Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Guide to Kardel Sharpeye - The Dwarven Sniper

Table of Contents
[ATF] Author’s Foreword
[SKB] Skill Descriptions, Build, and Explanations
[ITB] Item Build and Justifications.
[OTM] Other Items: What’s bad and Maybes
[STG] Strategy & Discussions
[A&E] Allies and Enemies
[CTK] Countering Kardel
[RPL] Replays
[LKS] Useful Links
[CCL] Conclusion

[ATF] Author’s Foreword

Do you know that….
  • Assassinate has a range of 2500?
  • Scattershot deals piercing damage??
  • Kardel’s attack animation has a movement speed of 3000?
  • Kardel has the longest attack range in the game with Take Aim?
  • Headshot’s damage cant be blocked by BKB?
  • Kardel has an INT gain more than his AGI gain?

Well, if you don’t know any of those or you know all of them but want to learn more about Kardel, welcome to the new and revamped Kardel Guide. Yep, this is the guide who has been in since November of last year. So what’s the deal with the change after all these months? Well, as I continue to look back and re-read the guide, I feel that some of the things in the guide should be changed as I see more and more people playing Kardel in different ways. So even though many of the things in this guide are similar to the old guide, you will find new things here and there and hopefully this is a more practical and more effective guide.

CAUTION: A guide should apply for situations where players are of somewhat marginally equal skill and where teamwork are reasonably potent. In game where you own so much because enemies feed you, would you even need a guide? NO. Go straight aegis rapier and you would win. In a game where your teammates are total noobs, keep feeding, and you are constantly targeted in team battles, would a guide help? NO. Therefore, proceed with that mindset I said above.

A question we must first answer is, What exactly is Kardel needs to accomplish in a game? What is his role? So many people pick Kardel in a game because they think he is easy because of his long range and his KS ability. Well, if that’s all you’re wanting out of him then you’re missing out on so many things. I believe that Kardel’s role in the team is, plain and simple, to be team’s damage dealer from long distance, often without enemy even realizing that he is there. He’s not called a ‘sniper’ for nothing. That means that you may or may not get the final blow, but that’s not really your primary concern. Your role is simply to keep shooting.

In this guide I propose 1 build with 1 gameplay strategy, with a side note for an emphasis on high level serious clan matches. Well, lets move on.

[SKB] Skill Descriptions, Build, and Explanations

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ScatterShot | Mana Cost: 120 - Cooldown: 12 – Casting Range: 750 –Casting Time: around 1 second – AOE: 200
Fire a ball of shrapnel on the air which promptly explodes, dealing damage in target area. Each pellet deals 10-25 physical damage.
Level 1 - 8 Pellets.
Level 2 - 12 Pellets.
Level 3 - 16 Pellets.
Level 4 - 20 Pellets.

This is Kardel’s signature move. I once said that a Kardel without Scattershot is like a Zeus without chain lightning. However many skip this skill thinking that it is useless and a waste of mana. Well, I have finally agree that there may be situations where you may skip Scattershot (explained below), but for now lets note a few things:
  • The pellets deal PIERCING DAMAGE, which screams the fact that its made for creeping.
  • Piercing damage deals 150% to creeps, 50% to heroes BEFORE armor reduction, and a measly 35% to buildings.
  • Its casting range is actually longer than a Tower’s range, so you can cast it without the tower shooting at you back provided you have line of sight of the tower.
  • Can be very effective when KS-ing a tower. Make sure the tower is at 100 HP or less.
  • Scattershot at level 4 will kill a ranged creep instantly.
  • Don’t waste it on heroes unless it can actually kill them or set up for an assassinate. Remember it only deals 50% damage before armor reduction. Early game it means it deals around 100 – 150 damage and late game it means NOTHING.
What is the justification for taking Scattershot if you want to be a damage dealer? Simple. Scattershot clears creep waves instantly which means you’re earning gold quicker. If you have such a great micro that you can kill all creeps with your last hit, then you probably don’t even need this guide to begin with. You don’t really use Scattershot to push, you use it to get the quick gold which in turn helps you to farm for your damage items.

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Headshot | Passive
Giving chance to stun target for a short duration and dealing bonus damage.
Level 1 - 30 damage, 25% chance, 0.1 second stun.
Level 2 - 30 damage, 30% chance, 0.1 second stun.
Level 3 - 40 damage, 35% chance, 0.2 second stun.
Level 4 - 50 damage, 40% chance, 0.2 second stun.

