Here in our Invoker Dota 2 guide, we talk about one of the most complex heroes in the game and attempt to guide newbies who are thinking of trying their hands on playing Invoker.
Possessing as many as 14 in his kit, playing the Arsenal Magus is nowhere near easy. However, because of how “cool” it looks like to be able to land all of the spells in succession, you can’t exactly blame most Dota 2 players, especially newbies, to want to try and play Invoker.
With the current influx of new Dota 2 players who are trying out the game after seeing The International 2018 and the likelihood of those wanting to play Invoker because of OG’s rookie midlaner Topias ‘Topson‘ Taavitsainen likely high — Invoker is the second-most player in Dota 2 over the past three months — we decided to help.
Fair warning, Divine players stay away. We know how good you are on the hero. This guide isn’t for you. Instead, our Invoker Dota 2 guide is for those who found themselves calibrating between the Herald and the Crusader brackets.
Invoker Dota 2 Guide: How to Play
Because you’re new to the game, you’ll want to avoid trying out builds that you saw on YouTube. Yes, we’re talking specifically about Topson’s unconventional build of levelling up Quas and Wex first. Instead, you’ll want to focus on Exort and Wex.
The former gives you a huge attack damage bonus per instance (4/8/12/16/20/24/28) and the latter gives you both attack speed bonus (2/4/6/8/10/12/14) and movement speed bonus (1%/2%/3%/4%/5%/6%/7%) per instance.
Your focus during the early game is to secure last hits (where Wex and Exort come in handy) and get Phase Boots (more move speed and damage) and Urn of Shadows (regeneration) as early as possible. If you can get both at the 10-minute mark, then you’re good. If you can get both a lot earlier, like at the 7-minute mark, then that’s even better.
As for the items, you can start with a Null Talisman, an Ironwood Branch, a Faerie Fire, and ask to be pooled at least two Tango. If you can’t ask for that, then build the components for Null Talisman. Make sure to buy Circlet first since it gives fairly good all-around stats. You can get two if you want to build a Ring of Aquila or Magic Wand, although even just the stats from the additional Circlet alone is useful enough early in the game.
If you need more damage, buy the components for Phase Boots immediately after (Blades of Attack). If you’re up against burst magic damage heroes like Zeus and Lina, buy Magic Wand and Infused Raindrop.
It should already be a given that you should start out mid — Invoker needs all the levels he can get and going solo is the only way that will happen.
The mid game is where Invoker starts to really shine. He’s not as strong as he can be, but he can throw in a couple of skills to kill to rack up the charges for the Urn of Shadows or at least harass enemy heroes while shoving out waves.
Before anything else, however, keep in mind that when playing Invoker, it’s not about throwing as many skills that you can but more about knowing when and what to throw.
Chaos Meteor (Wex/Exort/Exort)should be your priority, followed by Ghost Walk (Quas/Quas/Wex) for survivability. Other skills to focus on using is EMP (Wex/Wex/Wex) and Deafening Blast (Quas/Wex/Exort). Use Tornado (Quas/Wex/Wex) sparingly (or avoid using it if you can for now) because even pros can botch teamfights by using an ill-advised Tornado.
As for item progression, Aghanim’s Scepter is your bread and butter. You need it. Invoker can’t just have as much impact without it. But, feel free not to buy it immediately after getting Phase Boots and Urn of Shadows if you’re not snowballing as hard and need an escape, in which case, you’ll need a Blink Dagger or Force Staff first. However, in general, you should build Aghanim’s Scepter as fast as you can, and don’t be shy of buying the individual components first. Every stat counts, after all.
Because you’re generally playing with other people who are of the same skill level as you are, you have the advantage of having a hero that can throw a lot of skills in a teamfight and even wipe out an enemy team completely so long as you know what you’re doing.
