(Warning: Long read ahead!)
My dotabuff: https://www.dotabuff.com/players/312744911
My recent games of Dark Seer: https://www.dotabuff.com/players/312744911/matches?date=month&enhance=overview&hero=dark-seer
King of Comebacks: A Guide On Dark Seer (5.6k MMR)
Very recently I have climbed to Immortal pretty much only playing Dark Seer. As I have much reached my personal goal, I am quitting the game for a while. But before I do so, I want to make a comprehensive guide on how to play Dark Seer, because I think this hero is severely underrated and really easy to climb with.
I have won games I had no business winning because of this hero. I’d like to bring that feeling to other people, because there’s nothing like coming back from a 20k gold lead… over, and over.
I will give a skill leveling guide and an item guide, and explain the game plan for Dark Seer through each stage of the game. Of course, there is no right way to play any hero. This is just my preferred strategy.
Skill Leveling (can be altered from game to game, but this is generally what I go)
1: Ion Shell
3: Ion Shell
5: Ion Shell
6: Wall of Replica
7: Ion Shell
12: Wall of Replica
14: +75 Ion Shell Radius
15: +100 Vacuum Radius
18: Wall of Replica
20: +60 Ion Shell Damage
25: Parallel Wall
Laning (Long and boring! But really crucial. Laning is the most consistent thing you can control in every game, so these tips will probably be most effective for gaining MMR. Tip and tricks here may be applicable for other offlaners.)
Starting items: Tango, salve, quelling blade, mango, 2 clarities. Get a stick ASAP if there are skill spamming heroes in your lane (PA, undying, etc.)
Laning items: Boots and raindrops. Ferry out more clarities, tangos, and salves if needed. Upgrade to magic wand if you want, but it’s not high priority.
(IMO soul ring is usually awful, as dark seer relies on an HP advantage to put pressure on the enemy carry. If you’re having a really easy lane, however, you can consider it, because it’s really convenient for mana. I personally never pick it up.)
At level 1, Dark Seer is quite weak. You want to ion shell the first wave and take as many last hits as possible, prioritizing the range creep. You then want to block your wave so that the lane is somewhat favorable for you, and then ion shell push the wave again. Repeat until level 3.
Generally Dark Seer is one of the harder offlaners to lane with in the early levels, since he’s a melee intelligence hero. However there are a couple things you can do to protect yourself.
If you are against a melee carry who is hitting you, position yourself near your ion shelled creep so that the carry has to take ion shell damage to continue harassing you.
Stick with your 4 position and let him protect you. This deters annoying supports from harassing you, like Disruptor.
You can buy boots early and use your superior movespeed to avoid taking harass from a dangerous enemy who you cannot hope to trade with (ursa with orb of venom, anti-mage)
Drawing creep aggro defensively (you do this by a-clicking an enemy hero while you are within 500 range of an enemy creep). This is more effective when your 4 position can kill the enemy ranged creep from afar, securing exp at a safe distance.
Don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger. If you are against a kill lane (ursa+shaman, juggernaut+witch doctor), put down an observer ward to keep track of the enemy support, buy boots ASAP, and keep the dangerous heroes at arm’s length.
After pushing out the lane with ion shell, tell your 4 position to pull the hard camp. This allows you to keep the creep equilibrium directly in front of your tower. Not only does this mean you will be able to get last hits safely, it means you can put more pressure on the enemy carry.
When you hit level 3, your ion shell dps increases dramatically (30 dps to 50 dps) and this is your first power spike. You should begin thinking about aggressive moves you can make on the enemy. Of course, this will be highly dependent on your 4 position. You will be more unlikely to make aggressive moves with a nyx, but if you have an earth spirit, you should immediately switch your mindset to killing/harassing.
This mindset switch will also be dependent on the enemy carry’s capabilities. Some carries are easier to harass than kill (weaver), some carries are straight up free kills in the face of any aggression (drow), and some carries are like bugs you cannot ever hope to squash (jugg). The enemy support might also be strong enough to nip any aggression in the bud. Judging the lane matchup, you have to consider whether harassing, killing, or defensive play is the correct mindset at level 3.