This skill has been somewhat debated among Kardel users. Some forgo it completely, some prioritize it and forget Scattershot, some combine it with Scattershot. The fact that the damage bonus is fixed and that its chance-based meaning that early game the bonus damage plays more significant role while early game the mini-stun is what makes this skill very annoying to enemy.
  • Headshot is considered a ‘Ranged Bash.’ From the Bash FAQ:
    "The damage is hero type physical damage, that means it's not blockable by magic immunity and it's reduced by armour type hero resistance and armour value. The stun is blockable by magic immunity."

  • Which means, Headshot will trigger Linken’s disentangle and cooldown, allowing you to then assassinate an enemy hero with Linken.

  • BKB will ONLY block Headshot’s stun, but the bonus damage will still goes through.

  • When you have MKB and both stun occurs at the same time (which is highly unlikely, but possible), the latest skill learned or item acquired will override the other. For example, if you Learn Headshot level 12-15 and then acquire MKB at level 16, when both stun occurs you will deal only MKB’s damage and stun duration.

  • Regarding Headshot + MKB : Remember that Bash stacks diminishingly.

  • One thing to point out is that Headshot is extremely useful to cancel Chanelling spell. Sand King doing a Burrowstrike – Epicenter combo? Start shooting at him and pray that Headshot kicks in.

So in conclusion, Headshot is like a Mini-MKB. It actually deals longer stun duration than MKB, but it gives you less bonus damage. This can be seen a couple of ways. For people who like to stack things that stacks diminishingly, getting MKB will be their preferred choice because Kardel will stun uber frequently. For people who do not like to get items that gives bonus similar to a skill the hero already has, Buriza will be their preferred choice.

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Take Aim | Passive
Permanently adds attack range.
Level 1 - Adds 55 range.
Level 2 - Adds 110 range.
Level 3 - Adds 165 range.
Level 4 - Adds 220 range.

There’s really nothing much to say about this skill other than a few notations as follows:

  • At level 4 this skill makes your range 770, which is the longest range in the game.

  • To be able to shoot outside of Tower’s range, you only need level 3 Take Aim.

  • The controversy Kardel’s sight at night. This is still something that’s not been answered. From checking the Map data itself I confirmed that Kardel’s night sight is definitely 800. His range with Take Aim is 770. So theoretically, you should be able to approach a tower at night and shoot at it without it shooting back at you. The problem is, that doesn’t seem to be the case because Kardel cant seem to shoot at the tower at night without actually moving into Tower’s range. I'm quoting Mr. Bean's theory to somewhat resolve this:
    well, i know why he still can't shoot at towers even if he has more sight range than he has shooting range. I think the sight range is from the mid of the hero (not from the sides), meaning that you'll have to take 100 range off. It must be 100 range, simply because the tower only has 700 range.
  • Some people have argued that getting Level 4 Take Aim too early will give you problems with getting Experience. This is PARTIALLY true because theoretically it should not be a problem since the Experience AOE is 1000 and your range is only 770. But in situations where you are shooting the most front Melee creep from 770 range, then when the range creep is killed you possibly will be outside of the experience range if the Range creep was over 230 distance away from the Melee creep. Get it?
The concluding remark for Take Aim is this: Some people tend to miss the fact that getting more range not only gives you a defensive advantage, but it also gives you an offensive edge over your enemies because you can shoot them more times before they move out of your range. Take Aim is a great skill that's useful at all stages of the game.

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Assassinate | Mana Cost: 175/275/375 - Cooldown: 30/20/10
Take time to draw the bead and then deals a large amount of damage at a long range.
Level 1 - Deals 355 damage at 1500 range, 1.7 seconds casting time.
Level 2 - Deals 505 damage at 2000 range, 1.6 seconds casting time.
Level 3 - Deals 655 damage at 2500 range, 1.5 seconds casting time.

Another signature skill of Kardel. This is probably the targetting spell with the longest casting range in DOTA, which makes this one of the ultimate KS-ing skill. A proper use of Assassinate also makes or break a Kardel player. Ask yourself, are you the kind of player who will cast assassinate when your 4 other teammates are already surrounding this enemy hero to death?
  • I’ll do the math for you. Without any other Magic Reduction item, Assassinate will instantly kill enemy heroes below 266 / 378 / 491 HP at appropriate levels.
  • Note the casting time of 1.7, 1.6, and 1.5 seconds respective to their levels. Do not foolishly cast assassinate in the middle of enemies to shoot a running enemy because a stun will cancel your assassinate and probably you’ll be killed too.
  • On recent version, targeted enemy hero will have a buff status on its hero status saying that he’s about to be assassinated.
  • Latest version nerfed Assassinate’s cooldown into 30/20/10.
  • When you’re windwalking and you cast Assassinate, you will remain invisible until the last moment before your bullet fires.
  • Assassinate has a semi-true sight effect, which means you can target a wind walking away Clinx/Gondar/PL/Any other hero with lothar and it will still hit them. Note that neither you or your allies can see the enemy, only the spell does.
  • However, having an uber range of 2500 does not mean that you can just target the enemy hero like that. You must actually have vision of the hero. This means either one of your ally / creep must be within range of that hero or you can plant observer wards to give you advantage.
  • Another recent Nerf: Linken completely blocks Assassinate. Make sure Linken is on cooldown by either shooting at him a few times until Headshot fires or having your teammate cast a spell on the enemy first.
  • Just like any other ultimate, you can target an enemy with activated BKB but it will deal zero damage. Don’t waste it.
Here's the suggested skill build:

