Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wretched Hag Guide

Chaosmongler / jay't 's Guide to the Wretched Hag!

This guide is written for Normal Mode 5v5 play.

Table Of Contents - To jump to a section, press 'control-f' and type in the code next to the section:

.1a Introduction
.2a Pros and Cons of Wretched Hag
.3a When Should I Pick Wretched Hag?
.4a Skills
.5a Core Analysis
.6a Skill Build
.7a Early item build and philosophy
.8a Playstyle Guide
.8b Mid Game and Beyond - Luxury items and more
.9a FAQ!

Introduction: .1a
Wretched Hag is based off the DOTA hero Akasha, Queen of Pain, with some subtle differences; most notably her Ultimate applying the Haunt debuff to its targets (mass aoe slow and DOT) and that her third skill, Sonar Scream, hits units that are fogged and invisible.

Wretched Hag is one of the most versatile heroes in the entire game. A strong nuking semi-carry with amazing chasing ability, she maintains relevance throughout the game, and she is one of the heroes that has the ability to step on the throat of the other team before their carries even have a chance to breathe. Should the early game go awry, she is one of the best ward hoes around.

This is my first guide, and I hope it is helpful. If you have any feedback, please let me know!
Pros and Cons of Wretched Hag: .2a
[COLOR=yellow][COLOR=yellow][COLOR=yellow][COLOR=yellow][COLOR=yellow][SIZE=5][SIZE=5]+Massively strong early and mid game
+Even scales well into late game!
+Good runewhoring abilities
+Hero is fun to play - highly mobile hit and run!
+Just about any item works good on her!
+Great voice! Also carries a weird thing on her back!
+Very good chaser!

-Squishy! Even with lots of health she goes down quick in a stun
-Hard to play! Constant mana problems, not a great animation, and MASSIVE positioning requirements!
-Some people don't like the model!
-No innate hard disable!
-Did I say that she's squishy?

When Should I Pick Wretched Hag? .3a
Wretched Hag is a high burst damage semicarry that has no innate stun. She requires early farm. Hag fits into lineups that need a semicarry, and that already have good crowd control.

Hag is especially punishing to squishy teams that lack immobilizing heroes. Hag is a fair matchup with many popular mids, due to her blink and ability to push the lane. Hag is a great pick if you have a hard carry, as she can counterpush well, and can fend off the enemy team while your carry farms. Hag also combos with any initiator, for example, with , the fight is over before it begun.

Immobilizations tend to last longer than straight stuns, and are especially brutal to Hag due to her requiring to be so close to the enemy. Heroes like Glacius and Puppet punish hag by shutting down her ability to blink. Vindicator cuts down Hag's burst significantly just by being present - being silenced between casts is not a fun thing when you're the Hag. Electrician's long duration disable really hurts if your team isn't there to stun him every time he does it, and unfortunately, Hag has no innate disable to counter him.

Learns Haunt, Flash of Darkness, Sonar Scream, Bat Blast

Haunt: The Wretched Hag haunts a target unit with a bat, slowing its movement speed and dealing periodic damage.

Target: Enemy Unit
Type: Magic
Range: 400
Mana cost: 80/100/120/140
Cooldown: 20/17/14/11 seconds

Deals 50/70/70/100 initial Magic damage, then applies Haunted to target for 15 seconds.

10/20/40/50 Magic damage inflicted every 3 seconds.
20/30/40/50% Movement speed initially, which wears off over 10 seconds.

Notes: Haunt is a scaling slow (meaning you need to get points into it for it to slow a lot) that does crap damage at low levels. It also has a short range. At max rank though, it does 350 damage and applies a brutal slow. Additionally, her ultimate applies the haunted debuff to all targets hit, dependent on your level of Haunt.

400 range is really short.

Flash of Darkness: The Wretched Hag disappears in a flash of darkness, only to instantly reappear at a target location.

Type: Target position
Mana cost: 60 at all levels
Range: 800/900/1000/1150
Cooldown: 12/10/8/6 seconds
Teleports self to target position.

Notes: Hag's playstyle is heavily dependent on positioning. Without blink, she would be a very poor pick. With blink, she can chase, initiate, blink into the woods and TP away, farm lanes, etc. This skill has a nice quick cooldown, but not quick enough so that you can blink in, unload, and blink out. You're vulnerable for a few seconds in between.

The wards show distance for each rank of Flash of Darkness.

