2009's DotA Cram School - Necro'lic the Visage [Eng Subbed]

Uploaded by hideopalescent on 16.08.2012

Hello all! Thanks for tuning in to another episode of DotA Cram School.
This week's hero is, as previously agreed upon, Necro'lic the Visage.
Going to split this into 3 parts: Firstly, we've got me commentating my FPVOD of a match.
The 2nd segment, I'll be going over this hero's abilities, item builds, details of play and doing some demonstrations.
The 3rd segment will be another commentated FPVOD match.
So, in the course of 2 pub games, I'll try to share some of my understanding of this hero and his usage, as well as some analysis of the matches.
Hopefully, viewers will come to some new awareness of this hero and his usage.
This is a pub in Wangtong room 1.
I randomed visage this match.
Enemy team is ES, Potm, Lion, Beastmaster, Spectre. It's a relatively complete lineup.
Beastmaster will be the pacesetter/playmaker, Spec hard carry. Plenty of reliable disabling power.
Over here we've got an SF, not sure if he picked or randomed.
He'll take mid.
As for visage... in competitive, he's most often seen as a trilane babysitter in 3-1-1 meta.
This is because he provides 2 abilities: his slow and his high burst potential nuke.
They both share a key feature... they both have extremely long cast range.
Soul assumption, in particular, has a very short cooldown along with very high damage output.
This time we won't be able to savour the luxury of solo mid. We'll have to go to the hard lane.
I've purchased chicken and a RoR.
This is because I know for sure that I'll be aiming for mek. It's a very common pickup on visage.
As a caster-type hero, his hp pool is pretty plain.
I warn my teammates that the enemy lineup seems pretty brutal. It probably won't be an easy match.
RoR gives me +2 hp/sec, it's not that bad of a starting item for visage.
We see BM has gone bot.
Ahh... it appears they're going to run Spec + BM bot.
Our lane matchup isn't inferior at all in this case.
I'm trying to decide right now how I should use my 1st skill point.
Seeing spec + BM at bottom and 2 red dots at top lane...
Means that I won't face much pressure at all in lane.
I'll likely be working with Veno to suppress this lane. That kind of scenario.
Therefore, I'm gonna go with grave chill first.
Oh, oops sorry... grave chill is the slow. I meant soul assumption, the nuke.
This is a point-targeted spell added with Visage's remake which is his biggest source of damage.
How to most smartly utilize the stored charges is a big part of mastering this hero.
It looks like bot lane is going to be a pushover.
Spec and BM are both melee, whereas visage and veno are both ranged.
On top of that, Veno is fantastically strong at suppressing melee in lane.
So our early advantage is very obvious.
Let's see if we can find BM in jungle. Yup, he's here pulling.
I level up grave chill. One autoattack then apply the slow.
We can see soul assumption's charges building up. Both his falling hp and my falling hp are charging it up.
This first blood was dead simple. Spectre wants to go on me?
I don't have enough mana for another soul assumption, and spec dagger'd me and is retreating.
Let's try to get in a couple more hits.
We can see above the soul assumption skill icon an energy meter.
Charges are collected from personal + friendly HP loss combined with all enemy hero HP loss.
Within 800 range of visage, all damage from skills, autoattacks, even creeps, are all accounted for.
They will all build up charges.
When you're playing, you need to pay attention to this meter.
Lvl1 soul assumption, once you hit 3-4 charges you can fire it.
I've upgraded courier, shipping out my headdress now.
This is a decent choice for dual hard lane.
For both you and your ally, +3hp/sec.
He pops another clarity on me, this teammate is being very supportive.
So... clarity, headdress completed, boots, magic stick. Continued suppression of spec/BM is a given.
Now let's talk about the 3rd ability...
Notice that when I lvl'd the 3rd ability I immediately moved right up and aggressively traded hits with him.
This is because... hmmm this ability is also complicated, hard to explain in layman's terms.
Basically it's a defensive/armour-type ability.
That is to say... once you level it you become a lot tankier.
There's actually some details about how tanky you become...
When you are attacked by enemies, your tankiness steadily weakens.
The protection is in the form of layers. These layers provide both armour and magical resistance.
The layers are removed one-by-one by successive enemy attacks.
After a period of not being attacked, it will gradually recover the layers.
Over here, we see spec doesn't have boots yet.
I grave chill first, slowing him and buffing my own MS/AS.
Then, follow up with a soul assumption.
Once again, combo-ing with Veno, Spec is taken down.
Spectre this game has been suppressed into a miserable state.
Veno and I, with the help of headdress, magic sticks, etc. along with the virtue of being dual-ranged have opened up a huge advantage here at bot.
I decide to add a RoB.
I personally advocate getting starting+laning items that aren't +stats for Visage.
Because he's got a lot of innate protection, and his magical burst damage is high...
He doesn't really need to be that competitive when trading hits.
Instead, what he needs are simply mana and health regeneration.
These are more important for visage.
The armour, mana regen, and +6 damage of RoB are all things I find attractive on this hero.
Plus, seeing as I'm in a dual lane, RoB's effects will benefit both heroes.
Well.. this early game phase, we've established a very good situation.
BM and spec... we don't need to mention gold, even XP is going to be scarce for them.
We can see that Spec has decided to move to top to eke out a living with ES + Potm.
Bot lane strong suppressed... it's due to the character of our heroes.
One needs to understand that in Dota, every hero comes with his own strengths and weaknesses.
There's no way a hero like visage can compete with Spec in the late game...
so your laning and early game prowess must be expressed no matter what.
Here I communicate with my teammate that we should try to down the tower.
Under the effects of RoB aura, headdress aura, plus Veno's wards...
On top of my natural tankiness, our tower-destroying ability is very apparent.
Here I decide to tank the creepwave a bit.
That's because a visage with a point in the passive can take quite a bit of abuse.
Tank this wave so that my own creeps will wear down the tower as much as possible.
BM seeing that I took a couple of hits from the tower is thinking about going on me.
But because grave chill can reduce the target's move speed as well as increase your own MS+AS...
and also he had no boots while I already had my boots.
It was very easy to kill him yet again.
I've now summoned my 2 familiars.
This ultimate skill is also a difficult concept to figure out.
I guess the main reason why many players avoid playing visage is because his skills are complicated.
But I want to say that the harder a hero's abilities are to understand...