Even without a powerful 4 position, you can make aggressive moves by yourself. This is achieved by using the “run next to the enemy carry with ion shell” strategy. Of course, the success of this strategy is highly dependent on the lane matchup. It may be much harder to do this against a juggernaut or ursa, but against slow, weak ranged carries like drow or medusa that cannot match your ion shell dps, you can literally walk next to them and get free harass. Just make sure you don’t attack them, as that will draw creep aggro. You want to simply walk next to them until you reach the edge of the enemy tier 1, and then walk back to farm the creep wave. Rinse and repeat for free harass. Only dive the tower when a kill on the enemy carry is likely.
You should ask your 4 position to pull as often as possible in order to achieve a favorable lane equilibrium. The previously mentioned “running at them” strategy is much more effective when the creeps are near your tower. When the lane is favorably positioned, you should stop ion shelling the creeps and preserve the creep equilibrium. In this situation, the 5 will be forced to pull the small camp, leaving the carry alone and vulnerable. When the carry steps up to last hit, you can employ the aforementioned strategy of “running at them”.
Around level 4 you should put one point in vacuum. This is another power spike. To set up kill threat, you want to have at least two ion shells active. When the enemy carry steps up to last hit, you can then vacuum the enemy directly into your two ion shelled units. If you don’t have immediate kill potential, this will still result in a ridiculous amount of harass on them for free (100 magical dps is nothing to scoff at.)
Level 5 is when you get level 3 ion shell, and your dps goes from 50 to 70. In some lanes this means your kill potential increases. Either way, not much changes here. If you were playing aggressively here, you continue to do so. If the enemy lane is stronger than you, you continue to play defensively. You get your arcane boots around this point, allowing you to drop more ion shells.
(If at any point in the laning stage you begin to run out of health or mana, ferry clarities and tangos ASAP. Offlaners generally can’t apply pressure as well if they’re not healthy or have no mana. I usually find myself having to ferry 3-4 clarities over the laning stage, since this build doesn’t go soul ring.)
Level 6, I will usually level wall. It’s pretty useful as a naked 50% slow, and if there is an ion shell on yourself and the illusion, you will dish out a ton of damage on anybody in the wall. If you have a stun setup, you can wait for the stun, drop wall, and then vacuum the target back into the wall as he tries to escape. Alternatively, you can just vacuum into wall if you have no stun setup.
Wall can be also used defensively against certain heroes. For example it can counter Jugg Omnislash (just drop the wall on yourself when he omnis and micro the Jugg illusion away from yourself.)
The enemy carry will also usually reach their level 6 around this point. Sometimes, this means you’re unable to position yourself as aggressively as before, since there is a threat of counterplay at this point (Terrorblade’s Sunder, Luna’s Eclipse). The enemy support’s level 6, which will arrive soon as well, could also prevent you from aggressing so hard, or even provide a kill threat against you.
In any case, the lane begins to break down at this point. Either the enemy carry wants to leave because you beat them so hard, or the enemy carry is stronger than you and is pressuring you out of lane. And thus, the post-lane stage begins. This is a stage where many offlaners just flounder about and do the wrong things, as the right play is not intuitive at all. This is where BSJ really helped me out.
Post-Lane Stage (everyone begins leaving their lane and chaos ensues)
Here is a very broad checklist of things you should think about, depending on the game state. This can be applied to many offlaners.
If you won the lane:
You should take the enemy tier 1 and push out the lane to the enemy tier 2. You should then tell the allied carry to take over the offlane, as it is the most efficient and safe farm on the map if the enemy tier 1 is taken. If your team feels strong, you can help your team take the tier 1 mid when the 10 minute siege creep spawns. Afterwards, you should then go to the safe lane, now the “dead lane”, and farm there.
(In some games, your carry will prefer to continue farming the safe lane, since he won his lane and wants to apply more pressure to the enemy offlane. In this case, you should continue farming the offlane, constantly applying pressure on the enemy tier 2 with your ion shells, and farming the enemy jungle.)
