Lyralei, the Windranger
|Carry Support Disabler Escape Nuker|
The western forests guard their secrets well. One of these is Lyralei, master archer of the wood, and favored godchild of the wind. Known now as Windranger, Lyralei's family was killed in a storm on the night of her birth—their house blown down by the gale, contents scattered to the winds. Only the newborn survived among the debris field of death and destruction. In the quiet after the storm, the wind itself took notice of the lucky infant crying in the grass. The wind pitied the child and so lifted her into the sky and deposited her on a doorstep in a neighboring village. In the years that followed, the wind returned occasionally to the child's life, watching from a distance while she honed her skills. Now, after many years of training, Windranger fires her arrows true to their targets. She moves with blinding speed, as if hastened by a wind ever at her back. With a flurry of arrows, she slaughters her enemies, having become, nearly, a force of nature herself.
|-7s Powershot Cooldown||25||+100 Attack Range|
|+20% Magic Resistance||20||+15% Spell Amplification|
|+20 Intelligence||15||+40 Movement Speed|
|+4 Mana Regen||10||+30% Windrun Slow|
|Starting Items||Early Game||Mid Game||Late Game|
Evasive and swift, the nimble Windranger is always seeking the right angle to attack. Whether she's clearing the way with a draw of her deadly powershot, or shackling enemies together to pepper them with arrows, she's always on the move.
Windranger is one of the most versatile heroes in the game and will fit in almost any lineup or any role. She is most frequently played as a solo laner however, most often on the long lane. She can also support and, to an extent, play as a carry. She is very popular as a long lane solo because of her elusiveness (Windrun will let her escape from a lot of situations), the fact that she does not need a lot of items to be effective and because she can last hit from a safe distance with Powershot. Her attack range and attack damage are also quite high, making it easy for her to trade hits with enemy supports favorably.
At level 1, you want to level Windrun in the offlane. It's a decent escape and tanking skill to get out of bad situations. It gives you full evasion on auto attacks, and slows enemies near you while giving you more movement speed. The duration is only 2.75 seconds at level 1, so activating it at the right time is important. From there on, max Powershot first. It's a nice long range nuke, use it to get some last hits or harass the enemies. After that, try and level Shackleshot. If one level of Windrun is not enough to make you survive the offlane, getting a second point is not the worst idea. Your ultimate isn't very impressive at level 6, most of the times it gets skipped until level 10 or 11 to get the 2 points in it. If there's an opportunity for early pushes you could level it, but generally you'll want to skip it.
In mid, you want to get maxed Powershot and Shackleshot as soon as possible to make ganks easier for you. One point of Windrun at level 1 or 2 should be enough. Depending on the situation, you can get your ultimate at level 6 in mid. It might give you the extra damage to get a kill in ganks.
As a support, maxing Shackleshot over Powershot is probably the safest idea in most games. Powershot is less important here since you don't need to get last hits as much, and it doesn't protect your carry as much as Shackleshot would. One point in Windrun is still advised, if you ever get caught out in a bad situation it might save your life. It can also save the life of your carry, slowing and body blocking everyone when they chase your carry.
As Windranger, Phase Boots and Force Staff will be bought in most of your games. Since Shackleshot is reliant on positioning, learning to use these items is key in mastering Windranger. For Phase Boots, chasing and running through heroes and creeps to get a Shackleshot (or Powershot) off is its main use. When using Phase Boots and Windrun, always use Phase Boots after Windrun, since using it in the reverse order cancels the bonus movement speed of Phase Boots. Force Staff is a bit more complicated. You can use it on yourself, allied heroes or enemy heroes. When aiming for a Shackleshot you can use it on yourself or an enemy unit to force it closer to a tree or another enemy unit. Aiming for a double shackleshot with Force Staff isn't the easiest, but being able to pull it off consistently gives you great opportunities. Aiming for a tree is generally the safest option most of the times. Force staff has another, defensive use it as well. Use it on allies being disabled in a bad position to try and save them, or on yourself when you expect to be caught out. Remember that it doesn't disjoint projectiles, unlike Windrun. Learning to use these items in combination with Windranger is mostly experience. Keep your eyes open for new situations where you can pull off these moves.
