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Written by Archangel--
Updated for 6.69

Special thanks to:
Swiftkick for the private/public album tip!
Kawumm for the Bloodstone reminder!
Spellsy and Overflow for the Force Staff suggestion!
iKrivetko, Raxet, and Valorian for helping me with uploading screenshots!
Razorya for the Winged undead black monster smart, cute little birdie idea that is the theme of this guide!
and my real life friends, especially [Y.D]_NOO13,, Taulmaril and Very[YD], for putting up with me as I experiment with different builds and strategies!


November 8: Added Vengeful Spirit and Naga Siren caution
November 8: Added comparison between Linken and BKB
November 10: Various minor edits and change to late game strategy
November 11: Spotlighted!
November 11: Added skill usage sections and more items
December 3: Addition of BKB and Orchid in item section
July 1: Updated for 6.67

Sick and tired of the autoattacking agi carries?
Spell spammers make you want to vomit?
Want to bash them in the face?
Want to shine your way through your teammate's admiration to victory?
I present you:

Look at her. Isn't she beautiful? Look at those elegant black wings unfurl around you. Smell the scent of her immense wisdom - we dig smart ladies! Don't you just want to teleport into the astral universe where nothing exists except you and her....listen to the roar of the Lioness inside her at the beginning of the game.....those entrancing, sparkling eyes...and that.....ahem, um, moving on...

Foreword and Introduction

Destroyer is not a straightforward hero. All too often my friends and I RAAAGGEEE at how incompetent pubbies abuse her, humiliating her in more embarrassing ways than George Bush can make himself look. So here I am, giving players new and old alike an introduction on how to properly manage the awesome late game dazzling blossom that is the beauty of Harbinger.

Why should I play this hero?

Play Harby if:
-You are an attention whore enjoy being in the spotlight
-You like instagibbing people for the lulz
-You take pride in your intelligence and would like to show it off
-You like farming and are good at it
-You are confident in your teammate's abilities.

Don't play Harby if:
-You prefer to humbly support your teammates to victory
-You last hit like my 11 year old cousin with Maiden
-You are a dumbass
-Your teammates are dumbasses.

Background story:

A hard working, educated intellectual created by ancient wise men, Harbinger takes pride in his awesome brainpower and his mission to eradicate the world of retards and low-IQ (intelligence) dummies. Ironically, however, to vanquish the lives of lowly enemies that he despises, he must invest his own pool of brain energy, leaving it almost as much as it began with. Yet despite this, Harby is a proud servant of the great Einstein himself, and takes great pleasure to fight global stupidity through his sheer brilliant mind.

Okay, fine. Seriously. Background story:

An obsidian construct brought to life through the ill conceived necromancy of the Lich King, Harbinger craves magic to make up for the emptiness brought on by the incomplete nature of its summoning. Ironically however, to devour the magic that it so desires, Harbinger must tap into his own pool of mana time and time again, expending to the point where it ends up with even less than it began with. Yet despite this, the Obsidian Destroyer is a proud servant of the Undead Scourge, and takes great pleasure in annihilating the foolish Sentinels it encounters through psionic exploitation.

Hero stats:

Damage: 49-64
Armor: 4.1
Movespeed: 300
Attack range: 450

Strength: 19 + 1.85
Agility: 24 + 2.0

Intelligence: 26 + 2.8

starting HP: 511
starting Mana: 338

Facts worth mentioning:
  • He has THE highest combined starting stats of ALL heros: 19 + 24 + 26 = 69.
  • He has a combined stat gain of 6.65 per level - in the top tier for ranged heros.
  • He has THE highest starting attack damage for ranged heros, averaging 56.5.

  • Good laner
  • High stats
  • Shiny late game damage monster
  • nukes dumb heros into oblivion
  • Brains!

