This is my first guide hope you all will like it. I am studying in a graduate college with a firewall that blocks garena or b.net. Thus we generally play among ourselves; the college LAN coming to our rescue. We have about 18-20 players in our college who play dota. Thus everyone knows each other’s game style and except 2-3 assholes all of us play for the team. We watch a lot of replays and go through a lot of guides. Although we know that we cannot match the skills of the great players like "kuroky" and "loda" we at least try to match their style and co-ordination. There is lack of a competitive guide on SP so I thought of sharing my experience of playing SP in a guide. I will like to keep the guide short and omit things like the skill details and background stories, as these can be easily obtained from the playdota hero database.
In any competitive match Dazzle plays the role of a baby-sitter or ganker. In the baby-sitter role he generally goes to the side lanes with another melee hero who has difficulty holding the lane in his own. He can also be played as a ganker with some quick levels, in that case he can solo the mid lane. Farm is not that important on Shadow Priest as levels are so generally Shadow Priest in a tri-lane is a bad choice. Best results are obtained when Shadow Priest is played as a aggressive support as his defensive spell are much weaker than other hardcore as healers like Omniknight.
Generally Dazzle will be rarely or in most cases never banned. He falls into the general category of babysitters. But he is an aggressive babysitter who can dish out some harassment as well (Poison Touch, damaging with Shadow Wave). He can be picked in the armor reduction strategy by having any 2 of Slardar, Nevermore or Veng. As far as the CM mode is concerned he should be one of the middle picks. He has no particular hard counters so there is no danger there and making him the first pick may give up the strategy that your team will be having a weak melee carry. For more info about Competitive Picks I found this very nice guide.
Pros & Cons
[+] Nice aggressive babysitting capabilities.
[+] Almost all his spells can be spammed.
[+] Very good attack animation.
[+] Really nice synergy in his spells.
[-] Have mana issues even with high int growth.
[-] Fails w/o teamwork.
[-] A bit level dependent.
The numeric details of the skills can be found in the heroes’ page of playdota.com and as such I am not including them. I will highlight the main points about the skills and how and when to use them for maximum effectiveness.
Skill Build & Justification
I myself hate a rigid and set build for any hero. Skill build should be flexible and should depend on the style of gameplay of your team and the opponent team. Its always better not to take any skill at the start of the game till you reach your lane and gauge the situation. There are times when you might find yourself and your allies outnumbered and a Shallow Grave might be the only useful spell that can save yourself or your allies. Other times a slow might be more useful for landing the last couple of right clicks on a fleeing hero. Shallow Grave at level one is more or less sufficient for much of early and mid game so you should focus on maxing your other two non-ultimate skill. Skilling ultimate at level 6 or delaying it is a decision which is best taken in game. Its viable to level it at level 6 is you are against a push heavy line-up or your team is push heavy. As far as disable is concerned Poison Touch at level 3 is as good as level 4 and the damage increase is also not significant unless you have a lot of negative armor on the enemy. These 2 item builds I'm suggesting mostly fit into almost all games.
Level 1 :: Shallow Grave (1)
Level 2 :: Shadow Wave (1)
Level 3 :: Poison Touch (1) / Shadow Wave (2)
Level 4 :: Shadow Wave (2) / Poison Touch (1)
Level 5 :: Poison Touch (2) / Shadow Wave (3)
Level 6 :: Poison Touch (3) / Poison Touch (2)
Level 7 :: Shadow Wave (3) / Shadow Wave (4)
Level 8 :: Shadow Wave (4) / Poison Touch (3)
Level 9 :: Weave (1)
Level 10 :: Poison Touch (4)
Level 11 :: Weave (2)
Level 12 :: Shallow Grave (2)
Level 13 :: Shallow Grave (3)
Level 14 :: Shallow Grave (4)
Level 15 :: Stats
Level 16 :: Weave (3)
Level 17-25 :: Stats
In the start of the game you want to have a lot of consumables as well as some cheap stats. You may also have to be the person who buys the chicken or the initial wards.
After one of these u can have 4 gg branches, 2 clarity and one set of tango.
