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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

[Pyromancer] - Playing with fire


Pyromancer is an extremely strong solo laner. His long range combined with having two nukes, one of which is a stun make him really hard to deal with. He is probably the best hero for getting kills without the help of allies just from the burst he has.

With the attack speed he gets from his passive, Pyromancer with no real items can output quite a bit of physical damage, which means that while anti-magic items like Shaman's Headress etc. are good against him, they aren't hard counter, which means Pyromancer can go late game against them, no problemo!
The DoT component from his passive is extremely good at killing towers and at killing Kongor.
Base Damage - 43-49
Attack Range - 600 (Ranged)
Movement Speed - 295
Armor - 1.14
Magic Armor - 5.5
Strength - 18 (1.5)
Agility - 16 (1.5)
Intelligence - 24 (3.2) Main Attribute
Cast point/backswing: 0.4/0.9
Damage point/backswing: 0.45/0.75
Missile speed: 900
Turn Rate: 0.45
Pros and Cons
+ One of the Best Solo Heroes in the Game
+ Extremely Good for Pubstomping
+ Team Independant
+ Good Farming Skills
+ High Magical and Physical Damage Output
+ Fun to Play
+ Can Fit About Any Role
- Unrealiable Stun
- Squishy and Often Focused
- Highly Level Dependant
- Not Very Mobile Without Portal Key
- Crappy Base Strength and Gain

Skill Build

  1. Dragonfire
  2. Fervor / Phoenix Wave
  3. Phoenix Wave
  4. Phoenix Wave / Fervor / Dragonfire*
  5. Phoenix Wave
  6. Blazing Strike
  7. Phoenix Wave
  8. Dragonfire / Fervor
  9. Dragonfire / Fervor
  10. Dragonfire / Fervor
  11. Blazing Strike
  12. Fervor / Dragonfire
  13. Fervor / Dragonfire
  14. Fervor / Dragonfire
  15. Attribute Boost
  16. Blazing Strike

  • Dragonfire is your most powerful spell at level one, so that's the first one you're getting.
  • The early point in Fervor for extra harassment power and tower damage is usually better than having one extra level on Dragonfire so you want to have that. Skipping it is acceptable, but I highly suggest taking one level in Fervor.
  • Phoenix Wave is more reliable for last hitting or harassing than Dragonfire, so it is leveled as the main nuke.
  • The choice between maxing Fervor or maxing Dragonfire is quite simple; Early burst is more important than more points in Fervor, unless you need the Fervor for pushing and/or Kongor.
  • Blazing Strike is taken on chance for damage improvement
  • *While playing on a sidelane, or a trilane, unless you are planning to go for early push, you should skip the Fervor and get a bit more burst.



Starting Items

Total Cost: 584
This starting build might be slightly risky, but it is very powerful. You get a total of 5 in all stats and a bonus of 3 in Intelligence, while also fastening your Grave Locket. Runes of Blight can be replaced with a Health Potion if you wish.

I find the other starting builds inferior compared to those above, but if you have a preference on some other build, feel free to.

If for some reason you are playing as a support, you might have to buy Wards of Sight:
Cost: 100g each
Pre-Core & Core

Bottle is the first item you will buy. It solves both your health and mana problems, and makes rune-whoring much more effective. If you are not soloing middle, then you might skip it.

Marchers are an obvious choice for any hero - But Grave Locket or Marchers, which one first? The rule of thumb is; If the Marchers help you get runes (enemy doesn't have any blinking skill) then get them first. Otherwise Grave Locket first. And by the time you buy these, get the Ward of Sight if you wish to have a lane ward.

Grave Locket is awesome on Pyromancer. It allows him to play extremely aggressive, as well as farm with his spells because of the added stats. Even if you happen to die, as long as it has its charge, you spawn faster.

Steamboots are the best boot choice. They have great synergy with Bottle and Blood Chalice, and provide you some extra needed health, as well as more attack speed for DPS purposes.
Post Haste is basically the only other viable option. They provide you with EXCELLENT mobility, for the cost of no hp, no extra dps, and loss of extra 1000+ gold. Generally I don't suggest these on Pyromancer, because I find Steamboots suit me better. They are decent choice though, so feel free!

Ghost Marchers are mediocre. The added movespeed is not necessary on Pyromancer, as you will be getting a Portal Key anyways. Steamboots are much better for farming, and keep you alive. Sure Ghost Marchers give damage, but Steamboots give attack speed.

Striders are the last choice. Pyromancer is not a ganker who should be roaming all around the map, he should focus on farming and only countergank, or gank if he gets a Haste or so. If you have so poor farm that you can't afford Steamboots, simply go drop couple neutral camps, get your Steamboots, and start farming quickly.

Power Supply is a great item. The mana/health for the price is way too good to skip for most of the games. But it is not necessary for your strategy, and you run out of inventory slots soon if you pick it up. However, it is so cheap, yet so useful, that you should in most cases get them.

