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    Thumbs up Rhasta, the Shadow Shaman Guide

    Special Thanks to the Author PieMonger for allowing me to post this guide on DotA.GG-Game.com



    Once a gifted troll witch doctor, young Rhasta was well versed with the secrets of voodoo magic. When the war between the Sentinel and the Scourge began, Rhasta, then a Shadow Hunter, offered his allegiance to the Sentinels to vanquish the Scourge once and for all. While he was gifted as a witch doctor, Rhasta is a genius as a shadow hunter, exceeding his master by mastering the art of summoning multiple serpent wards, binding enemies for a short time and casting elemental lightning to several units.

    Skill Facts:


    Hero Abilities:



    Forked Lightning
    Calls forth a cone of lightning, hitting multiple enemy units for damage.

    Level 1 - 75 damage to 3 targets.
    Level 2 - 150 damage to 4 targets.
    Level 3 - 225 damage to 6 targets.
    Level 4 - 300 damage to 7 targets.

    Cooldown: 10 seconds.
    Level 1: 95 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 105 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 135 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
    Level 4: 160 mana, 10 sec cooldown.



    Voodoo
    Transforms an enemy unit into a random critter, disabling special abilities.

    Level 1 - Lasts 1 second.
    Level 2 - Lasts 2 seconds.
    Level 3 - Lasts 3 seconds.
    Level 4 - Lasts 4 seconds.

    Cooldown: 13 seconds.
    Level 1: 110 mana, 13 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 140 mana, 13 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 170 mana, 13 sec cooldown.
    Level 4: 200 mana, 13 sec cooldown.


    Shackles
    Magically binds a target enemy, so that it cannot move or attack. Deals 40 damage per second.

    Level 1 - Lasts 2.5 seconds.
    Level 2 - Lasts 3.25 seconds.
    Level 3 - Lasts 4 seconds.
    Level 4 - Lasts 4.75 seconds.

    Cooldown: 16 seconds.
    Level 1: 110 mana, 16 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 130 mana, 16 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 155 mana, 16 sec cooldown.
    Level 4: 185 mana, 16 sec cooldown.



    Mass Serpent Ward
    Summons 8 immobile serpentine wards to attack enemies. The wards are immune to magic.

    Level 1 - Deals 43 max damage.
    Level 2 - Deals 58 max damage.
    Level 3 - Deals 73 max damage.

    Cooldown: 120 seconds.
    Level 1: 200 mana, 120 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 350 mana, 120 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 610 mana, 120 sec cooldown.



    _________________
    Quick Skill and Item Lists
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Forked Lightning
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Mass Serpent Wards
    • Forked Lightning
    • Shackles
    • Shackles
    • Voodoo
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    • Stats
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    ---------
    • 4x Tango, 2x Circlet
    • Boots of Speed
    • 2x Bracer
    • Blink Dagger
    • Aghamin's Scepter
    • Boots of Travel
    • Refresher Orb
    • Black King Bar


    For those who want liek, reasoning and shiz, read the guide.


    _________________
    Introduction


    You may be wondering why faith causes the death and suffering of millions when its claimed purpose is to create moral fiber in society and to give hope to the downtrodden, or what humanity's purpose is in a world without reason, or perhaps why Bob Dylan doesn't comb his hair. I regret to inform you that this guide gives an answer to none of these questions, but does discuss the pros and cons of being Jamaican. It also abandons the use of proper formatting and organization, because only homosexuals like to decorate things.

    The Shadow Shaman has lived in infamy throughout much of his tenure as a DotA hero. In particular, his earlier days back in the late 5.xx versions and early 6.xx saw him as one who could keep a hero disabled for 10 seconds with relative ease, then promptly do the same thing three seconds later. If you could look up ancient threads back in the older forums (you can't), Rhasta would consistently be ranked as the strongest or second strongest hero in the game, competing only with (gasp!) Sven.



    History lessons aside, Rhasta, due to reductions to the power of his disables as well as changes to gameplay and other heroes is unfortunately not the strongest hero in the game any longer, but still holds claim to being one nasty Sentinel hero. Although there is already a Premium guide to Rhasta on this forum that does a great job of explaining Rhasta's abilities and giving a nice idea of how to use them there lacks a guide that 1. properly defines Rhasta's conceptual nature and his role as a hero in general and 2. uses a build designed for a level of play beyond killing three uncoordinated heroes with Eul's + Wards + Necrobook + Shackle + Hex + Lightning. This kind of thing is cool, but it's for pubs. This guide will focus on Rhasta in terms of how he is meant to be played; rather than focusing on 1v1/2/3/4/5 killing with Wards we will look at the power of disables in ganks and the destruction that Wards can cause in a large battle.

    Rhasta is a heavily ally-dependent hero. As such, I believe it wise to first look at what type of heroes Rhasta should lane with. Rhasta's niche is as a hardcore disabler and, furthermore, as a ganker. 90% of Rhasta is using Shackles, Hex and Lightning to take out a target, and the first thing to realize is that these skills are useless without allied help. Shackle in particular is hugely important to a Rhasta player especially early in the game, and is what we will be focusing upon in this part of the guide. Shackles does NOTHING without an ally by your side, so it's important to coordinate well.


    _________________
    Early Game Laning


    Although allies are necessary for the success of a Rhasta player, it's interesting to note that the sheer power of Shackles means that the Shadow Shaman can lane and gank as long as he has SOME sort of damage-dealing presence to back him up. Shendelazare, Zeus, Siren, Stealth Assassin, Earthshaker, Juggernaut, Venomancer, Spirit Breaker, Anti-Mage, Drow Ranger, the list goes on just about for forever. Shackles works well even with the most mediocre of allies, and only the poorest of lane pairings can hope to ruin this generalization. Some examples are N'aix, Meepo, Faceless Void, Rooftrellen, Bloodseeker, and perhaps a couple of others. Extremely low-tier melee heroes who lack an early game presence are the ONLY heroes that fail to make good use of Shackles. Here is a list of notably powerful lane mates for a Rhasta player, and how they should be used to your advantage.


    The Juggernaut needs some sort of disable so that he can get close enough to begin using Bladefury. Shackles not only gives him this opportunity, but even holds the enemy still long enough that the Jugg can do much of his Furying before the enemy can even try to escape. Deals about 550 damage at level 3 through reduced spell damage alone.


    Like the Juggernaut, the Ursa Warrior needs to get close enough to start hitting with Overpower on, and benefits even more if the target is held in place long enough for him to administer all 5 hits then keep hitting. Shackles, of course, is what allows him to do this. Does about 450 damage at level 3, about 800-900 at level 6, becoming obscenely powerful as Overpower and Swipes are maxed.


    If the Panda can get close enough to hit with Clap, the high damage and slow means doom for an unsuspecting foe. Shackles, Clap, then physical attacks and Lightning are devastating to an enemy hero. 500 damage is dealt through spell damage alone at level 7, then physical attacks dealt after Clap's slow tend to be enough to kill most heroes.


