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The Guide for Morphology

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Contents Page
1 ---------------- Introduction
2 ---------------- Foreword
3 ---------------- Mini Guide
4 ---------------- Hero Details
5 ---------------- Hero Abilities
6 ---------------- Advanced Usage of Skills
7 ---------------- Skill Builds
8 ---------------- Item Builds
9 ---------------- Strategy
10 ---------------- Replays

Mini Guide

The Mini Guide For Those Who Can't Wait To Waveform Away
Skill Build
Level 1. Waveform
Level 2. Morph/Adaptive Strike
Level 3. Waveform
Level 4. Morph
Level 5. Waveform
Level 6. Replicate
Level 7. Waveform
Level 8. Morph
Level 9. Morph
Level 10. Stats/Morph
Level 11. Replicate
Level 12. Stats
Level 13. Adaptive Strike
Level 14. Adaptive Strike
Level 15. Adaptive Strike
Level 16. Replicate
Level 17. Adaptive Strike/Stats
Level 18. Stats
Level 19. Stats
Level 20. Stats
Level 21. Stats
Level 22. Stats
Level 23. Stats
Level 24. Stats
Level 25. Stats

Item Build
Carry Items

Core Items

Post-Core Items

Luxury Items


Welcome to my Morphling guide! I wrote this guide because I feel that I should contribute to the Dota community with my knowledge. In this guide, I will try to cover everything about Morphling and therefore this guide would be comprehensive. This is my first time writing a guide, so please help me to perfection

Pros and Cons
|+| Extreme carrying potential
|+| Strong in both physical and magical attack
|+| Great survivability; good escape mechanisms
|+| Very flexible; adapts to roles easily
|+| Very good agility gain, good strength gain

|-| Slow base movement speed
|-| Hard to last hit and deny early game
|-| Very mana dependent
|-| Huge learning curve; difficult to play well
|-| Very reliant on items; item dependent
|-| Poor base stats (all 3)
|-| Terrible base intelligence and gain, yet dependent on it


Morphling have suffered greatly due to the recent nerfs ( I wonder what happened to Icefrog and Morphling) but he is still enjoyable to play. He is very versatile, being able to morph from one role to another. However, he is hard to play because of his versatility - many people build him wrongly and screwed him up. Anyway, hopefully this guide is able guide you to master Morphling fully.

Disclaimer : This guide is NOT by a competitive player and is therefore NOT for competitive uses. Do not expect the material here to be effective in competitive plays. I will still stress on teamwork as DotA is a team game. Also, this guide, just like any guide, is a page of suggested ideas/way of playing. Therefore, you as the reader, do not need to follow this guide to the letter as if it is the book of law. Lastly, this guide is for DotA 1, not DotA 2, so do not expect some materials here to work in DotA 2, though the gameplay may be applicable. Anyway, good luck in mastering Morphling!

The Morphling is a dynamic hero, capable of giving or taking massive amounts of damage, at the will of the player. His Waveform allows him to escape or initiate fights with ease, while his Adaptive Strike gives him a versatile, powerful nuke or stun. His Replicate allows him to make a copy of a hero, and to take the place of the copy in an instant. Morphling's greatest strength, however, is his ability to transfer his agility points to strength, and vice-versa, allowing him to take on the role of tank or damage dealer at a moment's notice. The Morphling is a dangerously mobile enemy, who must be treated with caution before he takes you by surprise!

Roles :
* Carry - Your main role. Morphling was once one of the best carries, but got nerfed (kinda badly) and became one of the best range carries instead

*Hybrid Carry - As said, Morphling is quite flexible and can morph from a carry to a tank. But you need one or two tank items for this (maybe Heart)

*Tank - With StrMorph, Morphling's hp can increase by the thousands in seconds. Not recommended though, as it doesn't bring out Morphling's full power

*Semi-nuker - Morphling possess 2 nukes alone, and can somewhat become a nuker after buying Dagon and Ethereal Blade

*Ganker - Morphling can gank well himself, or participate in ganks quickly with Waveform. To do this Morphling only need Bottle and BoT

____________________Morphling dissolves into his components and surges forward, dealing damage to everything in his wake.

