Mitochy's Guide to SyllaBear, the Lone Druid 6.66b
Competitive Play Viable
The ugly face of Syllabear
======| Foreword |======
Competitive Play Viable
The ugly face of Syllabear
======| Foreword |======
Everyone and their grandmas know that the role of Syllabear is Carry. But unlike other carries, Sylla is very effective pusher as well due to Bear’s demolish. Sylla also has no trouble farming since he is able to jungle very well since level 1 without having to be babysitted, and he is very hard to kill thanks to high HP from True form. Syllabear is a strong carry himself; although not as strong as a Void or Phantom Lancer late game, he is able to get decent item much earlier and dominates the game by fast pushing. All in all, Syllabear is a carry hero that fits into many fast-pushing strategies.
Please understand that this guide is not intended for newer DotA player since some strategies involve more advanced concept.
If you are:
- Semi decent competitive players that want to learn more about Syllabear strategies.
- Semi decent at Syllabear and want to learn a new and in-depth strategy for competitive.
- Decent at microing and map awareness.
Then this guide will help you. For the newer DotA player, this or this excellent guide will help you learning the basics of DotA. Also, the basic Syllabear strategy can be found at the end of this guide in Useful Link section.
*Syllabear's skills can be found here: Clicky
======|| Skill Build |======
Level 1: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 2: Synergy
Level 3: Synergy
Level 4: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 5: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 6: True Form
Level 7: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 8-11: Rabid
level 12-13: Synergy
Level 14: True Form
Level 15-25: Stats (and True form at 16)
Laning (if you're forced to...)
Level 1: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 2: Synergy
Level 3: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 4: Rabid
Level 5: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 6: Synergy/True Form
Level 7: Summon Spirit Bear
Level 8: True Form/Rabid/Synergy
Level 9-11: Rabid/True Form
level 12-13: Synergy
Level 14: True Form
Level 15-25: Stats (and True form at 16)
Skill Build Explanation
Spirit bear is the main hero for 70% of the game since early as it will deal most of the damage in gank or battle. Spirit bear also has Entangle which is your primary disable/harass/escape mechanism and demolish which is very effective to easy last hit those towers for extra gold. Therefore Spirit bear must be maxed first. Not getting bear means you are just an average agi paper hero with no escape mechanism, no harassment power, no ganking advantage, terrible farm, and most importantly: no easy tower gold
(Spirit Bear's base movement speed is 345)
Synergy is taken first to increase rabid duration, increase bear's damage for early jungle, and increasing Sylla's True Form HP. At level 3, I'd recommend taking Synergy first than Spirit Bear if you are jungling for the damage, or Bear first if you are laning so you can harass/return spam.
After Synergy is level 2, max Rabid first since Rabid duration is already the same with its Cooldown and you can perma-cast it. It also affects both Sylla and the bear, therefore increasing Sylla's dps for faster jungling and the extra movement speed on Sylla is useful in ganking or outrunning ganks.
True form is very crucial for Sylla since it grants him a bunch of hit points for his paper HP. Even though you lose ranged attack, you will jungle anyway so it won't make a difference. Especially in competitive, having more survivability is much more important than ranged attack. Sylla's HP is ~700 at level 6 therefore he will die easily when ganked. With two level of Synergy, True Form level 1 grants 450 more HP or 23 STR, just like a free Messerschmidt's Axe. That is HUGE for early game, even centaur with Ultimate has lower HP than Sylla. Therefore with True Form on, you will have the chance to survive solo gank most of the time including the feared NA. As a plus, Sylla can benefit more from QB since he is melee.
TIPS: Don't forget to re-turn on True Form whenever you level it up to benefit from the extra HP.
======|Item Build |======
Jungling Starting Item: Quelling Blade (225) (Sylla) + Stout (250) (Bear) + Healing Salve
QB increase damage against creeps and Stout let your bear tank more. After the bear gains Entangle (Spirit Bear level 3), put QB at Sylla since the damage does not stack with Entangle.
