Friday, December 3, 2010

Gladiator guide

Gladiator's are the manliest of men who stare death in the face every day. Unfortunately for us, this Gladiator is not quite as manly (voice wise), and hides his sexuality behind throat numbing quotes and a bumchin. He does, however, wield mindblowing physics defying powers enabling him to summon chariots and anti-gravity pitfalls wherever he pleases.

Table Of Contents

  1. Introduction
    • Description
    • Stats
    • Statistics
  2. Skills
    • Description
    • Skill Build
  3. Items
    • Starting Items
    • Core Items
    • Luxuries
    • Items to Avoid
  4. Gameplay
    • Laning
    • Ganking
    • Teamfights
    • Tips and tricks
  5. Drafting
    • Lane partners
    • Teamfight partners
    • Vicious Foes
  6. Replays
  7. Credits

Gladiator is the 68th hero to be added to Heroes of Newerth. Gladiator excels in intiating teamfights, melee lane harassment and very powerful disables. Gladiator spends most of his time throwing boats [chariots] and pitfalling people with gravity defying results. This guide is designed to show you the most optimal way to play Gladiator and how to utilise his skill set to wreak havoc on your opponents. Gladiator's largest weakness is that your skills can miss, and they can miss very easily. Without good fore-sight and positioning skills you'll end up being called out by every try-hard on your team for being a big noob because you missed one little spike trap. When playing Gladiator, make sure you are always in the right spot at the right time. Without good timing your skills will be entirely unerwhelming and you'll never hit a boat [chariot], even if your life depends on it.

Gladiator is a direct port of Admiral Kunkka from Defense of the Ancients.
Role in team
Intiator, ganker, semi-carry.

Strength: 21 (2.7)
Agility:15 (1.2)
Intelligence: 16 (1.5)

Damage: 47-57
Armour: 2.8 (14%)
Movement Speed: 300
Attack Range: 128 (Melee)
Attack Rate: 0.59

Attack Point: 400ms
Turn Rate: 540
Coming soon...




Action: Target Ground

Type: Magic
Range: 1500
Radius: 225
Cast Time: 0.4 Seconds
Mana Cost: 120
Cooldown: 12.0 Seconds

After a 1.6 second delay, any non-boss-enemy in the radius will be thrown in the air for 1.53 seconds, taking 60/90/120/150 initial damage and then 6/9/12/15 damage every .15 seconds while in the air, dealing a total of 120/180/240/300 damage. Once the target lands, they have Spiked! applied to them for 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 seconds. Gives clear vision of 400/400 (day/night) radius from the Pitfall's location for 4 seconds. Targets are stunned while airborne.

-30% movement speed


Very similar to Deadwood's Rotten Grasp, this skill has huge potential damage, dealing both a stun and slow combined with considerable damage. The trade-off for the tremendous output is that it is relatively difficult to land, having a total cast to action time of 2 seconds, it's very easy for opponents to dodge if they see it coming. This skill is best used from fog, while the targets are stunned / slowed, or when the enemies have only 1 safe trajectory to go to (as in, if they don't walk into it, they'll die anyway).

It is important to remember that the damage is not all dealt instantly, half of it is applied on impact time and the other half over the flight-duration. This is important to remember when trying to farm creepwaves, since sneaky allied creeps can steal your kills between the damage over time.


Action: Target Enemy Heroes

Type: Magic
Range: 500 / 650 / 800 / 950
Cast Time: 0.4 Seconds
Mana Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110
Cooldown: 30.0 Seconds

Summons a Colosseum at the target's location and applies Challenged to Fight to them for 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 seconds. Gives clear vision of 1000/1000 (day/night) radius from the Colosseum's location for 5 seconds.
Ability is replaced with "I Have No Patience" for the duration.

