Dota 2 is often called the hardest of all the MOBAs. I have known League of Legends players who won’t play it because they say it’s too hard. One of the hardest things about it is learning the roles. In other games characters are often designed to fit one role and outside of niché picks that is how they are played. Dota 2 turns this idea on it’s head. While there are many characters with Healing and cleansing abilities, this isn’t always the case. Today we’re talking about Warlock, one of the easiest supports to learn but useful at every level of the game. With a very healthy win rate I urge you to give him a shot!
While other support characters may have a harder time scaling into late game Warlock is relatively weak at the start of the game, and can be a powerhouse in late game. It is important to remember this in games as other supports have higher stats and are less item reliant. Warlock shouldn’t be laning by himself. He is best when paired up with a position one who he can support and leach gold from while leveling up. When the late game hits he can push lanes if necessary but his strength is in team fights and helping ganks, so running around solo will only hurt your team.
Fatal Bonds– Binds several enemy units together, causing 25% of the damage dealt to one of them to be felt by the others. This is one of the first skills you should be leveling, usually second depending on who you are laned with. This skill allows your carry to clear waves quickly and if you can manage to include a hero in the bonds can deal a good amount of damage to them too. Heroes like Juggernaut who have great single target damage but low wave clear can quickly take out creep waves even with low levels in this spell.
Shadow Word– Warlock whispers an incantation, healing a friendly unit or damaging an enemy unit over time. This is typically the first ability leveled. The ability to heal an ally or damage an enemy with one spell is nothing to ignore. This can help you or your carry to stay in lane or push an enemy back. In the late game the damage and healing from as bad, but 540 damage or healing is always welcome.
Upheaval– A powerful slowing current that grows stronger as it’s channelled. Lasts up to 16 seconds. Enemies are slowed for 3 seconds after leaving the area or the spell ends. This is almost always the last spell leveled and you can guess why. At low levels your other spells will be much more useful.
Chaotic Offering– Summons a Golem from the depths, stunning enemies for one second. The Golem lives 60 seconds, takes reduced damage from spells, has Permanent Immolation and Flaming Fists on attack. Warlock’s signature move and without a doubt one of the most iconic abilities in the game. Warlock’s golem is one of the best team fighting abilities in the game. The one second stun, area burn, and oh yeah a huge freakin’ golem are all amazing on their own, but combined they are amazing. With Aghanim’s Scepter two smaller golems are summoned giving you more area to burn and more targets to chase down. The cooldown on this ability is pretty long so make sure to wait till the moment is right!
Normal support items work will with Warlock. His lower stats make items like Arcane Boots, Guardian Greaves, and Ring of Basilius all worth picking up. Picking up Perseverance is good to build into a Refresher Orb, because if you thought your ultimate was good before, twice is even better. Of course the normal support items like wards, courier, and some tangos are expected of you too.
For new players who are looking to transition into a support character Warlock is one of the easiest to learn. His kit is all very straightforward, his late-game potential is insane, and he doesn’t need much in order to stay relevant. He has enough range to stay away from fights, but without an escape you may have trouble with ganks. Give him a shot and let us know what you think!