Laning Starting Item: 2 Gauntlets and 2 Tangoes
The 2 Gauntlets gives additional raw HP to harass and increase survival against nuker.
Situational: Gloves (500) (Bear) + Recipe (1400)= Hand of Midas (1900) (Sylla)
Only get Midas if you are able to farm it in timely manner (8' into the game) or JUST SKIP IT.
Boots (bear) + Gloves (Bear) + Gloves (Bear) (1500)
Bear has 345 BASE movement speed and 385 with maxed synergy. With only boots and maxed rabid it has 522 movement speed. Bear needs attackspeed more than movement speed especially early game when entangle is the strongest. Therefore we get 2 gloves so he will have 30% attack speed. Treads is bad because it gives 5% less attack speed and movement speed/stats is wasted, and only 100 gold cheaper. It's better to just spend 100 more gold for the 5% attack speed. The boots will eventually upgraded to Phase boots, but upgrading early is not good because it only give more wasted movement speed with no attack speed.
Boots (Sylla) (500)
Radiance (5125) (Bear)
Bear is the best Radiance carrier in the world of DotA, since it is almost impossible to kill, imba movement speed, and increases the Bear's tanking capability (attracts people to attack the bear instead of your teammates). Syllabear can farm it in 20 minutes at most, when the 30 damage per second (already minus resistance) still hurts as hell. It is devastating to paper heroes like Rhasta, Puck, and other Agi/Int heroes, and is great to finish the red-hp heroes. You can also assist your team in gank that you’re unable to join (e.g. low hp) with radiance sparkles and bear block.
Hyperstone (2100) (Bear)
Gives your bear more attack speed for more dps and entangle.
Item Afterwards and Luxuries
The Cookie-Cutter build
BoT enables Sylla to solopush quickly around the map, and high ms making him hard to catch even in melee form.
Gives images for confusion/more pushing power/survival, and movement speed is always good.
Assault Cuirass (Bear/Sylla)
Put Platemail and Chainmail to Sylla while keeping the Hyperstone at bear. When you finish AC, put in on Bear when you solopush so it can finish tower/creeps quickly, and put it on Sylla when team battle is going to clash.
Best first Sylla's damage item, against non AoE/nuker heroes
Against many physical damage heroes or hard carry
Help in pushing and is good against image heroes.
A very expensive orb, but the HP and slow is worth it. (Note: Orb Effect doesn’t stack)
The good old heart, make you almost unkillable.
The slow helps in gank and countering omniknight/golem.
There are better orbs for Sylla than Maim. Besides, SnY gives everything you already have, a meh attackspeed/ms/HP/maim while Rabid already gives decent attack speed and movement speed, True form gives HP, Entangle gives disable that procs often only with 2 gloves. It's like getting Lothar for NA, kinda works but not the best.
======| Playstyle |======
In a competitive play, you would not expect to go against weak hero lineup (Drow/Clink/TB) where they can do little damage both in team fights or gank. You will expect going against powerhouse heroes such as Tauren Chieftain/Earthshaker/Necrolyte/Zues/Lina/Kunkka/Tinker which can decapitate you in the second you show up. But don't be afraid, Syllabear is viable to go against those heroes, all he needs is just a little strategy and mindgames.
Your objective is to farm (rush) Radiance as soon as possible. I strongly do not recommend laning since you risk dying more especially against strong lineup. Therefore grab QB and Stout for Bear, then head to jungle.
When the bear is level 3 (Sylla level 5), put QB on Sylla since the damage increase does not stack with Entangle. Use true form when Sylla is level 6 to benefit from melee QB and HP to survive gank. A more thorough jungle guide can be found here (Midas/Neutral guide by MrX, I love this guide) but below is a general rule for jungling with Sylla.
Choose your Creep
Avoid the two Furbolgs and level 6 Satyr before you are level 5 (Entangle) since those guys deal high chaos damage which hurts your bear while giving the same experience with other big creeps. Start with one large creep (Dark Troll/Centaur/Wolf) or two medium-large creep (Mud Golem/Satyrs/Ogre) then 1 small creep (Kobold/Troll/Ghost).