Challenged to Fight
Will be ported back to the Colosseum and issued a Stop command after 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 seconds

I Have No Patience

Action: Target Self

Type: Magic
Cast Time: 0 Seconds
Mana Cost: 50
Cooldown: 5.0 Seconds

Instantly ports back the selected unit to the Colosseum.
The perfect initiation tool. If you target somebody with this skill then no matter where they go, they'll be ported right back after the duration, forcing fights when they suit you best. Using this skill you can gaurantee Pitfalls to land by bringing your opponent back as soon as the Pitfall is about to go off. At rank 2 Showdown, casting Showdown and then casting Pitfall on the Collosseum will cause the Pitfall to hit almost without fail or the neccessity to use I Have No Patience. Remember that I Have No Patience costs 50 mana. Here is an animation showing a rank 2 Showdown -> Pitfall combo.

When at higher levels, you can use Showdown to easily land Call to Arms on any single target. Showdown at max rank has 950 range, and Call to Arms travels 1000 units, making it very easy to aim your boat [chariot]. While you might only land the stuns on one person, it will act as area denial from all of their allies, putting the Showdown'd target in a very unenvyable position. Here is an animation showing a rank 4 Showdown -> Pitfall + Call to Arms -> I Have No Patience combo.

Timing I Have No Patience with Pitfall is easiest done off of a sound cue. Pitfall makes three distinct sounds (di-di-di) which are shortly followed by a 'shing' sound which plays as the Pitfall goes off. If your Pitfall is right on top of the Showdown, using I Have No Patience between those two sounds should guarantee Pitfalls to land. This is only necessary / useful for levels 3 and 4 of Showdown.

Rank 1 of Showdown while seemingly useless (1 second is very short), has a couple of subtler uses (this applies to higher ranks of Showdown as well). Since it issues a stop command when bringing enemies back it can be used as a channel breaker, stopping things such as Magmus' Eruption, Tempest's Elemental Void and Homecoming Stones. Since the range on the pullback is infinite, if an enemy target has a blink and is about to use it to escape a nasty situation, you can use this on them just before they blink bringing them right back.

Flagellation (Fla-jell-ay-shun)

Action: Passive

Radius: 380 / 420 / 460 / 500
Cooldown: 16.0 / 12.0 / 8.0 / 4.0 Seconds

On Attack
Grants 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 bonus damage.

Applies 100% True damage splash in a 380 / 420 / 460 / 500 AOE and triggers cooldown.

Attacking Buildings will not trigger the splash, but will still trigger the bonus damage and cooldown. Attacking allied units will not trigger the splash or the cooldown, but will still trigger the bonus damage.

First off, covering the exact mechanic of how the range of this skill works. The damage inflicted is equal to Gladiator's attack damage plus 15 / 30 / 45 / 60. The damage done is True damage, and won't be blocked by Physical or Magic Immunity. The main target will take armour reduced damage, all other targets will take 100% full true damage. A Logger's Hatchet will not affect the damage, not even to the main target. Attack modifiers and bonus damage from Manaburn, Savage Mace (and Halberds) will still apply to the main target, but not any other targets. Bonus damage from Assassin's Shroud will apply to all the targets. Critical damage will apply to all the targets (Critical damage will also multiply Assassin's Shroud's critical damage).

When you whip a target, an invisible gadget is placed 380 / 420 / 460 / 500 in front of you, that gadget will deal the damage in a circle with a radius of 380 / 420 / 460 / 500 units. This means that in a straight line the whip will have 760 / 840 / 920 / 1,000 range.

The creep in front of Gladiator was hit with a level 1, 2, 3 and 4 Flagellation. The creeps with red health are hit by rank 1, orange rank 2 and below, yellow rank 3 and below, and green rank 4 and below. The Pitfall is there for a metric.

This is probably Gladiator's most interesting skill, having a huge potential for hilarious kills. It is also the reason why Gladiator is considered to be a semi-carry. With a good amount of farm and good positioning (or bad positioning from your opponenets) you can half kill entire teams. While the potential is there, don't get too worked up about this skill. It's unlikely that you'll ever hit 5 enemy heroes with a single Flagellate, however this skill alone is the main reason why Gladiator needs so much farm to be successful.

