THE RETURN OF THE VOODOO CHILD
No seriously, the guide is going to be about this guy:
- Pro's and con's
- Item Build
- Good Allies
- Strong Enemies
IntroductionRhasta, also known as shadow shaman, is one of the most effective disablers in Dota. He has two disables, and voodoo is one that most people are willing to pay 5675 to get (guinsoo).
HistoryOnce a gifted troll witch doctor, young Rhasta was well versed with the secrets of voodoo magic. When the war between the Sentinel and the Scourge began, Rhasta, then a Shadow Hunter, offered his allegiance to the Sentinels to vanquish the Scourge once and for all. While he was gifted as a witch doctor, Rhasta is a genius as a shadow hunter, exceeding his master by mastering the art of summoning multiple serpent wards, binding enemies for a short time and casting elemental lightning to several units.
19 + 1.6
16 + 1.6
21 + 3
Nothing really special here. Rhasta has the stats of a typical supporting spellcaster.
Attack Animation: 0.3 / 0.5
Damage: 42 - 49
Casting Animation: 0.3 / 1.07
Base Attack Time: 1.7
Missile Speed: 900
Attack Range: 500
Sight Range: 1800 / 800
First of all, we see a quite long casting backswing (1.07), which basically means that after casting a spell Rhasta will do nothing for 1.07 seconds. If possible one should always try to cancel this animation by ordering another command right after rhasta casts a spell, (of course with exception for shackles as you will break the shackle if you give another order).
Secondly we see a very low armor, a very slow movespeed, a slow missile speed and an average range. All in all, Rhasta is pretty lame at everything except disabling the enemy team, but this ability is far more than enough to win, trust me.
Pro's and Con's
Two strong disables
Good creep pusher with ether shock
Extrodinary tower pusher with MSW
Team-dependant in ganks
Focused due to massive spell arsenal
Slow missile speed making denying/lasthitting harder
A lightning shock strikes several targets, dealing damage.
Nr of targets:3/4/6/7
Notes & tips
This is the skill that makes Rhasta possible to play as an early game harasser. Though remember to keep an eye on your mana pool, you should always have enough mana to do one disable if needed. Another tip is not to spam this skill on lvl 1, at least wait until lvl 2 because the dmg on lvl 1 is just lame.
Transforms the target unit into a chicken, silencing it and making it unable to attack. The unit under the spell still can move, but in the same speed as a chicken (very slow, 100ms)
Notes & Tips
This skill is not at all effective on lvl 1 or 2. But in late game it is worth its mana cost many times over. Can be used to prevent the enemy tank from doing his job while your team is nuking the rest of the enemies down.
Binds the target in a channeling shackle that deals 40 dmg per second.
Notes and Tips
Do not let the stats fool you. This skill is NOT better than voodoo in late game. Since it is channeling, it means Rhasta is also inable to move or attack during shackles. A common noob mistake is to rush with rhasta and shackle the enemy, then a second enemy shows up and pwns Rhasta. However, this skill is very useful in combination with a nuker or your own wards, more of that in the strategies section.
Mass Serpent Wards
Rhasta summons 8 immobile serpent wards that attack the enemy.
Damage (per ward): 39-43/54-58/69-73
Please note that the Casting Range is the range you can place the wards in, not the wards attack range.
Notes & Tips
Rhastas ulti is a very powerful one. A common mistake with this skill however is to place it where a enemy can escape, then the whole spell (and 200-600 mana) is wasted. This skill is to be used, with NO exeptions, in combination with voodoo or shackles (or both). More about that in the strategies section.
This ultimate is upgradeable with Aghanims Scepter. The effect is not 3 more wards like it used to be, instead the damage of each ward is increased like this:
lvl 1 from 39-43 to 53-59
lvl 2 from 54-58 to 74-79
lvl 3 from 69-73 to 94-100
Now, is this making the upgrade better or worse? Lets do the math.
Assume that you have wards at lvl 3 and you buy an upgrade in the old version (6.63 and older). Instead of having 8 wards dealing 69-73 dmg you now have 11 wards dealing the same dmg. This results in 73*11=807 dmg per strike.
In the new version, your wards instead deal 100*8=800 dmg. As you can see, the upgrade change is very small in reality. I still strongly recommend to buy scepter in late game. More of that in the items section.