ManaCooldown C. RangeAoEDurationEffects
114011 sec1000225N/A100 damage
215511 sec1000225N/A175 damage
316011 sec1000225N/A250 damage
416511 sec1000225N/A325 damage
  • Damage type: magical
  • Morphling becomes invulnerable when traveling in Waveform.
  • You will not lose control of Morphling while he waveforms.

Adaptive Strike
____________________Blasts a target with magical energy, dealing damage and disabling the target based on the Morphling's dominant attribute between Agility and Strength.

ManaCooldown C. RangeAoEDurationEffects
110010 sec600N/A0.25 - 0.75 seconds20 + 0.25x - 0.5x Agility Damage dealt
210010 sec700N/A0.25 - 1.5 seconds40 + 0.25x - 1x Agility Damage dealt
310010 sec800N/A0.25 - 2.25 seconds60 + 0.25x – 1.5x Agility Damage dealt
410010 sec900N/A0.25 - 3.0 seconds80 + 0.25x - 2x Agility Damage dealt
  • Damage type: magical
  • Both damage and stun will occur.
  • If you have 50% more agility than strength, it deals the maximum of the damage and the minimum of the stun.
  • f you have 50% more strength than agility, it deals the maximum of the stun and the minimum of the damage
  • Knocks the target back 100 - 300 units.
  • The higher your strength, the further the pushback is.

____________________The Morphling edits his physical being to fit the circumstances. He can, at will, lose some strength and gain agility, or vice versa. The process is reversible.

ManaCooldown C. RangeAoEDurationEffects
1N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AGains two skills to change attribute points
2N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AGains two skills to change attribute points
3N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AGains two skills to change attribute points
4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AGains two skills to change attribute points
  • It will continue to move stats between strength and agility even if Morphling is disabled.
  • Bonus agility or strength from items can't be converted.

____________________The Morphling has the unique ability to replicate any target friendly or enemy hero. Although it only deals 50% damage, the hero can morph into his replication, instantly taking its position

ManaCooldown C. RangeAoEDurationEffects
12580 sec700N/A30Creates an Illusion of the target unit
22580 sec1100N/A45Creates an Illusion of the target unit
32580 sec1500N/A60Creates an Illusion of the target unit
  • When the Illusion is created, this skill is temporarily replaced by another skill (Morph Replicate} until the illusion disappears.
  • The replicate illusion deals 50% of the original's damage and receives 100% damage.
  • The replicate illusion has all the properties of a standard illusion.
  • Cannot target your own units.
  • For the purposes of this guide, I will call the illusion created by Replicate a Replica

Morph Replicate
____________________The Morphling morphs into his replicate, immediately taking its position.

 ManaCooldown C. RangeAoEDurationEffects
11500N/AN/AN/AImmediately takes the position of the illusion
21500N/AN/AN/AImmediately takes the position of the illusion
31500N/AN/AN/AImmediately takes the position of the illusion
  • The Illusion disappears when you use this skill.

Advanced Usage of Skills

  1. Remember, Waveform is very mana-intensive, since it costs a whopping 165 mana at level 4; you only have just enough mana for 2 Waveforms at level 7 without stats

  2. You can still use items when Waveforming. Check out huytakeda's movie DotA Tricks - Morphing With Force Staff (and more) Great job, huytakeda!

  3. Use Waveform wisely – do not spam Waveform to farm when enemies are ‘MIA’. Also, do not spam Waveform unless you have a steady and sufficient mana regeneration.

  4. Speed-farming with Waveform - hit the melee creeps until their hp bar turns yellow. Then Waveform to the range creep(s). Note that after some time, the range creeps need to be hit once more before killed.

  5. Initiate a gank with Waveform - Waveform to the path you think the enemy will run to, while hitting the enemy and having the enemy in your attack range. This will ensure that you get to hit the enemy more times.

  6. Use Waveform to lure your enemies into casting spells, to no avail - when ganked, saving your Waveform for specific enemy spells (e.g Vs's Nether Swap} can increase your chances of surviving the gank. However, only do this if you are confident of your reflexes, otherwise don’t try to dodge spells hurled at you – just get away with Waveform at once.