Call to Arms

Action: Target Ground

Type: Superior Magic
Range: 1000
Radius: 400
Cast Time: 0.4 Seconds
Mana Cost: 150 / 200 / 250
Cooldown: 100.0 Seconds

Summons a Chariot 1000 units behind The Gladiator that travels to a location 1000 units in front of where he casted it, in the direction that he casted it. Any allies within 400 units of where it passes have Call to Arms applied to them for 5 / 6 / 7 seconds. The Chariot gives clear vision of 800/800 (day/night) radius from its center, and lingers for 3.34s after it deals the stun/damage.

When it reaches the end, it deals 300 / 400 / 500 Magic damage and stuns all enemies in a 400 radius for 1 second.

Call to Arms
10% Movement Speed
All damage is halved for the duration. Reduced damage is taken over 5 / 6 / 7 seconds at the end of the buff as nonlethal damage.

The Chariot moves at 750ms, and it will always travel 2000 units. This means that the delay until the Chariot reaches its destination is 2.66 seconds. The Chariot will always travel to exactly 1000 units in front of where you were when you casted it.

This means that if enemies are all up in your face, it's going to be difficult to target them with it. This is why good positioning is extremely important with Gladiator, if the enemy gets the jump on you your skills will be a lot less effective (the same could be said of all initiators).

The Call to Arms buff makes you and your team extremely tanky, however the cut back damage should not be forgotten about. It often occurs that a Gladiator goes in with all his shiny Roman glory, gets the enemies on the run after a big Showdown and starts diving towers. His HP then starts rocketing down, and Gladiator looks like a clown. Remember the stun is only 1 second, so don't go flailing your arms around wackily when you realise it barely lasts long enough for you to whip someone.

Skill Build
  1. Pitfall / Flagellation
  2. Flagellation / Pitfall
  3. Pitfall / Flagellation
  4. Flagellation / Pitfall
  5. Flagellation
  6. Call to Arms
  7. Flagellation
  8. Showdown / Pitfall
  9. Showdown / Pitfall
  10. Pitfall / Showdown
  11. Call to Arms
  12. Pitfall / Showdown
  13. Showdown
  14. Showdown
  15. Stats
  16. Call to Arms
The first 4 levels can be a mix-up of whatever pleases you most. I'd generally suggest getting the build on the left since the first few levels of Flagellation are rather underwhelming, and Pitfall's in lane are really where most of your lane presence comes from pre-5. Flagellation is however maxed as soon as possible since its low cooldown at max rank is extremely powerful / useful. Call to Arms is always worth getting wherever possible.

2 ranks of Showdown are generally gotten at level 8 / 9 so that you can land Pitfalls easily. Rank 2 is all you need mid-game, so continue maxing Pitfall once it's reached that point. You could get Pitfall maxed if you feel confident in hitting them, or if you have a stun heavy team setting them up easily.


Starting Items

Laning Gladiator

This should be your starting items almost every game. Easy buildup into chalice and enough health regen to last until you farm a lifetube. If you feel like the lane you're going up against is going a bit difficult to deal with, whip out a an iron buckler and make your inventory look something like this.

Solo Mid Gladiator
If you happen to be soloing mid, it should only be against caster mid heroes such as or , or if you simply feel like you can outclass your opponent. Generally, you'll want your items at mid to look like this:

This is to make last-hitting as easy as possible while making enemy harassment minimal. You can substitutes the Buckler in for more regen and 2 totems if you're going against a weak opponent, however most of the time Gladiator mid is not the best option.
Core Items

This is your core build-up for every situation. You will have plenty of mana with Blood Chalice / Power Supply, and Helm of the Black Legion gives you health regeneration early game (lifetube) but more importantly, extremely good survivability. 300hp and 40 block is nothing to be scoffed at, and staying alive is a lot more important than anything else can give you for 2,000 gold. If you skip Helm of the Black Legion you will find yourself dying a lot more than you need to, since Gladiator is generally taking a lot of the flak needing to be up close and personal to deal his whip damage.

