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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The Invoker
3. Hero Statistics
4. Skills
a. Overview
b. Quas
c. Wex
d. Exort
e. Invoke
5. Spells
a. Overview
b. Cold Snap
c. Ghost Walk
d. Ice Wall
e. Tornado
f. EMP
g. Alacrity
h. Forge Spirits
i. Chaos Meteor
j. Sunstrike
k. Deafening Blast
6. Tactics
a. Overview
b. Maneuvers
c. Tricks
7. Overall Strategy
a. Overview
b. Choose Your Role
c. Choose Your Build
d. Choose Your Items
8. Roles
a. Overview
b. Support
c. Initiator
d. Push
e. Kill
f. Carry
9. Builds
a. Overview
b. Single Orb
c. Double Orb
d. Triple Orb
e. Variations
10. Items
a. Core
b. Luxury
c. Contraband
11. Advanced Gameplay
a. Shift-Queuing
b. Shock and Awe
12. Countering Invoker
13. Replays
14. Videos
a. Cold Snap
15. Conclusion
16. Credits
17. Changelog

Introduction

There are three main reasons why I choose to write and maintain this guide. The first is common to all guides: I like this hero and want to share my opinions about him. The second reason is that there is a lot of dispute about how Invoker is best played. Though there is always some build that is popularly held up as “the best,” this way of thinking limits Invoker players. My intent here is to try to break some people away from this viewpoint. The third reason is to generate new interest in the Invoker. He is great fun to play, but can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the techniques required to excel with him. I hope to demonstrate just how enjoyable he can be and help new players find a strategy that suits them.

This guide deviates from the usual format. I do have some of the basics, such as sections describing the hero, the skills, items and demonstrative replays. However, rather than covering a single strategy and holding it up as The One, I am going to go over each and every trick, build and maneuver I have ever seen or performed with Invoker. It is up to you to decide which of these tools you prefer and generate an appropriate strategy. I don’t expect you to read the entire guide from start to finish, so I have repeated myself a few times about important details. I hope you can forgive me this redundancy, but it is necessary to ensure that people remember those points.

Since this guide is longer than usual I have broken up the table of contents, placing most of the subtopics into mini-tables throughout the guide. To jump to a topic click on the link in the table, and to return to the topic's parent click on a topic header. Trying to use your browser's find feature will not be efficient.

The Invoker

So for those of you who may not have ever played him, the Invoker is a hero with completely unique style of play from any other. The skills he levels, which I shall call reagents, max out at level 7. Invoke, his “ultimate,” can reach level 4. The Invoker’s actual spells are “invoked” by casting his ultimate, which generates a spell from these reagents. There are ten different spells that can be wielded. With all these varied abilities the Invoker has arguably the most complex gameplay of any hero in DotA.

Hero Statistics



For more detailed information see the main Invoker page.

Skills

1. Overview
2. Quas
a. Recovering
b. Tanking
3. Wex
a. Fleeing
b. Chasing
4. Exort
a. Killing
b. Pushing
5. Invoke
a. Reagent Awareness
b. Precognition
Overview

Here I will describe the Invoker's basic skills: the three reagents (Quas, Wex, and Exort) and Invoke. Unlike most other skills of most other heroes these only affect the Invoker himself. The reagents grant passive bonuses to various statistics, while Invoke grants access to the Invoker's true spells.

The Invoker can have three reagents active at any given time. Each time you “cast” a reagent it replaces the oldest reagent active. For example if you have Wex Wex Wex active and then activate two Quas reagents, you will have Wex Quas Quas. Should you then activate two Exort reagents your reagent set will be Quas Exort Exort, with the oldest two reagents (Wex and Quas) replaced by Exort. It is good to keep in mind which reagents you have active, for each reagent provides an appreciable bonus to some statistic. These bonuses improve with the reagent’s level and stack with one another.

One important thing to keep in mind when you are switching reagents is that activating a reagent breaks your command chain. For example, if you are walking back to base and you activate three Wex reagents then you will stop moving. The reagent activation interrupted your move command, so you will need to give it again.

Below are more detailed explanations of each of the skills. The letter in parentheses next to the skill name is the hotkey that will activate it. You will also note me using the words “complement” and “orb.” By complement I am referring to a set of three reagents of the same kind, so a complement of Quas reagents is three active Quas orbs. I hereafter use the word “orb” to refer to these skills with respect to their bonuses, while I will continue to use “reagent” when talking about their uses in Invoke.

Quas (Q)

Quas is the orb of ice. It provides a large bonus to your health regeneration, and its contributions to spells tend to involve slows or disables.

Recovering

This is a no-brainer. Quas regenerates HP. Early game it is a great tool for lane perseverance, and if you are judicious enough in your use of the orb you can maintain full health for quite some time. A level 1 complement of Quas orbs provides as much regeneration as a Helm of Iron Will, so even if you aren’t using a Quas-primary build you can still get something out of it.

The way I wield Quas for recovery purposes is simple: I have it active any time I am below full health. Though I may switch out of a Quas complement mere seconds after I switch in, that is still more HP than I had. These little chunks add up, and if you are efficient you can keep other orb complements up for only as long as you need them.

Tanking

This is a little less intuitive, especially given the Invoker's miserable health. Nonetheless, you can create the appearance of durability somewhat with Quas. The high regeneration allows you to eat hits from creeps and heroes for at least a short while without any real risk. Against heroes with powerful harassment tools (Windrunner, Moon Rider, Viper) Quas can completely defuse their lane supremacy. For some perspective, a level 13 Invoker with 1000 hp and level 7 of Quas can receive 21 hp per second from the orb. This is as much as a Heart of Tarrasque, with the added bonus that it will function in combat. A thousand points of health is nothing to brag about though, so don't get too enthusiastic.

Wex (W)

Wex is the orb of lightning. Appropriately, it boosts attack and movement speed. Wex-based spells are delightfully varied, and offer some of the most satisfying strategies. You'll just have to read the Spells section to see what I mean.

Fleeing

Fairly obvious. Increased movespeed means you can run away from uncomfortable situations, or dodge certain spells. The Invoker’s base movespeed is terrible, but Wex makes up for this. At high levels it makes the Invoker one of the fastest heroes in the game, and indeed with the right items you can be permanently hasted. With this blistering speed - in addition to his thick spellbook - you can count on never catching the Invoker without a good stunner.

Chasing

I don’t need to go much into this, do I? Chasing is just fleeing with the roles reversed. Unfortunately, though it's hard to catch the Invoker it is similarly hard for a Wex Invoker to win a chase. Sure, he will run circles around you, but frankly he isn’t going to do a whole lot else. To succeed in a chase with a Wex build you will need to rely on items or spells involving other reagents.

Exort (E)

Exort is the favorite child, the orb of fire. It increases your damage. Leveling Exort unlocks the Invoker’s potent nukes, and given the average DotA player’s preference for kill characters it is unsurprising that most Invoker players go for Exort builds.

Killing

Damage tends to be good for this, and Exort doesn’t skimp on the damage. In almost any situation where I am trying to kill someone I have an Exort complement active. In some situations Wex will produce more damage per second, but that will only happen in builds where Wex has a much higher level than Exort. In early game I like to have Exort active every single time I hit the enemy, since you usually only get a single hit at a time and want to make sure it counts.

Pushing

Like killing heroes, killing creeps and towers is facilitated by high damage. Again, Wex can sometimes provide more DPS (damage per second) on the tower, but you rarely get to sit there chucking plasma without attracting attention anyways, so you'd better make sure each shot counts.

Invoke (R)

Casting Invoke will cause a spell to appear in your command interface. At level 1 of Invoke you are able to combine reagents into spells, and at Invoke’s second level you can have two spells available at once. Once invoked, a spell will remain until you replace it with another spell. You can change your orbs in between invokes without altering the active spell. The cooldowns for each of the ten spells are persistent as well, so re-invoking a spell will not refresh it. Trying to re-invoke an already active spell in fact has no effect at all on the game except to burn mana. It doesn't even change the "age" of the spell. Like the reagents, newly invoked spells will replace the oldest spell.

Reagent Awareness

Pay attention to the reagents you have active, and in what order you activated them. If you have an Exort complement active you don’t need to enter all three reagents to make an spell with Exort in it. If you just invoked a Quas spell and you are about to gank someone, don’t forget to switch back to Exort.

A second part to this awareness ties a bit into the next section. If you want to invoke Forge Spirits it does not do you much good to activate Exort Exort Quas. Then you have to go and reactivate a complement of Exort orbs. A much better way is to activate Quas Exort Exort, and once you have invoked the spell simply activate a single Exort orb. Time-wise this may only wave you a second, but it also will save you from the potential trouble of the command-interrupt that using a skill causes. Furthermore if you are trying to chain two spells together and they share a reagent, it makes for a quicker chain if you order them such that you can reuse a single reagent for both spells.

Precognition

This is a much bigger deal than the previous topic, especially early on. You can only change your spells if Invoke is off cooldown, so the sooner you Invoke a spell the more flexibility you will have later on. If you are moving to gank someone, you should probably Invoke the relevant spell as soon as you make that decision. That way by the time you reach the person you can either prepare a second spell, or have the option to change tactics midway through the gank.

Spells

1. Overview
2. Cold Snap
3. Ghost Walk
4. Ice Wall
5. Tornado
6. EMP
7. Alacrity
8. Forge Spirits
9. Chaos Meteor
10. Sunstrike
11. Deafening Blast

Overview

Each of the Invoker’s spells can be used in a variety of ways, and if you play the Invoker frequently you will probably already be familiar with a fair number of them. There are however a few applications that are seen less often, and making the transition from just the normal uses to including the more unusual will provide a good boost to your Invoker game.

I will go into a fair amount of detail on each of the ten spells. As mentioned before you can navigate between the sections by using the table of contents above, or by clicking on the section headers. The reagent combinations are listed inside the brackets, while the spell hotkeys are listed in parentheses. The order of the reagents doesn’t matter at all, so don’t assign too much importance to the way I choose to display them.

The examples I give are drawn from real games. They aren’t always perfect examples of how a spell can be used, and indeed there are a few cases where a different spell would be better. However, you will not always have access to all of your abilities, so it is important to be willing to use those available in unorthodox ways.

Cold Snap [QQQ] (Y)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Disable
b. Kill
c. Jungle
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Examples

Overview

Cold Snap works by stunning the affected unit any time it receives damage. A short cooldown between stuns means you cannot keep them permanently stunned for the duration of the spell, but for the most part all they will be able to do is twitch uselessly. In addition, each ministun will also deal 30 magical damage. This means at its highest level it can do a maximum of 270 damage.

Uses

Disable

Given its highly disruptive effect Cold Snap serves well as a disable. You will need a continuous stream of damage though, for otherwise all you will get is the initial ministun. Once Quas is sufficiently leveled you can almost completely shut down an enemy hero. Many heroes in DotA have longer cast or attack animations than the ministun's cooldown, allowing you - provided you can injure them quickly enough - to prevent them from taking any meaningful action for the duration of the spell.

In some cases you won't need to attack. The stun first applied on casting Cold Snap can be used to quickly break a channel. If you foresee that you are the intended target of one such channel, especially a channeled disable like Bane Elemental's Fiend's Grip, you can potentially save yourself by casting Cold Snap in your last moment of freedom. If any friendly units are nearby they may injure your captor, triggering Cold Snap and freeing you.

Kill

Cold Snap is a deceptively lethal spell, and you can use it to score kills even without the aid of allies. If you have enough DPS or can incite your creeps to attack a foe, a quick application of Cold Snap will often prove devastating, if not fatal. I strongly recommend you employ animation canceling when attacking or harassing in this manner. It will allow you to remain in range far longer, and thus deal more damage.

Jungle

If you are farming to carry with a Quas build you may want to use Cold Snap to jungle. By casting Cold Snap on a powerful creep (the Centaur, Satyr Hellcaller, one of the Ursas) you can cripple the creep camp’s damage output. However you will need some source of DPS if you hope to kill the main creep in the spell's duration. One or two Quarterstaffs, for example. This is a good way to neutral farm without purchasing tanking items.

Synergies

Combos

Forge Spirits synergizes magnificently with Cold Snap. The extra hits from the elementals increase the likelihood that the stuns will be triggered as close together as possible. People frequently run from an aggressive pair of elementals as well, so Cold Snap can help to keep them in range.

Alacrity is another good spell to combine with Cold Snap. The extra attack speed fulfills the same role as the elementals do from Forge Spirits, and it is less likely that the enemy will try to run from an elemental-deficient Invoker until it is too late.

The third spell which I use in conjunction with Cold Snap is Chaos Meteor. The burning after-effect of the meteor can trigger Cold Snap a few times, and so you can get a decent number of stuns on the target.

Allies

There are many good combos for Cold Snap, but most of these can be boiled down to a few basic traits. Any damage over time spell is superb for Cold Snap, as the DoT triggers Cold Snap even when you aren’t around. Any bash spell is good, so heroes like Faceless Void, Troll Warlord, or Spiritbreaker synergize well. Heroes with high attack speed work as well, though they had better have decent damage as well or the spell will expire before they can inflict enough harm. Spells that slow or stun can be chained with Cold Snap - just as any other pair of disables - to increase the effectiveness of a gank.

