Saturday, December 23, 2006

Guide to Syllabear - The Lone Druid

Skill Build:

1. Spirit Bear
2. Synergy
3. Spirit Bear
4. Synergy
5. Spirit Bear
6. Synergy
7. Spirit Bear
8. Synergy
9. Rabid
10 - 11. True Form
12 - 14. Rabid
15. Attribute Bonus
16. True Form
17 - 25. Attribute Bonus

Item Build:


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Spirit Bear:

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Table of contents:

A. Introduction: Syllabear's Basic Information
B. Skill Build
C. Item Build
D. Strategy
D1. Skill Analysis
D2. Walkthrough by game stages:
D2a. Early game
D2b. Mid game
D2c. Late game
E. Conclusion
F. Replay

A. Introduction: Syllabear's Basic Information

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Initial Stats:
HP/ MP: 473/ 169
Damage: 46 - 50
Armor: 2.4
Strength/ Agility/ Intelligence: 17 + 2.1/ 24+ 2.7/ 13+1.4
Range: 550
MoveSpeed: 305

Syllabear's Strength:

1. Everything about him is imba, provided you have quick fingers.

Syllabear's Weaknesses:

1. Too much micromanaging

B. Skill build:

1- Spirit Bear

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Summons a powerful Spirit Bear companion. It randomly entangles enemies that it attacks, which immobilizes the enemy for 3 seconds, dealing 40 damage per second.
Spirit Bear deals 28 - 38 normal damage.

Spirit Bear will automatically teleport back to Syllabear if it attempts to attack a unit while he is more than 1500 range away from Syllabear.

Level 4 Spirit Bear has 340 move speed, and with all 4 levels of Synergy upgraded its move speed will become 380. Further, it will gain additional move speed from any kind of item or aura that grants move speed bonus. For example, a Spirit Bear with level 4 Synergy, Treads, and level 4 Rabid will have (340 + 40 + 60)* 20% = 528 which means maximum imba movespeed blink.gif

Spirit Bear has a Base Attack Speed of 1.3; if Anti-Mage's attack speed is fast, Spirit Bear's is crazy fast.. It can benefit from items that increase its damage and attack speed, but not items that increase stats.

Level 1 - 1400 hit points, Entangles 4% of the time, Syllabear will lose 100 HP if Spirit Bear dies.

Level 2 - 1800 hit points, Entangles 8% of the time, gains Return, which allows it to teleport to Syllabear instantly, Syllabear will lose 200 HP if Spirit Bear dies.

Level 3 - 2300 hit points, Entangles 12% of the time, and has Return and Demolish. Demolish allows Spirit Bear to deal 1.33 times damage to buildings, Syllabear will lose 300 HP if Spirit Bear dies.

Level 4 - 2700 hit points, Entangles 16% of the time, has Return, Demolish, 33% Spell Damage Reduction, and can carry up to 6 items, Syllabear will lose 400 HP if Spirit Bear dies.

Mana Cost: 75
Cooldown: 180

2 - Rabid

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Syllabear can create an intense combative fury in either himself or any of his controlled unit.Lasts 10 seconds.

Level 1 - Increases attack speed by 10% and movement speed by 5%.

Level 2 - Increases attack speed by 20% and movement speed by 10%.

Level 3 - Increases attack speed by 30% and movement speed by 15%.

Level 4 - Increases attack speed by 40% and movement speed by 20%.

Mana Cost: 50
Cooldown: 30

3- Synenrgy

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Increases the Lone Druid's synergy with his Spirit Bear with each level:

Spirit Bear - Adds 10 damage and 10 movement points.

Rabid - Increases the duration by 10 seconds.

True Form - Adds 100 HP per level

4- True Form

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Syllabear learns to morph himself into a brown bear. He can morph freely between human and bear form.

Level 1 - 250 bonus health.

Level 2 - 400 bonus health and has Battle Cry.

Level 3 - 600 bonus health and has One.

Mana cost: 25

Battle Cry:

Give Lone Druid and his units under his control within 900 AoE 20 bonus damage and 2 bonus armor.
Duration: Lasts 10 seconds
Cooldown: 30 seconds
Mana cost: 50 mana

One: Links any 2 units within Syllabear’s control by the soul. Damage that they take is distributed equally between 2 of them.