Sonar Scream: Unleashing a high frequency scream, the Wretched Hag damages all nearby enemies.
Target: Point Blank AOE -> affects nearby enemies
Type: Magic
Radius: 400/450/475/500
Mana cost: 140
Cooldown: 7 seconds at all levels
Deals 85/165/225/300 Magic damage to targets in radius.

Notes: This skill is what allows your early and mid game dominance. Note that the radius increases by 25% from Rank 1 to Rank 4. You can hit people from rather far away with this skill at Rank 4, as shown in my picture below:

Please note that unlike Hag's counterpart in DOTA, this skill DOES hit units in the fog or stealthed. It goes through trees and cliffs. Combined with your blink and your haunt, nobody escapes the Hag.

Bat Blast (Called Bat Swarm when it's boosted by Staff of the Masters): The Wretched Hag lets loose a torrent of magical bats in a target direction. Enemies caught within the blast are heavily damaged.

Target: Target Position
Range: 700
Mana cost: 250 / 350 / 500
Cooldown: 135 at all levels (120 / 100 / 80 with Staff)

Deals 290/430/600 (340/530/725 with Staff of the Master) and applies Haunted to targets in a line, up to 800 units away. Radius of the damaging line starts out at 100 and ends at 300.

Haunted Effects: Pretty much is just the debuff portion of Haunt with OUT the initial cast damage.

This picture shows Bat Blast range. Like our friend Sonar Scream, bat blast range is LARGE

Notes: This is the skill that will cause your enemies to mass mystic vestments. The skill is aimed similarly to Defiler's Wave of Death, but does far more damage. Additionally, it applies haunt to your targets (though not the initial haunt cast damage, just the debuff), allowing you to slow their team. Haunt does stack with this ult, meaning if you ult someone, then haunt them, they will be taking a load of damage. You have to level haunt for the ult to apply the debuff to the target.

Finally, a quick note regarding targeting: If you target a point outside of where the ult would be able to reach, Hag will walk to a point where it would hit, and then cast. There is a small cast time on this skill, so be careful when you aim it or you'll look like a big noob when you whiff it!

The enemy team found themselves in a poor position, enabling this ult initiation to get our team three easy kills.


Core Analysis: .5a
This is where we analyze hero-specific stuff like stat/stat gain and movespeed.

Wretched Hag's starting stats are fairly average or below average. She has a good starting INT at 24, but a poor starting STR of 16. Both her INT gain and STR gain are poop, at 2.5 and 1.7, respectively.

Hag's agility is an oddity in the INT world. She starts at a fairly good 18 and gains 2.0 per level. As Hag gains levels, and you start putting points in stats, her attack speed becomes quite decent.

Hag has 300 movespeed, low base damage, and crap armor. As if this wasn't underwhelming enough, her range is 550, and her attack animation leaves something to be desired. Finally, sonar scream has a static mana cost, meaning you can't spam it early to get last hits.

So what do we do with this hero, whom seemingly has so many beginning-of-the-game disadvantages? Hag is a ranged blinker that nukes fairly hard early and needs farm early. She needs the middle lane and thrives on runewhoring.

We will build and play Hag to compete in the mid lane, crush the other lanes, and farm enough to maintain relevancy in endgame.
We will not waste our dominance. Our job is to own hard for the first forty minutes of play, and then hand a winning game over to a carry so they can right click end it for us.


Skill build: .6a
1: Flash of Darkness / Sonar Scream / Haunt
2: Sonar Scream / Flash of Darkness
3: Sonar Scream
4: Haunt / Flash of Darkness / Sonar Scream
5: Sonar Scream
6: Bat Blast
7: Sonar Scream (maxed out)
8: Haunt / Flash of Darkness
9: Haunt / Flash of Darkness
10: Haunt / Flash of Darkness
11: Bat Blast
12-14: Haunt / Flash of Darkness
15: Stats
16: Bat Blast (maxed out)
17-25: Stats

Explanation: Hag's skill build really depends on what you are comfortable with, and the enemies you're facing. Many people enjoy getting haunt early, and sometimes maxing Haunt before Flash. However, I've found that against most teams, extra ranks of Flash are better than haunt - and rank 1 Haunt lets people deny kills off your ult.

Even the very first point is debatable. If you're going for rune bloodlust, it's possible that a super early rank in haunt or scream is good. If you're against a strong mid, you might want that level 1 rank in sonar scream to grab a last hit you'd otherwise miss. Keep in mind when skilling Hag that your goal is early-mid game dominance, not just merely survival. You NEED those early last hits, you NEED that early gold, and you NEED to hit 7 before the enemy does. Period. If there is one thing you learn from this guide, learn that Hag is all about knocking down the enemy, then kicking them in the nuts. Have I repeated that enough?


