as of v6.71
December 31st, 2010
• (finally) moved from the old site, and updated.
January 5th, 2011
• added replays
• fixed some typos
January 18th, 2011
• added Phantom Lancer to allies (thanks Ezzzeet)
• added 'Illuminate - Useful Facts' section
January 23rd, 2011
• updated for version 6.71
• typo :X (thanks cp14)
February 9th, 2011
• small fix (thanks rockwellumrocks)
Master of light and mana manipulation, Ezalor was once viewed as a scholar, and was regarded as a powerful mentor to many. However, his defection and betrayal of his allies during the War of the Magi caused him to be sentenced to banishment to the spirit realm for all of eternity. However, knowing of his tremendous power, the Sentinel granted him a corporeal form within the physical realm in exchange for his alliance against the Scourge onslaught. As such, Ezalor carries his duties of supporting his comrades valiantly despite the treacherous past that most know little about.
Strength - 16 + 1.8
Agility - 15 + 1.6
Intelligence - 22 + 2.8
Learns Illuminate, Mana Leak, Chakra Magic and Spirit Form
Attack range of 600
Movement speed of 315
Role: Support, push
Theme: Light & magic manipulation
Ezalor, the Keeper of the Light
Starting Damage: 38-54
Starting Armor: 1.1
Base Attack Time (BAT): 1.7
Tavern: Intelligence (Sentinel - 1); formerly Sunrise Tavern
Channels a ball of positive energy, letting it build up 100 damage per second. When released, it damages all enemies in a line. The distance also improves with channeling time.
Level 1 - Can be channeled for 2 seconds, maximum range is 500.
Level 2 - Can be channeled for 3 seconds, maximum range is 600.
Level 3 - Can be channeled for 4 seconds, maximum range is 700.
Level 4 - Can be channeled for 5 seconds, maximum range is 800.
This is by far the best non-ultimate pushing skill in the game. Though the damage/casting time ratio is somewhat low, at higher levels, Illuminate can single-handedly clear an entire creep wave. And not only does it dominate lanes at all times, but the Energy Globe created during the channelling sheds light onto nearby fog of war, granting immense (and unobstructed) vision. What's more, you can use it to massively farm creeps in the jungle - due to its large range, once you hit the creeps, they will not attack you, provided you are out of their acquisition range. The Energy Globe is the actual 'caster' of the spell, hence why the shockwave is shot from the globe, and not the Keeper. As of 6.55, the Globe will almost always spawn directly in front of the Keeper, with a few exceptions which will be mentioned later.
Casting Range is 230.
Channelling Time is 1-5 seconds.
Projectile Distance is 1600.
Damage Type is magical.
Affects mechanical units.
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Mana Cost: 150
Weakens the bond between the physical and magical essences of an enemy. The magical and physical essences will be divided if the target moves, causing the enemy to lose some of their mana. If the enemy loses all of its mana, it will be paralyzed while the bond is repaired.
Level 1 - Lasts 5 seconds, drains 3.5% of max mana per 100 units and stuns for 1.25 seconds.
Level 2 - Lasts 6 seconds, drains 4% of max mana per 100 units and stuns for 1.5 seconds.
Level 3 - Lasts 7 seconds, drains 4.5% of max mana per 100 units and stuns for 1.75 seconds.
Level 4 - Lasts 8 seconds, drains 5% of max mana per 100 units and stuns for 2 seconds.
Duration is 4/5/6/7 seconds [debuff]; 1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s) [stun].
Casting Range is 550/700/850/1000.
Is blocked by Linken's Sphere, and can be removed through purge.
Can be used on units without mana.
Cooldown: 18 seconds
Mana Cost: 75
Channels chakras through a friendly unit, creating a surge of mana.
Level 1 - Restores 75 mana.
Level 2 - Restores 150 mana.
Level 3 - Restores 225 mana.
Level 4 - Restores 300 mana.
Chakra Magic is an extremely potent support spell. Quite possibly one of the best currently in the game. Though during the early-levels, the mana regeneration is somewhat weak, it is very powerful later, as most spells' mana cost scales at small intervals. Do note, however, that casting it on yourself will not grant you the total amount as it has a manacost. In other words, casting it on yourself grants 30/95/155/215 mana.