Mana Cost: 80 Duration: 35 seconds Cooldown: About 12 seconds
Here is the suggested skill build:

1. Spirit Bear
2. Synergy
3. Spirit Bear
4. Synergy
5. Spirit Bear
6. Synergy
7. Spirit Bear
8. Synergy
9. Rabid
10 - 11. True Form
12 - 14. Rabid
15. Attribute Bonus
16. True Form
17 - 25. Attribute Bonus

Brief explanation to skill builds:

1. Spirit Bear is stronger than any other hero early game; therefore you need to buff the Spirit Bear with maxing Spirit Bear and Synergy early game.

2. Don’t get Rabid before you have Synergy, because Rabid’s duration is miserable if you don’t have Synergy.

There's a new Syllabear guide in DA that criticizes my build, with their "moderator" calling me a "tard". I'm so glad that the moderators in DP do not flame! I won't take the comments personally because they are mostly stubborn and jealous, but let me clarify a few questions that other people may have in mind:

Why no True Form?

Inherently, Ranged Heroes > Melee ones. I would not even consider switching from ranged to melee unless there was a huge bonus in switching (like the natural permabash troll's melee form gives). True Form simply gives no offensive bonus whatsoever. In fact, it decreases Syllabear's offense, since he gets to attack less often in melee.
Fallacy: Switching from Ranged to Melee form gives you 1050 HP, plus Battlecry, which if used wisely, can allow Syllabear to solo and kill a tower in less than 10 seconds. 1050 HP is even more than what a Heart of Tarrasque can offer, so how is this bonus not "huge"? And of course everybody that reads this guide knows that you are not alone. Your Necronomicon, dominated units, and your Spirit Bear all contribute to the fire power thanks to Battlecry and the various auras.

When you become a bear yourself, you instantly make yourself target number one. Syllabear is already a huge target because killing him means his pet dies also, but placing yourself in front is ASKING to die, extra 1000 hp or not. When you're ranged, you're at least a safe distance from the front line, and can retreat more easily, leaving your pet to fight. Also, I find that Syllabear and his pet often block each other when they're both melee. This can be countered by simply moving each one independently, but that's a headache I'd rather not deal with.
Fallacy: Common sense can tell that which hero you would like to gank first. Are you going to gank a hero with high agility (aka high armor), high HP (over 2000 HP before level 15), and with around 450 movespeed? Moreover, when you retreat, you can always summon Spirit Bear to harass the chaser, making you extremely nasty against chaser heroes. And of course, if somebody says that they have troubles with controlling both units that's why True Form is not useful, that person should ask himself whether he is good enough to use Syllabear at all. Why not Razor?

I can think of only one use for True Form: switching it on when you have low HP, and then using that short time to run away. And even then, the second you get out of battle, you damn well better switch back to the ranged form.
Fallacy: This logic is wrong because when you switch from Ranged to True Form, the % of your HP will remain unchanged. This means when you're in red HP (well if you are about to flee this is a reasonable assumption), you'll remain in red HP even if you're in True Form. This may only mean an increase of 200 - 300 HP. Useful? I think not. And of course everyone who plays a few Syllabear games with AI knows that there is a casting time for Syllabear to switch from Ranged to True Form, vice versa. Why bother to change back to Ranged Form if your main purpose is to run away? Are you going to gain more movespeed by switching to ranged? No!

Oh snap, someone smart enough not to get Trueform on Sillybear (unlike that other horrid guide that that tard brought from DP).
The same person here, said that he's ok with this build except that it may be vulnerable to chain disablers when this guide was first posted in DA. (I've no idea why a hero with Spirit Bear and a bunch of units can't interrupt chain disables, but anyway) This person either suffers from schizophrenia, or is brainwashed by his bosses to make those statements. Anyway, I wish he could recover soon.

C. Item Build

Recommended Item Build:

Starting items:
The blue items are for Syllabear, the orange items are for the Spirit Bear

1. Helm of Dominator
2. Boots
3. Necronomicon
4. Upgrade Boots to Treads for you, get Power Treads for Spirit Bear
5. Cranium Basher and Buriza for you, Cranium Basher for Spirit Bear, fill up the rest of your slots with Bashers.

Final Items:


1. Power Treads
2. Helm of Dominator
3. Level 3 Necronomicon
4. Cranium Basher
5. Buriza

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Spirit Bear

1. Power Treads
2. Cranium Basher

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Brief explanation to item builds:

1. Ok I know you guys will be tempted to say “Helm of Dominator and Necronomicon suck. I use this build blah blah blah. Before you all post your builds, watch this screenshot:

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Note the orange paw like buff on every unit that you control? In fact, Battle cry works for all the units that you control, not just you and your Spirit Bear. Battle cry pumps every unit’s damage by 20, and armor by 2. In the screenshot there are 2 Satyrs, 1 Centaur, 2 Necronomicon, Syllabear and Spirit Bear, which means +140 damage overall! I hope this is sufficient and can stop people from asking “why not Monkey King Bar, why not Buriza first” etc.

