Monday, February 05, 2007

Guide to Mirana Nightshade - The Priestess of the Moon

Contents:
  • Meet the Author
  • Meet the PotM
  • Know the PotM
  • Build the PotM
  • BE the PotM
  • Friends of the PotM
  • Enemies of the PotM
  • Replay
  • Final Words/Thanks
Changelog:

11/1: Changed damage info on 2nd starfall
11/1: Added "why not" section for 2 bracers
11/3: Added images for the "why not" items
11/3: Added a couple heroes to the "bad enemies" section
11/7: Added a leap-dodge section
11/7: Added "why not" section for Dagon and Mjollnir
11/9: Made the screenshots smaller so people can load them faster. Also added some more leap spots (thx to omgroflcopter)
11/19: Changed my item build, changed explanations to reflect this, added a "why not" section for hand of midas.
11/19: Got a replay up finally. Check it out, tell me what you think of it as far as strategy (just don't say OMG U CNAT AIM ARROW!!!!111 that doesn't help. This guide is about strategy, not how good I am as a player)
11/20: Added an explanation of why I don't max arrow before starfall and a "why not" section for soul booster. I also clarify that the reason i prefer skadi over sange and yasha has nothing to do with whether or not maim and frost stack (they do)
11/25: Added blinkers and butcher to the list of good allies. Also, changed the top of the guide because going directly to the table of contents without a title didn't seem right.

Upcoming changes:
Screenshots of ambushes using moonlight shadow to set up crystal maiden, luna, etc.

Meet the Author:

Hey, SirDingus here. This is the first guide I’ve written. When I first saw the Priestess of the Moon, I really wanted to get to know how to play her. Priestess is my favorite hero in the ladder game so I adopted her as my new standard hero. After analyzing what items would compliment her the best, and seeing how other people build her, it seemed like everybody else wasn’t building priestess to her fullest potential. So this guide was born. I hope you appreciate the information I present here and I look forward to any constructive criticism you can provide. I'm also MasterDingus over at Dota-Allstars and I'll try to get this guide up over there before too long.

Now, onto the guide!

Meet the Priestess of the Moon:

IPB Image
Name: Mirana Nightshade

Title: Priestess of the Moon


Stats:

HP: 473
Mana: 221

Base Damage: 38-49

Strength: 17 + 1.85
Agility(Primary): 20 + 2.75
Intelligence: 17 + 1.65

Base move speed: 300

Attack Range: 600

HP Regen: 0.76
Mana Regen: 0.69
Attack Speed: 1.14 (+20% IAS)
Armor: 1.8

Pros:
She has two abilities that allow her to get into and out of battle quickly making her good at killing and hard to kill.
She has two abilities that allow her to chase (one ability overlaps these two)
She’s a good teamplayer who is adept at getting her friends out of trouble.
She can farm up a storm using starfall

Cons:
HUGE MANA PROBLEM 4 active abilities that you will want to use early and often make Mirana thirst for mana (not like the silencer but you know what I mean)
Low HP: despite the fact that she can escape really well, if your two move into/out of battle skills are on cooldown you’re pretty much toast if you get slowed/disabled.
Mirana has no good in-battle disable as her arrow stuns longer when she’s father away from the enemy.

Know the Priestess of the Moon:

Abilities:

Starfall:
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Calls down a wave of meteors that hits all enemies within 600 range. Units between 600 and 900 range have a 60% chance to get hit. A random enemy within 200 range will get hit twice.

Lvl 1: 75 Damage / 100 Manacost
Lvl 2: 150 Damage / 120 Manacost
Lvl 3: 225 Damage / 140 Manacost
Lvl 4: 300 Damage / 160 Manacost

Mechanics:
This move’s power changes based on how far you are from the enemy. At 200 range you have a chance to hit with two starfalls for 450 total damage at level 4. Units closer than 600 will always get hit once for 300 damage. And units from 600 to 900 will have 60% chance to get hit.