Once you've learned and mastered their use, their effectiveness is also that much stronger.
At this point, with familiars summoned, I decide to remain at bot and just farm in lane.
I've got 1 tower kill, 3 hero kills, and 24 ck. I'm sitting very pretty.
My first major item will be Mekansm.
Hmm my familiars... ahh the solo mid Lion!
He decided not to impale me off the bat...
He probably thought a single ult + autoattack would be enough to instagib me, underestimating my passive.
So... solo Lion who's come to help has also given up his life to me.
My familiar's high DPS output have also laid BM to rest.
Well, we're already dominating. My next item is still going to be mek.
Still got a sliver of hp, plus 4 charges on my stick... let's see if I can draw some more aggro to bot lane.
Ok, let's complete this mek first.
And also ship a salve.
Mek is very suitable for Int heroes that just hang around in a lane.
It provides 5 points of str, agi, int...
SF wants to offer me a sip from his bottle, but I don't need it.
Bird's already here... mek's stats are meaningful for Visage.
The int lets him fire off more soul assumptions.
The str lets him tank more damage.
Here we use the familiar's stomp to catch lion.
The poisoned Lion is probably going to die, my familiars are about to revive.
Send them in to attack. The DoT from veno's ult is very effective.
Hit BM to death. Pop mek and fully heal the familiars.
Let the familiars charge forward... let's see if I can throw another nuke.
Ok... I tagged him with a soul assumption, but ES's hp was a bit too high.
Grave chill lion, he gets hit by Veno's slow as well.
We're playing a bit high right now...pushing right past their 2nd tower.
Visage, once he wins his lane, can play very dominantly.
His ability's burst potential is very strong.
I've decided to max grave chill first this match.
I just like the comfortable feeling of having very high MS + AS when harassing.
It lets you chase for the kill and escape with impressive ease.
That's why I've prioritized leveling this slow.
Back to camping this lane, with mek finished.
Lion is at mid, there's another hero at top. Ok bot, there's 2 guys.
Looks like I've attracted some aggro for the team: Potm and BM.
BM hasn't hit 6 yet, it's very likely this is gonna turn into a reverse kill.
Being slowed by the pig, got 10 charges on magic stick...
Finally fired a soul assumption, but due to Potm's arrow stun I wasn't able to pop my magic stick->mek.
I'm being too greedy with my familiars as well. I wanted to see if I could kill off Potm first without using the stun.
Since she didn't have the mana for leap.
We run into BM. I really didn't fight that out well... we can see he's gone 2X gauntlets.
With this fight, even though I created some space for teammates, I still ended up giving away my life.
Looks like I still have to watch out that I don't become overly confident in my micro.
The key was Potm's arrow that prevented me from popping my magic stick at the critical time.
Kinda embarrassing. My sole remaining bird...
Ahh... my teammates didn't follow up. They decided to chase somebody else up the river.
This is another unique feature of Visage.
Even when you're afkfarming in lane, you can still be assisting your team in ganks with familiars.
Visage's most important aspect is that he excels at creating space/opportunities for your team.
First off, he's very strong in lane. Not like a spec or PL, who'll be a burden to the team.
Next, he can influence multiple lanes.
The familiars' teamfighting ability everyone has witnessed already.
That gank attempt by lion... it seemed as if he had no boots.
A boots-less lion facing the familiars, he was caught in a helpless situation.
First, if he wants to kill the familiars, they don't go down in 1 or 2 hits.
Second, the familiars move faster than him.
Third, the birds' DPS and their stun, pose a huge threat to lion.
Scouting with the birds, there's no incoming gank.
Max-condition Visage... 10 stick charges, 1000+ hp, 15 points of armour, and some magic resistance.
Visage's survivability at this point is quite strong.
Our SF has been caught and surrounded by the enemy team.
Seeing as how they've started fighting, and I'm in a position in which I can't help out...
In a pub in this sort of situation, you must push the lane as fast as possible.
That skirmish, I realize I can't join it, so I must focus on the task at hand.
That is, hurry up and push.
I'm going to abuse mek + RoB aura to pick off this tower ASAP while my teammates fight it out at top.
I decide to just tank the tower damage.
I've tanked to about 400 hp, but it doesn't matter because I know I'm in a safe position.
All the enemy heroes are at top.
I've tanked to red hp, but it was worth it.
Because my creeps have built up. Now, pop mek for the heal and armour boost.
This tower will fall thanks to my efforts, plus familiars and creeps.
Let's see if I can get the last hit. Switch to int treads. Alright.
Now... at the 14min mark, visage has succeeded at suppressing the 2 heroes at bot.
Even to the point of making Spectre lane switch to top.
Then, there's attracting lots of aggro.
Drew lots of heroes to their deaths with the help of my teammates and successfully downing the outer tower.
This is the utility of visage.
I felt that I was lacking in life regen, so I decide to pick up a RoH.
Ok... here's an opportunity to check out how to go about solo-killing with visage.
There's an ES, so let's see if we can kill him.
I want to tag him with grave chill, then attack him with the familiars from behind.
That's basically how you would solo-kill somebody with visage.
But even though we didn't get the ES, there's a Potm.
Is she checking out the view? Ahh... pretty clever, she's hanging me out to dry.
But it's averted, because Visage's burst damage is just too high.
Pop my stick charges, and I've got another grave chill.
Potm and ES don't have enough damage output between them to kill me.
Both of them pay the price.
We saw just then, how Potm in the process of kiting me, got shut down by a max-power soul assumption.
Ok... include spec too. He was escaping a gank and decided to ult to me.
Got killed by me too.
Well... thanks to the efforts of actors #1, #2, #3, got a triple-kill.
They probably weren't thinking that hard about visage's survivability and burst output.
Ok... Lion and BM show up. Lion had invis probably.
Kunkka ults. Coco rum buff gets applied to me. I autoattack Lion to death.
The buff is about to dispel, so I need to juke a bit.
Despite being depleted of hp, still kill off the BM.
Potm tries to pick me off with a long-range arrow. I TP home, but my familiars continue battling.
Kunkka's rum buff was very helpful.
He scores another blind torrent...
But we weren't able to kill.
My familiars... don't worry about them, my ult's already off cd.
Hotkey them and let's jump back into the fray.
Right now, I'm contemplating...
After thinking about it, I decide to go with hood after all.
The protection mek provides already makes me somewhat tanky.
