Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Devourer Guide - You're Mine!

This guide is specifically written for 5v5 Forest of Caldavar - Normal mode public games, and was last updated on 02-13-2011.

Devourer - You're Mine!

Strength: 25 + 3.2

Agility: 14 + 1.5
Intelligence: 14 + 1.5
Armor: 2.96
Movement Speed: 285
Range: Melee

I. Introduction

Devourer is one of my favorite utility heroes. He is a very powerful ganker that is capable of completely isolating players and killing them before their team has a moment to react. Devourer is often underestimated, as he is practically useless if not played correctly. Due to this, I have created this guide to aid players in improving their skills with what I believe to be one of the most powerful heroes in public play.

Early to mid game Devourer is a heavy ganker, but he grows to be a very powerful anti-carry with a bit of pushing power as the game progresses to late game.

II. Pros and Cons


-Has excellent strength gain.
-Has amazing ganking potential.
-Is a low risk initiator. Devourer has the ability to force the enemy team to initiate, rather than having to charge in and do it himself.
-Can soak up a lot of damage as well as provide large damage output over long periods of time.


-Has high mana costing abilities.
-Has low armor.
-Has low Agility and Intelligence stat gains.
-Has lowest movement speed in game.
-Requires precision targeting in order to be effective.
-Requires a very good early game to maintain usefulness.
-Requires a lot of time and practice to master.

III. Skills


Guttling Hook
The Devourer launches his Guttling Hook at a target unit or location. The first targetable unit that touches the hook will be dragged back to the Devourer.

Action: Target Position (All Non-Siege Units)
Type: Physical Push
Range: 1100
Radius: 60
Cast Time: 0.3 seconds
Mana Cost: 140
Cooldown: 14.0 seconds
Activation: Deals 100 / 200 / 300 / 400 Physical damage to target and interrupts channeling abilities. Drags the target to self.

Here's a technical breakdown of Guttling Hooks' travel time, courtesy of ElementUser.
Guttling Hook travels at a speed of 1600 units/second. Since it extends up to 1100 units, its max travel time over 1100 units is 0.6875 seconds in 1 direction. If you count the time it has to travel back, then it has a true max travel time of 0.6875 x 2 = 1.375 seconds.
This is your primary ganking tool. You can use this to isolate heroes, save allies, and even interrupt devastating ultimates from the opposing team. It does physical damage, and a very large amount at that. It's one of the highest damaging non-ultimate nukes in game.

There are so many ways to use this ability, and it is the very reason Devourer is viewed as such a hard hero to play. It's very easy to miss or even hit the wrong target with this ability, which can effectively kill you or your teammates.

-After the hook reaches it's maximum range, it will start returning to your current position.
-The hook can grab units on its' return trip.
-There is a 0.3 second cast time before the hook is actually launched. You can interrupt the ability by pressing "S" during that time to prevent yourself from missing a hook. This is an important technique to practice as you increase your hooking skills. If you know you're going to miss before the hook has even launched, there's no point in risking in.


The Devourer allows himself to decay, draining his Health over time and releasing poisonous gasses that both damage and slow nearby enemy units.

Action: Toggle
Radius: 250
Activation: Applies Decay to enemy targets in radius and deals 25 / 50 / 75 / 100 Magic damage per second to self.

The movement slow persists for 2 seconds after an enemy leaves the Decay radius.

Decay Effects

20% Movement Slow
25 / 50 / 75 / 100 Magic damage per second
Decay is amazing. It allows you to get off massive damage on disabled heroes (Such as ones you are well, devouring) and even chase down survivors. Albeit having a small AOE, you can usually catch 2-3 heroes during team fights. (Assuming you're not in the forest finishing up one of their stragglers.) When used properly, you can get off a couple melee attacks while chasing someone down, too.

-Interrupts your attack animation.
-You can use it to help last hit during the laning phase. By simply toggling it on for a split second you can dish out a small burst of damage before your auto attack goes off.
-You can use it to kill yourself and deny their team of gold and experience.
-The slow stays for 2 seconds after they leave the radius. This means you can spam it once every 2 seconds to keep enemies slowed down. This is most useful when running away.
-You can toggle this on and off at will, even while channeling Devour.
-This ability is buffed by your ultimate.


Cadaver Armor
This grotesque armor increases the Devourer's Magic Armor and permanently adds strength for each nearby hero kill or each kill he makes.

Action: Passive
Adds: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 Magic Armor
On Kill: Permanently adds 1 Strength to self per hero kill.
Aura: 400 (Enemy Heroes)
Aura Effects:
On death, when not killed by the devourer, permanently adds 1.5 strength to the devourer.
Cadaver Armor will provide you with a little more magic armor, and allow you to start building up a massive amount of strength. As long as you remain in team fights and gank frequently, this skill will really start to beef itself up. It's not uncommon to see this add +40 to +60 strength by the end of the game.