1.Take Aim
2. Headshot
3. Take Aim
4. Headshot
5. Take Aim
6. Assassinate
7. Headshot
8. Take Aim
9. Headshot
10. Scattershot
11. Assassinate
12-14 Scattershot
15. Stats
16. Assassinate
17-25. Stats

Skill build justifications:
  • Take Aim & Headshot? What has gotten into you? OK I will admit that I was too bone-headed to listen that Take Aim / Headshot is incredibly effective early game. Giving your more distance not only keeps you further away from harm’s way, but also allows you to harass a lot better because you can now shoot an extra shot or two before the enemy is outside your range. Coupled with your mini stun, I believe it is the most effective early game Kardel build. Moreover, before you have your Eul, you will have mana regeneration issues to be able to effectively spam Scattershot.
  • Many people have continued to tell me that Headshot is better than Take aim at level 1 'because Headshot gives you damage and stun'. First of all, I consider this point to be insignificant. Secondly, Headshot gives you 25% chance to deal 30 extra damage. I say Take Aim at level 1 gives you an advantage to shoot at the enemy 1 extra time before he backs off. At this comparison, I'm convinced that Take Aim is better.
  • Now the thing I don’t agree with some people is to completely put away Scattershot, UNLESS it is a high-level clan match where there is already another super pusher your role is very defined – to be your team’s main damage dealer. Therefore on this general skill build, Scattershot is gotten after you max Headshot and Take Aim. By this time you should have reasonably enough mana and able to use Scattershot to farm effectively.
[ITB] Item Build and Justifications

So why the multiple item builds? After much thoughts, I decided to present several item build combinations for flexibility’s sake. Under each build I’ll present some considerations on when would the build work best, including some advantages and disadvantages of the build. Hopefully this will once and for all settle the Skadi vs Sange & Yasha, MKB vs Buriza, etc etc issue. Keep in mind that I will have 4 ‘core items’ under each setup and I’ll provide some late game options.

S&Y +Guinsoo build
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[ Treads – Sange & Yasha – Buriza ]

Explanation of build

This is the core items of my old build. The good ole S&Y-Guinsoo combo which was once an odd pairing, but now very commonly seen.

Advantages: Retain invisible shots. Escape Mechanism in Eul -> Guinsoo. Late game Disable is extremely useful. S&Y is easy to build up. Maim is great on Kardel. Great mana regeneration and mana pool
Disadvantages: Somewhat not maximizing damage with only 1 damage item. Maim, although I noted great on Kardel, can be a little unreliable. Some deem it to provide not enough extra HP.
Suggested optional or late game items: Butterfly, Hypperstone, Aegis Rapier.

In short, this build is what I deem to be most versatile and easy to build up. Having Eul will give you 6 charges of escape mechanism. Turning it into Guinsoo later will be invaluable late game when your enemies have extremely high damage. However, it also have its disadvantages as mentioned.

Order of items

Ring or Regeneration & Chicken  optional
Boot of Speed, Ogre Axe, Belt of Giant Strength
Blade of Alacrity
Sange recipe
Boot of Elvenskin, Yasha recipe
Glove of Haste, Power Treads Recipe
Sange & Yasha Recipe
Void Stone, Staff of Wizardy, Robe of the Magi [ Eul ]
Broadsword, Blades of Attack, Crystalis recipe
Demon Edge, Buriza recipe
Quarterstaff, Sobi Mask, Robe of the Magi [Oblivion Staff], Guinsoo Recipe

S&Y + MKB + Buriza build
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[Treads – Sange & Yasha – MKB – Buriza ]

This setup focuses on one thing only: damage. MKB + Buriza is the ultimate damager combo setup.