After checking my gold balance, I've got just enough for a headdress too.
With this set of items, the enemies' attacks are diminished to a minuscule amount.
SF over here managed to complete a reverse kill.
This pub match has been really smooth sailing.
From the successful suppression of bot lane to fast mek and drawing lots of aggression creating space...
to pushing towers. On the whole we've fulfilled Visage's responsibilities.
I think the most important thing was that we suppressed the development of the enemy carry.
With hood + headdress, I can form a pipe.
With another 1000 gold I can complete a pipe.
Let's see if there's a solo kill opportunity here...
Spec decides to give up farming here.
Pipe, mek, RoB, this achieves lots of regeneration for the team.
That's a really fitting role for Visage.
Most times we want to select items that can maximize our advantage.
For example, this RoB we've got. We can turn it into a vlad's.
Pipe + mek both increase the survivability of the team.
3 guys trying to gank me again.
ES walking right up trying to get a good ult.
Kite him a bit, and throw a soul assumption
Plus grave chill + familiar's continuous attack drops Potm.
Next, chain stun this ES, and another soul assumption takes him out.
BM roars me, but my hp is looking good. Magic stick 9 charges ready to go.
First, nuke this BM. My teammates have hurried over now.
I don't need to back off at all. A raze finishes off BM.
There's still a spec left. Let's see if I can get a grave chill off.
I'm being slowed by the quill pig though...
Can I catch him with my birds?
There's a chance! Birds have a chance.
OK... sit on him.
Lion shows up. Let's try to ignore him.
I want to see if I can take out spec.
Lion just straight up ults me.
Hmmm... I didn't micro this well enough. Familiars sat down too late.
It's not a big problem though. I tanked a ton of damage/abilities, and all 5 enemy heroes were killed.
See if I can do anything here... heh.
My 2 birds have fallen in battle as well.
Well... hopefully, everybody can see some methods of controlling Visage with this fpvod.
2 active abilities, an ult, 1 passive.
To figure out how to use this hero well, we must first understand his role.
I've gone over that multiple times.
He's got terrific laning. His midgame burst damage is strong.
His CC is pretty sick too. Teammates are still duking it out.
Still fighting... I feel really sorry for this lion.
Revived now... I've got enough gold for pipe, but I don't really want to make it at this point.
I'm going to head to top to collect some gold.
I doubt I can attend the next wave of fighting in a timely fashion.
If I just up and start heading in that direction, it's not a good rhythm.
I'll just clear out this farm at top first.
Playing DotA is really all about your decision-making when presented with myriad situations.
What should I be doing and when? Mastering this aspect can be more fruitful than developing excellent micro and control.
Playing pubs though... micro is probably still the more important factor.
Because in pubs, everybody's control is subpar.
If your micro/control is good... he might think he can kill you, but in reality, he can't and ends up getting counter-killed.
This match we saw multiple instances of this happening.
My savings are at 900 gold right now.
For my next item... I could complete pipe and vlad's.
Then all 3 of my items could boost up the team's fighting power.
Pipe would increase magic damage mitigation
Mek provides armour, and life return.
Vlad's would give heroes like Kunkka life steal.
Also upping team armour and team bonus attack damage.
This would be a thoroughly blue-collar playstyle.
Of course, there are alternate styles. One which I particularly love in pubs is Mjollnir.
For this round, there's probably no opportunity to make it, because the enemy team is just about ready to collapse.
They're already incapable of standing up to our assault.
We can see that when visage is developing unhindered... well actually, visage will develop quite smoothly in most situations.
The amount of chaos visage and his pets can sow against an enemy team is considerable.
In teamfights, he can just sit in a corner and spam soul assumptions.
And grave chill's effectiveness as a hold is obvious.
We've entered a high ground pushing phase of the game.
Familiar stun plus grave chill, but I get roared and spec ults in.
They want to take me out, but I pop mek, throw a soul assumption, birds are back too.
Getting ready to fire off another soul assumption.
But Potm ults.
Seems like I've succeeded again, drawing 2 defenders to top.
At mid, my teammates are about to rax.
Mid lane's tower is already gone.
SF has died it seems.
He's decided to buyback.
Ok... this fight I cut in from behind, a really good angle.
First, grave chill this lion.
He dies immediately to hero and pet autoattacking.
Over here, Kunkka's torrent has caught 2 heroes: BM and spec.
BM dies. Potm scores another arrow on me.
She's really interested in me.
I've got a fully charged soul assumption, but I can't target spec.
Don't want to waste the charges, so I spit it out anyways.
I feel like I'm really lacking in mana now. I think I'm tanky enough.
Seeing as how the enemy team's itemization is poor, they probably can't focus me down in one go.
But I also want to up my DPS output, so I finish my maelstrom.
Another good option would've been sheepstick, providing you with another disable.
But in pubs, I want to rely more heavily on myself, so going DPS route is wiser imo.
At this point, I'm really missing that magic stick I've sold off.
Without magic stick, the number of ability uses I can throw out has dropped quite a bit.
Oh... that was a close one. Mek saves everyone though.
But I truly have no mana to throw out more soul assumptions.
If I had gone for sheepstick, the hex and the abundant mana would've been really nice. Shiva would've been great too.
Over here my consumables have arrived. Courier has arrived.
There's a lot of creeps here, so I can't pop the pots.
Teammates are still brawling over there. They didn't heed my 'b' call, so they're being wiped.
Typed out a "...". Salving and clarity.
Arm myself with the maelstrom.
Summon my familiars, and go for a round of jungling.
I'm going to wait for teammates to revive, enemy team to come out.
The effects of maelstrom are nice.
This is without the bonus AS of grave chill. Right now I've only got PT attack speed.
It feels like it's already really effective.
Maybe it's because my level is pretty high; 17.
But if you take into account grave chill, plus familiar DPS, plus the occasional soul assumption...
Okay, here's a good way to describe soul assumption.
In teamfights, it's super long range lvl1 Finger of Death.
If it's maxed, and the meter is full, the damage is similar to Lion's lvl1 ult.
Pretty powerful.
This kind of hero... he can offer both magical DPS and physical DPS.
The physical damage comes from his autoattack plus grave chill.
It's at 95 + XX. Though it's not that impressive, but it's still above 100.
Then there's the magic damage. Continuous chain lightning procs and soul assumption spam to snipe low HP heroes.
Then there's the familiars' disable and their DPS output.
