Ingolf's Guide to Alleria, the Windrunner
Edited and Updated by Captain Planet
Table of Contents (click to navigate)
- Hero analysis
- Skill build
- Item build
- Gameplay walkthrough
- Attaching the String
This guide was originally written and maintained by Ingolf at DotA-Allstars.com, a great guide writer, and I asked whether he would allow me to port this guide and update and maintain it. He agreed, and for this I am grateful, because the community can have better access to what I believe is a great guide. So my thanks to Ingolf for giving me this opportunity and I hope I can do justice to his guide. With that, let's begin!
For more in-depth hero stats and abilities descriptions, follow this link to Alleria's hero information page.
Level 1 - Windrunner
Level 2 - Powershot
Level 3 - Powershot
Level 4 - Shackleshot
Level 5 - Powershot
Level 6 - Shackleshot
Level 7 - Powershot
Level 8 - Shackleshot
Level 9 - Shackleshot
Level 10 - Focus Fire
Level 11 - Windrunner
Level 12 - Windrunner
Level 13 - Windrunner
Level 14 - Focus Fire
Level 15 - Stats
Level 16 - Focus Fire
Level 17-25 - Stats
Luxury items afterward
For lane assignments it may usually be preferable to either solo somewhere, or lane with a stunner, but it doesn't matter terribly where you go though.
Once you're in a lane, you should try to harass your enemies with Powershot from time to time when you're level 3 and above. If you're laning with a stunner, you can try to go for kills at level ~3-4 and above where he stuns first so you can position yourself for a Shackleshot.
See if you can stay in your lane for awhile and farm some gold for your items, but once you're level ~6-7 and above, you should begin to look for opportunities to gank. Try not to spend too much time roaming so you lose too much gold and experience without really succeeding in anything. Try to look for "obvious" gank opportunities with allies and something that you can finish successfully and quickly.
When you're not ganking you should try to farm a little gold for your Guinsoo's. Don't spend all your time running forth and back from one gank to another because it will leave you horribly outfarmed later.
Still try to look for opportunities to gank. Ganking on your own is often not very smart because you won't have the capability to take your enemy down. Ganking with one or more allies (preferably someone with a stun) is way better, hence you should try to follow your allies around in ganks to make them successful.
Try not to get yourself in the spotlight; you're vulnerable to nukes and disables so getting in the front and in the center of the combats every time is mostly a bad idea. Try to let your teammates walk first and let them initiate. Then wait for a correct moment to catch someone with Shackleshot and/or finish them off with Powershot.
When you aren't ganking with your teammates and if you aren't pushing either, you ought to farm (lanes preferably) for your Guinsoo's or Blade Mail/Orchid. In a decent game with decent farm and decent opponents, you should usually have it around the 30th minute. Getting it before is very common, but getting it later is not uncommon either. Just try not to delay getting it by too much. If you get close to no gold and experience at all, you should stop attempting and failing too many ganks and instead try to farm a bit so you fail completely.
Around this time you should have your Orchid Malevolence. Your job in the late game is to look for heroes in combats to disable with Shackleshot. It would of course be best if you could disable the ones that need focus, but seeing that it's not always possible, disabling anyone (or even double-disabling them) to nullify their combat powers for awhile is fine. You can and should use your Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse on the enemy that needs to be disabled (e.g. their carry hero or whatsoever, someone that is a great threat to your team).
When you fight, try to use your Orchid first and then activate Focus Fire, because the amplified damage will cancel out the reduced damage on Focus Fire. Try to focus the hero that your team wants focus on. Mostly it will stand out in the combats whom you are focusing hence you should be able to determine it rather fast.
Again, try to avoid being focused when you fight. Don't stand in the middle of everything, don't be the first to run in and try to avoid as many bad ultimates and other abilities as possible. Try to stand from as far range as you can and do not get reckless. Survival is vital.
Your main job in the combats is basically trying to disable as many heroes as possible while using Orchid Malevolence/Focus Fire on a good target while staying safe from a distance.
Attaching the string - The art of Shackleshooting
Shackleshot is arguably one of the hardest single-targeted disables to use in the game. However, its duration is formidable and it has a chance to hit not only one, but two enemies. The far most difficult task, however, is throwing it correctly. I'll start with teaching you how it works and when it activates, because if you don't know how it works you won't be able to use it correctly.
The Shackleshot is thrown like a Storm Bolt, which means it's a targetted ability. The missile will then launch from Alleria with a decent speed; notice that the missile speed isn't fast so if you stand from a long distance to your target, the line gets "bent". When the missile hits its target, it will check for other enemies or trees in a direct line behind the target in the angle corresponding to the position you shot it. If it finds any enemies or a tree it will latch the two units together. If it doesn't find anything it will ministun the target for 0,5 seconds (which works well to interrupt channeling effects by the way). Here's what it looks like:
Here I shoot the Shackleshot on the Ghoul in front of me. Now, imagine a straight line from where I shoot it to some distance behind the target. A Necromancer is touching that line, so the Shackleshot will bind both units together.
The easiest thing is to imagine the "shackle area" as a direct line behind the unit just like before, but it's in fact a very slim cone, which means it sometimes shackles a tiny bit to the sides. The cone I'm talking about covers about this area. On this picture, the first thing standing in my Shackleshot target's cone is a tree behind it. This is also the maximum distance the shackle line goes. Anything behind this target is "out of range". Notice that the range it checks for units is decently far, so units do not always necessarily have to stand one inch from something to latch onto.