2. Bashers are just to make you a sick disabling machine, and it gives you decent damage too. Note: normally I won’t suggest people get mass Bashers for a particular hero because there are only limited slots, and there are usually better choices than Basher if you can only choose like 2 – 3 items for your hero. However in Syllabear’s case it’s different. You have 12 item slots, which means you don’t have to worry a lot about item slots. In particular, let’s examine why given you have a lot of item slots, bashers are better than other comparable items:

2 Bashers VS Monkey King Bar

2 Bashers give you 28% bash chance, and Monkey King Bar gives you 30% to deal 90 extra damage. Late game you can see that a 1.1 second bash is infinitely better than Monkey King Bar. Late game you certainly have high enough damage power to deal more than 90 damage don’t you? True 2 Bashers give you 60 damage and Monkey King Bar gives more, but the high bash chance explains everything. Another thing is that Monkey King Bar doesn’t stack with Bashers because a new stun, however short/ long the duration is, overrides the previous stuns, which means the 0.01 second stun from Monkey King Bar will cancel the stun from Bashers. Ideally of course you want the high damage from Monkey King Bar and the stun chance from Bashers, but if you can’t get both then you have to make a choice.

2 Bashers VS Radiance

The burning glow from Radiance isn’t really necessary. If you have enough creeps and you buff them with Battle Cry all the time, don’t tell me you can’t clear creep waves easily.

2 Bashers VS Butterfly

This is the hardest decision to make, but right now I still think 2 Bashers are better. The first reason is that bashing an enemy for 1 second is better than avoiding just one attack. When you have all the creeps and Necronomicon with you, there’s no reason why your damage power is bad. Let’s do a little calculation to show this:

Assuming you have just 1 Centaur, Necronomicon, Spirit Bear and yourself. Centaur deals around 52 damage, Spirit Bear deals around 73 damage, Necronomicon warriors deal 91 piercing damage, 61 normal damage plus 75 mana break damage. On top of this, your Battle Cry can boost your whole team’s damage by another 100! If you add up your damage you’ll see that this sick team can deal at least 400 damage per hit, and this is only assuming that you have 1 Centaur. If you have any additional creep you’ll do an additional 72 damage. This shows that why bashing is better than dodging.

Now for the IAS issue. Since Syllabear has a decent agility growth and he has bonus attack speed when he turns on Rabid, getting additional attack speed won’t really help him a lot.

Further Justification for the Bashers

One more reason to get Basher: Syllabear is probably the only hero who has more than 2K HP from mid game onwards, and has high attack speed. These two factors make him a perfect disabler to all kinds of channeling spells. Crystal Maiden using BKB and charge into your team? Charge in and bash her! Pudge dismembers your teammate? Charge in and bash! Since you've horribly high HP, it'll be of your team's interest that you get a Basher to serve as a semi-disabler for the team. This is especially useful when the enemy team has Black King Bar caster, Naix etc.

Why certain items are bad?

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Sange & Yasha

The speed bonus and maim from S&Y are not really necessary, because with all the speed bonus you already run too fast. Your base speed with Treads is 365, Level 2 Necronomicon and Satyr's Unholy Aura give 8% and 10% speed bonus respectively, and Rabid gives another 20%, which result to over 500 movespeed. Do you really need that additional speed? When you run that fast and you can Bash, of course you don't need maim.


This is the next best choice after Dominator, because you Desolator indirectly increases your Necronomicon and Spirit Bear's damage by 36%, which should be high enough to offset the damage from another additional creep. However, dominated creeps will give you some other bonus e.g. Stomp, aura, and since you have Battle Cry to buff your units, why not get a few more creeps?


Syllabear already has too much HP, so additional HP is not necessarily. He doesn't need to spam his spells so the additional MP bonus is not neecssary. As for frost attack, dude, you have bashers and Entangle already, do you think you need a third spell to disable the enemy?

Manta Style

Images won't benefit from Rabid, nuff said.


When you have a team of army to help you push do you need the chain lightning?

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Don’t tell me you can’t push well with all your sick army.

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These items are more for defensive purpose, but for a hero who has almost 3k HP at level 25, and can walk like wind, I seriously doubt if you need another escape mechanism.

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Although this item is good, when you start to have 2 - 3 bashers you’re just equally annoying. However if the game lasts infinitely long you may consider buying this.

D. Strategy

How should you play Syllabear?