In conclusion, if you can control him well, he's strong all the way through to mid-late game.
We don't need to say that he's "weaker" than spec.
Let's say you're a sheepstick up on spec. Even if he's got his radiance, you can still kill him with hex.
Every hero has their unique strengths after all.
Visage is a hero that I really like, even though he's no longer popular in competitive.
Fight happening at bot. Abaddon... oh... he's run dry of abilities already.
Let the familiars recharge.
He already used his ult it seems.
Visage isn't a top tier CW hero any more. You probably can't see him in the ban stage.
Maybe you can spot him once in a while.
The most popular right now would be the big 4.
Doom, AA, Invoker, Weaver. (TL: this was posted about a year ago)
Those four are very strong.
Visage, on the other hand, still has his own particular advantageous points.
Stuff like babysitting spec, or combo-ing up with SF for ultimate midgame nuking...
These are all things visage is capable of specializing at.
My mana has regenerated back to ~700 after wandering and moping about.
A full-condition Visage appears! It's lion.
Where are my birds? They're collecting him from the side.
They've arrived... familiar dps + hero dps immediately burns him down.
Kunkka's ult was kind of a waste.
I can complete my mjollnir now. Hyperstone is en route.
Here I want to quote "Why ask of others, what you can do yourself?". In a pub, if no one can DPS, I'll do it myself.
And it's not like I'm not ganking or something... I'm still supporting the team as best possible.
The enemy team's firepower is pretty intense. LoA bails me out though.
Potm, once again, overestimates her capabilities.
But I have to admit, this potm did successfully kill me once.
The potm's feelings of vengeance are very abundant.
They're not fooling around with this counterattack.
Another soul assumption, combo with my birds.
1 bird sits, 1 bird attacks.
Fire off another grave assumption... I mean soul assumption, no, I mean grave chill. oops... slip of the tongue.
I split my attention to buy up the hyperstone, because I think this assault isn't going to bear fruit.
Spec is truly still pretty tanky.
We're fighting more reservedly now.
We can see blue has killed our LoA. He probably charged too far forward.
The enemy team is still fighting back with fervor.
ES's blink combo takes out SF.
But my mjollnir... SF buysback again... quickly assemble my mjollnir.
My items are now PT, mek, hood, mjollnir.
Spec leading another sortie. Grave chill him.
Let's observe my DPS output.
I was being continuously pummeled by the tower, but I was hurting spec nicely.
SF making his move... 2 razes connect.
My birds finish off ES.
Let's stun this lion...ahh very sorry that I didn't save the SF.
Oh well... I've got enough DPS that even without SF we can still threaten their rax/base.
Potm has used her leap... another nuke.
You saw that right? A fully charged soul assumption is basically lvl1 finger of death.
After killing a tower, my coffers are filling again.
This match... we can see some of Visage's main points:
his strengths, some itemization routes, and how best to use his abilities.
Moving on, I'll do a single player demonstration next.
Where I'll go into detail about his operation, and let people better familiarize themselves with this hero.
Just one tower left...
The fountain is being a bit hostile...
The enemy's counterattacking spirit is really something though.
Our team members are being bled on the altar one after another.
No more mana. I guess my next item will be sheepstick.
Where are my teammates?
SF ults. Even though he's low on souls... it still has quite an effect.
I've got no mana to work with, but my autoattack hurts plenty.
Mystic staff arrives, boosting my int by 25.
25 points of attack damage, and close to 400 points of mana.
Hmmm... my DPS in the fountain isn't bad.
I'm really wanting for mana.
Gonna buy a clarity and a sobi mask.
Try to regen some.
That's the best I can buy from here for mana regen.
This nuke! Let's see if it'll kill him. Ahh... it didn't.
Sliver HP... Ok then, that's it for the first segment.
"-test" and "-ap". Visage is a scourge hero.
Let's see intelligence, scourge, 2nd barracks.
There we go... visage... close-up.
His external appearance... though I'm pretty picky about this stuff, he still fits into my sense of aesthetics.
There's some art/design in dota that I actually still really dislike. Like particular items that I find ugly.
Poor man's shield, for example, I think it's terribly ugly.
Let's assemble it... see, it's got this really underwhelming feeling.
Sell it. Went off-topic there.
I just wanted to present some skill builds, and a more detailed look at his abilities.
First off, grave chill... reduces target MS and AS by 32%, in turn applying it to yourself.
The duration isn't that long.
3/4/5/6 seconds... increasing with level.
You don't need to max this skill first.
If in the early game, you and your teammates are really lacking in disabling power and need those extra seconds, then sure level it.
Otherwise, a point is fine.
3 sec duration, 600 cast range, 10 sec cd, 70 mana cost is alright.
If you decide to level it, mana cost ramps up to 100.
As for soul assumption, the max number of charges you can hold increases as you level it.
At level 1, you can hold at most 3 charges.
The max damage you can dish out is 3 x 60 = 180, plus 20.
Totalling to 200 points of magic damage.
At level 1, 200 damage. At level 4, 400 damage.
Hmm... it doesn't scale that high actually.
6 charges would be 360. So 380 points of magic damage.
So it's not actually as damaging as Lion ult.
This is my first time examining the numbers in detail.
Let's call it a dagon. A lvl1 dagon.
This ability's key point is that the cd is only 4 sec.
And the casting range is 900.
So in a teamfight, if your sight is sharp and your fingers quick, you can dish out a lot of these.
Since it only has a 4sec CD.
In a trilane, getting off 2 max charged soul assumptions in a row is possible.
If you've been following my channel closely, you'll remember the grand finals of SMM.
KingJ's visage went in a trilane with VS and Sven.
For first blood, he let off 2 soul assumptions in a row at lvl 1.
Maxed out, each layer of gravekeeper's cloak gives 5 armour and 16% magic resistance.
So on the whole, it seems like you can skill these any which way you want.
They all need to be leveled, but deciding which to max first...
You need to see what your needs are.
If you need to move faster than enemies continuously, then you would want to level grave chill.
If your teamfight encounters are extremely violent, then you'd want to level soul assumption.
Because otherwise, your charges would max out too easily.
Or maybe if you're in an intense trilane vs trilane, level soul assumption.
Finally, if everyone is focusing you, and you can't bear it, then you might want to level cloak.
Your maxed cloak... if it's fully regenerated, then it gives 20 points of armour.