These are three examples of skill builds, all adjusted to certain situations.
The common build
6.Mass Serpent Ward
11.Mass Serpent Ward
16.Mass Serpent Wards
This is probably the best skill build for Rhasta. You might want to get lvl 4 Shackles earlier, most likely at the cost of ether shock I would say. At lvl 11 however you should have voodoo lvl 4 in order to be able to use tactics like ward-trap and different combos with greater success (a chicken is far more easy to handle than a fierce Dragon or Stone Giant). This build is recommended when going solo mid or laning with a weak early game hero.
The early harasser/ mid game pusher build
6.Mass Serpent Wards
11.Mass Serpent Wards
16.Mass Serpent Wards
This build is assuming that your team already has a disabler or that you go solo mid for some reason. However you should remember that Rhasta is a team hero, and a noob attempt to get first blood with this build could end in a disaster. The great thing with this build however is your ability to push creep waves amazingly fast and take down towers like nothing with MSW. Still, the delayed hex is often a too high price to pay.
The Disabler Build
11.Mass Serpent Wards
16.Mass Serpent Wards
17-25. Stats/Ether shock
This build is assuming that you have a strong nuker on your team. together with him, you should be able to get a first blood with shackles. Just remember the 400 short range of shackles, don't assume that just because ur inside attacking range, your'e inside shackle range. Replacing Ether shock with stats is good to improve your HP pool if you are focused in ganks (which you often are as a fragile spellcaster). However, if you push a lot, get Ether shock instead of stats.
There are several ways to build up your inventory with Rhasta. The build that I will show you works best when Rhasta has a role of team disabler, because it is the only role I think he is really capable of in a "real" game.
Dual Laning Common Item Build
A total of 200+90+150+150=590 gold
As a supporter, it is very beneficial for you and your team if you buy and share a chicken (not recommended to share in pubs with ppl who seem unserious). Upgrade the chicken into a crow asap for faster delivery. As a ganker, two bracers are a vital core for you in order to survive being focused early on. However, nowadays there is a good alternative, urn of shadows.
Urn is perfect for Rhasta as it gives mana regen, strenght boost and a useful supportive active ability. Consider getting this instead of one bracer if you are doing well and there is no one else on ur team getting it. After these two survival boosts you proceed to buy Boots of Speed. You might feel tempted to get Boots before Bracers but I wouldn't recommend that. Bracers are vital for your survival and since Rhasta isn't a chaser, he doesn't need Boots that early.
Euls scepter of divinity is your best core item if you keep your role as a supportive spellcaster, which I prefer you do in all cases. Playing around with Lothars just isn't my style, so I wont even mention it. Euls gives you a great mana regen boost, a nice ms boost that can be used in pushing lanes and escaping as well as a good disable that synergises well with Rhastas tactics such as ward trapping etc, more of that in the techniques section.
When it comes to luxury items, I would recommend Aghanims Scepter and then Guinsoo but actually the choice is quite free. Sometimes I go for Guinsoo directly after euls, sometimes I get Refresher orb instead. It is also now that the considerable items might come into the picture. They are listed below.
This item is quite good for Rhasta. It gives him some nice stats bonus (the agility bonus is nothing he needs but the strength and intelligence is great). The active ability is good if used wisely, however it is much more secure to use Euls on yourself, even though you can't cast spells while in it.
Sure it would be great in some cases to use as a finish off after shackling an enemy. The problem is, you get the kill that your carry needs to get OP in late game. Might work in some rare cases though.
Synergises extremely well with shackles, and the true sight is often good. If you are facing scary invisible heroes this might be a good luxury item. However its lack of mana regen boost makes Euls a much better core item.
If you are the only support hero in your team it might be good to get. You gain from the armor boost as well as the hp regen and the active ability. But your job is to disable and it would be better if someone else focused on healing.
All DPS items
Typical examples are Buriza (crystalys), MKB and Butterfly. You don't benefit from them, obviously.
I used to think this was a good item for Rhasta but I have changed my mind. With orchid you gain a great mana pool with your intelligence boost which is great. But it also gives you damage and attackspeed, which is the last thing you want to spend money on. The active silence synergises nicely with Rhastas spells, but in all cases you should leave this item to someone with more of a DPS hero.