    The Anti-Mage constantly suffers from low HP, melee range and proneness to disables. All of these things make it very difficult for him to deal damage with Mana Break, but Shackles can potentially eliminate these obstacles. Shackles allows the AM to nonchalantly walk up to begin hitting with Mana Break, then Blinking once the target is freed from Shackles to finish the job OR to Blink away if things are looking ugly.


    The heroes listed are primarily ones that don't tend to see much play because of their unwieldiness. As you can see simply through hastily-contrived math, Rhasta allows melee heroes like the Ursa Warrior to actually pull off their horrifying synergies and deal enormous amounts of damage to a target. Shackles is a beautiful, beautiful skill, because a 2.5 second disable at level 1 is just too horrifying for words.

    So there you go, lane early with a hero that can make use of Shackles. Just about any works, but some are more able to utilize it than others. Moving on, let's now look at the skill and item options for a Rhasta player early in the game, and also some early hero-killing maneuvers. You will find that battling as Rhasta early in the game requires very little skill other than a bit of coordination with your ally.



    _________________
    Levels 1-7


    The early skill build of Rhasta revolves around using Shackles in conjunction with an allied assault (as covered) and adding additional damage with Forked Lightning. Lightning will be your method of garnering kills for a good portion of the game after you've finished comboing allied spells with Shackle. Here's what a Rhasta skill build will look like from levels 1-7:
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Forked Lightning
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    • Forked Lightning
    Shackles is quite possibly your most powerful skill early-on, but is not maxed over Lightning because of the way the two skills level. Shackles works fine even at level 1, but Lightning must be maxed for it to be effective. Voodoo is not maxed early because it levels poorly, costs a huge amount of mana and there is no room for it. Shackles + Voodoo is an interesting build for the obscene amount of disable it gives you early, but the reality is that the basic nuke of Lightning is far more powerful.

    Early items for Rhasta are very basic. Some important things to note are acquiring Boots as quickly as is reasonable, as getting close enough to use Shackles is a challenge with Rhasta's poor movespeed. Also, Bracers are easily the dominant early item to purchase for Rhasta, as they are easily built up to and solve the problem of Rhasta's poor HP. Rhasta's fragility will be covered in detail later in the guide.
    • 4x Ancient Tango of Essifaction, 2x Circlet of Nobility
    • Boots of Speed
    • 2x Bracer
    Moving on, Rhasta's early game focuses around killing with Shackles and Lightning, using the aid of his ally to maximize the power of Shackles and finishing off a foe with Lightning. We just went over this. This is a basic tactic that requires only a small amount of skill to pull off adequately, and this section will explain what you should be doing and watching out for when doing this.

    First of all: Rhasta needs a competent ally to get kills early. That's a fact that will not go away. Unless your enemy is a total raging idiot and he tries to tower-dive you with no creeps around Shackle is not going to do anything without an ally to help. Furthermore, Shackles is not going to be useful if you cast it and your ally runs away screaming in the opposite direction. If you're stuck with an absolute shitporridge ally, then consider just sitting and farming. However, realize that actually aiming for kills early is what Rhasta should be doing, as having a lot of gold doesn't mean much to a hero like this.

    Here are some basic examples of hero-killing early as Rhasta. It's not very difficult and really these screenshots aren't THAT necessary, but they're pretty so who's arguing?!



    This is a very basic use of Rhasta's Shackles, and should give you the idea of what you should be doing with the skill. Cast it on an unwary foe and have your ally or allies hand out a massive beating. At the cost of 160 mana on my part and a Shadow Strike on the Venomancer's our enemy Silencer goes down, and hard.




    It's great when your ally does the hard work of getting the kill and all you have to do is mindlessly hit Shackle to do your job. In this case, expert use of Elune's Arrow puts an end to Lion with the help of a Shackle on my part.




    Conversely, the skill level of your ally can often cause you to miss what should be a guaranteed kill. In this case, Tiny tries to finish Viper off with Toss instead of using Avalanche, and ends up missing and letting Viper get away. Remember that Rhasta is heavily dependent on his allies, and if your buddy makes a mistake then it hurts you just as much as it hurts him. On that note, this is why as Rhasta you need to make sure you play intelligently and don't make any mistakes yourself, as your ally will be the one who suffers along with yourself.

    Let's talk a little more about bad allies. If your ally is garbage and gets attacked early then you may want to consider just running away instead of using Shackle. If your buddy fails to coordinate with you to defend against an enemy assault then you're both going to die. If you run away then the only one who dies is your idiot pal. Hopefully your lanemate won't suck and you can simply Shackle a hero and win the fight.



    This set mostly shows how powerful Rhasta and Tiny can be together in a lane. Avalanche, Shackle, and Lightning absolutely decimate SB and Viper with a bit of coordination.




    Hooray, a screenshot that shows Serpent Wards! How I think Wards should be used will be covered later; this screenshot shows more of Shackling and the usefulness of competent allies. Nice Toss, Tiny.


    Got the idea yet? Shackle, let ally pound, finish what remains with Lightning. By the way, what these screenshots fail to show is Rhasta's mana pool. Early in the game especially, Rhasta needs to conserve his mana so that he can do his combo with any trouble. This means 1. NEVER SPAMMING LIGHTNING, EVER and 2. making sure not to mess up Shackles. The range of Shackles is rather dubious, and it's frustrating to cast it on an enemy, have him move back, then hit with Shackles when he's reached the safety of his tower. Don't let this happen, because it's embarrassing as well as a waste of mana.

    O fuk, Forked Lightning. This skill doesn't require an incredible amount of talent to use effectively. First of all, do not use it to farm. Do not use it to harrass. Do not use it because it's pretty. Rhasta's mana pool CAN NOT support random use of Lightning; the only thing you should be doing with Lightning is taking out heroes with coordinated spell combos of Shackle + allied shiz + Lightning. That's it. DO NOT SPAM LIGHTNING.

    Rhasta's stats early are bad. They're in contention for worst in the game. Rhasta is slow, has crap for armor, low base damage, no HP, and is a very easy target if the enemy can get to him. This means that a successful gank attempt on Rhasta early will almost certainly end in Rhasta's death (watch the mini-map, buy Wards, etc.) and that an overly-aggressive Rhasta will often end in a dead Rhasta. For example:



    Tower-diving as Rhasta is one of the less intelligent notions one will contend with. Because I have 8 HP hacks I live through this endeavor, but as you can see Rhasta takes A LOT of damage in a very short time if he does stupid stuff. So, only tower dive if you're a bit suicidal- otherwise, let Sven do the dirty work.

    Oh boy, our first Serpent Ward tutorial: neutral creeping! This is done earlier on in the game when there are no readily-available ganking opportunities. Serpent Wards aren't that great early. They are, however, the ultimate method of killing the big and nasty Neutral Creeps at level 6. Dragons, Spawns and the green Golem all get their shit ruined by Wards, and this is a highly efficient way of gaining EXP and gold. You might say that this is a waste of an ultimate, but until really large battles start occurring Wards just aren't that useful yet and should be put to some use earlier on through farming.