-If you get the killing blow on a hero you will gain strength no matter how far away they are.
-As long as you are within a 400 AOE of a hero kill, you will get the strength bonus regardless of who killed the hero.
-If you deny yourself with Decay and have points spent in Cadaver Armor, you gain strength as if you had killed an enemy hero.


Devour (Om Nom Nom)
The Devourer grabs a target enemy and feasts on their flesh, dealing massive damage for every second he feeds.

Type: Superior Magic
Range: 160
Channeling Time: 3 Seconds
Mana Cost: 100 / 130 / 170
Cooldown: 30.0 Seconds
Applies Devour to target enemy for 3 seconds or until channel is canceled.

For each second of channel, a charge that lasts 7 seconds is added to Devourer. Each charge increases damage by 15 / 25 / 35, increases maximum health by 75 / 125 / 175, and increases the radius of Decay by 30 / 40 / 50.

Devour Effects:
75 / 125 / 175 Magic damage per second

This ability can be boosted by Staff of the Master.

Staff Effect: Heals self equal to the damage done. Deals additional (0.75 * Strength) Magic damage per second.
Devour is an amazing ability. It heals you, buffs your base damage, extends your decay radius, and disables a chosen target for 3 seconds.

Devour synergizes well with his other skills. You can Hook an enemy hero, Devour them, and proceed to burn them down with Decay. The amount of damage you obtain from this combo is amazing during early-mid game, and is almost always a sure kill. Late game you will primarily use this ability to disable the enemy carry or initiator before a teamfight begins.

The ability is upgradable with Staff of the Master, giving it a major damage increase that will heal you for the damage it does. This is particularly useful for non-stop team pushing. With a low cooldown of 30 seconds, you can heal a good portion of your health in just about every fight you engage in.

-This ability is superior magic. That means that the entire effect of the skill will work through magic immunity, but the target will not be damaged. You will still get charges and the target will be disabled. If you have Staff of the master, you will still be healed while the target is magic immune.
-The channel starts when you are within 160 range of the target, but it is very possible for them to run well outside of that range before you actually disable them. This can sometimes prevent you from reaching them with decay until it reaches +1 or +2 charges.
-If the target is moved away from their original position they will still be devoured, even though they are nowhere near you.
-At max level and max charges, this ability will;
*Heal you for 600 HP.
*Give you 105 extra base damage.
*Extend the radius of Decay by 105 (For a 355 total radius).

IV. Skill Builds

The "Pro Hooker" build

1. Decay
2. Guttling Hook
3. Guttling Hook / Cadaver Armor
4. Cadaver Armor / Guttling Hook
5. Guttling Hook
6. Devour
7. Guttling Hook
8. Decay
9. Decay
10. Decay
11. Devour
12. Cadaver Armor
13. Cadaver Armor
14. Cadaver Armor

15. Stats
16. Devour
17-25. Stats

While some would argue that you don't need to level Guttling Hook since the range is the same across all levels; I still believe it's worth leveling above everything else. If you level Decay above Guttling Hook, you will be required to chase a hero for at least a couple seconds longer just to match the damage you get from landing a hook. Not to mention decay damages you too, whereas hook does not. Due to this, I opt to max Guttling Hook first.

Pickup Cadaver Armor at either level 3 or 4. Base it on how your lane is going. If you think you can get an easy kill at level 3, then take cadaver for the strength bonus. If it doesn't look like you'll be able to do so without level 2 Guttling Hook, then simply put Cadaver off until level 4. In order to get really beefy by late game you need to pick up cadaver before you start killing people. Cadaver Armor will reduce the overall magic damage you take by a small amount, and will also allow you to start building your strength up. Decay is maxed next, so that you can maximize your DPS during the midgame. Cadaver Armor is maxed as the game progresses to lategame, and you start taking more magic damage.

If you're not confident in your hooking ability, then this may not be the best build to go for. Decay
is rather easy to deal damage with as long as you chase; whereas you must actually land a hook to benefit from the skill points.

The "Chaser" build

1. Decay
2. Guttling Hook
3. Decay / Cadaver Armor
4. Cadaver Armor / Decay
5. Decay
6. Devour
7. Decay
8. Guttling Hook
9. Guttling Hook
10. Guttling Hook

11. Devour
12. Cadaver Armor
13. Cadaver Armor
14. Cadaver Armor

15. Stats
16. Devour
17-25. Stats

This build is primarily focused around chasing and having good team support. You take one level of Guttling Hook so you can still hook heroes when you really need to, but you won't be relying on it for damage. Decay will be your primary source of damage, and is leveled above everything else. You pick up Cadaver Armor at either level 3 or 4 so that you can start building up strength, but isn't maxed until late game. Base it on how your lane is going. If you think you can get an easy kill at level 3, then take Cadaver for the strength bonus. If it doesn't look like you'll be able to do so without level 2 Decay, then simply put cadaver off until level 4. Hook is taken next for the extra damage boost. If you have trouble hooking then try to do so after you're ult ends and they are trying to run away.

