Hero Worship: Dazzle
I’ve been playing a lot of Dota 2 lately. In accordance with what I think is the most important thing to learn in a MOBA, I’m trying to go through one game as each hero as practice. Here, I’m going to write some noobish thoughts and impressions on some of the heroes I play, many of which will undoubtedly be comically misguided and we can all look back and have a laugh at them when I eventually actually know what the hell I’m doing in this game.
DAZZLE (Dire, Intelligence)
A support after my own heart, Dazzle has a wonderful array of disables and abilities that increase sustainability in lane while giving him good harassing options. As my Feeding Logs from LoL show, I tend to be a support player in MOBAs in general, and as such I’m pretty happy with what Dazzle has to offer. He’s a bit squishy and lacks escape options per se, but the combination of the heal, his slow/mini-stun, and Shallow Grave makes him more tricky to get rid of than he first appeared.
Q – Poison Touch – Casts a poisonous spell on an enemy unit, causing damage and slowness over time, and eventual paralysis. Poison Touch mini-stuns on impact. Slow increases per level.
This is a nasty little bit of harassing CC that starts off a little unimpressive but slowly grows into a really useful tool as it gains ranks. The damage is also physical, unlike a lot of similar abilities, which means it can synergize well with Dazzle’s armor reduction ultimate. The long duration requires a little bit of careful planning in terms of timing on the ability; it takes a bit of time for the full stun to set in at higher ranks, so it can’t be used as an immediate interrupt, but rather as a long term roadblock for anyone trying to get anywhere.
W – Shallow Grave – An ally blessed with Shallow Grave, no matter how close to death, cannot die while under its protection.
I laughed when I read this ability description for the first time. The ultimate in fixing other people’s (and your own) mistakes, the ability to make someone unkillable for a short period of time is a pretty hugely useful way to bail someone out of a tricky situation or enable a clutch tower dive. Granted, it doesn’t prevent any damage except for that last lethal touch, but it can still be a literal life saver if used correctly. As it gains ranks it gets a hell of a lot of range, too, so in a late game situation you can give people a stay of execution from pretty far away. A fun ability with a lot of tactical potential, but requires some thought before use as the duration isn’t THAT long.
E – Shadow Wave: Shadow Wave heals several allies, which in turn cause damage equal to their healing in a small area around them. Dazzle is always healed by Shadow Wave, and it does not count toward the number of targets.
Well, that ability description is a mouthful. This one was a little tricky to use effectively, I think. I pretty much used it as a fire and forget group heal in teamfights, but like Poison Touch, it’s worth noting that the AoE damage on the healed target is physical, not magical. Putting down Weave and then detonating a bunch of these in the enemy’s face is a pretty decent bit of group damage that I was probably far too stupid to use properly. I think being a really good Dazzle player probably means being someone who can effectively get the full healing and damage mileage out of this thing every time it’s used, but it’s a little tricky to get a sense for that without much expertise.
R – Weave: Applies a buff that increases allied hero armor or decreases enemy hero armor in the target area over time.
This is a really important spell with an impact that isn’t incredibly apparent upon use. At its best level, it reduces a huge amount of armor off of the enemy and grants it to allies, so on a physically heavy team this thing can really turn the tide of a fight. It’s a pretty decently sized AoE with a huge casting range, so it seems like it’s meant to be a sort of soft initiate that you put down to weaken the enemy and bolster your allies before a real fight breaks out. A lot of supports in Dota seem to have big HOLY CRAP ultimates that cause some kind of huge, immediate impact, but I like the subtle nature of Dazzle’s ult. It’s flashy, but the effect is more a muted, enabling effect that a straight up initiation bomb or huge amount of damage.