If you lost the lane:
You should leave the lane and focus on protecting the most important objectives, like the mid and safe lane tower. Play away from your carry, wherever he decides to farm, and draw enemy attention to yourself in order to make space. The easiest way to do this is to take over the safe lane, now the “dead lane” because it’s very dangerous now. If the enemies try to push the safe lane tier 1, you can cut the creep wave behind them and delay their push.
In either case:
You should protect the mid and safe lane tower if they are being pressured, as they are the most important objectives at this point, and you are strong enough to fight with vacuum and wall. However, ideally you wouldn’t fight too much, as you need more items and levels to be truly effective. That’s why you ideally should try to take over the dead lane, as you’re elusive enough to survive in such a dangerous area, and there is a decent amount of farm there as well.
It’s surprisingly annoying to deal with Dark Seer when he defends towers. You can play a game of cat and mouse. Get yourself an observer and sentry to scout enemy moves, so they can’t suddenly gank you. Cut the wave by ion shelling the enemy creeps before they reach the tower (this will draw creep aggro). Create chaos by dropping the vacuum wall combo on enemies and ion shelling the illusions to cut another creep wave. Eventually the enemy will have to commit more heroes to get the tower, or just give up and head somewhere else.
Whether you are winning or losing at this point, this post-lane stage is all about protecting objectives and slowly building up your farm. Don’t make the mistake of AFK farming deep inside your jungle, since that doesn’t protect your objectives. Farm the safe lane and the two jungle camps nearby if you have vision of them. Protect the safe lane tower as long as possible, at least until the other team brings a bunch of heroes to secure it.
If the enemy tries to take mid, you should TP in and defend it with your team. But after the fight, you should head back to the dead lane and resume farming.
After you hit level 8, you’ll have two points in Surge and your ion shell will be maxed. You should keep Surge at level 2 and start leveling Vacuum to increase the AOE and reduce the cooldown. This means skipping the level 10 talent for now. At this point, big fights are probably beginning to break out. You need to be prepared with your most powerful teamfight ability!
Mid-Game (Time to fight!)
There is pretty much only one item you should be thinking about buying at this point. No, it’s not Aghanim’s Scepter. We’ll get that later. It’s Mekansm!
Why is Mekansm so damn good? It’s extremely cheap at a bargain bin price of 1875 gold, ensuring you can get it at a reasonable time whether or not you won or lost your lane. It provides a heal of 275 for each hero in a fight, which is pretty damn ridiculous at the 15 min mark (you’re pretty much negating a full Zeus ulti, or any other aoe damage at this point). It also provides some armor and regen so you can farm jungle creeps without taking so much damage.
Basically, it’s the timing of this item that is so strong. Around the time you get it, you should have around 3 levels in Vacuum. The enemy might have been stomping in fights up until this point, since Dark Seer has a late timing compared to other offlaners. But once you have the burst heal of Mekansm along the vacuum-wall combo, fights become a lot more favorable. Even if you don’t straight up win fights, you often break even, which is good if your draft scales better into the late game.
Once you pick up Mekansm, you generally want to force engagements to take advantage of your item timing. Your team should push towards any enemy tier 1 towers that your team hasn’t taken yet. If the enemy team can’t burst you from 100 to 0, don’t sit in the backline. With your team waiting behind you, punch the tower and bait the enemy in.
If you win these early fights, it’s probably a sign that your teamfight is too strong for the enemy to handle at this point. Don’t let off the gas and continue to force engagements, pressuring enemy objectives in the process. If you’re strong, farm the enemy jungle to steal their resources (enemy farm is an objective too!) If your team can take Rosh, do it to force the enemy to take another fight they don’t want.
Of course, it’s possible that even with the Mekansm purchase, you are still losing fights. After all, you could have a Pudge 5, and a Zeus 4, a Tinker mid, and a Spectre that takes forever to come online. Thankfully, Icefrog wanted Dark Seer to have another amazing tool at his disposal, something so powerful that it could make up for the weaknesses of any draft.
Aghanim’s Scepter (why would you do this Icefrog)
In most games I do not immediately upgrade Mekansm to Greaves. Instead, I get Aghanim’s Scepter, aiming for a timing of around 21-25 min.
