Pudge, the Butcher
|Disabler Initiator Durable Nuker|
In the Fields of Endless Carnage, far to the south of Quoidge, a corpulent figure works tirelessly through the night—dismembering, disembowelling, piling up the limbs and viscera of the fallen that the battlefield might be clear by dawn. In this cursed realm, nothing can decay or decompose; no corpse may ever return to the earth from which it sprang, no matter how deep you dig the grave. Flocked by carrion birds who need him to cut their meals into beak-sized chunks, Pudge the Butcher hones his skills with blades that grow sharper the longer he uses them. Swish, swish, thunk. Flesh falls from the bone; tendons and ligaments part like wet paper. And while he always had a taste for the butchery, over the ages, Pudge has developed a taste for its byproduct as well. Starting with a gobbet of muscle here, a sip of blood there... before long he was thrusting his jaws deep into the toughest of torsos, like a dog gnawing at rags. Even those who are beyond fearing the Reaper, fear the Butcher.
|+120 Rot Damage||25||+1.75 Flesh Heap Stack Strength|
|-40s Respawn Time||20||+150 Gold/Min|
|+15 Movement Speed||15||+5 Armor|
|+2 Mana Regen||10||+8 Strength|
|Starting Items||Early Game||Mid Game||Late Game|
Each carefully aimed throw of Pudge's signature hook strikes fear into his foes. Pulling his enemies near to carve them with his cleavers, he gains additional health and damage with every kill, and soon becomes an unstoppable killer.
Pudge is an excellent ganker and disabler.
In a standard Pudge game, a first point in Rot is usually taken to bolster your last hitting capability. Meat Hook is then maxed, with Rot treated secondary.
Flesh Heap is maxed after Hook & Rot, since your goal is to increase your ganking capability and damage so this skill is put on hold. If you're struggling and need some defense, 1 point instead of level 3 or 4 Rot will give you the benefit of all the Strength you have accrued through kills/assists.
Position yourself as best as possible for successful hooks. While Pudge's hook is going to require a fair bit of skill to get right, the first step in improving your hook is to minimize the angle between their possible paths and your hook. This will make it much easier to land a successful hook on an opponent. But that's not all there is to hooks. When possible, do your absolute best to pull them over into a position where they cannot run away easily, such as awkward terrain. As an example in the mid-lane, pulling an enemy across the river to your side will let you get a good amount of damage in before they can flee, eating through their regeneration and bottle charges.
An important detail to successful hooks is vision. By nighttime majority of heroes sight range is reduced to 800 on average with some exceptions (Enchantress, Night Stalker, and Bounty Hunter). This means you should always be concealed from vision or attempting to be when you gank (daytime or nighttime). Hook level 4 extends to 1300, you have a 500 range jump on majority of heroes in the dark. This is a hallmark between an average Pudge, and an exceptional one. On that note - Smoke of Deceit is your best friend. You can slip past the normal Rune Ward locations to easily rotate ganks on bottom and top lanes, or even feign ganking, and then taking out the middle hero.
The movement speed debuff only applies to enemy targets. You should in particular toggle this before you've hooked an enemy onto a place where they cannot flee quickly, to land a few more strikes and perhaps even a final hook. If you're facing certain death, you can also use this in combination with juking, such that you might deny yourself and leave them nothing from the kill.
As an interesting side effect, remember that Rot deals magic damage, while Flesh Heap increases your resistance to it. This means you take a lot less damage from it as the game goes on and you gain stacks of Flesh Heap. You should also not be taking damage from Rot while under magic immunity! While under magic-immunity effects, always have Rot on.
A few things need to be covered on the use of this ability. Firstly, when engaging an enemy, always use Rot before this. There is a short delay after starting Dismember where you cannot activate Rot, which means you have a delay in dealing additional damage. To maximize the damage you deal, you must use Rot before. Do not worry if they try to run a little, as Rot will slow them enough to catch up, and as long as your Dismember lands on them they're within range of Rot, too. The usual Hook, Rot, Dismember combo is extremely effective.
In team fights, Dismember gets trickier. A rough priority list of who you should target would be roughly this:
- If several opponents can easily disable your ultimate immediately, don't use it. You're almost certainly better off straight up attacking and using your hook.
- When there is a hero with a reliable stun they should be eliminated from the enemy team. Even if you don't kill them, disabling them means they can't help their allies either. Chaos Knight, Sven and such heroes are good examples.
- If you are safe from being disabled (ie a Black King Bar activated) and you're facing a powerful carry, disabling said carry is critical. Examples include Anti-Mage (especially as he can eat your mana), Faceless Void, Phantom Assassin, etc.
As a final note, you should almost always have a Black King Bar before you get a Scepter, if you're aiming for it. In team fights the ability will very easily be interrupted by a number of heroes. Black King Bar makes you invulnerable to this problem, and has the additional benefit of making you immune to your own Rot damage.
Pudge has two major concerns: Mana and mobility. You need to be able to cast your abilities, and another big bonus is keeping your opponent within range of your Rot as much as possible. (Though Rot's slow is going to help with this a lot.) Try to always at minimum have enough mana to stay in the fight, and the movement speed to maximize the Rot exposure.
Beyond these two, he is a hero with a very good strength gain. Not so much from levels and items, but from Flesh Heap granting a fairly hefty bonus. For this reason, the attraction of stacking strength to increase your damage and survivability is going to go down the more ganks, kills and assists you've netted. Because of the same ability as before magic resistance is also not very attractive. With more sources of magic resistance, each source's gains are strongly reduced. For this reason, a Pipe of Insight is going to be far more powerful, as it gives a flat magic damage resistance, not another % multiplier.
In other words:
- Don't stack additional % magic resistance past Flesh Heap, as more sources of % magic resistance lowers the gain from each.
- Only stack health if you're low on it; a fair Pudge game will not have this issue as Flesh Heap stacks up.
- Work on mana and mobility before damage to maximize damage from Hook, Dismember and Rot. You will gain damage from Flesh Heap's strength bonus.
|Balance Patch History|
|Patch Version||Balance Changes|
WC3 DotA Version