Advantage: Damage, damage, damage! Invisible shots. Once again, S&Y is reasonably easy to build up.
Disadvantage: No escape mechanism. Somewhat low HP. Low mana pool and regeneration.
Suggested optional or late game items: Lothar’s Edge, Hyperstone, Butterfly, Aegis Rapier.

Order of items

Ring or Regeneration & Chicken
Boot of Speed, Ogre Axe, Belt of Giant Strength
Blade of Alacrity
Sange recipe
Boot of Elvenskin, Yasha recipe
Glove of Haste, Power Treads Recipe
Sange & Yasha Recipe
Demon Edge, Quarterstaff, MKB recipe.
Broadsword, Blades of Attack, Crystalis recipe
Demon Edge, Buriza recipe

S&Y + MKB + Buriza build
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[Treads – Skadi – Buriza - Butterfly ]

And finally, the much requested Skadi build. Why Buriza instead of MKB? Because Skadi is more than enough to slow your enemies down, thus wasting the .01 second bash from MKB.

Advantage: Skadi is an excellent item for Kardel because Kardel needs all STR, INT, and AGI he can get. Frost attack is much more reliable then Maim. Provides more HP than S&Y.
Disadvantage: No escape mechanism. Harder to build up. Skadi is 2nd most expensive item in the game.

Suggested optional or late game items: Lothar’s Edge, Satanic (yes they stack), Hyperstone, Aegis Rapier.

Order of items

Ring or Regeneration & Chicken
Boot of Speed, Point Booster -> important to get early
Ultimate Orb
Glove of Haste, Power Treads Recipe
Broadsword, Blades of Attack, Crystalis recipe
Ultimate Orb, Skadi Recipe
Demon Edge, Buriza recipe
Eaglehorn, Quarterstaff, Butterfly recipe

Item Justifications:

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Once again the commonly used Power Treads. Cheap MS and AS boost. Possible discussion is whether its better to get Boot of Travel, and I think Treads is better suited for Kardel because of your role. You’re not really a pusher / chaser. You need to stay behind your team in team battles and shooting at enemies to their death. Therefore Treads is a better choice.

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One of the 2 core items of this build is Sange & Yasha. There are a few justifications on why this is the preferred item when compared to Skadi:
  • Sange & Yasha is easier to build up because of its cheap components. At early stages of the game this is better for you while its giving you immediate benefits when you complete Yasha / Sange.
  • On the other hand, the added benefits of Skadi wont kick in until you complete the whole thing. Moreover, this also delays you from getting your main damage items because Skadi is 2000 more expensive.
  • Sange & Yasha retains Kardel’s near invisible shots. You can pick your safe spots away from the main lane and start shooting at the enemies without them realizing it until you land a few shots at them.
  • Kardel is one of the few range heroes who can use Maim effectively because of his fast attack speed and his near invisible shots. Coupled with Headshot and later MKB, you’re pretty much locking your enemy at one spot for your teammate to finish.
  • Then why not go straight for Damage Items? You're spending 5000 gold for something that only gives you a little of here and there! Precisely. In situations where your enemies are noob, going straight for damage will probably work - but in situations where players are of marginally equal skill, it is important to build up yourself before you're getting your major damage items. Sange & Yasha only adds 300 HP or so, but it also gives you +26% attack speed, some armor, +10% movement speed, +32 damage, and 10% maim. This item is great for Mid-Game play, and sets you up for a better late game.
  • Lastly, since you are getting your mana pool and regeneration from Guinsoo, the INT bonus from Skadi will be an overkill.
In summary, S&Y does have its advantages compared to Skadi. If you intend to make Guinsoo, then get S&Y, not Skadi.

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If you’re unhappy because of S&Y, then Skadi will be a great alternative. Keep in mind that this item is harder to build up. It is the second most expensive item in the game after all. However, Frost attack is much more reliable than Maim, and it solves your HP and Mana problem altogether. Another disadvantage of Skadi is that it does not retain your invisible shots. No more surprise attack from the tree.

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MKB is a good value damage item. Keep in mind that because of Headshot, you’re not getting 30% bash, but only 18% after stacking reduction, so its not as good on Kardel as it is on other heroes, but it still makes you a very frequent basher (58%!!) Hyperstone is highly recommended as a companion of MKB. More discussion / comparison below.