Casting Range is 900.
Can be cast on self.
Cooldown: 19/18/17/16 seconds
Mana Cost: 40/55/70/85
Ezalor turns his body luminescent temporarily. His mastery of light becomes so powerful that he can freely cast Illuminate without channeling, cast a brilliant light that blinds foes, and teleport allies from anywhere to his side at light speed.
Spirit Form is a highly underused ultimate. In most games, people never utilize it to its fullest potential. It allows Illuminate to be cast with no channelling time (though it still has to charge to build up power), and grants two new abilities: Blinding Light and Recall, both of which will be discussed onwards. At level 3, you can use it practically all the time, and don't need to worry about its mana cost due to Chakra Magic.
Duration is 40 seconds
Cooldown: 80/70/60 seconds
Mana Cost: 100
Target an allied hero. Teleports that hero to your location. If the target takes player based damage during this period, this ability is interrupted.
Level 1 - 5 second delay.
Level 2 - 4 second delay.
Level 3 - 3 second delay.
Very underused, and very rarely used to its full potential. Not only is Recall a great spell for saving thy ally, but it is also great for setting up ganks. Oh, and if you haven't understood, it teleports an allied hero next to the Keeper. The allied hero must not take damage from an enemy player or the spell will be disabled. Scourge and Sentinel damage do not count as player damage. The spell will go into cooldown, even if the target isn't recalled.
Cast Range is global.
Can be targeted on the minimap.
Cooldown: 40 seconds
Mana Cost: 100
Blind nearby units, causing them to miss 80% of the time.
Level 1 - Lasts 3 seconds.
Level 2 - Lasts 4 seconds.
Level 3 - Lasts 5 seconds.
Upon casting, after a small delay, causes a 250 knockback over a period of .4 seconds, and applies a debuff on enemies, causing them to miss on 80% of their attacks. Blinding Light does not interrupt channeling spells.
Cast Range is 900.
Area of Effect is 675.
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Mana Cost: 50
Generally, there are two ways to play Ezalor: as support, or as a pusher. Alternatively, you may choose to play him as a disabler (through Mana Leak and Blinding Light).
The Supporter Build
The supporter build should be used when you have enough pushers and gankers,
and you need more support on your team, rather than Lane Control. If you don't like supporting your team, and would rather have global lane control, than I recommend using the Lane Control build (see below).
Level 1 - Chakra Magic
Level 2 - Mana Leak
Level 3 - Illuminate
Level 4 - Chakra Magic
Level 5 - Chakra Magic
Level 6 - Spirit Form or Mana Leak
Level 7 - Chakra Magic
Level 8 - Illuminate
Level 9 - Illuminate
Level 10 - Mana Leak or Spirit Form
Level 11 - Spirit Form
Level 12 - Mana Leak
Level 13 - Illuminate
Level 14 - Mana Leak
Level 15 - Attribute Bonus
Level 16 - Spirit Form
Levels 17-25 - Attribute Bonus
One level of Illuminate is taken early for extra lane control. Chakra Magic is a no-brainer later on, and Mana Leak is gotten for more ganking power, but can be used as a defense mechanism. Spirit Form can be delayed in favour of Mana Leak, though I personally don't recommend it.
The Lane Control Build
The Pusher build should be used when your team doesn't have too many lane
controllers, yet a decent number of supporters. It is based on Illuminate and Chakra Magic, and should be used in solo or duel lanes (but hardly ever in tri-lanes). If you prefer Supporting, then I recommend looking at the Supporter Build (above). I recommend using the Supporter Build over this one.
Level 1 - Illuminate
Level 2 - Mana Leak
Level 3 - Illuminate
Level 4 - Chakra Magic
Level 5 - Chakra Magic
Level 6 - Spirit Form or Illuminate
Level 7 - Illuminate or Spirit Form
Level 8 - Illuminate
Level 9 - Mana Leak or Chakra Magic
Level 10 - Chakra Magic
Level 11 - Spirit Form
Level 12 - Chakra Magic or Mana Leak
Level 13 - Mana Leak
Level 14 - Mana Leak
Level 15 - Attribute Bonus
Level 16 - Spirit Form
Levels 17-25 - Attribute Bonus
Illuminate is maxed out with Chakra Magic to push lanes, and to keep your own
mana pool balanced (kinda' selfish, but not many people will mind). Mana Leak is taken early in case you need to countergank, and also to dominate the lane by forcing enemies back. Spirit Form can be delayed a level or two, but I recommend getting it if you're constantly switching lanes (which isn't a bad idea).