    Neutral creeps will try to attack you first, not your Wards. Do not stand there and get hit, and most importantly do not run around in circles around your Wards. Back away from the creeps and eventually they'll return to the camp, allowing you to move up and continue whacking.


    _________________
    Levels 8-14


    As the game progresses from level 1 until the middle game Rhasta's power remains relatively the same. Even at level 1 you're still a tough cookie solely because of Shackle, which if used in conjunction with a skill like Bladefury is incredibly powerful. As you level your abilities become stronger, but your enemies will also be more able to fend off your Shackle + other spell combo through additions to their own repitoires of skills and gains in their HP pools Things change when Voodoo is added to the mix and Rhasta is able to start outfitting himself with the proper equipment.
    • Shackles
    • Shackles
    • Voodoo
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    Hopefully the skill build here is self-explanatory. Shackles is finished being maxed, totalling up to an almost 5 second disable, one of the longest in the game. Voodoo is slowly maxed at this point in the game also; take note that the early levels of the skill are very weak, as one second of Hex is almost nothing. Now for the item goals for this stage of the game:
    • Blink Dagger
    • Soul Booster
    Blink Dagger is an awesome item for Rhasta. Here's why:
    • Rhasta is slow. Rhasta is the second slowest hero in the game.
    • Rhasta is weak. Rhasta's Strength and Agility gain are both garbage.
    • Rhasta needs mobility. Shackles and Serpent Wards both can only be cast at close range.
    • Rhasta likes powerful items. Blink is a powerful item.
    Soul Booster is made into Aghamin's later and does a good job of solving Rhasta's HP and Mana problems to a certain extent. Although your mana pool will be somewhat strained even with Soul Booster you should be fine until Aghamin's, and really no reasonable amount of +HP is going to make Rhasta hard to kill. Still, Soul Booster does the job better than any other item in the game.

    Okay so, here's what's going on for Rhasta during the middle game. First of all, more ganking with Shackles and Lightning. The difference now is that you have Voodoo also and that there will be a lot more heroes pounding on each other. The former addition to the ganking process shouldn't be much of a problem for you; Voodoo is a very, very easy spell to use other than the high mana cost. To avoid the mana cost, simply don't use it unless you need it!

    However, although the addition of Voodoo adds to your versatility this is offset by the larger scale of ganks during the middle game. Where before most battles would be 2v1 or 2v2 with the occasional enemy surprise attack here and there you now have to contend with large scale, nasty melees. Large battles are dealt with through 1. the purchase of proper items that will allow Rhasta to maneuver appropriately (Blink) so that he can use his spells and 2. the purchase of survivability items to keep Rhasta alive through the battle (Soul Booster) as well as the lovely Mass Serpent Ward. MASS SERPENT WARD, YOU SAY?

    "OH BOY PIEMONGER, ARE WE GOING TO LEARN HOW TO WARD TRAP NOW?" No. The Eul's Ward Trap is the most newb thing you can possibly do as this hero, as 1. you're buying an item that adds nothing to Rhasta's ability to survive and properly use the skills he already has and 2. using an ultimate to kill an enemy by yourself in style is STUPID. The reason why items like Necrobook, Eul's and Manta Style (lolwut?) are subpar is because they're thinking in the mindset of Rhasta having to fight a hero 1v1, or Rhasta taking down 2 heroes by himself in a heroic battle. This is not what Rhasta does. Simply put, no matter what cool items you as a lone (or accompanied) Rhasta is going to die in a gank if the enemy heroes are remotely competent. It's important to realize that Rhasta is perhaps the most heavily ally-dependent hero in the game and that you must ALWAYS think of this hero in terms of how he will be able to kill with his teammates, not by himself. With this mindset firmly implanted, the concept of killing a single hero by yourself with Ward Trap (especially with Eul's) should be something that you abandon.

    Instead of Ward Trapping, the optimal method of using Serpent Wards is what will now be called the Ward Slap. The Ward Slap is where you find a large group of enemy heroes and have a large group of allies behind you, then proceed to run into the fray and slap down some Wards while right afterward throwing out Voodoos and Shackles to support your teammates. Wards are different from most other ultimates because of their interesting nature; unlike, say Echo Slam, which simply does a buttload of damage and is done and over with Serpent Wards exist over a period of time and deal a buttload of damage, which is a good and bad thing. It's good because you basically are able to place a sort of mini-tower anywhere you want to which gives you a unique tactical advantage, but it's bad because a crafty/speedy hero can run away and take no damage from your ultimate.



    In conjunction with other powerful ultimates, the Ward Slap will wipe out everything in the area. Nova + Requiem + Wards destroys absolutely everything here.


    This Ward Slap shows the power of Wards in terms of controlling where your enemy is able to go. Enchantress is forced away from the battle and is easily isolated and picked off, as well as Silencer effortlessly being blasted to death by Wards.


    What I'm trying to show here is that you don't need to pull off an elaborate trap to decimate a group of enemies with Wards. In fact, trying to Ward Trap during a crucial battle instead of just getting your ultimate off may potentially cost you the gank. ANYWAY, you may remember me noting that Wards have a unique tactical advantage because they create a sort of mini-tower. This aspect can be used in chokepoints to manipulate the battle to your advantage.




    Now, what does this kind of Ward placement achieve? As you can see I've blocked off this passageway, but how does this help in any way whatsoever? It manipulates the map, and if done correctly this can sway a battle massively in your favor. For example, slapping down some Wards to block off a ramp so that an incoming group of enemies has to go around can allow you to easily wipe out the foes nearby, then take out the advancing party once they've gotten around the Wards. You can also block off exits for fleeing enemies, furthermore sealing their doom. Pulling off stuff like this is A LOT easier with Blink Dagger, which is just another reason why we're buying it.

    To make sure no one gets the wrong idea here, you don't have to completely block off a passageway to properly utilize this technique. The idea of Warding at chokepoints means that enemies are going to have a harder time running from your snakes no matter if they can go around them or not. Think about it, in the open a hero has an infinite number of directions he can run from your Wards. On a ramp he has a total of two. Do the math.


    _________________
    Level 15 onward


    As the game reaches the later stages ganking will become less prevalent and pushes will become the norm. I find Blink to be even more useful in this stage of the game than it was earlier, so if you've chosen not to buy it then poo on you. At this point in the game we'll be using Wards to siege enemy bases and defend our own base, as well as Ward Slapping, Shackling, Hexing, and finishing with Lightning like always. Let's finish up our skill build, first. Stats at level 15, Ward at level 16. After level 16 simply begin putting more points into stats. Hopefully none of this is shocking to you. Now we will look at the rest of our item goals, their uses, and how realistic it is to obtain all of them.
    • Compete Aghamin's Scepter
    • Complete Boots of Travel*
    • Refresher Orb
    • Black King Bar
    *BoT can be bought right after Soul Booster or after Refresher Orb, depending on preference.

