Storm Spirit is in my opinion one of the most fun heroes to play in DotA and the guides that exist on him here on playdota.com are not good. I am a public player and my guide is totally based on that but I do believe this build is perfect for higher level play too.
I would also like to apologize for any grammatical mistakes I make. English is not my native language.
Table of Contents
- Skill Build
- Item Build
Quick Summary for Alt-Tab
Storm Spirit is a hero which offers you high mobility combined with lethal combos. He is an excellent ganker and works very well as semi-carry/carry. He has got a great melee nuke, no-cd Blink and to top it off, a disable. But it is not all good, with his amazing arsenal of spells comes mana issues. One who does not master Storm's mana will never master Storm. Storm Spirit is a hero to watch out for. He can rip you apart and you will not even know what hit you.
When you do not pick Storm:
- When there is a Doom Bringer or any hero with a silence in the opposing team.
- You are not the ganker/carry type of player
- You do not know how to dominate your lane
- Got bad mana management
Raijin creates a remnant of himself containing his essence. The Static Remnant will release its stored energy whenever an enemy unit comes near it. Lasts 12 seconds.
Your nuke which is crucial to land when you gank. It is a great spell to use to farm in the start and works pretty well later as well. It can also provide you vision and can be used as a counter pushing spell, although not that effective. Try to use this spell a lot in the early stages of the game since it costs so little mana.
Storm focuses his energy to rip open vortex drawing an enemy to it. This process slows the Storm Spirit down for a brief period.
This spell combined with Static Remnant is a force to be reckoned with. Vortex guarantees you a hit with your Remnant and also provides an amazing disable. Can also be used early game to harass if you use Remnant directly after using Vortex.
Storm Spirit becomes overloaded with electrical energy whenever he casts a spell. The charge is released on his next attack as an electrical burst, dealing damage and slowing nearby units.
Having one level of this spell early on is godsend. I am amazed over how well Storm's spells work together. You are going to use Remnant to last hit creeps and when you do this, you will follow up with an attack on your opponent so that he eats an Overload. Remember to make most use of this spell. This means that you should use your active Overload before casting another spell so that you do not waste a charge.
Storm Spirit becomes enveloped with energy, losing his physical form, and travels until he depletes his mana or reaches his target. While in this form, he deals damage to nearby units based on how far his electrical form has traversed. Damage, speed and area of effect improves per level.
Storm Spirit's signature skill. This is what makes this hero so fun to play. Be aware though, without good mana management this spell can cause you a lot of problems. Use it wisely and it will prevail.
- Static Remnant
- Electric Vortex
- Electric Vortex
- Electric Vortex
- Ball Lightning
- Electric Vortex
- Static Remnant
- Static Remnant
- Static Remnant
- Ball Lightning
- Ball Lightning
This build gives you a solid start. Vortex is extremely good in ganks and it is your only disable. I am not a fan of taking Overload before Remnant for the sole reason that you have to spam a lot of spells to get those Overloads going while Remnant deals instant damage. Remnant is also superior if you want to clear creep waves quickly and farm.
There are many skill builds that work on Storm Spirit and adapting your skill build to the way you play is something you always should do. Some like to leave Vortex at level two and max Remnant first so they get some more damage output and increase their farming ability. This is just an example of how you can mix with the skill build.
A solid start and gives you well needed stats. If your team already has a chicken then you can switch out the chicken and a branch for two Mantles of Intelligence. The branches will later be used to make a Magic Wand. Having a chicken is crucial since this guide is focused on having Storm on middle lane and getting an early Bottle for rune dominance.
You will need Bottle if you are going middle lane, which you should. Rune dominance is the key to win the middle lane duel.
This is one of the best items in DotA and should never be overlooked.
In my opinion, Power Treads is too good of an item to be passed early. It makes it so much easier to gank and getting kills early on. Also, it provides you with well needed stats. Alternate between Strength and Intelligence Power Treads depending on your needs.
I prefer Linken's over Bloodstone. Enemies will aim disables on you because you can jump around like a kid and therefore Linken's will be a the best choice. Your most used combo: Ball Lightning->Hit->Vortex->Hit-Remnant will not always kill your enemies and they will most likely cast a stun on you after your combo, making you unable to finish them off or wasting too much mana chasing them. Linken's Sphere solves this problem. The spellblock is very good.
Bloodstone is a bit outdated. It may provide good mana regeneration if you can get a lot of charges but due to the nerf; you die once and you lose one third of your charges. Get this if you feel that you will dominate the game and will not die a lot. Excellent item instead of Linken's Sphere if their team got no disables. This item works well if your team is gank oriented. Many players prefer Bloodstone before Linken's and it is by no means a bad replacement.
To all those who say: "You should not die as Storm":
Then why do you not go Divine Rapier after your Bloodstone? Your argument is bad and should not be used.
I would like to add that going Bloodstone or Linken's Sphere is very playstyle dependant. You should try both items and use the one that suits you.
Orchid of Malevolence
One of my favorite items on Storm. It gives you amazing mana regeneration and a very nice silence to top it off. Remember that Orchid of Malevolence amplifies the damage you deal on the silenced target by 20%. That extra damage is dealt at the end of the silence. Orchid of Malevolence also comes with an easy build up. I prefer to buy this over Guinsoo after my core but this is situational and depends on personal preference and sometimes a Guinsoo will be better.
Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse
The disable is excellent to have, no arguing with that. However, I usually do not buy it before Orchid. Think about it. How much damage do you actually do by hitting on a chicken after your main spells are used? Your attack speed will be slightly low due to having no Orchid and I do not like going this before Orchid. It is good in team fights and should be considered if team needs a disable. I am not saying Guinsoo is a bad item, absolutely not. In competitive games, Guinsoo is probably better than Orchid.
Black King Bar
If you are getting raped by disables and your team does not know how to engage fights, then this might be considered. I hardly ever buy it but it is still a viable item. This item is often bought after Treads, Wand, Bottle in competitive games because the opposing team will pick many disablers to counter you.
You want to go take the middle lane. This will allow you to gain level quickly and abuse runes. Your main focus should be on last hitting and harassing. It is crucial that you harass as Storm. Your spells got really low mana cost at the start and you will not have any mana issues so almost spam that Remnant and follow up with a hit with Overload on your enemy. At around level 4 -5 you can start using Vortex->Hit->Remnant on your enemy for even more harassing.
When you get your Ball Lightning, start looking for opportunities to gank. If you want to gank bottom lane, check the lane before you run. Try to gank when a rune has recently spawned. By doing so, you will not only run to a lane to gank but also check the rune. This is called optimal playing. Do not waste your time.
How to gank
Usually you initiate with Ball Lightning followed up with an Overload->Vortex->Overload->Remnant. This is your bread and butter combo and should be used almost all the time. Be mindful with Vortex though, do not use it on a low hp hero. If you jump into two heroes and one has low hp, save Vortex and finish him off without using Vortex. Then you will have your Vortex for the other hero.
How to team fight
Storm's main purpose in fights is to jump in at the right moment and wreak havoc. In ganks Storm is the initiator because of his ultimate and his Vortex which will allow his teammates to get to the enemy. However, in team fights you should wait a little and let your allies initiate. Why? Because else you will get stunned.
So jump in when the timing is right and try to use your main combo but also beware of what is happening around you. Try to jump to the side with Ball Lightning after your first combo so you can avoid focus fire and gain an Overload also.
Understanding the art of farming
You want to aim at having Treads and Linken's before 25 min. You can sometimes skip Treads and rush the Linken's if the game feels right.
I am going to give you some tips here that will hopefully make you a better farmer. Obviously, last hitting is crucial if you want to farm well and getting as many last hits should be your goal. How will you achieve this? The answer is simple, with Remnant and proper last hitting.
Ranged creep's projectile
The deciding factor for getting a last hit on a lane is to watch how the projectile of the RANGED creep is moving. The ranged creep does most damage and it is the most significant creep out of all creeps when it comes to timing your last hit.
After a lot of games you will come to realize that getting your projectile to immediately follow your ranged creep's projectile is crucial against good players. You must learn to predict how much damage the ranged creep's projectile is going to do and if your hit that will follow it is going to be enough to get you the last hit.
Farming with Remnant
Secondly, when you have Remnant you can do a trick. This is to hit a creep that is not being attacked and get it down to around 20%. You will now have two creeps with low health, the one you attacked and the one your creeps attacked and with one Remnant you can get them both. Follow up with an attack on your enemy with the Overload charge.
Another trick that works when you have level 4 Remnant is to place a Remnant when all the creeps have full HP and then place a second one when ready. This will clear the whole creepwave.
Using the stop button "S" is also a good idea. This will help you time your attacks. By alternating between "S" and right-clicking on the creep your hero will look as if he is going to attack, but he will not. This is the technique I use when I fake my last hits, to make my enemy try to deny the creep.
Optimizing your time
Learn to optimize your farm. Do not run around mindlessly. Have a purpose with everything you do. If that purpose is unclear, do not move from your lane.
Carry a Town Portal so you can assist your team if you are miles away farming. Also carry a Town Portal to teleport to pushed lanes and taking the farm. Have you never cursed yourself for not carrying a Town Portal when you see a MASSIVE creep wave and you can not get there in time? Town Portal will allow you to farm in a safe place far away from your enemies and still be ready if a team fight occurs.
Understanding Ball Lightning
Any good Storm player must understand this spell. Trying it out and using it a lot is the best way to gain that knowledge. However, there are some things that theory can teach you. The mana cost is dependent on how large your mana pool is. Therefore, mana regeneration is often better than a large mana pool on Storm. Raw mana is the most terrible thing to buy on Storm Spirit. Raw mana (Energy Booster for example) increases the mana cost of your ultimate but gives no regeneration.
Another thing to notice is that you can cast spells while you are moving in Ball Lightning. This means you can use Dust or sheep a player while you are in Ball Lightning.
Some other tips are to use your terrain if you are running away with Ball Lightning. Jump over cliffs, move around a lot. You can dodge some stuns, such as Magic Missile.
Storm is extremely fun to play and remember that this is just a guide. This is what works best for my playstyle and I always adapt to the game I am in. To be a good player you need to adapt and try out different things to get an understanding. Do not be blinded by this guide and follow it without thought.
With that, I want to say thank you to everyone that reads this and good luck with Storm Spirit.
Patch version: 1.24
Map: DotA Allstars 6.67c
Game mode: -ap
Game length: 54:58
A SIG game where I faced the second highest ranked player on DotA-League. I die first blood and have a pretty tough start but come back at the later stages of the game. Notice how I still was able to harass Viper on the lane because of good use of Remnant and Vortex. Many mistakes by me but overall a good game.