Play Like a God: Izanami

Izanami play

Raising from the underworld, Izanami entered the battlefield of the gods seeking vengeance. Forsaken in the underworld, Izanami vowed to slay a thousand a day until her lover returned. On the battlefield of the gods, Izanami is the embodiment of her bloodlust. She is the first Hunter with a stealth mechanic and utilizes it to pick off unsuspecting victims. With a slow, silence, and additional physical penetration based on her health, she is amazing duelist. When you want a target dead, pick none other than Izanami.


Izanami’s Abilities

Passive: Death Draws Nigh –  The closer to death she is, the more powerful she becomes. Izanami gains 4% Physical Penetration for each 15% of her Health that is missing, up to a maximum of 20%.

1: Sickle Storm – For 6s, she throws her kama sickles even faster and more furiously. While active she gains Attack Speed, and her Basic Attacks no longer return to her, instead applying Bonus Damage in addition to 100% of her Basic Attack power per hit.

2: Spectral Projection – Izanami sends forth a demonic visage of herself to strike down her enemies, damaging and Slowing all Enemies in a line. If an Enemy God is killed while slowed by this ability, future uses of the slow will be increased by 6% per kill up to twice, for a maximum of 30%.

3. Fade Away – Descended into the underworld, becoming Stealthed, and leap away from her current position. Taking damage, or firing a damaging Ability or Basic Attack breaks her Stealth.

4. Dark Portal – Izanami summons a dark portal which Damages and Silences all Enemies in range.

Evaluating Stealth

Stealth heroes are always in an interesting place in MOBA’s. When your opponent buys vision items, they feel really weak. When your opponent cannot buy vision items, they are incredibly strong. Stealth carries tend of have poor defenses and low health pools to compensate. Izanami can immediately be compared to League of Legend’s Twitch. Twitch is a ranged attack damage carry with a stealth mechanic. In multiple metagames in the last few years, Twitch has become the predominant ranged carry. His ability to sneak into a fight and deal massive amounts of damage to the enemy backline is invaluable. In DotA 2, Riki and Bounty Hunter are common picks even though they have the double-edged sword of having stealth.

Being able to stealth allots Izanami a lot of flexibility in positioning. While other carries have to walk through the frontline to deal damage, she can sneak right through. Stealth also grants a bunch of intangibles. Enemies will have to spend additional gold on vision to be able to see and catch her. Enemies may tend to group up more to try to counter stealth ganks. This impacts their gold and experience gain throughout the game. Stealth mechanics are extremely subtle, but can heavily impact a game.

Like a Bat Out of Hell

Izanami hits hard and hits fast. Her auto-attacks normally return to her, allowing you to hit the same target twice with an auto. There is a sweet spot where you can clip someone right at the point where the sickle returns, immediately doing double damage. Her normal attack isn’t the fastest and it is relatively easy to dodge both hits from it. But that’s where her Sickle Storm ability comes in. Sickle Storm is both an attack damage and attack speed steroid. This allows maximum burst when exiting stealth and hitting your target.

Spectral Projection allows Izanami to carry into the late game with the slow amplifying on kills for the entire match. She’s a great pick-off assassin, catching people when they are out of position. Death Draws Nigh allows her to get strongest when other hunters would be at their weakest. Beware of the damage output of Sickle Storm when she has the additional penetration from her passive. Due to the interaction between health and Death Draws Nigh, a lot of Izanami players tend to shy away from Lifesteal items on her. Asi might still be a decent pickup, since the lifesteal will only apply when you are low in health, allowing some time to take advantage of the passive. Otherwise, there is a consensus where Devourer’s Gauntlets is never the correct item for her.

Sample Gameplay

I’ll try to upload a video of a few arena games where I think she’ll shine. In the meantime, here is a recording of Raynday and his Izanami gameplay.

This week’s been crazy for me, but I hope you all are doing well. Leave a comment about what you think of Izanami!

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