Early item build and philosophy: .7a
Hag's core is really simple: Bottle, Marchers, TP stones and early INT.

Thing is, Hag can farm. Hag has the best chasing mech in the game with blink, and a built in slow. Her sonar scream HURTS, and is spammable. She has a 2.0 agility gain, and will have a respectable autoattack later on.

What am I saying? This hero isn't Glacius. You don't buy bracers / wards and 'support'. You have to be aggressive through the entire game. This means farming open lanes, grabbing early kills, killing neutrals when nothing else is around. Hag isn't the 'ricing' type carry where she sits safely near a tower for 20 minutes denying creeps. She blows apart a wave or two, then blinks around the map looking for more targets - preferably heroes.

Starting Build:

or / or (your preference!)

You can get runes of the blight instead of the healing pot, if you prefer

The two above permit an aggressive bottle rush, using sonar scream to grab last hits and harass, then use the pots to refill. Either way you go, work towards your early game items.

Early Game items:

Once you get your bottle, you're given more leverage for spamming sonar scream to get hits and harass your opponent. Your blink will let you get most of the runes, and if you're still running dry on mana, feel free to crow the bottle back and forth. Get your . While you're good for ganks now, you'll need additional mana to cast multiple screams or to chain all spells together.

Blood Chalice, yes or no??:

Blood Chalice is good in combination with bottle, but is very dangerous to use against other nukers. Since you will eventually be buying mana and mana regeneration items, think carefully if Blood Chalice will be a good purchase in the game. 150 health lost is quite a bit on Wretched Hag.

then to your CORE - you need FAST int:

Want some early stats?
+ steamboots

Want to try something different? Get .
Always get . Get wards if necessary.

Exile stacking is a cheap and easy core build that will get you the mana you need, fast, and on a skeleton farm.

I'd like to discuss . The tablet is cheap, and is a great item for your early-mid game. You get a lot of INT and good attack damage out of it, and the on use ability is phenomenal in just about every matchup. I strongly recommend as your first buys, as it makes you deadly quickly, and leaves you room for your first part of a luxury item, usually blessed orb or glowstone.

Luxury items will be discussed below!
Playstyle Guide .8a

Laning: Solo mid, baby. A Hag without a solo lane is an underleveled underfarmed shadow of what she could be. Hag isn't a particularly great 2v1 hero, either, as she is vulnerable to harass and has weak starting damage. Finally, Hag's ability to runewhore is among the best.

Hag might have some trouble vs a few other popular solos. Melee solos are particularly troublesome, as they can deny with hatchet. Against solos like you cannot afford to make a mistake. Clip the hero with your sonar scream, if you can, when you use it to last hit. Also of concern are popular mid solos like puppet and deadwood that have immobilizations. Your goal in the early early game is to NOT DIE and to get FARM! Use your mana potions and sonar scream to accomplish this! Hag's early nuking is strong, and clipping a hero a few times with sonar scream can lead to an early tower dive and surprising bloodlust in your favor.

Once you get bottle and boots, it's go time. Starting from level 7 onwards, every time your ult is up, use it to get a kill or two. A pair of level 5s have no chance against a level 7 hag that's blinking in from the fog with her allies around. Remember that your blink likely has a 10/12 second CD at this time so don't put your squishy self in a position you can't escape from!

Between 7 and 14 you're the God of the Battlefield. When you show up, people die. Do not waste this time free farming lanes!! Don't be afraid to blow up creeps or neutrals if there's no targets, but make your priority enemy heroes. Keep your mana topped off in case you're needed to TP defend your carry, push a lane, or punish an opponent's lane that's pushed too far. Do not squander any opportunity to kill enemy heroes!

Team fights: Generally, you want to dump your ult onto as many as possible, but always try to nail people you know you or your team will be able to kill. Follow your initiation hero, but don't be afraid to initiate yourself if you see an opportunity that you can escape from! Don't let people get away - use your blink and tablet to chase them down!

This screenshot shows the power of good positioning with Wretched Hag. I've nailed both with a sonar scream, and now the two enemies are prey to an easy ult. A couple auto attacks with my double damage rune and Archer's toast. Chronos tries to juke me in the woods, but nobody escapes the Hag. Note two important things about this image: this is a level 6 gank on two carries, and that the archer in the screenshot was hit by Sonar Scream, even though the graphic of the spell is nowhere near her.

