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BlackStar's Advanced Invoker Guide
By BlackStar
I've seen and played alot of Invoker and lately it's been rather....boring to say the least. Either some guy is always spaming sunstrike and not hitting a single one, or it's just some guy with a boring Quas Wex build. But this guide will help you reach his true potential.
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Please read this first.


This guide is a little bit outdated right now, but the basics should help you for now.

Again, thanks for reading.
Alt+Tab vers.


There is no alt+tab version. Like it or not, you cannot just learn the most complex hero in the game but just looking at a guide for 5 seconds.
Introduction (to this guide)

(image credit to Voxelflux)


WARNING: This is a 'BlackStar's Advanced Guide'. In advanced guides, I will try to cover nearly every single detail so it should be obvious that the guide will be long and detailed. (that's what she said.) So if you're looking for a simple guide, I suggest other guides.


Pretty much everyone knows that in dota2 Invoker is probably the hardest hero to play, and master. Since recent patches Invoker hasn't really seen competetive play in the scene. And in pubs I only really see people who can't really play him....well...play him. Spamming sunstrike even though you never hit one, and only using forge spirits + coldsnap is just a waste of potential.

BUT all that being said, this isn't a guide to teach you how to "correctly" play Invoker.

that's the beauty of it.

Invoker is so complex just because his versatility and ability to adapt.
There's so many ways to play this hero, It's hard get bored with it.

So let's get started.


[additional information]

I've tried to cover as many possible builds in this guide as I can. Builds are called "Styles", and ones tagged with "[Classic]" are normal builds that you used to see in tournaments, but now, usually in pubs. Ones that are tagged with "[Unusual]" are builds that are less commonly used, and ones that are tagged "[BS]" are original builds that I, myself came up with.

Please note that sections-
'Effectiveness and Efficiency 1,2,3'
'A Little Something'
'When, Why, How'
-are not really related to Invoker, as they are general tips for dota players, so you can skip them, but I highly recommend reading them.

Introduction (to Invoker)


Simply because of his unique spells Invoker is one of the most complex heroes in the game. He can be a support, he can be a carry, but mostly he is known as a mid laner. Depending on the choices the player makes, he can 'customise' his Invoker into a mass disabler, slow and stun based support, positional and utlity support, heavy damage dealing nuke-carry, massive physical damage dealing carry and any hybrid in between.




Unfortunately due to recent changes in patches, pro players don't use Invoker in the scene anymore. Not that he himself was hugely nerfed, but due to other heroes getting stronger, and the metagame constantly changing he has no where in the scene right now.

6:79 patch update: ^ is no longer true anymore.




Pros and Cons of Invoker:

Pros:
  • Insane versatility and ability to adapt
  • Loads of slows, nukes, disables
  • High attack damage (e build)
  • High movespeed (q-w build)
  • Global ganking power
  • Great AOE and teamfight

Cons:
  • Weak against heroes like Anti-Mage, Nyx, Slark, Clinkz, TA
  • Extremely level dependant (and somewhat farm dependant)
  • Easily gankable
  • Requires fast thinking and experience to play








Spell Explanation (part 1)
Now, I made this guide with players who already can play Invoker in mind, but players who aren't that good but want to learn are welcome as well. But what I'm trying to say is that you should know what you're doing. If you're new to dota it's recommended you master easier heroes first and then move onto heroes like Invoker and Meepo.


Alacrity (HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME)



You use this on yourself 24/7, everytime it's off cooldown. What it does is it buffs your damage and attack speed up, and it's one of the most underrated and the most powerful "steroid" buff spell in the game. It helps you last hit and harrass early game, it helps you deal damage and crumble towers mid game, and melt and destroy heroes late game.

You should use this spell to buff up your hard carry (or yourself) before a team fight, when roshaning, and tower killing. Even using it to last hit and harrass is so powerful and the great things is, the spell itself has insanely cheap manacost, and low cooldown.

Advanced:
(click images to enlarge)


Now let's take an example.





As you can see by level 8 and no stat items Invoker has a measly 63 damage base.





But if we activate 3 Exorts orbs, we get a medium total of 99 Damage, which isn't bad.






But with Alacrity and 3 Exorts orbs, we get around 149 Damage in total, and that's WITHOUT coldsnap and other items. Yeah. Alacrity scales in damage extremely well in early levels it's a wonder to me people don't use it often than at all. Also note that it scales in damage when you level Exort and also attack speed when you level Wex, so both is equally important.

BlackStar Tip:
This spell is Strong no matter what stage you are in the game, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE IT. ALWAYS use it when roshaning, tower pushing or in mass team fights. Even in laning stage it's totally worth it to use it for last hits or harass. If you're going for QW build max attackspeed on your carry or with coldsnap or on QE build on your forge spirits or even on catapults if it's too risky to get close to your enemy tower when pushing. If you're QE build and you have phseboots, even 3 levels in exort alacrity DESTROYS supports or agi carries early.






Cold Snap (Pop'n'Lock)



Your bread and butter. You use this on an enemy, 24/7. What this does is it mini-stuns the target everytime it takes damage (including creep hits, tower hits, and spell damage).


Advanced:
(click images to enlarge)


Here's a good tip that's extremely useful in the laning stage.





When your enemy has blocked or denied the wave so that it stays in his highground you can do a simple trick by aggresively auto attacking the creeps and pushing into his tower, resulting in your creeps diving him in his tower where he doesn't have a creep wave.







You can use this window and cast Cold Snap on him so not only you but your creeps hit him aswell with the coldsnap and it really hurts early stage in the game. And after you've finished harrassing him you can go about and look for runes and eventually gank. But remember this is only useful in some situations. In some cases where trilane supports will come ganking for you and creep wave is pushed and you can't farm is not a good position to be in. So I highly advise you to stay in the lane and out farm and out deny your enemy if possible.



Unless your opponent is magic immune, these are heroes you should be targeting with Coldsnap.


Coldsnap by itself is one of the best 'disables' in the game. It's not really considered a disable since it's a ministun, but it's just as good. Against hereos with long cast animation, or channeling spells, Coldsnap is their bane. Bane himself included.





Pudge gets a special mention here, because unlike other heroes he is weaker against Coldsnap because he hurts himself with rot. Rot itself will not activate Coldsnap, but it damages ALOT with it. Also you can use Coldsnap everytime he dismemebers someone, because once he's hooked someone on your team there's usually not much you can to do to help, since he's so far away, but Coldsnap has an enormous range of 1000, and you literally have no casting time.


This means you actively counter any channeling spell from so far away like Fiends Grip or Epiccentre.







You can also use it to counter heroes with annoying escape mechanisms like QoP and Meepo, and possibly AM (although his animation is fast).









Not to mention you can disrupt TP's and disable blink daggers from far away.










And it annoys the hell out of heroes with long cast times. Seriously. This will help you immensely in teamfights and possibly win you fights, and give you tight escapes. Preventing these heroes from casting their spells will give you a huge advantage.











BlackStar Tip:
If you see your laning opponent getting hit by creeps or a tower(even a single tower hit) cast coldsnap on him. guaranteed he will most likely go to half health without you even hitting him.










Spell Explanation (part 2)
Tornado (YOU SPIN MY HEAD RIGHT ROUND LIKE A RECORD BABY)





Tornado, in a lot of ways is very similar to Deafening Blast, but the main difference is, Blast is a follow-up spell which means you use it after your combo, while Tornado is a set-up spell which you use to position yourself or your spells before your combo.

Do not use Tornado if you only have 1 point in Wex, 95% of the time it will never hit. 2 points in Wex gives you just the amount of range you need for the rest of the game, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't level Wex afterwards. In late game situations a more ranged Tornado could mean the difference of a team wipe or not.




Usually, you prepare for team fights by using Alacrity and Forge spirits beforehand, and prepare Tornado as your main initation spell.





You can also use it for scouting since it gives vison, and has very long range.


Advanced:



When an enemy is inside of Tornado he will spin in he air for a few seconds depending on your levels in Quas. During this 'air time' the target will be invulnerable, and will take damage when he lands. This 'air time', much like Euls, will give you a window of time to think your next move. In combination of Sunstrike or M-Blast or Icewall- this spell is very synergetic with your other spells. Remember, this is an initiation spell. Use it wisely.


