Hello guys, welcome to one of my hero guide's in which i will hopefully be able to convey my knowledge of a certain hero that has just been released by valve 3 days ago, and is now dominating pubs by players who know how to use it. Use this guide as a tool for winning your games before anyone else knowns how this hero works, and its indepth mechanics!!
Your item build for most games as a position 5 should be these items :
The hero build and talent build i reccomend however it can change in game based on the situation this is just the most generealised, build that works for 95% of dota 2 games.
Dark Willow is one of the newest additions to the game together with Pangolier and she's frequently picked across all skill levels and even in pro matches.
After testing out the hero myself, consulting other players and watching how professionals play Dark Willow, I believe she has all the means necessary to be a top tier support pick. Even though some players choose to play her as a core on the mid lane, I think the success of her as a mid won't last too much once the community gets used to the hero and starts to learn how to counter it. Nevertheless, feel free to play her as you like, be creative!
Dark Willow's overall attributes in the game, as well as what she's weak and strong against:
When to pick Dark Willow:
Taking all of the above into consideration, you should pick Dark Willow when your team needs an aggressive support that can deal burst damage, disable multiple enemies and efficiently set up kills especially in the early game. Thanks to her long range abilities, she's able to harass enemies safely and take part in team fights from a distance enabling her to do as much damage as possible with a low risk of getting killed.
Since all of Dark Willow's power comes from her abilities, make sure to pick her when the enemy teams lack silences. You can have a huge impact in fights if you're not disabled and having this in mind even before the picks have been made will surely help. However, if you have to deal with multiple ability silences or item silences, remember that you can counter this in various ways, for example by positioning yourself accordingly or by purchasing Eul's Scepter of Divinity, be creative!
If the enemies have picked heroes that naturally are great at dealing with magic abilities or tend to build a Black King Bar, you have two aspects to keep in mind if you want to pick Dark Willow. Remember that magic immunity counters all of her abilities, so you're going to have to deal with your enemies when you're the strongest, and that's usually in the early - mid game when they don't have their Black King Bars up and running. However, if you're having a rough game and the enemy heroes are strong in terms of magic resistance and immunity, as mentioned before, make sure to properly position yourself in fights and to use your abilities to their full potential, they have long cooldowns so they shouldn't be misused!
Her abilities are very versatile, they can be used both offensive and defensive. For instance, Bramble Maze can be used for chasing enemies, disrupting team fights and locking down a specific area of the fight, but also for blocking escape pathways of your enemies or pathways for your allies to safely flee. Shadow Realm can be used as an escape mechanism or as a way to delay your death to save time until your allies come to your aid or secure an objective. Cursed Crown can be used to isolate an enemy hero, since they're going to have to move away from their teammates to not get them stunned as well. And of course, her ultimate is really strong in tight team fights both when you want to retreat or when you simply want to disrupt your enemies.
Explanation's on the hero build:
The most important tool for you to succeed, the gameplay, how to lane this hero, what to do with it, how to start the game all explained:
As soon as the game begins, make sure to place your Observer Ward in a good spot where it can help your team. As I've previously mentioned, I prefer to place it in a spot where our team can see one of the runes and a path from where the enemies could gank us. You can also use the Observer Ward on your lane to keep an eye on what your lane adversaries are up to. Remember that the enemies are also thinking where to plant their wards, try to either guess where they've placed theirs and remove them with your Observer Ward or simply check their inventories for wards and try to notice when and where they're planted them. Removing the enemy wards is as important as planting wards for your team. Don't forget, in most cases the team with the better vision wins the game!
Moving on, let's talk about your lane and your carry. There are many scenarios that can happen and you have to adapt in order to be effective. If your carry is having a hard time farming and cannot deal with the enemy laners, you will have to stick by your carry, protect him and secure his farm. Make sure to use your Shadow Realm for harassment and whenever you want to initiate or protect your carry use Bramble Maze to disrupt the enemies. In some situations even Cursed Crown can work, but make sure to think about the stun timing since it's not that reliable. There may be cases when your carry won't be able to farm and you won't be able to do much about it, in this case the best option is to stack the neutral camps as much as possible for your carry to farm and recover the gold that's been lost in the lane.