  • Fragile - you will crumple faster than a guy hit in his nuts
  • item dependent
  • team dependent
  • Fragile - you will crumple faster than a guy hit in his nuts
Hero skills:

Arcane Orb

Gives the Destroyer extra power to damage his enemies based on his remaining mana pool.

This is what makes you a scary carry: Your main damage source. Late game, you can easily dish out 250+ pure damage every hit. However, if your intelligence is truly worthy for you to play Harby, you will not level Arcane in the early game, for the reason below.

Astral Imprisonment

Teleports a target allied or enemy hero into an astral prison. The hero remains separated from the real world for the duration of the spell. If cast on an enemy, Harbinger steals intelligence from the target. Intelligence is restored to the hero after 60 seconds.

This is why anyone leveling Orb in the early game needs an aptitude test! Imprisonment is arguably the most versatile spell in the entire game. Disable, escape, interrupt, Damage increase, Ultimate support, pseudo-Mana drain, Damage decrease for enemy INT heros, what more could you want?

Essense Aura

Whenever a nearby allied hero casts a spell, it has a chance to restore a portion of its mana pool.

The fuel that keeps your ownage machine running, as well as the machine of your teammates. Your allies, maybe not Huskar, will love you for this.

Sanity's Eclipse

The Obsidian Destroyer unleashes his full potential; his mind unleashes a psionic storm able to penetrate lesser minds with terminal force, dealing massive damage to them. More crafty minds are able to resist most of the damage, but they expend most of their energies to do so, losing a lot of their mana.

The name of the guide. Your IWINLOL button. Weed out the dumb. Purge them from your sight. The less stupid ones will not fall just yet, but will have jelly legs and cramps after you deal with them. Let the smartening of the world begin!

Skill Build 1

1. Astral Imprisonment
2. Essence Aura
3. Astral Imprisonment
4. Essence Aura
5. Astral Imprisonment
6. Essence Aura OR Sanity's Eclipse
7. Astral Imprisonment
8. Essence Aura OR Sanity's Eclipse
9. Essence Aura OR Sanity's Eclipse
10. Arcane Orb
11. Sanity's Eclipse
12-14. Arcane Orb
15. Stats
16. Sanity's Eclipse
17-25. Stats

Getting Arcane Orb early game is not worth the goodies that Imprisonment can give. You don't have the mana to spam it, and it won't do much damage anyway. Imprisonment can help you last hit by increasing base damage, hurt last hitting of enemy INT heros, keep their mana in check, escape, chase, and boost your ultimate. 90% of early game Orb users will end up hiding behind towers scrounging last hits instead of forcing their enemies to hide behind towers as you last hit with ease anyway with your huge base damage. Get Eclipse as you see fit, if you have ample mana, or if an immediate nuke can score a kill when a friendly ganker approaches - Imprisonment makes your eclipse all the more deadly.

Skill Build 2

1. Astral Imprisonment
2. Essence Aura
3. Astral Imprisonment
4. Essence Aura
5. Astral Imprisonment
6. Sanity's Eclipse
7. Essence Aura
8. Arcane Orb
9. Arcane Orb
10. Arcane Orb
11. Arcane Orb
12. Sanity's Eclipse
13.Essence Aura
14. Astral Imprisonment
15. Stats
16. Sanity's Eclipse
17-25. Stats

Due to the faster nature of DOTA, sometimes your team needs you at an earlier time an opportunity. There is a significant amount of time between levels in mid-late game - and a fast level 4 Orb can allow you to dish out considerable damage, even without Guinsoo. Especially if you have Force Staff, you can already be a formidable source of damage starting from level 11 on, instead of 14. The extra seconds of Imprisonment can be taken later as per necessary, since there are situations where a longer double edge disable is not a good thing.

How to use Astral Imprisonment

Astral Imprisonment has so many different functions and can be used in so many different ways that a whole guide could be written for it. There are some obvious uses, e.g. Imprison-> escape, and there are some not so obvious uses.