Something to note is that while Decay boosts your damage output, it also boosts the rate at which you kill yourself. When choosing this build it is recommended you have some sort of "support" role to lane with you to ease the burden on your health loss.

V. Strategy

Maximizing your early game effectiveness is extremely important for Devourer. He's a hero that relies on his early game edge, and you won't have one if you don't properly plan things out beforehand. Choosing the safest lane, preying on heroes that are easily killed are vital to your success.

Choosing a lane

Solo Mid: If you're confident in your ability to hook well, ask for solo mid. If not, don't risk it. The solo is a very important role for your team, and devourer can be easily shut down.

The main benefit from mid is having the large ganking potential. Devourer is a ganker, and one of the best at that. You should have your bottle before you roam, and always try to gank the lane with the rune. Every 2 minutes the rune will spawn, and you better be there. A lucky haste or regen rune is all you need for a double kill. Another major benefit from middle is the ability to easily hook your opponent into the tower. You can pull a hero from the center of the river directly into the range of your tower, as well as slow them while they are within its' range.

Never go mid against a melee hero unless it's a squishy target that doesn't hit hard. Certain melee heroes can be difficult to kill, and in most cases they will out last-hit you too.

The Side Lanes: It doesn't really matter which side lane you're in, each has their own benefits. You can refer to the Hooking Map if you're having trouble deciding. You can usually get a couple hooks from the trees while in a side lane, and you're provided with a lot more hooking opportunities due to the length of the lanes. At the same time however; if the enemies are smart, they will keep their distance and grant you no chance to hook them at all. It's crucial to have a decent laning partner that compliments your abilities when going to a side lane.

Laning Partners and Enemies to Avoid

This is where I will outline the better laning partners, as well as your "worst enemies". Just keep in mind that if somebody is great in a lane with you, it also sucks to have them against you. Treat your greatest allies as some of your worst enemies.

Great Laning Partners
In truth, I prefer to solo most of the time, so I don't often chose a laning partner to go along with. Unfortunately though, you can't always solo, so when that happens you need a good laning partner to keep you fed.

Devourer's laning phase is very important. All you need is 1-3 kills during the laning phase and you can ride the snowball effect for the rest of the game. You're looking for slows, heals, mana regen, stuns, disables. Having just one of these abilities on your side could be all you need. Here's a list of what I've found to be the most effective laning partners for Devourer.

Try not to lane with a carry, ever. Carry's need farm, and they need it a lot more than you do. You wont get any last hits, and you wont get any kills; this is a very bad thing.

and Demented Shaman both have very powerful heals, something that that helps you immensely when chasing with decay. Though Id much prefer Demented, as a dual melee lane can be difficult against decent players. While Jera's magic immunity can be very useful, I find the slow from demented to be much more powerful. With that said, the damage burst from Devo's hook + Jera's heal is downright ridiculous. Play your cards right and nobody will survive.

Nymphora has pretty much everything you can want out of a hero. Heals, Stuns, and Mana regen. Early game you'll only be receiving two of those however. I find it easier to tell nymph right off which of the two I'd like to get during the laning phase. (I find stun + mana to be the most effective.)
Nymph can practically perma-stun a target when it's leveled up, and the constant flow of mana will give you incredible bursts of damage from your hooks. Late game you'll get the full treatment, as well as free teleports to your victims.

Glacius, Plague Rider, and Slither all have powerful slows. Glacius is probably one of the better laning partners out there. He has a slow, a hold, and even a mana regen aura. He hits like a truck early on so the harass will be pretty strong too. Plague Rider is powerful as well. He's got a good slow with massive damage output. Due to his infinite supply of mana he will give you total control of the lane. Slithers slow is a bit more powerful than Plague Riders, and can hit multiple units. It does less damage, but he still has massive harass potential via auto attacks. A well played Slither will keep the enemy far away from the creeps, preventing them from ever getting any last hits.

Enemies to Avoid
Heroes that you would consider your "worst enemies" are ones that prevent you from getting the killing blow, or disable you start to finish. Devourer has both a toggling ability that kills him slowly, as well as a channeling ultimate. In games where hooking opportunities disappear just as fast as they're made possible, things like silence, mana drain, stuns, disables, blinks, and mini-stuns are your worst enemies.