After the boots, you will start building your first core item. In most cases, this would be Euls Scepter of Divinity. Euls is a great item for Rhasta, giving him a very nice mana pool and regen as well as just enough movespeed bonus to be able to play a whole game without upgrading your boots (unless you are pusher but more of that in strategies section).
The only real alternative to Euls would be Aghanims scepter. However this item gives you far from enough mana regen so you will need to build a perserverance or at least a void stone before you are done with aghanims. But this perserverance is not useless, it can be turned into a great luxury item for Rhasta, the Refresher Orb!
However if you have started with Euls you should follow up with Aghanims since you love the stats bonus as well as the ultimate upgrade.
These are your core items, as for luxury items I would recommend Guinsoo in most cases since a third disable in late game is just epic, even though you might not need the extra mana regen.
Refresher orb is a good item also but be sure not to get it when you dont have enough mana pool for double ulti.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing items for Rhasta is that in first hand you do not want to boost your attack damage and speed. You are no tank, you are no nuker. You are disabler. You need a huga mana pool and mana regen. But you do not need HP regen or pool. At least you are not supposed to need it.
Farm farm farm. This is what you will do, day and night. Though due to your low hp amount and regen, you should not go solo mid. Go for top or bot lane with a nuker. If the nuker seems to go for a rush, disable the enemy with shackles. If you have good communication with the nuker, you are most likely to get a kill. A good way to harass your enemy with shackles is to shackle them when your creeps are just about to "win" against the enemy creepwave. The enemy hero wont have time to escape your creeps and will be attacked by them. This doesn't seem like a real threat but is actually very effective on lvls 3-5.
You need to listen to your team. When and where are they ganking/pushing/defending? Be sure to be there when it happens, but never alone. Your team needs you, but more important, you need your team. If you are playing a push-Rhasta this is the time you should push creep waves fast with ether shock and take down towers with MSW. That is pretty simple. Just wait for the enemy tower to focus one of your creeps, place the MSW and try to get the last-hit. Then TP to another lane and repeat the process.
If you are playing as a full disable Rhasta, you should always have a friendly hero next to you. If you find yourself alone, always pull back to hug your own tower when waiting for your team to plan the next gank or go find a carry that can protect you and that you can assist in getting a kill.
In Late game, many games are already finished. If the game should drag on to the point were everyone gets their luxury dream items, Rhasta will be required to maximize his micro skills. In Late game, you will in most cases have five active abilities, hex, guinsoo, shackle, euls and MSW. If no one on your team seems to be in charge of who to focus in ganks, you should try to take that role. Hex two dangerous enemy heroes, place MSW and shackle the most dangerous damage dealer (not the tank with most HP). Let your team pwn him, and then stay back and wait for hex to cool down, so to speak. Spam your hex until everyone is dead, if you lose the gank use hex to save as many in your team as possible.
FB level 3
A standard Rhasta tactic is a lvl 3 FB (First Blood) with lvl 2 shackles and a nuker/dd in your lane. Here's an example where I get a first blood on DK. I use shackles and my friend Juggernaut goes magic immune to avoid Sven's stun. Unfortunately, I get the kill with my lvl 1 voodoo, though that was just random.
As you can see, our creeps are getting the upper hand, which is actually quite important since the heroes are such low lvl that the creeps dmg do make a difference sometimes. Sven retreats (outside the picture) but DK stays a while, trying to deny and last hit, that was a BIG mistake.
Now this is no good, only Sven can save DK, again he is outside the picture but he turns back to try to stun jugger.
Jugger foresees the stun and goes magic immune, DK is now beyond rescue.
DK is dead, sven uses his stun on me (quite random).
Although DK in this game was a real noob, sometimes these communication mistakes can occur between more skilled players, and maybe not that obvious. A skilled Rhasta can use these small enemy mistakes to get a FB, which if done right gives ur carry the extra cash and xp he needs to lead your team the victory.
Using euls scepter of divinity
In mid game, you should hopefully have farmed up for euls. When you reach lvl 11 (ulti lvl 2) you will be able to use euls to its full potential. The idea is that you charge into a gank with ur team, use hex on the enemy carry (after ur initiator has initiated) place MSW in the middle of the fight and shackle the focused enemy. However, you are focused by the other three guys because of your imba spells. Actually, this is very good. Because when your HP is turning red, you use Euls, on yourself to make you invisible and let your wards nuke the enemy team away.