Lane Control

Note the insane base damage of Destroyer. You don't need Orb to intimidate your lane opponent. Also note that Destroyer is running low on mana - now is the time to ferry some clarities to feed the Astral - Essence cycle.

Look at Veno's mana and laugh as he tries to cast anything. Imagine if he was an INT hero...ouch.

Imprisoned enemies do not gain experience. NO LONGER TRUE.. However, Imprisoning enemies as they are about to last-hit/deny and hitting the creep yourself still puts your experience ahead of them.

In a battle

The enemy hero under Imprisonment and therefore eliminated from the scene is Ursa Warrior - the main DPS and tank of the enemy team. Note how my teammates are now free to run past him to kill the squishy Furion. In case you are wondering about that Mekansm - it belonged to one of my teammates, who unfortunately dropped due to bad connection.

Using Orb to farm in the midgame

Sometimes you have your entire creepwave attacking that 1 last creep - its health drops crazy fast. To ensure your kill, orb-attack it well before your usual timing, since the attack animation of Destroyer is average at best. This takes timing and practice.

Sanity's Eclipse


Note that Shadow Priest has his mana reduced to just enough to cast 2 spells. This is the other function of Eclipse - neutralizing INT spellcasters.


Starting items:

If you randomed Harby (Lucky you) then:

The best bang for your buck. HP, damage, mana, consumables for almost all your gold, and every part of it is made into your core - recycling is good!

More often, in a serious game, you would pick your heros, starting with 603 gold.

Any reasonable combination of these is good.

If you end up buying this, bitchslap that CM/Warlock/Venge and tell them it's from me, K2SO4]Archangel. HARD.

Core items:

Treads is preferred over BoT and Phase: Since Harby has to stack survivability and intelligence/mana, it leaves him very little options in IAS. Nulls is for the cheap boost in a little of everything in the mid-late game.

Guinsoo is the real core. YOU ARE NOT GOOD SMART ENOUGH FOR HARBY if you don't get it. It gives all three stats, emphasizing intelligence and mana, and it gives you and your teammates 3 seconds to whack down on whoever you want without having to deal with whatever they might throw at you.

Items after:

If the enemy team is heavy on physical damage, get Shiva first. If they have a lot of Lion/Rhasta/Venge who are jealous of your IQ and want to pin you down, go for Linken first and laugh as the dummies fail in their feeble attempt to bully the smart kid.

IAS, intel, mana regen, damage, do want! This works in great synergy with Guinsoo. Silence -> Guinsoo -> whack away and wait for the red number.

I highly recommend this item. Destroyer is the definition of a glass cannon, and every single one of his items is a choice between damage output and survivability for him. This 2200 gold item gives some of both. You have no real disable before Guinsoo, and Force allows you to get in those few extra hits or escape a chaser.

At the point in the game when you not being ready on the battlefield at a moment's notice is detrimental, sell your treads and get this. Otherwise you run the risk of the efforts of your teammates nurturing you go to utter waste.

Finally! After endless years of petitioning, Icefrog gave this upgrade to the hero who deserves it the most. A 10% increase in Ulti damage and minor range improvement seems in line with most other upgrades - a predictable step-up. After the Scepter remake, stats isn't what OD is looking for in buying this item. In the late game, where Eclipse deals ~1000 damage, this gives 100 more. Worth it? Personally, I don't think so.

This gimmick of an item may well be the key to victory. While in ethereal form, physical damage cannot hurt you, yet you can still use manual cast to dish out Arcane Orb. In the late game, when everyone has higher AS, orbwalking loses its effectiveness. However, you can repeatedly use "shift" and orb attack to retain your AS while manually casting Orb.Something to consider when facing heros like PA, Void, or TB. Not so much against Necrolyte or Lion.

Dude, the game still isn't over yet?

Other items:

Even after the bounty nerf, few heros benefit from the precious few IAS items that you can have more than Destroyer. If you can farm this in under 9 minutes, go for it! Just remember that it's not worth leaving a safe lane to transmute a neutral - you lose too much by not being with the creeps.