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The infamous Buriza. Before we proceed with this item’s analysis I want to say that the MKB/Buriza discussion is probably a moot point and many times comes down to personal preference. I find myself going back and forth between the two at different times.
  • Refer to This Thread for an excellent comparison analysis of MKB vs Buriza.
  • The thread I mentioned above says that when you already possess 2 second tier damage items (which in our case is S&Y and Guinsoo) then Buriza will give you a better damage output (although probably marginally insignificant)
  • Another point, albeit minor, to choose Buriza over MKB is that when MKB’s and Headshot’s stun does not stack, meaning when both occur at the same time, only the damage bonus/stun duration from the latest item/skill acquired will take effect.
  • Last argument against MKB is that you’re not getting 30% stun since Bash stack diminishingly, thus you are spending your money to get (100-40) * 30% = 18% stun only.
  • However, the counter argument to get MKB would be on the same reason, which is with MKB you are now an even more frequent basher at 58%. This is pretty deadly especially late game when team battles are at peak. Having a higher percentage to bash also means you have better chance to cancel channeling spells as well. Also remember that MKB gives you a slight attack speed increase, and is 800 gold cheaper.
In conclusion, I think the MKB vs. Buriza comparison is once again, an insignificant point. Obviously from the comparison I’ve shown above we can safely conclude that Buriza is the more efficient choice, although being able to stun more frequently is something that many people prefer. The facts are laid, and the choice is up to you.

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Guinsoo can be a bit controversial and is probably the most argued item in the build. Many think that Kardel is better off utilizing its advantage in range and attack animation and go straight for damage items. This will work if you have another super pusher in your team. However:
  • With Guinsoo you are now able to spam Scattershot and Assassinate. Level 3 Assassinate costs 375. Mana pool wise, Guinsoo only gives you 325. However the Mana Regeneration will allow you to spam them.
  • Guinsoo is also deadly in team battle because late game a 3.25 seconds of disable to their damage dealer is invaluable. Tell your teammates who are you targeting before you hex the enemy.
  • Components of Guinsoo benefits Kardel as well. Eul will give you an escape mechanism to run away from sticky situations, while Oblivion staff actually grants a little bit of attack speed.
[STG] Strategy & Discussions

Establishing your Early Game dominance.

When the game begin, I usually go with Ring of Regeneration and Chicken or three Ironwood Branches if I decide to do so. Preferably of course, have your teammate to get the chicken and share it. Let your teammates know that you want them to let you know when any hero is missing be it healing, dead, or just plain missing. Kardel is very very fragile early game and a quick gank would probably cost you death.

You can pick whatever lane you wish, although Mid lane is preferred because it’s the closest to the base for your shopping trips and it gives you Fog-of-War advantage. It also present the least potential in ganking as well.

After convincing myself all these time that it is very much possible to manage your mana for a couple of scattershot and regenerate enough for the assassinate, I have now decided to change my early game playing style by taking Take Aim + Headshot All the way and take Assassinate at level 6.

For those of you Scattershot fan, do not fret, for I’m not abandoning Scattershot. My reasoning is that Headshot + Take Aim is proven to be very effective to harass the heck out of your enemy and you can now be sure that whenever Assassinate is ready, you will have enough mana to cast it.

What do you mean by ‘early game dominance’ ? You’re weak as a rat! you may ask. You are ‘dominant’ early game because take aim + headshot + Kardel’s attack animation = you outfarming and exp-denying your opponents in mid lane. You can also harass them a lot better than they do.

If you see that a nuker is moving toward you, move back. You have superior range, so you shouldn’t be having lots of trouble.

For pro-players (what are you doing reading this newb guide anyway? Most likely you wont even need it smile.gif ), you probably don’t even need ROR.

Early Game kill with Take Aim, Headshot, and Assassinate

As I mentioned above, your early game goal is to harass, farm, and deny. Kardel has probably the fastest attack animation (with bullet speed of 3000) which means last hit and exp deny should be a tad easier. Whenever your enemy, especially melee, comes close to the creep, immediately start shooting at him. You have an advantage because of your superior range.

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As soon as you have assassinate, start looking for an opportunity for the early game kill. In the example above I just started shooting at Bloodseeker when he came close to the creep. You cant see it too clear in the first picture, but Headshot actually kicked in which helped me to take his HP down. Sensing danger, he ran away, which of course, is too late. smile.gif

Scattershot-ing wisely

Scattershot is one of the most newbie friendly farming skill, however it doesn’t meant that there’s not a wrong way to do it. To do a proper scattershot, you need to have proper positioning and timing.

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First, notice the first picture. The area with the ‘X’ mark is where Scattershot deals its maximum damage. Therefore, when aiming scattershot make sure the middle of the circle is slightly in front of the enemy’s melee creep.

Secondly, do not blast your scattershot immediately. Wait until the creeps engage, and weaken the enemy creep by manually shooting at the every creep once and then immediately release your scattershot. Ka-Ching.