A few spells that make good combos don’t fall into the above categories. Some of these, though doubtless not all, are: Dark Seer’s Ion Shell, Juggernaut’s Blade Fury, and Juggernaut’s Omnislash.

Items



Radiance is my favorite item to use in conjunction with Cold Snap. The AOE burn will trigger the ministuns without you having to put any effort into it. This allows you to use Cold Snap effectively in chases, or disable an enemy in a team battle and then turn your attention to other threats.



Summoning items vastly increase the frequency at which Cold Snap is triggered. Manta Style is the easier of the pair since your images are ranged, but you will probably get more overall damage from the Necronomicon. The first of many trade-offs...



The Urn of Shadows triggers Cold Snap. How sweet is that? The DoT lasts longer than Cold Snap, so you should use the Urn first.

All attack speed items are also effective.

Examples

Pudge is in the middle of throwing a hook at your ally, Mortred. You cast Cold Snap on him. As he bites down he also activates Rot. The Rot damage triggers Cold Snap, breaking his channel. While he is figuring out what just happened (you usually get at least one free moment of confusion per game) you and Mortred tear him apart, Cold Snap preventing him from running.

Warlock and Dragon Knight are laning against you and Ogre Magi. You've kept relatively quiet thus far, and they have grown confident with their strong lane. As Warlock runs a bit too far forward, intending to cast Shadow Word on you, Ogre Magi stuns him with Fireblast. The two of you lay into him, and the moment the stun ends you cast Cold Snap. Though Dragon Knight is able to stun you, Cold Snap and Ogre Magi's Ignite finish Warlock off.

Viper has been harassing you heavily, and you have little health remaining. You hang back far behind the creep line to regenerate with Quas. Hungering for a kill and confident the creeps won't take offense to his orb attack, he surges forward to finish you off. As he begins his attack you do the unexpected (the point of the entire guide by the way) and throw a Tornado at the enemy creeps. You quickly switch to Cold Snap and cast it on him. As the enemy combatants are currently flying in the air, your creeps switch their attacks to Viper. Between you and the creeps he quickly succumbs.

Ghost Walk [QQW] (V)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Escape
b. Chase
c. Scout
d. Kill
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Examples

Overview

I'm going to go ahead and give Invoker another superlative. Ghost Walk is the best wind walk in the game. It's a 200 manacost invisibility spell that lasts for 2 minutes and has up to a 40% slow aura. Granted at early levels it will slow you as well, and the 60 second cooldown prevents you from abusing it (easily), but it is still a great spell.

Uses

Escape

It’s a windwalk, so naturally it’s an escape mechanism. If you are being chased by some fearsome/mighty hero who will almost certainly kill you unless you get away right now, cast Ghost Walk. It almost guarantees you an escape unless the enemy team gets truesight. Beware of heroes with cleave though; they can still kill you.

Axe deserves a special mention too, since his taunt can pull you out of your invisibility. If you do find yourself caught in Berserker's Call, repeatedly press the 'S' button or command the Invoker to move somewhere, repeatedly interrupting his attack animation. So long as you can break the animation before the attack is actually released, you will remain in Ghost Walk.

Chase

You can use Ghost Walk to help your team get a kill by using it to slow enemy heroes. This is a useful tactic if you can’t kill the enemy yourself and your allies are too far away for your other disables to be effective. The long duration gives plenty of time for some kill/carry hero to catch up to you and your victim.

Scout

If Rikimaru can do it so can you. I usually only use Ghost Walk for this during the day, for at night you have to be much closer to whomever it is you are following, and as a result they feel the effects of your slow. At day you can hang back and still keep the enemy in vision. If I do this I try to make sure I go invisible about a minute before I know any confrontations might take place, for otherwise I won’t have Ghost Walk to fall back on to escape if things go badly.

Another facet of this use is that you can position yourself to have a noteworthy advantage in a battle. You can gank enemies, initiate team battles, steal the Aegis, all sorts of fun things. Breaking invisibility with a flashy spell like Chaos Meteor will also buy you extra time before you come under fire.

Kill

While not a good choice for bringing down a full hp hero, Ghost Walk can be a great way to turn a fight around. If you purchase a Radiance you can turn Ghost Walk into a weapon. If you find yourself near a low hp enemy but you lack enough health yourself to take them out you can go invisible and slowly burn them to death. The slow will keep them from escaping you too easily, and if you start far enough from their base they will likely succumb.

Synergies

Combos

The easiest spell of yours to use in conjunction with Ghost Walk is Forge Spirits. It is sort of like killing with a Radiance, except oftentimes the enemy will simply turn around and attack the elementals. If they do this I break out of Ghost Walk and try to kill them before they defeat the summons. As mentioned earlier, you can also use Ghost Walk to position yourself to unleash a devastating spell. Chaos Meteor, Ice Wall, Forge Spirits, and Alacrity are the most effective for surprise attacks.

Allies

All slows. Ion Shell is also great, granting even more AOE burn than a Radiance.

Items



Radiance is of course effective in the sense that it allows Ghost Walk to become an offensive spell.



If you are opting to use Ghost Walk as a battle initiation tool you might want to consider burst damage items, especially if you don't have many levels in Exort.

Examples

You are fighting against a farmed Drow Ranger. You expend all your damaging abilities on her but she will still clearly kill you first. Fortunately you have a Radiance. Invoke and cast Ghost Walk, then shadow her as she tries to get back to her base. By the time she gets near a tower you've regenerated enough health through Quas (and she has lost enough from the Radiance) that you are more than a match for her. You break invisibility and finish her off.

A huge team battle is approaching. All five enemy heroes are pushing down mid lane, so you cast Ghost Walk and sit in the forest. Your team now knows when the enemy Leshrac runs into the forest to gank, and when he makes his move you are in a position to flank and kill him before he can deal significant damage.

Someone tries to kill you. You Ghost Walk and leave.

Ice Wall [QQE] (G)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Disable
b. Escape
c. Control
d. Confuse
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Techniques
5. Examples

Overview

Ice Wall provides a powerful slow. At level 4 this is an 80% movespeed reduction, so unless you have more than 500 movespeed you will be moving just as slow as if you had been hit by a Guinsoo. The wall’s long duration and short cooldown can keep it a near constant presence on the battlefield.

Even more, the slow from Ice Wall penetrates magic immunity. Juggernaut's Blade Fury, Omniknight's Repel, and Avatar from Black King Bar all fail to protect against Ice Wall.

You may need to practice a bit with the wall before you can use it to its greatest impact. After you familiarize yourself with the way it casts you can manage things like casting the wall sideways to catch people on the corners.

Uses

Disable

As mentioned, this is nearly the perfect slow.

Escape

Given it has a massive slow Ice Wall is a great way to get away from an enemy. Unless the enemy has a stun or a blink that they’ve been saving up for just that moment, you will probably escape.

Control

People quickly catch on that it isn’t the best of ideas to walk through the Ice Wall. This is not a bad thing however, for you can use their aversion to your advantage and control where they are willing to move. By “poorly” placing the Ice Wall you can create chokepoints for the enemy to file through in a line, allowing your team to wield AOE spells to devastating effect.

Confuse

The wall model is visually imposing, and placing one in the right location can increase the screen’s visual clutter so much that other players are not sure what is going on. The wall is great for obscuring other spells, and even hiding heroes. The downside is this also applies to you, so try to pay close attention to the goings on to prevent yourself from missing some critical information due to your own spell.

Synergies

Combos

Forge Spirits can have a lot more time to deal damage if their target is trapped in an Ice Wall. The same thing applies for Alacrity. You can hide a charging EMP blast under the clutter of the wall, and Chaos Meteor is great if you use the wall to make a chokepoint. You can wield Tornado to disable the enemy long enough to move into position to drop the Ice Wall in the perfect location. My favorite synergistic spell however, probably because of how frustrating it can be for the enemy, is using Deafening Blast to push an enemy who has just emerged from a wall back into it.

Allies

All stuns give you the opportunity to place Ice Wall. DPS heroes can use the presence of the wall to kill anyone inside, and of course as mentioned earlier one can use the wall as cover for a spell. Earthshaker is a good ally when using Ice Wall, for the two of you can use Fissure and Ice Wall to completely box in a team battle.

Items



Guinsoo’s Scythe of Vyse and Eul’s Scepter of Divinity can do the same thing as your Tornado, allowing you to position the wall just right.



Force Staff can also aid, pushing the enemy forward at the same instant you drop a wall on them.



I sometimes use the wall as cover for Manta Style as well, since it is less easy to tell which Invoker image has orbs floating above his head.



Boots of Travel can be used in concert with the wall to allow you to escape, the wall holding the enemy back long enough for you to channel the teleport.

Techniques



Examples

The enemy team is trying to push a barracks. As they approach your base you drop an Ice Wall at the base of the ramp. If anyone walks into it you Force Staff them the rest of the way through. To escape they would have to walk back through the wall, which your team does not let happen.

You are being chased by Magnataur. You run up a ramp, dropping an Ice Wall in the middle. As he gets stuck in it you start teleporting away. He doesn’t see he should have used his ultimate until he reaches the top of the ramp, but by then you have already escaped.

You are ganking an enemy hero with some allies. You maneuver behind them and cast an Ice Wall. They are forced to decide whether to run forward into your teammates, or try to cross through the wall. Either way they will die.

Tornado [WWQ] (X)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Disable
b. Kill
c. Push
d. Scout
e. Buff Removal
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Examples

Overview

Tornado is an AOE nuke/disable with phenomenal range. It removes its victims from the field, temporarily insulating them from anything else (with some exceptions) until they come crashing back down.

Uses

Disable

Tornado obviously can be applied in this way. It does after all have a decent length disable. Be careful that you don’t actually help out your victim however. Many times when I was first starting out I would cast Tornado just as some other ally did some epic spell (Juggernaut’s Omnislash would be one such epic spell), thereby shielding the enemy from its effect.

Another fun trick you can do with Tornado is make people waste spells. If you can hit someone in the short amount of time between when they give the order to use a spell but before it actually casts, then you have the opportunity to get away. Tornado does not interrupt a command: it merely suspends it. For example if you hit Axe in mid-cast of Berserker's Rage you can easily dodge the spell. When he lands the cast animation will finish and his spell will discharge impotently, wasting both mana and cooldown.

Kill

Tornado can deal a good amount of damage. If you have an enemy trying to run away with low health you can often finish them off with Tornado. For a lot of people this is easier than trying to use Sunstrike.

Push

Tornado is one of the Invoker’s better AOE nukes, at least for pushing. The spell’s long range allows it to hit multiple creep waves, and at higher levels (and before the creeps get too many hitpoints) Tornado will kill the ranged creeps outright. It surpasses Chaos Meteor for this job due to its lower cooldown.

Scout

The vision on Tornado is surprisingly large. As such you can use it to quickly scan potentially unsafe areas. At higher levels of Wex you can scout out the majority of a neutral forest. If you don’t foresee yourself needing it in the near future and you have plenty of mana you may as well toss off a Tornado to check suspicious areas. Though usually nobody will be there, the few times they are make it all worthwhile.

Buff Removal

You can use Tornado to cancel certain kinds of buffs. The two that come immediately to mind are Dark Seer’s Surge and Windrunner’s Wind Run. There are probably others, but those two are the best applications of this.

Synergies

Combos

Ice Wall can be used after a Tornado to keep the enemy in place. You can also use the disable time to prepare other spells, for example letting EMP charge or Sunstrike pass its delay. EMP is actually one of the more effective Tornado combos, for even while the enemy is hovering in air they are still vulnerable to the manaburn.

Allies

Any spell that requires a setup or channel. Enigma’s Black Hole, Sand King’s Epicenter, etc. An attentive Rhasta can also use the disable as an opportunity to trap an enemy in wards.

Items



You can use the disable as time to get in position for other items. This isn't really necessary though, and you'll probably find it better to use your spells to follow up.

Examples

You are laning mid. When the enemy is within range and their creeps are low enough on health, you use Force Staff to push the hero into range of your tower. Immediately you cast Tornado, then invoke Cold Snap. The Tornado kills the enemy creeps, leaving only the enemy hero in range of the tower. You Cold Snap them and score a kill.

Dark Seer is low on HP and is trying to escape. As soon as he activates Surge you throw a Tornado after him. While he is in the air you invoke Ice Wall and drop it at his feet. Now Surge-less and stuck in ice he is completely vulnerable.

Your team is about to push a lane. As you approach the ramp you throw a Tornado into the enemy base, revealing any heroes waiting above. Pudge (on your team) uses the information to hook someone out.

EMP [WWW] (C)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Disable
b. Damage
c. Control
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Techniques
5. Examples

Overview

After a few seconds of charging EMP burns a maximum of 400 mana in a 700 radius circle. The burn can penetrate Black King Bar, but that is the only form of magic immunity it ignores.

Uses

Disable

Not your typical sort of disable, but I still count manaburn as one. Against strength casters (like Pudge or Tidehunter) nothing is as devastating as losing 400 mana in a single blow. Most such heroes don’t even get to 400 until late game, so landing a single EMP can cripple them. You do have to be wise in your placement of the EMP however, since the enemy tends to wise up to the danger. Use fog of war or visual clutter to conceal the EMP until it is too late for the enemy to react. One of my favorite tricks is to cast it on top of a tower or a hero with a large model. People won’t notice it until it explodes.