Boots are a matter of personal preference. Personally I'd rather go for Phase Boots if you're doing well, Steamboots if you're not doing so well. Phase Boots make ganks a lot easier, since you can catch up to running enemies a lot faster and your whip does more damage. However, the survivability from Steamboots is important whenever you aren't doing too well.

Core Continued
Once you've finished your Helm of the Black Legion, you're going to want to start building up some damage for Flagellation to really start hitting hard. In most cases, you're going to want to opt in for an:

Assassin's Shroud

Cost: 3300
  • Steamstaff: 800
  • Bastard Sword: 1400
  • Recipe: 1100
Passive Bonuses
+10 Attack Speed
+38 Damage

Target Type: Self
Mana Cost: 75
Cooldown: 18 seconds
Applies Stealth to self for 9 seconds

+20% Movement Speed
Unit Walking
The first attack out of stealth will do +125 damage

Assassin's Shroud's bonus damage will apply to all the targets of Flagellation. This means that you can dish out an extra 120 damage to every enemy hero by doing an invis whip. Not only this, but it serves as a good escape mechanism. Not only this, but if you later build a Riftshards, the +120 damage can be multiplied by a critical hit, dealing damage capable of wiping out entire teams.

If you're facing a team with heavy stuns, or if invisibility is not really a smart idea, then opting for a bit more survivability is not such a bad idea. If you're not getting Assassin's Shroud, make sure you have Phase Boots. Unitwalking is very necessary to lining up whips in the right direction. With no unitwalking lining things up properly becomes extremely difficult.

Shrunken Head

Cost: 3900
  • Mighty Blade: 1000
  • Rockhammer: 1600
  • Recipe: 1300
Passive Bonuses
+10 Strength
+24 Damage

Target Type: Self
Cooldown: 80 seconds
Applies Magic Immunity to self for 10 seconds and dispels debuffs.

The cooldown and duration of the activation are reduced by 5 seconds and 1 second respectively after each consequtive activation, with a minimum of 55 seconds and 5 seconds respectively.

Shrunken Head you to survive through teamfights and deal damage unempeded. This is only really necessary if you're facing a lot of heroes with Area of Effect stuns or stuns that won't go through immunity. If you're finding yourself unable to maneavour through team fights due to the number of stuns being thrown around, then picking this up would be a respectable choice. This also adds a total of 34 damage since Gladiator's main attribute is Strength.

Runed Axe

Cost: 4350
  • Bastard Sword: 1400
  • Broadsword: 1200
  • Sustainer: 1750
    • Lifetube: 875
    • Manatube: 875
Passive Bonuses
+65 Damage
6 Health Regeneration
150% Mana Regeneration
40% Splash in 225 radius

Does not grant splash to ranged attacks

This is an item that a lot of Gladiator players seem to favour. It is definitely a nice item, giving both a high amount of damage and added splash damage. The splash also stacks with Flagellation additively, however it is not as simple as that. If you have Runed Axe and rank 4 Flagellation, units within a 500 radius circle 500 units in front of Gladiator (refer to Flagellation's description) will take 100% of Gladiator's damage, and units within a 225 radius circle 225 units in front of Gladiator will take 40% of the damage dealt to the main target (totalling 100% true splash and 40% of the damage dealt to the main target). The two splashes are separate entities and do not conflict or influence each other in any way.

Stacking splash is mostly a gimmick, and in general I tend to avoid this item, however it has some potential.

Luxury Items

Once you've got at least one item from the continued core, you will want start looking in to buying some luxury items. The first luxury item you'll ever want to buy is of course:


Cost: 5500
  • Broadsword: 1200
  • Punchdagger: 500
  • Recipe: 950
  • Recipe: 950
  • Recipe: 950
  • Recipe: 950
Passive Bonuses
+45 / 55 / 65 / 75 Damage
10% / 13% / 16% / 20% chance to do a 1.8 / 2.0 / 2.2 / 2.4x Critical Strike

The reason to pick this item up should be obvious. Nothing is more gamebreaking or amazing than a whip-crit that half kills everybody on the enemy team. Since critical hits work with Flagellation, there's hardly ever a time where there's a better item to get than this. It's only suitable as luxury however, since the Critical Strike is a multiplier and won't be anywhere near as devastating without an additional damage item.