    All right. Aghamin's hugely boosts the power of Serpent Wards, increasing their number and the damage they deal. Also, the mana boost the Mystic Staff gives removes any and all mana constraints, as well as giving you the necessary pool to do double Wards. Agh's is a great item for Rhasta. Refresher (surprise) allows you to slap down two sets of Wards in one battle. This is total, epic, and utter rape. Generally this will take out the enemy base tower unless your team just gets totally housed in the ensuing battle. Agh's + Refresher Rhasta is a gamebreaking force.

    BKB is a nice item to avoid getting nuked and disabled to death like it is on any hero, but it also allows you to channel Shackles for the full duration in large battles without any possible interruption. Being able to incapacitate the enemy's golden boy hero for 5 seconds is absolutely huge, and makes BKB worth buying on top of its usual benefits.

    All of these items cost a lot of gold, but you don't need all of them to be a useful hero throughout the game. Here's a comparison between Rhasta wants, and what Rhasta actually needs:
    • Blink Dagger - 2150
    • Boots of Travel - 2700
    • Refresher Orb - 5575
    • Aghamin's Scepter - 6200
    • Black King Bar - 3800
    --------
    • Bracer - 510
    • Bracer - 510
    • Boots of Speed - 500
    • Blink Dagger 2150
    Compare 3,600 gold to 20,000 gold. Whether you annihilate everything and are the dominant force on the battlefield or nothing more than a hero who slaps some Wards down, Hexes once and promptly dies you will ALWAYS have some semblance of usefulness to your team, and this is what makes Rhasta so very hawt. So in conclusion, realize that everything after Boots, Blink and some +HP and mana are not core items, but are merely there to augment Rhasta's power that already exists.

    Large battles between both teams are ugly for Rhasta, because he's just so hilariously easy to kill and people like killing Rhasta. Against really mean, nasty teams who will kill you in three seconds if they get the chance you will not want to use Blink to position yourself to use Wards, but instead use it to Blink AWAY from the battle. Namely, slap down the Wards and immediately Blink away, then come back a couple seconds later when the enemy team is less inclined to kill you. If you try to Shackle without BKB and with the entire enemy team ready to take you out you will die instantly.

    Probably the only other new thing you'll be doing during the late game is sieging bases and defending your own base, which can be explained with one screenshot:


    Reach base tower, slap down Wards, focus Wards onto tower. If at all possible, place the Wards as far inward as you can so they can hit the rax after the tower goes down as well as get a better vantage point against enemy heroes. And no, you don't need 24 wards for this to work; level 3 Wards by themselves can also be handy in taking down a tower.


    Defending your own base is more or less the same thing. Slap your Wards down right beside your tower to keep it from being pounded on. A good Rhasta can prolong the game against a one-lane-pushing team for a long while and allow his allies to build up to push back, provided that those allies can carry their own weight.

    Rhasta's power diminishes as the game goes on because enemy heroes become more and more able to tank his Wards and Lightning; they are static abilities. A decked out Centaur can run by Serpent Wards without taking any notable damage and this kind of blows for you. However, the disabling power of Shackle and Voodoo means that unlike heroes like Lina you will never become obsolete on the battlefield, ever! Well, unless you're against 5 N'aixes.


    _________________
    Skill Mechanics


    Forked Lightning

    As far as I know, the range that Rhasta casts Forked Lightning is identical to his attack range, or 500. If not then it is very close to that value. Now, as you can garner from the skill info Forked Lightning hits multiple targets around the dude that you click on. What's interesting is that the spell will hit units that are a good ways out of Rhasta's spellcasting range, shown here:



    Yes, that's quite enormous indeed. Okay, let's think realistically here. The most common time you'll be casting Lightning is when the enemy hero is right next to you after Shackling or Voodoo or something of that nature. The range of the spell isn't a huge deal. However, if an enemy hero LOOKS like he's going to get away and you've got the resources to spare to throw out one last desperate Lightning, then chase after him till you reach the next enemy Necromancer (this tends to work a lot better on ranged creeps than with melee ones, I HAVE NO IDEA WHY) and cast it in hopes of nabbing him with it too from 800 range away. He'll cry if it works, guaranteed.

    Shackles and Voodoo



    The ranges of Voodoo and Shackles, as shown above. Voodoo's range is notably longer, which means that if you're ganking a single hero then I would recommend using Voodoo first if you're initiating, then moving up to continue the disablefest with Shackle. This way you won't get Eul'd or something before you can even try to disable. Although if you chose to buy Blink like a good boy then the range of Shackles wouldn't matter, now would it?! *raises eyebrows*

    Oh, also. The range of Shackles is very ugly in terms of defining clear mechanics for it. I've casted it at gigantic ranges before depending on how fast the enemy is running away from me. Shackles DOES have a cast time, so if the enemy hero runs fast enough away from you in the amount of time it takes you to cast it you may end up nabbing the hero from 900 range away.

    FINALLY, Voodoo is notable in that it turns the enemy hero into a little critter, which makes his model a lot smaller. This makes him harder to click on, first of all, but also reduces his size so that you can encase him in Wards more easily. This guide doesn't even bother to cover Ward Trapping because it is an unnecessary, decadent skill so that's all we're going into about it.

    Mass Serpent Ward

    The cast range of Serpent Wards is hilariously short.



    300 range or so, I believe. Remember me harping on about Blink Dagger a few dozen paragraphs ago? This is another reason why it's worth buying. Would you like to walk within 300 range of a mob of angry enemy heroes to cast Wards or instantly get there before you can get chain nuked to death?

    Serpent Wards have an attack range of 600 (100 more than Rhasta's own, 100 less than a tower's) and an average attack speed. They deal piercing damage, which means they deal enormous amounts of damage to creeps, reduced damage to heroes and sharply reduced damage to towers and siege units. Towers will focus Serpent Wards as their first target, and will wipe out one Ward for every one or two shots. Although Wards are killed quickly by towers and have greatly reduced damage against them, they're still highly efficient building killers especially when augmented by Aghs + Refresher. Double Wards will virtually always take out a base tower.

    Serpent Wards will not attack what you want them to attack by themselves. To quickly get your Wards selected, simply double click on one of them. This will select them all instantly, and then you can tell them to attack the hero you have Shackled or whatever.

    Dagger of Escape

    Using Blink with Rhasta is pretty simple, as we're purchasing it for the sole purpose of maneuverability rather than aiming AoE spells or anything of that nature. I would, however, like to cover one Blink tactic that a Rhasta player should make use of.

    One tactic you will be employing as Rhasta is running up into the battle, slapping down Wards and immediately Blinking back, as covered. To do this more efficiently, simply hit the hotkey for Blink twice in succession. This will immediately Blink you backwards toward your base. Cool! Just make sure that that's the direction you want to go.