Mid Game and Beyond - Luxury items and more: .8b
Once you're at the 15-20 minute mark or so, you really need to start assessing the game and where it's heading, so that you can sap momentum from the opponents, or try to end the game if you're dominating them. Hag cannot win a game herself under most normal circumstances, so it is important to pick your luxury items with this in mind.

Wait - why not ??
An early STOM will allow you many more ults during the time they're most effective - midgame. Get this too late, and yo
Are you GETTING dominated hard? Consider getting hp/mana, wards, and maybe cheap CC

Items like barrier idol and Astrolabe are poor on Hag because she does not sit with her team in fights. She is an opportunist that skirts the edges of the field, clipping enemies when able, and chasing down runners. Hag will never be a good carrier of items that require your team to be near.

The four best big items on hag are?

The mighty deserves a mention and a paragraph of its own. This item makes Hag into a terrific pusher, but it also adds a load of damage in teamfights. Please for the love of Christ, use the green dude's mana burn. Please. An early puzzlebox can end a game almost as much as an early SToM, and its usefulness remains even when the enemy begins to get magic armor. This item also lets you counterward for free! (Just make sure to use your blink to get to higher areas).

is probably my favorite item for Hag. This truly accentuates her role as a chaser, makes her Haunt slow by a ~LOT~, gives godly amounts of HP, MP, gives good autoattack damage, gives good agility, and so on and so forth. This item also uses a glowstone, which is something I like to get early anyway. One VERY important thing to remember is that the movement and attack slow go through shrunken head, making this a potent anti carry item.

is a very popular choice in all levels of play, and is a natural fit for Hag. The mana tube and blessed orb are great items for Hag, and this item solves your mana regen problems. This item is ALWAYS situational though, so make sure that the enemy team has spells that are actually worth blocking!

hard disables are never a bad thing, and neither is permanently fixing your mana problems. This item is hard to build, though, and doesn't give a ton of HP.

Super Luxury - Survivability problem solved, buff your autoattack:
If the game got to this point, you just pick whatever you think will help the most. A lot of people think of hellflower as trash, and it sometimes is, but consider a long game where you've rushed Frostwolf skull. The hellflower will amplify your already decent autoattack, give your team a damage buff, and solve the mana regen problem that frostwolf doesn't.

Situational Items! Sometimes even Amelia Earhart had a detour:

- great against magic damage! you can upgrade this to shaman's headdress if you'd like

- Situationally useful against a team that outinitiates you late game, OR if you've gone the 'hard carry' route and need to be able to trade blows with people.

Carries getting you down? Try one of these, or both! Be careful with void talisman, as it reduces your magic armor. Generally, frostwolf is better than frostfield as an anti carry item.

A hag with her HP problem solved is a good bound eye carrier. She can also blink to popular ward spots to get sight of them easily.

Always consider extra HP on Hag. Bracers are cheap and keep you alive!

NONO items for hag:
you have too much stuff to worry about early to rush this. go gank!
fun, but too expensive!
or neither one is AWFUL, but you could do so much for the money. Sheep's better than sac stone for regen, and Frostwolf trumps heart in overall usefulness. People like the CD reduction on Heart, but neglect to remember how little your 300 damage nuke really does late game against magic armored enemies. Sac Stone additionally does little to benefit your auto attack and the heal on death requires you to die, which isn't really your goal.

Generally a bad idea because it offers no survivability and requires another heavy mana regen to even be able to use, this item CAN be good if you don't have an attack modifier, but you are already heavily farmed. Most times this is out of reach, but keep it in mind if for whatever reason you have 20 kills and the game won't end.
no survivability at all, and hag's AOE is already great.
trash on hag
don't even think about it!!! a double ult will cost you ungodly amounts of mana, thus ruining your ability to chase. why get this when you could get something more useful like sheep or frostwolf?
not so great for int carries since agi and str grant no damage. Also, hag has no cool passive that would make breaking this down into geos worth it.
You know, I see people get this all the time on hag at like the 35 minute mark or even later. It adds a whole 125 damage to your ult. The cooldown reduction IS significant, however, if you haven't rushed this item, you won't be needing the fast cooldown (later on, fights tend to be team vs team a few minutes apart, as opposed to frantic ganks earlier in the game that can happen at any time). Remember - this item is good for EARLY domination, where every cooldown of ult is additional kills. Later on, your ult is not going to be guaranteeing kills.

