Medusa, the Gorgon
Hello, my name is tormodpwns and I have been playing DotA since 6.49, almost two years ago. I have always found Medusa an interesting hero to play, because her late game power comes not from skills but items. More on that... below.
Str 14 + 1.85
AGI 20 + 2.5
Int 19 + 2.25
Attack Range 600
So as we can see, she is an AGI hero. Her base strength of a mere 14 is the lowest in the game, tied with Pugna. Her growth of 1.85 is average, but Medusa has a skill that boosts her EHP. Her primary attribute agility is typical of late game heroes. However, Medusa only has an average base of 20 and a rather low growth of 2.5. Her late game comes not from base agility but DPS from items. Intelligence is her third stat. 19 base is not bad, but a 2.25 growth is excellent. That's good, because Medusa needs her mana.
+very powerful late game
+difficult to kill
+good lane control
-awful base HP
-low base armor
-rather vulnerable mid game
Medusa is a late-game beast. She does not have ownage late game skills like omnislash, chronosphere, or some kind of critical strike. What she does have, however, is probably the best farming power in the game. She can easily, easily get every last-hit in a creep wave with just autoattacking. Her farming power gets her super-1337 items, allowing her to keep up with even the most traditional of carries.
Medusa magically splits her shot into four arrows. These arrows deal a lower percent of her normal damage.
Split shot targets the 3 closest targets to the primary target. The primary target is the only one who receives effects from orbs, buff placers, or attack modifiers. If no target is selected, the closest target becomes the primary target.
Once this skill levels up, it must be toggled off and on again to take the effect of the new level.
1. 45% damage
2. 55% damage
3. 65% damage
4. 75% damage
Medusa's "late game" skill. 75% damage is enough to easily last-hit creeps with autoattacking, hence her insane farming ability. At level 4, Medusa gets a massive 75% x 4 = 300% damage output, making her one of the best pushers/counterpushers in the game. This skill is also great for that "AoE" in teamfights.
A mystic snake made of energy jumps from target to target dealing damage and stealing some energy. After it reaches its last target, it jumps back to Medusa to replenish it with mana. The snake deals more damage and steals more mana per jump. The snake's power is increased by 20% each jump.
Mana Cost is 140/150/160/170. Cooldown 11 seconds. Cast range 800, bounces to units up to 500 away. Projectile moves at 633 speed towards targets, and moves at 833 speed when returning to Medusa.
Mana steal and damage dealt increases by 20% of base value with each bounce. Mana steal does not increase when it hits targets with no mana.
1. 80 damage, 20 mana, 3 jumps (4 targets)
2. 120 damage, 30 mana, 4 jumps (5 targets)
3. 160 damage, 40 mana, 5 jumps (6 targets)
4. 200 damage, 50 mana, 6 jumps (7 targets)
Your early game farming skill, late game "healing" skill (more on this later).
This was her old Chain Lightning, which was a crappy skill. The new Mystic Snake is very similar to Chain Lightning in many aspects (I think it's based off of it). Do not let the low numbers deceive you! The 20% increase with each target means a lot of damage for the last target. If you hit an enemy hero with the 6th jump at level 4, that means 200 + [200x0.2x(7-1)] = 440 damage! (without magic resistance factored in). Plus, Mystic Snake steals mana, so make sure you always hit the ranged creep with it, and hitting nearby heroes is also good. Those heroes will lose mana, and their mana will get returned to you, making the high cost of this spell not such a pain on your early mana pool.
Creates a shield that absorbs 50% of the incoming damage by using Medusa's mana.
Once you activate it, you must wait at least 10 seconds before you can activate it again. You can deactivate it during those 10 seconds.
1. Absorbs 0.75 damage for 1 mana.
2. Absorbs 1.25 damage for 1 mana.
3. Absorbs 1.5 damage for 1 mana.
4. Absorbs 2 damage for 1 mana.
Your tank skill. In the late game, when Medusa has no mana problems, Mana Shield should be permanently on, effectively reducing damage taken by half before factoring in armor. Of course, this also means that your armor will only be half as effective, because it is only reducing half damage. The damage taken to mana is pure (precise).
Any enemy units staring at the Gorgon will slowly turn to stone, removing status buffs and slowing all speed properties. Deals more damage to summoned units per level.
Mana Cost is 100/50/0. Cooldown is always 35 seconds. All units in an 800 AoE with looking at Medusa (direct line of sight) will be purged (slowed, and loses status buffs). Summoned units looking at Medusa take damage. Has a 0.6 second delay to take effect. Total purgable time is 4.4 seconds.
