Friday, March 23, 2007

My Keeper Build v1.0 - The Glass Cannon

So Im a big fan of DotA. If you're a gamer then check out http://www.dota-allstars.com and http://www.getdota.com. DotA is simply a mod / custom-map for the Warcraft 3 game made by blizzard.

Now if you're still reading I'm assuming you've played DotA before and am going go ahead with the usual DotA jargon. I've been playing long enough now to have tried most characters in the game; Now I'm a guy who likes to get one character and stick with it, build it up, and make it unstoppable. So I'm currently running with Ezalor - Keeper of the Light. You're probably saying "Keeper!, but he's so weak. He'll never be unstoppable". True to a certain degree. There are some characters in DotA which are just perfect counters for KotL, but that is the case for most heros anyway. I think I particuarly like trying to build KotL as a large portion of players tend to see him as such a weak character. I like to surprise! :)

I only really play in pubbies so my build will naturally be a little more greedy as apposed to a team build. My angle on this character is this. Produce as much damage and brute force push as possible, but be perfectly capable of ducking out of the gank when it comes for you - because it always does. [People love to kill low HP pool hero's - Sorry for Ezalor]

So here's the gentleman in his Sunday best:

Ezalor - Keeper of the Light


My skill build:
Levels 1 - 8: Illuminate and Chakra alternatively
From there on I max out Ignus Faatus as quick I can, and choosing stats inbetween. I normally leave Mana Leak until the end as it is not included in my strategy.

My item build:
[Game start....]
Chicken
Circlet of Nobility
Ironwood branch

[First chicken run....]
Ring of regeneration
Mantle of Intelligence
Nulls Talisnam
Headress of Rejuvination

[Get these as and when you can afford them...]
Boots of Speed
Point Booster
Energy Booster
Vitality Booster
Mystic Staff
Dagger of escape

[The game still goes...]
Build an Eye of Skadi

Explanation/Strategy:

Early game:
Always call Mid. The effect of Fog-of-War is a great advantage for Keeper. Farm and harass. Try and position illuminates well so that you hit as much creep as possible and a hero aswell. Try align the illuminate to hit both hero's if possible. Lately I've been experimenting in Pubs with my Illuminate positioning,.. There are some great spots to shoot from; behind bushes, around corners, etc. Try every spot on the map. Every chance to hide in FoW is another chance to harass your enemy with a ball of light.

Chakra is a no brainer,.. buff yourself as often as possible. If the spell is ready cast it on yourself, don't think, just cast. If you're full MP, cast it on you're ally. If he's full MP, bladdy cast something else,.. anything. If you've got mana you may aswell spend it. This is the beauty of Keepers endless mana pool.

Try get a hero to lane mid with you that will compliment you. A few examples are Furion, Earthshaker, infact most long duration stunners/harasses will be a great combo. Try to buff them as often as possible. It has happened more than once that I and a partner have got first blood by a combination of hitting, stun/illuminating and chasing, before the creeps have even arrived.

You should farm reasonably well with Keeper. After a few levels you should be able to run the second handfull of items with your chicken. BUT - dont move away from the experience earning area. It is critical to try xp as much as possible, as it gets harder and harder to maintain a competitive level in the mid-late game.

I normally keep to my own lane. If you're playing with a decent set of allies, then they shouldn't need to call help to other lanes. Keeper should always be able to get the first tower down, and you should aim to get the second middle tower down aswell. Be carefull once over the river,.. you are an easy target. Try to keep ally company, especially one who can help you both escape a risky gank. If you're firing at the second tower you should have a lvl 3-4 illuminate which gives a good firing range. Try to sit as far back as possible but close enough to hit all the creeps around the tower. If you're insecure you can temporarily fall back while your spells regen. If played right, you should be safe.

Mid game:
Okay, I'm assuming you manage to get two towers over, and your towers are untouched. (This shouldn't be too hard). Now I wouldn't run into the enemy base without some ally support which at this stage of the game, in a pub, you probably wont get. Although not mentioned in the item build, invest in some scroll of teleports. While your creeps are sufficiently far forward enough you can move around the map. Remeber dont wander too long - you will be losing any kind of xp gain. While moving towards another lane, fire off an illuminate at a set of low level neautrals. Finish off the ones that may live. This is easy cash and xp while moving around.