The biggest counter to devourer, is long distance stuns or unit displacements. Chipper, Pharaoh, Hellbringer, and Andromeda all counter Devourer in this extremely annoying way. Chipper has 2 slowing abilities, a 3000 range ministun, and magic damage mitigation. He's the bane of my existence, and it's almost impossible to win against a decent chipper solo mid. Pharaoh has a ministun, a mana drain, and a 3000 range stun that pulls himself to you. Hellbringer can stun you and your entire team from a mile away, and will usually cause your hook to lose you the teamfight rather than win it. Andromeda can turn your hook into a swap opportunity, and you will instantly be placed in the center of the enemy team. This will allow them to instantly finish off 1 member of your team. (read: you) and initiate a teamfight where they have the advantage. All of these heroes can destroy you from a ridiculously long distance, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Heroes like Predator and Soul Reaper have percentage based abilities. This is a problem for you late game, as they destroy your ability to be a real tank. Soul Reaper will slowly wither you down by just being in the area, and he will often catch you when you're low (all the time) and make quick work of you when you would have otherwise been completely fine. Predator is the real problem, though. He does damage based on a percentage of your health, and then heals off of said damage. This means that the harder you are to kill, the easier he will be able to kill you and get away scot-free.

Predator and Armadon both reduce armor. Something that Devourer doesn't have a lot of. Not to mention they both have slows and deal a ton of physical damage. Also, Armadon's passive is also a big problem. In most cases you will be hooking him from the side, or from behind (Reduces damge). You also do a massive amount of damage within melee range, and you will trigger his autoquillspray repeatedly. The damage will start to stack a good deal, and without him even having to do anything at all. This will made quick work of both you and your team.

Mana drain can be pretty bad, but it will only be a real problem if you have to deal with it during the laning phase. Vindicator can prevent you from being able to ever hook again without any effort on his part. While he is easy to kill, his aura prevents chain casting; something that you need to do. The best thing you can do against a vindicator is ensure that you always hook him from the fog, so that you do not trigger his aura. Always focus him down before he has a change to ult in a teamfight.

God I hate being silenced. It's not the fact that you can't actually do anything, but rather; if you have Decay toggled on, you can't turn it off. You'll be sitting there, dealing 100 DPS to yourself, and there's nothing you can do about it. In the case of Blood Hunter, if you ever get caught with Decay on, you will be sitting there killing yourself for 15 seconds. Fifteen seconds.

Early Game

During early game your primary concern is last hitting. It's very important to never use your hook unless you're absolutely positive it will get you a kill. You should keep an eye out for hooking opportunities at all times. The opportunities will come and go in an instant, so you must be constantly keeping an eye out for them. Depending on which skillbuild you chose, it may or may not be possible to pull off early kills within the lane. Whichever skillbuild you chose, I find it more beneficial for you to wait until at least level 4 before truly attempting a kill, so that you get the cadaver strength bonus.

Mid Game

After mid game hits you should start roaming, gank as much as possible! Ganks will increase your strength, grant you early items, as well as save your team from getting killed themselves. Keep up your creep farm until you see an opportunity to get moving; you have to look for moments to catch the enemy team off guard. When ganking a lane that has two enemy heroes, always try to make your hooked target as isolated as possible. The further their teammate has to walk to get to you, the more likely you are to get away clean.

Mid game is your prime time, and you should never really stop moving. It's your job as a ganker to help your team out as much as possible, but there's no reason you shouldn't be creeping while looking for opportunities.

Remember to always carry a TP scroll. Never go ANYWHERE without one. If you're allies are pushed up in the lane, TP when the enemy cannot see you, move into the fog and then KILL THEM as they approach.

Late Game

Late game you start to to become a real beast. You should have over 3k HP by now with cadaver alone. Your goal is to hook heroes into your team, and to make sure that the fights end before they even begin. You have a 1100 range hook, make use of it!

You start to lose your "hooking spots" by this point, and so your opportunities are limited. Remember to choose your battles. Sometimes it's more important to hook your idiot teammate out of the battle rather than hooking an enemy to you; starting a teamfight that you can't win.

If you've managed to obtain a SotM by now, you'll be a very powerful anti-carry. If that's the case, try to hook (anyone) into your team, but save your ult for their carry. Even if they have Shrunken you should still ult them. Disabling a carry for 3 seconds can be absolutely devastating for the enemy team. Always focus down their highest dpser as quickly as possible!

VI. Items

Depending on which skillbuild you use, Devourer will require different types of items to allow him to repeatedly gank heroes early to mid game. Though once late game comes around, it's all the same. Below I've displayed a chart to show you the general core builds you should use.

Starting Items

I think the items are pretty self explanatory. The minor totems give you a few extra stats early on, but can be sold later once inventory space is needed. The Health Potion/Runes of Blight will allow you to maintain your health enough so that you don't have to make fountain trips. With the 1 mana potion you're able to pull off 2-3 hooks before 6, rather than the normal 1-2.

Solo Mid
If you're solo mid, you're going to need a monkey. If you want any chance at rune control, you're going to need wards. If you buy either however you will be completely gimping yourself. Make sure your support will buy at least monkey before you go mid. It's too risky otherwise.

If it doesn't look like your team will be buying monkey and wards. (IE: one or zero support heroes) pick up either one. Try to tell your team that you bought wards and someone else should monkey, as this usually forces your team to buy the monkey. If your team already has both, just pickup an Iron Buckler.