BlackStar Tip:
If you're going for QW build, if you have atleast 2 points in Q and alteast 1 point in W or more- on the slight chance that your opponent is on atleast 65% hp- go for 2 hits on coldsnap, and then when he tries to back off with an escape, use tornado and give the last hit. Guaranteed- this will always work on mid heroes like QoP or Puck.





EMP (Electro Magneto Peniso)





Deals damage in an aoe, and sucks mana. To be honest this spell isn't really worth it unless you're maxing Wex/Going for QW build. It's great in synergy with Anti-Mage too.




The actual aoe of the blast is bigger than the inital animation, so always remember that.




EMP, even maxed out, will only give a maximum of 200 damage, which is bad compared to your other spells, so use this with the mana drain in mind only. Although, early game, your mana drain is great against all heroes, because in the early phase nearly every hero is very mana dependant, and has low stats. So a mana-less hero is a hero who won't do anything.


Due to the 6.80 patch EMP now has a 2.2 charge time. This means it's better to always use EMP first and then Tornado second. This means your opponents cannot dodge EMP in time. You can do this untill you've maxed Quas, only w hen you've maxed Quas you have to use Tornado first and EMP second.



Other ways to setup EMP is using Tornado -> Ice Wall -> EMP, or Coldsnap and cast emp and start hitting him, or Euls into EMP. Alternatively you can use Blast to push them back into EMP, but it's hard to pull off.


Advanced:


EMP is considered HP-removal, so it doesn't damage you. That means it will still remove 200 hp from a invulnerable hero (in Tornado or Euls). But that doesn't mean it will still drain mana, the target still needs to be on the ground for the mana drain to have effect.




Spell Explanation (part 3)
Chaos Meteor (Giant Meatball)






This is one of the best aoe damage dealing spells in the game. That is of course, if you can position it correctly. That's why you use a set-up like Tornado or a follow-up like Blast, or coldsnap. Or all three.

But there's more to this spell than you can see at first, the initial impact deals a nuke-like damage, and after that it applies a tick damage to enemies it hit, and if the enemy moves in the direction of the meteor rolling, then it continuously applies the tick, which is why you see players use blast after meteor to push them back towards the meteor.



Advanced:


There are many builds of Invoker but in one build, the max Exort build, you gain a insta-kill combo like a shotgun.



As you can see I clearly destroy this poor Tidehunter's dreams with my meatball shotgun combo, and that's not just because I'm playing with bots and cheats, in any normal situation that same combo would deal very high damage to any hero on any level.


But in serious games using meteor on only 1 enemy hero is a bit of a waste, not only in mana, cooldowns on the spell itself, and invoke. You should only really use meteor on atleast 3 or more enemy targets in conjunction with blast, tornado or some other spell like RP, or Blackhole and Vacuum. Sometimes even in early teamfights in the panic the enemy team tends to stick together and that's when you can let loose the giant meatball wrath upon them.


When using a meteor-blast combo there are some things you should note:





The Blast projectile is much faster than the meteor so you must time it carefully to get the most out of it. Usually 1 to 1.2 seconds after casting meteor works but if you can't keep track, you can use the visual reminder I like to use: exactly before the animation of the meteor falling and hitting the ground is when you should be casting blast.

(click to enlarge images)




The positioning is very important as well.






I've drawn a line where your target enemy should be when you cast the combo.
Also I have to mention the direction where you're enemy is facing is important aswell, if the enemy is facing towards you, or back against you that is what you want, but if he's facing sideways from you (90 degrees) then that's bad because if he's facing you he will walk into your combo and facing away from you he will run along the meteor path which is good, but if he's facing sideways he can easily walk away from your combo.


To make it easier to remember, your Blast should always be behind you Meteor, if you want to get the most damage out of it.



BlackStar Tip:
To the inexperienced eye, it's very hard to tell if your Meteor is dealing max damage or not. This is very much based on the fact of how you used it. Positioning is everything for this spell. In order to max out your damage, as said above- the enemy has to walk along the meteor as it rolls. So you can predict where the enemy will walk and try to angle it. Most of the time M-Blast seems like it's doing it's job, but I can guarantee you, atleast 70% of the time it isn't. It's extremely hard to angle a perfect M-Blast, but once you got it down, you're good to go.




Forge Spirits (I WOULD'VE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT IF IT WEREN'T FOR YOU MEDDLIN' KIDS)





6.80 Patch note/rant:
The nerfs to forge spirits are:
Decreased range,
and an armor nerf.

[ Alot of people say that these are 'huge' nerfs to forge spirits, but I would very [b]HIGHLY disagree. The range nerf is juuuussstt enough that they can hit towers and be hit themselves, to put it simply, their MAX range was increased not minimum range, and in order to get range on your spirits is to max Quas, but who ever Maxes Quas that early? 90% of the time you will either max W or E. It's that simple. So in the end, this nerf never really mattered.

The armor nerf makes the forge spirits die alot quicker, but again- I think this isn't as 'huge' as people claim it to be. It's more like a fix, cause there was no other summon that was tanky as forge spirits, since they nerfed every possible summon in the game a long time ago, but that's still doesn't really mean anything. Unless they nerf the damage or minus armor effect it's ALWAYS worth to get forge spirits, cause once you got 2 of them, nobody will ever focus them ever, unless they are just by themselves. ]



These things are extremely powerful. They attack with so much power and apply a -1 armor debuff everytime they hit, which makes them even more powerful. You can use them for push/farm a lane while you go somewhere else, and surprisingly they are really good lasthitters, in a empty lane when they're issued to push they will lasthit around 1-3 creeps per wave, and that's pretty good value.





Usually you summon these guys before a team fight and issue them to attack the enemy team's hard carry so that you soften him up in the fight. Alternatively you can use them to kill the supports faster so you can gang up on the carry. You can issue them to push a lane like a Furion or a Brood.




You can select your Forge spirits and a-click on the map at the end of a lane to issue them to push out the lane. If it's a side lane, you can a-click to the corner and then shift+a-click to the enemy rax to make them push out full.




Or go for roshan.







Spell Explanation (part 4)
Sun Strike (F*ck This Place In Particular)





Ah yes, the spell you've all been waiting for.
For starters let's cover the easy way of landing a Sunstrike. The euls set up.



Now sunstrike itself has 1.7 second delay and euls has a 2.5 second delay. Basically once you euls a target, you have to wait exactly 1 second and cast the sunstrike underneath.

I've never really seen anyone do it, but you can use tornado to set up sunstrike aswell. The timings are a bit similar to Tornado+EMP, if you have 3 levels in Quas or less, cast tornado, and then sunstrike immediately. And I mean immediately. After you get the 4th point in Quas it's basically the same as a euls Sunstrike combo, you have to wait around a second and a half after Tornado is cast.

Now here's some nerd info on how to snipe a low hp running to base.





Anywhere before the tier 2, you should be able to land a sunstrike on a target by feel, if not-
practice more.

But after tier 2 is where it gets tricky. I've made a graph here that illustrates where a hero with an average of 300 base movespeed and bare boots would be when walking straight to the fountain.
Example: from in front of the safelane tier 1 it takes about 25 to 26 seconds to walk to the tier 3.
Note that from any tier 3 straight to the center of the fountain always takes 10 seconds.


In a situation where you know someone's tp-ing to base with low health, you can always sunstrike where he will land when his tp is finished. I've shown exactly where if you double-click tp'd to base on both teams.






This applies to Furion, tp scrolls, and BoTs.


Below, I've shown an example of how far ahead you should place a sunstrike ahead of a moving target.

Now, let's imagine you are trying to Sunstrike yourself. During early to mid game, usually on supports or slow heroes- this is how far ahead you should place your sunstrike- assuming your target is heading towards it.



Around mid to late game, on most heroes or fast heroes, this is how far you should place them.





And this is how far ahead if you're targeting someone with a blink (AM and QoP) or someone with insane move speed (invis weaver, invis clinkz, or bara).




Remember, you can use Sunstrike to scout Roshan, so make a habit of doing that.



BlackStar Tip:
This spell is Pure damage, which means it will always deal exactly the damage it says (unless you hit multiple targets at the same time), so NEVER be afraid that it wont deal enough damage.