I can talk all day about why this item is so broken on Dark Seer. It’s basically teamfight, pushing, and farming acceleration all in one item. It’s such a brainless item that you can pretty much get it in any game, whether or not you’re winning or losing, and feel fairly confident that you made a good item choice.
Why don’t we rush Aghs before Mekansm, then? The answer is simple. You don’t want to risk your team getting run over while you farm it. It’s twice the gold of Mekansm, and while it is a great item, it’s expensive and the components don’t help you fight in the early to mid game. Unless you’re super confident there won’t be any big fights soon, you should usually just go Mekansm first.
Now, for anybody who doesn’t know, Aghs gives Dark Seer two charges of ion shell, gives any allies with an ion shell 300 health, and nearly doubles the duration. Pretty cool, huh?
I will now elaborate on the most useful aspects of the Aghs:
Pushing out lanes: Dropping two ion shells on a wave is enough to push it to the other side of the map, especially with the increased duration (45 seconds). Not only do the ion shells give you a ridiculous amount of gold, they also represent lane pressure to the enemy. If not dealt with, the ion shell wave will eventually take a tower, because it obliterates all enemy creeps. So if you run between all three lanes, ion shelling each creep wave as they spawn, only a few enemy drafts will be able to push against the constant lane pressure. This can be used to give your cores space if they are struggling to recover from a poor early game.
Pushing out lanes also has the added benefit of giving valuable information to your side. When an enemy hero shows up to defend a tower, it provides opportunities for your team to 1) smoke up and gank 2) retake territory 3) farm with peace of mind, knowing that particular enemy hero cannot help their team.
Tanking up your team: The benefit to your team is obvious enough. You give your cores, who may be fragile at this point in the game, 300 free health. But the benefit to your own survivability is insane as well. The Aghs stats gives 375 health, and with the ion shell on yourself, that’s 675 total bonus health for Dark Seer. For a hero with only 1460 health at level 15, you’re increasing your HP by over 50%. As a result, you’re much more likely to get off your combo in fights, and you’re going to feel a lot more comfortable being a frontliner. And the longer your team survives in fights = more ion shell damage.
Illusion counter: Ion shells counter most illusion heroes. If you have three ion shells on your cores, a PL, CK, or Terrorblade will have an awful experience.
Farm acceleration: You farm lane creeps really fast with Aghs. If the game goes on for a while, you may even end up richer than your mid at the end of the game. Thankfully, this won’t come at the cost of your carry’s farm, as the extra vision from the pushed out waves will allow your carry to farm a larger region of jungle camps.
A Quick Sidenote: When You’re Getting Stomped, Rushing Aghs First Is Okay
If you’re getting stomped and your draft won’t be ready to teamfight anytime soon, buying Mekansm probably won’t help much. You’ll probably end up too poor to get your Aghs in a timely manner. In this case, you should rush Aghs first.
I’ll give an example of a game where the Aghs rush is justifiable.
In this game, we lost every single lane, and the enemy cores (Monkey King and Razor) were coming online much faster than our team’s cores (Morphling and Luna). In fact, the score was 4-28 around 20 minutes.
In this game, I skipped Mekansm and rushed Aghs instead. This was for three reasons:
I wasn’t confident in our teamfight at the moment, since my Luna and Morphling had lost their lanes and needed to farm their items. I preferred to split push as much as possible and avoid taking 5v5 engagements, which I knew our team would lose.
I was extremely poor and knew that Aghs was the only way I could recover financially.
By keeping multiple lanes pushed out, I could provide some space for our cores to recover from a poor early game.
This early Aghs pickup delayed the game enough to where our cores recovered, and we eventually won.
Let’s quickly talk about talents. I like to go the +75 ion shell radius talent around the time when I get my Aghs (usually around level 14). I would only consider the armor talent against specific armor reduction heroes (slardar, PA, TA), since I don’t want to get bursted 100 to 0.
For level 15 talents, the +100 vacuum radius is generally a no-brainer. However, when I’m getting absolutely stomped to hell and the enemy has a mega-farmed Luna/Terrorblade/Morphling, I will consider the +25% Wall of Replica Illusion damage. If you can’t beat them, consider using their strength against them.