Damage

Though EMP is highly effective against low mana heroes it can also be wielded against those with large mana pools. Many intelligence heroes have more mana than HP, so you can continually injure them with EMP blasts before their mana runs out, and even once it is depleted they often have enough mana regeneration that they will soon be viable targets once again.

Control

People don’t like having their mana burned, so after a few casts they will start trying to escape the blast. You can force them to move in a certain direction by seemingly placing a bad EMP. If the EMP center is placed away from the hero they will run in the opposite direction. You can use this to herd them into you or your allies.

Synergies

Combos

Tornado, Ice Wall and Deafening Blast all help in landing an EMP. The disables on all three can keep the enemy in position long enough for the charge to detonate, and Tornado and Ice Wall provide some measure of visual cover for EMP.

Allies

Disables. ‘Nuff said. It’s also worth pointing out that burning that 400 mana helps Anti-Mage marvelously with his ultimate.

Items



All these things can help keep the enemy in the AOE.

Techniques



Examples

Pudge and Juggernaut are running around destroying your team. Catch them off guard with an EMP to destroy both their manapools. They go recharge at the fountain? Just do it again. They will realize the futility of constantly returning for mana, and will have to content themselves with spell-less farming.

Pugna is trying to control your lane with Nether Blast. EMP. He keeps at it, and so do you. Three EMPs later he is out of mana and entirely worthless.

Your ally is chasing Anti-Mage. You maneuver yourself a respectable distance away from the pair in the forest, where you expect Anti-Mage will blink to next. As his blink cooldown comes back up you cast the EMP. When he actually does blink he is immediately hit by the blast. No longer able to flee with his blinks he succumbs to the gank.

Alacrity [WWE] (Z)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Support
b. Kill
c. Push
d. Jungle
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Examples

Overview

Alacrity is a phenomenal buff. It grants attack speed and damage bonuses, and it will nearly double any hero’s DPS.

Uses

Support

Instant double damage. It makes for a tremendous weapon if you cast it on your team’s carry. To be honest, it works wonders on anybody. It's far more accessible than the rune too.

Kill

Just as it can be used on your allies, so too can it be used on you. An enemy will rarely expect the sudden burst in power, and thus it is a great weapon against people who have shown themselves to be less than familiar with fighting an Invoker. In a fight I try to wait a second or two so the intended victim can make the mental calculations as to who will win. Since usually the winner is them, they will stick around. Then when they are comfortable and laughing at me for being so clueless, I pop Alacrity. They have to spend another second recalculating, assuming they even notice. By the time they start running, it is usually too late.

If there is sufficient visual clutter on the screen then I don’t bother waiting. The enemy player may not even realize they are losing too much hp until they hit yellow or red.

Push

Another handy place for Alacrity is when you are pushing a lane. Not only does it make killing creeps faster but you can also deal massive damage to a tower. If you have a large enough wave with you and you are alert enough to dodge tower agro it is possible to use Alacrity to take the tower down in a single push.

Jungle

I’m not a huge fan of jungling with Alacrity, since unless you have some solid regeneration items you aren’t going to be able to be a forest-dweller for long. Nonetheless Alacrity does provide some decent damage with which to more quickly farm neutral camps.

Synergies

Combos

Cold Snap is the best of your spells when it comes to Alacrity, courtesy of the near-permabash effect. Ice Wall also helps to keep your opponents in place while you dish out your damage. Apart from that, maybe Forge Spirits. The armor melting helps increase your damage. Unfortunately all these spells require Quas, so until late game you won’t have good Alacrity combos.

Allies

Any DPS hero, any DPS spell. Permabashers are prime targets for the buff as well. Witch Doctor’s Maledict helps too, though if it’s all the same to you I’d rather leave Maledict out of further sections (since there are no abilities it does not work with).

Items

Alacrity is made all the more useful with a damage or attack speed item. Take your pick. Here are my two favorites:



You can get a bit more creative than that if you desire. In a few games I’ve even gone the route of Mask of Madness and Cranium Basher. It is surprisingly effective on a Wex Invoker.



You can also do well with the aid of a Guinsoo. Using the example earlier about killing with Alacrity, if you sheep the enemy just as they realize you are going to kill them you can stop them from running.

Examples

It’s mid game and Mortred is trying to farm top. You start laning against her. She takes offense at this, and a few denies later she takes action. She daggers and blinks, foolishly engaging you with only the second level of her ult. Obligingly you attack. Give her a second, and then pop Alacrity. Fun fact: Level 11 Invoker with Alacrity > level 11 Phantom Assassin. God help her when you get that Monkey King Bar.

You are solo laning mid and the enemy hero has gone back to heal. You seize the opportunity to push. You pull the lane all the way back to your tower to let it destroy the enemy wave, and then move with your own creeps to take the tower. Once there you cast Alacrity, and while the creeps tank you are able to destroy the structure. I grant that this may take two such pushes if you are not sufficiently leveled or your creep wave is small.

Your ally Troll Warlord is attacking an enemy, but he isn’t farmed enough to permabash. You cast Alacrity on him, boosting his attack speed enough to indeed allow him to constantly bash.

Forge Spirits [EEQ] (F)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Kill
b. Lane Control
c. Jungle
d. Push
e. Scout
f. Control
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Examples

Overview

These summons are strong. Very strong. They have some weaknesses, but for the most part they are just powerful. Each one of their attacks burns away one armor point from an enemy hero, up to a maximum of ten. They are pretty handy, as you may have guessed from the large number of things in the "Uses" section.

Uses

Kill

The sudden appearance of an elemental or two can completely alter the outcome of a gank. If a hero strays too far from their allies you can make them pay heavily. Just throw down elementals and let them attack. Given their abysmal attack speed however it is prudent to animation cancel when you are going for a kill.

Lane Control

Same as killing, just without the finishing blow. Early game you can micro an elemental to keep your lane opponents constantly on the defensive. If they are melee, simply have the elemental (and yourself) attack them every time they come forward. The elemental's Melting Strike is an orb effect, so you can have it attack without reprisal from the enemy creeps. Mana is short early game though, so you will probably only manage a handful of shots. Afterwards, if the creep battle has thinned out you can let the elemental pursue, tanking the remaining creeps while landing a few more blows. For ranged opponents I try to have the elemental flank them and chase them around behind the creep line. In either situation once the elemental is near death I pull it back and attempt to deny the summon.

Jungle

I often use the elementals to tank for me when jungling. They can afford more punishment than the Invoker, so one may as well let them have it. For the most part this is no more complicated than casting Forge Spirits and then attacking the camp, but in some cases one needs to be a bit more judicious in their use. For example, the Satyr Tricksters have Purge and can do a significant amount of damage to your elementals. They have low health however, so if you target them first when you attack you can kill them before they use their abilities. Some of the other larger creeps also have abilities that one should take into account. The Satyr Hellcaller, Polar Furbolg Ursa Warrior and the Centaur Khan all have AOE damage abilities that trigger in the presence of three or more assailants. Though this is not really a problem for the elementals I prefer not to needlessly expend the Invoker’s health. The way to avoid the problem is to stand a short distance away from the elementals when they attack. The creeps will then not use their abilities.

Push

The addition of Forge Spirits to a creep wave greatly strengthens their ability to push. The elementals’ damage is both a strong deterrent to enemy heroes in the lane and a great weapon against towers. At higher levels their range exceeds that of the tower, and they are able to take it down without any support. Of course, this does not work at night when their sight range is too short.

Scout

You might as well. They are expendable; a renewable resource. When moving into a potentially dangerous area, especially at night, I send an elemental forward to check for enemies. Even if I haven’t leveled the elementals at all they can still be useful this way. This is also a viable technique for sweeping Goblin Techies’ proximity and stasis mines.

Control

As mentioned earlier, people will rarely sit there and let the elementals attack. Generally they are left with two options, being to destroy them or to run away. Against a new opponent I assume the latter is the case until they demonstrate otherwise. If that assumption is correct the elementals can be used to herd the enemy hero around. If their reaction to elementals is to charge at them with murderous intent you can use the summons as bait. Even in milder cases of “Elemental Rage” you can bait a kill.

Synergies

Combos

Cold Snap, Ice Wall, Tornado, and Alacrity. These have all been described in previous sections.

Allies

Armor reduction spells stack well, and effectively any stun or slow helps the elementals do their work.

Items



The disables allow you to get close enough for the elementals to do a lot of damage. Guinsoo will help more, since the elementals can attack while the target is sheeped.



The damage from your elementals is amplified by these items.



Boost your elementals' tanking power with this.



The slows will keep your opponents in range of the elementals.

Examples

You are laning against Beastmaster. You have been farming quietly, mostly ignoring him except for a few times when you need to dodge his axes. Judging you an easy kill he runs towards you as your creep wave thins, throwing a pair of axes to clear the rest of them out. As he nears you cast Forge Spirits and return fire. You can also invoke Cold Snap or Sunstrike in preparation for finishing him off, depending on how quickly he goes down. If he starts to win you run towards your tower, letting him hit you a few more times so he doesn’t lose interest. If he is foolish enough to take the tower agro you can cast Cold Snap on him. I would cast it anyways since you still may be able to kill him between you and your elemental.

Your team just failed a push against mid lane. The enemy team pursues you and your allies, and you throw down a pair of elementals to deter them. Your team crosses the river, and the enemy stops chasing. Their Centaur however particularly dislikes elementals, so he starts chasing them around back on his side of the river. You start moving them back to your base, using them to attack Centaur whenever he stops chasing. Inevitably (this really does happen, and a lot more often than one might think) he gives in and charges the units. As soon as he reaches them sitting in the middle of the river your team jumps him and tears him apart. Note that this only works in this location at night; otherwise they see your team waiting across the river.

Chaos Meteor [EEW] (D)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Kill
b. Control
c. Confuse
d. Escape
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
c. Items
4. Examples

Overview

Chaos Meteor causes a flaming boulder to crash down upon your opponents. It deals massive damage while the rock itself rolls over the enemy heroes, as well as a minor DoT burn that continues afterwards for a few seconds.

Uses

Kill

Chaos Meteor is your primary spell for magic damage, so killing with it makes sense. If you ever predict your enemy is about to run in a straight line you can deal massive damage to them by throwing a meteor after them. If they are found standing still then casting the meteor at their feet can still deal a lot of damage as it rolls over them.

Control

Many people dislike having meteors roll over them. You can abuse this by using Chaos Meteor to get them out of an area. Even if you have not leveled Exort past level 1 you can still use the spell to scare enemies into moving. This “Paper Meteor” trick can be useful sometimes, allowing you to manipulate your foe without putting your more effective spells on cooldown.

Confuse

Part of the reason Chaos Meteor unnerves some people is because of its impressive model. The rolling ball draws the eye’s attention, and there is a rather significant amount of fire accompanying the spell. While this is not as effective against experienced players, you can often use the cover of a meteor to distract an opponent while you do something else.

Escape

Pulling this off just plain makes you feel cool. If I am being chased by some melee hero and I have Chaos Meteor invoked I will use the meteor to cover my retreat. If cast in front of you at the proper time (while you keep running in that direction) you can have the meteor land directly on top of your pursuer, forcing them to choose between chasing you and taking the full hit from the spell (a bad choice) or stopping for a moment to let the meteor pass before resuming. If they eat the spell you can nearly always kill them, and if they break away then you have just bought yourself a greater lead, if indeed they try to catch you again.

Synergies

Combos

Chaos Meteor + Deafening Blast is by far the most straightforward damaging combination of spells at the Invoker’s disposal. The push keeps the enemy underneath the meteor for longer than they might otherwise desire, allowing the meteor to deal massive amounts of damage.

Ice Wall can also be used, either to funnel an enemy team into a convenient line (see Ice Wall->Control) or to prevent them from easily dodging Chaos Meteor. The combined visual clutter is also distracting.

At late levels if I do not have access to Deafening Blast I might use Tornado instead. The Tornado can keep the targets in the air long enough for the meteor to reach the ground, ensuring that they take at least some damage from the spell. I sometimes do this even when Deafening Blast is up, so that I might use all three spells in sequence to cause severe harm.

I have on occasion hidden a charging EMP underneath the rolling meteor. If you cast the EMP just a slight bit ahead of the meteor then it gets about a second’s worth of charge before becoming visible. This can be effective against heroes with ground-targeted blinks (Anti-Mage, Queen of Pain) who otherwise will simply blink out of range of the EMP. At high levels most other heroes cannot escape an EMP anyways, so this is unnecessary effort for them. Another consideration that reduces the usefulness of this combo is that people run from meteors. You could possibly use a meteor to spook them into running towards an EMP though…

Cold Snap somewhat works as well, given the DoT effect of Chaos Meteor. Using them together can trigger a fair number of stuns, allowing you to catch a fleeing opponent (though if you can hit said fleeing enemy with a meteor chances are they won’t get far).

Allies

Any disable will work, though I highly recommend AOE disables so you can hit multiple targets. Enigma’s Black Hole, Faceless Void’s Chronosphere, etc. I am a big fan of Spiritbreaker’s Greater Bash as well. If you see an allied Spiritbreaker starting to cast his ultimate on someone in such a manner that they will be pushed away from you then I highly recommend throwing a meteor at them. The bash pushes them along with the meteor just as well as Deafening Blast.