    _________________
    Conclusion

    by PieMonger

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    Re: Rhasta, the Shadow Shaman Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by RD|.P3ac3|M3off View Post
    Special Thanks to the Author PieMonger for allowing me to post this guide on DotA.GG-Game.com



    Once a gifted troll witch doctor, young Rhasta was well versed with the secrets of voodoo magic. When the war between the Sentinel and the Scourge began, Rhasta, then a Shadow Hunter, offered his allegiance to the Sentinels to vanquish the Scourge once and for all. While he was gifted as a witch doctor, Rhasta is a genius as a shadow hunter, exceeding his master by mastering the art of summoning multiple serpent wards, binding enemies for a short time and casting elemental lightning to several units.

    Skill Facts:


    Hero Abilities:



    Forked Lightning
    Calls forth a cone of lightning, hitting multiple enemy units for damage.

    Level 1 - 75 damage to 3 targets.
    Level 2 - 150 damage to 4 targets.
    Level 3 - 225 damage to 6 targets.
    Level 4 - 300 damage to 7 targets.

    Cooldown: 10 seconds.
    Level 1: 95 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 105 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 135 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
    Level 4: 160 mana, 10 sec cooldown.



    Voodoo
    Transforms an enemy unit into a random critter, disabling special abilities.

    Level 1 - Lasts 1 second.
    Level 2 - Lasts 2 seconds.
    Level 3 - Lasts 3 seconds.
    Level 4 - Lasts 4 seconds.

    Cooldown: 13 seconds.
    Level 1: 110 mana, 13 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 140 mana, 13 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 170 mana, 13 sec cooldown.
    Level 4: 200 mana, 13 sec cooldown.


    Shackles
    Magically binds a target enemy, so that it cannot move or attack. Deals 40 damage per second.

    Level 1 - Lasts 2.5 seconds.
    Level 2 - Lasts 3.25 seconds.
    Level 3 - Lasts 4 seconds.
    Level 4 - Lasts 4.75 seconds.

    Cooldown: 16 seconds.
    Level 1: 110 mana, 16 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 130 mana, 16 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 155 mana, 16 sec cooldown.
    Level 4: 185 mana, 16 sec cooldown.



    Mass Serpent Ward
    Summons 8 immobile serpentine wards to attack enemies. The wards are immune to magic.

    Level 1 - Deals 43 max damage.
    Level 2 - Deals 58 max damage.
    Level 3 - Deals 73 max damage.

    Cooldown: 120 seconds.
    Level 1: 200 mana, 120 sec cooldown.
    Level 2: 350 mana, 120 sec cooldown.
    Level 3: 610 mana, 120 sec cooldown.



    _________________
    Quick Skill and Item Lists
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Forked Lightning
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Mass Serpent Wards
    • Forked Lightning
    • Shackles
    • Shackles
    • Voodoo
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    • Stats
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    ---------
    • 4x Tango, 2x Circlet
    • Boots of Speed
    • 2x Bracer
    • Blink Dagger
    • Aghamin's Scepter
    • Boots of Travel
    • Refresher Orb
    • Black King Bar


    For those who want liek, reasoning and shiz, read the guide.


    _________________
    Introduction


    You may be wondering why faith causes the death and suffering of millions when its claimed purpose is to create moral fiber in society and to give hope to the downtrodden, or what humanity's purpose is in a world without reason, or perhaps why Bob Dylan doesn't comb his hair. I regret to inform you that this guide gives an answer to none of these questions, but does discuss the pros and cons of being Jamaican. It also abandons the use of proper formatting and organization, because only homosexuals like to decorate things.

    The Shadow Shaman has lived in infamy throughout much of his tenure as a DotA hero. In particular, his earlier days back in the late 5.xx versions and early 6.xx saw him as one who could keep a hero disabled for 10 seconds with relative ease, then promptly do the same thing three seconds later. If you could look up ancient threads back in the older forums (you can't), Rhasta would consistently be ranked as the strongest or second strongest hero in the game, competing only with (gasp!) Sven.

    History lessons aside, Rhasta, due to reductions to the power of his disables as well as changes to gameplay and other heroes is unfortunately not the strongest hero in the game any longer, but still holds claim to being one nasty Sentinel hero. Although there is already a Premium guide to Rhasta on this forum that does a great job of explaining Rhasta's abilities and giving a nice idea of how to use them there lacks a guide that 1. properly defines Rhasta's conceptual nature and his role as a hero in general and 2. uses a build designed for a level of play beyond killing three uncoordinated heroes with Eul's + Wards + Necrobook + Shackle + Hex + Lightning. This kind of thing is cool, but it's for pubs. This guide will focus on Rhasta in terms of how he is meant to be played; rather than focusing on 1v1/2/3/4/5 killing with Wards we will look at the power of disables in ganks and the destruction that Wards can cause in a large battle.

    Rhasta is a heavily ally-dependent hero. As such, I believe it wise to first look at what type of heroes Rhasta should lane with. Rhasta's niche is as a hardcore disabler and, furthermore, as a ganker. 90% of Rhasta is using Shackles, Hex and Lightning to take out a target, and the first thing to realize is that these skills are useless without allied help. Shackle in particular is hugely important to a Rhasta player especially early in the game, and is what we will be focusing upon in this part of the guide. Shackles does NOTHING without an ally by your side, so it's important to coordinate well.


    _________________
    Early Game Laning


    Although allies are necessary for the success of a Rhasta player, it's interesting to note that the sheer power of Shackles means that the Shadow Shaman can lane and gank as long as he has SOME sort of damage-dealing presence to back him up. Shendelazare, Zeus, Siren, Stealth Assassin, Earthshaker, Juggernaut, Venomancer, Spirit Breaker, Anti-Mage, Drow Ranger, the list goes on just about for forever. Shackles works well even with the most mediocre of allies, and only the poorest of lane pairings can hope to ruin this generalization. Some examples are N'aix, Meepo, Faceless Void, Rooftrellen, Bloodseeker, and perhaps a couple of others. Extremely low-tier melee heroes who lack an early game presence are the ONLY heroes that fail to make good use of Shackles. Here is a list of notably powerful lane mates for a Rhasta player, and how they should be used to your advantage.


    The Juggernaut needs some sort of disable so that he can get close enough to begin using Bladefury. Shackles not only gives him this opportunity, but even holds the enemy still long enough that the Jugg can do much of his Furying before the enemy can even try to escape. Deals about 550 damage at level 3 through reduced spell damage alone.


    Like the Juggernaut, the Ursa Warrior needs to get close enough to start hitting with Overpower on, and benefits even more if the target is held in place long enough for him to administer all 5 hits then keep hitting. Shackles, of course, is what allows him to do this. Does about 450 damage at level 3, about 800-900 at level 6, becoming obscenely powerful as Overpower and Swipes are maxed.


    If the Panda can get close enough to hit with Clap, the high damage and slow means doom for an unsuspecting foe. Shackles, Clap, then physical attacks and Lightning are devastating to an enemy hero. 500 damage is dealt through spell damage alone at level 7, then physical attacks dealt after Clap's slow tend to be enough to kill most heroes.