Once you head off to your lane; if you don't already have one, buy an Iron Buckler from the sideshop as soon as possible. It will mitigate the harassment put on you by a decent amount.

Before the Core
You should take note that Devourer has a very low mana pool, and he is also the slowest hero in the entire game. Due to this, it is important that you rush bottle -> marchers as soon as possible.

Before you pick your core build, this is what you want your items to look like. Generally speaking you should be at the peak of your ganking potential once you've obtained these items. Bottle and Chalice should sustain your mana/health while you roam as long as you rune whore. Keep a homecoming stone on you at all times once you've hit level 6 or 7.

Bottle/Chalice will be your primary source of mana regen for the entire game. You will need to be the primary runewhore-er if you want to keep a constant flow of mana.
Choosing Your Core Build

Ive compiled together three core builds to choose from. You need to analyze the enemy team's heroes/scores and figure out which build will benefit your team the most. Do they have a lot of aoe magic damage? Are they disable heavy? Will their carries dominate your team late game? ect.

Note that all luxuries are entirely situational and you need to use your own judgement to decide which would be the most effective.

The Anti-Carry
" Core - Total Cost - 7006g
An expensive core to say the least, but it's very effective. This build will allow you to dominate everything for the duration of the entire game. Most heroes cannot survive the full duration of your ult after you've completed this core. Especially if your team is wailing on him at the same time. If your team does not have a real carry, this build is usually the best option.

Assuming you are level 16 and have absolutely no strength gain from cadaver (-not possible-) you will heal 1316 health and deal 716 damage from the entire duration of the ultimate. This is in a worst case scenario without accounting for decay damage. In a real game where you are racking up strength throughout the game you are likely to deal/heal much more damage than that.

Once their carry becomes buff, try not to waste your ultimate on lesser heroes. You need to save it for when the "Main Event" arrives.

"The Anti-Carry" Luxury
Once you've managed to complete your core, you should have a good idea of what you need to improve your effectiveness. In most games you'll be lucky to even farm more than 5k gold after your core, so don't count on being able to buy a lot of luxury.

Mystic Vestments - 400g
This is an extremely cheap way to reduce your incoming damage. You'd be surprised how much damage is mitigated by this measly 400g item.

Shrunken Head - 3900g
I usually go for this once I've finished my core. Once you obtain SotM, it is vital that your ultimate is not interrupted, and Shrunken head will ensure that you get the full 3 seconds off, allowing you to obtain the full effect; all while making you completely immune to your decay damage.

Portal Key - 2150g
Portal Key could be a good pickup if you're looking for increased mobility/utility. It will allow you to catch escaping heroes, escape from dire situations, and just in general give you more control of teamfights.

Frostfield Plate - 4700g
Frostfield Plate will make your presence a menace to their team. You'll have a bit more armor to tank longer, an additional slow to stack on top of decay, as well as a constant attack speed slow to increase your anti-carry effectiveness. On top of that you get a massive mana boost, which allows you to chain your ults endlessly.

Barbed Armor - 2200g
Barbed could be a good pickup once their team realizes that focusing everything on you is the only way they can win a teamfight. It gives some OK stats, and will deter people from focusing you in teamfights. If you're unable to finish their carry within the duration of your ult, this item will burn him down instantly if he's not careful.

Behemoth's Heart - 5500g
This item will practically make you invincible. You get a major boost to your HP, increased ult damage, and a nice 0.75% hp/s regen; which scales with your ridiculous health growth throughout the game. If you don't feel like you need any more anti-carry/utility oriented items, this is an amazing item to pickup.

The Safe Route
" Core - Total Cost - 4756g
A significantly cheaper core build compared to the "Anti-Carry" core. If your not having the best farm, or are simply not sure what your team will need late game; this core is your safest option. It gives you pretty decent tanking abilities, while being cheap enough to keep your options open. As you can see from the luxury items, you can go any direction you want once you've finished this build.

"The Safe Route" Luxury
As you can see, you have a lot of options here. You can go with a bit of anti-carry potential, build pure utility, go for tank items, or perhaps even a mix of the three.

Barrier Idol - 1603g
The great thing about this core is that it is incredibly easy to build Barrier Idol from the base. For a mere 1603 gold, you can mitigate a large amount of magic damage for both you and your team. Assuming your team is up against mass AoE heroes, you can mitigate up to 2000 magic damage for your team. (400 per each hero)

Staff of the Master - 4300g
Staff is a pretty good pickup if you're looking for a good balance between damage and survivability. It gives you some very nice health/mana boosts, and allows you ult to deal more damage while effectively healing you for a major amount.

Portal Key - 2150g
Portal Key could be a good pickup if you're looking for increased mobility/utility. It will allow you to catch escaping heroes, escape from dire situations, and just in general give you more control of teamfights. If you rush this item directly after your core you will receive the most benefit out of it. The earlier this item is gotten the more effective it will be.