Let's imagine a scenario where your carry is doing fine and he doesn't require help. This is a great scenario since your lane is already won and you can move around the map to help your other lanes win. In this case, you can gank the other lanes by yourself or together with the other support. Usually it's best to focus on the mid lane, if you can get the enemy mid hero killed it will greatly help your team. If your mid laner is a snowball hero, helping him get some kills will enable him to get out of control and become a real threat to the enemy team. If the enemy team has a hero farming the forest, make sure to put pressure on him! Steal his bounty runes, steal his experience and his neutral last hits, do anything you can to make his game harder and to reduce his farm. Don't avoid ganking the enemy safe lane even if it seems difficult. Applying pressure on the enemy carry is great in any way because you're forcing him to play defensive thus losing farm and time. Play smart, be efficient, don't waste time!
Make sure to always carry a Teleport Scroll in case your allies need help. It's very important to be map aware and to react to the enemy movements. If you see the enemies moving in to attempt to kill one of your allies, make sure to teleport in the vicinity and help! In many cases you can save your allies and get a kill. This will greatly increase the team morale as well, as not many people react with Teleport Scrolls.
As the game progresses, you'll want to always be in the proximity of your teammates for two reasons: you can quickly help them if they need you and in the same time they can quickly come to your rescue in case the enemies will try to get you killed. Make sure in this scenario to use Shadow Realm to delay your death as much as possible to save time for your team to arrive.
As I've mentioned before, I want to emphasize the importance of vision and wards. It's crucial at EVERY stage of the game to always have vision and to reduce the vision of the enemies as much as possible. Purchase Observer Wards and Sentry Wards and make this happen! If you don't have gold for them, don't feel bad to ask your teammates nicely to buy them for you, in most cases they will help as long as you place them. Remember to place your wards in places where the enemies don't expect it. They will be way harder to be found while they'll provide vision of areas where the enemies won't expect to be seen. I always carry on me at least one Sentry Ward just in case I notice an area is warded or if I spot an enemy hero that has just placed a ward. Let's not forget that it's also useful against invisible heroes and surprise Shadow Blades.
Let's move on and imagine a scenario where you're in a team fight. First, it's important to know where to position yourself, as your abilities can be used from a really long range you'll want to stay somewhere safe, away from the enemy heroes that can kill you if they get close to you. Whenever there's an enemy hero that's dangerous and you want to drive away from his team you can use Cursed Crown, since it force the target to move away from their allies if he doesn't want to get them stunned as well. In the possible scenarios, the target either gets stunned alone or he gets his teammates stunned as well, both are pretty good scenarios. Whenever your enemies are piled up, chasing your teammates or are simply trying to escape, try to be as annoying as possible with your Bramble Maze, it can be used in many ways and the only limit is creativity. However, use it carefully! Its cooldown is quite long and you won't be able to use it that often in fights. If you're in a tough spot or if you simply need some quick burst damage, don't forget about your Shadow Realm! It can save you some time until you can reach a safe spot or until your allies come to your aid, but it can also be used offensively to nuke down enemy heroes, be versatile! As for the ultimate, I really like that you can adapt to different situations. For example, if you're dealing with a single target and you need to kill it quickly, you can use your Bedlam to do so, since it deals a good amount of damage with a 0.25 attack interval. In case the enemies are piled up and are trying to either escape, setup for a combo or simply chase down your team, you can use Terrorize to greatly disrupt them and ruin any plans that they had in mind.
Thanks you for reading and please let me know what if you have any question or suggestion!
I hope you've enjoyed my fourth guide and I'll make sure to keep this guide updated as soon as the patches are released.
Good luck and have fun nuking!
This is the full guide i wrote on dotafire, I hope you guys really feel more indepth with this hero and can go and try it out in your pubs or know how to counter it with this amazing insightful knowledge i hopefully gave out to you, Before cheetah potentially comment's that he's found similar content keep in mind this guide is mine and mine only, not to be used by anyone, I'm sharing it on steemit because i find that i've done a great job with it and would like to share my work.
Leaving an upvote would really support me, for future guides like this one which took me 8 hours to write and edit.