    The Anti-Mage constantly suffers from low HP, melee range and proneness to disables. All of these things make it very difficult for him to deal damage with Mana Break, but Shackles can potentially eliminate these obstacles. Shackles allows the AM to nonchalantly walk up to begin hitting with Mana Break, then Blinking once the target is freed from Shackles to finish the job OR to Blink away if things are looking ugly.


    The heroes listed are primarily ones that don't tend to see much play because of their unwieldiness. As you can see simply through hastily-contrived math, Rhasta allows melee heroes like the Ursa Warrior to actually pull off their horrifying synergies and deal enormous amounts of damage to a target. Shackles is a beautiful, beautiful skill, because a 2.5 second disable at level 1 is just too horrifying for words.

    So there you go, lane early with a hero that can make use of Shackles. Just about any works, but some are more able to utilize it than others. Moving on, let's now look at the skill and item options for a Rhasta player early in the game, and also some early hero-killing maneuvers. You will find that battling as Rhasta early in the game requires very little skill other than a bit of coordination with your ally.



    _________________
    Levels 1-7


    The early skill build of Rhasta revolves around using Shackles in conjunction with an allied assault (as covered) and adding additional damage with Forked Lightning. Lightning will be your method of garnering kills for a good portion of the game after you've finished comboing allied spells with Shackle. Here's what a Rhasta skill build will look like from levels 1-7:
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Forked Lightning
    • Shackles
    • Forked Lightning
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    • Forked Lightning
    Shackles is quite possibly your most powerful skill early-on, but is not maxed over Lightning because of the way the two skills level. Shackles works fine even at level 1, but Lightning must be maxed for it to be effective. Voodoo is not maxed early because it levels poorly, costs a huge amount of mana and there is no room for it. Shackles + Voodoo is an interesting build for the obscene amount of disable it gives you early, but the reality is that the basic nuke of Lightning is far more powerful.

    Early items for Rhasta are very basic. Some important things to note are acquiring Boots as quickly as is reasonable, as getting close enough to use Shackles is a challenge with Rhasta's poor movespeed. Also, Bracers are easily the dominant early item to purchase for Rhasta, as they are easily built up to and solve the problem of Rhasta's poor HP. Rhasta's fragility will be covered in detail later in the guide.
    • 4x Ancient Tango of Essifaction, 2x Circlet of Nobility
    • Boots of Speed
    • 2x Bracer
    Moving on, Rhasta's early game focuses around killing with Shackles and Lightning, using the aid of his ally to maximize the power of Shackles and finishing off a foe with Lightning. We just went over this. This is a basic tactic that requires only a small amount of skill to pull off adequately, and this section will explain what you should be doing and watching out for when doing this.

    First of all: Rhasta needs a competent ally to get kills early. That's a fact that will not go away. Unless your enemy is a total raging idiot and he tries to tower-dive you with no creeps around Shackle is not going to do anything without an ally to help. Furthermore, Shackles is not going to be useful if you cast it and your ally runs away screaming in the opposite direction. If you're stuck with an absolute shitporridge ally, then consider just sitting and farming. However, realize that actually aiming for kills early is what Rhasta should be doing, as having a lot of gold doesn't mean much to a hero like this.

    Here are some basic examples of hero-killing early as Rhasta. It's not very difficult and really these screenshots aren't THAT necessary, but they're pretty so who's arguing?!



    This is a very basic use of Rhasta's Shackles, and should give you the idea of what you should be doing with the skill. Cast it on an unwary foe and have your ally or allies hand out a massive beating. At the cost of 160 mana on my part and a Shadow Strike on the Venomancer's our enemy Silencer goes down, and hard.




    It's great when your ally does the hard work of getting the kill and all you have to do is mindlessly hit Shackle to do your job. In this case, expert use of Elune's Arrow puts an end to Lion with the help of a Shackle on my part.




    Conversely, the skill level of your ally can often cause you to miss what should be a guaranteed kill. In this case, Tiny tries to finish Viper off with Toss instead of using Avalanche, and ends up missing and letting Viper get away. Remember that Rhasta is heavily dependent on his allies, and if your buddy makes a mistake then it hurts you just as much as it hurts him. On that note, this is why as Rhasta you need to make sure you play intelligently and don't make any mistakes yourself, as your ally will be the one who suffers along with yourself.

    Let's talk a little more about bad allies. If your ally is garbage and gets attacked early then you may want to consider just running away instead of using Shackle. If your buddy fails to coordinate with you to defend against an enemy assault then you're both going to die. If you run away then the only one who dies is your idiot pal. Hopefully your lanemate won't suck and you can simply Shackle a hero and win the fight.



    This set mostly shows how powerful Rhasta and Tiny can be together in a lane. Avalanche, Shackle, and Lightning absolutely decimate SB and Viper with a bit of coordination.




    Hooray, a screenshot that shows Serpent Wards! How I think Wards should be used will be covered later; this screenshot shows more of Shackling and the usefulness of competent allies. Nice Toss, Tiny.


    Got the idea yet? Shackle, let ally pound, finish what remains with Lightning. By the way, what these screenshots fail to show is Rhasta's mana pool. Early in the game especially, Rhasta needs to conserve his mana so that he can do his combo with any trouble. This means 1. NEVER SPAMMING LIGHTNING, EVER and 2. making sure not to mess up Shackles. The range of Shackles is rather dubious, and it's frustrating to cast it on an enemy, have him move back, then hit with Shackles when he's reached the safety of his tower. Don't let this happen, because it's embarrassing as well as a waste of mana.

    O fuk, Forked Lightning. This skill doesn't require an incredible amount of talent to use effectively. First of all, do not use it to farm. Do not use it to harrass. Do not use it because it's pretty. Rhasta's mana pool CAN NOT support random use of Lightning; the only thing you should be doing with Lightning is taking out heroes with coordinated spell combos of Shackle + allied shiz + Lightning. That's it. DO NOT SPAM LIGHTNING.

    Rhasta's stats early are bad. They're in contention for worst in the game. Rhasta is slow, has crap for armor, low base damage, no HP, and is a very easy target if the enemy can get to him. This means that a successful gank attempt on Rhasta early will almost certainly end in Rhasta's death (watch the mini-map, buy Wards, etc.) and that an overly-aggressive Rhasta will often end in a dead Rhasta. For example:



    Tower-diving as Rhasta is one of the less intelligent notions one will contend with. Because I have 8 HP hacks I live through this endeavor, but as you can see Rhasta takes A LOT of damage in a very short time if he does stupid stuff. So, only tower dive if you're a bit suicidal- otherwise, let Sven do the dirty work.

    Oh boy, our first Serpent Ward tutorial: neutral creeping! This is done earlier on in the game when there are no readily-available ganking opportunities. Serpent Wards aren't that great early. They are, however, the ultimate method of killing the big and nasty Neutral Creeps at level 6. Dragons, Spawns and the green Golem all get their shit ruined by Wards, and this is a highly efficient way of gaining EXP and gold. You might say that this is a waste of an ultimate, but until really large battles start occurring Wards just aren't that useful yet and should be put to some use earlier on through farming.