  7. Harassing with Waveform - Waveform to their faces, trade a couple of hits, then retreat.

  8. Always try to make full use of Waveform's range (1000 range)

  9. Waveform gives flying vision - you can utilize this to scout Roshan, runes, jungle, etc

Skill Build

The Stats Build
Level 1. Waveform
Level 2. Stats
Level 3. Waveform
Level 4. Stats
Level 5. Waveform
Level 6. Stats
Level 7. Waveform
Level 8. Stats
Level 9. Morph
Level 10. Replicate
Level 11. Replicate
Level 12. Adaptive Strike
Level 13. Morph
Level 14. Morph
Level 15. Morph
Level 16. Replicate
Level 17. Adaptive Strike
Level 18. Adaptive Strike
Level 19. Adaptive Strike
Level 20-25. Stats

This build is typically for beginners. The extra stats help beginners to overcome their mana problems and farm better. Waveform is your primary nuke, lane-controlling skill and escape mechanism, and should therefore be leveled up first. Morph is leveled up after that so that Morphling can survive more brutal ganks. Adaptive Strike is leveled up last as you want to focus more on DPS.Replicate is leveled up as soon as possible to prolong its duration.

*If you plan to use this skill build I suggest you also use the ‘Before EB came’ item build found below.

Items Build

Starting Build
If you picked Morphling

3 Ironwood Branches for extra stats

Due to Morphling's base armour nerf, an RoP early is more like a necessity than a luxury. It helps improve your resistance towards physical harass (which is very common) and can be upgraded into a RoB later

To help you stay longer in lane

Mid Game
Item Progression

---------------( 1)
Rush this ASAP, as you need the extra movement speed desperately

---------------( 2)
Don't forget this for added survivability

---------------( 3) ->
Get Sobi to complete RoB, for now it’s time for some mana regeneration

---------------( 4)
After that, it’s time for stats items, so get your Wraith and Bracer. (note that wraith automatically becomes Ring of Aquila )

---------------( 5)
Now for some extra dps and stats.

Pre-Core Items

Okay, now that you’ve gotten your basic items, it’s time to consider buying the ‘big items.’ Do take note that you’re going to rush the following item(s).

---------------( If you’re a newb (you just started in DotA) OR you prefer passve items OR you prefer regeneration items OR you like Spell Block = LINKEN’S SPHERE

  1. Ultimate Orb
  2. Perseverance

* If you get Linken’s Sphere, don’t get BKB

---------------( If you are confident in your reflexes AND know how to use the active spells of items OR you prefer the magic immunity from BKB = BLACK KING BAR

  1. Ogre Axe
  2. Mithril Hammer

* If you get BKB, don’t get Linken’s Sphere

---------------( If you couldn’t farm well and your team’s losing = SANGE & YASHA

  1. Belt of Giant Strength
  2. Ogre Axe -> Sange
  3. Boots of Elvenskin
  4. Blade of Alacrity -> Yasha (Sange & Yasha

* After your farm became better, disassemble Sange & Yasha for Manta Style. Sell Sange.

---------------( If your team adopted a pushing strategy OR you want to push lanes = MANTA STYLE

  1. Ultimate Orb
  2. Boots of Elvenskin
  3. Blade of Alacrity

---------------( If you want to gank OR there is an Anti-Mage on the opposing team OR you need the Purge to deal with buffs/summons = DIFFUSAL BLADE

  1. Robe of Magi
  2. 2 X Blade of Alacrity

* You can upgrade Diffusal Blade for more charges, but I suggest you don’t upgrade Diffusal as you would be getting another better orb for Morphling. If you want to upgrade and keep Diffusal, it’s up to you to decide.

** Mix and match the items as you like to suit a game. There is no universal build that will work for all situations. Though I said, “Don’t get BKB if you have gotten Linken,” that is only because you only need one defence against spells. However, you can get both Linken and BKB if you feel you need both of them to survive in a team fight. The same goes for Buriza and MKB. You only need one attack modifier, but if you found that you need the crits but can’t afford to miss, getting both MKB and Buriza may be the solution to your problem.

For example, I can get Diffusal Blade to counter Anti-Mage then get Manta Style for the ms bonus so I can chase up with him. Besides, AM lacks AoE damage so he might find it difficult to destroy my illusions.

