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Friday, 4 March 2011


Skill Build:
1 - Flash
2 - Mana Combustion
3 - Mana Combustion
4 - Flash
5 - Mana Combustion
6 - Mana Rift
7 - Mana Combustion
8 - Flash
9 - Flash
10 - Master of the Mantra
11 - Mana Rift
12 - Master of the Mantra
13 - Master of the Mantra
14 - Master of the Mantra
15 - Stats
16 - Mana Rift
17 - Stats+

Justification / Modifications:
Straightforward build. Flash is your main escape/chase tool and splashes extra temporary magic armour in an AoE to your team. Mana Combustion is maxed first as it is your main damage skill for the midgame (64 mana burnt, 60% of 64 is an extra +38.4 physical damage per hit), and one that ensures that you can't be left alone to just bash on a target, lest they sit at 0 mana and lose relevance for a fight. Master of the Mantra is a bit....lacking on range for an aura ability and its usefulness is in the little things you often don't notice initially, like -castspeed and small amounts of damage when people cast spells. It's worth taking over stats though, as the extra -castspeed can delay that one stun just long enough for you to dodge it with Flash. Ultimate can be delayed until 9 as it's pretty terrible early on initially against non-INT heroes, even with an empty mana pool.
Starting Items:
(Hatchet >>) Iron Shield >> Lifetube >> Steam Boots >> Helm of the Black Legion/Runed Axe

Iron Shield is technically not needed, but in most lanes it is worth building. It protects you from harass and will help your farming a great deal even later on. An alternative route is to go for Runed Axe straight up instead of Helm, but this is much riskier and requires you to not be able to participate effectively in the midgame until your Shrunken Head is complete. Don't do it until you're competent (i.e. not needing to look at this guide)
After core:
Shrunken Head >> Frostwolf Skull/Symbol of Rage/Geometer's Bane >> Wingbow

With Helm, you are a midgame powerhouse with the damage potential of Mana Combustion and Mana Rift, so Shrunken Head is your next pickup. Your next item depends on how the game is going, and whether you will be required to be the harder carry or not. Frostwolf is generally better if you have another ranged carry farming well to help you out with the DPS requirements, but otherwise you'll need Symbol of Rage to last long enough as the active is a lot of HP regained with your lowered BAT. Wingbow is a nice generic fill-out item as by this point you'll have enough armour to make Evasion worth taking over extra armour, and you get more out of +attack speed than any other carry. If you have gone Runed Axe instead, it will be risky to participate in any sort of meaningful clash pre-Shrunken Head.
Roles: Hard Carry
Preferred Lane: Short
Difficulty: 2/5 (animation cancelling well and timing on when and where to blink in)
Farming capabilities: 2/5 (attacks quickly with Steamboots, but really suffers in flash farming without Runed Axe)
Item dependent? - Yes, very.
- Early Game / Lane Control: 1/5 - Specific lanes required or a decent sense of how to engage and disengage effectively for early Mana Combustion to shine.
- Mid Game / Ganks: 3/5 (HotBL with Mana Combustion puts out a lot of damage midgame with any kind of help)
- Late Game / Team Fights: 5/5 (scales incredibly well with +damage and +attackspeed from agility stats on a lowered BAT)
- Farm, farm, farm but don't forget to help midgame as much as possible. Mana Combustion with a HotBL makes you very very very scary midgame, and some allied disables.
- Ancient stacking is a nice way to get him fat fast. A Whispering Helm after your first core item can help to start ancient stacking with the aid of a dominated minion.
- Mana Rift does its damage based on how much TOTAL mana the target is missing, as opposed to the % of the target's mana pool missing. What is often overlooked on the skill is that it does that same damage in a small AoE around the target. Later on, against INT heroes that will still use a significant amount of their large mana pool (like Defiler, Torturer, Doctor Repulsor etc.) this damage will be incredibly potent and will often wipe out nearby heroes even if it doesn't necessarily kill the initial target.
- There's a common misconception that Magebane is meant to be the counter to INT heroes, because all INT heroes rely on mana. This is not strictly true. While Mana Rift does increasing amounts of damage to heroes with large amounts of missing mana (INT carries for the most part), Mana Combustion lategame is not going to have a very noticeable effect before you actually just start killing them outright. Mana Rift means he counters INT carries particularly well.
- Mana Combustion from midgame onwards, has its most noticeable effects on heroes with LOW mana pools, as it is more likely that from level 7 onwards, Magebane can drain an entire Strength or even Agility hero's mana pool in anything between 6-7 hits at max, easily achievable. This of course, primes the target for use of a finishing Mana Rift. There are a lot of heroes in HoN that are completely crippled by the lack of ability to cast spells when they so desire.
- The reason why Mana Combustion only counters INT carries and not INT heroes in general is then because quite a lot of them will have disables and a large enough mana pool to still be able to cast it at least once to save themselves and make a difference before they run out of mana.
- Long duration roots, disables and silence ruin his mobility.
- Itemwise, Sheepstick and Armor a solid choice. Barbed Armor is a good pickup especially if facing a trash Magebane who has gone Elder Parasite and Brutalizer (lol).
- Special shoutout to Void Talisman preventing him from autoattacking you, but will not stop Mana Rift!