Spell Explanation (part 5)
Ghost Walk (Who You Gonna Call?)





If things turn ugly and you don't have Blink Dagger, your force staff is on cooldown, and you're surrounded? Use this spell to get out of tough spots.

With it's recent buff it's cooldown is really low in comparison, but the mana cost is still high as ever so you can't really spam it.


There's a certain extent to where your enemies gets frustrated from invisible heroes that they start to get vision items such as dust. This is why you don't get multiple invis heroes on one team or multiple shadow blades. Same thing applies for invoker, if you keep using ghost walk every time to escape they will sooner or later get dust. So I would advise to use it as a last resort.


Sometimes you simply aren't fast enough to invoke the spell itself in time for you to escape. This was the case for me when I was learning Invoker myself for the first time. I quickly learned the sequence for the spell which was q-q-w-r-v, but now it's q-q-w-r-d with dota2 binds I guess. If you still have trouble in invoking it, or any other spell for that matter-



This is a good way to practice invoking spells.



Advanced:

You have no casting time, and since Ghost Walk has no fadetime, you can block most single target projectiles. It also does not cancel tp, so you can use Ghost Walk while TP-ing like most windwalk based abilities.





Ice Wall (YOU SHALL NOT PASS)





Honestly, this spell is useless if you have 3 points in Quas or less. But after the 4th point in Quas or more, the effectiveness of this spell increases dramatically, even up to late game with just 4 points in Quas it slows so much.




Ice Wall will always be a line in front of you horizontally depending on where you're facing. It's a bit hard to place, which is why you usually set it up with Tornado or euls.
Ice Wall is great and complements all of your other spells. You can use it to hold people in place to do a Meteor, Sunstrike, EMP, or just use Coldsnap, Alacrity and Forge spirits to hit them from range, and when he's about to walk out of Ice Wall you can always push him back in with Blast (which is really effective). I like to start team fights by summoning Forge spirits way before hand, and ready Tornado and Ice Wall for spells. They set up everything in the fight if done correctly. And after that you can go nuts with your damage dealing spells.


BlackStar Tip:
Note that Icewall does not proc coldsnap until you have 3 points in Quas. So, for the same reason and the slow scaling, it's good to remember 4 is the magic number for Quas if you want to use Icewall.





Deafening Blast (Can't Touch This)




This spell is amazing, it's a disable (spell AND attack), it's a knockback, and it's a high damage nuke all in one. If you're maxing Exort and Wex first Blast is really strong and and has a long range. You can use it to finish off a low hp hero who's running away from you. (or in some cases, tp-ing away from you, like Furion and Tinker for example) You can use it as afollow up to Meteor and Blast, and push heroes away or into things.



Advanced:

Stragetic Blasting

Here's a little trick I love to use.
Well now that I think about it's not really a 'trick', it's more about efficiency of the spell.




Now if you pay close attention to this video above, you see that I make 2 mistakes, diving after anti-mage, and misusing Tornado+EMP. Although I get the kill, I am in a tough spot. Furion is on the high ground and will sprout me, but that's mostly what he can do, and after seeing Bane, I immediately cyclone myself to buy myself some time. Now in this space I calculated that Bane will probably use Fiends Grip on me and there are only 3 ways to counter it. Either use coldsnap and hope that it activates after he uses Fiends Grip (unreliable), use tornado to counter Grip, or use Blast to counter it. Now I had already used tornado so i cannot use it, so that leaves me with Blast as the only option, and thankfully it worked, then I quickly mashed q-q-w-r-d to insta-invoke Ghost Walk and escape. (even though Furion used dust).

But this works in many situations, for example:

  • You're outside of an enemy Void's Chronosphere with an ally inside it, you can use blast to disable him from attacking and knock him back
  • You can use the knock back to push people into things such as Chronosphere, Vacuum, BlackHole, RP, IceWall, Jakiro's Ice Stun (i forgot the name lol), and even uphill and downhill.
  • It also works in situations where you need to disable/nuke an enemy but you can't see him, such as Furion inside sprout trying to tp, or any hero in forest fog trying to tp, Slark, Riki, Bh. (the aoe is slighty bigger, the projectile is faster, it deals more damage, and is overall superior to tornado.



BlackStar Tip:
When I say this is your best spell, I really mean it. This is 'the' best disengage spell in the game. If you hit atleast 3 targets or more in a teamfight, that's enough for you to change the fight singlehandedly and turn the game around. Even using it when your enemy is chasing your teammate- this spell gives more than it shows at first. Never underestimate it.



Incantations


You probably know these already, but if you don't or if you've forgotten, here's a visual reminder of your spell table.




If you're new to Invoker, learning these might seem really frustrating, but trust me, everything is easy if you have the right attitude towards it. Try practicing in a lobby game with cheats to figure them out for yourself (it's fun!).


Advanced:

Always use your ring finger for Q, middle finger for W, and index finger for R, D and F. The pinky is not suitable for mashing buttons on should be used for Shift and CTRL. Always press the orb with more of the same orbs first, for example lets say i want to invoke Tornado. Instead of pressing Q-W-W, I should press W-W-Q. It's easier to memorize and activate. The only spell which includes all 3 orbs is Blast, in which case instead of pressing Q-W-E you can press them all at once with your fingers and press Invoke (R) afterwards.











Effectiveness and Efficiency (part 1)
Saying hypocritical things, and trying to summarize big things like life and dota into single sentences aren't really my thing, but that being said, modern DotA is really about Effectiveness and Efficiency. The 2 Big Efs, as I call them.






In the sections above, I explain about Invoker's huge arsenal of spells, but here's where I talk about efficiency and proper usage.

This is for when you have level 17 or more, and Aganims. Your full potential is unlocked and you can possibly use all 10 spells in one fight.



This is preferred order in which you use your spells.


Before Fight:



Initiating the Fight:



(optional)


Dealing Damage:




Stalling the Enemies:




Finishing Up:






In a situation where you need to b, and your enemies are catching up to you, you need to stall your enemies and help out your teammates, and get out last:




then



then



(to push them back into Ice Wall)



There are situations where the fight lasts longer than normal and you get confused as to what spells to use.

Below I've shown which spells have the lowest cooldown to highest.

--> --> --> --> -->

--> --> --> --> -->


If you use your low cooldown spells first, and then main heavy spells after, by that time your low cooldown spells will have already gone off cooldown so you can use them again.









Effectiveness and Efficiency (part 2)
Just knowing what your spells do isn't enough.







Orbs


As Invoker, you are the only hero that can't select stats as a level up, and has 4 points in ultimate. (not to mention only hero that can get ultimate at level 2.)

Instead, you have your orbs. Each orbs act as a passive and gives you a specific stat when taken. Obviously they're important to level up your spells, but the orbs themselves are important aswell.





Activating your orbs when you need them is essential, and efficient. Always activate Quas when you need regen, or get dangerously low in a fight. Active Wex to walk faster, and Exort to hit harder. Although it doesn't seem like it, just activating the right orbs will benefit you greatly.



Items




Phase boots has an annoying mechanic where it will be interrupted if you activate any skill or item, including orbs. So always activate your spells first, (Wex) orbs second, and phase boots last.

6.79 update: It is more worth buying this item (Phase Boots) over other boots.



Now, this is more of a general dota tip. Ever heard of chinese value? Well this is a way to get it, always switch to int treads when casting spells, agi when regening, and str when in fights/dire situations.



Force staff. Fun times. Possibly the most versitile item you can get, simply because you can use it on enemies, yourself, and your allies. Sadly, it doesn't work on skills such as - Pounce, Electric Vortex, from inside of BlackHole, Chronosphere. But on the other hand this is the item you can use your creativity the most. Save your allies, position yourself/allies to initiate, escape. You can use it in conjunction with your allies spells like, Rupture, Dream Coil, force into- Arrow/Hook, and your own Sunstrike.

6.79 update: It is more worth buying this than Euls now.



This is my favorite item. Period. Any skill build, any hero, I will always try to get it. You benefit so much from it. It's an item that gives you a free Phase Shift.