Items



Disabling items keep your targets still while you cast Chaos Meteor.



Orchid's Soul Burn amplifies the damage from Chaos Meteor, and on an enemy with a blink it will prevent their easy escape.



You can use this to almost guarantee that someone will run in a straight line. If you Force Staff someone forward a common response is to run back to wherever they were. Thus you can Force Staff someone directly towards you while simultaneously casting Chaos Meteor on the spot where they will end up. They run with the meteor for a magnificently obliging amount of time before trying to escape it.

Examples

Anti-Mage is chasing you. Being the clever, devious Invoker player that you undoubtedly are, you already predicted this would happen and have Chaos Meteor and EMP invoked. About 1 second before his blink comes back up, you cast Chaos Meteor at the most likely location for him to blink, and you drop the EMP on top of your model. ‘Lo and behold, he blinks to the most logical location, taking the hit from your meteor. A second and a half later the EMP discharges, burning his remaining mana. By now he has eaten 2 seconds worth of meteor, and suffered from the EMP’s burn for a total of 450 damage (damn ye spell shield!). After blinking he ran towards you to finish you off, but now he has only half health and no mana. You quickly switch to Alacrity and Exort (EREEZ – Since you were running I assume you had WWW active) and tear him apart with normal damage.

Bone Fletcher is laning against you mid. You have observed he is a cautious player, being careful to avoid any situation he is unsure of. You’ve farmed up a Force Staff to abuse his safety conscious behavior. Next time the wave moves near your tower you push Clinkz towards you, dropping Chaos Meteor at the same time. Predictably he immediately Windwalks and rushes back towards safety. Unfortunately for him the meteor goes the same way, devastating the low-hp hero. Short story shorter, he dies.

The enemy team is suspected of attacking Roshan. You are confident about this, so you maneuver to the forest to the northwest of Roshan. You then cast Chaos Meteor. The meteor gives you vision of the area (I didn’t give this a “Scout” section because it is wasteful to use it for just that) and takes a sizeable chunk of health from the three enemy heroes present. They flee lest your team join with Roshan to murder them. Your team then finishes off the golem and takes his shield for your carry.

Sunstrike [EEE] (T)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Kill
b. Harass
c. Farm
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Allies
4. Techniques

Overview

Sunstrike is a global nuke with a 1.7 second delay. If you can hit with Admiral’s Torrent, you can hit with this. I can’t help you learn to use this by talking about it, so go forth and practice with it. This is mostly an instinct thing, but once you get it down it’s among the most satisfying ways to kill.

Uses

The non-killing uses of Sunstrike as a whole make me cringe. Unless you are good with Sunstrike to the point of “why the hell is this guy even playing DotA, shouldn’t he be in the Army?” you should probably just content yourself with killing. Courtesy of my astonishing idiocy I disregard that disclaimer and do these things all the time. I am foolish.

Kill

It can be hard to use Sunstrike effectively unless you are constantly aware of everyone on the map. Though it would be great to be able to do this, most people can’t and still realistically manage their own hero. One way of overcoming this problem is as follows: whenever anyone dies, be they allies or enemies, quickly look over at the spot where they died. Two-thirds of the time there will be nothing of interest, but that other third will have an enemy fleeing the scene with low HP. That’s your chance. Even if you have only one level of Exort you should look around. I’ve netted plenty of kills with level 1 Sunstrike.

While hitting targets at long range is the common use of Sunstrike for killing, you can also kill more local heroes. If someone is autoattacking you and you perceive that you could kill them if they just had 200 less health, go ahead and cast Sunstrike on them. Nobody ever expects it. It is almost impossible to anticipate this (though it can happen, which I will go over in the “Countering Invoker” section).

A third and extremely difficult use is sniping teleporters. Usually when an enemy is teleporting away from a gank with low HP there is only one place they are going: the fountain. If you know where that fountain is you can time a Sunstrike to hit that spot right as they appear, killing them before they can recover their health. If I think I’m going to be using this technique in the game (lots of low hp enemies) I will spend a Sunstrike early game pinpointing the location of the enemy fountain. It is a bad thing to be wasting mana or cooldowns however, so only do this when you are at your fountain and are confident you won’t need the spell in the next 30 seconds.

Harass

You can use Sunstrike to harass enemy carries while they farm. Nerubian Weaver is my favorite target for this, for the damage is usually insufficient to cause him to use Time Lapse, but it is enough to pose a serious threat. After two hits from Sunstrike most Weavers are forced to use Time Lapse (whereupon he is a prime target for an in-person attack) or run back to base. Other good targets for this are heroes with no source of health regeneration or lifesteal.

Farm

The most cringe-worthy use. I don’t recommend trying to actually farm up for an item this way, but if you are at your fountain and only have 50 more gold to buy your Orchid or something, you may as well. At level 7 Sunstrike will kill a ranged creep in a single hit.

Synergies

Combos

Tornado is useful. You can time a Sunstrike so that it hits an enemy just as a Tornado disable expires. A good chasing combo if you can get it right.

For the most part any spell can help you land a Sunstrike. Many of your abilities encourage your enemies to move, and when someone sees you drop an Ice Wall or Forge Spirits they won't be thinking about dodging a Sunstrike. You can even just chase them, and they will be forced to run the shortest route or risk death by your shorter range spells.

Allies

Allied disables work decently. Faceless Void's Chronosphere, Ogre Magi's Fireblast, Admiral's Torrent, etc. Slows can be useful, but beware the slow's expiration.

Techniques



Deafening Blast [QWE] (B)

1. Overview
2. Uses
a. Disable
b. Kill
c. Control
d. Escape
e. Chase
f. Jungle
3. Synergies
a. Combos
b. Items
4. Techniques
5. Examples

Overview

Deafening Blast involves all three orbs, and consequently has many interesting effects. From Quas it gains the power to push enemies around. While they are being pushed they can take no action, so this is effectively a stun. From Wex it gains the pacify ability, preventing those afflicted from attacking, though their ability to use spells is unimpaired. From Exort comes damage. Not too much damage, just a regular nuke.

An important feature to note: unlike Tornado, Deafening Blast does halt a unit's current command. You will see why this is so important later...

Uses

Disable

Deafening Blast is your only true stun, and thus it is quite valuable. Even more, the pacify wreaks havoc in a team battle. The large AOE on Deafening Blast can hit every single hero in a battle, giving your team up to 5.75 seconds of safety from enemy attacks.

Kill

Deafening Blast is also probably the easiest Invoker spell to land. As such I like to use it as a finishing blow for enemies just outside my attack range. Even if they have more health than the spell can damage them, there is still the disabling aspect to give enough time to move back into attack range.

Control

The spell pushes people. Push ‘em into a tower. Push ‘em into your allies. Push ‘em away from your allies. Pushin’ is good.

An amusing side effect of the pacify buff is that if your enemy right-clicks on you the default command is not attack. It is move. Against melee heroes this may be an irrelevant distinction, but it can be a critical error for a ranged hero. If you cast Deafening Blast on a long ranged hero like Sniper you can trick them into moving into your own range, permitting you to then try to murder them.

Escape

This ties into disabling, especially with respect to bash heroes. By casting Deafening Blast on an opponent you can give yourself a hefty lead. Against bashing heroes you can use Deafening Blast to pacify them while you teleport away, watching them run around in circles trying to attack you.

Chase

People hit by the push will knock over trees as they move, and it will break channeling spells. The spell's model also gives vision in a limited area around it. These three features make it a marvelous chasing skill. If you have already used Tornado, or it is too short to do you much good, you have Deafening Blast as a backup. The vision prevents your target from juking, the stun keeps them from teleporting, and the push will destroy trees behind your target which may help to prevent any further attempts to escape into the forest.

Jungle

When afflicted by pacify the neutral creeps' AI makes some amusing choices. If you attack a creep while it is pacified it will attempt to run away. Consequently you can use Deafening Blast to scatter a creep camp, taking cheap shots while the creeps run away. This gives you a good few seconds to deal damage, which could make the difference at a low level.

Synergies

Combos

Chaos Meteor and Ice Wall. Beyond that the spell works well in any situation, so just be imaginative and you won’t go wrong.

Items



You can chain pacify using Ghost Scepter and chain push with Force Staff. I particularly enjoy early game using Force Staff to push an enemy past me to my tower and then using Deafening Blast to push them even further towards the structure.



Orchid with Deafening Blast can completely defuse an enemy for five seconds, or you can use Black King Bar if there are multiple assailants.

Techniques



Examples

You are fleeing from Night Stalker, but of course are outmatched by his speed. As he nears you cast Deafening Blast at him, using the second while he is stunned to silence him with your Orchid. As fast as you are able to press the relevant buttons you start teleporting back to your fountain, leaving behind an enraged and impotent Night Stalker.

Venomancer is pushing your lane. As he moves forward to attack you throw a Deafening Blast at him. He is still right clicking on you, so his hero runs towards you for a good second before he notices and tries to pull back. You send a Chaos Meteor to accompany him in his flight.

You are dancing around with Faceless Void, trying to set up an easy team fight by provoking him into using Chronosphere. After using EMP, Cold Snap, Alacrity, Tornado, and Ice Wall he seems to take the bait. You see him beginning his Time Walk animation and you quickly invoke Deafening Blast (QWER is pretty easy to enter, and thus among the easiest of all your spells to invoke). As he appears he begins his Chronosphere animation. You launch the blast. The Chronosphere catches you before the blast hits, but that's good. He is pushed backwards, stunned for about a second, then he surges forward to kill you while you are still vulnerable. Unfortunately for him the pacify lasts longer than the Chronosphere. While frozen you shift-queue Ice Wall again and the instant you are free you drop it. His teammates arrive, your teammates arrive, and your spell-slinging starts again.

Tactics

1. Overview
2. Maneuvers
3. Tricks

Overview

In this section I will outline the tactics available to the Invoker, roughly organized by their purpose. I've split these tactics into two categories, maneuvers and tricks. Maneuvers are broad techniques that can be applied under a variety of conditions, whereas tricks are extremely situational-dependent. If that isn't clear, you'll pick up on the differences as you read them.

Maneuvers

1. Initiation
2. Damage
3. Escapes
4. Pushing
5. Harassment
6. Mind Games

Initiation

1. Team Battle (Quas)
2. Team Battle (Wex)
3. Team Battle (Exort)
4. Almost Vengeful
5. Almost Pudge
6. Gank (Quas/Exort)
7. Gank (Quas/Wex)
8. Gank (Ghost Walk)

Team Battle (Quas)



This is the staple tactic for Quas-themed Initiator builds. You blink into the enemy team and drop your Ice Wall. If you've blinked behind your opponents I recommend that you then run through the wall so that your enemies have to follow you into it in order to attack. It offers a slight measure of protection during the team fight.

Team Battle (Wex)



Bread and butter tactic of Wex Initiator builds. These spells together do about as much damage as Krobelus' Carrion Swarm, and EMP burns a huge chunk of mana. In early game, when Quas is low, you should cast EMP before Tornado. That way you can use the delay in your enemies' reaction time to let the EMP charge. Once Quas is high enough you can afford to cast Tornado first. This lets you more safely approach to cast EMP.

Team Battle (Exort)



Exort Initiator builds primarily rely on this. Use Eul's Scepter on an enemy that has strayed a bit too far from the pack, or if you see an opportunity use it on the enemy carry. About one second into the disable drop Chaos Meteor at their feet. It will hit just as they land, and half a second later you hit them with Deafening Blast. This deals massive damage, and often you'll hit multiple targets. When an important character like a carry is attacked players will move forward to shield the victim, and as they cluster around their floating comrade they are vulnerable to your nukes. After the first use they'll learn to stay back, which helps your own team finish off the unfortunate enemy you targeted.

Almost Vengeful



Your own version of the old Swap-Stun. Blink into the enemy team and hit them with Deafening Blast. This is less effective against a team full of nukers, but with sufficiently leveled Quas and Wex you can leave several heroes helpless in the face of your allies.

Almost Pudge



Force Staff may have only a bit more than half the range of Meat Hook, but your disables have a lot more staying power than Dismember. Force Staff a target, drop Ice Wall on them, and hit them up with Cold Snap. Your team shouldn't have too much trouble in taking them out.

Gank (Quas/Exort)



Against a single target this is decidedly effective. You begin by hitting them with Eul's, following up by summoning Forge Spirits at their feet. Right before they land you cast Ice Wall, Invoke Cold Snap and activate three Exort reagents. Hit them with Cold Snap when you can, and keep you and your elementals attacking them. Make sure you animation cancel yourself to stay in front of them. If you have an ally around you've got a good shot at killing the target.

Gank (Quas/Wex)



Start off a gank by throwing a Tornado at the target. While they are disabled run forward and drop Ice Wall. Follow up with whatever may be appropriate (usually Cold Snap).

Gank (Ghost Walk)

Though it's a great escape, Ghost Walk can sometimes be put to better use as an initiation tool. Invoke Ghost Walk, then the first spell in your combination, and you can go on the hunt. This won't work for initiations that require three of your spells unless you have level four Invoke and Aghanim's Scepter.

My personal favorite?



No question about it.