While in lane, till level 6, try to get boots (from side shop, as i mentioned earlier that you will never go solo mid) and convert 3 gg branches into magic wand (use your chick). Now get a Bottle, its a handy thing though you can manage w/o it as well. Also get some more wards, Sentry or Obs whatever the team needs. Carrying a TP is must, it allows u to escape from heroes like viper, bloodseeker even stunners who have just stunned u. Shallow Grave and TP..! can save u 250 odd gold. The bottle and wand will satisfy your mana needs so the next thing u can do is get some cheap hp i.e Urn, HP + mana regen fits in nicely. At this point of time you may like to upgrade your boots to PT (Str). The best thing about PT is to change them to INT/STR as per requirements. Need mana for the last spell - Change PT to Int. Being chased or got a DoT buff - Change PT to Str. Soul Ring can also be bought. The mana regen is useful, active ability is also very handy. You have a heal and one more survivability skill so the HP loss wont do much harm. In general this is all you need to be effective.
After the early phase of the game is over your inventory should look like this
Mid and Late Game
For Dazzle the early game items are all he needs for the game..! Competitive games rarely last more than 40 min. For those games which go really late dazzle would have to get some more items. Here i will list a few items that is useful on dazzle, but trust me these are all luxury and you can and you are supposed to do your job very well with the initial items itself. As a support caster you should not be aiming for any big items. One or two bracers will do the job from here. If somehow you get a lot of gold to spare (eg. roof in the team doing the warding) i recommend aganims for ulti improvement. Below are the theoretically possible items that you can opt for after the core. BUT Warding and carrying dust should be given priority over any of the items mentioned below..!!! For more info on warding you can go through this fabulous guide.
|Mekansm is a nice heal which can be used in conjunction with your own heal. But it strains your mana pool.Though a rightly timed mek can change the battle, specially after the opponent team players have casted an AoE spell.|
|Vladmir's Offering is needed if your team has more than 2 melee carries. The Ring of Basilius can ease your stay at lane a bit. You wont get the lifesteal and as such it's a very situational item. For example if a lycan is in the team he needs vlads for jungling. in that case let him get it... but sometimes if u have heroes like anti-mage and BM and one more melee and there are no other melee support u may like to buy it..!|
|Arcane Ring solves the mana problem almost totally. The earthshaker in your team will be very happy with this.|
|Khadgar's Pipe of Insight is needed sometimes in case of a Lich or or Sand King in the opposite team.|
|Guinsoos Scythe of Vyse is the best disable that can be bought. Also gives you some very profound all round stats. Farming- this might be a problem.|
|Orchid Malevolence grants a lot of mana regen and some dps (Helps as weave reduces armour). Try to get some bracers as this does not provide any stats other than int.|
|Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a cheap alternative to sheep stick. Gives you an escape skill. You can get this item really fast but Think before you use this item on someone during a team battle. This can sometime help the other team by allowing cooldown of his spell to be over while he is in the air.|
|Necronomicon is a nice item with SP. It can be bought as a counter to invi heroes in the opposite team or to destroy wards. Even w/o an invi hero this item is quite useful for the team because of the mana burn, feedback (good counter for Leoric) and the move speed aura. This item is my personal 2nd favt.|
|Force Staff, I never used this item in any match but guess will be useful if theres an Enigma in the opposite team (Push teammates out of his ulti).|
|Shiva's Guard is useful if the enemy team dpsr gets too scary. Gives you a lot or armour and the slow is cool.|
|Ghost Scepter is required if the case of 2 or more age DPS in the opponent team. Eg. Ursa, Troll, Magina. The stats given by this item is helpful too. Never ever think of upgrading it to Ethereal Blade. This is the worse item that Icefrog ever made.|
|In a competitive match this item will be the only late game item (if there is a late game item for u) Aghanim's Scepter is really easy to make and its my favt (i guess everybody's favt as well after core specially). All the items u need for this is 1200 gold or less. Increases aoe of your ulti from 600 to 800. Also adds an additional 6 seconds to your ulti. Gives u some good stats as well.|
Items to Avoid
Well i would like to mention Bloodstone and Refresher Orb as the only items that are to be avoided. Bloodstone although solves your mana needs but there are better items that will also do the same and more. Refresher Orb is useless and your ultimate cooldown is just 40 and u cant place the buff twice.