As seen in the video above, any other item would not have helped me like my Euls did. With phase boots activated, I have an ridiculous 518 movespeed, and the mana regen it gives along with my Quas levels for hp regen, I almost never have to go to base. Also the great thing is, not only does it make you invulnerable for 2.5 seconds, it also removes most negative buffs, such as Track and dust, so you can safely Ghost Walk when you come down. Also your Sun-Meteor-Blast combo is one of the most effective ways to kill a hero in the game. An annoying hero with an escape mechanism like Storm, Puck, QoP, or a invis hero like Riki or Bounty Hunter, in that little space you can use your combo and kill them in the blink of an eye.

But more than that, I think, the best thing it gives you is- Time. It gives you time, it stalls your enemy so he can't do anything. That gives you that little window of time to think the next move, have your cooldowns lower, and buy you some time for your allies to come help you.





Nowadays, most Invokers try to rush a Midas, because it's exactly what Invoker lacks, levels. The reason why Invoker is not picked in the competetive scene anymore is because other heroes help their team and give an impact to the game faster, and safer. Invoker needs levels to do that, and Midas is a great item if you get it early. By professional standards a Midas on a carry would be 4-6 minutes, for Junglers 5-7 minutes. There isn't a specific time mark for Invoker but you get the idea. Remember to always use Midas on a big creep (Wilkin, Big Satyr, Hellbear, Centaur) because the gold may be the same but depending on the target it will multiply that creep's xp by 2.5 times, so you would get the most out of big creeps which give the most xp.

6.79 update: It is no longer worth buying this item.




As fun as it seems, the truth is- in a real match, you will never be able to use 10 spells, use refresh, then use all 10 again. It's just not possible. Because either your mana will run out, you will die before you use all of your spells, or they will die before you use all of your spells. The only way to properly use it is use your initiation spells like normal, then after you use Meteor and Blast, that's the best time to use refresher, so you can immediately use Meteor and Blast again. Since blast pushes them backward, using it straight after refresher is hard, but if you have something like forcestaff or dagger, it will refresh too, so you can use it to get a bit closer and use MeteorBlast.









Effectiveness and Efficiency (part 3)
Now these are kind of tips that are unrelated to Invoker, but they will help you greatly in any game.






More Efficient


The main way to be efficient and eventually win the game, is to be fast. Fast = Efficient. Ever heard of APM? It's a term in pro StarCraft, where you multitask to get ahead of your opponent in efficiency. But it doesn't only apply to SC necessarily. Here are some tricks to help you be fast.


Speed Leveling

You can level your spells/stats by pressing CTRL + your spell hotkey, much more faster than clicking your level icon, then selecting your spell with your mouse.

Hotkeys!

Always use hotkeys when controling the courier, and your summons.

In My Grasp

In game options in the Game tab, turn 'auto-select summoned units' to on. This means whenever you summon Forge Spirits, they will be automatically selected, which saves you time to manually select them.

MEDIC!

Even though I mentioned this already, always activate the proper orbs when you need it. Even if you're at base regen-ing, activating Quas orbs to heal faster will save that much valuable time. This also applies to Wex orbs and Exort.



More Effective


How do you be more effective? Do more. Have more. Gain an advantage-, use that advantage to increase your advantage-, go back to step 1.


Avicii

Your spell levels matter. Using them just before a level up and after has an impact, and if you use it smartly you'll be more effective.


Choose Your Destiny

Don't just randomly select a build and then just go with it, look at your opponents. What are their weaknesses, what are their strong sides. Counter them. Pick the right spells, pick the right items. And use them at the right time.


BlackStar (idle)

Don't just stand there. Have a goal. You're either farming and gaining an advantage, or you're killing someone to increase your advantage. You can't just go around for no reason, and try to kill people for no reason. Think about what do you gain, and what do you lose from every action you take. This applies even in team fights, you cannot just stand in one place hitting someone. Be a moving target, make it harder for your enemies, maintain your distance.


We Have to Go Back, Marty!

Knowing when to retreat is the most valuable knowledge you can learn. Even pros overextend, resulting in their loss of the game. Think why you're fighting, who can come to the fight, who can buyback, who can tp, who from your team can help, what spells and items are on cooldown, where are you fighting, do you have vision- these are all things you have to calculate before you even consider right clicking a Crystal Maiden in the face.






A Little Something
In this section I will be covering things that I haven't, or things that I think don't particularly fit in any section other than here, and general tips. This section is unrelated to Invoker, so you can skip this section.


Mid or Feed





Just because you're Invoker (handsome, smart, charming, and the best mage ever) doesn't mean you can do whatever the hell you want. Well...you have to draw a line at some point right? When there's 3 mid heroes in your team and you're about to pick Invoker, try reconsidering. (which is why I try to insta-pick him if possible :P )


I'll Let You Carry Me Anyday






Show some love. Those poor supports will do anything for you, and you should do the same. Try to help your teammates whenever possible, use your abilities and items to help them get out of bad situations, gank with to help your team in mind instead of ganking just to kill people. Same reasoning as you shouldn't take farm from your hard carry.


QQ






At first, this picture doesn't really mean anything to you. But then you realize it's literally what 80% of all players think. They will literally blame you for no real reason other than trying to take the guilt/pressure of losing off themselves. Let me tell you, you would not believe the ♥♥♥♥ people make up just to blame me. And there's another thing, once one person starts to blame someone a little thing called 'The Group Effect' begins. Basically 'The Group Effect' is when you're part of some group (in a team in an online game for an example), when one person starts doing something, you will automatically copy him. No matter what bias/basis or proof you have, it's only natural to do so. This includes blaming. So you can see how this will turn out. Someone from the team will become insecure because of his alpha-male personality, and will start to blame you, and then others will join in and gang up on you, even without a real argument or any reasoning.

On the other hand not every player is wrong about stating main faults when losing a game. Sometimes you DO mess up, sometimes it IS your fault. Nobody knows this more than you do. But it's real courage to admit your mistakes instead of trying to push the blame and guilt.

I cannot say it's wrong to state faults, but I can't say it's right to flame someone either.
If we all just come together, try to play the game to win, state faults to learn and not make the same mistakes again, but give constructive criticism, and not flame people, the community would be a better place.

And also, on a side note, please don't whine about something. There's nothing more annoying than a person whining all game about something so little for so long. If nobody else is listening to you, take action, do it yourself. If your supports don't get wards or upgrade the courier, BUY wards, UPGRADE the courier, instead of nagging stubborn people to do something they won't, be the better player and the better person and show an example. You can't win every game, but whining and crying won't help you win either.


A Talk About 'Benefits'


Recently a person asked me if I used cfgs for Invoker. To be honest I had no idea until that point what in the world cfgs were, and he didn't believe me. Eventually he explained to me that cfgs were a way to configure your binds so that you could simply invoke a spell with one button. Personally I disliked the idea and thought the whole thing was stupid. And I still do. I consider it to be the closest thing to cheating in dota.

I've researched more, and found out some people even exploited the console commands and used farther camera distance at one point (until valve fixed it probably). Even now people use cfgs for pinpointing the camera to scout, even the mass legion of LoL players nagged valve until they added a smart-cast feature in the hotkey options. Seriously.

People use excuses like "If it's in the game, there's no reason not to do it." Well how come IceFrog/Valve releases new patches, and remove/add things from the game. Even as I am writing this now, Valve announced that they will remove the Pudge-Chen Fountain-Hook. It's been in the game for a while now, and it's only because it became known to Valve at the International 3, in the semi-finals in Na'Vi vs Orange game, only then they realized that it couldn't be in the game anymore. They could've just banned it from tournaments and keep it, but no, they removed it completely. Just because it's 'in the game' or if it benefits you, or if it's fun doesn't necessarily mean the same for all players.

Dota2 has many benefits, and made many things better (and a bit easier), but if you keep making it easier and easier it won't be DotA, it'll be just a different game altogether, a different game than the game we all fell in love with. Play it, the way it's meant to be played.



[Classic] Max Wex Style (Gotta Go Fast Style)
Now instead of the usual skill build and item build section we're going to have "Style" sections. It's recommemded to read the simple versions, but if you want some details and some info about hybrid-ing and explanations feel free to read the versions here.
Note: You may notice some differences from here than the simple versions, because generally the simpler versions are recommended builds while these have little changes. Basically: read. If you read you will understand when to get what and when to do what.





http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=180818126

Click above for a simpler version, and remember to Subscribe to see it in-game!