1. Slows by 50%, deals 600 damage to summons/illusions
2. Slows by 66%, deals 800 damage to summons/illusions
3. Slows by 80%, deals 1000 damage to summons/illusions
This skill used to be Purge. Now it's like an AoE Purge, but the unit must be looking at Medusa, reducing its usefulness drastically. It is not effective for chasing, but great for escaping. More on this later.
1. Mystic Snake
2. Mana Shield
3. Mystic Snake
4. Mana Shield
5. Mystic Snake
6. Stone Gaze
7. Mystic Snake
8. Mana Shield
9. Mana Shield
10. Split Shot
11. Split Shot or Stone Gaze
12. Split Shot
13. Split Shot
14. Stats or Split Shot
16. Stats or Stone Gaze
24. Stone Gaze or Stats
25. Stone Gaze or Stats
Standard build, just like the old Medusa. Mystic Snake replaces Chain Lightning as the early-game nuke and farming ability. Mana Shield is always gotten next for emergency purposes, and besides your damage won't be high enough for Split Shot's % to do much. Split Shot is then maxed for farming all throughout the rest of the game.
Some argue that 2 levels of stats beats 2 levels of Mana Shield in the early game, since you don't have enough mana to support both Mystic Snake and Mana Shield. That's true, but by the time you max Mana Shield at level 9 then you will have enough mana for both spells, plus Mystic Snake now usually steals enough mana to cover for most of its cost, if not more.
Besides, dealing Mana Shield by 2 levels means delaying Split Shot by 2 levels. Again there is an argument that Split Shot gets useful later, because the % scales better. However, with my build maxing Split Shot at level 14 is about the time your DPS gets high enough to own creeps with 75% damage autoattacking. It's also great for creeping neuts if you pushed too much.
Like the old Purge, Stone Gaze is gotten at level 6. Like the old Purge, it can then be left until levels 24 and 25, or it can be gotten at levels 11 and 16. I personally like the increase in slow, so I get it whenever possible (second option). But stats are fine too (first option).
Medusa's late game dominance comes completely 100% from items. Without items, Medusa is nothing. That is why item choice is very important for her.
This is what Medusa needs, combined with Split Shot, to start her farming. The Wraiths give HP and mana. But why not Bracers for more HP? The extra damage and attack speed from wratihs are amplified threefold by Split Shot. Besides, Mana Shield provides Medusa with all the EHP she needs. Treads are for DPS heroes. Getting Strength early is okay if you're paranoid about ganks, but use Agility when farming, and lategame it's going to be permanently agility anyways (remember the damage is tripled).
WTF EoS? Yep. It used to be a final luxury item for the old Medusa. Of course, times are achangin', and Medusa is no exception. The old Purge provided her with an extremely reliable (60 mana, 8 second cd) slow that reduced movespeed by an astonishing 80%! The new Stone Gaze is not so much for chasing as it is for escaping, or stopping ulti'd Svens and Omniknights. It can be used to chase, but only with insane reaction speed, anticipation, and exprience in the game which will be discussed below. Anyways, EoS gives you the slow that you currently lack and need. +25 stats and 200 HP/150 mana gives Medusa crazy DPS, HP, and mana, all boosting farming skill and EHP.
Some say the cost of EoS is too much. But the recipe cost was made cheaper in a recent version. Also, the parts come in pieces of 2.1k and 1.2k, which isn't too much to ask for considering Medusa's amazing farming and escaping (I like GTFO'ing) power. Be glad you're not a Radiance carrier who needs a 3.8k item.
Yasha is gotten next for the pure DPS it gives. Actually, it might not be the best DPS item for its price, but it also gives invaluable movespeed for extra chasing.
Butterfly. The ultimate DPS item. You have all the survivability you need from EoS and mana shield, chase speed from EoS and Yasha, what you need now is more DPS for hero-owning. Butterfly gives you that +60 damage, +60 IAS, and also 4.2 armor and 30% evasion to further boost your insane EHP.
Manta is also a great item to great because it upgrades your Yasha. It provides more imba stats for you, and increases your pushing power to insane limits. Sell a Wraith to get room for that Ultimate Orb.