For level 20, I almost always take the +60 ion shell damage. It’s very strong with Aghs.
For level 25, I would consider 320 AOE Surge if my carry was a slow illusion hero like CK or Naga. Otherwise, Parallel Wall is usually better.
Mid-Late Game (30+ min) (this dark seer is starting to get really farmed!)
After you get your Aghs and have ion shelled a couple of creep waves, you begin hearing the constant cha-ching of gold rolling in. You begin to wonder what to buy.
After Aghs, there’s a considerable amount of flexibility and much of your item choice will depend on the current gamestate. There are many options and in order to decide, I’d ask myself the questions:
What enemy heroes are posing a problem, or will pose a problem in the near future?
If we’re still losing fights, what exactly are we losing to?
What is my team currently lacking? (Reliable stun, save, initiation, etc.)
Here’s a guide to possible items to buy in the mid-late game:
Ol’ Reliable Pickups (Items that are pretty darn good at doing their job.)
Shiva’s Guard: Tried and true item to counter illusion heroes. Getting this right after Aghs will crush the hopes and dreams of all these pesky Phantom Lancer and Naga Siren pickers. Also great against carries that rely on healing (Slark, Morphling). You should buy this right after Aghs if you are facing any of the aforementioned heroes.
Blink Dagger: Improves your initiation. It is really good if a majority of heroes on the enemy team cannot escape a Wall easily, which means that a perfect initiation will win the fight on the spot. Ideally, you would buy this in conjunction with Agh’s Shard.
Agh’s Shard: If there’s one enemy hero that’s causing your team grief, just Normal Punch them into oblivion. The main combo is Blink + Punch, with Wall afterwards if you need to use it. Vacuum + Punch is also a good combo to pick off any hero that is out of position (you do this by Vacuuming a hero into melee range and immediately right-clicking them). Overall, the Normal Punch is one of the most useful items in Dark Seer’s kit, as it’s a reliable stun, and in conjunction with Blink, it can make you a fearsome ganker.
Lotus Orb: Pretty good item against single-target lockdown heroes that might be screwing over your cores, like Doom, Lion, and Storm Spirit. Also good as a purge of silences, Spirit Vessel, and other annoying debuffs.
Situational Items (Less effective in general, but can be extremely powerful if the situation calls for it.)
Guardian Greaves: You can finish your Greaves, but you have to have a reason for doing it. Don’t just do it because the item effect looks cool. You’re essentially spending 1700+ gold for a self-purge, a 3 armor aura, and a cooldown reduction to 40 seconds. The purge can be justified if there is an annoying debuff that prevents you from doing something (long silences, ember root, etc.). The armor aura can be justified if there is heavy physical damage/armor reduction on the enemy team (TA, PA, slardar, death prophet). The cooldown reduction is good if you are fighting constantly (usually happens when your team is stomping hard.) If any of these aren’t needed, Mekansm will work just fine.
Pipe of Insight: Good item against AOE magical damage heroes like Veno, Tinker, and Ancient Apparition. Before buying this item, consider whether or not just killing the enemy hero would be easier than tanking their damage. Remember, Blink + Shard is around the same price and it’s far more versatile.
Aeon Disk: Counters Void, Tide, Enigma, and Invoker lineups that threaten to turn you into a useless pile of wasted networth in a few seconds. Also counters any permastun draft, like with Lion and Mirana.
Heaven’s Halberd: Counters ranged carries like Medusa and Luna. I only would get this if the enemy carry is so extremely farmed to the point where the only way to counter them is to literally stop them from attacking. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. Also one of the items that is better with good reaction time, as you want to use it before the enemy carry can BKB (BKB does not remove halberd).
Bloodstone: Really insane against illusion heroes, PL in particular. You can actually outcarry PL with this item because the spell lifesteal will be too much for him to deal with, and once you get Shiva’s with Bloodstone, you’re never going to lose a 1v1 with PL. Enemies also often underestimate the spell lifesteal from ion shell.
Kaya and Sange: Increases your survivability and your ion shell damage. I never really go this item, but it sounds good in theory.