This is more of a 'utility' build. You'd see Na'Vi.Dendi using this build back when Invoker was still in the scene.



You get 2 points in Quas first for that nice regen, little hp boost, and Coldsnap to harrass your lane opponent. Then you max Wex, later on getting those 2 points in Quas, and then Maxing Exort and then Quas last.

Note: It's mostly recommended to get 4 points in Quas first and then eventually maxing Wex. Also, you can get one point in Exort after you get 4 points in Quas and 2 points in Wex so you can use Blast, and Ice Wall earlier.




One of the benefits of being Invoker, you're a solo mid hero that doesn't need a bottle (along with OD and Necro). One tango should help you early and then your Quas should take care of you after that. The branch and blades of attack are obviously to give a little boost to your attack since your base damage is very low.



  • I don't like seeing when Exort Style Invokers go for phase boots, because they already have the damage, but they need the stats and attack speed. Wex Style Invokers however are the opposite, they need the damage, and Phase boots are a cheap way to get them. And usually phase boots are a must for fast heroes like Bloodseeker or Lycan, or Wex Invoker because when you're fast you always have the problem of something always blocking you, so phase boots really help.

  • Wand is really self explanatory.

  • You get euls for the movespeed and disable and it works great in synergy with your other spells. Alternatively you can get a force staff. But I prefer euls. More info about this in Effectiveness and Efficiency (part 2).



Your core is basically your aghs upgrade, since you're maxing Quas and Wex- your style spells are cheap and have low cooldowns, so with aghs you can dish out loads of spells in one fight.



Orchid works great in conjunction with your Wex attackspeed and coldsnap, it's a real 'disable'.

Sometimes being fast just isn't enough, get a blink dagger if you really need it.



Although in some cases, sheep stick is actually prefered over aghs.



Laning Stage:



Depending on your farm you decide how the whole game goes. if you farm badly your opponent will start to push your lane and secure runes and eventually gank, while you sit in your lane and try to catch up. On the other hand you can do the same, but it depends on how your lane goes. Once you get phase boots activating 3 Wex orbs and racing your opponent to the runes shouldn't be too hard. The main thing to remember is always use your coldsnap whenever it's on cooldown. If you won't harrass your opponent, nobody else will, and since you go Wex-Quas coldsnap is more effective, and you should get more hits in. and when he's low finish him off with a quick tornado. Also using tornado on a race to the runes is an option. If it gets rough, and enemy supports try to gank you, or your opponent gets a rune and goes on you use Ghost Walk to escape.





Mid Game:



Now since you have 4 points in Quas/Wex or more (4 points in one and 2 points in one), you should now start using EMP, prefferably as-
EMP->Tornado->Coldsnap
This should be more than enough to set up some kills when you gank.

Once you have 4 points in Quas, and atleast 1 point in Exort you can start using Ice Wall and Blast. Using your spells together to create great comboes is one of Invoker's strong sides, so do that often.





Late Game:



In late game you should have your aghs and euls, or force staff, or hex (2 of any of those). Around this time EMP will lose it's effectiveness so you should stop using it (unless there is an anti-mage on your team). Now that you're close to max levels and your Exort levels are going into play. Use your Exort based spells now. Late game Alacrity and Ice Wall spells effectiveness increase immensely. Same goes for blast.






[Classic] Exort-Quas Style (Hit-Hard Style)


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=180821894

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6.79 update: you can skip levels of Invoke after the first point until you've maxed Exort.

This build is the most common nowadays, because of it's effectiveness and ease in skill, but more importantly it's probably the most well around balanced build, you'd see players like iceiceice using this build. But the main point of this build is to get Forge Spirits and Ice Wall/Cold Snap early. These 3 spells really melt heroes early.




First point in Exort for easier last hits on those first couple of creep waves. Quas second for that little boost in regen. Invoke third for obvious reasons. But depending on the situation if there's a low hp sure target, you can get Invoke second and snipe the poor ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. If you're up against a tough matchup or getting harrassed badly, you can get Quas levels instead of Exort. Then getting Exort until you have 4 points in it, get wex at level 6 OR 5 because you need it incase you get in a sticky situation and you need Ghost Walk. People WILL gank you. Then get Quas until you have 4 points in it aswell. Now you can finally summon double Forge Spirits! Get one point in Wex after to increase the range of your spells, and then maxing Exort, Quas and Wex last.

Note: You can actually skip Wex until you have 4 points in Quas and Exort each, but a safer choice is not skipping it. Also if you feel you won't be using Tornado until late game you can skip the second Wex point until you max Exort.




gg branches so you can upgrade them later into a wand. Gauntlet so you can upgrade it into a bracer and eventually a drum. Alternatively you can a bracelet instead of a gauntlet, but it's your choice. Tangos because tangos.



As I mentioned in my Wex Style Section, power treads are for Exort and Phase are for Wex for multiple reasons. You already have damage, and you need stats, and attack speed. Bracer to upgrade later. Bottle is optional, but you can get it if you have good rune control and you're getting Exort first.

6.79 update: Phase are more effective than Power Treads now.



Force staff because you don't have levels in Wex, you're really slow, it's stupid. You need some form of mobility. Drums gives you that too. Sheep stick because it gives you stats and arguably the best disable. Sometimes this is a better choice than aghs other times, not so much. Aghs is generally more recommended over Hex, but again, it's all situational.

Alternative: You can get Dagger instead of Forcestaff, and Aghs instead of Hex.



If you're getting alot more money than you should and the game isn't ending, get these.




Laning Stage:


Since you're getting Exort you have a little bit easier time than Wex Style Invokers in last hitting, but lack regen and stats early. Try to drive out your opponent out of the lane, and always look on the map for free snipes with Sunstrike. You can use a single Forge spirit like a Spirit Bear to help you last hit, or harrass your opponent, or even scout for runes. Be creative.




Mid Game:


Now is your prime, your time to shine. Forge spirits are strongest and enemies are weakest. Make the most out of this phase as much as possible. Even with 4 points in Exort, Meteor, Blast and Sunstrike still hurt like hell. Use Forge spirits to push out lanes, and push down towers, force fights, then use Meteor, Blast, Forge Spirits, Alacrity and Coldsnap in teamfights.





Late Game:


By this time you've maxed out Exort and soon Wex. This is where your Hex comes in handy. Now you should start using Tornado into Ice Wall first, Meteor Blast and then Forge Spirits into Alacrity and Coldsnap. You can buy Refresher Orb to reset your cooldowns and possibly do 2 comboes in one fight. (it takes practice though.)



[Unusual] Exort-Wex Style (Burst Style)



This build is a glass-cannon type build, basically you're Shadow Fiend. But with more style.






The main point of this build is you max Exort first. You can also max Quas first instead of Wex, but it's essential you max Exort first. Get one point in Wex early to enable most of your spells, like- Ghost Walk, Blast, and Meteor.





Tango for the regen, and branches for the gg.



Even though you max Exort and gain int, this build has very very expensive spells. At first arcanes on Invoker may seem very silly, but it's not. You NEED the mana for your combo. Euls is needed for your combo to work. Aghs because it gives you stats and the upgrade.

Alternative: You can get a tango and a basilius ring for starting items, then later on dissasembling your basilius into (ring or protection) Tranquil boots, and then (sobi mask) Euls for efficiency (it gives you hp and mana regen, efficiency at it's best).


Alternative: You can get Tranquil Boots (and Basilius), and rush E-Blade if you really want. Just a warning, your teammates might flame you.



Note: You should only get one of these. Either E-B or Euls, both are not necessary. The other should be aghs.



Same as previous builds.



Self explanatory.




Laning Stage:

Use alacrity to get last hits and harrass. Look for opportunities to use sunstrike, and watch out for ganks from enemy supports. Use your courier to deliver mana booster and void stone to you, and keep farming as fast as you can.





Mid Game:

Once you have arcanes and euls, it's finally time to leave the lane burst people down.
Here's how:




Now you've bursted down someone, go push their tower, or go back to your lane and farm again until your mana has regenerated, and your cooldowns are back up. Rinse and Repeat.

If you decide to get E-Blade it's basically the same thing as a euls combo, but instead of of the euls an E-Blade. Duh.




Late Game:

Pretty much same as other build late games.