Currently, in my opinion, there is only one viable item build for Keeper, no matter what skill build you chose. As on most heroes, you must start off with stat items.
Early-Game I like Bracers, since they give you the Strength you need to stay in a lane. Get a Mantle for the mana boost, and a Magic Stick, since you'll want to get as much Mana and Health regenerated as possible, and the Magic Stick enables you to do so. A courier is also recommended, though you can do without it (see Miscellaneous items).
Mid-Game, you keep the two Bracers. However, you do get your handy Boots of Speed, which you will require, since Keeper requires a high level of mobility, for someone as fragile as he is. Perservance is got for the superb regeneration it gives, and finally, you'll need Mekansm for the Area of Effect Heal, plus the great armor
support. Ultimately, Mystic Staff will be bought for a later-formed Scythe of Vyse.
Personally, I recommend keeping Magic Stick, but if that's not working for you, then
just sell it and buy a Mystic Staff. You have to learn to adapt to the situation. In
case you already have one or two heroes that need on your team, I recommend getting Staff of Wizardry instead of Mystic Staff (for a Necronomicon).
Late-Game, you'll need to keep your mana and Hit Points balanced, since no one likes a feeding support hero. That's why I recommend getting Guinsoo's Scythe, so that you can get yourself out of tough situations, and can be a great setup for Illuminate. Naturally, Boots of Travel is a good choice, and your allies won't need to get them since you could Recall them. Once again, if you have enough Guinsoo-wielders on your team, I recommend getting Necronomicon but you should take it over Guinsoo in case of invisibility or whatever.
- Linken's Sphere is great for when your enemies have some good disablers. Plus it has some nice regenerating effects, and serves as a Perseverance upgrade.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity is also nice, since it is a perfect setup for Illuminate. You can also Recall your teammates while your target is in a tornado.
- Force Staff is my personal favourite of the lot. It has an obvious synergy with Mana Leak, but also helps Illuminate placements, and can save you a bunch of times, especially combined with Blinding Light.
- Shiva's Guard - once again, I have to mention the great stats, and the Arctic Blast spell. And, once again - very nice setup for Illuminate. And, hell, maybe even Mana Leak.
- Couriers are essential for every successful game, and I highly recommend you purchase one. Whether you need a ground one or a flying one is up to you, though I'd recommend spending another 200 for a flying one. Plus, it gives a nice unobstructed area of vision, which can help set up ganks.
- Wards provide you with incredible vision of the map, which is very useful for escaping ganks and planning them. What's more, they ease the rune control for your team, and may sometimes help you decide which ally to recall.
- Bottle is a nice solution to any health related problems you may be having, though I'd recommend a Ring of Health, since it's much cheaper, and provides a long-term solution. However, if you're planning on rune-control, by all means, take a Bottle.
- Smoke of Deceit - I'm still learning how to use this item to its fullest, but it's very useful, and Keeper, being the support, ought to be the one carrying it, as he doesn't need the inventory slots as much as other heroes do.
STRATEGY - ILLUMINATE
Now we finally come to the fun part - using the actual skills. First off, Illuminate (for more spell info, check above). For me, it's a really fun spell to use. Much harder to aim than a hook or arrow, considering that it only goes off for a short duration, and that it can be evaded easily, but deals enormous damage if it hits successfully. First off, let's get to the actual range of Illuminate.
Actual area of effect
This is very often forgotten, even though it is great information to know. The actual range that Illuminate travels further than the projectile does. This screenshot should give you a basic idea of how long Illuminate travels. I may have miscalculated by a millimeter or two, so don't hold me on it.