Barbed Armor - 2200g
This could be a good pickup if you're being focused a lot. It gives some OK stats and can often ensure you and your "new best friend" aren't interrupted by his pesky teammates.

Behemoth's Heart - 5500g
This item will practically make you invincible. You get a major boost to your HP, increased ult damage, and a nice 0.75% hp/s regen; which scales with your ridiculous health growth throughout the game. If you don't feel like you need any more anti-carry/utility oriented items, this is an amazing item to pickup.

"The Tank" Core - Total Cost - 5331g
Slightly more expensive than the safe route, but provides you with more survivability. It requires one additional item slot to be effective, but this will allow you to be as tanky as possible for the cheapest price. The entire point of this build is pure survivability with the least amount of risk.

Two things to note about this build.
1) You cannot ever sell your Mystic Vestments. This build is not viable unless you keep them or upgrade them to Shaman's Headdress.
2) HotBL can be disassembled. Doing so is important once late game comes around, as the item becomes less and less effective as the game progresses.

The Lifetube is used in Shaman's Headdress.
The Beastheart is used in Behemoth's Heart.
(Both are luxury items noted in the chart.)

"The Tank" Luxury
The luxury items for this build are pretty black and white. You're splitting up your HotBL and building the best items you can with the pieces. You may find it more useful to pick up Portal Key for the utility, but in most cases you'll be sticking with Behemoth's Heart and Headdress.

Behemoth's Heart - 4400g
Even after using the Beastheart from your HotBL, this item is crazy expensive. Try to obtain this as fast as you can, before their team gets crazy farmed. Behemoth's will practically make you invincible. You get a major boost to your HP, and a nice 0.75% hp/s regen; which scales with your ridiculous health growth throughout the game.

Shaman's Headdress - 950g
Uses both your mystic vestments as well as the lifetube from HotBL, Shaman's Headdress only costs 950g to complete. This is an effective item to help you tank longer in teamfights, providing both extra magic armor as well as more health regen. This is also a major stepping item for Barrier Idol, which amplifies your tanking abilities even further.

Portal Key - 2150g
Portal Key could be a good pickup if you're looking for increased mobility/utility. It will allow you to catch escaping heroes, escape from dire situations, and just in general give you more control of teamfights.

Barrier Idol - 1603g upgrade from Shaman's Headdress
Once you've finished your Shaman's Headdress this could be a nice pickup for your team. For a mere 1603 more gold, you can mitigate a large amount of magic damage for both you and your team. Assuming your team is up against mass AoE heroes, you can mitigate up to 2000 magic damage for your team. (400 per each hero)

Shrunken Head - 3900g
Shrunken can be useful for a good number of reasons. One being that you can ensure that you get the full 3 seconds off of your ult, allowing you to obtain the full effect. Not to mention that your target will remain disabled for the full duration too, all while making you complete immune to your decay damage. Pick this item up if they have a lot of disables.

VII. Proper Skill Usage

This section will demonstrate how to effectively use each of Devourer's skills properly. Devourer has a large amount of utility due to the sheer amount of possible usages each skill has. To make full use of Devourer you must properly practice each of these techniques.

Hooking Stationary Targets

The best way to aim Devourer's hook, is to click right behind the hero you want to pull. You have a total reach of 1100 units from your current position. Something to note is that Guttling Hook will always extend to the full range; if you click 100 units in front of yourself, it will still extend another 1000 units past the point you clicked. Something you will also need to take note of is that it takes 0.3 seconds to begin launching your hook.

In the below screenshot, Nighthound has just come out of invis to finish off one of our creeps. He cannot see me, so he will no doubt sit in that same spot auto attacking until he is finished. Stationary heroes are the easiest targets to hook.

As you can see, Night Hound has been hooked, and is on the way to my position. What's more, is that he has lost a massive 39% of his maximum HP.

Predicting Actions and Movements

The farther ahead you can predict what will happen, the easier it will be to get your opponent to do exactly what you want them to do. If you know what the enemy is thinking, you'll be able to kill them before they even know what happened. Predicting actions isn't easy, however. Rarely do people think in the exact same way as another person. It's even more difficult if you play with varied skill opponents. I've actually missed a lot of my hooks because I was playing against noobier players, and they didn't act as I thought they would because they didn't understand that they were actually in danger.

In the above screenshot, I'm running to a position where I can hook Accursed into my tower. Accursed thinks he is safe because there is a creep blocking the "Hook Line" between us, and he's right.

I was looking for an opportunity to catch Accursed off guard. In an effort to do so, I've been trying to predict every action he will take within the lane. He has been denying whenever possible, so it's obvious what he's about to do. That is why I ran to my current position. I know that he is going to deny that creep. Even if he doesn't, the tower will kill it anyways. The moment that creep dies the hook line will be clear. If I wait for the creep to die before I hook though, accursed will move away.