As for magic resistance, that'd be more than 60%.
Of course, once you're hit, then the cloak weakens by one layer.
With a total of 4 layers.
With all 4 layers, he's got 60% magic resistance and 20 points of armour. That's a really impressive skill.
Then, there's the familiars. Let's check them out.
The familiars work like this...
300/400/500 hp.
lvl1 ult, each familiar has 300 hp, etc.
Stone form is the active. When you hit it you become invulnerable, healing back to full hp, and recharging your attack damage.
As you autoattack with your familiars their attack damage steadily drops.
When they're first summoned, the amount of burst damage is really strong.
Say when you grave chill someone, and your familiars are beating on them.
Look at this neutral creep. This is a lvl3 ult familiars' DPS.
For lvl1 ult, if I'm remembering it correctly I think it's +80 bonus damage, so about 100 attack damage.
Lvl3 ult, it rises to about 150 damage.
So there isn't too big of a difference between lvl3 and lvl1.
One little detail about familiars...
Say for example, right here... ahh stone form still cooling down; 30 seconds.
There's a passage here.
If I drop my familiar here, visage here gets blocked.
Let's say I pop down my other familiar too.
Then visage is completely blocked in.
Ahh screwed up the placement, sorry. Anyways, if I did it correctly then visage would be completely immobilised.
This is to say that often you can achieve some blocking effects with your familiars too.
Let's say I plop one down here, and the other here. Then this ramp would be completely blocked.
Really interesting ability.
Say a teamfight breaks out here, and we have the advantage.
The enemy team is trying to escape, most likely via this route.
Bam, bam! Land the familiars.
Then this route is blocked, and they're stuck.
Let's test if it's actually valid.
Aha... it does block indeed.
This is a magical use of familiars.
Sometimes you can just use them to help jungle. It's pretty fast.
You can also use them to "camp" teammates.
For example, there's an SF mid, and he's doing badly.
The enemy team is shutting him down.
At this time, visage can send over his familiars to protect the SF.
Hide here, and if the SF is attacked, they can fly up and start hitting the enemy Lion.
It can be pretty effective.
I think I've covered enough about the abilities. Let's go on to item builds.
I won't actually buy them, just show them like so.
You've already seen me build mek. Very common item.
Hood, to be turned into Pipe, is also quite good.
Medallion of courage and drums are 2 items that are really picking up in popularity among supports recently.
MoC gives some mana regen, armour, and the -armour active.
Drums lets everyone run really fast.
For these 2 items, I can give 3 stars to the MoC and 4 stars to the drums on the recommendation scale.
Arcane boots I also highly recommend; 4 stars.
These basic items are of immeasurable value to a #3 or #4 position visage.
They really boost his fighting ability.
For late game, sheepstick I don't even need to mention. Force staff can also be really useful.
Another good one is ghost scepter.
Even a talisman of evasion can be decent, if you still have enough item slots.
Visage is a hero that really likes cheaper items.
If you want to talk big items, I personally like mjollnir + skadi as the go-to for more DPS.
Otherwise... basher isn't actually that bad.
These would be the primary DPS items.
Defensive items... there's shiva's, assault cuirass. Linken's first can actually be good if you're playing carry visage.
Following it up with mjollnir.
Itemization is always a tricky question that one should figure out for himself, as different playstyles call for different item preferences.
If you've got a specific playstyle + item build, and I force my preferred items on you, then it can be very unwieldy.
I'll wrap up my explanation at this point.
Up next, we'll have another commentated pub match.
Hopefully, everyone will be able to come to an intimate understanding of this hero's character.
Cultivating a willingness to experiment with more and various heroes has always been a goal of my Cram School series.
This match, I get another random gold visage.
I'm not using tree...
This week's hero is visage, and I'm going to show how powerful he can be.
Using this hero, going hard lane... I've never lost a match before.
He's just so hard to suppress, resilient.
I kinda want to kick out SF from mid, but it's best to let him use it.
853 gold start, pretty swell.
Let's see if anybody's buying chick.
This clinkz obviously isn't.
A wraith and soul ring recipe, and he's spent all his gold.
Ehh... Comrade SF is being very helpful.
He walked out first, realized nobody was buying chicken, so he bought one himself.
This time, I don't have to cover courier so I can set out with a ring of protection, unlike the last match.
I'll be able to build the RoB in-lane.
Easy lane, we have clinkz. Wraith + soul ring recipe, headed straight for top.
Let's take a look at enemy lineup.
Ahh... spectre again. Butcher should be mid, and spec should be easy lane.
I wonder where sven, morphling, and ES are gonna go...
I was hoping I wouldn't be solo, because visage with a teammate to help him is much stronger.
Whereas if he solos, it's pretty easy to get beaten up by the enemy team.
So I call for some help, because I don't think I can accomplish anything solo-ing bot.
This time I was thinking that the enemy team would try to ambush me, so I leveled cloak first.
So I was right... I spotted Sven on the side, we have Sven + ES coming around.
Fissure... good thing I wasn't blocked in.
Sven stuns and Spec phases over.
I've eaten a tango in advance though, and my armour is pretty high.
We can see that a visage with cloak leveled is not a pushover.
I think sven wants to throw another storm bolt.
Run away, run away. Ahh... he doesn't have enough mana.
ES does though, and he throws his 2nd fissure.
So a storm bolt, fissure, spectral dagger, weren't enough to kill me... instead, spec got himself killed.
(TL: reminiscing about an old game he used to play)
Well... laning this, I've got a favourable chance now.
This first blood was a big deal, even though I wasn't awarded the spec kill.
I wasn't able to get in that last autoattack.
I've succeeded in defusing their offensive spirit.
Over here... tide, tide, who are you going on exactly?
Maybe we should've stuck with sven?
Tide seems to be out of mana.
Why is there a no-mana tide??
I've been continuously autoattacking. Let's hit sven once to break his clarity pot.
He's trying to come in for another storm bolt.
ES has popped a clarity as well... they're playing really aggressively.
Ok... if it's like this, I'm not outdps-ing 3 guys.
But, if you guys trade hits with me, ES is dead meat.
Ok! Finally score first blood.
After appraising their hp/mp, I decided I could tank a bit to get off a soul assumption.
Taking out ES.
I help SF upgrade courier, because I'll need to use it for a bit.
I complete my headdress. +3 all stats, +2hp/sec, if I'm remembering it correctly.