The second part in Scatteshot-ing wisely is mana management issue. I’m convinced that rather than getting mana items so that you can Scattershot more frequently, its better to conserve your mana, focus on last hitting, and have enough mana to unleash Assassinate bullet when needed.

Lastly, let me talk to more advanced players about the importance of Lane Management.
This is why Scattershot is not a good skill to be used early in the game because it pushes the creep wave too early. The better use of Scattershot will be to defend enemy's pushes at your tower. Otherwise, keep the creep wave in equilibrium by concentrating on last hit only.

The Scatter-Assassinate Combo

This combo most probably is doable only up to early-mid game because as the heroes become stronger and their armor increase, Scattershot’s damage becomes less effective. Nevertheless, I assure you that you will feel a great sense of satisfaction when you successfully pull this off. Almost a guaranteed ‘WTF what just happened’ from your enemy. happy.gif

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In the first picture, I saw that VS had around 350 health while my Assassinate will only deal 266 damage. If I just came out and start shooting most likely he will be able to run away with very little health. So I waited for him in my ambush spot.

He engaged the creeps, so I quickly aimed my Scattershot and cast it. Right on target! Before the Scattershot hit the ground, immediately click on the enemy and hit ‘T’ on your keyboard. He’s dead before he knows what happened.

Remember, to pull this combo with Level 1 Assassinate, you need 295 Mana.

The Swap Combo

As you play Kardel more frequently, you will discover several neat combos with other allies. Kardel is at most effective when he has a good teammate because he’s not necessarily a 1v1 hero, especially before you have your damage items. “Look at mr Sniper who’s afraid to go 1v1 with me,” a Spiritbreaker player once taunted me. I ignored him and said “It’s a team game.” Don’t listen to people’s taunting, stick to your game plan. Lets look at this fun combo.

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VS’s swap is useful for any other allies. However, with Kardel you have more advantage because you can keep shooting at the swapped enemy longer due to your long range and if necessary, finish the running enemy with Assassinate.

On this example we were charging their tower and Chen & Gondar were defending. VS immediately swapped Chen so he’s now right next to me. I started shooting, and obviously its GG for Chen as you can see in the second picture. smile.gif

Beating the crap out of Wind Walking enemies

When you play Kardel and one of your enemies are the infamous Wind Walking heroes like Clinx, Gondar, or Phantom Lancer, do not fret. Although in 1v1 you’re very susceptible to Backstab, in team battles you will put an end to their royal plan where they think they can just run away whenever they want with Wind Walk. How so? Because Assassinate sees the invisible. Owned.

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These screenshots are the continuation of the events above. Right after we killed Chen, I started shooting at Gondar and my ally SK too. You could see that my headshot kicked in which locked Gondar in the spot for my SK ally to rape.

In the second picture you can see that Gondar, sensing that his chance to win the battle is slim, decided to WW away. ‘Muhwahwahwahwa fools!,’ he thought. However you can see from the status bar that he’s destined for his doom. I targeted him for an Assassinate.

The end result was found shocking for him. His royal plan was screwed, and he was dead. smile.gif

The Backstabbing Sniper

As you farm in early mid game stage, watch for enemy who is foolish enough to push too deep by himself. In high level matches this wont happen, but in lower level ones this OFTEN happen, so keep your eyes open. The following screenshot illustrates a perfect backstab attack.

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In the first screenshot you see where I am in the map (notified by the red dot.) I was farming at the bottom lane when I saw Razor pushing by himself. I made my move and prepare to backstab him.

On the second screen you see we engaged. I get a few shots at him before he saw me there and the tower was helping me out too. A perfect set-up.

The third screenshot you see Razor realizing he's got no chance against me and the tower and run away. And guess what?

A nice finish. smile.gif Notice from the map that I'm very far behind him but since I have vision I have no problem casting my assassinate.

The Art of Tree-Shooting

What is Kardel’s role in team battle? You should have discovered it by now. Your role is to stay away from the main battle while taking your enemies down one by one and unleashing Assassinate to finish running heroes. One way you can do this nicely is by what I call ‘Tree-Shooting’

Tree-Shooting simply means shooting from the trees. This can be done effectively when you are defending enemies’ push. With your near invisible shots in the middle of chaotic battle, most enemies wont realize that you were there, slowly killing them.

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In the screenshot above, Lycan was charging to my noob ally Medusa, not knowing I was there to defend him. I asked medusa to purge him while I kept shooting.