I've updated the map from my previous guide (for those of you who've read it), so here's the new and improved version:
Offensive Uses & Variations
To make this easier for both me, and You, the reader, I've classified different types of using the spell. As I've mentioned before, it's extremely versatile, and can be used in a practically countless amount of ways. However, seeing as there's so many of them, I've selected a few which I believe to be more important.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the Energy Globe emits light which clears nearby fog of war, granting virtually unobstructed vision. This can be used when in trees or under cliffs to see whether enemies are lurking nearby. Though most of the time you'd be wasting mana and time, the mana can easily be replenished with Chakra Magic. And in the end, it's much better to waste some mana than be killed.
The screenshot above very clearly shows how Illuminate can be used to send a shockwave over different levels of terrain. Though it's not actually necessary to channel it so close to the cliff that the Energy Globe appears on top of it, it gives you some extra range, which often enough, can prove to be crucial for your kills.
And finally, you must also know that there are parts of the terrain, that due to inaccessibility force the Energy Globe to be created much further. Though these are very few, they prolong the distance on your Illuminate by a huge amount, and can often give you an advantage.
You should also be aware that certain creep camps are fairly close to each other, meaning you may channel the Illuminate at one camp, and hit both. Though it's not a very important strategy, sometimes it helps with farming.
Though not in nearly as many ways as offensive, Illuminate can also be used defensively, either together with Mana Leak, or to save allies. Most enemies will fear nearing the Keeper with a well channelled Illuminate, as it has the potential to deal huge amounts of damage.
As you can see in the image above, Lucifer is being chased by Pugna, and is fairly low on health, or at least enough for a Decrepify-Life Drain combo to kill him. Hence why Keeper channels Illuminate just on top of the cliff, where he can't be seen by Pugna. After being damaged by Illuminate and fearing a counterattack, Pugna retreats himself, and his illusions.
STRATEGY - MANA LEAK
With the return of Mana Leak's stun, it's regained a lot of its former potential. It is, once again, not only a very useful mana draining tool, especially at later levels of the game, due to its percentage-based draining system, but it grants a very powerful disable against enemy casters.
Mana Leak has one very important usage that almost no other skill has. As a non-damage ganking skill, Mana Leak is usually used before an enemy is ganked, in order to prevent them from fleeing. So, when you cast it on an enemy, they will either stand still, allowing you to get a few free hits, or run back, draining their mana and giving you some extra lane control. The spell has a modest mana cost of 75, though the 20 second cooldown somewhat limits its spamability.
Often enough, as a fragile intelligence hero, you will find yourself getting ganked. Apart from Blinding Light, Mana Leak is an incredible tool that will save you, and may, ultimately, net you a kill. Once you see the enemy heroes arriving, immediately cast Mana Leak on the one that's more spell-dependant. Odds are the hero will lost most of their mana, and with a well placed Illuminate, you might just get a kill on them.
In conjunction with other spells
Although useful as a spell on its own, Mana Leak's power truly shows when used in a combination with other spells.
Though you can't see it on the image, Keeper used Mana Leak on Slayer, and after charging up Illuminate for a few seconds, did tremendous damage to the enemy heroes, practically halving Crystal Maiden's health. More importantly, Mana Leak can also be used together with Blinding Light. The large drain by Mana Leak and the 250 knockback by Blinding Light can cause a mana loss of around 10% in less than a second.
Believe it or not, Illuminate has several (important) features that, though not obvious at first sight, are in fact, very useful. First of all, and probably most important, Illuminate triggers Linken's Sphere's cooldown, but still damages the hero. However, this only works if you actually target the hero (and not the ground). Nonetheless, if they are grouped with their allies, it's a very efficient way to trigger the cooldown. Second, Illuminate will not trigger neutral attacks if it is targeted on the ground. What this means, is that hitting neutrals with it will not cause them to attack you (unless you are nearby). They will simply run around for a few seconds, in a small area, and stop once again. This is especially useful if you decide to go for an extended core, and need extra gold.
STRATEGY - RECALL
Recall is one of Keeper's most potent and useful spells, so utilizing it to its fullest potential is extremely important if you wish to play Ezalor well.
When both teams clash, there has to be one that defeats the other. If the other team outnumbers you, you are to summon any absent hero that may turn the tides of battle. This obviously means that you'll need to draw the attention of the enemies away from you, as they'll attempt to slay you before the Recall is complete (after all, a ~4 second delay isn't exactly short).