Elune's Arrow:
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Fires an arrow in a direction and will stun an enemy unit for 0.5 to 5 seconds depending on the distance the arrow travels.

Manacost: 100 at all levels

Lvl 1: 90 Damage
Lvl 2: 180 Damage
Lvl 3: 270 Damage
Lvl 4: 360 Damage

Mechanics:
This move is much like Pudge's meathook in that it will travel in a straight line and hit whatever it encounters first. There are some rules for this though.
  1. It can only hit enemy units, so if you see somebody farming a creep wave without their own creeps nearby because they think nobody's watching, prove them wrong! Shoot off your arrow and chase them down. It will go through the friendly creeps and hit the enemy hero, opening them up for punishment from you and the creeps.
  2. It will hit invisible heroes but will not stun them. I have tested this but I do not know whether it is a bug or intentional. The arrow will hit the invisible unit and disappear. It will deal damage but it will not stun. Therefore this move is still useful as a finisher on that clinkz that wind walks with 50 hp and thinks he's really smart to have gotten away. However, it will not stun them to allow you to chase so the arrow has to be the finishing blow.
  3. The arrow WILL however, stun an invisible unit if you can see it. This makes wards all the more usefull for priestess if those invisible heroes are bugging you.
  4. The stun is based on the distance between you and the enemy. Therefore if you are in a one on one battle with a melee hero, don't fire off the arrow and expect much of a stun.
  5. The casting range and the maximum range on this spell are about 3000. That's farther than meathook and assassinate! If you cast it from farther than that Mirana will run to a point that is about 3000 from the target and then shoot.
Leap:
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Mirana's tiger leaps into battle giving nearby heroes a move and attack speed boost. (boost last 10 seconds)

Lvl 1: 400 range 4% MS/AS increase / 60 Manacost
Lvl 2: 450 range 8% MS/AS increase / 55 Manacost
Lvl 3: 500 range 12% MS/AS increase / 50 Manacost
Lvl 4: 550 range 16% MS/AS increase / 45 manacost

Mechanics:
This move is like a shorter blink with a movespeed/attackspeed boost to boot. However this move is not targetable and will just cause Mirana to jump the leap distance straight ahead.

Moonlight Shadow:
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Gives all allied heroes including the priestess invisibility for a short duration. If the invisibility is broken it will be restored after a fade time.

Lvl 1: 7 Seconds Invis 2.5 Second Fade Time / 200 Manacost
Lvl 2: 9 Seconds Invis 2 Second Fade Time / 250 Manacost
Lvl 3: 11 Seconds Invis 1.5 Second Fade Time / 300 Manacost

Mechanics:
This will give every hero on your team a short invisibility much like stealth assassin’s ultimate. If any hero on your team attacks or casts a spell they will be revealed for a short time then disappear after the fade time assuming the effect has not worn off. This invisibility does NOT stay on when a hero such as sand king channels a spell like epicenter.

So those are the moves. Now when do we get them?

Build the Priestess of the Moon:

Skill Build:
  1. Starfall
  2. Leap
  3. Starfall
  4. Elune's Arrow
  5. Starfall
  6. Moonlight Shadow
  7. Starfall
  8. Elune's Arrow
  9. Elune's Arrow
  10. Elune's Arrow
  11. Leap
  12. Leap
  13. Leap
  14. Stats
  15. Moonlight Shadow
  16. Moonlight Shadow
  17. Stats
  18. Stats
  19. Stats
  20. Stats
  21. Stats
  22. Stats
  23. Stats
  24. Stats
  25. Stats
Reasons for skill build:

1. Why level starfall early?

Starfall is Mirana's best nuking ability and therefore should be leveled early in order to maximize its effectiveness against enemy heroes early-game. Some people treat this as a farming spell but it is very useful for attacking heroes if you place yourself properly. At level 4 if you get a double starfall you will do 338 damage (after magic resistance) to an enemy hero. Given that most heroes have pretty low HP at that point, a double starfall can be devastating. Ad in several shots from your normal attack and an arrow as they run and you can take down a low HP hero from full health to 0 very quickly by yourself. It can also be very effective against fleeing heroes with low HP. It will always hit anything within 600 range of you. If you add in leap's 550 range, you can hit a hero at 1150 range from you every time if you aim your leap right. And it gets better, it will hit anybody 600-900 away 60% of the time. That's 1450 range, almost as much as level 1 assassinate!