Syllabear is simply everything. When he is able to bash, entangle, deal more than 400 damage per hit, run like wind, and has 3k HP, he can take on any role he wants.

D1. Skill Analysis

1. How to use Spirit Bear

There are too many techniques to use Spirit Bear so let me organize it in chronological sequence.

a. Early game: use your Spirit Bear to harass! Nothing is more annoying to the enemy if your Spirit Bear is wandering behind his creeps, looking for chances to entangle him. Of course if you can luckily entangle the enemy you should follow up and very likely it’s a first blood.

b. Use Sprit Bear to carry items: this should be pretty self-explantory. Remember Spirit Bear can instantly teleport to Syllabear by tapping R (return).

c. Use Spirit Bear to stop chasing enemies: when you are being chased by enemies, you can use return to call Spirit Bear for help. Once the Spirit Bear is back, you can order it to attack the enemy. This will not only slow down the enemy, it’ll give you a chance to comeback if your Spirit Bear luckily entangles the enemy.

d. Now it’s the time to show you another imba-ness of Spirit Bear:

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Yes! Entangling roots can go through Black King Bar/ Naix’s Rage/ Juggernaught’s Blade Storm. This implies that whenever you are playing matches which an intelligence hero blinks in, use Black King Bar, and cast crazy channeling spells, the first thing you should do is to order Spirit Bear to attack that hero! Specific examples are:

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Just attack her when she blinks in with Black King Bar and uses Freezing Field. Spirit Bear has 2700 HP, Crystal Maiden won’t have 2700 HP even if she buys a Heart of Tarrasque. The outcome should be pretty obvious --- she’ll scream in agony.

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Enigma is food for you. Did I mention that Spirit Bear will not be affected by Blackhole?

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Spin and slash? No problem just entangle him. Yeah he can omnislash you while he’s entangled, but the Spirit Bear can pretty much tank all the hits.

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Luna meets Syllabear? GG for Luna. Eclipse can’t hit Spirit Bear, which means the Syllabear can run away, allowing Spirit Bear to entangle Luna, and kill her afterwards.

However, as usual, there are of course heroes with channeling spells that do not fear Syllabear, such as:

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If Sand King successfully burrowstrike everyone including Spirit Bear, it’s too late to Entangle him. In that case you should ask your teammates to use cyclone/ hex, or sacrifice your Spirit Bear to hit Sand King, hope that it can disable Sand King after Epiccenter has been cast, and thereby giving you higher chances to run.

e. Oh I almost forgot to mention that Spirit Bear can tank tower. You can easily destroy a tower in 10 seconds or so and run away with your Spirit Bear moderately injured.

Further Notes on Spirit Bear

Spirit Bear is not a hero, meaning it will be weak against certain spells. For example, it'll take the Spirit Bear at least 8 seconds to return to ground if it is cycloned, and it takes the Spirit Bear more time to recover from Purge. This implies we should not "put all our eggs on one basket". I've seen players that focus on buffing Spirit Bear rather than Syllabear, which is very wrong. If you do so, one cyclone/ hex on the Spirit Bear will practically cost you a death. Instead, my strategy centers in using your army as a team, so disabling any one of the members in the army will not significantly reduce the efficiency of your army as a whole.

2. How to use Rabid

a. Rabid gives you crazy move speed and attack speed, which allows you to run away in dangerous situation. Suppose you have a Satyr, level 2 Necronomicon, Power Treads, and level 4 Rabid on. You’ll have 365 base move speed plus 38% bonus speed 503.7. Do you think you still need Sange and Yasha?

b. Chase down heroes with Rabid! There’s no way hero can outrun you if you turn on Rabid. In particular, since Rabid can be cast on any unit that is under your control, you don’t necessarily have to cast it on yourself to chase. Sometimes it’s better to cast it on Spirit Bear so that it can entangle the fleeing hero for you. Another choice would be to cast Rabid on your Centaur/ Ursa creep so that they can run like wind and stomp!

c. Note that Rabid’s duration lasts very long. It doesn’t harm that you cast Rabid on yourself before any battle begins.

3. How to use True Form:

a. As long as you have level 2 True Form you should always stay in True Form. The reason is pretty obvious. First it’s your ultimate, second you gain insane amount of HP by turning into True Form. In Level 3 True Form you gain 1050 bonus HP!

b. Switching between True Form and Normal Form allows you to reset the cooldown of Battle Cry and One!!!! This is the sickest thing about True Form – you can perma cast Battle Cry on your army!

c. On the other hand I don’t find One very useful. Late game Spirit Bear is more fragile than you, meaning, you’ll actually take additional damage because Spirit Bear is taking too much damage. I would advise against using this spell unless your Spirit Bear is dying and retreating to the fountain.