Much like the infamous Tinker strategy, the Keeper of the Light's team can easily push several lanes in no time. After crushing the enemies' tower in one lane, Keeper can teleport to another lane using his boots of travel, and then Recall any ally that would be helpful in the push.
Although I'd recommend that your teammates carry a scroll of teleportation at all times, it may be useful for you to recall them when in need. However, unlike scroll of teleportation, Recall is a bit more sensitive to damage, and any damage received will cancel it (not just a stun). So, it is best used when the hero has gone out of the enemies' range, or has stunned them so that they can't interrupt the teleport.
STRATEGY - BLINDING LIGHT
Blinding Light is a very versatile skill, and requires lots of practice to master, which is why I don't recommend using it unless you're sure what you're doing. The long delay before the knockback can often aid enemies in their escape/chase if you don't use it correctly.
The blinding effect
Most people forget that Blinding Light has a very powerful Curse embedded in with the knocback. This debuff causes enemies to miss on 80% (!!) of their attacks in the next few seconds, which, in my opinion, is far superior to Tinker's 100% miss laser. In the screenshot posted above, Lina is attacking Admiral Proudmoore, and just as he is near-death, a sudden Blinding Light causes her next attacks to miss, and allowing Admiral to get away.
The knockback effect
This image perfectly shows how to effectively use Blinding Light to save yours or your allies' life. Though by the time the skill triggers you may not even need a knockback, it has a ton of potential. I realise, that, in the screenshot, it seems that the knockback doesn't actually hit Slayer, however, the push is done before the 'exploding' effect, hence why it looks that way. Furthermore, I must mention that a unit pushed by Blinding Light knocks down trees, so be careful how you push enemies, as you may open up an escape for them, but at the same time, you just may make yourself a quite route away from them.
STRATEGY - TEAMWORK
There are quite a few things to remember when playing Ezalor. First and most important - you need good allies. Ezalor is nothing without good allies, since his three strengths are pushing, supporting and massive disabling. He doesn't deal a lot of damage, nor is he strong enough to survive a gank, which is why you need good tactics to get kills. So, first of all, you should know that Ezalor must never, ever fight solo. Hear me again - ever. So, there are things you should know other than timing your Illuminate discharge, or timing Mana Leak. You should expect a lot of demands from your allies - Recall, Mana Restoration, Disables, and Illuminating. I'm assuming
you've read how to use all of Ezalor's skills properly, so I'm not going to bother you with it again. In short: listen to your allies' demands, never solo, stay in a duel lane, keep your mana balanced for spellcasting, and keep your spells ready for casting; Also, if I haven't told you so, Ezalor is a hybrid hero. He can be one of three things: Disabler, Pusher and Supporter (as can be the builds). You can also mix-and-match, but it is very hard to keep your mana balanced with casting 3 spells, as well as keeping the efficiency balanced. Those are the basics. On to Team Clashes.
When team clashes occur, it's up to you to play an important AoE role for the team. To make things easier, I've organised everything into a few steps:
Step 1: Enter Spirit Form - It's quite important to enter Spirit Form, since it adds 2 new abilities to your arsenal, as well as improving Illuminate. For more information on using Spirit Form, see Strategy - Blinding Light and Strategy - Recall.
Step 2: Recall the Strongest Missing Player - Put simply, it is crucial to summon the strongest missing allied player into a team battle. The heroes have the following priority (for you to summon): AoE disabler -> Carry -> Caster DPS -> Summoner -> Tank -> Physical DPS. Of course, exceptions to this rule exist (i.e. if your Enigma is terribly underleveled (and without and ultimate) and your Priestess of the Moon is much more powerful)
Step 3: Illuminate - After most/all allied heroes are present, cast Illuminate (while in Spirit Form - yes, it's very important). Make sure it's aimed at most of the enemy team, because you want to save your Blinding Light, instead of using it to help with something which isn't that difficult.
Step 4: Chakra Magic and Mana Leak - After Illuminate has been cast (no, not launched, but cast) refill your best caster's mana (which means not your own, unless you desperately need it), and cast Mana Leak on the enemy team's primary caster. In some cases, you may want to use it on someone attempting to run from battle.