Heart isn't really worth it, especially after the battle HP regen was removed. You shouldn't be tanking anyway. Refresher is a waste - apart from the ability, it gives almost nothing. Spend your money on something that actually helps your other departments.

Comparison between Linken and BKB

Linken's Sphere:
-5175 gold
-15 all attributes
-6hp/s regen (Huge plus - HP Regen items for Destroyer are extremely limited)
-150% mana regen
-blocks 1 spell every 20 seconds (roughly 1 team battle)
-blocks most ultimate disables

Black King Bar:
-3900 gold
-10 strength
-24 damage (limited use by Destroyer)
-blocks all spells for 10->5 seconds
-does not block most ultimate disables (most notably Nether Swap)

Debatable. However, as an INT rather than STR hero, Linken is the better choice. The recent buffs to Linken and repeated nerfs to BKB solidifies my argument - many, many spells are negated by Linken and it is something worth your money now. But if there really is THAT much crap that the enemy team is throwing at your direction, by all means get this.

Bloodstone is, in my opinion, not worth the money and itemslot. Now that increased charges do not give HP regeneration, its survivability benefits is poor. Mana regen is redundant as you should have constant near-full mana pools anyway. More or less the same for Skadi - the cold attack is wasted. The money could be better spent on something else, or simply buyback.

For god's sake..........

Go see a doctor. All hope is not lost - yet.

This looks good on paper. However, with your 40% autoproc on cast, you will find this item becoming obsolete by the 25 minute mark. Get treads for more flexibility.

Your final itemslot should look like this:


Early game:

Harby can solo or dual - makes no difference in his lane strategy. Unlike many other carries, he can stand his own against the majority of mid-solo heros (who are mostly INT and will cry at your Imprisonment spam). But if there is a core ganker that badly needs early levels, like Tinker for example, give the lane to him.

Your job in a lane is simple - starting at level 3, spam Imprisonment! Use it on INT heros first, obviously. The damage exchange is extremely significant, and you can easily have 100 base damage in the early game, making last-hits and denies a breeze, demolishing one of the main reasons for an Orb build. Note that the Imprisonment feeds on itself - you must use your borrowed mana to feed your constant spam through Essence, otherwise your mana will leak back to the enemy and you won't be able to cast. If you find Essence isn't proccing as much as you need, cough up and ferry some clarities. The extra creeps that you get will more than pay off.

Mid game:

By the 10-12 minute mark, the gankers should all be running amok now. Keep farming but stay safe. Keep denying to force the lane close to your tower. Your allies should be putting wards for you. DO NOT participate in teamfights unless absolutely necessary. KEEP A TOWN PORTAL AT ALL TIMES. A juke-and-TP would save you hundreds of gold and precious time. Common sense should dictate - if 4 of 5 enemies are missing, do not farm under the enemy tower. Basic intelligence like that, which should be present on anyone playing Harby anyway.

This applies throughout the game: If you are involved in a teamfight, usually initiated by enemy gankers, stay back. Contribute with your imprisonment and attacks, but do not risk your life for your teammates'. You are not a cheap girl like CM (INCOMING MAIDEN FANBOYS DETECTED - ACTIVATE RAGE SHIELD) who will go down(pun intended) for anyone.You are too precious and too pretty to die. CAST YOUR ULTIMATE FIRST. I don't care if you are the carry and need gold. Yes it deals alot of damage: That retarded Troll/Void with 50 intelligence will be instantly crippled. But people often forget the secondary effect: Mana drain. You can instantly render that Zeus or Rhasta useless - what can a Zeus do with 200/800 mana?

Late game:

A splendid sight and a fond memory.

It's your time. It's ripe for payback to the kids who bully you in the early game. Join your team for the push - but remember than you are STILL as fragile as you ever were.