Finally realizing that I was around, Lycan tried to back off. It was of course too late. happy.gif

Late Game dominance

A well played early-mid game ensures a pleasant late game play, a confucionist once said. If you deny/harass effectively and getting kills plentifully, late game play should be a breeze for you. Remember your role is to be your team’s damager from AFAR. Let your tank / assassin barge into the battle first and support them from a distance.

Always keep in mind that Sniper will mostly be the first to be targeted by the enemies. Communicate with your teammates on what to do in such situations. I actually feel when that SA / Clinx backstab you in the midst of team battles, its better to run INTO the battle rather than trying to leave the scene because most likely your teammate wont run back to help you out when they’re busy in a team battle.

Also note that Assassinate's cooldown means nothing if you dont have enough mana to spam them at least 3 -4 times. Its nothing to laugh at to have your team's health dropped 500 every 10 seconds. This is where Guinsoo pays it self even further.

The rest of the strategy

As I find neat situations in the games I play I will update this strategy section, but I hope you have understood Kardel’s role in the game. You need to stay away from the center of the battle and help your team by shooting at the enemy from afar.

Play cautiously, especially early game. You are very suspectible to nukes.

Do not use Assassinate to KS, for goodness’ sake. If your SA ally has been blink striking Zeus and there’s no way Zeus’s gonna escape, then don’t even try Assassinating him. Give kills to whom kills belong and your teammates will respect you for that.

Because of your Assassinate’s range, Observer wards can be extremely useful. Although you have a far Assassinate range, you will lose your target if he moves out of your line of sight into the fog of war. Therefore, planting wards at strategic locations will definitely help you out. Please give me some time to find a proper screenshots to illustrate this. The basic principle is to put these wards in locations where your enemies will likely pass when they run away.

Assassinate is also good to be used to soften up heroes when you know you cant take them 1v1 and you are alone. When you’re defending that tower and your allies are busy elsewhere, Assassinate the pushing enemies to soften them up. Hopefully you made them rethink their plan.

[A&E] Allies and Enemies

Good Allies

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There are plenty of allies Kardel can work well with. A tank like SK, Lucy, Centaur, or Leviathan will drive the attention away from you. However there are some specific ones worthy to be mentioned.

Beast Master, Treant Protector, Nerubian Weaver, Visage, and KOTL are good allies because of their skill which grants you vision of a certain area to expand your Assassinate’s casting range. Beast Master with his Eagle scout, Treant with his eye, Weaver and Visage with their watchers / Revenants, and KOTL with his Ignus Faustus. KOTL also has Chakra which is of course very useful.

The same can be done with Bloodseeker’s thirst as well.

SA + Kardel combo is very fun because as SA chases down the enemy, you can unleash your Assassinate to aid him.

VS and Pudge pulls enemy closer to you. And the natural reaction after an enemy is swapped / Hooked is to run away. Your 770 range will enables you to shoot plenty of times.

Worst Enemies

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Ah, where do one begin. Kardel’s low HP makes him an easy target if you don’t play carefully.

Clinx, SA, PA, Magina, SB, Ursa, Balanar, Lycan. There is almost no way that you will be able to engage them 1v1 when they get a head start on attacking you. Therefore be very careful, always watch the minimap to get an idea where they are. If they are nowhere to be seen, then be extra cautious and stick with your allies.

Countering SpiritBreaker - SB is truly one of the cheapest hero in the game. To counter him, first you need to stick with your allies. Secondly you need to cary a Town Portal scroll with you all the time. Watch your status so you know when you're being charged. When you see that happen, Immediately Teleport yourself back to safety. If you have your Guinsoo, then call for help, and as soon as he appears Hex him and proceed with the gank.

Countering Sand King - Sand King and his BurrowStrike - Epicenter can be definitely be a pain to low HP agility heroes such as Kardel. Do remember however that you have Headshot which cancels his Epicenter if it hits when he's stil casting it. So look at your situations. If it is 1v1 and its still fairly early game, immediately run out of his Epicenter range. If its late game where you have higher AS or you have no chance to survive anyway, then immediately start shooting at him and hope that Headshot will cancel his ultimate. Seen this happen many times before.

Lion, Lina, Luna, Juggernaut, NA, Sand King, and Pudge. These heroes are AGI heroes’ doom because of their Killing spell. A Impale-Vodoo-FOD combo will surely kill you. Luna backstabbing you and then casting Eclipse? GG. Burrowstrike-Epicenter is also mean.

To counter these people you need to keep your distance. Use your range to your advantage. When you have your Guinsoo then Hex them and start shooting at them.

[CTK]Countering Kardel

Having problems against a good sniper player? We must consider a couple of questions to counter him.