When your Bear's HP is red and its Cooldown is up, kill the bear and re-summon it. If it's not, then send it back to fountain and while waiting you can pull creeps to nearby lane. Always keep an eye if the enemies are missing from lane nearby because most likely they know you're pulling and ganking you!
At level 5, your bear gains entangle which disables creep and deals damage, which speeds up your jungle a lot. A level 5 and below creep will be disabled for 5-8s and receive 40 dps (200-320 damage total) while a level 6 creep will be disabled 3s and receive 120 damage total. If one creep is entangled, let Sylla attack it but switch the bear's target to other creep.
Watch your map!
Observer ward makes or breaks the game. Jungling is safe since you can run easier before they catch you, but you can only do that if you know the enemy is moving to your jungle. In fact, it is harder to run if they manages to catch you unaware in there. Therefore, either have a godly map awareness, or QQ to your support and ask them to buy this. Put it in every jungle entrance spot.
If your stingy support doesn’t want to buy you observer ward, then you have to rely on your map awareness. Watch the minimap every 3 second. You >MUST< know where the enemy heroes nearest to your respective jungle are (Sentinel: bottom lane, Scourge: top lane), are they dying, creeping, moving to river to get rune, you must know their exact location, because they’re the easiest to gank you. You should also watch the mid lane enemy hero, since starting from level 5-6 they usually start to roam your jungle. The top lane heroes usually won’t gank you that often but you should still watch if they are missing.
Alright, so you were careless and the enemy gank you. Do not give up since Sylla has some tricks to survive. First, send Sylla back to base, then order your bear to attack the hero with more movement speed, or the most dangerous nuker/stunner with spell ready. For example, Zeus and Krobelus came and Zeus lightning then Krobelus Swarm you. In this case, order your Bear to attack Zeus since he has more spell and less cd than krobelus. If Krobe turn on ulti, then order Bear to attack her instead. In some cases, Entangle might turn the tables if your bear attack+entangle couple of times makes your enemy's HP low. In some cases, you can use the bear to help your teammate escape by just micro-block the chasing enemy, if Sylla is too slow to catch up and still far away.
Stack Creep at x:50 time. I strongly recommend that you read MrX's guide section creep stacking so you can understand the basic methods. Easiest creep stack is to chop tree behind creep spot AoE and lure creep up a little bit but not exceeding 600 range of the spot so you can attack it. For example is here, bottom creep spot near your bot lane tower, just eat one of the top tree and attack it. You can see that the ogres still spawn while the previous creep centaur is there. The advantage of this strategy is that you can still attack the previous creeps while the new ones will still spawn.
You can try it with other creep spots too that have area where you can pull within 600 range and not at the spawn-checking area, for example here. I ate the tree at left and lure trolls to the left, but not so much so they are still at 600 range. You can see that the next creep (wildkins) still spawn.
Advanced Jungle Strategy
This strategy is very similar to Beastmaster's Axe Creep pull, but Sylla use QB to chop trees. While waiting for new creep to spawn, pull the small creep near mid tower. This strategy is very advantageous to Sylla at early game, since he gains level faster and the bear doesn't die as fast.
Of course, you can sometimes participate in gank, with one condition: only if you are sure you are able to kill the enemy hero and get the gold. I'd prefer not to waste time ganking something you can't kill, since it will delay your core items and risk yourself getting dying from counter-gank.
Some basic strategies on how to gank
- Ganking one non-nuker/stun hero (Sniper, Drow): Get your bear attacking the enemy hero and keep attacking with Sylla in ranged form.
- Ganking two non-nuker/stun hero: Let bear attack but hide Sylla until your enemy's HP is low and entangle procs, then let Sylla attack too.