2. Why not get arrow early?

A lot of people like to max arrow first instead of starfall because it does a lot of damage. There's one problem with this; arrow is not a great early-game move. When there are creep waves surrounding you and your enemies, it's very hard to get off a well-aimed arrow that won't hit any creeps on its way to the target. You're much better off using starfall as your primary nuking ability.

Still, people argue for arrow drawing the analogy that arrow is a lot like meathook, and a pudge player would have to be crazy not to level meathook early. But this is a false analogy for several reasons:
  • Meathook increases in range as you level it
    Putting one point in meathook is no good for pudge because nobody will be afraid of you walking around with a 400-range hook. You need the full 1000 range to use meathook to its full pottential. But with arrow you have the full 3000 range from the start so leveling does not help you in this reguard. Levels don't increase the speed either so levels do nothing to make it easier to surprise enemies with arrow, like the extra range on hook does.
  • Meathook draws the enemy towards you
    One of the great things about meathook early is that it pulls the enemy right to you, opening them up for punishment from an ally or a tower. When the enemy doesn't have much health this is devastating. But arrow does not draw the enemy towards you meaning that unless the enemy is moron, you will be fighting them near their creeps and their tower. This is not good news for a low-hp hero like Mirana. Getting hammered by creeps and the tower means that even if you get the kill you'll be headed for your fountain meaning you can't take advantage of the farming time, which is in some ways even more important than the kill early-game.
  • Mirana has another nuking spell
    The only damage spell Pudge has is rot, which isn't very good for early in the game. He has no good alternative to meathook and therefore levels it first. Mirana however, DOES have a good alternative and it is imperative that you take advantage of it. Starfall, especially a double starfall, is an extremely powerful early-game nuke, even more so than arrow. It is also better for laning purposes as it doesn't require a clear shot to use. Because it does more damage and always hits starfall is preferred to arrow
3. Why get a point in both leap and arrow early?

Getting a point in all your abilities early is necessary in order to make Mirana as powerful an early game hero as she can be. Having leap means you can jump in and ambush an enemy with starfall when they don't think they're in any danger. Getting one point in arrow early means that any hero that thinks they can run from you in a straight line is toast. Just fire off your arrow and laugh as they take damage and are stunned for 4-5 seconds. Arrow is also extremely useful if you and your lane-buddy are attacked early and your ally is being chased down but you're in the clear. Just turn and fire an arrow and the nice long stun will allow your ally to run to safety (or even turn the tables on the enemy if they were somewhat low on health to begin with) Both of these skills are necessary to have early in the game.

4. Why get Leap first then arrow?

Getting leap first allows you to pull of the very powerful early combo of leap and starfall. At level 3, if you have a weak hero in your lane you can jump behind them and get off a level 2 starfall for the first-blood. This strategy works best paired with a heavy nuker (more on this later)

5. Arrow's stun doesn't increase with level! You should skip it for stats.

Wrong, in addition to proving a long range stun, arrow does very good damage. If you're in a heated battle early in the game, the extra 67.5 (after resistance) damage you get from each level of arrow is worth more than the 38 hp or +2 damage from stats. Combine that with a .5 second stun and you can turn a death for you into a kill. Also, at level 4 270 damage (again, after resistance) is nothing to sneeze at. A wimpy 67.5 damage arrow won't scare anybody, but if you're doing 270 damage any hero running away with about 250 hp thinking they're safe is toast.

