Dota 2’s Christmas event, Frosthaven, is finally here, and with it, comes a new set of challenges for players willing to defend the spirit of Frostvirus.
After going the battle royale route with Underhollow earlier this year, Valve decided to go back to their roots and created a Christmas-themed event that’s strikingly familiar to previous events like Dark Moon.
As with previous similar Dota 2 events, in Frosthaven, a team of five (5) Dota 2 players must work together to defend the Spirit of Frostvirus for 15 rounds. A different set of enemies will spawn each round, with their difficulty increasing every round. Because the event is pretty much a teaser for the release of the Magus Cypher, the latest Arcana-class item for the fan-favourite hero, Rubick, the son of Aghanim will also serve as the final boss for the event.
Having said that, let’s cut right down to business and discuss how you can beat Frosthaven and save the Spirit of Frostvirus.
Which Heroes are Good for Frosthaven?
The game can be beaten using every hero and all sorts of lineups. There are no cookie-cutter drafts here. However, just like in every game of Dota 2, some heroes will shine better compared to others, especially in specific rounds. Case in point, a common favourite is Omniknight for his wave clear, heal, and slow debuff. The same goes for Keeper of the Light. Another favourite is Troll Warlord, especially when paired with a Magnus.
Ultimately, your team can win and beat the game regardless of lineup. Although, it would help to keep the composition balanced. At least 2-3 heroes with good wave clear, a strong right clicker, and another with crowd-control.
It should go already go without saying, but it is worth mentioning that teamwork is key here. You’ll need to help each other out to even make it past the first few waves. Toxicity will do you no good. So, even if your teammate picked a hero that you think is bad in this event, focus on the positives and make the most out of the pick. If nothing else, the bad pick will cost you no more than 5 minutes of your time.
What Kind of Items Should I Build?
Utilize your items wisely because you won’t have as much gold to work with. Focus on wave clear, sustainability and durability. Early damage is especially important because you really don’t want enemies Cheap items like Wraith Band, Null Talisman, and Bracers, are good, but they’re not necessary. If you can, go straight into the large items that can help your hero best, like a Heart of Tarrasque, or Mjolnir, or Aghanim’s Scepter, or at least a Morbid Mask for right clickers and heavy hitters and Mekansm for the supports. Also, you don’t have to buy your items outright, you can build them slowly, like buying a Morbid Mask to build it into a Mask of Madness or Satanic later on, or picking up a Vitality Booster for some extra tankiness.
A lot of people seem to think that a Black King Bar is necessary. Personally, I don’t think it’s that useful. Outside of the final wave, you really won’t be needing it. You’re better off building something that lets you survive or do a lot of damage, or if you have the money and right composition, an item like Ethereal Blade that lets you do something cheeky like trying to one-hit Rubick with Huskar’s ultimate skill Life Break.
General Gameplay Tips for Frosthaven
- Move around to help each other out. The monsters spawn slowly enough that you’ll have enough time to alternate clearing lanes as a group if you do it right. If you see one lane that needs help, go use a Town Portal Scroll and help, especially if one or two players are already dead.
- Never ever let the spawns stack. Individually, the spawns are pretty weak. However, if more than two waves stack together, they can be a nuisance to deal with.
- If you’re playing with experienced teammates, try to fight in the river. The gold bonus from successfully defending towers can add up over multiple waves and could mean the difference between being able to buy a game-winning item or losing outright. Not only that, but this helps prevent the spawns from stacking and overwhelming your team.
- If you can’t fight in the river in all of the lanes, don’t force it. While the gold bonus is nice, it’s better to stay alive, fall back and clear multiple waves as a team and get as much gold bags as possible.
- Gold bags are worth 25 gold each and there’s roughly around 40 gold bags per round. That’s a lot of gold.
- There are two item shops in the game. You don’t need to go back to the base every time you want to get or buy something.
- Take note of each enemy’s pattern of attack. You don’t have to tank everything. The more you play the game, the more you’ll notice the patterns and the easier it will be for you to avoid certain attacks.
- Use event items when necessary. You can win without them, but your life will be so much easier if you use them.
Frosthaven Tips for Waves 1 to 5
- The Pinecones are pretty simple. Clear the Pinecone Warriors first before taking down the Pinecone Champs. Be careful, the Pinecone Champs can crit and do a lot of damage.
- Take special care not to show yourself. The Ghosts will cast Tomb Stone that will continuously spawn Skeletons until taken down once you enter their line of sight. So, stay away and clear the Skeletons fast and then take down the Ghosts after.
- The Mitosis Eidolons are nothing special. Take them down as you normally would other spawns. However, the Pyrexae Vexer can be tricky. Like the hero Jakiro, they can cast Ice Path and Macropyre, which can be annoying to deal with when multiple instances are stacked on top of each other. Try not to let the spawns stack and take care of them as they come.