Behemoth's Heart

Cost: 5500
  • Axe of the Malphai: 3200
  • Beastheart: 1100
  • Recipe: 1200
Passive Bonuses
+35 Strength
+0.75% Health Regen per second

Staying alive is important, and once you've got Riftshards there isn't much else to do but make sure you can stay alive to continue pumping out those whips, however if you're feeling like a baller, there's always another option...


Cost: 5800
  • Sword of the High: 3400
  • Slayer: 2400
Passive Bonuses
+250 Damage

Drops on death

Riftshards + Doombringers + Flagellation = ??? know you want to.
Items to Avoid

Lifesteal is useless. You don't deal damage through constant auto-attacks, you deal damage through whips and boats [chariots]. I can't see any reason to get Lifesteal, that's just not how Gladiator plays effectively.
Armor reduction is also useless, since the whip damage is true damage to everything except your main target.
Attack speed is not very effective, since Flagellation doesn't come off cooldown any faster than once every 4 seconds, and even Pebbles attacks fast enough to make use of that. It's still good once you're extremely farmed though, since Gladiator has pretty poor agility gain. When you have low attack speed, due to the diminishing returns nature of +Attack Speed it's still quite effective DPS wise to invest in an attack speed item such as Demonic Breastplate as a 4th or 5th item.



Gladiator most commonly lanes in the vertical lane, this is the top lane for Legion and the bottom lane for Hellbourne. The reason for this is not so much that Gladiator needs to gank, but that Gladiator can't take the horizontal lane since his Flagellation pushes the lane. If you're already at their tower pushing the lane with your whip won't make much of a difference, and you can make full use of its harassing power. You can still send Gladiator to any lane, since he's a very strong laner in general.

In lane, your main goal is to be getting lasthits where possible, and harassing enemies with Flagellation. If no creep is within a recognisably low amount of health, you should go inside of fog for a short time to scare your enemies. A Gladiator in fog is scary, much like any other hero with a skillshot, because if the enemies can't see the direction you're throwing your skill, they can't dodge it. When you're in the fog as Gladiator people start to act erratically, and this is general is just good for mindgames. If you see an oppurtunity to land a Pitfall, do so. If there isn't much of a way to follow up on a landed stun, simply whip a creep. A whip and Pitfall will do about 250 damage, and is a good bit of harassment necessary to winning lanes. You will in almost all cases be the secondary intiator. Pitfall is extremely unreliable for landing stuns, so you will want your ally to slow or stun the enemy enough that you can guarantee your Pitfall.

Lasthits are very important for Gladiator, and you will hopefully have at least Marchers, Lifetube, Iron Buckler and Blood Chalice by the end of laning. You should finish Blood Chalice first for obvious reasons (regen, inventory space). If you're getting low on regen get a lifetube before Marchers, if you're doing really well in your lane you can get Marchers and even sometimes Ghost Marchers before a Lifetube.

Ganking with Gladiator is really all about landing Pitfalls, and that is mostly practice. Pitfall is best used either:
  • From fog
  • When the enemy has nowehere else to go
  • When the enemy is disabled
  • After Showdown
If none of those conditions are met, it is somewhat unlikely that you'll hit your Pitfall. But hey, you could get lucky...

Timing of ganking is pretty general of all semi-carries. Take farm when you can, push lanes for map control and carry Homecoming Stones at all times for counter-gank opportunities. You can't intiate ganks very effectively without Showdown, and even with it Gladiator does not have a lot of single target burst damage. Gladiator's strengths is in area of effect burst, and not so much single target burst. You can't be expected to go around one-shotting enemy heroes at any point in the game (sans Doombringers), so without adequate support it isn't worth taking your time to gank a lone enemy carry by yourself. Your best bet is to either try to harass them out of lane or to go farm yourself to compete with them.