Punking Spec again... tiny isn't here, but tide is.
Oh... tiny is here too, with a haste.
I hurriedly complete delivery of my gear.
So I've decided, after much consideration, to buy a gauntlet.
The reason is because with this gauntlet, it'll be highly unlikely that I die in the next brawl.
Early game, the price-performance ratio of gauntlet is extremely high.
If the purchase of a gauntlet enables you to reverse a kill attempt...
3 points of strength... that's 3x19, 57 hp.
And a bit of extra regen.
That 57 hp would roughly equate to an extra 2 auto-attacks.
There's a good chance that tanking 2 extra hits, could allow you to reverse kill.
In that case, the value of the gauntlet far exceeds its sticker price of 150 gold.
So I've concluded that their lane combo is all about bursting you down in a single chain of disables.
and thus buy a gauntlet.
Last hitting conscientiously here. Tiny and Tide's positioning are great.
They're letting me last hit very comfortably.
I'm trying not to disappoint them after their efforts.
So getting every single last hit.
Now SF is crying for help... calling for mid roam.
"I can't deal with it alone!"
Our tide + tiny duo are pretty busy.
Spec has decided to level dispersion.
Just a couple of damage reflects and my cloak has been stripped off already.
It'll recover in a while though.
Not a big problem.
So it seems like sven has left this lane.
Not actually that afraid of him at this point.
I'm at full HP
Using up all my tangos.
Continuing to suppress spec.
He's trying to come up for last hits, but he's being punished pretty badly.
Another nice part of visage is that his animation/projectile are pretty decent.
Spec pops a salve... let's nuke him, see if it breaks the salve.
I don't know if it works.
It feels like it didn't break it... because it wasn't charged up at all.
So his teammates have probably gone roaming as well.
ES + sven feel like they can't do much to bot.
Visage is too hard to mess with.
Let's leave him alone, and go kill some SF.
I don't know how their mid butcher is doing either.
In order to carry, to become a pubstar... one must last hit very well.
I think I demonstrated last match that Visage does indeed have some late game potential.
This match I really want to develop this hero's late game prowess fully.
I'm going to build late game gear.
Last hit, deny, harass... spec is not having a good time.
Our supports seem to be engaged in a serious back-and-forth duel at mid.
This is giving me some 1v1 breathing space.
So I've got to use this opportunity to the fullest.
I've hit 6. That was pretty quick.
Summoning my familiars.
Actually... I'm going to reserve them, and see if this Spec missteps, so that I can take him out in a flurry.
I screwed up my micro...
Otherwise, there was a good opportunity there.
Summon familiars, then immediately grave chill.
Follow up with a soul assumption.
Grave chill + soul assumption + familiars' autoattack, it was a good chance.
Oh right here... ahh... once again my micro is subpar.
I didn't catch him with the stun.
Meanwhile, our team has scored a double kill on the enemy team.
Bot here is quite comfortable.
Spec is completely unable to cs.
Going on him... grave chill, familiars are firing away...
Spec is successfully killed. Those scant cs he scraped up all go to waste.
This is another technique with Visage. Always park your familiars in fog-of-war.
That gives you the element of surprise.
The familiars are a flying unit.
So they can fly to places with no vision, and pop out unexpectedly whenever.
I've gotten pretty fat now.
Along with hurting spec's growth a lot, I've saved up 1800 gold.
Economically, I'm probably up ~2000 gold on spec at this point.
This is why if you can't beat a hero late, then do your utmost early.
It's not that hard to successfully delay big core items if you focus on the task.
Later on if you're up a sheepstick on spec, then you can straight up kill him whenever.
This player, Perfume_fov, has helped cultivate an advantage at mid for our team.
Here at bot lane... I need to ensure that I don't die and continue suppressing Spec.
Even though my treads aren't set to strength, I've already got 1000 hp.
Plus headdress regen and a magic stick.
And my familiars are camped nearby... I'm feeling pretty safe.
Continue harassing him... with the bonus damage from INT treads.
They've finally come around to mess with me.
I don't think it's such a big deal though.
Let's decide who to kill first.
Tide arrives to assist. A perfect ult.
Down Sven with a soul assumption first.
This tide's support was picture-perfect.
Morphling joins the party. Seems like I'm incurring a lot of aggro, even morph came.
Salve up, and turn around see if there's any Parthian shot kill opportunities.
My ult is still cooling down... ok it's ready now.
This morph... he ducks into fog and starts morphing.
This skirmish, I'm feeling a bit reluctant... but I charge forward tanking and opening up full vision.
Summon my familiars, turn around for a soul assumption to take out spec.
Get my birds to attack, while running away with my hero.
Morph waveforms to me, but misses. It's charged up, and I soul assumption again.
Micro the birds a bit, sit on sven, and a double kill.
This fight, my teammates exploited all the focus my visage was receiving to... Oh! this butcher...
I totally didn't notice him.
But this butcher, after hooking me, is unable to get away.
Sf is playing pretty slickly.
His razes so far have really hit the spot.
A triple chain raze takes out the solo mid butcher.
This fight... all 5 heroes came to take out my visage.
But visage is just this sort of hero... he's really easy to hate on.
In lane, if you don't go on him, it's hard to outlane him.
If you DO go on him though, it's easy to get reverse-killed because of his tankiness.
And has lots of counterkilling potential.
I deliberate a bit here, but decide to go with a longer grave chill.
Got just enough to build a nathrezim buckler.
Bot tower isn't down yet, despite several teamfights.
Let's continue farming at bot, and creating space for my teammates.
The next time they try to go on me, we can repeat the same scenario, and the enemy's game flow will be in ruins.
Looks like we've nabbed a tower... i think clinkz traded his life for it.
That last fight, I think pushing forward to get vision was pretty effective, even though I ended up dying.
Let's wear down sven's hp some.
Oh! Familiars' DPS is more than sufficient.
A lvl4 grave chill combined with the familiar DPS...
This is a nice perk of maxing grave chill.
A full 6 seconds of slow is enough time for the familiars to fully output all their damage.
This sven kill lets us complete mek.
Eh... trouble finding it, my vision is going. 1 mek coming up.
I bought a salve at the same time. My familiars are hidden nearby.
Let's see if they're still interested in me.
The familiars are fully charged thanks to stone form.
Aha... my patience is rewarded.