Boots of Travel: If your global presence is desperately needed to kill an annoying enemy, like a Tinker, this might be good. You can disassemble Arcanes to make Aeon Disk or Lotus Orb, and then go Boots of Travel.
Dust of Appearance/Sentry Ward: Underrated items which completely cripple the advantage of annoying heroes like Riki and Sand King. You should just brainlessly buy these if you’re against invis heroes, or the enemy support has a Glimmer Cape. After all, you’re definitely rich enough to carry detection by this point.
Observer Ward: See these leftover in the shop? Just buy them and place them yourself. At this point, you’ll be strong enough to put wards down in deeper enemy territory, which your supports might not feel confident doing. And besides, they’re free!
So We’re Winning… What Now?
So you’ve finished up your Mekansm and Aghs, and you’re buying a couple more powerful items at a ridiculous pace. Like a smart player, you’re telling your team to fight as soon as you hit each of your item timings. At this point, your teamfight is just too much for the enemy to deal with, and you just keep wiping the floor with them. What now?
Well, the order of objectives depends on the game, but you should focus on taking Rosh. Then you should take some Tier 2s, take control of the enemy outpost, and suffocate the enemy by continuing to ion shell waves of creeps at a time. Your team should play in the enemy jungle and take the enemy farm, slowly building up your advantage. If you feel comfortable high grounding, let the Aegis carrier hit the building and stand behind them, waiting patiently to counter-initiate. Continue to suffocate the enemy after Aegis is down and take Rosh again.
You should be extremely disciplined about this process if you know there is a looming late-game threat on the enemy that will outscale your team’s draft. You want to end the game as soon as possible by taking objectives in a timely manner and not giving the enemy any room to recover.
Another (More Likely) Scenario… You’re Losing…
Of course, most games aren’t so easy. Maybe you’re getting your ass handed to you, because you lost all your lanes, and your carry is severely underfarmed, and your mid is useless, and you have a pudge, and (insert whatever excuse you want here). Maybe, god forbid, some members of the enemy team have picked up this forbidden item called a BKB, and you’ve vacuum walled nothing for the last few fights. Maybe you’ve even lost a few Roshes and the enemy is pounding on your barracks already. Your team is feeling antsy and the GGs are already coming out from your team.
…But Thank God You Picked Dark Seer
But fear not! Dark Seer is the king of comebacks.
Reason 1: A lane of lost barracks is not so terrible when you have Dark Seer. With the Aghs and the Level 20 talent (+60 ion shell damage), a wave of ion shelled creeps can obliterate enemy mega creeps.
Reason 2: With the illusions from Wall of Replica and Normal Punch, Dark Seer uses the strength of the enemy against them. If your enemy is stronger than you, and you take their strength… well, you can win games you have no business winning.
Reason 3: Dark Seer can surge allied creeps. This sets up quick pushes in the ultra-late game, and allows your team to take enemy objectives after winning fights in your own base.
Reason 4: The effectiveness of BKBs fades over time, which means Dark Seer is primed to shine in the late game.
Reason 5: Dark Seer is amazing at high ground defense. Vacuum can pick off enemy supports if they step up too far, while a smartly placed Wall can block the retreat of enemies when they enter your base.
Late Game (40+ min)
At this point, things are probably pretty crazy. What happens at this point is highly dependent on the game. In any case, you’re still probably pumping out ion shells like a factory, and the gold just won’t stop rolling in. You feel like Alchemist.
You stare at the list of the Ol’ Reliable Pickups, but you feel a nagging sensation, like you need something even more powerful to win this game.
Pretty Decent Late Game Items (Not flashy, but they get the job done.)
Aeon Disk – I’m listing this item again because I have thrown a few games not buying this item in the late game. Remember, you’re a useless heap of networth if you get chain-stunned and die, and as the game goes on, that prospect becomes more and more likely. Getting this item ensures you get your combo down every fight.
Scythe of Vyse – This item can result in a super long lockdown in conjunction with Blink and Shard. Combo is Blink + Punch + Hex for five seconds of lockdown. Pick up this item against elusive enemy carries (Weaver, Jugg, Slark) who you can’t lock down solely with your Wall.