4. How to use all your items/ spells/ combos together?

Now that you have read all the skills and items and how they work individually, it’s the time to see how they work together. When you are fighting in a team battle, these are the steps you should follow:
  • Cast rabid on yourself;
  • Summon Necronomicon;
  • Cast Battle Cry;
  • Switch from True Form to Human Form than back to True Form to reset cooldown of Battle Cry;
  • March in with all army, begin with mana burning a hero;
  • If there are heroes with annoying channeling spells, send Spirit Bear to deal with them. You don’t want those heroes to pull out their ultimate comfortably;
  • After you’ve disrupted those channeling spells, hit the hero with the highest damage and bash him into oblivion;
  • Send your Centuar/ Ursa to stomp everywhere;
  • Cast Battle Cry again. Remember you can perma cast it!;
  • Now you should be chasing fleeing heroes. If the rabid cooldown is finished, cast it on Spirit Bear so that it can disable the enemy for you, GG
As you can see, there is a whole lot to do for Syllabear, and in the battle he performs the role of disabler, tank, hero killer, chaser, how imba!

D2. Walkthrough by game stages:

D2a. Early game:

Pick a solo/ side lane if you can, but solo doesn’t matter that much. The reason why you can solo is not that you need to level up quickly, rather it’s that you can take 2 heroes alone early game because of Spirit Bear. Early game it’s all about creeping and harassing, and with such a strong companion with you there should be no problem. Use Spirit Bear to harass the enemy if you can, and if you’re lucky you may be able to force them back to fountain/ get first blood.

D2b. Mid game:

Now that you have Helm of Dominator, you can take down towers and or ambush enemy heroes, whichever you like. You excel in both tasks. For taking down towers, simply use Spirit Bear to tank towers and hit the tower with whatever creep you dominated. Unless your team has gay heroes such as Sniper/ Tormented Soul/ Techies who are professional tower kill stealers, you should be able to get whichever tower you siege. And for ambushing heroes, simply backstab a hero with Spirit Bear and pray that you can entangle him. Then whack and use Ursa/ Centaur to stomp once more. Good you’ve earned a kill!

D2c. Late game:

Late game is as usual for pushing and killing barracks. If your teammates are good defenders e.g. heroes that can clear creeps quickly, it doesn’t harm to bring your army to demolish a lane on your own while your enemies are pushing. Syllabear is one of the few heroes that can solo a lane and demolish everything around him very quickly. Of course if your teammates can’t hold your enemies you should come back and help. Remember, you are both an imba hero killer, disabler, tanker, pusher, basically everything!

E. Conclusion

Syllabear is imba. I’ve no idea why he hasn’t been nerfed yet.


Thanks Dempsey for helping me test how Spirit Bear's skill disables Naix and Black King Bar tongue.gif

F. Replay

Syllabear Replay by lh2128

Click here for the replay

Here's a replay following the build of this guide:


Sent: Sand King, Venomancer, Ogre Magi, Bristleback, Syllabear
Scourge: Siren, Doom, Razor, Death Prophet, Prophet

(Basically Ogre Magi, Death Prophet can be completely ignored).

Since too many people are worrying about the issue of microing units, I've highlighted a few moments which micro is emphasized: 13:00, 14:30, 18:40 (3 kills here), and then 24:30 - 25:15 (this is a long chase, in particular watch the centaurs, and it kinda shows you that it's not impossible to micro those units effectively).

Another issue with this build is the ability to demolish towers QUICKLY. I pulled down 3 full HP towers, each in less than 10 seconds (the fastest one is like 7 seconds), all done before level 16. These moments are at 27:52, 29:34, and 31:45, and eventuallly killed middle racks at 32:15.

There are a few times which I microed the units to fight in team battles, namely, 27:20 and 36:45.

And concerning the point of neutral creeps/ spirit bear/ Syllabear dying easily from ganks, check 38:40 and 42:15. In those periods not only I successfully ran away from ganks, I think some of my neutral creeps survived too. It all boils down to whether you can control your units effectively.

Item build is Helm of Dominator, level 2 Necronomicon, 2 bashers, 2 Treads, and components of Crystalis. Late game even if some of my creeps are dead, I still managed to kill many enemies because as long as Syllabear or Spirit Bear touches the enemies, they're basically perma-disabled.

So my opinion is that : if you have the ability to control a lot of units, this way of playing is better than the usual S&Y/ Buriza/ Butterfly build.


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