    Neutral creeps will try to attack you first, not your Wards. Do not stand there and get hit, and most importantly do not run around in circles around your Wards. Back away from the creeps and eventually they'll return to the camp, allowing you to move up and continue whacking.


    _________________
    Levels 8-14


    As the game progresses from level 1 until the middle game Rhasta's power remains relatively the same. Even at level 1 you're still a tough cookie solely because of Shackle, which if used in conjunction with a skill like Bladefury is incredibly powerful. As you level your abilities become stronger, but your enemies will also be more able to fend off your Shackle + other spell combo through additions to their own repitoires of skills and gains in their HP pools Things change when Voodoo is added to the mix and Rhasta is able to start outfitting himself with the proper equipment.
    • Shackles
    • Shackles
    • Voodoo
    • Mass Serpent Ward
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    • Voodoo
    Hopefully the skill build here is self-explanatory. Shackles is finished being maxed, totalling up to an almost 5 second disable, one of the longest in the game. Voodoo is slowly maxed at this point in the game also; take note that the early levels of the skill are very weak, as one second of Hex is almost nothing. Now for the item goals for this stage of the game:
    • Blink Dagger
    • Soul Booster
    Blink Dagger is an awesome item for Rhasta. Here's why:
    • Rhasta is slow. Rhasta is the second slowest hero in the game.
    • Rhasta is weak. Rhasta's Strength and Agility gain are both garbage.
    • Rhasta needs mobility. Shackles and Serpent Wards both can only be cast at close range.
    • Rhasta likes powerful items. Blink is a powerful item.
    Soul Booster is made into Aghamin's later and does a good job of solving Rhasta's HP and Mana problems to a certain extent. Although your mana pool will be somewhat strained even with Soul Booster you should be fine until Aghamin's, and really no reasonable amount of +HP is going to make Rhasta hard to kill. Still, Soul Booster does the job better than any other item in the game.

    Okay so, here's what's going on for Rhasta during the middle game. First of all, more ganking with Shackles and Lightning. The difference now is that you have Voodoo also and that there will be a lot more heroes pounding on each other. The former addition to the ganking process shouldn't be much of a problem for you; Voodoo is a very, very easy spell to use other than the high mana cost. To avoid the mana cost, simply don't use it unless you need it!

    However, although the addition of Voodoo adds to your versatility this is offset by the larger scale of ganks during the middle game. Where before most battles would be 2v1 or 2v2 with the occasional enemy surprise attack here and there you now have to contend with large scale, nasty melees. Large battles are dealt with through 1. the purchase of proper items that will allow Rhasta to maneuver appropriately (Blink) so that he can use his spells and 2. the purchase of survivability items to keep Rhasta alive through the battle (Soul Booster) as well as the lovely Mass Serpent Ward. MASS SERPENT WARD, YOU SAY?

    "OH BOY PIEMONGER, ARE WE GOING TO LEARN HOW TO WARD TRAP NOW?" No. The Eul's Ward Trap is the most newb thing you can possibly do as this hero, as 1. you're buying an item that adds nothing to Rhasta's ability to survive and properly use the skills he already has and 2. using an ultimate to kill an enemy by yourself in style is STUPID. The reason why items like Necrobook, Eul's and Manta Style (lolwut?) are subpar is because they're thinking in the mindset of Rhasta having to fight a hero 1v1, or Rhasta taking down 2 heroes by himself in a heroic battle. This is not what Rhasta does. Simply put, no matter what cool items you as a lone (or accompanied) Rhasta is going to die in a gank if the enemy heroes are remotely competent. It's important to realize that Rhasta is perhaps the most heavily ally-dependent hero in the game and that you must ALWAYS think of this hero in terms of how he will be able to kill with his teammates, not by himself. With this mindset firmly implanted, the concept of killing a single hero by yourself with Ward Trap (especially with Eul's) should be something that you abandon.

    Instead of Ward Trapping, the optimal method of using Serpent Wards is what will now be called the Ward Slap. The Ward Slap is where you find a large group of enemy heroes and have a large group of allies behind you, then proceed to run into the fray and slap down some Wards while right afterward throwing out Voodoos and Shackles to support your teammates. Wards are different from most other ultimates because of their interesting nature; unlike, say Echo Slam, which simply does a buttload of damage and is done and over with Serpent Wards exist over a period of time and deal a buttload of damage, which is a good and bad thing. It's good because you basically are able to place a sort of mini-tower anywhere you want to which gives you a unique tactical advantage, but it's bad because a crafty/speedy hero can run away and take no damage from your ultimate.



    In conjunction with other powerful ultimates, the Ward Slap will wipe out everything in the area. Nova + Requiem + Wards destroys absolutely everything here.


    This Ward Slap shows the power of Wards in terms of controlling where your enemy is able to go. Enchantress is forced away from the battle and is easily isolated and picked off, as well as Silencer effortlessly being blasted to death by Wards.


    What I'm trying to show here is that you don't need to pull off an elaborate trap to decimate a group of enemies with Wards. In fact, trying to Ward Trap during a crucial battle instead of just getting your ultimate off may potentially cost you the gank. ANYWAY, you may remember me noting that Wards have a unique tactical advantage because they create a sort of mini-tower. This aspect can be used in chokepoints to manipulate the battle to your advantage.




    Now, what does this kind of Ward placement achieve? As you can see I've blocked off this passageway, but how does this help in any way whatsoever? It manipulates the map, and if done correctly this can sway a battle massively in your favor. For example, slapping down some Wards to block off a ramp so that an incoming group of enemies has to go around can allow you to easily wipe out the foes nearby, then take out the advancing party once they've gotten around the Wards. You can also block off exits for fleeing enemies, furthermore sealing their doom. Pulling off stuff like this is A LOT easier with Blink Dagger, which is just another reason why we're buying it.

    To make sure no one gets the wrong idea here, you don't have to completely block off a passageway to properly utilize this technique. The idea of Warding at chokepoints means that enemies are going to have a harder time running from your snakes no matter if they can go around them or not. Think about it, in the open a hero has an infinite number of directions he can run from your Wards. On a ramp he has a total of two. Do the math.


    _________________
    Level 15 onward


    As the game reaches the later stages ganking will become less prevalent and pushes will become the norm. I find Blink to be even more useful in this stage of the game than it was earlier, so if you've chosen not to buy it then poo on you. At this point in the game we'll be using Wards to siege enemy bases and defend our own base, as well as Ward Slapping, Shackling, Hexing, and finishing with Lightning like always. Let's finish up our skill build, first. Stats at level 15, Ward at level 16. After level 16 simply begin putting more points into stats. Hopefully none of this is shocking to you. Now we will look at the rest of our item goals, their uses, and how realistic it is to obtain all of them.
    • Compete Aghamin's Scepter
    • Complete Boots of Travel*
    • Refresher Orb
    • Black King Bar
    *BoT can be bought right after Soul Booster or after Refresher Orb, depending on preference.