Damage

1. And You Thought Quas Couldn't Kill
2. And You Thought Wex Couldn't Kill
3. Yeah, You Probably Thought Exort Could Kill
4. Almost Troll
5. Juxtaposition
6. Almost... Enigma?
7. Eat It Zeus

And You Thought Quas Couldn't Kill



This is especially effective in a lane. Use your attack on the creeps to get them all within killing range of Tornado. Cast the spell when you can catch the enemy hero in it as well. While they are in the air, your creeps will walk forward, usually surrounding them. When they land cast Cold Snap and proceed to kill them.

Without creep support you still can pull this off, but only if you have enough DPS (or they have the durability of a dried eggshell).

And You Thought Wex Couldn't Kill



Yeah, it's a good initiation tool. It also happens to be a great damage combo, especially against intelligence heroes. At max level you can expect 600 damage out of them, not to mention the 400 mana points burned. A solid nuke, if you ask me.

Yeah, You Probably Thought Exort Could Kill



Chaos Meteor and Deafening Blast? No way could that kill!

It does somewhere on the order of 1500 damage at max level, so long as you don't miss. That's why Eul's is necessary when you try to initiate with this. If you are in the midst of a battle and you want to dish out some damage then you can take advantage of ally's disable, or wait until you see someone moving in a predictable path.

Almost Troll



DPS boost and permabash? That's like Troll, right?

Yeah, not even halfway as deadly, but at least you can do your thing a lot sooner than he can do his. Make sure you use Alacrity first, since its lasts significantly longer than Cold Snap.

Juxtaposition



This functions best in Exort/Quas builds, but it works in all builds that have any measure of Exort. Cast Chaos Meteor, and in the second while it falls cast Cold Snap. It's great for those times when Deafening Blast is on cooldown.

Almost... Enigma?



Actually it's better. Summon the elementals, order them to attack, cast Cold Snap. If you can manage it try to animation cancel the elementals and yourself. If the elementals are too hard just do it for yourself. It makes a huge difference with Cold Snap.

Eat It Zeus



A real long-range killer. This deals 875 magic damage (400 of which is AOE) and is laughably easy to land. The only downside is that it requires all three reagents, meaning its sting is laughably mild until late into the game.

Escapes

1. Door Slam
2. Secret Tunnel
3. Impotence Escape
4. Houdini Juke

Door Slam



There are two ways you can do this.

Method A: You drop the Ice Wall, then use Force Staff to push yourself through it. Your pursuers will have to find another way around. This is best used when you have multiple heroes on your tail, and when the Ice Wall will block the entire path.

Method B: You drop the Ice Wall and use Force Staff on your opponent, pushing them into the wall. You run back the way you came. This is best used when you only have one hero chasing you, the Ice Wall can't block the whole path, or the way to safety is in the direction of the enemy hero.

Keep an eye out for people trapped in the wall though. Those so unfortunate to feel its slow are perfect targets for a counter gank.

Secret Tunnel



There are paths into the forest all over the map. If you are being chased by somebody with a blink or with a stun, teleporting away is impossible without the benefit of the fog of war. You can use Ice Wall to significantly extend the amount of time you can hide in the forest. Run into one of the paths and drop the wall just out of sight. Cross through and start your teleport. The enemy will pursue of course, but the wall will delay their reaching you until too late. This works best in long forest tunnels that allow you to move out of sight of the wall.

Impotence Escape



Deafening Blast and Soul Burn together prevent a target from doing anything except moving. Abuse that by hitting an enemy with both spells, teleporting out the instant they are rendered useless. By the time the debuffs are gone so are you.

Houdini Juke



This isn't limited to Invoker; I'd recommend doing it with all windwalking heroes. Before you go invisible, start walking in a direction you don't intend to go. Ghost Walk, then turn and take the proper path. Your enemies will throw their AOE spells in the wrong places, and if they use Dust or Sentry Wards they will not be expecting to see you as far away as you'll be, if even they catch you on the edges.

Pushing

1. You Shall Not Pass
2. Denied
3. Creep Stacking
4. Lane Eater
5. Tower Eater
6. Divide and Conquer

You Shall Not Pass



As mentioned earlier, Deafening Blast breaks a unit's active command. When trying to take down a tower you can use Deafening Blast to completely stop an enemy creep wave. A few seconds before the creeps arrive, move behind the tower and hit them with the blast. Make sure you let the first creep get within 300 range of you, lest you not hit the entire wave. Immediately turn and run back to your line and start attacking the tower again. This forces the tower to tank the full wave, which can be enough to kill it with a hero around.

Be warned though: once the tower falls you will face two full waves of enemy creeps. Furthermore, the area behind the tower is perpetually unsafe until you clear out the idle units. Enemy heroes may try to take advantage of the situation, so be sure not to stray too far towards them.

Denied



Naga Siren has Siren Song, you have Deafening Blast. When taking down a tower, or when defending one about to fall, use Deafening Blast on the enemy heroes who are waiting to get the last hit. While they are pacified you can finish the tower off yourself.

Creep Stacking



In case you hadn't noticed, I like Deafening Blast. The idea here is to cut the legs out from under a lane. Use Deafening Blast to force one wave idle, then wait 30 seconds (I hope you have something else to do, like warding maybe). When the next wave comes throw Chaos Meteor at them. You might need a Tornado to finish them off. Also, be aware that creeps always move forward, which is the best counter to Chaos Meteor. Try to account for this forward motion when you attempt to kill the two waves.

Lane Eater



At sufficiently high levels you can use Tornado and Deafening Blast to completely wipe out a wave of creeps. Make sure to use Tornado first, since the push from Deafening Blast will often scatter the creeps.

Tower Eater



Your best two spells for taking down fat, immobile, magic immune targets. If your creep wave dies have the elementals tank for you, even if they have longer range than the tower. You do more damage, and therefore are more valuable.

Divide and Conquer



The great thing about summons is that they aren’t you, and thus can move about separately. Summon the elementals and attack-move them to the enemy base, putting in waypoints in the case of top or bottom lanes. I then push down a different lane. The elementals are not as powerful as a hero, but they do provide your creeps with a significant advantage, ensuring that the lane will push away from your base.

Note that this won't work if there is already a pushed wave approaching. No matter how strong your elementals, they cannot help your seven creeps against eighteen enemies. In this case you should take that lane yourself and send the elementals elsewhere.

Harassment

1. Orb Walkers
2. Cheap Shots
3. Creep Shots
4. Tail 'Tween Legs
5. If Sniper Had a Nuke
6. Personal Touch

Orb Walkers



Forge Spirits have an orb effect, Melting Strike. Use this to chase your enemies around in their lane. Just as for a hero orb walker, the attacks won't arouse the creeps' aggression. You can nearly always send them back to fountain, or better yet you can hurt them enough to get them down to Sunstrike level.

Cheap Shots



If your enemy moves into a location where you think you can get off some hits, cast Alacrity first. It's as good as a double damage rune, remember? These strikes can add up much more quickly than your enemy might anticipate.

Creep Shots



If your enemy attracts aggro from creeps or a tower, cast a quick Cold Snap. That 100 mana goes a long way used in this manner.

Tail 'Tween Legs



Lots of heroes are much less effective without their spells. If you hit your lane opponents with an EMP every chance you get, you end up with a substantial advantage in the lane. Best case scenario has them actually return to their fountain to recharge. Bonus points if you can get someone to buy an Arcane Ring.

If Sniper Had a Nuke



Assassinate is an ultimate, shut up.

It's not the best way to harass, but you can put some hurt on with Tornado. It's certainly a huge disruption to someone's laning. It inches them closer to a defensive mindset, and while they are up in the air you can last hit or deny freely.

Personal Touch



Spells->Sunstrike->Uses->Harass

I just like reminding people that I'm thinking about them. It's that human connection, you know?

Mind Games

1. Look, Shiny!
2. Fishing
3. STFU, GTFO
4. Trojan Meat Wagon
5. Obey The Summons

Look, Shiny!



EMP is such a great distraction. The charge up gives your opponents the sense that they ought to try to dodge the spell. Rarely will you meet someone who will casually take the burn. While they scramble to escape the EMP (which you can set up so that it's really, really hard to do), you can worry about other things, like last hitting towers, meat wagons, whatever.

Fishing



When the enemy team has a turtling lineup you can find team battles become scarce. Since Invoker is all about the team battles, you want them to happen. Trick conservative enemies into fighting with this aggressive form of baiting.

Use Ghost Walk and tail someone who can't kill you by themselves. Have your battle hungry allies lurk out of sight. Follow them around for a while, and they will no doubt notice your slow. Most people relish the thrill from killing an overconfident enemy, and so more often than not they will call for an ally to come kill the pesky Invoker. When the enemy team descends on you, have your team counter-descend. Though netting the single kill may be worth it in most games, sometimes you really need to get two or three to make a difference. This is a good way to break the status quo of a highly defensive team.

STFU, GTFO



Trick enemies into coming to you with the Deafening Blast pacify, and then use Alacrity to shred them. This works amazingly the first time, but subsequent uses on the same player tend to be less effective unless you use a variety of other tactics in between.

Trojan Meat Wagon



For some not entirely incomprehensible reason people are quite keen on getting the last hit on siege creeps. Abuse this. When your opponent makes his move to take down the wagon/thrower you have a chance to hit him with something huge. Chaos Meteor makes for a good "something huge".

Obey The Summons



I mentioned "Elemental Rage" in the Forge Spirits section. Here's where you manipulate your foe's bloodlust to your advantage. If they are laning and are too close to their creeps for you to easily pull off a gank, or you just want to weaken them a bit before showing yourself, send in your Forge Spirits first. When the enemy tries to attack them, pull the targeted elemental back. Keep maneuvering them around, slowly drawing the hero closer to your concealed location. Sure, the player is aware that you are nearby, but if you have them frustrated enough by the harassment they won't realize they are walking into an ambush.

Tricks

1. Neutrals
2. Skill Counters
3. Hero Counters
4. Miscellaneous

Oh how tempting it is to write down something for each and every hero. Maybe in version 3. For now I'll keep it short.

Neutrals

1. AFK Farming
2. Speedy Farmer
3. Roshan

AFK Farming



You can increase your income by sending your elementals into the forest to attack neutral camps. This is especially effective as a tool for stacking, as you can pull two camps at once with well-microed elementals.

Speedy Farmer



You can speed up your farming in some of the camps by opening your attack with Deafening Blast. The pushed neutrals will knock over trees that separate the camps. This is especially obvious with the Sentinel pull spot, but you can manage it to some degree with other creeps as well.

Roshan



Have Forge Spirits tank Roshan, then hit him with Cold Snap and yourself with Alacrity. You'll need to re-summon the elementals, so it helps to spawn them about ten seconds before you initially engage Roshan. Cold Snap also breaks his spell shield, so any items you have like Orchid or Guinsoo will take effect.

Skill Counters

1. Silence
2. Targeted Spells

Silence



Dodge silences with Ghost Scepter. It's not imperfect, but it gives you time enough to endure the silence without being auto-attacked to death.

Targeted Spells



There are a few cases where Forge Spirits can be used to counter a specific enemy ability. Skillshots, like Butcher’s Meat Hook and Mirana’s spell Elune’s Arrow can be blocked by moving or summoning an elemental in the way. Bouncing spells like Lich’s Chain Frost or Witch Doctor’s Paralyzing Cask can be “captured” by the elementals by having the spell hit them while they are running away from your hero. I have used them before to deny myself when I was under the effects of a DoT spell like Doom Bringer’s Doom. They can also help when fighting Spectre, negating the effects of Desolate and diffusing the damage from Dispersion. Clockwerk Goblin’s Battery Assault can be taken off you by having an elemental tank it. My favorite use is in countering Bane Elemental’s Nightmare, for you can use an elemental to free a nightmared unit (be it yourself or an ally) by attacking it.

In some cases summoning an elemental at just the right moment will trick your opponents to cast spells on them. Countless times have I gotten Pudge to bite down on an elemental, or an Axe to use Culling Blade. They sometimes materialize in such a way that a mouse click that would have selected you instead selects them. It’s hard to time this right, and of course nobody will believe you planned it all out, but it is frequently worth it.

Hero Counters

1. Keeper of the Light
2. Templar Assassin
3. Doom Bringer

Keeper of the Light



A charging illuminate looks exactly like a charging EMP. Abuse this by casting EMP whenever he illuminates. His allies will quickly learn not to stand near him when he's charging, which has major repercussions later on in team battles.

Templar Assassin



Deafening Blast knocks her out of meld. Best used right after she cloaks, since otherwise she can meld again after the push ends.

Doom Bringer



Doom's a bitch, but less so if you have lots of regen. Try to make sure you have Quas active when you perceive you are about to be Doomed. It will save you innumerable times.

Miscellaneous

1. Perma-haste
2. Radiance

Perma-haste



It's a bit contrived, but there's something to be said for having 522 movespeed all the time.

Radiance



I know I've said this before, but Radiance is a great item for a well-farmed Quas Invoker.

Overall Strategy

1. Overview
2. Choose Your Role
3. Choose Your Build
4. Choose Your Items

Overview

This section concerns the strategy that goes into playing the Invoker. Not strategy like “I’m going to circle around this tower and catch that low HP hero that my ally sends back to the fountain.” That's a tactic. When I say strategy I mean, “given the team setups and my knowledge of my own allies’ abilities, I’m going to play with this build.”

