective if you've farmed early or have successfully ganked with your amazing slow, and you're looking to boost you and your team's damage early. Take it at your own risk and pleasure.

Justification (HotD Build): Trueshot Aura is taken after one safety level of Silence. It is your main damage source early on. The idea is to forget much of Frost Arrows and focus on a much more damage-oriented Drow Ranger. This gives up most of your chasing capabilities in favor for more damage. This is the Ultimate carry build.

Frost Arrows is taken at Level 4 to orb-walk. That's pretty much it. If necessary, you can take it again to max it at Level 12 and beyond, but as you can see, it is easily replaced by Stats instead. This is a no-gank, all-farm Drow.

Silence is taken at Level 1, as stated before, and maxed out by Level 10 to ensure clash functionality and no retaliation from spellcasters when you need it.

Stats may be taken starting from Level 12 as a single point or as continuous points throughout the later levels. If you took it as a single point at 12, you will max out Frost Arrows at Level 15.




Justification: Power Treads is the main item for Drow Ranger over all the Boots (more on this later). The biggest reason is the additional STR and the attack speed early on. She can also switch to AGI when farming, and if lacking a little mana, to INT to cast that vital Silence. No other Boots would provide this benefits in one go. As usual, other Boots are discussed in the "Which Boots?" tab. Don't keep it on AGI all the time.

Lothar's Edge is your main escape mechanism and ganking mechanism. Yes, it is easily countered by True Sight, which I assume organized games would have. However, you have no innate escape mechanisms in you and there are no other items that would give what she wants in one buying: additional damage and escape mechanism. Yes, the raw damage from this item is not manipulated by Trueshot Aura, but the item still holds as one of her core items.

Wraith Bands gives Drow Ranger an early boost on AGI and damage. The most you should get in one game is two. Never go beyond that amount. Why? It would delay your build, and you would not have enough space in your inventory for a life-saving Scroll of Town Portal.

Magic Wand, although sometimes it would delay, should be your survival item throughout the game. You even build it first (see Build Progression). While you'll be unlikely to be participating in many team clashes, you're not likely to use the charges either because of your low manacost spells (12 for Frost Arrows; 90 for Silence). The idea is to store the charges until you reach the maximum and keep them with you in the event that you're ganked to save your life if necessary.

Scroll of Town Portal should be with you at all times. Remember to visit the side shops when you can if you didn't have enough money to buy it from your base.



Side Lane

Starting Items: You hardly need mana consumables at this time, nor ever, so you'll be getting a Healing Salve to prolong your stay in the lane instead. A quick tip when going to the side lanes is to avoid buying things that you can buy at the goblin shops. Also, this build leaves you with enough money to buy a Magic Wand recipe (not the Scroll of Town Portal) should you want to build it first. It would need only 200 gold more to finish it up.

Goals: Get Power Treads, stay alive. Unless you have a competent lane partner, just focus on last hitting. Make it your priority. Your attack animation should be quite slow for now. What you should ask for in the very beginning is a baby-sitter (a healer, supporter) that would not compete for last hitting and keep you alive during your laning phase.

Farming: Last hitting should be your top priority. Not only is it hard enough to make up for lost time due to dying or doing something else, you don't even have any skill to help you with that problem.

Pulling: If you're taking the pull lanes, pull if you're both ranged, and make it fast. Otherwise, stay to defend if your friend is melee.

Sent-Top/Scourge-Bottom: This one's harder since you cannot pull back your wave nearer to the tower, and they will likely pull them back towards theirs. Never stray too deep into the enemy territory. You won't survive an organized gank if you do. Just stay back and last hit.

Harassing: Orb-walking is possible with Frost Arrows. With a competent lane partner, you can gain a kill by slowing your enemies' movement speed and combining it with a stun or a burst slow is quite powerful. Remember to make harassing a low priority, and never forget your last hitting. Harass the melee Heroes to make them think twice about venturing into your range and to dominate the lane.

Wrap Up: Get your core items and start moving on to bigger creeps if you can. Farm open lanes and try to avoid ganks that involve too little allies. You risk yourself valuable time if you fail and die.



Honestly, I've already mentioned Drow Ranger's greatest enemies on the "Rival Build" tab, and on the "Clashes" tab. Instead of posting disablers and the like, let me focus on other hard carries that she cannot take. We are talking of equal strength and skill here. However, let's still include the obvious counters, and begin with them.

Justification: Burst nukes will shred you. Examples shown are Laser, Light Strike Array, and Brain Sap. With your little HP, this is an obvious counter to you.