    All right. Aghamin's hugely boosts the power of Serpent Wards, increasing their number and the damage they deal. Also, the mana boost the Mystic Staff gives removes any and all mana constraints, as well as giving you the necessary pool to do double Wards. Agh's is a great item for Rhasta. Refresher (surprise) allows you to slap down two sets of Wards in one battle. This is total, epic, and utter rape. Generally this will take out the enemy base tower unless your team just gets totally housed in the ensuing battle. Agh's + Refresher Rhasta is a gamebreaking force.

    BKB is a nice item to avoid getting nuked and disabled to death like it is on any hero, but it also allows you to channel Shackles for the full duration in large battles without any possible interruption. Being able to incapacitate the enemy's golden boy hero for 5 seconds is absolutely huge, and makes BKB worth buying on top of its usual benefits.

    All of these items cost a lot of gold, but you don't need all of them to be a useful hero throughout the game. Here's a comparison between Rhasta wants, and what Rhasta actually needs:
    • Blink Dagger - 2150
    • Boots of Travel - 2700
    • Refresher Orb - 5575
    • Aghamin's Scepter - 6200
    • Black King Bar - 3800
    --------
    • Bracer - 510
    • Bracer - 510
    • Boots of Speed - 500
    • Blink Dagger 2150
    Compare 3,600 gold to 20,000 gold. Whether you annihilate everything and are the dominant force on the battlefield or nothing more than a hero who slaps some Wards down, Hexes once and promptly dies you will ALWAYS have some semblance of usefulness to your team, and this is what makes Rhasta so very hawt. So in conclusion, realize that everything after Boots, Blink and some +HP and mana are not core items, but are merely there to augment Rhasta's power that already exists.

    Large battles between both teams are ugly for Rhasta, because he's just so hilariously easy to kill and people like killing Rhasta. Against really mean, nasty teams who will kill you in three seconds if they get the chance you will not want to use Blink to position yourself to use Wards, but instead use it to Blink AWAY from the battle. Namely, slap down the Wards and immediately Blink away, then come back a couple seconds later when the enemy team is less inclined to kill you. If you try to Shackle without BKB and with the entire enemy team ready to take you out you will die instantly.

    Probably the only other new thing you'll be doing during the late game is sieging bases and defending your own base, which can be explained with one screenshot:


    Reach base tower, slap down Wards, focus Wards onto tower. If at all possible, place the Wards as far inward as you can so they can hit the rax after the tower goes down as well as get a better vantage point against enemy heroes. And no, you don't need 24 wards for this to work; level 3 Wards by themselves can also be handy in taking down a tower.


    Defending your own base is more or less the same thing. Slap your Wards down right beside your tower to keep it from being pounded on. A good Rhasta can prolong the game against a one-lane-pushing team for a long while and allow his allies to build up to push back, provided that those allies can carry their own weight.

    Rhasta's power diminishes as the game goes on because enemy heroes become more and more able to tank his Wards and Lightning; they are static abilities. A decked out Centaur can run by Serpent Wards without taking any notable damage and this kind of blows for you. However, the disabling power of Shackle and Voodoo means that unlike heroes like Lina you will never become obsolete on the battlefield, ever! Well, unless you're against 5 N'aixes.


    _________________
    Skill Mechanics


    Forked Lightning

    As far as I know, the range that Rhasta casts Forked Lightning is identical to his attack range, or 500. If not then it is very close to that value. Now, as you can garner from the skill info Forked Lightning hits multiple targets around the dude that you click on. What's interesting is that the spell will hit units that are a good ways out of Rhasta's spellcasting range, shown here:



    Yes, that's quite enormous indeed. Okay, let's think realistically here. The most common time you'll be casting Lightning is when the enemy hero is right next to you after Shackling or Voodoo or something of that nature. The range of the spell isn't a huge deal. However, if an enemy hero LOOKS like he's going to get away and you've got the resources to spare to throw out one last desperate Lightning, then chase after him till you reach the next enemy Necromancer (this tends to work a lot better on ranged creeps than with melee ones, I HAVE NO IDEA WHY) and cast it in hopes of nabbing him with it too from 800 range away. He'll cry if it works, guaranteed.

    Shackles and Voodoo



    The ranges of Voodoo and Shackles, as shown above. Voodoo's range is notably longer, which means that if you're ganking a single hero then I would recommend using Voodoo first if you're initiating, then moving up to continue the disablefest with Shackle. This way you won't get Eul'd or something before you can even try to disable. Although if you chose to buy Blink like a good boy then the range of Shackles wouldn't matter, now would it?! *raises eyebrows*

    Oh, also. The range of Shackles is very ugly in terms of defining clear mechanics for it. I've casted it at gigantic ranges before depending on how fast the enemy is running away from me. Shackles DOES have a cast time, so if the enemy hero runs fast enough away from you in the amount of time it takes you to cast it you may end up nabbing the hero from 900 range away.

    FINALLY, Voodoo is notable in that it turns the enemy hero into a little critter, which makes his model a lot smaller. This makes him harder to click on, first of all, but also reduces his size so that you can encase him in Wards more easily. This guide doesn't even bother to cover Ward Trapping because it is an unnecessary, decadent skill so that's all we're going into about it.

    Mass Serpent Ward

    The cast range of Serpent Wards is hilariously short.



    300 range or so, I believe. Remember me harping on about Blink Dagger a few dozen paragraphs ago? This is another reason why it's worth buying. Would you like to walk within 300 range of a mob of angry enemy heroes to cast Wards or instantly get there before you can get chain nuked to death?

    Serpent Wards have an attack range of 600 (100 more than Rhasta's own, 100 less than a tower's) and an average attack speed. They deal piercing damage, which means they deal enormous amounts of damage to creeps, reduced damage to heroes and sharply reduced damage to towers and siege units. Towers will focus Serpent Wards as their first target, and will wipe out one Ward for every one or two shots. Although Wards are killed quickly by towers and have greatly reduced damage against them, they're still highly efficient building killers especially when augmented by Aghs + Refresher. Double Wards will virtually always take out a base tower.

    Serpent Wards will not attack what you want them to attack by themselves. To quickly get your Wards selected, simply double click on one of them. This will select them all instantly, and then you can tell them to attack the hero you have Shackled or whatever.

    Dagger of Escape

    Using Blink with Rhasta is pretty simple, as we're purchasing it for the sole purpose of maneuverability rather than aiming AoE spells or anything of that nature. I would, however, like to cover one Blink tactic that a Rhasta player should make use of.

    One tactic you will be employing as Rhasta is running up into the battle, slapping down Wards and immediately Blinking back, as covered. To do this more efficiently, simply hit the hotkey for Blink twice in succession. This will immediately Blink you backwards toward your base. Cool! Just make sure that that's the direction you want to go.


    _________________
    Conclusion

    by PieMonger
    Nice guide, good job.

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