When a game first begins you have a lot of options, and a lot of data to be processed. You must consider the enemy team lineup, your own team lineup, the skill levels of your allies (unless you are in a public game), and your comfort level with the strategies available to the Invoker. I will outline my own thinking processes in deciding a good course of action. I say “good” rather than “best” because I can be wrong. Just because something looks like a great idea doesn’t mean it is. Lots of things can change in the course of a game, and your original build choice may turn out to be ineffective. If this should happen you will need to change your plan and attempt to adapt your build into a better one.

Choose Your Role

The first thing you need to do is determine what role you will play in the game. This is the single most important decision for you to make, because choosing wrong has the greatest impact on the game.

"That makes no sense," you say, "My role just tells me what tactics I should use. I can change that on a whim, but my skills and items are set in stone." True, except that your role is much more than just a set of tactics. It tells you where to be and what to do at any point in the game. It tells you whether to farm or whether to babysit, whether to fight the team battle or whether to push the tower on the other side of the map. You can change your role during the game, but the results are messy. You'll almost always have too much farm (like dropping from carry to support) or too little (support to carry). If your economy is imbalanced then your teammates have a similar problem, and that can lose games.

I know I've made it sound like once you've chosen your role then you'll have to hang on to it for the rest of the game. It's not that bad though. If you plan a role change beforehand then you will find the transition much more fluid and effective. I'll give some examples in a later section.

Now let's see what things you need to consider. Here is a list of questions that make important features of a lineup stand out:

1. What will the other heroes be doing throughout the game?
2. How will team battles unfold?
3. When are each of these heroes at their strongest? Early? Mid? Late?
4. What do the other players expect from me?

I expect a fair number of you answer these questions instinctively when a game starts. You know who will be laning with whom and where they'll be. You know when your team has a better shot at winning if you can make it past the 40 minute mark, and some games you'll see that if you ward the enemy forest early you'll cripple their mid-game team battles. Not everyone does do this though, so for you people I suggest considering the above questions.

I'll explain further how the answers to those questions affect your choice in the "Roles" section itself, excepting the fourth. I'll handle that one here. In public games, it is the least important. Your allies are themselves unreliable, so you should play as you judge best. In an inhouse/clan war/league game your allies are counting on you to perform a specific task. Unless they are aware of the multitude of roles the Invoker can fill, you should not stray too far from the limits of their assumptions.

Choose Your Build

Once you know what you are going to do you need to choose how you will do it. You need to select from among the tactics that suit each role and decide which of them will work best in the game. Since each of these tactics involve a spell or reagent you can usually get a clear picture of how you should build in order to maximize your effectiveness.

Some good questions for you to consider to isolate the best build are:

1. Are the enemy heroes more vulnerable to magic damage, or physical damage?
2. How many disables does my team need? Do the other heroes have enough?
3. Can any of my enemies be countered by my abilities?
4. Do any of my allies synergize with my abilities?

Sometimes the best tactics available all involve different reagents. Though this is not desirable, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. To deal with this you just need to consider when you would be using these tactics. Often you can sort them out into early, middle and late game. This lets you organize your build such that by the time you want to be using a particular spell it is available. Furthermore, having different tactics for different parts of the game keeps you unpredictable. Be unpredictable. It is an effective way to make sure your enemy is perpetually unsure of what is going to happen, and thus unable to counter you. You want them to prepare for something you don’t at all intend to do.

If you still aren’t sure of a good build choice, go to your lane. When you encounter your lane opponent you will know. Make your primary reagent whichever will serve you best in the early game. Indeed, I almost never pick a reagent until I know who I'm against.

Choose Your Items

The final thing to consider is what items you should get. A handful of the tactics require an item, and so you can derive some direction from these, but there is almost always room for more thought. Questions to help get you on the right track are:

1. How much money will I have?
2. Can I fulfill my role with my spells alone? What can improve my ability in this role?
3. How much mana will I need? Health?
4. What items can counter the enemy heroes?
5. What items will my allies be getting?

The last question is rarely important except in the case of items like Radiance, Mekansm, Khadgar's Pipe, or Stygian Desolator.

Roles

1. Overview
2. Support
3. Initiator
4. Push
5. Kill
6. Carry

Overview

A "role" is a category typifying the function of a hero or a strategy. People point out many different roles in DotA, but for the purposes of this guide I will only deal with three main roles and two subtypes. These roles are based on those offered in Niss3’s Comprehensive Gameplay Guide, which by the way I highly recommend reading.

The many different strategies I like to employ as Invoker can be classified in one of these five categories: Support, Initiator, Push, Kill, Carry.

Support strategies use Invoker's abilities to benefit his teammates, rather than himself. Item builds are limited, as Support Invoker spends little time farming, and skill builds focus on disables and buffs.

Initiator strategies center around team battles, typically aiming to create mayhem in a fight by hitting the enemy with a massive flurry of spells. Usually he is the first one to attack, and in several variations he spends his time between team battles roaming the map, harassing enemies in anticipation of the next fight.

Push Invoker builds himself to burn through lanes. He is a variation on the carry role, and indeed by late game he is well suited to be a semi-carry. He waits for a vulnerable lane, then pushes as hard as he can. If need be he travels with a ganker to force the enemy team away from the target lane.

Kill Invoker aims to kill heroes. He spends early game farming like a Carry, then roams the map picking off enemies. He builds for burst damage and disables.

Carry Invoker spends a good part of the game just farming. He uses his spells to accelerate the process and keep himself safe. Once he has finished building himself up, he takes on the responsibilities of both the Push and Kill strategies and begins breaking lanes. He favors items that improve survivability and DPS.

Yes, I am well aware that "Initiator" is a different part of speech than the other labels. I simply figured "Initiate Invoker" sounded even more peculiar.

Support

1. Overview
2. When to Play
3. How to Play

Overview

Every successful team needs a support hero. Someone to plant the wards, buy the chicken, and protect the carry. Invoker is a good choice for this role, since his "core" item build is relatively cheap. His great flexibility also means he synergizes with every hero, and thus he can smoothly fit into any lineup.

When to Play

The most obvious time when you should use a Support strategy is when your team has a non-solo carry, but nobody to babysit them. Someone has to do it, and Invoker can better afford to sacrifice his gold than, say, Bounty Hunter.

You must also consider the amount of available farming space. If your team has two or more heroes who completely consume lanes (Nevermore, Pit Lord, etc), then you will almost never have the chance to farm creeps. Take it in stride, and don't try for large items. Since all the other strategies benefit from said items, you'll do best if you stick with Support.

Finally, you should play Support if your team has nobody else who can. Any serious team will need wards and a crow, and he who buys them typically sacrifices a significant amount of money in so doing. Since Invoker can make do without big items, spare your money-dependent allies the burden.

A note for public games:

Support Invoker is difficult to succeed with in a public game. Public teams infrequently have the coordination to make your sacrifices worthwhile. Of course you shouldn't simply write off your allies and go rambo, but you likely will need to be stronger than the Support role will allow. You can try it out for the practice, just be aware of your teammates' skill levels, and be prepared to switch to a more powerful role if necessary.

How to Play

1. Laning
2. Team Fights
3. Miscellaneous

Laning

While laning as Support Invoker, spends your time denying allied creeps and harassing enemy heroes. Unless your lane partner has left temporarily or is unable to score a last hit, you should leave enemy creeps alone. You almost always should have a lane partner, the only exception being if your carries are back in base or dead.

Team Fights

Your priorities in a team fight are to:

1. Ensure the carry survives
2. Ensure everyone else survives
3. Help kill enemy carries
4. Survive
5. Help kill enemy heroes

At the first sign that an ally is in trouble charge in eyes blazing. Use whatever spells are already invoked, then pull out another one. With your help your buddy may be able to turn on the attackers. If not though, be prepared to die. Invoker is a great distraction, but as fragile as you are in the Support role you may find yourself die shortly after you force their attention on you.

If the fight is magnificently one sided and your team is thrashing your opponents, do what you can to keep the fleeing enemies in range. If your team has focused one hero and it is certain they will die, turn your attention to somebody else. No need for overkill.

Apart from that, try to keep an eye on your carry allies. Attack who they attack, attack whoever attacks them, etc. You can help out other team members if your carry doesn't need any help, but don't forget your priorities.

Miscellaneous

The Chicken/Crow may or may not end up your responsibility, but more often than not you will be buying the wards. With Ghost Walk you are capable of safely planting wards deeper in enemy territory than any other support hero.

Initiator

1. Overview
2. When to Play
3. How to Play

Overview

Team battles win or lose games. Initiator Invoker works to make sure his team always comes out on top in these clashes. The three reagents each have a powerful spell that affects a large AOE, and thus are perfect for team battles. These spells - Ice Wall, EMP and Chaos Meteor - are the staples of the Initiator Invoker. His skill and item builds center around creating situations in which these spells have their maximum effect.

When to Play

Because the Initiator strategies require quickly obtaining certain items it's important that your lane partner isn't a hard carry. A support hero can let you farm as needed, and you can share the lane with a ganker, but there is little sense in competing with a rice farmer. If you are stuck with a such a hero then go play Support.

If your team lacks a good initiator then you have another reason to step up. Someone has to strike first, after all, and it may as well be someone who can pull it off.

Lastly, Initiator strategies are especially effective against lineups with a lot of team battle potential. Invoker's flexibility gives him three choices in breaking up the enemy team, which may be enough to turn a battle in your favor.

How to Play

1. Laning
2. Team Fights
3. Miscellaneous

Laning

No matter how you play the Initiator Invoker you will need to farm early game. Your core is not much larger than that of the Support Invoker, but you need to complete it far sooner. Your initial item is as important to you as Blink Dagger is to Earthshaker, which is to say profoundly. Though some deny and harassment is fine your priority is to last hit.

Team Fights

Here you are in your element. Get into position (you absolutely cannot afford to miss when initiating) and launch your attack. Once you've used your initiation spell you can switch to something more specific to the enemy hero being focused. Be careful though. You likely will use all three Invoke slots in the first few seconds of a fight, and therefore be helpless if you are focused. Stay on the fringes of the battle if you can, using your ranged attack until Invoke recharges.

Saving an ally is not a high priority. You are less valuable than a carry, but don't suicidally dive in to rescue them. After your initial strike you will be considerably weakened, and unless Invoke or a disabling item is off cooldown you are helpless. No sense in charging in if all you'll be doing is feeding.

Miscellaneous

Once you have your core you can help out buying wards. Initiator strategies make you reasonably mobile, and so you can get in and out of places without too much danger.

Your entire game is team fights, so in between them you should be preparing for the next one. If you have full mana/health, go harass the enemy. Save your long cooldown spells for a real fight, but the proper application of cheaper ones like Cold Snap and Forge Spirits can be incredibly frustrating to your target. If an allied ganker is on the hunt you can accompany them and initiate their ganks as well.

Push

1. Overview
2. When to Play
3. How to Play

Overview

Killing a tower gives a huge gold bonus to your team, so the earlier you can take them down the better. Push strategies build you up to destroy towers as fast as possible. You take advantage of your abilities to get in a lane, push it, and get back out without dying.

When to Play

This is the first of the Invoker strategies that works well in a solo lane. If you find yourself without a lane partner - or, even better, with another hero who can push - consider this role.

The other opportunity to use the Push role is when your allies' team battles are far stronger than the opposing team's. Once your allies win a battle you can surge forward and pick off a tower.

How to Play

1. Laning
2. Team Fights
3. Miscellaneous

Laning

Farm, farm, harass. You are a semi-carry in this role, and need money to make your tower killing expeditions successes. Last hit creeps, but don't forget to take cheap shots at your opponents when you can. Spell harassment is acceptable as well. You won't be able to push a tower as easily with enemies nearby, so you will have to force them out. If you are ready to take down the tower go ahead and call for a gank. If your allies decline, you can try to send your opponents back to the fountain by stepping up your spell attacks. Just make sure to keep some mana available for an escape in case your aggression impels them to gank you.

Team Fights

Team fights are the prelude to your own composition. By all means help out, but don't expend yourself unless necessary. Your priority is surviving (and winning) the battle so you can then push a lane. Stick to the shadows and throw spells. Fortunately all of your pushing abilities have low cooldowns, so it doesn't matter if you use them in the fight.

Miscellaneous

Your job is probably the most straightforward of any of the roles. The only extra thing is that you should be mindful of when your allies go ganking. Travel with them and help out. The vacuum left in the wake of a successful gank is the perfect environment for a push.

Kill

1. Overview
2. When to Play
3. How to Play

Overview

In order to get the most out of farming, a carry is often alone. The Kill Invoker seeks to abuse this vulnerability. He prowls the map, waiting for an enemy hero to stray too far from the safety of their base. Invoker builds to be the primary force behind the success of a gank, be it through damage or through disables.

When to Play

Kill Invoker needs money as well, though not quite as much as with the Push and Carry strategies. He can accumulate the necessary wealth through a solo lane or by laning with a support hero. The latter option is usually preferable, since scoring early game kills are difficult without an ally around.

Of course if your team lacks anyone capable of leading ganks then this is a solid strategy. Unless you hope to overpower them early with incredibly powerful and fast pushes, somebody will have to stop the enemy carry from farming.