[BS][Unusual] Max Quas Build (Frosty Style)



Now this build is really unusual, and you've probably haven't seen it action. I haven't told you about myself yet, but I just want to say I like to create and experiment new builds.

This build is an experimental build. I'm still testing things out and tweaking it.




Sometimes trying to kill your opponent faster just doesn't work. But you can outlast them. That's why Na'ix, Alche and Lone Driud, the more tankier carries are stronger. The main idea is you max Quas first so your regen and hp is insane, but so are your disables. Get 2 points in Wex later for the range increase in spells. Max Exort second and Wex last.





Who needs regen? LOL. But seriously, when you're maxing Quas first you don't need to waste money on regen items.



Treads for the attack speed and stats. Wand for obvious reasons. Medallion give you that armor you desperately need, and that active helps melt people with coldsnap down. And roshan. Mek so you're kinda like a healer/disabler/support. Imagine you're a OD/Necro. You're just as annoying as an OD or a Necro.



Orchid + Medallion + Maxed Coldsnap will annoy the hell out of enemy heroes. Only thing is it's weak against heroes with bkb, so make sure it's disabled/hexed first. Aghs for upgrade.



Dagger and Force for mobility, Atos for more annoyance, hp and int, and Necro for push power and great synergy with your build.



Pretty much self explanatory.




Laning Stage:

This will be very amusing for you. No matter what your opponent may try, he will never kill you. You don't have to worry about regen or trading blows in the lane because Quas takes care of that. Out last your opponent and farm your cores, then advance to Mid game.





Mid Game:

Now that you've farmed your core items it's time to force fights, win fights with your mass disables, and your mek. Push towers, take roshan, win game.





Late Game:

If you still haven't won the game then this type of style doesn't really fit you, or the build itself just sucks. >_>
[BS][Unusual] Exort-Wex Style (HarderBetterFasterStronger Style)


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=180817663

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Now I personally like this build a lot because it gives you a wider variety and freedom of choice in terms of items. Plus, you hit like a truck. But the main thing you have to understand is, in this style build, you hit more than you cast spells.

Note: You can alternatively use the same build with maxing Exort first, Quas second, and Wex last. Basically you're trading your attack speed for more points in ColdSnap.




It's almost the same as the Burst Style Build but instead of using Sunstrike, Meteor and Blast you use Alacrity, Coldsnap and Blast as your main 3 spells.





Branches to upgrade into a wand, Tango for regen, and Gauntlet/circlet to upgrade into bracer.
Alternative: If you feel like it, you can get 1 set of tangoes and Gloves of speed first. This is for a fast Midas.




If you're free farming the safelane, or owning your solo so hard, try and get a Midas, it gives you much needed xp and attack speed. Attack speed in this style build is important. You can get bottle/tranquils if you feel like you need it, but if not you shouldn't get it.



Surprisingly, Maelstrom's passive in conjuntion with Coldsnap is very very effective. Alongside with Orchid you can just auto-attack anyone to death.
THIS ONLY APPLIES IF YOU ARE MAXING EXORT AND QUAS FIRST. IF YOU ARE GOING EXORT AND WEX FIRST, CRYSTALIS IS RECOMMENDED INSTEAD OF MAELSTROM. Maelstrom only helps your attack speed and the passive is great for your Coldsnap, but is useless if you're maxing Wex, in which case you should get Crystalis, you have more chances of procing a crit, hence why Void and Bara players get Mask of Madness.




Medallion is great against heroes like, Pudge, Bristleback, Alche, and any hero really. And rosh. Even though you have Ghost Walk, the 'surprise initiation', attack speed and bonus damage is excellent in this build. Atos slows your enemy down, gives you hp and int, and gives you more time to hit things. Blink for mobility. SnY if you need cheap stats, but generally, there are better items. HoTD if you need a little more survivability, plus you can use a dominated creep to help you in fights, stack ancients for you, and help you take roshan and towers. Mask of Madness if you want to kill them faster than they kill you.



Most of these are self explanatory. Satanic if you already have HotD and you need more beefyness. Even Crystalis by itself gives you insane damage simply because your attack speed is so much, imagine what Daedalus gives you. Only upgrade your Maelstrom after you got some stats and hp, and armor. Manta for illusions in synergy with coldsnap, and move speed and attack speed.



Laning Stage:

Alacrity and Coldsnap. use them to drive your opponent out of the lane and free farm. Get your core items quickly. You are fragile in all stages in the game in this build, so don't fail.



Mid Game:

If you've successfully gotten your core items now you're ready to kick ♥♥♥. Start by ganking other lanes and hunting inside the jungle. Runes help you more in this build than any other style build, use them. Make sure you aren't first in battle, you are fragile, stand in the back and hit things. You already have enough damage of a late game farmed carry.



Late Game:

By this stage you desperately need stats and armor. BkB is essential. It really feels like you're an agility carry. Stay behind your team and wreck things.

Note: BKB removes buffs, so use Alacrity AFTER bkb.













When, Why and How




This section will tell you how to do what on where, whom, and when.
But you have to know why first.


1.What.

Let's say I'm up against a QoP in the laning stage. What spells do I choose? Think of what you need. Let's say QoP is harrassing me badly with Poison, and I'm out of tangoes. Obviously going back to base to regen or getting a salve from the courier wastes too much time, so you should predict this. Either you get points in Quas early, or your get extra regen items if you're getting Exort early. This is only an example as you should learn to pick what spells/orbs.

But the main point is you shouldn't be restricted to a build. Be Creative. (green is not a creative color)

2.Why.

Why go for Q-W build when you can go for Q-E? W-E? Each specific build has it's own purpose and effect.

Q-W (GottaGoFast) gives you mobility, utility. It's great against other mid heroes and supports. You're like a Puck. You disable, you jump around, you annoy people. And eventually people die.

Pros:
  • Mobility, while other heroes have blink, or get Dagger as a core item, you have Wex.
  • Mass disables

Cons:
  • You don't really have damage.


Q-E (Hit-Hard) is the middle, the balanced build. Suitable for most games, and overall is the safest. You still have disables, you still have damage, and you're still strong as ever.

Pros:
  • Insane Damage
  • Pushing Power

Cons:
  • Low Mobility


W-E (HarderBetterFasterStronger)(Burst) are more damage oriented builds, they're risky, but are great if you're successful.

Pros:
  • Extreme Damage

Cons:
  • Low Mobility
  • Low Survivability



3.When.

Let's say you're up against a team like [QueenofPain, Windrunner, PhantomLancer, KotL, Bane]. Obviously this is a very elusive team and is very hard to kill. That is, if you went Q-E or W-E build. Q-W will help you best in this build just because Tornado/EMP/Coldsnap is just more effective against a mobile team than spell that are hard to land (Meteor, Sunstrike), or spells that require you to hit them (ForgeSpirits, Alacrity).

Another example is where you're up against a team like [Pudge, Clockwerk, Na'ix, Jakiro, SD]. This is more of a tanky line-up, and are resistant to magic based spells. They are weak against minus armor and physical attacks. So Q-E is the best build in this case.

And lastly, if you're against a lineup like [Storm, DarkSeer, Void, Enchantress, Dazzle]. Heroes that are almost impossible to kill, is when you should be using W-E build (both builds).

These are only examples and you have to decide on which build you're going to choose. The mid hero has the most impact in the game, so that basically means you will choose how the game goes depending on your choice of build.


4.Who.

Who do you target in a fight? You need to prioritize who is more important to their team. In most cases it usually is the hero you went against in the laning stage, their mid laner. Their mid laner initiates the fight, and usually has the most impact in the game and in fights. Try to target them first. Then the supports, because they're job is to be useful as possible, and if you don't kill them they usually do theirs. And lastly the carry. Because most of the time it's usually your carry who kills theirs so you don't have to worry about it, and besides a carry usually is the tankiest of the team, and trying to kill the tankiest is kinda stupid. Simply overpowering and outnumbering the carry by taking out the squishies first is much more simpler and effective.


5.How.