Most guides have a "Rejected Items" section simply for the sake of having such a section. They have obvious stuff like "no Aghanim's on Riki" or "Buriza is rejected on Tinker". Of course, that's redundant and just fills up space and wastes time. Here is my section of actually viable items that I reject:
"decent buildup, gives great tanking from regen and spellblock"
Hm... buildup is decent I guess because your Perseverance can be made in the lane. However Ultimate Orbs are still 2.1k (albeit you only need one). The regen is decent early game, but I reject Perseverance a lot because late game that regen is not very important (especially because Medusa only takes half damage, and can instantly refill her mana! (more on this later).
+15 stats are nice, but Skadi gives +25. Spellblock is also nice, but remember, it's based off of the ladder item, meaning it only blocks ladder-based skills. With the complexity of DotA-Allstars these days, most skills use cool stuff like triggers and dummy units and stuff I don't understand, but I know that those skills do not activate Linken's. And lots of skills start Linken's cd but do not get blocked. So Spellblock is quite useless in my opinion.
"great farming items, gets Medusa gold better than the old Razor"
I used to get this item as a core on the old Purge Medusa. It was all right then because you had a slow skill, but now you need chasing power. Besides, Mjollnir only releases 200 damage on 3 units every 5 hits or so. That's 600 damage. On that lightning hit, your Split Shot is negated. True, Split Shot won't do 600 damage (unless 75% of your attack is 150 damage which is possible late-late game), but it does something around 300-400. That extra 200 damage every 5 hits is 40 damage per hit, which you can get from other items at a much more efficient DPS-gold ratio.
"good AGI and INT for tanking and DPS, provides you with Purge again!"
EoS also gives you slow, and it's unlimited and activates all the time on top of that. And EoS gives more AGI and INT.
"the laning stage"
Assuming you picked Medusa and you have 5 allies, you start with 603 gold. I like to go 2 Circlets, 1 Branch, and 6 tangoes. +5 to all stats early game is invaluable. Six tangoes sounds like a bit overkill, but you never know who you're going to be laning against.
Medusa is not the most aggressive lane partner who has multiple stuns and nukes for great combos, but neither is she the passive laner who is very fragile and needs 12 tangoes just to last to level 6. Her Mystic Snake is an in-between skill, that does pretty good damage and steals mana, but does not disable or slow the enemy.
Solo or dual lane is fine. A solo lane means more last hits, while a dual lane could result in an early kill with Mystic Snake harassing and your ally's nukes. Both are good.
Your goal is to grab as many last hits as possible, with denies coming second priority. Stay safe, and never tower dive (because of your super-low starting HP and armor) unless it's a sure, 100% guaranteed kill. Swap lanes if necessary, for example an ally needs help, or there's an early push going on. However, don't force yourself into participating in ganks because frankly, you have no ganking skills, and you should be focusing on farming. After all, you need the items the most.
Under the best circumstances, you should be forced to return to base for the first time at around level 8 or 9 to heal after all your tangoes are gone. If this happens, your goal should be maybe 2000-2500 gold, enough for Treads, and finishing or working on Wraiths (upgrade your Circlets). Leave the branch as is, don't sell it.
Under average circumstances, you may return to base at around level 5 or 6. 1000-1500 gold is a good sum to aim for. If this happens, your first priority is to finish Wraiths, and then work on Treads, with Boots coming first.
Continue farming until...
"the ganking stage"
Ahh... mid game is the dangerous time for most carries. Ganks are frequent. Medusa cannot gank effectively, because of a lack of a reliable slow/disable. Speaking of which, it's time to explain why Stone Gaze is NOT an effective chasing tool.
The old Purge was great because all you had to do was click "g", click the enemy, and they were instantly slowed 80% and owned. The new Stone Gaze only slows units looking at you; a fleeing enemy is looking away from you, so Gaze will not work. The only way to use Gaze to chase is as follows:
You are having a face to face duel with, say, Death Prophet. Her ult is on cooldown, and even with the occassional Carrion Swarm, she's getting owned by your high damage. If you can predict the exact moment that DP will turn around and run, then activate Gaze just before that moment and DP will get slowed promptly before she turns to run. Of course, this kind of timing is insane, and so generally we use Gaze when we are fleeing. Just turn on Gaze and anybody chasing you (who will also be looking at you) will get slowed, allowing you to GTFO.
Good. Anyways, your goal in the mid game is to farm, and stay alive. Mystic Snake should be used frequently as your main farming tool, but remember to continue the last-hits. Never push too far into enemy territory. If you ever feel at unease or there are missing heroes on the map, turn on Mana Shield and go somewhere safe. Remember, a death cuts back greatly on your farming, and items are what you need for late game.
to be continued...