Remember! Your job is to carry the team for 40 minutes, so that your 'real' carry can take over! Stop their pushes, kill their carry, and be all over the map! Abuse your on demand damage and six second blink! Abuse your ability to farm out creep waves! Abuse the enemy that thinks she doesn't need to stack bracers! If you do your job well, EVERYONE else's job becomes cake!

a crafty tablet of command escape from a mean blood hunter while my blink's cooling down!


FAQ .9

Hey! Can you talk a little about Hag in competitive play?
Hag in competitive play is mostly the same as I've outlined, but there are some key differences that need to be highlighted. Hags in competitive play rarely are the main warder, and are generally picked as a solo mid, or a side solo lane (not 1v3, though).

Hag is a fair pick in competitive play because her mass aoe damage is especially punishing to underleveled supports.

Competitive Hags tend to build a bit tanky. Two bracers, power supply, bottle, steamboots is not uncommon before the hag starts to really get down and dirty. Nullstone tends to be the item of choice for competitive Hags.

Do Haunt and Bat Blast stack? What are the exact mechanics?

Here is the answer, Supplied by ElementUser:

Originally Posted by ElementUser View Post

The mechanics of Bat Blast & Haunt stacking is the following:

-Bat Blast and Haunts' individual DoT's will tick on their individual timers.
-Applying Bat Blast after Haunt (or vice-versa) will reset the slow timer. This means that if you cast both spells on the target at once, they won't be slowed for twice as much in the same duration (the slows still stack diminishingly though)

When should you dual-lane Hag? How does a Hag dual lane play out?

I'm so glad you asked! Dual laning Hag is not recommended for obvious reasons. There are only a few times when you'd dual lane hag. These times are:

*Blood Hunter or some other mid is destroying you.
*You have soulstealer on the team, or another person that's even more mid-reliant than you (aka AR or SD or some BD games where you can't have perfect lanes)
*I think that's about it

In any situation, the person laning with Hag has to not gobble up all the farm. Getting Hag's early int, early bottle, and early marchers are important no matter what lane she's in. The lane has to play extremely defensively. If you have a Soulstealer mid, for example, our friend the Hag would likely be in the dangerous lane, and likely against double stunners.

Think about a lane such as vs . Even though Poly is capable of offensive plays vs the double stun, the Hag Wog lane will be more defensive since Pyro Magmus is offensive. Positioning (as always with this hero) is super important. The good thing about this is that Hag and Wog can unload a crazy amount of burst if they make a mistake. If magmus makes a poor charge or Pyro misses a stun, Wog can sheep the other and they can unload, with a good chance of a kill using blink. Remember that Hag, even in a side lane, is still a ganker, and try to get out of the lane ASAP and start roaming that map

ARG! I can't win vs heavy nuker solo mids! Help!

To answer your question, against heavy nukers like Plague, Thunderbringer, and Pyro you harass when you can with your nuke, and use the monkey to ferry bottle back and forth. Items like mana battery are good, and you may need an extra bracer you weren't planning on.

Finally, don't sit there going blow for blow with someone that's got a chance to beat you. Ganking the sidelanes will give the game's momentum to your and your team and null the effect of a strong mid against you.

Against Vindicator, your blink costs 60 mana. His Sage's Lore costs 75-135 depending on level, and has a 14 second cooldown at all ranks. Save your blink for his crap, and you're good to go.

Why Sonar Scream first? I max Haunt first and it guarantees early ganks with your ult. Sorry bro, your skill build is wrong!

This is one I've seen pop up now and again, and I see Hags in game skilling Haunt first. Haunt first DOES make your ult hit harder, slow more, and do more total damage. The problem is that Haunt's damage is done over fifteen seconds, in 3 second intervals. This means, if your opponent is good, they can sip bottles between ticks to stay alive, much like Slither's poison nuke. Sonar Scream does its damage up front, and has a seven second cooldown. While Haunt may do more damage PER CAST than Sonar Scream, Sonar Scream does far more TOTAL because of its short cooldown.

Finally, if that isn't good enough for you, Sonar Scream is AOE, and increases your farm by a million (yes that's mathematically proven ).

The best build for Hag right now is Max scream at 7 with 1 point in blink and Haunt along the way. After that, it's all personal preference.
use of magic armor or just HP. I really do NOT recommend this item, ever!

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