Good Allies & Bad Enemies
SP fits in the lane with almost all melee heroes also and with heroes who need babysitting. Here i will mention the best ones. If u think i missed something feel free to suggest.
|Sand King is a really nice lane partner of SP. He impales in > u heal him > hit hit hit > Poison Touch after stun is over > hit hit hit > possible kill. SK's low armor will appreciate the heal as well in case of heavy harassment.|
|Slardar needs babysitting early. Poison Touch > Slardar goes in and stuns > Heal Slardar > hit hit hit > again possible kill. Armor reduction of Slardar, his Crush being physical damage are in perfect synergy with weave.|
|Morphling's low range can lead him to take harassment. On the aggressive side he waveforms behind the enemy > Poison Touch > heal morph > hit hit hit > may be a kill.|
|Vengeful's howl rocks with weave. Don't lane with her (if she lanes at all).|
|Naga needs babysitting early on. Net > Images > hit hit hit > Heal naga > Poison Touch > hit hit hit > good chances of a kill...!!!!|
|Due to recent popularity of BB I thought of mentioning him here. He probably wont need the babysitting.. He can solo. But the main synergy comes from your weave and his goo reducing armor and quill spray being physical damage.|
|Your slow can help him place his stun accurately. Your heal will be much appreciated after Brad uses double edge.|
|Poison Touch and bear goes in whacking...|
Some more good lane partners
It should not matter if u die but there are some heroes who can make life hell for u. Mostly mana burners put a lot of strain on you.
Culling Blade goes through Shallow Grave. It debuffs before applying damage.
Silence. What good is a silenced Dazzle..!!!!
In the laning phase of the game stay with the team carry and try to babysit him. Chk for the runes. For bot sentinal and top scrouge pull the creeps if the camp is not warded by the enemy team. You deny creeps while also harassing the enemy so that your carry can get the last hits. If there's an enemy melee hero in the lane you can harass him by healing the creep he is trying to lasthit. But be careful while doing it because in case you need the mana for healing your lane partner. The lane that is preferred for SP is Sentinal bottom lane or Scrouge top lane. If the lane is pushed too much go pull some creeps to the lane. Place the wards, chk the runes. Help the carry in every way possible to get as much farm as he can.
By the time laning phase is over you will have poison touch to at least level 3 where it will have the 1 sec stop/stun. Your core must also be complete by now. This will be helpful in ganks and try to coordinate some ganks against their carry. While ganking start with the weave make sure your allies are in casting range of their stun. Chain the stun with your poison touch. Heal any ally preferably the one close to the enemy so that the enemy gets the damage. If some teammate tower dives too much your shallow grave comes in handy.
Soon team battles will be a common thing.. Now your real potential comes to full exploitation.. WEAVE. When to cast weave is mentioned in the skill description. Try to stay behind while still being in range to cast your skills. You will be pretty weak when compared to the other heroes so avoid unnecessary death. Weave also provides unobstructed vision on the area where it is casted. This can be very useful for the initiators in your team, also can reveal the sand king ulti in the forest, if he's waiting to blink in etc. etc..
Some other points to be noted are
- Poison touch and Shadow wave deals physical damage and will be more effective with the Weave reducing their armor.
- Weave provides unobstructed vision. With such a low cooldown this can be used to provide sight of a juking hero or someone who just ran out of sight for the potm in the team to get the arrow..!
- Poison touch has a ministun, stops TP and channeling spells.
- The cooldown of your spells mainly Touch and Heal is very low, 9 and 6 sec respectively. make sure you spam them in a team fight.
area51 Vs MCiTY (Links to gosugamers.net)
Very Nice SP babysitting Magina who then goes Rampage
The Making of this Guide
Guide by Sibasish "Andre" Dey (sibu.soren)
My Friends in college, playing with these guys i got to know what i know about SP
Hellraiser, ykk, Starbreaker, Hustler, Daddy, Elf.
For lots of suggestion and reviewing the guide D_A_
All those in playdota who encouraged me with compliments and suggestion..
Guess the guide is finished... But don't think this is over and out... its still open to any and every suggestions..!!!
>29/4/2010 - Major Update for new map.
>22/3/2010 - Spelling and Grammar correction by Starbreaker
>27/2/2010 - Uploaded some pic, Mentioned about casting animation canceling. Added links to some useful stuff, added a new section about drafting dazzle.
>25/2/2010 - Formatting change in good allies section..!
>23/2/2010 - Some Small edits in the items section. Added BB in good allies.
>21/2/2010 - Gameplay Updates, Replay Update and some minor changes
>xx/2/2010 - Added replay