Step 5: Blinding Light - As soon as you've cast Mana Leak on your enemies' primary caster, use Blinding Light. Not only will it cause the DPS heroes to miss on their attacks, but it will leak away the caster's mana. If an enemy hero is low on HP and high on mana, and this would only push him away from the team, then don't cast it, or at least try not to hit the hero with it.
Step 6: Necronomicon and Mekansm - Next, summon your Necronomicon minions (assuming you've already gotten Necronomicon), and burn the Mana Leaked unit's mana. This will heavily cripple its spellcasting and possibly activate the slow. When they get on low HP, move your warrior
further away from you, and the archer closer, and heal only the archer (because you
want Last Will to activate). If some allied hero is on low health you will want to use Mekansm earlier to save them.
Step 7: Finish off any nearly-dead heroes - Assuming you won the battle, chase down any fleeing enemy heroes (Mana Leak helps a lot here) and hunt them down.
Knowing how to fully utilize the power of your allies' spells is very significant in order to play a good Keeper. In the screenshot above, we can see Vengeful Spirit landing a stun on Necrolyte. As you should know by now, that gives you a perfect time to channel Illuminate. You should try to seek out these opportunities and recognise them, because they could help land you a lot of kills, and be helpful for the team in general.
As you can see, with good timing, Illuminate, and a well-placed torrent by Proudmoore, Keeper's team managed to draw first blood from Necrolyte.
COUNTERS AND ALLIES
The Vengeful Spirit can really help you set up Illuminate, and she can swap the enemy into danger, while you cast Mana Leak, making death inevitable.
The Crystal Maiden has very useful spells, and some insane disables. She has slow, stun, and AoE slow. All of those go well with Illuminate, plus her ultimate forces enemies to move away from her, while you leak their mana away. Both of you have mana regenerating spells, so it's very easy to keep mana balanced.
Slithice has great disables. Ensnare is completely unavoidable, which gives you enough time to channel Illuminate and enjoy your enemies' HP drop. Her being the incredible pusher she is because of Song of the Siren, it gives you some time with enemy creeps, and enough time to recall your allies.
The Lancer/Keeper combo has grown very popular due to the enormous damage potential that lies within. The idea behind it is that Keeper can constantly refill Lancer's mana pool with Chakra Magic, allowing him to harass enemies with his Spirit Lance (which does impressive damage at relatively low cooldown).
Raigor is by far Ezalor's best ally possible. He has impeccable stuns, and he can deal insane damage if he has the mana, and you can get him that mana with Chakra Magic.
Azgalor's heavily overpowered AoE disable synergizes with Illuminate, as does Mana Leak with Firestorm. Plus you both have Teleports!
Thrall has a great synergy with Keeper, for several reasons. First of all, and probably the most obvious is the synergy between Illuminate and Kinetic Field. Other, less obvious ones are Mana Leak and Static Storm, Static Storm and Blinding Light, and so many more. Plus you can help him replenish his mana pool, which he desperately needs.
Harbinger is an extremely powerful hero, and that much more versus Ezalor. First of all, he has more mana than you, and replenishes it easily thanks to his aura, so Mana Leak will not be much of a nuisance. He can Imprison you if you attempt to run, and Sanity's Eclipse takes our your health (or mana) far too quickly.
Unlike most other heroes, Last Word isn't the biggest issue when facing Silencer. However, his constantly rising damage output will prove to be troublesome for your (poorly scaling) health. Curse of the Silent also allows him to control you early-game, due to your high-cooldown spells.
There are two issues when facing Huskar: Firstly, he doesn't use mana, giving him practically no reason not to move under the effects of Mana Leak. As well, once your Illuminate takes out a portion of his health, his damage and attack rate will drastically increase. All-in-all, a very hard counter, and the only hope you have against him may be Shiva's Guard and/or Mekansm.
Unfortunately, Phoenix's spells deal a huge amount of burst damage, which Ezalor simply cannot handle. And even though Mana Leak somewhat prevents him from using Sun Ray, the sheer amount of damage you'll take in a single cast of Spirits will cripple you severely. Furthermore, Ezalor has a terrible attack rate, so you won't be able to destroy the Supernova Sun once he spawns it. To sum it up, you'd best not take Keeper if faced against Icarus.