Spectre... let's pretend we're not interested.
Hmm.. my stuff is here, no salve, but a TP.
A butcher + sven combo attack.
Tide immediately ults, I think I can tank a bit.
Because my familiars have arrived.
They get stunned by Sven, but it's not a big deal. Kill him first.
This butcher is running like a madman.
Let's continue surging forward... Tide gets tossed over.
1 gush, and that's it for Spec.
Let's continue tailing him. I want to see if I can get off a grave chill.
Come on, butcher. Turn around and hook please.
I don't think he has the guts... OH! He does hook after all.
Mek instantly, and fire off a soul assumption.
Familiars beating away at him. Good.
Ahh... my position here is highly unideal. ES fissures, and Spec ults in too.
A dagger... but I don't die thanks to a timely magic stick.
Ooh... another perfect bait.
Penetrating deep in to enemy territory. I think morph might collect me.
My actions were really dangerous.
I was really banking on the use of mek + magic stick to give me room to micro visage.
You can really non-stop provide openings and opportunities to your teammates.
This is truly a specialty of Visage.
Due to his tankiness... he can charge forward spamming his abilities, allowing teammates to operate with complete freedom.
Our continuously developing Clinkz is also doing well.
He's pushed out top lane.
Butcher tries to kill SF, but fails.
I think they want to go top... but I'm not that interested.
An ES pops up.
Grave chill connects...
But my familiars are absent... they're rushing over from bot.
I think they're being destroyed by tower.
Another grave chill.
The cooldown is so short... familiar gets a few hits in.
ES falls to autoattacks. Morphling shows up.
Plop down, stunning the morph.
Tide gushes, and I've got another grave chill ready to go.
But I don't think morph is killable.
Because he's got a waveform on tap... he hasn't used it yet.
Tide is overextending a bit. Oh, he ults.
This morph... he's not killable.
Let's save tide... pop mek for him.
Neither sven nor morph were killed... so tide's ult was kind of a waste.
Butcher bites me, but his rot AoE isn't touching me.
Sven's stun is cooling down... I've got no mana, wasting them on morph before.
Tide gushes yet again.
Ahh... this Tide decision-making was a bit off... I shouldn't have followed him in like this.
I should've just ignored him
So that he realizes ulting was fruitless.
I judged that morphling with lvl4 morph... a single ravage wasn't enough to allow us to kill him.
Anyways... we've kind of let Spec have some breathing room to catch up.
It didn't need to happen like this...
After killing ES, I should've immediately returned to bot to continue suppressing him.
At the same time, putting more items together. That's the correct way to play.
Sad... only got this bird left. My familiar.
This is a sort of neat part of playing Visage.
The next time you're thinking of repicking your visage random, he's got another benefit.
When your hero dies, you can continue playing with your birds.
Some players, when their hero dies they fire up a cigarette.
When you die, you can play with your familiars.
It's nice.
I TP to mid to farm this wave of gold.
Ok... it's cleared, and my ult CD is almost up.
Actually, let's farm for a cycle... because Spec farmed for a round, and I'm aiming to carry.
This butcher... if he hooks me, he's dying.
I want to play position 1. You know... for the greater good of the team, in case SF doesn't deliver.
Whoah... teammates are really on the ball.
ES gets gibbed, and Tiny's built arcane boots.
The enemy team has 2 carries: morphling and spectre.
Got to pay attention to them.
Familiars picking up some cs at bot. Sit on a creep.
Let's see... they're pushing our top tower.
Should I go defend?
I probably don't need to go... a teammate has already killed to god-like.
Ahh... there's a sven. I like to solo kill.
Let's go look for him at bot. Quickly clear out this wave at mid.
Top, if I go, the fight might already be over by the time I arrive.
So let's go look for this sven who's ulted to clear creeps.
Kill off sven, farm out bot. Not a bad way to do things.
I'm going straight for more DPS... Sven has departed already.
There was probably a ward covering bot approaches.
No big deal. Farm mid, then farm some more at bot.
Build my maelstrom ASAP.
That'll accelerate my late farm even more.
This way I'll be able to go toe-to-toe with anyone, be it morphling or spec.
Also, farm rate will be increased. Important in pubs.
I'll be able to choose sheepstick, shiva's, AC, etc.
Sent over a TP.
Then pass over the hammer, saying goodbye to my beloved gauntlet.
It was pretty critical actually. I think I might've died that fight if I hadn't bought it.
Then we wouldn't have such a pretty outcome now.
Non-stop farming. At the same time, I'm keeping a close eye on the minimap.
By occupying bot's resources, I'm restricting their development.
Seeing as how we still hold the advantage, if we continue this rhythm it benefits us.
A christmas hat roshan.
Scout out the areas around river path with my familiars.
Roshan is down, SF gets the aegis.
Oh... let's see here. Is there a chance?
Aha... this is the exact situation I demo'd for you earlier.
Sven gets trapped inside there... Tiny tosses.
Ehh? I guess he wanted to cede me the kill.
Very helpful. He accidentally tossed the bird rather than the hero.
Ok... loop around from behind with familiars, see if they can combo with clinkz.
Ahh.. stone form is on CD.
Spec has ulted. Oh, no... it's morph's duplicate.
So the duplicate is destroyed. Morph has injured clinkz.
Pop mek for him.
Continue attacking morph, but due to str morph his hp isn't dropping much.
A purple TP comes in.
Purple is rogue knight. He stormbolts clinkz.
He decides not to go for me... well, I've already popped mek, so I can't do anything for clinkz.
My nuke is charged up, taking out morphling in a single blow.
A fully charged soul assumption still hurts quite a lot.
An omnipresent, spammable dagon, pretty awesome.
We back off to a safer position.
The other 2 teammates are at mid lane... and they're occupying 1 enemy defender.
That means bot lane should be basically safe.
Let's see if we can clear out the enemy creepwave. Ahh... insufficient AoE.
Maelstrom is ready.
2 birds... earning a little gold.
This match I didn't go hood. You can see that my life regen is quite lacking.
It's not like last time, when after fights I'd be full hp in no time.
This match, I'm more focused on getting out DPS faster.
Great... the courier is here.
Maelstrom complete.
Why do I feel maelstrom is very suitable for Visage?
It's because he has an innate AS boosting ability.
Maelstrom's lightning chance-to-proc is reliant on attack speed.
Ooh... birds spot a morphling hiding in the woods.