- This stage is relatively easy. Just take out the Baby Seals and avoid getting hit by the Grumpy Ogre Seal when they bounce and cast their spell every five seconds.
- Spread out for the first Bonus Round. The goal is to get through as many snowmen as possible, not to pick up a lot of gold bags. The things is, circling back is counterproductive as opposed to just mashing through as many snowmen as you can. Although the amount of gold you can get from this round can vary, ideally, everyone should have been able to build their first big item with the amount of gold they gathered from this round.
The first five rounds are relatively easy, although if you’re new, don’t be surprised if you don’t make it past the third and fourth waves. Also, it might be tempting, but don’t buy back. Just wait for your teammates to either finish the round without you or revive you.
Frosthaven Tips for Waves 6 to 10
- The sixth wave can get a little difficult. For one, you shouldn’t really clear the waves too fast, especially when dealing with The Unheralded. Do so and you’ll be affected by Doom for a short period of time. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t take too long to clear it either, because leaving the Infernal Djinns too long can cause the map to be covered with fire.
- For the seventh wave, you will want to take things slowly. Clear the waves carefully and focus on taking down one Mother of Spiders or Monstrous Glutton at a time, because when killed, they explode and spawn many other smaller spiders.
- The dreaded eighth wave isn’t so difficult if your team can coordinate with each other about who will lure the Soul Ascendants away from other heroes and structures.This is because the normal Dire Wolf spawns are relatively easy to kill and take care of. Once they’re out of the way, you can start taking out Soul Ascendants one by one. Be careful when the Soul Ascendants start flashing red because this means they’re going to cast their AoE damage reflection next. You’ll notice this because they’ll start flashing red and shoot out red lightning when hit
- Keep Cobalt Bruisers out in the open. They can use Walrus Kick and Chaos Meteor. Keep them isolated and take them out one by one. Be careful about getting swarmed by Kobolds, they can use Time Walk.
- For the second Bonus Round, multiple Ginger Roshans will spawn all over the map. They’ll grow in size when they take damage, and at a certain point, they’ll drop gold and die. The best way to go about this is to “herd” them together and use crowd control spells to take them all out at once.
Frosthaven Tips for Waves 11 to 15
- Kaldur’s Hallucinations and Frostbitten Revenants aren’t all that difficult to deal with. Just make sure not to let them stack and avoid getting stunned by Cold Feet. Also, as soon as you see a World Ender, take them down. Their Earth Splitter deals a lot of damage and multiple instances can wipe out an entire team.
- The key to dealing with the Ancient Frostgiants is to single them out and separate them from the Little Rocks. Don’t group up on them. Otherwise, they’ll toss boulders more frequently and be harder to deal with.
- The Spirits of the Tempests are essentially Storm Spirits with Hex and Dagon. Disables and lock down are very important here because they will lose Ball Lightning to get away when they take damage. Also, be careful of the Thunder Gods, they can cast Lightning Bolt for high damage.
- The key to dealing with the Tree Wardens and Arc Blossoms is to bait out their spells and then move behind them to take them down quickly. The smaller Tree Wardens are relatively easy to take down once the bigger Arc Blossoms have been taken care of.
Tips for Beating the Grand Magus in Frosthaven
- You have all the time to prepare. The Grand Magus will wait for you to engage him.
- Every time, the Grand Magus will start the fight using Telekinesis while blinking around and simultaneously dropping enemies you’ve already encountered. The Telekinesis will apply a stun to the area surrounding the affected hero once the hero drops, so watch out.
- Try to use your ultimate skills only after the Grand Magus has used Spell Steal.
- Keep your buyback gold ready. The Grand Magus will often try to interrupt you from resurrecting a fallen teammate using Telekinesis.
- Once the Grand Magus’ health has dropped to 75%, he’ll start casting more powerful versions of the spells used by the Tree Wardens.
- The Grand Magus will start casting more damaging spells once he hits 50% health. You’ll know where they’ll drop because there will be green cubes floating around where you’re standing.
- At 25% health, the Grand Magus will start casting multiple powerful ultimate spells like Ghostship and Freezing Field, among others.
Lastly, be careful about the spawns. The last thing you want happening is for the summons to kill the Spirit of Frostvirus while you’re busy taking down the Grand Magus.
Truth be told, there are multiple ways to deal with the Grand Magus in Frosthaven and each are just as effective as the other. But, so long as you have team play and coordination, you should be able to take the Grand Magus down, or at least, make it to the last wave.
What are other strategies that have worked for you while playing Frosthaven? What do you think is the most effective lineup? Do you think it’s possible to cheese the entire run? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.