This role also becomes vastly more effective if the enemy team has more than one hard carry. The two will almost always be viable targets, for their allies won't be able to protect both and still gank your own team's carry.

How to Play

1. Laning
2. Team Fights
3. Miscellaneous

Laning

The Kill strategies don't have much room for laning. Sure, farm up while early game, but your main concern is getting kills. Get your levels fast and then get out there. If you can kill people in your lane, then great, do it. Don't sit around waiting for the opportunity to come though. If you don't find yourself dominating your lane then that's a good sign you need to go find a different one to dominate.

Team Fights

The same things that make you potent in a gank make you potent in a team fight. In many team fights you'll be leading the way (after the initiator, that is), so try to pick your targets wisely. Enemy carries are good choices, disablers and AOE nukers too. Your allies should follow your lead, but if they don't you should focus on whichever of the targets your team(including you) has chosen that is most easily killed.

Miscellaneous

It is possible that over the course of the game you'll gain enough gold to put you on par with a carry. If you sense you might have overtaken the other heroes in the game both in gold and experience, don't change roles. What you're doing is working, so keep doing it. No matter how tempting it might be to forgo the Guinsoo in favor of Assault Cuirass, don't. You chose to Kill because your team had a character that, if farmed enough, can do more than you. Unless you've realized that the player behind that character is incapable of out-carrying the enemy, stick with the plan. Carry Invoker may be good, but a farmed Faceless Void is just plain better.

Carry

1. Overview
2. When to Play
3. How to Play

Overview

Most teams have a carry, some hero that spends the first half of the game farming lanes. The purpose of this is to build up enough money to empower the carry to the point where they can defeat any hero on the opposing team. Invoker, for all his fragility, can make a deadly carry. The Carry strategies have you farm efficiently and safely, until finally you have the potency to unleash yourself on the enemy team. Your spells help you escape ganks, snag kills, push towers and kill creeps, and if you succeed in these things your economy will be on a level far above your foes'. Made all the more powerful by your flexibility, your enemies will be unprepared when you finally attack.

When to Play

Carry Invoker must absolutely farm, both gold as well as experience. A solo lane is invaluable, though if you have no choice you can make do with a babysitter. If either of these two situations are the case, consider whether you can Carry this game.

Carry Invoker is a lane hog, and will consume creeps at such a rate that it is unfeasible to have many other farming heroes on the team. Play this role if your team has no carry, but only in that situation.

You'll also want to make sure your team has strong early game heroes. If their strength lies in late game, then you can't afford to play a Carry strategy. The enemy team will crush you in a 4v5 matchup, and indeed your team will rarely see you while you are off farming. Best to play a Kill, or if you must a Push strategy.

How to Play

1. Laning
2. Team Fights
3. Miscellaneous

Laning

Farm a lot. Last hit everything. Only deny if you can't last hit, only harass if you cannot do either. If you push a lane too far, well damn, that sucks. Maybe your allies will come and turn it into a legit tower push. Otherwise, go pull if you're in the long lane, or just go somewhere else.

Team Fights

A team fight is an opportunity to gain a significant amount of gold and experience. Enter the battle after the initiator, throwing your own initiation spells down as well. You lead the battle, picking off weak or dangerous heroes. You can wade into the fray to make sure you get the last hits on enemies, but only if doing so does not endanger your life. Above all you cannot die.

Miscellaneous

The only thing you need to worry about besides farming is not dying. Keep your eyes on the minimap. Though it may take some time for the enemy to catch on that your team is using an intelligence carry, once they do you'll be under substantial pressure. Make sure you don't fall prey to a gank. Teleport out, run away, whatever. Just don't die.

Builds

1. Overview
2. Single Orb
3. Double Orb
4. Triple Orb
5. Variations

Overview

At long last, the skill builds. In this section I will go over ten types of builds, detailing the both the usual skill build as well as what spells are effective at what times. Finally, I'll look at some ways to tweak a build.

Single Orb

1. Overview
2. QW
3. QE
4. WQ
5. WE
6. EQ
7. EW

Overview


These builds focus on a single orb at a time. The build orders are straightforward. They max out one orb by level 13, the second by level 19 and the third of course is maxed at level 25.

Another landmark is level 6, by which time you should have all three orbs. What order you get them in does not really matter, so long as you have them all. This is intended to give you access to the full ten spells. Having only two orbs grants four spells, and usually the added flexibility is more valuable than leveling up the secondary orb twice.

QW

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Spells

Early Game (levels 1-7)
Cold Snap, Tornado
Mid Game (levels 8-14)
Ice Wall, Deafening Blast
Late Game (levels 15-22)
Ghost Walk, EMP, Alacrity
In each of these phases you "unlock" several spells. I use unlock loosely, for you can still make use of "locked" spells, but I'd save them for specific situations. The unlocked spells are the ones you should have invoked in between said specific situations. These are the spells that you can rely on to make a decent impact.

I also don't say anything about levels 23+. This is because after you hit that point you can go with any spell you want.


QE

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Spells

Early Game (levels 1-7)
Cold Snap, Tornado
Mid Game (levels 8-14)
Ice Wall, Deafening Blast
Late Game (levels 15-22)
Forge Spirits, Chaos Meteor, Alacrity
Sunstrike isn't listed because, frankly, you should never, ever run around with it invoked. It will always be a situational spell.


WQ

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Spells

Early Game (levels 1-7)
Cold Snap, Tornado, Alacrity
Mid Game (levels 8-14)
EMP, Deafening Blast
Late Game (levels 15-22)
Ghost Walk, Ice Wall


WE

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Spells

Early Game (levels 1-7)
Cold Snap, Tornado, Alacrity
Mid Game (levels 8-14)
EMP, Deafening Blast
Late Game (levels 15-22)
Chaos Meteor


EQ

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Spells

Early Game (levels 1-7)
Cold Snap, Forge Spirits
Mid Game (levels 8-14)
Chaos Meteor, Deafening Blast, Alacrity
Late Game (levels 15-22)
Ice Wall, Tornado


EW

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Spells

Early Game (levels 1-7)
Cold Snap, Alacrity
Mid Game (levels 8-14)
Chaos Meteor, Deafening Blast
Late Game (levels 15-22)
Tornado, EMP


Double Orb

1. Overview
2. Tornado
3. Alacrity
4. Forge Spirits

Overview

These builds involve leveling two orbs at approximately the same pace. This significantly alters the power distribution of the spells. You gain access to a larger number of spells, but most are weaker than they would be in a single orb build. Each double orb build has one spell however that is exceptionally powerful, much more so than in the other build variations. The builds are each named for this specially empowered ability.

Tornado

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Equally effective (not counting levels 1-3, Wex is a dreadful first orb) would be to switch Wex with Quas.

Spells

First Stage (levels 1-11)
Tornado, Cold Snap, Alacrity
Second Stage (levels 12-22)
Deafening Blast, EMP, Ice Wall
Splitting it up into early/mid/late game would be a forced division, so I won't bother. Frankly any division in the 1-22 levels feels forced to me, since the Tornado build transitions so smoothly. The first three spells are simply more effective early game.


Alacrity

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Invoke is delayed until level 9 because, really, you have no combos that early in the game. Cold Snap + Alacrity could work, but based on experience I find only one Invoke slot is needed at that point in the game.

Spells

First Stage (levels 1-8)
Alacrity
Second Stage (levels 9-11)
Cold Snap
Third Stage (levels 12-22)
Chaos Meteor, Deafening Blast, EMP, Tornado
Alacrity is one of the more disjointed builds, but don't let that fool you into thinking it weak. The ability to spawn double damage runes every 15 seconds is a powerful one, and as I've said before this is the build to take the most advantage of Alacrity.


Forge Spirits

1. Skills
2. Spells

Skills

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Forge Spirits becomes vastly more powerful once you hit level 4 for both Quas and Exort, so it's advisable to get there as fast as possible. There is no small amount of risk involved in forgoing Wex for so long, but this variation is used commonly enough for me to consider it the "normal" form of the Forge Spirits build.

Spells

First Stage (levels 1-9)
Cold Snap, Forge Spirits
Second Stage (levels 10-22)
Ice Wall, Alacrity, Deafening Blast, Chaos Meteor
At level 9 you are usually more powerful than anyone else playing. You had better make the best of it while you can, because in the next two levels the other heroes in the game will catch up. No matter what your role is, lead your team in taking control of the map.


Triple Orb

1. Overview
2. Skills
3. Spells

Overview

The triple orb builds are the most flexible of any Invoker strategies. The downside is you aren't quite as strong in any one area as you would be in another build. You basically are sacrificing in-game power for meta-game power. If any builds could be said to be the home for mind games it would be the triple orb builds.

Skills

The best way to get the most from a triple orb build is to level each orb in chunks. Here's an example:

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Early game you play like an Exort build, mid game you have a Forge Spirits build, and late game you play a Wex build.

You are weaker than other heroes in levels 13-17, but in exchange you gain access to all ten spells. It's not easy to fight an enemy who attacks you in a different way each time. For those of you who have partaken of OMG DotA, it's like playing "Random Abilities, Deathmatch" mode. Each time you see Invoker you have no idea what will come out of him.

Spells

Basically do whatever works. If you're having trouble evaluating a spell, here's a quick rule of thumb: if the spell's primary reagent is level 4 or higher, it's useful.

If you want a more specific list, here is when each spell becomes non-situational:

Spell Conditions
Cold Snap Quas = 1
Ghost Walk Always situational
Ice Wall Quas = 4
Tornado Quas = 3 or Wex = 3
EMP Wex = 4
Alacrity Exort + Wex = 4
Forge Spirits Exort = 4 and Quas = 4
Chaos Meteor Exort = 4
Deafening Blast Quas = 4 or Wex = 4 or Exort = 4
Sunstrike Always situational


Variations

1. Pure Single Orb
2. Staggered Build

Pure Single Orb

The "pure" single orb variations start out the same way as the normal builds. The change comes at level 14. Instead of putting one orb at level 3, you choose to put both at level 2. You then continue leveling the two at the same rate. Like the triple orb builds, this opens up all ten spells for use. The difference of course is that you delay this until late-mid game in favor of having a more focused early game.

The six normal builds converge into three pure variations: Quas, Wex, and Exort.

Staggered Build

In the double orb builds especially, you can sometimes find that splitting the orbs up like that leaves you too weak. A common variation to fix this problem is to give each orb a turn, just as in the triple orb builds. Here is an example of a staggered Tornado build:

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-10
Levels 11-15
Levels 16-20
Levels 21-25
Doing this loses you some of your flexibility, granting in return one or two more reliably useful skills. In this example Cold Snap and Ice Wall are empowered at the cost of EMP, and Alacrity.

Items

1. Core
2. Luxury
3. Contraband

Core

It's hard to say what constitutes the "Core" of Invoker's item build. In the 248 games I've looked at the purchases common to every game were:



Well then. Rather than give you a dozen more ambiguous questions that barely offer any help at all, I'll just spout some numbers to hit.

I give you Invoker's Core Build:



Any combination of items to get 100% Mana Regeneration, 150+ HP


Exciting, right? Here are some examples of things I've done that mostly match that:







Luxury

1. Support
2. Initiator
3. Push
4. Kill
5. Carry

Support

You won't have much money, and what you do scrape up should go first towards:




Chances are you'll eventually get enough that you can buy something non-consumable. In this case I'd recommend getting the following:




Should you be acquire what is by supportive standards an absurd amount of wealth, you could also put your money towards:




It may also be appropriate for you to purchase:



Initiator

The three flavors of Initiator require an item to ensure the success of the first strike:

Quas
Wex & Exort

Actually the Wex builds don't need Euls, it's just that it stacks so well. The movespeed boost synergizes well with a Wex Initiator.

Afterwards I recommend items from the following:



Push

Extended Core:



Boots of Travel is pretty important to someone who is supposed to take advantage of weak towers.

You probably will also want some of these:



Kill

Hell... what item's aren't good.

How about this; I'll just say "everything works (that isn't in the Contraband section)," and we'll pretend I'm not taking the easy way out. Ready? Go!

Everything works unless I've mentioned it in the Contraband section.


Carry

Man, the Kill section was so easy. I want to do it again. Unfortunately for my indolent side there are some catches here.

You need health. You need mana. If you want to be the machine Carry Invoker is, you can't also be fragile. So I say you must buy one of the following at some point:



I also suggest:



Okay, fine. You can go ahead and stack a bunch of the strength-giving items in the second list. Just make sure you can't be instagibbed.


Contraband

1. Maybe
2. No, Just... No

Maybe


Eh, it's kind of redundant. It's nice to have, don't get me wrong, but I'd use this sparingly.


Discrimination I say! We ranged heroes have just as much to buy items as those brutes! If you are handily winning the game I challenge you to defy convention! Basher/MoM 4ever!


Frankly it's just not as good as other items. For the same price you can nearly get Manta Style.


I feel like you could farm better by buying mana items. You have big AOE spells, spend your money on them.


Not for your own sake, that's for sure. If your allies can use the help, by all means.


No, Just... No


You should be slapped.


What are you going to refresh? Ghost Walk? Go sit in the corner and think about what you just did.


My mind would bleed.