Tide ults, catching everyone.
I reserve my first soul assumption for spec. Get him out of the way.
Spec has ulted clear to the other side of the map.
The situation is kind of messy right now.
But a soul assumption takes down Sven.
Combined with the birds' autoattacks.
I spit out another soul assumption, ES goes down.
I re-summon fresh familiars, pop magic stick, and pop a final grave chill.
Morphling goes down, and I TP home.
Clinkz probably didn't notice Spec porting to him, but excluding spec, I've killed their entire team.
Ahh... clinkz has used windwalk to run down the spec.
Everyone can observe from this fight that as long as visage doesn't die, his DPS output is highly impressive.
The little birds, the hero's autos, plus that finishing blow of a nuke.
It feels really awesome.
In a flash, I've got another 2200 gold piled up.
So I don't bother buying extra TPs, because we're about to force our way up high ground.
Micro the birds a little, and I've got enough to buy a hyperstone.
Hmmm... our tiny seems to be dropping.
15-2-3... this match, we've KSed really viciously.
Kill count is a lot higher than assists.
This kind of item speed visage...
Within 30 min, build mek + maelstrom. Or a vanguard would work too.
If you're feeling selfish... you can get a vanguard instead of the mek.
But I personally think mek is a lot better.
That's because mek has some secondary benefits, like some +stats for example.
So mek up, then build a maelstrom before 30 min... I think you should be doing very well.
Your tempo just increases a lot, whether you're jungling or doing ancients using your familiars to tank, or pushing out lanes.
This way, you open up a lot of possibilities in the late phase.
Like the items I mentioned: skadi, shiva's, sheepstick, heaven's halberd, that sort of stuff.
Items like drums are neat too.
Regardless, the dps output of treads + maelstrom is very appealing to me.
If the match isn't going so well, then you can skip the treads and just go arcane boots.
Visage is a very mana-hungry hero... and you can switch to a sort of backline nuker type playstyle.
You don't need to play so aggressively like me.
With mana boots, you can drift around the edge of the action and just continuously pop grave chills and soul assumptions from a distance.
Ahh talked too much... getting ganked.
I was busy squabbling for Tiny's items and got jumped by the enemy team.
Is any help coming? ahhh..
I had no chance.
My attention wandered to the mana boots that leaver Tiny left behind.
Didn't imagine that the enemy team wanted revenge so badly.
Let's see... a total of 4 heroes came for the kill.
I think they want to push now... teammates are yelling for a push.
I've still got 45 seconds before I revive.
Spectre's gear is crappy... he got suppressed badly.
SF after ulting, only scored 2 razes.
Spec ulted out, escaping to mid lane.
Tide tries to ult him... aiyo... hits nothing but air.
A push is probably unwise now, neither SF nor tide have ult up anymore.
Sit on him! SF blinks in.
But his razing wasn't very confident.
Best rely on myself I guess.
Ok... first let's grab the mana boots.
Mjollnir is complete as well.
RoB's still here. I didn't sell it.
SF gets creamed. No BKB?
Over here, I've arrived on the battlefield.
Summon familiars... the DPS is incredible, directly killing off the butcher.
Now we circle behind them.
Still 3 of them up... Oh I run into spectre here.
Slow him, and let's see the DPS output of mjollnir.
Spectre's hp drops quickly, soul assumption in the face.
Use the birds to maintain vision.
They're all hitting me now, but I'm going to fire out a soul assumption.
But spec escapes, thanks to dagger MS boost.
Another soul assumption blows away sven.
SF joins me with a blink-raze to kill off the morph.
Apart from spec, who slipped away...
Everybody else fell to my grave chill + familiar DPS + occasional soul assumption.
Completed a mass reaping for visage.
Mana boots being quite useful now.
I'm still feeling not that tanky.
Last match's hood pickup was really nice. Sort of missing it.
Clinkz has a hood I think.
Is he planning on dropping too?
Then, I'll get your hood too.
We spot spectre over here... immediately send out the little dragons.
Spectre selects a nice escape route though.
Familiars couldn't intercept him.
Let's continue farming. If you can't force the high ground then farm, farm, farm.
A lot of times you run into the situation where you're trying to take their high ground, but you can't beat them.
This pudge...
You're trying to go high ground but it's too hard.
And you get teamwiped by your opponents.
There's a big psychological disconnect.
Everybody is thinking..."We had such a huge advantage!"
"Now we can't push the high ground?" "If we let it drag late we can't win!"
At times like this, everybody can relax.
Check out this DPS... we just hit this spec a couple of times.
Later if I add a skadi for example...
He won't even be able to move.
Grave chill plus skadi slow would net more than 50% slow.
So as I was saying... there's lots of situations where you don't need to panic or rush.
In a situation like this one, we have so much more space to farm.
As long as we maintain some pressure on them, to make their farm uncomfortable.
And we farm faster than them.
That's good enough.
Because I'm constantly short on mana, and because we don't have many disables, I choose to pick up a mystic staff.
Itemization has been really swift this match.
Let's look around, and see if there are any openings.
Any opportunities for us to cut into the enemy base.
As long as somebody comes out, and we catch hold of him.
We'll be 1 up and it'll be a piece of cake to go high ground.
If we force it like this... let's get some uphill vision.
Familiars get beaten up really badly.
Stone form them... neither die, and Pudge's positioning is really awkward!
I walk right up and start hitting him.
He tries to hook me, but misses. A pity, he should've hooked me over there.
Now, sit here outside of tower range and studiously DPS away.
Hero + familiar DPS + soul assumption.
Very ferocious... my angle of attack is decent too.
Tide ults. Whoah... this SF ult.
You can all see this right? Under the effect of grave chill, hero + familiar DPS is really impressive.
I was being tricky with positioning too, cutting in from an angle untouchable by the towers.
Let's scout around with the familiars, see if they can catch anybody.
The enemy team ggs.
Ok... this episode is just about to conclude.
DotA's appeal stems from its numerous heroes, its myriad elements, its varied cultures, its countless stories.
Visage's essential points are his dominant laning early.
His intensely strong ability to control, to create chaos, and to output burst DPS in midgame teamfights.
He's naturally very tanky, and outputs copious DPS.
He abuses his superiority during midgame teamfighting to rack up an advantage.
Culminating to the team's lynchpin for victory.
At this point, it's time for me to bid farewell.