The trick is to make make sure your hook is on the way to your target before the creep dies. If you time it right, the creep will die during its' travel time. This will allow you to hit your target hero before they realize they're in danger.

As predicted, he denied the creep, and my hook went off just in time. He will soon be in range of my tower, and I will have plenty of time to chase him for the bloodlust kill.

This is where your Decay chasing skills come to play. The tower hit him once, the hook took out a good deal of health, and I must now chase him with decay until he is dead. Decay slows them by 20%. This will usually give you enough time to run in front of the hero and melee attack him. Especially during early game when most heroes don't even have boots yet. If I start running the moment I attack Accursed, he won't be able to get out of my range of decay. Decay slows for 2 seconds after a target leaves your AoE, so even if he does manage to slip by during my auto attacks, I will still be able to catch up to him.

I was able to melee attack him 4 times during the entire chase.

Even with his shield, he wasn't able to withstand my massive amount of damage. 50 Magic damage per second with a 20% slow is a big deal. Melee attacking whenever possible will boost the amount of damage you output by a decent amount. It helps to only melee attack them when you are right in front of them. This will cause them to stop for a moment, followed by them running around you. You just have to make sure they don't get too far away from your decay radius while you're busy whacking them. Speaking of;

The AoE Range of Decay

The AoE of decay is pretty small, and the graphical effect doesn't help you very much in judging just how close you have to be. As mentioned above, the slow effect from decay persists for 2 seconds after they leave this radius. Just being able to catch a hero within the AoE for a split second could be enough to get them killed. Note that while the slow does stay on their hero, the damage will not be applied during the extra 2 second duration.

The 0 charges circle refers to the normal decay radius. This is how far your decay range will extend to most of the time. The rest of the image displays how far your decay will reach after you've accumulated charges from your ultimate. For every second you channel your ult, you get 1 charge. These charges offer many bonuses, such as extending your decay radius. As you can see, 3 charges offers a HUGE increase in range. This is perfect for when the target stuns you directly after you've ulted them. You will almost always keep them slowed/damaged throughout the entire duration of their stun.

Hooking a Moving Target

Let's face it, you aren't going to see stationary targets passed the early game phase. Maybe a few here and there, but not enough to where you can just "ignore" a moving target. In the below screenshot, I'm chasing an underfarmed electrician. Mmm~, my favorite. I'm not much faster than him, but he's got corners to go around, and corners are Devourer's best friend.

Hooking a moving target requires you to accurately judge an enemy heroes movement speed, and then target where you think they're going to run. A smart opponent would know this and they would never turn a corner when you're around. Rather than continuing to follow the blue arrows, he would simply turn the other way.

Fortunately for me, Electrician isn't smart. Seeing as how just my hook alone was enough to bring him down to 59% HP, it's unlikely that he will be able to get away.

Bringing Everything Together

Devourer is all about synergy. Every one of his abilities helps the other, and they can all be combined into one powerful-ass combo.

I came up from behind Scout just after he came out of invis, so I have a brief amount of time to unleash my combo before he enters stealth and escapes from my wrath.

Scout is a moving target, and so I must predict what he will do. He's already started running to the right, so I can only assume he will continue to do so. I click a small distance in front of his current position.

I cannot stress how important this next part is.

Many heroes have some form of escape mechanism: Blink, Pseudo-Blink, Invis, or even just really high movement speed. Most of these heroes will queue up these actions the moment you hook them.

What does this mean? It mean's that you need to queue up your abilities as well! The moment you target your hook, ult your target. If you've clicked your target before he's arrived, it will Devour him the moment he arrives; giving him no time to escape.

That is, if you manage to click him. The problem is that you have to actually target the enemy hero with your ult after you've already thrown out your hook. If you take even half a second too long to click him, he's going to be pulled to your position without your ultimate being queued. I can't count how many kills I've missed out on just because I couldn't ult the damn hero quick enough.

The great thing about Devour is that it still allows you to toggle Decay while you're channeling it. The moment I've started devouring scout, I toggle decay to maximize my damage.

And there you have it. A full combo using every skill at Devourer's disposal. Scout couldn't even withstand the full duration of my ult, so I didn't even need to blindly run after him with Decay toggled on.

Hooking Allies

Sometimes hooking allies is more beneficial than hooking the enemy team. Hook does no damage to allied units, and it can be used to save your teammates from certain death

For one reason or another, I've been severely wounded and am running away in fear like a 8 year old school girl. As I'm running away I notice that my ally Plague Rider is in a pretty bad situation. He's been swarmed and stunned, and will most likely be slowed by Armadon and melee'd until he is dead.

Luckily for him, I was actually paying attention! I hooked plague rider, and began to drag him far enough away from Pestilence and Armadon that they would be unable to kill him. Afterwards I continued to run like a little girl in fear with plague rider trailing behind me.

Your team will love you for this, and you'll prevent the enemy team from getting hero kill gold. Always look for opportunities to save lives!