Gladiator is a really good initiator, being able to catch people out of position from 950 units away while giving your team 4 seconds to catch up to the victim. Unlike any other initiation method, this is extremely delayed which means that both teams have an opportunity to react to it. Do not use Showdown on any hero who can activate Magic Immunity at a whim, if you waste all your spells on a Showdown target who isn't even brought back by it you look like a prime fool. Ultimately, if you see someone out of position, Showdown -> Pitfall (-> Call to Arms). If it's a gank situation (your team vs one or two enemies) then don't bother with Call to Arms, if it's a situation where the enemy has a chance to fight back, then use Call to Arms for the damage redcution and extra nuke damage (and I guess the negligible stun is worth noting).

Line up your whips properly. This is extremely important for any teamfight, since once you have a few items your whip is dealing the majority of your damage. There is no point having a tonne of items if your whip only hits 2 people, the area of effect is friggin' huge. If you have the opportunity to, whip a creep instead of a hero. The only person who takes armor reduced damage is your main target, and if that target is a creep you're optimising your output. It is generally inadvisable to stick around in the centre of teamfights while your skills are on cooldown. Gladiator's autoattack damage is horrendous, and unless you're at a huge advantage in the fight maintaining good position is generally more beneficial than getting in 2 autoattacks. That isn't to say that you can't maintain good positioning and hit people at the same time...
Tips & Tricks

These things have mostly been covered over in the guide, this is just a short bullet point lisiting of a few important things:
  • Magic Immunity and Death is the only thing that will stop Showdown from working - don't use Showdown on heroes with Magic Immunity
  • Flagellation does armor reduced damage to the main target and the main target only - output is maximised by hitting an insignificant enemy [creep]
  • Cast Pitfalls from fog to stop enemies from seeing the direction it is cast at
  • Pitfall and lv2 Showdown's cast times are not exactly in-sync - if you use Pitfall immediately after lv2 Showdown the Pitfall will in some cases miss
  • Call to Arms will always travel exactly 2000 units over 2.66 seconds, and will always land exactly 1000 units in front of the point where you cast it from, in the direction you casted it
  • Flagellation pushses the lane, be sure to consider this when thinking about lane positions
  • Showdown gives a large amount of sight at the Colosseum, if you're being juked terrible you can cast it on yourself and then instantly cast I Have No Patience to get 1000 units of flying vision for 5 seconds


Gladiator is a team player, and needs the right team to compliment his skills. He's an unsuitable hero to choose is when your team already has too many item dependent heroes. Gladiator needs money, and he pushes lanes when he's getting it. If other heroes need that money as well you're going to be in for some trouble. Gladiator also needs supporting stuns to make landing Pitfalls as easy as possible, and ranged harassment for the laning phase.
Lane partners

The best lane mates for Gladiator are item-independent ranged heroes with reliable stuns or strong slows. If an enemy is stunned or under a strong slow, Pitfalls are guaranteed. Item independent lane partners are necessary because you need to farm Helm of the Black Legion as fast as possible to make your mid-game as breezy as possible.

Andromeda is a great combo with Gladiator, and in general is a great hero to have on your team. Her stun (including travel time) lasts a perfect amount of time to synchronise with Pitfall, and Dimensional Link makes your whips deal more damage.
Slither has an extremely powerful slow which, when landed, guarantees Pitfalls to land. His ranged harassment combined with Flagellation will keep almost anything out of the lane.
Nymphora has insane nuke potential when combined with your skills. The delay on her stun makes predicting Pitfalls easy, if it's going to hit you can cast your Pitfall pre-emptively.
Teamfight Partners

There really isn't any other hero that really shines more than Bubbles for you, since his Kelp Field has a radius of 400. This means that if you target your Chariot directly in the centre you're guaranteed to hit everyone inside of the field - pretty neat!

Vicious Foes

Magic immunity completely screws over your whole combo. Playing against either of these guys is really quite a bother.

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