Getting a Bottle is advised in most situations. Windranger has decent Rune control with Windrun and Shackleshot, but not the best. Start ganking around level 4-6, especially with the right runes. Like in the other lanes, always carry a Teleport Scroll. Do not neglect your farm, as you'd want some items to assist you in ganks. Phase Boots into Force Staff is the most common build. After those, you can build into either an Orchid Malevolence to gank and pick off enemies, Maelstrom for the extra splitpush and damage in team fights or a controlling item like Scythe of Vyse or Eul's Scepter to have more disables in the team.
With either a Mekansm or a Force Staff completed, start looking to help your team. Teleport all over the map, helping your team as you see need. You should build towards a Scythe of Vyse most of the times. Start with the Ultimate Orb for the stats it gives you. If your gold income is low, look towards a Eul's Scepter. In team fights it's your job to disrupt the high priority targets. A double hero Shackleshot can easily turn the tide of the battle. If there's no double hero Shackleshot opportunity, aim to get a single hero shackle. Saving it for a double is not worth it, since it has a low cooldown. If it doesn't latch, it's still a 0.75 second stun, which isn't too bad on it's own. You can tank physical damage for a few seconds with Windrun if needed, but try to keep it for escaping.
What you do in the mid game depends on the item you built. With an Orchid Malevolence you'll want to be ganking and killing heroes all over the map. Offensive wards are highly recommended. Getting a Blink Dagger to help with the ganks and positioning is worth it in most games. When damage output isn't a problem, start building towards damage items like Monkey King Bar, Daedalus, Desolator. If you built a Maelstrom, upgrade it to a Mjollnir, and then get your Aghanims Scepter. Combined with Focus Fire you'll start doing a lot of damage in team fights. A Black King Bar can help you get a full duration Focus Fire off. If a controlling item like Scythe of Vyse or Eul's Scepter was your choice, roam the map with alone or with a teammate to get high priority kills. Keep your eyes open for potential team fights, as these items give you lots of utlity and control.
You'll want both a Mekansm and Force Staff to save your teammates when needed. Try to stay on the backlines of a team fight, as your auto attacks will not be the greatest. Control the pace of the team fight with your Shackleshot, Mekansm and Force Staff. If you have spare gold, after buying Wards, look towards another utility item. Scythe of Vyse if you have the gold, Eul's Scepter or Blink Dagger if gold is a problem. Try to keep the map warded at all times, this will help you more than most items.
By now, you start falling off. To counter this, you'll want to start building a Monkey King Bar to keep you relevant in damage output. Combined with Focus Fire you should be able to pick someone off in team fights without much problems. Since Monkey King Bar is not a Unique Attack Modifier it works with Focus Fire without an Aghanim's Scepter.
With an Orchid Malevolence and a damage item you'll be a formidable auto attacker. Work towards surviving team fights, to ensure you'll get most out of your item. A late game Linkens Sphere or Black King Bar to ensure your survival is a good idea. If surviving is no problem, look towards another damage item. Generally a Monkey King Bar and Daedalus is the best combination. If you went the Mjollnir route, start looking towards a Monkey King Barto finish your build. Since you already have a Unique Attack Modifier with Mjollnir a Desolator will not properly work. With the Scythe of Vyse build, it's the same situation as in the offlane build. Start building towards a Monkey King Bar to have some relevant late game damage.
By now, a support Windranger will have fallen off quite a bit. A double Shackleshot will still have a big impact, try to get the most out of your skills. Try and find some farm for yourself, and aim for a luxury item like Monkey King Bar, Desolator, Eye of Skadi or a Linkens Sphere.
|Balance Patch History|
|Patch Version||Balance Changes|
- Standard Windranger (Lane) Build
- Standard Windranger (Middle) Build
- DotaFire's Builds & Guides for Windranger