To do list in a teamfight:
  1. Sanity Eclipse the enemy team.
  2. Locate closest enemy that does something - hex him.
  3. Locate closest enemy that your team is not currently attacking. Imprison him.
  4. Fire away at an enemy hero until he is dead or moves out of range. Do not waste precious seconds chasing after targets.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4.
  6. ???
  7. Profit!

Allies - stick with these:

Spell spammers. You will be giving them the gift of mana, leaving them to bash away at the enemy. In the case of Zeus, he can actually act as a babysitter for Harby - Forgo Arc, and spam Bolt at enemies while Harby farms. Sweet.

You are awesome, but you aren't Chuck Norris - Watch out for these:

The effects of silence are magnified on Destroyer - he cannot do ANYTHING in silence. He is a bit more useful than a Doomed Zeus.

4.0 Intelligence gain. What does that mean? He will probably laugh at your Eclipse that you worked so hard to prepare. Nether ward - 150 damage per attack. IT HURTS.

Take a look at his new mana burn - it's based on the enemy intelligence. How did this change happen? My best estimate is NA didn't like his boyfriend fawning over smart little Harby, got jealous, then gave Icefrog buttsex in exchange for his new I HATE DESTROYER T-shirt.

Enemies that you eat for breakfast:

Kills illusions - check.
Burst damage preventing Sunder - check.
Pure damage orb giving high-armor heros the finger - check.

All too often I see Anti-mage players run up to Harby with their ZOMG UNKILLABLE Hood and scream hack when they die in 4 hits before they even burned off 1/4 of Harby's mana. Pure damage people, pure damage.

Watch out - special mention

This little pimp can work. One second you are sitting behind your tank oiling your gear, and the next second you find 5 burly men having their way with you. Don't kid yourself. She will swap you. You are soft, good looking, and can wreak havoc. Those creepy perverts are drooling over you. Be careful. Remember that Swap range is 600/900/1200. Stay back. Don't take risks, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO IMPRISON HER TO AVOID THE SWAP because Imprisonment range is only 550. Do everything to keep yourself out of reach, even if it means delaying your core Guinsoo and getting Linkens first, with it being able to block swap.

Forget about the other physical/magical damage dealers. Don't get Linken. If you have BKB, don't rush to activate it. Otherwise you would be handing your below-the-wings to those 5 burly men yourself and saving Vengeful Spirit the hard work.

This item grants absolute immunity from anything Destroyer can hand out, and is usually gotten by the enemy carry, who Destroyer wants to take down in the first place. In a teamfight, stop grieving - kill someone else! Stick through whatever Sven/DK/Luna throws at your team and focus on their allies. That late game Maiden, PoTM, or SK is still a force to be reckoned with. If you are doing so well that you force every (or almost) enemy hero to get one of these, give yourself a pat on the back. If you run into a BKB carrier alone, Astral yourself and watch as at least half of his duration goes to waste.

I believe 100% that this is a far bigger threat to Destroyer than BKB. BKB stops you from attacking 1 hero; Orchid stops you from doing anything. There isn't much you can do, except to treat it as if there is a VS on the enemy team - drop everything else and give building a Linken (or if there are easy Linken-wasting spells in the game, BKB) top priority.

What happens if:

The enemy has way too many disables and we can't push

This usually happens in the late game. Save money for buyback. Go push a lane by yourself or with at most 1 teammate, while your other teammates assemble at anothr lane. Wait until the enemy arrives, then fight without using your ultimates and go down in a blaze of glory amist that Black Hole/Ravage/Fiend's Grip.

Immediately buy back, TP to meet your waiting allies, and push for the victory!

My team is retarded

You lose.

Harbinger the Obsidian Destroyer
Author: K2SO4!Archangel
Map Vers.: 6.64

Harbinger, the Destroyer

The weak minded shall perish

Date Posted: 11/05/09
Last Comment:29/08/2012
Total Votes: 408
Current Rating: 8.80
Views: 315360

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