6. Leap's move speed buff is crap, and the range increase isn't that good. Skip it for stats!

Wrong again. The extra distance on level 4 leap can make a huge difference. At level one you can't leap from behind the trees into any of the lanes. Your ambush turns into everybody laughing at you when you're stuck inside the trees. Even at level 3 it isn't possible to make the jump from either of the secret shops into the lane. However level 4 leap makes this possible. Also the move speed boost is not to be ignored. Let's look at the move speeds with each level of leap assuming you have treads:

No leap: 365
Lvl 1 Leap: 379 (+14)
Lvl 2 Leap: 394 (+15)
Lvl 3 Leap: 408 (+14)
Lvl 4 Leap: 423 (+15)

So in total you get a 58 move speed bonus from having leap, and 44 more than at level 1. That's almost a free boots of speed for leveling leap. It will make a big difference when you're trying to chase down that base 320 hero who has treads. If you have lvl 1 leap they still outrun you by 6, if you have level 4 leap, they are slower than you by 38, big difference when you're trying to get that last hit in on them.

7. Why level Moonlight Shadow at level 6?

I've given you all these reasons why getting extra levels of Mirana's abilities is worth your time, so why should you skip those awesome levels for her ultimate at level 6? Well not only does it give you a second ambush/escape move to use when attacking enemies, it instantly makes your entire team much harder to kill. Chen has 3 great abilities that you would have to be crazy not to level to their fullest, but his allies would hate him to no end if he didn't get his global heal at level 6. The same goes for Mirana's ult. You know that awful feeling when you're about to finish an enemy off only to see the yellow beam come down from the sky and heal them because their team has a darn chen? Well take that feeling and multiply it by 10 for how you'd feel if you're about to kill that darn skeleton king while his resurrection is on cooldown then WHOOSH, where'd he go? Mirana's ult helps a dying hero even more than chen's ult because a heal won't do you any good when you still have that viper strike, slow arrow, or degen aura on you. Mirana's ult allows you to become invisible and run to safety without the danger of being slowed or disabled.

Also, it can be used as an offensive ability unlike Chen’s ult. Say you have a crystal maiden or Luna on your team that is having trouble getting in position for their ult. They can't seem to get their powerful spell off in the right place because they haven't farmed up their lothar's or blink dagger yet. So you let them know what you're going to do, then when they're ready, you give them invisibility and they charge in for the perfectly placed eclipse or freezing field. You can even help with your starfall and stun (especially with luna since clearing the creeps and scaring the hero away from them is so key for her) You appear out of nowhere and drop a starfall which kills most of the creeps and runs the enemy hero towards the waiting luna for the easy kill. (you even get experience out of the deal!)

So I think my skill build has been reasonably justified, let's move on to the item build.

Item Build:

Starting Items:
Chicken (225)
Ironwood Branch x2 (57 each)
Ring of Protection (175)
  1. Ring of Regeneration (375)
  2. Sobi Mask (325)
  3. Ring of Basilius (0)
  4. Boots of Speed (500)
  5. Point Booster (1200)
  6. Gloves of Haste (610) (ironwood branch on chicken)
  7. Power Treads Recipe (420)
  8. Broadsword (1200) (sell ironwood branch)
  9. Blades of Attack (650) (branch on chicken)
  10. Crsytalys (500)
  11. Ultimate Orb (2300) (Branch on chicken)
  12. Ultimate Orb (2300) (RoR on chicken)
  13. Eye of Skadi Recipe (1250)
  14. Demon Edge (2600) (Branch on chicken)
  15. Buriza-Do-Kyanon Recipe (1250)
Final Items:
IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image
Power Treads
Ring of Basilius
Ring of Regeneration
Buriza-Do-Kyanon
Eye of Skadi

Total Cost: 15994

End Game Considerations:
Butterfly
Aegis+Devine
Radiance+Hyperstone

So let’s look at what this build gives us. +25 all stats, +200 HP, +150 Mana, +106 Damage (including +agi damage). This solves Mirana’s inherent health and mana problems as well as giving her lots of damage and a crit-strike to boot, all in a package costing less than 16000. Once these items are complete I like to move on to The Butterfly for the extra attack speed as well as the added armor and evasion giving an EHP boost. After that it becomes pretty situational but Aegis+Divine or if that’s not possible Radiance+Hyperstone are always good options.