While keeping a sharp eye on the middle lane (your lane) go assist your allies to push over a side tower. With two or three illuminates passing over as many creep waves, you should make quick progress. Now dont stay too long, the counter attack in the middle should be nearing your tower. Head back there either by walking, if not too far, or by teleport (yay for those scrolls).

Keep this kind of cycle going for a while,.. defend your lane, but help push others aswell. A game can take so many directions from here on. My strategy is to try keep the advantage all the time by pushing. If a vote comes to push a certain lane into the base, I would almost always vote in. Until some kind of group effort happens though, just farm and farm and don't push further than you can safely esacpe a gank. Don't feed.

After not too long you should be able to afford your Soul Booster items, and then a while later you Mystic staff. Hoorah - You have an Aghanims Scepter. Here starts the later part of my strategy.

Late Game:
It may not be late game yet, but I'm just gonna put my two main points here, as these are the activities I tend to carry out till the end of the game anyway. It is generally accepted that Keeper is not a late game hero. I tend to agree. Try to make as large an effect as possible before the enemy hero's become too strong for you.

You should have level 2 Ult, hopefully level 3. With two wisps you can create an army in excess of twelve creeps. I always send the wisps to the lane with no enemy heros and let them do there work alone. Tell the wisps to follow a ranged creep to just create priests and be more low lying in battle; or tell them to follow a melee creep if you want them to be more aggressive in battle. Every 30 seconds scroll back to their lane and pick up any straggling priests. I normally just tell them to attack ground in the enemy base and this will keep them occupied until they expire.

If an emeny hero comes to attack your priests and wisps then you can do one of two things. a) get out of there. b) stay to fight. If you choose to stay, then leave Keeper somewhere safe and micro the priests effectively. Try and surround the enemy hero with creeps to prevent escape and then tell all the priests and both wisps to attack the hero. If you dont kill him you might get close. It's always great fun to get a priest kill. If you choose to run away then do so promptly. Send the priests to a remote location in the bushes, where they will expire naturally. If the wisps still have a large MP then transport them to another lane, else send them with the priests. One last use for a bunch of ragged out priests is to try neutral - if you manage to kill something then good for you, but if they die you've lost nothing and the enemy has gained just as much. The main thing here is to not leave your priests an managed as farming material for the enemy.

My second main late game activity is pushing with allies into the base. This can be done concurrently with your wisps but try not to let them get in the way (for you allies push), but rather try prevent an enemy retreat. When pushing an enemy base your task is simple. Time your illuminates for each new enemy creep wave. Wipe out every creep wave almost instantly, giving your team a creep advantage. As that is done I usually charge up another Illuminate closer to the base - This acts as a reasonable scare tactic. Buff your allies as often as possible.

If your team push has garnered the attention of the entire opposing team then very stealthily get your wisps to push another lane. This will either split enemy attention, giving your push an advantage, or your priests will do a darn good job of pushing their lane.

Other random tips and explanations:

You are the glass cannon. If you dont have any supportive team stunners then you must fend for yourself - Blinkstick is a lifesaver. Recently an animation was added to the blinkstick which makes it easier for someone to follow you, but it is still my favourite means of escape. If you are coining it and the game is going on, you will be able to afford BoT as well and can use this in conjunction with the blinkstick.

An early game tip: The middle lane low level enemy neatrals are a free kill to Keeper. Every new day, just send an illuminate through the bushes in front of you and you will receive ~90 gold.

If an enemy hero has just made it out of battle alive and is going to make a sneaky escape then you have a perfect chase vehicle - Old Ignis Fatuus. Either create a two new wisps or get the existing ones with mana and transport them half a screen infront of the escaping hero. Bash him with all your wisp might and hopefully you'll get the kill.

If the game has gone on then I would suggest buying an Eye of Skadi. It gives you a great stat boost and makes you quite a lot scarier with that slow effect.

A big mistake I've found myself to make is allowing the enemy team to make large counter attacks. Keeper can fairly easily obliterate a pushing creep wave, but don't let it go by unnoticed. If you leave a counter push they will easily walk over your towers.

Well thats all I've got to say about that for now. I know I've probably left a lot of standard guide points and technique out, but hey, how many people are actually gonna read this hey? I've actually learned a bit about Keeper myself by writing this. In the future I might post some replays if I'm feeling energetic.

Here ends my cruddy guide.
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