Bottomline : Be creative. Buy the necessary items to solve the problems you face in the game. Always improvise and improve.

Completed Core

+ Whichever item you chose

Post-Core Items
[tab]The Shotgun Build|The Before EB came build

Due to Adaptive Strike becoming magical damage in one of the patch, the EB + AS combo became viable and fierce some. In fact, it was so powerful IceFrog had to nerf Adaptive Strike. Even so, it is still very popular and many Morphling players in international competitions had been seen rushing a Ethereal Blade to start racking up kills.

It is obvious that this build revolves around Ethereal Blade and Adaptive Strike. You might want to consider rushing Ethereal Blade, though you might find it better to get mana regeneration items (Bottle/Linken’s Sphere/Perseverance) first as Morphling will become very mana starved.

As the shotgun combo easily kills enemies, getting Ethereal Blade can drastically increase Morphling’s income, thus allowing him to turn the game into his favour. Also, getting kills easily allows Morphling to quickly buy those tier 3 items to end the game. Effective, efficient and swift. For a fast paced game demanding carries to get farmed up ASAP, the Shotgun Build is what you need.

Pros and Cons :
|+|Can One-Hit-KO opponents
|+|Very fun (who doesn’t like instagibb-ing enemies?)
|+|Ghost Form + BKB’s magic immunity grants near invunerability
|+|Damage increases as game goes on
|+|Evenly distributed damage output; harder to counter Morphling’s damage output

|-|Mana Intensive
|-|Reliant on BKB to nullify Ghost Form; without BKB it’s easy to burst down Morphling
|-Magic resistance can counter Morphling’s magic damage output


The ‘Before EB came’ build is the build that players used before EB came and Replicate and Manta Style was nerfed. Is it still viable? You may ask. Well, though you can’t expect to get the same amount of DPS since you can no longer use the Manta + Replicate Manta illusions combo anymore. However, this build is reliable and focuses more on DPS than nuking powers.

Obviously use the ‘Before EB came’ skill build to match this item build.



Get an items to counter a particular problem (like BKB against disablers) then complete the rest.

Complete Core + Post-Core


Bonus damage is wasted on range heroes with poor base damage; just learn how to farm properly (it's easy once you get the hang on it)

You don't need the magic resistance; just get BKB

You are the (main)carry and shouldn't be absorbing the damage, though you can be extremely tanky

Definitely NOT for Morphling Though he has imba attack speed

It looks real nice right? But can you imagine Morphling carrying a nice shiny gold axe, cutting off people's head? Nope

Why do you need the invisibility for? You can escape well yourself, and the suprise backstab won't help you much

You already have enough attack speed, and you'll just increase your fragility

If you think you're soooo smart you can insta-gib two guys, wake up from your dream and realise the sheer mana cost to carry it out (375+165+100+50+165+100+50=1005 mana)

Gives a real nice 60 damage and helps Morphling farm, but it doesn't suit Morphling as you don't have much AoE presence

The attack speed is too much, and Chain Lightning is a terrible orb for Morphling. You need survivability (with you would get from lifesteal), not the ability to shoot arc lightnings.


Item Strategy

The problem with Ethereal Blade is when you're in ethereal form, you're more susceptible to nukes, disables and silences.

Nukes - When you're in ethereal form, you take 40% extra magic damage. This means if that Slayer/Lion managed to survive your combo, you’ll be pwned in no time. Seriously

Disables - Some disables deal damage, some don't, but they all serve one purpose : disable you. When you're disabled in ethereal form, you can't use your full combo, so your damage is compromised.

Silences - When you're silenced AND in ethereal form, you're useless; you can neither attack physically nor use your spells. Fortunately, almost no silencing spell that deals damage.

Therefore, you must use BKB before using Ether Blast (Ethereal Blade's active) to prevent yourself from dying stupidly.

+ = Map Control
1) Replicate any other hero (preferably someone with high ms) then teleport home.
2) Send your Replica to some lane, while you go jungling or laning
3) When time's almost up, Morph Replicate

Remember, this neat little trick allows you to return to your fountain for some quick healing before going back to battle. Just make your Replica sit at the fountain!