- Ganking one nuker/stunner hero (Lina, Zues): Turn on True form, hide Sylla, and let your bear attack him until entangle procs, then Sylla can start attacking.
- Ganking two nuker/stunner heroes: Never gank them unless your allies is there. An exception is if the enemies are out of mana or very low HP, then do the same strategy as ganking one nuker hero.
If you spot a half-HP tower when most of the enemy heroes are far away (e.g. ganking your teammate), rush and kill it. Let the bear tank and use BattleCry to increase your bear's damage when attacking. Hopefully you can kill the tower before they teleport there because if you do, that 500 tower gold greatly speeds up getting Radiance.
Now that you have Radiance, you are a huge threat to the enemy team. You can easily push and kill in teamfights, and you can farm even faster on jungle/lane.
Push and Teamfight..
Put Radiance on bear and push towers one by one with your teammates. Your bear deals insane damage to towers and kills it in no time. In team fight, bear is the main DPSer. Always use your bear to attack and keep Sylla away from the heat of battle. send your bear to initiate and target the most dangerous paper hero, e.g. Zeus/Leshrac and wait for entangle (although whether or not entangle procs, your bear will usually distract the enemy team for a few seconds so your team main initiator can go in). Bear is excellent anti-blink since Radiance damages them. Get close enough to the bear (700-1k range) so it will not be sent back to you but far enough so you're not at the enemy's range. Do not clump with your teammates if there is an enemy blink initiator, but stay on the sides (or wherever you think is a good spot to hide, e.g in trees). To make it easier, think of playing Sylla defensively like Sniper but be aggressive with bear, since your bear deals most of the damage, especially with radiance. When the enemy is entangled, cast Battle Cry to increase bear's damage.
..or More Farming..
You are a carry hero, farming for more items is always good for you. Whenever you are not pushing (e.g. after a battle) farm a little bit here and there at jungle. Put Radiance on Sylla when jungling since he deals more damage to creeps due to QB.
You can try to solo Roshan, but analyze the situation first before trying to kill Roshan. Does the enemy ward? Does the enemy are missing? Getting Aegis is good, but dying is worse for your team. Put ward or let your teammate scout. If they ward often, do not try to kill Roshan at all except if you want to bait.
Aegis is very important item for Syllabear. If you have aegis when pushing, you and your bear can just quickly rush hitting tower and rax since you will kill it very quickly. If Sylla die, the bear will still be alive and continue hitting tower. Remember to turn on ultimate quickly when you revive.
Gank any enemy heroes you see on minimap but scout first to prevent bait ambush. Farm your 3rd luxury items when you're not pushing but be cautious if enemies are missing since you are the carry, and you are essential in team fights. Bring TP Scroll since team fights occurs more often at this stage of the game so you can assist anytime or escape if the enemies are missing.
Late Game Teamfights
Syllabear will be focus fired due to his annoying bear, therefore do not expose Sylla at all time except when you are sure you will not die. When pushing and defending lanes, always scout ahead the area around and behind the lane to check for potential ambushes. When pushing enemy base, there are two options. The first one is to just send the bear to attack the tower when creeps are there. The second is if your team consist of blink initiator, send the bear inside the base to gain vision so he can blink into the correct place. keep in mind to always get tower/rax first since with demolish your bear deals a lot of damage to building. Later game when Sylla has core+luxury items (have Radiance and AC on bear, Heart/etc on Sylla) he can start to dps in team battle but still let your bear initiates first before joining in to distract the enemies. At very very late game, give Radiance to Sylla since he'll be buff enough to be the main damage-dealer without risk of dying.
======| Screenshots |======20+ pictures to help understand strategy. Slide screen slightly to right to fully view them. The picture is hidden since the size is bigger than limit and will stretch the space, making the guide hard to read.
======| Allies/Enemies |======
Heroes that have many units or can kill towers easily. More early tower gold will give Sylla earlier Radiance. With his bear, Sylla can help tank tower and push before he got Radiance, and even harder after he got Radiance.