A Cool, Shiny, But Somewhat Mediocre Item (You probably shouldn’t get this. I only listed this here to warn you not to buy it.)
Octarine Core – This provides a cast range and cooldown buff. In theory, it sounds amazing since Dark Seer is so reliant on spells. In the rare case you go the 320 AOE Surge talent, this can be quite strong.
However, I don’t like Octarine in most games. It doesn’t fundamentally change anything about what Dark Seer offers in fights, and it’s also super expensive. Why bother going this item when I could go… the mother of all late-game pickups?
The Mother of All Late Game Pickups
Refresher Orb – If you thought one Wall of Replica was pretty cool… what about four?
With the level 25 Parallel Wall talent and Refresher, you can drop four walls down in a single fight. It sounds insane, and that’s because it is. I once witnessed a fully-slotted enemy Spectre getting eaten alive by a bunch of her own illusions. I don’t even think my carry needed to do anything that fight.
This item is only generally worth getting if you are level 25 already and have the Parallel Wall talent. The combo is pretty simple. You want to vacuum and wall, refresh, and then vacuum and wall again. This will result in four walls crisscrossing across the battlefield, causing complete havoc and likely winning any late-game fight on the spot.
Either way, if the enemy carry hasn’t bought a BKB or doesn’t have an innate escape mechanism, they will be stuck for a long time in the four walls. If the rest of their team is unlucky enough to be stuck in the illusion hell that you have created, they will probably be dead very, very soon. Even if the enemy carry manages to escape, the four walls often cause so much disruption and chaos that your team can just clean up the rest of the enemy team with ease.
You can also use Normal Punch to reposition enemies onto the other walls, creating even more illusions in the process. Fun stuff!
Miscellaneous Strategy Tips
In the mid-game, if Rosh is up, keep top and mid lane pushed out. This will make it easier for your team to take Rosh, and consequently make it harder for the other team to do so. If the enemy team pushes these two lanes back, don’t let up the pressure. Keep pushing top and mid.
When you get your Aghs, you will begin to have mana problems. Don’t be afraid to ferry out three clarities every minute, as you want to be pumping out ion shells constantly. However, if you’re really low on mana (<10%), just tell your team to play safe, and run back to base to recharge. Then resume pumping out ion shells.
Communicate with your team properly. If you’re not near them, or can’t TP close to them, tell them to avoid taking a fight. Your success on this hero will be defined by how many of the game’s fights you participate in.
If you’re losing, keep your buyback. You’re an important hero and your team needs you to win. You’ll also be making enough money to keep your buyback almost all the time, and no item is worth giving up buyback (except Aghs, since it allows you to farm your buyback money quickly). If the game is close, keep tabs on your most important cores and make sure they have buyback as well.
If you know there’s going to be a Rosh fight soon, keep your buyback. Play aggressively in the fight knowing that you can buyback and TP back to Rosh, if you do die. Trading your buyback in order to secure Rosh for your team is 100% worth it.
If an important enemy core doesn’t have buyback, that provides an opportunity to win. Smoke ASAP and hunt down that core.
Remember to surge creep waves when pushing. This will break backdoor protection faster.
Keep Rosh timers. Remember 5-8-11. (5 minutes after rosh is taken, Aegis will be reclaimed. The respawn window is 8 to 11 minutes afterwards). If your team knows when an enemy Aegis will expire, and the enemy doesn’t, that’s a huge advantage. You can smoke just before the enemy Aegis expires and catch the enemy completely by surprise.
Mute toxic teammates if necessary. Arguing with teammates reduces your focus on the game and makes it more likely that you will make poor decisions. If others are arguing, attempt to refocus their attention on an important objective.
Keep the team morale up. If you have Dota Plus, use the Laugh emote. Dark Seer’s laugh is awesome.
(This section has been removed because I forgot replays expire. I will try to post a video guide in the future.)
Congratulations! If you read this entire guide through, you’re a champ. Not everyone can read multiple walls of text about a purple dude with a pointy head.
Feel free to ask any questions about the guide in the comments.