Early Game

Morphling’s playstyle is summarized in two words: safe aggression. You play safe all the time, but when you see a chance, you go straight for it. Play him the same ways as any other carry during early-mid. Just last hit and deny, try and get as much gold as you can. Since Morphling can easily join in ganks organized by his team mates, you can Waveform into the clash and pick off enemy heroes after you see your allies initiate the gank. Even if you don’t get the kill, you would still get exp and gold. As the game progresses, you would become more and more powerful, so feel free to become aggressive. However, don’t die – play safe and passive but kill when you can.

One difference between a pro Morphling player and a beginner Morphling player is their mana management. Pro Morphling players know how to deal with his mana so he can freely use his spells even with the mana constrain. Note: Do NOT spam your spells. One key misconception with getting RoB early is that the RoB is there so that you can spam Waveform. This is wrong! RoB is there so that you can use Morph more freely. Besides, your team mate can also benefit from it. Use Waveform sparingly – like to get a kill once in a while. Once you get your RoB, try and see your current situation.
Is your lane safe? Can you farm safely? If YES, then AgiMorph so that last hitting is easier.
If NO, StrMorph so you become more tanky. It may only be a few differences in stats, but you never know how that extra 95hp can save yourself.
At most Morph 5/6 stats, don’t go overboard as this can affect your game.

Early Game Summary
Last and deny creeps
Try to get as much gold as possible
Join in ganks
Play safe
Do NOT spam Waveform/Adaptive Strike

Mid Game
OK, it has passed the 15 minutes mark. You should be Lvl 7+ with some good amount of gold.
Note: I recommend you do the following as it will make a huge impact on your game
Buy your post-core items, and reflect on the current situation.

First, assess your team. Ask yourself questions about your current condition. Who’s winning now?
Is your team faring well? Are you faring well? Is there a higher possibility of winning? Is your team ahead in terms of level and gold? Did your team get any tower kill?
*Did you die? If you did, then ask yourself how did you die?

Then assess your opponents. Ask yourself about their condition. Are they winning? Are they ahead of your team in terms of level and gold? Is their carry (if any) farming well?

Basically, try and see whose winning. This will determine your next items. Also, utilize Morph. Now you have much more stats to play around with. Look at your team mates’ condition and find the one that has the least deaths/ survived a lot of ganks. Look at his hp and armour, and try to Morph your stats so much so that your hp is close to his, but your armour is not too low. That way you would have a higher chance of survival. If not, aim for 1200-1500hp, with around 10-12 armour. That should be enough to make you hard to kill.

So after your reflection –

If your team is winning – be more aggressive.
Item choices : Boots of Travel – if your team is ganking/pushing heavily
Ethereal Blade – if you want to gank enemies yourself
Yasha -> Manta Style – if you want to start pushing/ want more dps

Since you’re going to be more aggressive, you can drop some of your previous timidity. However, DO NOT DIE! Mid game is where things start to get tense and the outcome can be decided in this part of the game, so try your best to stay alive.

Start pushing with your team mates. Those towers would give you a lovely amount of gold.
If you know the enemy team cannot counter push, go ahead and push a lane. The added pressure can give you the edge you need.
If you bought an early BoT, push very hard. When the enemy team is distracted, Replicate one of your team mate and send the Replica to another lane. Teleport to an isolated lane and push. Make it fast as your Replica is going to run out in 30 or so seconds. Waveform to kill the creeps and go for the tower. When your Replica’s time is almost up, Telemorph and push the other lane. Keep repeating this and force your enemy to be on the defensive. With Replicate and BoT, you would be omnipresent.

When you get Manta Style, things would become more exciting. Your illusions would wreak havoc and make a short work out of the towers. If you have a large minion wave AND you know it is safe, AgiMorph lots of stats, pop your illusions, then destroy the tower.

Key Objective : Kill as much heroes as you can. Raze those towers to the ground. Since your team’s winning, follow the tide and become the unstoppable tsunami that will mark their doom! (In simple terms, GET FARMED UP) But, DON’T DIE.

Morphling the Morphling
Author: Mesothelioma
Map Vers.: 6.75b

The Complete Guide to Morphling

The Guide for Morphology

Date Posted: 06/29/11
Last Comment:27/09/2012
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