Anything that can nuke, stun, and slow and good for team fights (Sand King, Lina, Zeus). You do not really need babysitter a since you can jungle, but if the enemy gank often or ward jungle, they can help counter and counterward so your farming process will not be slowed down.
Any disabler will give you a hard time, but Sylla's worst counter are Bane Elemental and Witch Doctor. Some people might say Lich also counter Sylla, but actually all you have to do is micro so your bear does not get too close to you.
Bane's 7 second of sleep is bad for your bear, I would call it the closest one to Sylla's old counter, Eul (8s of flying). In 1v1 case, attack your bear immediately after he sleeps it so it will wake up and Sylla sleeps. Do not do this in team battle though, nothing you can do if he sleeps your bear.
Witch doctor WAS your hardest counter with his 5s stun on bear. Now the duration is reduced to 1s (same as heroes), but still, his stun will just bounces between you and bear for 8s stun and he'll rape you 1v1, anytime and anywhere especially earlier game. In this case, always separate your bear and do not get too close to your bear when you're alone (similarly when there is Lich).
Early Roamer/Jungle Warder
Sylla is weak early game, and he has to jungle to farm Radiance effectively, which means that early jungle gank slows down his farming, and even more so if the enemy is warding your usual jungle spots. Therefore you need a team that can counterward and countergank.
Anti Push-Strat. They slow down your pushes, and even counter you if you have many units in your team.
======| Replays and Videos |======
6.66B Inhouse Replay
!sky (Vengeful Spirit)
x_hayabuZa (Pit Lord)
This game was a -CM pick, we rm and -AP same heroes. Got relic at 13', radiance at 15'. I didn't pull at earlier level because all my friends at scourge knows my strategy and will interrupt it. Witness Radiance bear pushing power at 20'+ in the game.
Note: I forgot to change range QB to melee. lol.
The Replays below are for previous versions. To view them, use WC3 Switcher that can be downloaded here (client) and standalone patches (the above is 1.24 to 1.23). This is a popular program to switch your Warcraft 3 version without having to uninstall and such.
1)Inhouse Replay (6.63)
filipe_auxoa (Bane Elemental)
GomZ (Chaos Knight)
Mitochy (Lone Druid)
Showing bear pushing power as soon as he got radiance. Got phase boots first for bear which was pretty ownage since the 60ms help alot early game. Entangle buff (60 dps) improves Sylla's early game a lot while the nerf does not really affect anything for him.
2) Inhouse Replay (6.61c)
Dota Parser: Click
Here is a semi-inhouse with some feeder teammates versus 4 good players and imba lineup. You guys will see the power of Radiance bear in team battle and especially pushes.
shisheiten (Skeleton King)
lkz.an[s] (Nerubian Assassin)
Gakinotsukai (Obsidian Destroyer)
OnlyURway (Sand King)
Our team randomed/picked 4 AGI heroes and 1 STR, while their team has ridiculous lineup of NA/SK/Slayer. Our team got destroyed early game by their constant gank. Sniper keep on feeding NA like there's no tomorrow, and the rest are ganked often including myself.
We started to turn the tables after I bought radiance. At least I can hold pushes and help in ganks. As luxury, I bought Heart and Hood so I can tank for the team against their ridiculous magic damage. And yes, they were unable to kill me nor counter our pushes.
3) NIHL Replays
Here are some NIHL match replays of Radiance Syllabear against good player played by JunkerFx (adrenaline). Very recommended to watch, showing the power of Syllabear Radiance in higher level play. url].
4) Syllabear 6.61c
Casual game turned out to be rather interesting when the enemy carries started to get strong and owned my supports.
1) Scrim vs Random Clan
2) Scrim vs Esc
Both are recent scrims, not a very good one, but shows some Syllabear strategy. The one vs Esc got cut in the middle because we change host and has to load. There's no replay for the load one so meh.
I laned because I want to try a new ganker build, but we got owned by their superior ganks instead, since I forgot that sent has better ganker heroes. I switch back to Radiance build and farm, got Radiance in 30' and we start to turn the tables.