Sometimes you go a build against a team but they have 1 or 2 heroes that are resistant to your build. For example you when a Q-W build and they have a Na'ix, or you went Q-E and they have a Storm, or you went W-E and they have a Pudge. How do you deal with these heroes? Think. Think of what their weaknesses are. In the Na'ix situation, if you want to kill him, you have to initiate him, then he will use his spells, simply kite him around until his spells run out and then use your spells. In the Storm situation, you're either going to have to have a support with a disable with you, or you need to build Orchid/Hex yourself. In the Pudge situation, you're either going to have to be really careful and make sure there's nobody else to help him, or reconsider completely. Because once you use your combo it's over. You have nothing, no escapes, no spells nothing.

You have to think of your opponents weakness and emphasise on it.


6.Where.

Where are you right now? Where is your position in the game? Is your team ahead, or is their team ahead? Let's say they're ahead and killing you in teamfights. You have to be careful because they're on the offensive and you're on the defensive. Don't get caught, help your teammates, protect your carry, and farm to even the odds.
Farm = xp, gold. xp=level advantage, gold=item advatange.
Knowing where to b and where to fight is essential.




TL;DR you have to create your own Invoker. Don't just do whatever a guide says (what?) and do things that you think is helpful to your game. What you want, and what you need are different things, remember that.







[Laning Stage] Matchups (part 1)
Knowing what to do against certain matchups is crucial if you want to improve your Invoker and your solo laning skill as well. Below I've listed matchup advice and tips.

[SI] means Starting Items
[SSB] means Suggested Skill Build
[HtC] means How to Counter






-------------------------------------------------------------V.S-------------------------------------------------------------


[SI] If you are absolutely sure that bat will go mid instead of jungle, then it's a good idea to start with 1 set of tangoes, a Magic Stick, and some branches.




[SSB] Against bat, usually going Quas-Wex build is good. Coldsnap and tornado counters him in alot of ways, so make sure you use them after he's lasso'd someone on your team.





[HtC] After 3-4 stacks of Sticky Napalm, you should stay back near your tower where he can't get more stacks on you, and once the debuff has run out, go back to farming/harrassing.

----->





-------------------------------------------------------------V.S-------------------------------------------------------------


[SI] Against this guy, you want stats, regen, and a bottle later on, because you have to get out of your lane and gank, and you need some sort of regen to compensate for your lack of farm.




[SSB] Against OD, going Quas-Wex is a good. Exort spells are too expensive and he'll drain your int anyway. Q-W build lets you move faster, and coldsnap is cheap in mana. Plus, you need the regen.





[HtC] There's really not much you can do against this guy, other than try to stay in the lane until you get to level 6 or 7, then go for runes and gank other lanes. Otherwise, call for your supports for a gank.

------>


Update: IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO GO EXORT AGAINST OD.
Use a forge spirit to help with last hitting and denying runes, and new alacrity since it's so cheap you can effectively keep up with OD.





-------------------------------------------------------------V.S-------------------------------------------------------------


[SI] 2 sets of tangoes, branches, or other stat items.




[SSB] Against QoP, you can go either build Exort based or Q-W based. But either way, make sure you get 1 point in Quas level 1, Invoker in level 2, and Quas again in level 3. After that you can decide to either go Wex or Exort based on your build.



[HtC] Pretty much explained above, get some regen and early quas levels to counter her annoying poison tick. You can't really race her for rune, so try to out farm and out deny her as much as you can.

----->





-------------------------------------------------------------V.S-------------------------------------------------------------

[SI] Now there are 2 ways you can do this
1. Try to out-tank him. Start with a tango, a salve, a circlet and bracer




2. The standard way to handle a Pudge. Get boots first item, regen and a branch.



[SSB] Against Pudge, you can go either build Exort based or Q-W based. But either way, make sure you get 1 point in Quas level 1, Invoker in level 2, and Quas again in level 3. After that you can decide to either go Wex or Exort based on your build. Use coldsnap whenever he tries to get in close.





[Laning Stage] Matchups (part 2)
[HtC] Whatever build you choose, you have to drive pudge out of his lane early, he is weak if harrassed early, and if you took the out-tank build, whenever he comes close stand close to your creeps and keep hitting him with coldsnap. Eventually, he will be overpowered due to your creeps, coldsnap and he hurting himself with rot. If you went for the out-manuever build, just walk away whenever he comes close, he can't catch you with rot, and if he tried to hook, dodge it with the help of your movespeed from boots.

----->





-------------------------------------------------------------V.S-------------------------------------------------------------

[SI] In this case, I would suggest you get Power Treads, regardless of any skill build you take, simply because it's way more effective against TA, the attack speed will help you get more hits in on her with coldnsap get rid of her refraction, and the stats will help you survive her insane Meld hits. But for your starting items, they aren't really important. That said, your items would be a tango, and branches.




[SSB] While you can get both builds, I would say Q-W is simply more effective, because TA can block most of your Burst Exort damage, but can't really deal with the mass disables Q-W gives. Plus, Tornado is handy when that pesky bugger is hiding in Meld.





[HtC] This should be same for all heroes against TA, at level 1 you should immediately start harrassing her while she doesn't have refraction, or atleast while has has low levels in it. Keep harrassing her until she's out of regen and try to farm at the same time. While she can deny and last hit at the same time you cannot, so you shouldn't really try to deny, just try to harrass and farm. But don't overdo it, and go too aggressive, or she'll burst you down. Just keep your distance and coldsnap her whenever her refraction is down.

----->
----->




-------------------------------------------------------------V.S-------------------------------------------------------------





Matchups (part 1)
There will come a time, where people will pick heroes whom are strong against you.
Oh yes.
I've shown below what counter measures you should take against certain heroes.



If the enemy team has invis-assassins, then you're in trouble. The reason is because they usually have a silence, cannot be seen when coming for you, and burst you down before anyone helps you.

Heroes like:









These guys will usually build an Orchid, or have a silence of their own, so you can't really do anything before they burst you down.
In order to counter them you can buy items like:



This item helps you escape but not as much as other items, because they can simply catch up to you. And it doesn't help against Nyx or Slark.



This is way better because you can cyclone yourself to avoid damage, and remove the silence debuff (or Track) and use Ghost Walk. Plus the movement speed helps.



I'd say this item especially helps against these heroes because even if they catch up to you they can't actually hit you, and they don't have spell damage themselves. Plus the stats are nice, but this isn't recommended if they have spell nukers on their team, or if you're trying to make an important item.



This is probably the best way to counter these heroes, so that you can actually see when they're coming. Gem is viable too, but you're a bit squishy to be holding it.
Matchups (part 2)
If they have annoying heroes that have alot of spell damage, and are hard to kill, that will annoy anyone on your team. But you can actually do something about it.


These will be heroes like:















They will dish out ALOT of damage, and are heroes that usually go mid for the level advantage.
Most of them have an escape mechanism, especially Storm Spirit, Puck and Queen of Pain.

Against them usually:



This helps alot, because now they can't use their escapes (or do anything actually), so after Orchid proceed with Coldsnap and try to burst them down.

Another method against these hard-to-kill heroes is the Euls->Sunstrike->Meteor->Blast Combo. The damage from it kills them so fast, and Blast disables them from using their escapes (if timed correctly).
There is no actual way to dodge this, unless they have preservance or BKB (which is unlikely.)

Against other heroes, or rather, all heroes is-



This is the ultimate disable. Use this to kill them.



This way they won't focus you, and while they're trying to kill someone else, kill them instead.
Watch and Learn
In this section you can watch replays/videos I made for reference.






Note: By no means do I imply that I am the best player, or a professional player in any way. (although I would like to be) These replays/videos are simply for reference.


Quas-Wex Invoker:

to be updated


Exort-Quas Invoker:

to be updated


Exort Wex Invoker:

to be updated


You can install replays by downloading the .dem files and pasting them in-
C:/Program Files/Steam/Steamapps/Common/Dota 2 Beta/Dota/Replays
and then you can watch them in-game in the Watch/Downloaded tab.


Note: Currently I don't want to post any replays of myself because of reasons.







Cool Stuff
Videos:


And here are some Videos made by myself.





Other Guides:


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=131293957#33921

While my guide covers the more detailed basic builds, Nedrapter's "Invokerism" Guide covers more about hybrid builds on Invoker. It's a great guide and you should check it out!



Websites:


http://www.invokergame.com/





This is a really great website that allows you to test your invoking skills and get some practice (although I think some people cheat to get the highscore). Fun Fact: My personal score on 'Classic' is 9.3 sec and on 'Combo' it's 13. GLHF!