Blood Chalice is a good item on Pyromancer because it works so well with Bottle and Steamboots and supplies him with mana to use his skills more often. The problem is that you lack inventory slots, so personally I don't suggest this item.
Portal Key or Tablet of Command will be your first major purchase. I find Tablet of Command superior because it can be used in so many ways. Not only does it provide you stats, has easier buildup, is slightly cheaper, but it can also be used the proc the opposing Nullstone, or to save an ally - or escape yourself. Portal Key on the other hand has a much higher blink range.
As of why you need these items, Pyromancer is highly based on positioning and needs some sort of mobility in order to gank properly, as the Stun is easy to dodge if the enemy sees you beforehand.
I usually get both of them, because it also makes it possible for me to Portal Key in, instakill an enemy, and escape with the help of the Tablet of Command - Or if the enemy has a Nullstone, I can blink in and proc it without losing my ulti on the Nullstone.

Glowstone can be taken after Tablet of Command/Portal Key to boost your HP and mana in case you are going for SotM or Frostwolf's Skull later on. 1200 Gold for what it gives is quite huge at this point of the game. Personally I just go straight up for a Blessed Orb however.
Luxury Items
After your core items are finished, just look at the game and see what you need. Generally, if you have a real carry, and you are not having terrible farm, Sheepstick is the first choice to go for.

The item is just too strong to skip on Pyromancer. Pretty self-explanatory.

Hellflower should generally be built if the person you bought Sheepstick for farmed a Nullstone, or your team needs more disable, on top of adding vast amounts to your damage. Provides you with basically infinity mana on top of that. If you ONLY want to proc the Nullstone off, consider getting Tablet of Command or Stormspirit.

Frostwolf's Skull provides you with huge amounts of extra stats, especially HP. On top of that, it is a great counter to opposing Shrunken Heads, Swiftblades and Predators.

Shrunken Head is a great pickup if you need to be reckless, and the enemies have lots of magical nukes / disables. It doesn't help if the enemies are initiating on you (well, unless they don't stun you, which never happens). It allows you to blink in with Portal Key and bring down key targets uninterrupted. Even if your team has a main initiator, Shrunken Head is always a good item on Pyromancer if you're facing a cast-heavy team.


If your team is in need of a real carry, or you are simply dominating, consider getting one or more of these items.

Harkon's Blade is the best item DPS-wise on Pyromancer. However, it is countered by a Shrunken Head, and the manacost can be quite huge as it adds up. Remember to hit the enemy before casting your spells if you have this item.

Savage Mace is the second best item DPS-wise. However, if your enemy has a Wingbow or they have lots of channeling spells, you might want to buy Savage over Harkon's.

Charged Hammer is highly underrated. It provides almost as much DPS as Savage, however, it provides you with some magic damage instead of physical - meaning that Shrunken Head also counters it. The activatable part can be great as well.

Harkon's Blade + Charged Hammer can be a great combination, considering you lower the magic damage, and then the lightning procs deal even more magical damage. However, in total they cost quite a chunk, and provide you zero survivability.

In general, if you need more of defensive items, get Shrunken Head / Frostwolf's Skull, and for the more offensive part Hellflower/an item under the DPS-title
Situational Items

Nullstone is taken to counter strong single target spells. So this is the reason why would you get in on Pyromancer. Keep in mind, that if the spells are magical, you are usually better off with Shrunken Head.

Stormspirit can be in multiple ways; Save an ally / yourself by dodging a skill with it. Or, use it on an opponent to make him easy target for your stun when he lands, or to escape his wrath. Keep in mind, with Stormspirit + PK, if you don't take damage in 0.5 seconds, use Stormspirit and you can PK away after. Great for proccing an opposing Nullstone if necessary.

Items to Avoid in General
The following 4 items are bad pickups for any game.

Assasin's Shroud is not even comparable to Portal Key. Sure the invisibility might provide a decent escape mechanism, but the enemies WILL buy revelation and counter it. It is also much more expensive than Portal Key.

Sacrificial Stone is in general a bad item for basically any hero. As for Pyromancer, the mana from it is completely wasted. Need HP? Get Shrunken Head or Frostwolf's Skull. Sac. Stone is just inferior compared to other possible items.

Codex, while does increase your burst, also leaves you with no hp, and upgrading the Codex takes 7000 gold away from you. That could easily go for Hellflower AND a Blessed Orb.

Harkon's Blade, Savage Mace and Charged Hammer all give superior DPS compared to Shieldbreaker.

The following 5 items are extremely situational

Spellshards make you deal much more magic damage, for the cost of no HP. But in some games, it actually works. If you are sure that you will stay alive without extra health items, then you may get them.

Staff of the Master is the same as above, except it trades off some damage for some health, which is IMO preferable.

Behemoth's Heart is not necessarily bad on Pyromancer, just that the other items mentioned are better. But if you really want extra HP, and don't want to / already have Frostwolf's Skull, feel free to get it.

Daemonic Breastplate can be great in case your team already has heroes such as Demented Shaman or Pestilence - or the enemies have them.

Frostfield Plate is a quite mediocre item for Pyromancer. It should only be taken if you really, really, REALLY need the armor, and the enemies need to be slowed. i.e. the enemies have Deadwood + Madman + Maliken, or something similiar.

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