After your first three items — Phase Boots, Urn of Shadows/Spirit Vessel, Aghanim’s Scepter — your natural progression should be towards either Blink Dagger or Force Staff and Black King Bar. After that, it’s either Octarine Core or Scepter of Vyse. In any case, your focus should be on items that provide you with more mana regeneration.
Skill-wise, you have every kit necessary to win games. You have wave push via Chaos Meteor and Tornado, disables with Deafening Blast and Cold Snap, as well as the ability to take down towers with Alacrity and Forge Spirits.
If the game goes late and you’ve got most of your items, then the game is pretty easy for you. Just do everything that you can so you can cast your spells and not die. If you do that and win a teamfight, pushing is very easy for you.
Also, don’t forget that Dota 2 is a game of economy and objectives — if you can outfarm your opponents and destroy their heroes, then winning is easy.
A lot of novices tend to forget this very simple fact about the game and focus too much on fighting. But, at lower skill levels, if you focus on your farm and being as efficient as possible, you can kill enemy heroes and destroy the enemy’s base, specificially their Ancient, much faster.
Invoker Dota 2 Guide: Additional Tips
Write Down the Invokelist
Nobody’s going to laugh at you for writing it down, so do yourself a favour and just do it.
Remember, Invoker has 10 different skills that can be invoked — fun fact, Invoker actually had access to as many as 27 skills at one point. While you’ll probably memorize it eventually, it’s impossible to do it on your first few tries. It might take you a hundred or so games to do that, which means you definitely would want to have a stick note by your monitor with a complete list of Invoker’s abilities helping you out.
Get Better at Last-Hitting
This should probably apply to every hero, regardless of the position you plan on settling in eventually. Even if you’re practising alone in Demo Mode, just knowing how many hits it takes for Invoker to take down creeps with what items and at what levels can help you a lot in knowing when to go for the last hit or deny, which can greatly influence the outcome of the laning phase.
A good way to practice last-hitting is to play Demo Mode while you’re queing up for a game — a few minutes of last-hitting can do wonders for how well your next game, especially if it’s ranked, will go.
Map Awareness Is Key
This comes with a lot of practice and even more experience, but it’s something well worth taking note of when playing Invoker.
You see, Invoker is one of the few heroes in Dota 2 that can have his presence felt globally. He’s a relatively fast hero that can turn invisible using Ghostwalk and go from one lane to another faster than most heroes can, even without a Boots of Travel. Not only that, but his Sun Strike (Exort/Exort/Exort) can be cast anywhere around the map, which makes it great for setting up kills and ganks with your teammates.
Never understimate the damage Sun Strike can do with the right set up. Watch out for pings or when you see multiple allied heroes convering on enemy heroes. Even if you do very little communication (which is usually the case in lower skill levels), being aware of what’s happening around the map can net you a free kill or two early in the game.
Play With Bots
It’s okay to idolize players like Topson, but the TI8 winner definitely didn’t become himself overnight. He likely practised the hero for years before he could show it off as well as he did in the grandest stage of them all.
Bot games might be boring, but if a couple of bot games on your own makes the difference between you losing and you owning your next few dozen games on Invoker, then it’s a sacrifice that’s certainly well worth making.
Also, please don’t practice in ranked matches. Just don’t. You’re going to do everyone in your games a huge favour by practising in bot matches.
If there’s one thing that we probably will want to make in our Invoker Dota 2 guide clear, it’s that it’s not aimed for high-skill players. Besides, guides probably won’t help you if you’re a high-skill player. You’re better off watching your own replays and improving on your mistakes on your next game. But, if you’re a relative novice who’s only played Dota 2 for a dozen or so hours and want to play one of the game’s most complex heroes, then you’ve definitely come to the right place.
Keep in mind that our Invoker Dota 2 guide is more general and doesn’t really delve onto the specifics, because some concepts can be incredibly hard to understand for beginners. But, it should contain enough information to help you know what to do when playing Invoker.
What do you think of our Invoker Dota 2 guide for newbies? Do you think it’s helpful? Or are novices better off not trying to play Invoker? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.