Some information about me



I'm BlackStar and I've been playing DotA for 8 years now. Ever since around 2012 I've been trying to vastly improve myself and hopefully get myself into the competetive scene. I've started streaming and making guides, but I guess this is my very first guide. I don't prefer any specific role over the others, and I play all of them. My favorite heroes would be complex and hard heroes like Invoker, Tinker, Meepo, Pudge, Mirana ect.

No, my name is not from the anime Soul-Eater. I get asked this alot, so much that I've considered changing my name, but now it's kinda late after using it for several years, so I guess I'll live with it.

If you're interested, here's my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/FABlackStar
And my Stream Channel: http://www.twitch.tv/fablackstar
If you have any ideas for videos or streaming, (or even guides) you can tell me in the comments below!



If you want to collaborate on a project (video, guide anything in general) please feel free to contact me! Right now, I'm working on a DotA2 movie so subscribe to be updated for it's release!




Some (useless) Information




  • In DotA, Invoker's name is Kael, based on the WarCraft Blood Elf Mage character, Kael'thas Sunstrider. His fun name is Kal-El, a pun conflating the name Kael with the birth name of Superman.
  • In April 2011, a leaked DotA 6.72 Chinese changelog referred to Invoker as "卡尔" ("Kael"). A PlayDota forum member translated the changelog[4] with Google Translate, in an attempt to get a quick, rough translation. Google Translate mistakenly translated "卡尔" as "Carl". PlayDota forum members were at first confused, then entertained by the mistake. IceFrog, the lead developer of DotA and Dota 2, joked "Carl had it coming"
  • In the earliest version of Invoker, the order of instances mattered when Invoke was cast. Invoker had access to 27 spells, including the 10 still in game
  • Invoker is (or used to be) a Magus like Rubick, who calls him the Arsenal Magus.
  • When casting Deafening Blast, Invoker will sometimes say Sonic Boom; this is most likely a reference to the signature move of Guile from the Street Fighter franchise.
  • Invoker is the only hero in the game who can level up his ultimate before level 6. (and can level it 4 times)
  • One of Invoker's lines when purchasing a Blink Dagger, may be a reference to Shakespeare's play, Macbeth.
  • In DotA (1), Invoker and Skywrath Mage are cousins.

Latest Balance Patches for Invoker:

6.80
Forge Spirit
Armor reduced from 2/3/4/5/6/7/8 to 0/1/2/3/4/5/6.
Attack range reduced from 300/400/500/600/700/800/900 to 300/365/430/495/560/625/690.
EMP
Burn increased from 100/150/200/250/300/350/400 to 100/175/250/325/400/475/550.
Delay from 3.7/3.4/3.15/2.85/2.6/2.3/2 to 2.6.
Alacrity manacost reduced from 75 to 45.
Ghost Walk icon.png Ghost Walk movement speed from -30/-25/-20/-15/-10/-5/0 to -30/-20/-10/0/10/20/30.
6.79
EMP restores Invoker for 50% of the mana it drains from heroes (excluding illusions).
Invoke max spells rescaled from 1/2/2/2 to 2.
6.78
Alacrity manacost decreased from 100 to 75.
Ghost Walk slow increased from 20/23/26/30/33/36/40 to 20/25/30/35/40/45/50.
Ghost Walk cooldown decreased from 60 to 35.
Tornado damage rescaled from 70+(Wex+Quas)*20 to 70+(2*Wex+Quas)*15.
6.75
Invoker base damage decreased by 4.
6.74
Chaos Meteor damage increased from 80+Exort*30 to 80+Exort*35.
Chaos Meteor land time decreased from 1.5 to 1.3.
can no longer hit Invulnerable/Tornadoed units.
cooldown increased from 25 to 30 seconds.
Sun Strike damage type changed from Magical to Pure.
Sun Strike now reveals the area it will hit before the damage impact.
Tornado cooldown increased from 25 to 30 seconds.
Tornado Damage decreased from 77.5+(Wex+Quas)*23 to 70+(Wex+Quas)*20.
6.72
No longer gets interrupted by casting orbs or Invoke.
Base damage reduced by 5.
Alacrity can now target mechanical units.
Alacrity manacost increased from 50 to 100.
Alacrity bonus damage & attack speed decreased from 30->90 to 20->80.
Cold Snap now requires a minimum of 10 damage before it triggers.
Ice Wall no longer affects magic immune units.
Fixed some issues with how Invoke tracks your recently casted spells.
It now always remembers the latest invoke spell even if it is one you already have. So if you have two and want to keep the oldest one, you can recast it and it will consider it the newest one.
6.71
Cold Snap no longer triggers on self damage.
6.70
Sun Strike kills now give XP to Invoker.
Other things
Changelog:

2014.02.23
  • Updated all sections for 6.80! Yayyy!
  • Submitted to DotaBuff guide competition!



2013.09.29
  • Added Update section
  • Added addition to Cool Stuff section. (check it out!)


2013.09.24
  • Added Why, When and How section


2013.09.23
  • Minor changes to Ghost Walk and EMP information (ty KuroNeko)
  • Added more explanatory notes to Style Builds sections. Item/Skill choices should be more clear now.
  • Added in-game simple versions of Style Builds! Each version is linked in their own sections.
  • Added a little addition to Cool Stuff section


2013.09.22
  • Added info on Midas to Effectiveness and Efficiency (part 2) section
  • Added additional info to Spell Explanations
  • Added A Little Something section (read it!)


2013.09.21
  • Added Effectiveness and Efficiency (part 2) section
  • Added Effectiveness and Efficiency (part 3) section
  • Updated Watch and Learn section (added a replay!)


2013.09.19
  • Added Effectiveness and Efficiency section
  • Added Watch and Learn section (to be updated)


2013.09.17
  • Added correction to Meteor-Blast and Sunstrike-Euls combo timings. Thanks Puck~


2013.09.12
  • Added alot of in-depth detail to Spell Explanations
  • Added Matchups (part 1, 2)
  • Added Cool Stuff section


2013.09.11
  • Added [Laning Stage] Matchups Sections (part 1, 2)
  • Changed Guide Icon


2013.09.10
  • Added Invoker Guide!


I take all of the images I use from Google and various websites. If you'd like them removed please contact me, and I will do so. This was not copied from anywhere else.
46 Comments
< >
Orange Sep 26, 2013 @ 8:12am 
Gr8 guide... Keep it up dude :) But i really miss Invoker in pro games. I know there are better heroes, but they are not so fun to play as invoker... :(
Cdx Sep 25, 2013 @ 8:50am 
Good guide Nice Guy :)
Garket Mardener Sep 24, 2013 @ 7:35am 
WHY DID YOU CHANGE IT KURO? PONYVOKER WAS AWSUM
BlackStar  [author] Sep 24, 2013 @ 2:53am 
@ateslicivciv No.
DiSHONORED Sep 23, 2013 @ 10:18pm 
@ Garket Marderner well actually here's the heroes with 0 to 0.01 cast animation: Invoker, Veno, Wisp, Tiny, DK, N'aix, Crixalis, Slark, AA, Techies, Phoenix, Earth Spirit, Xin. Disraptor has a 0.05 animation, and a few have 0.1 including Puck, Rubick, Skywrath, Walrus. On average a hero will have a cast animation something like 0.3, or 0.4. Backswing is not as relevant since it is easily cancellable. And thanks for the profile pic compliment, I made it :3
ateslicivciv Sep 23, 2013 @ 6:02pm 
have any good invoker hotkey ?
Garket Mardener Sep 23, 2013 @ 12:02pm 
:o btw i tried to alt 255 and it doesn't work for me #scumbaglaptop
BlackStar  [author] Sep 23, 2013 @ 11:56am 
The literal point of "newfags can't triforce" is that people who don't know will simply copy-paste resulting in no spaces. Which shows you can't actually triforce. lel. alt+255 instead of spaces. THE TRIFORCE IS ACTUALLY QUAS WEX AND EXORT. #illuminati
Garket Mardener Sep 23, 2013 @ 11:52am 
How did you put those spaces in steam? VOLVO PLS
Garket Mardener Sep 23, 2013 @ 11:51am 
seY