Advanced Gameplay

1. Shift-Queuing
2. Shock and Awe

Shift-Queuing

Due to the spell the Invoker’s skills are based on, casting any of them will halt your current command. This can be annoying, and in fact become a problem during a battle. You can avoid this by shift-queuing your commands. For those of you unfamiliar with this feature of Warcraft III, you can chain a series of commands by holding shift while you issue them. For example, you can order your hero to attack-move down a lane, then hold shift and give another order to attack move back to base. When the first attack-move is complete the hero will turn around and come back.

A more relevant example: You are running away from your enemies, but if you stop to Invoke Ghost Walk they will catch and stun you. So, you order yourself to move about 300 units away. You then hold shift and enter in the following sequence: QQWRWW. Still holding shift, you then give an order to move another 300 or so units away. When you reach the first waypoint you will have invoked Ghost Walk[ and activated three Wex orbs. You can then cast Ghost Walk as you move to the second waypoint. Unfortunately you cannot add “V” to the end of your queued command sequence, since Ghost Walk is not available until you have invoked it, and so the command cannot be processed by the Warcraft III engine.

Shock and Awe

You have ten spells, most of which are either flashy and massive or small and subtle. As such you can sow confusion and frustration among your enemies by bombarding them with visual clutter and random effects. All it takes is one impressive display in a team battle to put your opponents in a defensive mindset. If you are easily winning a game, focus on casting as many spells as you can in a single battle. If you aren't winning you probably should stay focused on the task at hand, at least until your fingers are fast enough for you to go berserk anyways.

Countering Invoker

Countering a skilled Invoker is pretty damn hard. The only reliable methods are to stun or silence them. You have to be aggressive about it. The passive counters all assume your opponent has no solid counter-counter, which is not at all true for the Invoker. A Hood of Defiance helps a little, as does a Linken’s Sphere or a Black King Bar, but they are mostly ineffective. If you buy a Hood the Invoker can switch to using his basic attack, and the magic reduction does nothing to reduce the efficacy of his spells’ special effects. The Linken’s Sphere is barely useful. It will shield you from the disable of Tornado (not the damage though), and it will prevent a single stun from Cold Snap (but only one). Black King Bar… Yeah, no good. Same as the Hood. The Invoker can just pop some elementals and throw down an Ice Wall (which slows despite the magic immunity) just like they would if you didn’t have a BKB. Thus it’s a wasted item slot.

The best counters to the Invoker in terms of items are Guinsoo and Orchid. While sheeped the Invoker is completely helpless and easily killed. While silenced he still has access to his items, which may be a problem if he gets a Ghost Scepter, but apart from that he can only auto-attack. Your team will doubtless have at least one hero with a disable however, and that hero will be your weapon against the Invoker. If you can chain stuns, even better. Be warned though, for if you time your stun chain poorly he may still escape. An Invoker can shift-queue Ghost Walk while stunned, and thus the millisecond the stun ends he can go invisible. For this reason you should also carry dust or some other way to detect invisibility when ganking Invoker.

You can throw Invoker off his game some with Blademail. His glass cannon state is all the more obvious when he loses 250 HP every time he attacks you. If he used Alacrity then he might inadvertently kill himself in less than 4 seconds. Even better is if you can trick him into casting a spell like Chaos Meteor on you. If you can afford the damage yourself, activate Blademail and run along with the meteor. There is no way for him to recover from that mistake except for with a Black King Bar.

A final note: The Invoker has no cast time, which means often the first indication you’ll have of an incoming spell is when it hits you. However, you can use a Magic Wand to detect when he casts something. If you see the wand's flash you can tell something’s coming.

Replays

Sorry, but I'm holding off on putting up any new replays for the time being. The old ones are still here. Keep in mind however that these are over a year old, and do not reflect the playstyles suggested by this guide. I'll fix that, eventually.

EW-Disable/Carry: Download

I played this game on Battlenet. It’s a pub game, DotA version 6.63b, Warcraft III version 1.24.

Lineup:
Sentinel: Leshrac, Slithice, Drow Ranger, Rhasta, Pandaren Brewmaster
Scourge: Invoker, Omniknight, Bane Elemental, Warlock, Netherdrake

Strategy

My initial strategy was to play an EQ Disable & Kill Invoker. Our team already had Warlock and Omniknight to provide support, and Viper could carry. I decided on Kill/Disable to synergize with Bane Elemental and Viper, and because Warlock's one AOE disable didn't seem like enough to me.

The enemy lineup had a lot of low HP heroes, and the one tank, Pandaren Brewmaster, can only be reliably disabled by Ice Wall. A Wex build would have been better against Panda courtesy of the manaburn, and Deafening Blast’s Pacify would have been highly effective against Drow and Slithice. I picked an Exort build instead because I didn’t trust my allies, and didn’t want to rely on my allies for damage.

Once Viper left I noted that I was the best carry remaining. So I changed my strategy. I switched to a EW Disable/Carry build. The EW was because I wanted Deafening Blast’s pacify to deal with the enemy carry, and because leveling Wex increased my ability to run from a gank (Boy did that come in handy).

Item Build Order

+ + + + +

Generic starting items, boots, and an early mana regen item.



I chose to use a Guinsoo to keep the enemy from fleeing a gank. Though damage items would have served better there, I also wanted more mana regen.



If I'm going to keep pressure on the enemy team I need to stay mobile. Plus I like being faster than all the other players.



I may have kind of lost faith in our ability to win.



I'm playing to carry, and this is a damn good carry item. Made even more so by the fact that Panda is on the other team. MKB > armor and evasion.



Lifesteal is the icing on the cake. I don't want to rely on Quas for regen this late into the game.

Notes

I did not land a single fatal Sunstrike this game. I hit one on Leshrac at 23:20 that almost killed him, but that’s it.

Around 16:00 Warlock and I destroy mid tower and then run through Sentinel forest. This is the second rule in action. I then used an elemental as a sentry so that I would know if the enemy was coming (which they were). The following extended team battle that lasted until around 19:00 is a good example of me breaking that rule. Yes, we won the team battle. However I allowed allies of mine to die needlessly. If I had been paying attention to the minimap I would have seen Panda chasing Omniknight and I would not have run towards the river, delaying my failed rescue attempt.

My gank attempt at 30:00 was AWFUL. I walked right by Leshrac without noticing him. Thankfully I got Ghost Walk off, but that does not excuse that fail. And the one at 31:20? I missed a meteor on a sheep. Rule eight failed!

At 32:40, I kill Drow properly but then it looks like I got confused. I should have picked a target and stuck with it. Fortunately Leshrac did die. That there by the way is an excellent example of why Orchid is not good enough defense against a DPS build Invoker.

Some time around 34:00 I get my Aghanim’s. You may notice I begin to spam almost all my spells (oddly I don’t ever use EMP). This is a good plan. I have the mana, the mana regen, and I have the Invoke cooldown. Admittedly I miss a lot of those spells, but I excuse that with the theory that my accuracy was awful back then.

My gank at 50:00 was awful. I cast Deafening Blast and Chaos Meteor in the wrong order, and consequently let Drow escape.

52:00 : I shouldn’t have tried to save him. Well, let’s be honest. I should have made the call to go back way sooner.

At sometime around 60:00 I am pushing mid, and I cast Tornado on the creep wave, somewhat unnecessarily. This is because I wanted to see who was waiting above the ledge.

The final conversational exchange… Call me socially underdeveloped, but I really don’t know the polite response to that.


WQ-Kill: Download

I played this game on Battlenet. It’s a public CM game, DotA version 6.64, Warcraft III version 1.24c.

Not one of my cleaner games, but it's passable. I think the other players were more skilled than average pubbers as well.

Lineup:
Sentinel: Tidehunter, Omniknight, Necrolyte, Dragon Knight, Enchantress
Scourge: Crystal Maiden, Sven, Invoker, Vengeful Spirit, Skeleton King

Strategy

Right off the bat I decided to play a Kill Invoker. The enemy team claimed to be undefeated in the game lobby, and what with the argument that broke out almost immediately I was skeptical of my own teammates. Throughout the entire game I wobbled between switching to a Carry build and continuing with Kill. I didn't make the transition, but I kept the option available, since our two more orthodox carries were vulnerable to Necrolyte's ultimate. If I had played as a pure Kill Invoker I wouldn't have relied on Rylai and the fountain for mana so much, buying a regen item before getting the Radiance or Boots of Travel.

I was sorely tempted to use a QE Armor Reduction build to combat the large number of high-hp characters on the enemy team. Disables are crucial when taking down a tank, and further I like using Ice Wall to shut down Omniknight. What turned me away from that was Enchantress. To combat her I would prefer to use EMP and Deafening Blast. Thus I elected to use a WQ build, hoping to level quickly enough that I could chain my offensive disables with the rest of my team, while otherwise using EMP to keep the enemy from executing their combos.

Item Build Order

+ + +

Generic starting items.



I'm playing a Wex build, so I want to be fast. Also this eliminates many problems with going back to the fountain, so I can continue to procrastinate on a mana regen item.



I need to kill things, and my spells aren't as strong as they were earlier. The solution: A Radiance. Good Cold Snap and Ghost Walk synergies, and it makes me more a factor in team battles.

+

Finally, sweet, sweet mana. I won't be rushing Radiance without a Sobi mask again for a while.

Notes

Captains Mode is always especially nice for Invoker, since you have a lot more time to think about what you are going to do. I always feel like a douche asking for Invoker though. I can just imagine the captain rolling their eyes in resignation and picking the "noob" hero.

@7:40 I like pink. He pays attention. I was too busy doing that "being distracted" thing and watching bottom on the minimap.

@8:42 The first EMP is sort of like a tracer shot. I cast it out in the open to see what the enemy response is. This helps me assess their awareness.

@9:41 If they dodge the first EMP I scale it up a bit, casting it in a less visible location. It worked, so I don't have to try any harder than that to burn Necroltye.

@10:37 That was a weak Deafening Blast. I poorly assumed Enchantress wouldn't cut so sharply.

@12:10 New heroes to gank, so another tracer. I feel comfortable making it obvious, since Enchantress has nowhere to go. I just want to see if she runs at all. She did, as did Omni, so I know I need to conceal the charge in future attacks.

@14:44 A strange item build, no? Normally I wouldn't get my items in this order, but I am unconcerned by mana regeneration since we have Rylai.

@15:38 You can drop EMP's in fog. I'm leveled enough that I was reasonably sure I would hit Necrolyte. I'm pleased to notice it also hit Enchantress.

@20:24 Oww... and that's why I EMP Omniknights.

@21:49 Augh!

@23:46 Oh look, I failed at denying.

@24:58 I think I basically spam Tornados into the forest starting at this point.

@26:39 A Wex Invoker isn't quite as useful in team battles during mid game as his Quas and Exort counterparts. At least, not without a larger manapool. EMP and Deafening Blast together are like Tauren Chieftain's Stomp.

@28:47 BKB > Wex Invoker, until said Wex Invoker gets damage to pump up Alacrity.

@30:41 Critical mistake on my part. I haven't farmed well enough and am just now starting to complete my Radiance. If I'd had more mana we could have won that team battle.

@32:10 EMP on a fleeing healer is important. Necrolyte now only has one more heal left in him.

@32:16 Deafening Blast, since I didn't want him to cast any spells to prolong his existence. The push is like a stun, remember?

@32:44 I am so lucky he cast Repel on himself before he noticed how low my hp was.

@34:28 Sloppy! That was the wrong order.

@35:31 The Cold Snap here was not to kill him, but rather to hold him down until the rest of the team caught up. Of course once they did all sorts of awkwardness ensued, but he died all the same.

@38:07 As I've mentioned, Ice Wall conceals EMP. Not that DK or Enchantress could have run away regardless, but Omniknight ran into it.

@40:00 Fountains are for people without Quas.

@42:24 I'm surprised it actually took this long for me to mess up someone's projectile with a Tornado. Without a voice chat program this happens unfortunately often.



Videos

Cold Snap





Conclusion

Congratulations for reading all this way. I hope this guide has helped you gain a better understanding of the Invoker’s many capabilities. If you have any comments, or if you wish to discuss something, feel free to leave a comment or send me a PM. Happy Invoking.

If I said I would put something in here and then did not, please forgive me. I've been shuffling things around a great deal, and I'm sure some things have slipped through the cracks.

Credits

My in-house comrades: ACowne, jk488, BlueLoneWolf, IceFire23, Jaheco, RogueSpartans, monkeymike89, niggastompa, cyrismustang.

Thanks also to Akatzu, Sike & jyxie, who have helped me acclimate to the metagame of organized play.

I appreciate your comments by the way. I may not always reply, but I do always see what you say.

Finally, of course, thanks to IceFrog.

Changelog

2.1: 12/25/10
Intermediate changes to maintain relevance. Version 3 still in progress.
2.0: 3/17/10
Rewritten to be competitively viable
1.5: 1/21/09
Updated for version 6.66
1.4: 12/27/09
Updated for version 6.65
1.0: 12/2/09
The guide is published





Kael the Invoker
Author: Esryok
Map Vers.: 6.70c

Invoker

The Omnimage

Date Posted: 11/20/09
Last Comment:20/10/2014
Total Votes: 921
Current Rating: 8.95
Views: 1204626



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