But why these items and not others? I’ll try to respond to all the main issues I expect people to have with my build.

Item Explanation

1. Why get ring of basilius and then rush to Point Booster early?

This one is fairly obvious, Mirana has 3 active spells and an active ult. Being an agility hero without huge intelligence gain, she has a bit of a mana problem early in the game. We need to solve this somehow. Ring of basilius is the best early item for mana regen as well as being useful to your ally (especially if he is a heavy nuker, which is who we want to pair up with as we'll see later) The +3 armor is also good for your EHP. But Mirana uses mana in short bursts which means that having a larger mana pool is also important. We could add on another item here, but that would add money to our build which is no fun, so what do we do? Well looking ahead in our build we see that we'll need a point booster for the eye of skadi so why not stick it in early to keep mirana from being so weak? It may put you behind by 700 gold early, but you make up gold later vs. any other HP/Mana boosting item.

Alternatives and why they aren't used:
  1. Arcane Ring:
    IPB Image
    A lot of people love this item on Mirana. I don't and here's why. The ring recipe alone costs 525 gold, which is 25 more than the entirety of ring of basilius. In addition you need an energy booster (not exactly a cheap early game item) and the original ring of protection. That's 1200 more gold than basilius alone. You need to buy the point booster anyway, so in the end you're behind by a broadsword or the power treads upgrade + 170 (gloves of haste + recipe = 1030 gold). If you count the point booster towards your total cost you're even with the arcane ring for cost however you don't get any extra hp which means you won't be in your lane long enough to use the mana. Stick with the cheaper early item plus an item that is necessary for your build.
  2. Perseverance/Other Void-Stone Items:
    IPB ImageIPB Image IPB Image etc.
    Again, too darn expensive. Void stone alone costs 400 more than basilius alone and all it gives you is regen. Which isn't as good as a larger mana pool. Why? I'll explain

    Mirana's mana usage is not constant but rather based on short spurts of mana usage when she does her combo, an increased mana pool is necessary in addition to some regen increase. 100% mana regen does you no good when you're using a 320 mana combo and your base mana pool at level 7 is only 338. The point booster improves your mana pool by 150, giving you enough for the entire combo plus another starfall by the time it's over. You could set yourself up with a starfall, then go for the combo when starfall has cooled down. Point Booster + Basilius is 800 more than void stone alone (less than a RoH to go with it and 200 less than a staff of wizardry) and it gives you 200 HP and armor in addition to the mana regen.

    In addition, void stone doesn't really feed into any items Mirana wants. Euls is just too much money and much more mana than we want, and perseverance gives extra health regen but we don't need more than the +2 from our RoR. And to compound things, Perseverance, like void stone, doesn't feed into anything Mirana wants. Refresher orb? You don't have the mana for it and her gold and mana are better spend elsewhere as you don't have any spells that benefit from a double cast or have very long cooldowns. And battlefury? don’t make me laugh.
  3. Clarity Potions:
    IPB Image
    An interesting alternative as it would give Mirana the extra mana she needs at a low price. However, clarity potions are best used for early game laning purposes when you have a spell you want to spam as much as possible like Zeus' arc lightning. Mirana doesn't have any such abilities. She does, however have an expensive combo of leap and starfall with possibly an arrow to follow which she wants to be able to use and then have mana leftover for escape. Clarity potions don't increase your mana pool and the 150 mana from the point booster is the difference between getting that final leap or starfall in, and watching helplessly as your hero dies or as the enemy runs away. Finally, Mirana's mana problem is a general lack of mana thorughout early to mid game until you get some more levels. Ferrying clarity potions on your chicken for that long is just not economical.
  4. 2 Bracers
    IPB Image
    Another serious possibility, however getting two bracers is not as good an idea as it seems. Let's compare the EHP boosts of both items. Bracers give you 228 HP. More HP than point booster! w00t! Not so fast. In addition to point booster we get a basilius which gives us an extra 3 armor. If we add a basilius to the 2 bracers the 2 bracers win the EHP battle again, however this puts us down an extra 2 item slots and behind an extra 500 gold. Let's compare in a handy table shall we?
    IPB Image