1. What are Kardel's strengths?
Lets spell this out. They are:
- Insane range advantage (770)
- Crazy range high damage ultimate
- Creep wave clearing scattershot
- Near invisible shots

2.What are Kardel's weaknesses?
There are some indeed.
- Low HP
- No natural disable
- No natural escape mechanism

Considering those points, there are a few tips on countering a good Kardel player.

1. Take away Kardel's range advantage
Unless you're clearly dealing more damage per second, do not attempt to go gungho on a range duel vs Kardel. Taking away his range can be done via:
- WW
- Blink
- Backstab
- Stun
So backstab him and disable/nuke him to death.

2. Take precautionary measures to counter his ultimate.
This is extremely hard to do in team battles since thats Kardel's specialist. A good Kardel player will most likely get 1 kill from his assassinate in a team battle. But when going 1v1 and your HP is red, you know that running away is useless. Therefore, as soon as he stop shooting and assumes sniping position, use that window of opportunity to disable him. Hex & stun would cancel his ultimate and then you can run away. You can also get Linken or BKB and use that to block assassinate. Lastly, you can also try to get outside of assassinate’s range provided that none of his allies are chasing you.

3. When engaging vs Kardel in a lane and the 2 creep wave clash, be very careful if you dont have an AOE spell yourself.
Why? This is because Kardel's scattershot will kill all your creeps. All the sudden you're now fighting him AND all his remaining creeps. This can be dangerous early game. Be very careful.

4. In team battles, identify locations where Kardel might shoot from.

This is extremely important. If Kardel does not modify his shot, you will most likely not notice him shooting at you while you're focusing on the main lane. In fact, I would recommend to send out a scout, prefferably a disabler / nuker, to go around the main lane where the team battle is about to assemble and surprise Kardel there.

5. In team battles, target Kardel first.

This guy is going to hurt you if you let him hang around and shooting at you from afar while you're fighting his allies. Assign your team's assassin to finish this guy first.


Blogger Joran said...

very gd guide!

1:27 AM

Blogger theKING. said...

excellent kardel guide. one of the best.

5:22 PM

Blogger Widjayaman said...

I am the author of this guide. Why are you posting it without my permission?

12:58 AM

Blogger ahib0205 said...

good.. good... good tips.... love kardel :)

7:16 PM

Blogger chuanji said...

lol i think i saw this guide on dota forums before

6:10 PM

Blogger sentinel said...

but what about dominator and vanguard
that was my item for kardel

10:27 AM

Blogger sentinel said...

but what about dominator and vanguard
that was my item for kardel sharpeye

10:28 AM

Blogger WaffleAbuser said...

Awesome guide!

5:47 PM

Blogger Ravajj said...

different from the Troll Guide i saw earlier

this is gold
Troll Guide is ? copper ?

5:11 PM

Blogger benjamin said...

oo..nice guide ..thx guy..

10:25 PM

Blogger Noob Player said...

good tips..but try to buy Dagon and combine it with can get first blood in early game..thanks..

3:38 PM

Blogger Jek2x said...

In Kardel's situation in his sight at night you could not shoot the tower with the range of 800 because of something the "FOG" in Dota Maps FOG is a very important thing to me while using Kardel i Can hide my self in fog like a ninja style gangbang thats why Kardel is a good idea in playing the game specially in early game and in mid game...The Solution for that is the positioning of hero not all the time Kardel will not be hit by the tower it also deals with the position when he attacks the tower...Isn't Good Idea :)

Kardel has the price of it's range attacks...Some Items I prefer to suite with kARDEL IS

power treads or travel
black king bar
2xbutter fly
bouriza de canyo or eye of scady

Sure to be perfect but some options maybe considerable during the game this options..are

in early game
Lothars edge is very important
healm of dominator
mid game
Black king Bar (to increase head shot attacks)
crystalys going to bouriza
avatar, guinsoo,anything that can delay the opponents upon attacking u,

with that items you will have the ultimate kill in the range of 800 can kill 5 heroes in a row...

2:43 PM

Blogger Traxex_27 said...

You steal this guide to Widjayaman I saw this guide to dota forums.... In fact I could beat Kardel with Drow Ranger, because you have 770 range and traxex has True shot aura so longer your range to Drow the more damage you will take to her and if you have dominator to traxex for life steal and you have lvl 3 marksmanship you can almost kill anyu heores in the game even if you have only 1/4 life left and if you have MKB for Drow you will have a mini stun like Kardel's Headshot but even though nice guide!! peace nigga!!

11:06 AM

Blogger vj said...

my best build for kardel sharpeye is desolator, satanic, dagon level5, and 3 butterfly

9:55 PM


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