Redefinder's guide to Io
My third guide, this time on a support hero. Give feedback when it's finished. I try to improve on writing guides so tell me what am I missing in each section before it gets published. Also, PLEASE, if you have some screenshots of various strategies with this hero, send them to me, I need them to make the strategy section. I will credit you for them. Thanks. ~eQ.ShadowDemoN
Originally nothing more than a lowly spirit of the trees, Io dwelt peacefully amongst his kind in the Great Forest. As the Great War spread across the land the creatures of the forest were forced to defend their home. The desire to protect his kin awoke power in Io he had not known he possessed. He discovered he was able to connect his life force to another creature to strengthen them or help them flee by instantly transporting them out of harm. Io became known amongst his people as the Guardian Wisp, a protector of the Spirits. All other spirits swore to assist him and can be summoned to his side to aid him in his battle. Uninterested in the battle between the Sentinel and the Scourge, Io fights only to protect his people.
Pros & Cons:
[+] Great support hero
[+] Global ultimate for escaping, healing, saving
[+] Doesn't have much mana problems
[+] Great support hero
[+] Good range
[+] Low base damage
[+] 0 armor at start
[+] Very squishy
[+] Relies on his teammates to gank
When to pick:
- When you like supporting your teammates
- When you wouldn't mind if your teammates got the kills
- When you don't feel much like farming
- When you have map awareness
When NOT to pick:
- When you feel like farming
- When you're a soloer, like to own the game by yourself, that's not gonna happen
- When there are many carries that need babysitting and/or farming
- When you adore kill stealing
Level 1: Tether
Level 2: Spirits
Level 3: Spirits
Level 4: Tether
Level 5: Spirits
Level 6: Relocate
Level 7: Spirits
Level 8: Tether
Level 9: Tether
Level 10: Overcharge
Level 11: Relocate
Level 12: Overcharge
Level 13: Overcharge
Level 14: Overcharge
Level 15: Stats
Level 16: Relocate
Level 17-25: Stats
Justification: Tether should be get at lvl 1, heroes like Juggernaut, Ursa, ect. will need this to score first blood. Sure, it's not much of use getting it but you may need to escape first blood with it too. Can't be too safe, eh. We then, max spirits. Theres NO NEED to max out Tether because it only gives a bigger stun duration and it's not much. Spirits on the other hand can score you a kill, damage starts from 25 and increases by 25 and that's a damn big difference. Overcharge should be maxed last. Chances are low you will need it early because it will drain your hp/mana and you won't have much use from it. This skill is for mid - late game ONLY. Trust me. Relocate is get whenever possible, duh. Often you will need to go back to the fountain for a refill and this will get you and your teammate HPs/MPs up in less than half a minute and get you back where you were.
Tether - (Active, Affects allied units)
Justification: This skill is what makes Io who you are, an epic support. It's mana cheap at all levels so you won't have any problems casting it even when you're out of mana you will quickly regenerate 40 mana in no time to re-cast it. Skill usages are Escaping, Chasing, Healing, Rescue, Disable.
Escaping with Tether has two meanings, either you will Tether your ally to move faster or you will Tether an allied unit up to 1800 range away and dash forward to it. Doing this skill usage in the second way won't be much of a problem as there are often allied creeps. If you're in the woods and an ally is near you, ask him to move closer to you while running from an enemy.
Spirits[W] - (Active, Instant)
Justification: Your main killing skill. Without this one you can hardly touch an enemy's hp. This skill should be maxed as early as possible because of the damage potential. As you can see damage doubles every level. Skill uses. Also, this skill shouldn't be used to harass enemy heroes early because you'll lose your mana and lose chance of first blood. Skill usages are First Blood, Chasing, Farming, Scouting and Invisible.
First Blood with Io is easy. Abuse your good attack range and start harassing heroes early. Don't use this skill yet until you level it to 2. Keep harassing your enemy and last hit some creeps on the way. When your target is at half hp or less and possibly not too near his tower activate spirits, attack him with your Tethered ally. If you manage to hit him with every single one of the Spirits he will likely be dead. This method is easier if your ally has a disable.
Overcharge - (Active, Affects allied units)
Justification: This skill should be maxed last and not activated until late game. You won't benefit much early game from this skill so don't activate it early, unless you want to lose your hp/mana. Skill usages are Teamfight, Roshaning and Escaping.
Teamfight - activate Overcharge to make your carry less likely to lose.
Relocate - (Active, Affects allied units)
Justification: Probably the best teleport skill in Dota. It teleports you to a location for a limited amount of time and then brings you back to the location you casted Relocate from. Skill usages are: Ganking, Escaping, Rescue and Fountain.
Ganking is simple. Teleport to a lonely prey along with your teammate, kill him and get back to what you were doing before. Works great doesn't it?
Justification: Start off with 2x Gauntlets to boost your hp. Don't worry about the mana, your spells are mana cheap and Arcane Boots/Urn of Shadows will solve any mana problems later on.
Justification: Another item build that should work. Magic Wand, which you will upgrade later to is an item suitable for any hero. I don't think I need to tell you how it works. What I need to tell you is, the tethered teammate will benefit from regenerating HP/MP. So whenever you and your ally are wounded, tether him, activate healing salve and both of you heal lost hp!
Justification: A must core item for Io, if he's going to be support. Although you won't need that much mana your allies will. Treads aren't a good choice for Io, in my opinion. Although it gives you strength, attack speed is not that much useful on Io, you are not meant to kill someone with dps, maybe finish off an enemy yes but most of the time you will just kill with Spirits. Also, Arcane Boots give more movement speed than Treads so it's clear that they are the boots which should be made on him.
+95 ms, Teleport
Justification: Later on in the game when it's nearly the same with arcane boots or without them replace them with BoT. You will need that ms to gank and you can teleport to a creep to reach an ally without having to use your ultimate, stop creep pushes, ect.
Justification: Since Io is a ganker, you will work wonders with this item. Kill, replenish hp, kill, replenish hp and so on. Besides that, it gives you mana regeneration and strength which is what you need most. Try to farm this item early.
Justification: Mekansm should be made in mid game after Arcane Boots. It gives you super healing capabilities, besides healing the whole team, you can tether an ally and heal him for twice as that, that's 500 hp. Also, he will get twice the regeneration you get, mekansm gives 4 hp reg so he gets 8 bonus reg instead. Items that heal really are a nice choice for Io, huh?
Justification: A late game item for Io. Should be made after you have Arcane Boots and Mekansm. The main reason why this is an awesome item is: it heals your ally when tethered for the same hp percentage it heals you! And if he's in combat and you're not HoT won't be disabled! Also, it boosts your hp, making you less squishy.
Justification: Guinsoo helps a lot in teamfights/ganks, stun an opponent with tether, then Hex him for an extra 3.5 seconds disable, it works pretty well. And it also gives you nice mp regeneration so you can leave Overcharge running longer. Make this after HoT.