If the Shackleshot has nothing to latch onto, the target will get ministunned but will not get bound with anything. Hence the Shackleshot will "miss", just like this picture.
This is the maximum range from which you can use Shackleshot. Notice that the range is pretty big.
Now that we have learned how to use it... then how do we use it correctly? The very first and basic thing you want to imagine when you're shooting it at someone, is the line from you to the target to something. If you see a straight connection, like to a tree or a unit, then shoot it. If you see there's no straight connection, then don't shoot it. Here are a few classic examples. When you shoot your Shackleshot, you ought to imagine the line I've drawn on these examples:
Target: Venomancer, Connection: Tree
Target: Furion, Connection: Necromancer
These examples are simple and very straight forward. However, not all opportunities will be as simple as these. First of all, the further you stand from your target and the faster he's running, the more oblique it will be when it hits. Before you shoot the Shackleshot, you need to consider if it will attach to something the moment it hits.
I take a shot on Silencer who's running past me. If he had stood still, my Shackleshot wouldn't have stunned properly because in the moment I shoot it, there is nothing behind him. However, his movement "drags" the missile with him, bends the course it takes and hits a tree that collides with the "new" line behind him.
By now you should have an idea on how to use it as a "direct" shot on someone; how you need to imagine a straight line that should connect to a point behind the target and finally how you need to take your distance to the target and the target's movement speed and direction into consideration to find out if it shackles.
However, for the next part, I will teach you how to take the situation into account. Sometimes it may not look like you can shackle someone where you in fact can. The first example I want to show you is that you can use a "middle-step" or a "secondary target" to shackle the one you really want to capture. Let me show it to you:
I'm about to shackle Furion, but as you can see there is nothing behind him. However, I've positioned myself so the Necromancer works as the "trigger". Hence I choose to shoot my Shackleshot on the Necromancer so Furion gets shackled as well.
You should always be aware of the environment around you and your target to see if there's an opportunity to hit anything with Shackleshot. Sometimes situations appear where it might not look like there's anything, but if you take a closer look you will often find a loophole.
At a first glance, it might not look like my target (Queen of Pain who is hexed), has anything to be attached to in the middle of the river, and I'm standing in a terrible position to do something. However, at a closer look you can see trees in the background. The distance between Queen of Pain and the trees behind her is far and the chance that I will shackle her is vague. However, I take a shot anyway, hoping that the Shackleshot will connect, which, luckily, it does.
In short, Powershot is a very long and fast nuke that takes up to 1 second to build up and deals damage based on time channeled. In other words, it's just like Keeper of the Light's Illumination, but its width is much smaller, goes much farther and has some extra features like destroying trees it hits. Another noticeable thing is that its damage gets reduced for every target it hits.
It would be troublesome to take a screenshot of its appearance, so I'm not gonna do that. You will find out how it moves pretty quickly anyway. Instead I'll teach you some techniques on how to use it.
First of all, taking aim and predicting your opponents path is the first thing you must learn and that is not something I can teach you through mere words. Practice makes perfect. It only has a 1 second channeling time so it's not terribly hard to use anyway, though you might of course miss it once in awhile.
The first and arguably most basic way you should learn to use Powershot is harassing one or more enemies in a lane. Here's a common example:
As you can (hopefully) see, I sent a successful Powershot directly on Admiral Proudmoore and it dealt quite some damage. While I'm at it I might as well teach you the next lesson. If you want to harass or in any way damage a hero or another primary target you should aim to bump that target up your Powershot-hierarchy. What I mean by that is that you should try to hit your Powershot on the hero before any other units. The more units the Powershot passes through, the less damage it deals. To deal as much damage you can on a primary target, try to let it pass through the smallest amount of creeps possible. That way it'll deal maximum damage. On this screenshot I hit Kunkka before anything else.
Hitting heroes with Powershot is basically all about training, so I'm gonna move on to the next point instead. Now I'm gonna teach you how to utilize the fact that Powershot destroys trees. I can think of tons of individual situations where you can and will use this and it's actually very simple. Let's first take a look at this:
Very straight-forward; I used the Powershot to cut down the trees and made a shortcut. This is just an example, but from here on I could use this shortcut to backstab an enemy, escape from a backstab myself and lots of other things.
So basically you can create shortcuts through areas of trees and use it for different purposes. One of the most obvious things to use it for is surprising your enemy. Now, cutting trees is a rather simple thing, however a more advanced (though not entirely hard) technique is to hit your target while cutting. If you can deal some damage while making a perfect route you're getting the most out of your Powershot as you can. Optimising its use is a good habit to get into.
When using Powershot, especially to cut down trees, be creative. Figure out your enemy's movements, think of alternative ways to use it, use it to scout and etc. It's first and foremost a damage ability, but it has got a lot more potential to it. Use it and try to get the most out of your situation.
Well that's the guide. I hope that I've done Ingolf's great skills justice with this guide port. If there is anything you think needs to be added or either of us has missed something, please let me know. I'm still in the process of updating it (I've finally got around to bringing the builds and stuff up-to-date) so let me know if there's something you think needs adding to it.