This article is part of “Professional Help” an ongoing series of tips and tricks from pro players on their favorite heroes.
Muhammad “inYourdreaM” Rizky is one of the best prodigies to come out of Southeast Asia, notably becoming the first player to reach 9000 MMR by exclusively playing on the region’s challenging servers in 2017. He is currently the midlaner for T1’s Dota 2 team.
InYourdreaM is well-known for his proficiency with Invoker, the most versatile and skill-intensive hero in Dota 2 whose arsenal features a total of 14 different spells.
Here are five tips from inYourdreaM himself to help you master wielding the power of the Arsenal Magus:
Know your matchups
Invoker is really good against squishy heroes that are vulnerable to Cold Snap like Shadow Fiend, Queen of Pain, and Ember Spirit. He has low base armor though so he struggles against heroes that high physical damage like Templar Assassin and Kunkka.
While Invoker is versatile enough to fit in just about any lineup, I think he’s best played as the secondary core in a four-protect-one strategy to make space for a hard carry.
Know when to go for Quas-Wex or Quas-Exort
When you play Invoker your biggest decision before the game starts is about whether you will go with the Quas-Wex or Quas-Exort build.
The Quas-Exort build is good against squishy heroes like Shadow Fiend and Queen of Pain, especially if your team already has strong stunners like Sand King, Beastmaster, or Faceless Void to set up an easy Sunstrike. But it’s not that good in this patch because your buildup is slower compared to most other mids and you lack mobility.
Quas-Wex is the better build for the current metagame because you can accelerate your farm with kills while also making space for another hero who can carry the team better. This build is the best for Invoker’s most effective role as a space creator and someone who secures the side lanes, which you can do without needing to get a lot of items unlike Quas-Exort.
The skill build for Quas-Exort Invoker is simple enough, start with a couple of points in Quas then max Exort as soon as possible to maximize your damage potential. But for Wex-Exort I usually get three points in Quas then max Wex, though I’ll get one point in Exort if I’m up against someone like Templar Assassin so I can have Deafening Blast to disarm them in fights.
Start strong at mid
Invoker isn’t the best mid hero because he doesn’t have a lot of right-click damage, especially if you go for the Quas-Wex build. But you can still win your lane if you play it right. The most common opening you can exploit is when the enemy is trying to harass you. If the situation with your creep wave, health, and mana is just right, you can easily turn things around with Cold Snap. The enemy will be getting mini-stunned from your right clicks as well as your creeps, which can lead to a kill.
You won’t always get that opening though, so you have to aim to at least equalize with the enemy mid. Then after that you just focus on ganking the side lanes and making space for the team by the midgame.
If you end up losing the lane because you really fell behind in last hits or got ganked, you have two options. You can either farm neutrals and have one of your supports take mid lane instead or you can go for a smoke gank. Going for ganks is the better option since you need to make space anyway.
Get the right items, use your spells right
Spirit Vessel is a must for Quas-Wex Invoker. It has a great buildup from Urn of Shadows and deals a lot of damage while constantly mini-stunning an enemy when comboed with Cold Snap.
Once you have it, start going around the map while in Ghost Walk (make sure you have three Wex orbs active so you have high movement speed) to set up ganks on unsuspecting heroes. Use your Spirit Vessel charges as much as you can to either damage enemies or heal teammates, you’ll always get more charges with how much you should be fighting.
In teamfights, focus on hitting supports or heroes that have big spells with your Tornado-EMP combo so that the enemy’s teamfighting ability is weakened. If they have a fast hero like Troll Warlord or Bloodseeker, slow them down with Ice Wall and Cold Snap.
If you have heroes like Faceless Void or Earthshaker on your team, it’s a good idea to max Exort and get Aghanim’s Scepter so you can combo Cataclysm with their stuns. Otherwise, get utility items like Eul’s Scepter or Force Staff. Sheepstick is great for added disable too.
Make space, make plays
Because Invoker has to be the primary space creator, you either have to closely coordinate play calls with your team or call the shots yourself. Even during the laning phase, you should go for a gank if you see an angle for it. You have to be careful with making these decisions though, as it is really bad for a mid hero to waste his Town Portal Scroll in teleporting to a side lane where ther are no beneficial fights.
You have to be really aggressive in the midgame, especially if you are in the lead. Not only will you be applying pressure on the enemy carry, but you will also make a lot of space for your own carry.
Invoker is great if you can initiate on the enemy since they won’t have a lot of chances to react. So avoid playing reactively even if you are behind, because if you do the enemy’s lead will just get bigger since you can’t farm that fast. Don’t be afraid to make plays whenever you can.