This replay was a clan match, it will show bear's pushing power. This was a 3 AM game and I'm very tired, screwed up a lot of times and our team got owned by SK/Mag/SA combo. We started winning team battles after I got radiance.
Syllabear Carry 6.61b
It was 4v5 when my Pudge ally left early and my team started to get owned by AoE stun again and again. Watch how imba Syllabear is after he get Radiance. Here you will see the bear as primary dps.
Semi Inhouse 6.61b
Two feeders in my team: a 2-11 nevermore who said "I can't play Nevermore" and 3-10 Axe that always tried to 1v3 the enemies by himself and die. The enemies were 4 quite decent friends that have the imba heroes like Taruen chieftain, Rhasta, Zeus, and Kunkka. Our team only has a decent Vengeful Spirit and DP, and every battle seems like 3v5 since Nevemore and Axe never contribute and just feed. Kunkka got freefarm at mid and many kills; AM and TC got freefarm the whole game. But the bear again carried the team to victory.
Semi Pub/IH low-mid level 6.60b
My team didn't do very good; we died to Axe/SA/Jugg all game, enemy Axe got beyond godlike twice, SA and Jugg got mega kill, Our Necro ally fed 0-11, and the rest has negative score. I was high and did autistic jungling most of the time rushing Radiance. Viper decided to just buy 2k of observer ward for the team since he lags so much. Morale was low and I finished Radiance at very late 30'. But somehow we managed a comeback.
======| Useful Links |======
!Premium Basic Dota guide by totallnewbie
!Premium Midas/Neutral guide by MrX
Basic Syllabear Strategies
======| Versions |======
Version 0.0 8/14/2006: Guide made Radiance as core (From my former Radiance bear guide)
Version 1.0 6/27/2009: Added Hyperstone at core
Version 1.1 6/29/2009: Some strategy reworded
Version 1.2 6/30/2009: Reworded and cleaned Core items, Luxury items, and strategy
Version 1.3 7/2/2009: Replay added.
Version 1.4 7/9/2009: Reword strategy sections, change Sylla pictures, add foreword
Version 2.0 7/13/2009: Replay added. Screenshot section added. Additional jungle pictures and strategy added.
Version 3.0 7/15/2009: Edited cosmetic and reworded a lot of sections.
Version 3.1 7/15/2009: Added new clan match replay.
Version 3.2 7/19/2009: Added new inhouse replay.
Version 3.3 7/20/2009: Replacing an inhouse replay with a better one.
Version 3.4 7/28/2009: Fixing pictures link to those from playdota.com
Version 3.5 7/28/2009: Adding Basic and Advanced Jungling Strategy
Version 3.6 8/04/2009: Added good allies/bad enemies
Version 3.7 8/16/2009: Video added (more coming!)
Version 3.8 8/21/2009: New Replay added (inhouse)
Version 4.0 9/17/2009: Updated for 6.63, added Phase boots and new replay
Version 4.1 10/2/2009: Changed basher
Version 5 02/22/2010: Updated for 6.66b
Version 5.1 03/09/2010: Added 6.66b replay
======| Random facts |======
- With the recent Radiance buff, Bear buff (spell duration is the same as heroes means there is absolutely no counter for the Spirit Bear), Entangle buff 20%, quelling blade/shield, rabid buff, and Battle cry buff, Sylla is much more powerful than his "golden era" of 6.2x-6.3x.
- True Form level 3 gives Sylla 1000 HP, equal to 2 Messerschmidt's Axe or 50 STR. That is like a free heart. Your HP is equal to Centaur with level 3 Great Fortitude (2800) and you have more EHP due to more armor.
- With SnY and BoT Sylla's ms is 521, get a Diffusal blade and you can play like nightstalker!
======| Final Words |======
Special thanks to: MrX, totallnewbie, Tijon, and Super_Chode.
PS: I also posted this guide in DA as LDAinWater