Justification: Ultimate disables that go through BKB are your biggest threats. Examples shown are Fiend's Grip, Dismember, and Netherswap. Exercise much more caution when facing these Heroes.

Justification: Lane controllers hamper your early game. I'll cite three specific examples. Gyrocopter with his Flak Cannon and Homing Missile, Ancient Apparition with Cold Feet and Ice Vortex, and Keeper of the Light with his Illuminate and Mana Leak. These won't allow you to farm at all. Switch lanes.

Justification: Troll Warlord, ranged or not, is one of your biggest threats. He will likely also take Lothar's Edge for ganking and escaping, so you two are equal rivals. What he can do is take you on 1v1. Lifesteal is his major orb and he will outlast you if he manages to stop you from attacking with his Bash. Battle Trance will readily tip the strength to his favor, so watch out.

Justification: Faceless Void loves 1v1, to the point that he pauses both his allies and his enemies in time. He has Backtrack, a triggered heal that stacks fully with Evasion. He also has Time Lock, which is just a fancy way of saying Bash. I already mentioned Chronosphere, but it can be stopped by a good Silence. Unless you're able to kite him, there's not much you can actually do.

Justification: Murloc Nightcrawler loves stats and you have a lot of AGI. Watch as he takes them away from you using Essence Shift if you fight 1v1. Not only that, you can do anything but watch as he uses Shadow Dance, and you can't keep your distance because of Pounce. Dark Pact doubles as a buff remover, so careful not to Silence him too early.

Justification: Phantom Assasin has refined her Hero-killing skills to a high degree. This is the description of the skill that will kill you faster than you think. Not only that, you can't use Silence against it. Finally, she has Blur to evade part of your attacks, and slow you down to a crawl with Stifling Dagger. Think twice about fighting this Hero alone.

Justification: A Slithereen Guard will first mark you with Amplify Damage, and there's not much you can do about it. You're gonna get that buff on you with or without Silence. Without that buff, you have a higher chance of winning, but he also has Bash and Slithereen Crush to, umm, crush you if you choose to fight. If you don't, he has Sprint to chase you down, obviously, and that Lothar's Edge won't work, because now you're tracked by Amplify Damage.



Middle Lane

It's easy to get to Level 6 at middle lane, but here are his problems: No lane control and no base damage to last hit. Even Mortred has better laning prowess than Drow Ranger (at least she has Stifling Dagger). So middle lane is certainly a no-no if your enemies are rather skilled.

Just the same argument from my other guide.



Again, I hope you learned a new Hero. Drow Ranger, as I said, is my very first Hero. Watching others play, and improving from how I play, led me to write this guide on her to share my insights. Have fun using her to her best!

There are many ways to play Drow Ranger, but there are better ways of using her potential to its maximum!

Final Words: My Alt-Tab series of strategy guides are meant to display as much helpful information as possible without the unnecessary portions. They are not meant for Spotlight guides, with their fancy pictures and video tutorials. That is, in my opinion, extremely time-consuming. It deviates from my purpose, which is to have fun while writing this guide to communicate with others in the DotA community. I like to maintain clean and simple updated works which are just as rich in content as most good guides are.



Coming soon!



None, really. The usual goes to whoever deserves them. I gave due credit on specific parts, anyway. Thanks to you, though, for reading my guide from start to finish.



  • December 18, 2010 - Started the guide.
  • December 19, 2010 - Finished the guide.
  • December 21, 2010 - HotD Build is under construction to the guide.
  • December 23, 2010 - Finalized HotD builds.
  • December 25, 2010 - Updated to 6.70, Merry Christmas!
  • January 23, 2011 - Updated to 6.71.
  • April 8, 2011 - Made a few corrections.
  • April 15, 2011 - Added new information about MKB.
  • May 1, 2011 - Updated fully to 6.72.
  • May 5, 2011 - Updated fully to 6.72b.
  • June 14, 2011 - Updated fully to 6.72c.
  • April 22, 2012 - Updated to 6.74c.
  • June 23, 2013 - Updated to 6.78b, featuring the new Drow Ranger! It has no Dota 2 counterpart for now. Comment if you want one.


Traxex the Drow Ranger
Author: Melderv
Map Vers.: 6.72b

Traxex Alt-Tab Guide

Most Concise Drow Ranger Guide

Date Posted: 12/17/10
Last Comment:23/06/2013
Total Votes: 172
Current Rating: 8.59
Views: 605140

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