Blind Hooking

Blind hooking is where you predict a players actions and successfully hook them while they are not on your screen; when you're completely blind.

This is an advanced technique, so don't expect to be able to pull it off right away. It requires a lot of DotA/HoN experience to be able to properly predict a players actions within the fog.

Blind hooks really aren't that hard to pull off once you have a grasp of how people think. In a situation where an enemy is running for his life, he is more likely to make mistakes, such as running in a completely predictable straight line.

Pebbles has just finished ganking the top lane, and is severely wounded. I noticed him when he initially appeared at top and have been running my fat ass as fast as I could to try and save my team. Unfortunately I didn't make it in time, but I see an opportunity to finish him and rob him of his newly obtained gold. Note that he -can not- see me here. He appeared on my screen for a split second and then immediately faded into the fog.

The blue arrows represent the typical path a player will take when running back to their base. Since he has not noticed me, there is absolutely no reason for him to try and juke me. Based on his movement speed, I've deducted that the red target would be the best location to hook.

Success! I was surprised to notice he had a mere 3 health remaining. I threw out a split second of decay to finish the job, and proceeded to gank the rest of top as well.

Next we have a somewhat late game blind hook. Sand Wraith is half health and is running in fear of the Kraken. He just ulted in hopes to confuse my team and save his life. I'm well aware that he's still there though, and I am within hooking range. Generally speaking, people will run in a straight line towards the fountain when running up their base ramp. Sand wraith is about to do just that.

After watching his actions for the past couple of seconds, I try to predict where he is going to run. I've never seen him throw off any crazy juking movements, and just before he enters the fog he's running in a straight line; so I can only assume he will continue to do so.

It might take Kraken a second to realize that what I have in my hands is not an illusion, but I imagine he will be dead before that happens. Success!

VIII. Hooking Map

Throughout the map there are certain locations that Devourer can make excellent usage of. There are a few reasons why you would want to make note of these locations. One is that some of these spots allow you to hook enemy heroes in locations where they are unable to see you, and others are just spots where it is easy to catch enemies off guard. This makes things a lot easier in terms of predicting an opponents actions. If they can't see you, they are less likely to run away in fear hiding behind their precious creeps. Areas where you are "guarded" by cliffs and trees are perfect locations for you to snag enemy heroes.

Please note that each spot isn't strictly useful for the team it is color coordinated for. A good majority of the hooking locations can be used both ways. I simply colored them accordingly to whichever team I felt benefited more from that specific spot. Don't treat this map as a black and white guide for hooking spots.

Try to observe the hooking spots that appear/disappear as the game progresses. If you look closely you can see that the Legion has more ganking locations during the laning phase, while the Hellbourne has considerably more "defensive" hooking spots compared to the Legion. The team you play on will actually change your role as Devourer by a little bit.

IX. Replays

This section is dedicated to replays that used my guide as a basis for the style of play. This section will have a maximum of 5 total replays.

I play against 1550-1800 psr rated players. I don't host noob games, and I kick anyone with "bad" stats. With that said, noobs can still get through. I play pubs, and that's what you're going to see. Devourer is at his strongest when pubs underestimate/feed Devourer, and that's what these replays are most likely going to showcase. Pubs dying to Devourer, over, and over, and over again.

If you have a replay that you think deserves a spot in this section, post it in this thread. I will filter these as time goes by to try and showcase only the best replays that have been submitted. So try not to get too disappointed if you made the section but were later removed.

HoN Version:
Submitted by: Delfofthebla
Team: Legion
Score: 14/11/16
Duration: 0:47:51

This was a pretty good replay. Due to the opposing team having a succubus, I opted to lane top with Witch Slayer. (And Succu didn't even go mid, funny that.) Regardless, I was able to stomp the early game, and save my allies many many times. Unfortunately though, their carry was more competent than ours, and they had Nymphora. Even with SotM I wasn't able to keep up with the ridiculous amount of disables and damage being output by their team. We lost.

HoN Version: 1.0.4
Submitted by: Delfofthebla
Team: Hellbourne
Score: 19/3/11
Duration: 0:35:56

There were a mix of good/bad players on both sides, ending up for a pretty average pub game. I went solo mid against Succubus, which tends to be a tough lane where I end up with no kills within the lane. This was not the case, as I maintained strong rune control and caught her off guard quite a few times.

X. Conclusion

Devourer has much utility but he is heavily based around the early-mid game phases. If you don't do well during this time, it's very possible you will be 100% useless late game. Due to this, it can be very disheartening to play Devourer in games where you aren't hooking well. You have to remember not to get discouraged with a bad game! I've seriously had games where I went something like 22-5-15, and then 5-15-22 the next. Just as how a "pro hook" can land your team victory, a missed hook can end up losing you the entire game. Devourer is an excellent hero but he must be played flawlessly in order to maintain his usefulness. You just need to practice, practice, practice!

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