To make it clearer to understand, lets take an example (from a real game). I placed MSW and shackled admiral, however QoP is attacking me. She has high Hp but is focused by my wards, her Hp falls to 300 when mine is on 150. In this moment I cast Euls on myself and watch QoP die from my wards. Admiral is taken care of by my teammates. After Euls duration I escape with BoT. GG.
Ward-Trapping is a commonly used tactic among Rhasta players. It is basically casting your wards so that an enemy hero is trapped in them and has to cut two down to get out. This often leads to the hero getting killed. However if you suspect that he will manage to get out of the trap alive you should shackle and/or hex him while trapped. Another thing to remember is that when the enemy is trapped your melee teammates cannot attack him.
When trapping an enemy in MSW, your main problem will be that the enemy must be perfectly still or you must have a bit of luck. A good way can be to cast euls on the enemy and then cast wards around him when he is in euls.
Having problems with enemies running away from MSW before u can shackle them? Return to the X gives u a second chance.
Berserkers call gives you enough time focus on your spellcasting without having to worry about enemy nukers. in addition, the enemies cannot run away from ur MSW! And thats just what ONE of Axe's spells can do this guy is incredible! go with him!
Shackles+Blade Fury=early and late game PWNING!!! Shackles+ Omnislash is even more incredible (though maybe a bit of an overkill).
Shackles + Exorcism= a certain death
If the foes death is not that certain, add hex to buy u some time and follow up with MSW.
Razor's usual problem is his lack of stun ability. His ulti really could use one... However, cranium basher is just not worth the pay if ur ranged The solution: Voodoo and Shackles!
Despite the confusing name, this is one of my favourite heros to team with Rhasta. Imagine this combo:
Nether Swap+Shackles+Magic Missile+Voodoo+MSW
Now u could put an end to most heroes life at the magic missile, but if the hero is a tank and never seem to die, keep up the spamming with Voodoo and MSW while venge is using ye old attacks, works great.
Shackles and/or Voodoo really gives Windrunner the peace she might need to get a sure kill with Focus Fire.
One of the major issues when playing witch doctor is the fact that his best spell, maledict, is very hard to aim. But in combination with Rhasta's shackle, the problem is solved. The enemy is shackled and will stay that way for 2.5-4.75 seconds. During this time, witch doctor can aim his maledict, bringing doom upon the unlucky enemy. Voodoo is optional if the #¤%$ing enemy just wont die.
Lord of Avernus
This guy can prove to be really irritating. You try to damage him, he uses his ulti to heal himself (your bloody wards just wont stop attacking him). and when u go for a kill on one of his teammates, it suddenly starts to absorb the damage! Though it is not that much damage so thats not a great problem, still irritating sometimes.
Like Lord of Avernus, this is a pure support hero. He heals his teammates when u try to kill them. And when u wasted all ur mana on an epic combo, he just uses his ulti to make everything nice again... try to get ur team to harass this hero if u are facing him, u do NOT want him to level up, trust me!
Voodoo! Illusion... Shackles! Illusion... oops, there u die from the real one + 4 other illusions...
This guy is one of Rhasta's major enemies. You will have to rely on normal attacks, ether shock and ur friends until u only have one image left, though it is often also and illusion...
Same as Phantom, though not as irritating due to the fact that slithice only creates 3 illusions. If she should get her hands on a manta style and/or an illusion rune + her illusion ability it can be real confusing though...
This guy has no illusions. Though he has a bear with him Rhasta is best at disabling one strong enemy, not two at the same time. So this guy and his furry friend can cause some trouble for u. However, if u are facing this hero, getting a guinsoo and some training in spellspamming will help alot!
NA is an extremely good counter for fragile spellcasters for two reasons. In early game, his mana burn is going to give you trouble. However when NA starts ganking you with Vendetta and Dagon, you are either forced to stay by your tower or spam wards all over the map. Wichever tactic you use to survive NA, he has to be taken care of by one of your teammates or you will lose the game.
Finally, remember this. Rhasta is a spellcaster, so you will need to practise on those ability hotkeys in order to spam your skills with higher speed. In tough games, you sure will need it!