    As you can see, the %EHP increase from point booster and basilius is about 9% more than that from 2 Bracers. It puts us behind by 690 gold on our build, but once we reach the place in the build where we would have gotten point booster, we come out ahead by 510 gold. Pretty nifty. If you throw in a basilius with the bracers, you can see that you get an extra 11% EHP boost which is really nice but makes us behind by 1020 gold, almost enough for treads and close to enough for a broadsword.
  5. Basilus and Null Talisman
    IPB ImageIPB Image
    This used to be my preferred item build as it includes everything we want. Extra mana, mana regen, and a little HP at a low cost. But point booster is necessary for our build and makes mirana so much stronger early in the game that I now prefer it to the single null. As you can see from the chart from above, basilius and null falls very short on the EHP boosting front and because point booster is necessary for the build thereby cutting costs and increasing mana pool and HP as well i no longer choose the null talisman early game as point booster covers up the main reason that I preferred it to 2 bracers. So good-bye null, hello point booster.
2. HoM is teh l33t item!!! It pays for itslef!!!111one

Ah, hand of midas. One of the most overrated items out there in my opinion. People love to put it in their builds because they think it pays for itself. This is true, eventually, but at what cost. Hand of Midas costs 2000 gold, that's 2000 gold that could go towards power treads and a broadsword. Power treads gives the same attack speed so now we're debating +15 MS and 970 gold vs. transmute. For some heroes the transmute is better, but for Mirana, treads wins handily. Why?

People argue that hand of midas pays for itself, but this is not strictly true. It will cover its cost eventually, however farming it up slows down your early-game item build. Because Mirana's spells are so powerful, making her ready to fight early is extremely important to get her on the right track to farming skadi. You don't have time to hang around scrounging up 2000 gold for a hand of midas when you desperately need that point booster to allow you to cast all your spells and survive in your lane.

But that's not all, hand of midas costs mana. What was Mirana's biggest problem again? MANA! MANA MANA MANA! You can't support the mana cost of hand of midas early in the game, especially since it slows down your point booster. Every time transmute is cast, that's one less leap. If you die because you didn't have leap, you wasted the gold you earned from that transmute. And finally, Mirana has no trouble getting gold anyway, so the main argument for hand of midas is shot anyway. Stick to items that you need instead of trying to get the magical "pays for itself" item.

3. Treads? BoT is better for clearing creep waves later!

As you can see, I play Mirana as a damage dealer, hence treads is the logical upgrade for her boots of speed. She is good at clearing creep waves late game but her damage potential is too great to skip treads for BoT and there’s no reason not to upgrade her boots. We want her to attack as fast as possible to finish off enemies as quickly as possible.

Boots of travel are normally reserved for heroes who:
  1. Need to move around the map quickly to push/counterpush with AoE farming spells:
    IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image
    Not Mirana as she is a late-game damage dealer. She has a nice AoE spell but that isn’t her strength at the end of the game. She wants to hit her enemies fast as possible and BoT doesn’t do anything to help that.
  2. Need the extra move speed for chasing enemies:
    IPB ImageIPB Image
    Mirana already has an ability that increases her move speed and therefore doesn’t require the extra boost of speed from the boots of travel. Ursa’s and Centaur’s late-game power is not based off of their attack speed. Ursa’s overpower already gives him max attack speed and Centaur just wants to be a tank and an AoE stunner. They don’t do their job through attacking and therefore don’t need the extra attack speed. Mirana does.
  3. Boots of Travel Synergizes well with their abilities:
    IPB Image
    Boots of travel do nothing to compliment Mirana’s abilities as I have already explained.
Finally, leap already gives you a greater increase in movespeed than the boots of travel would, so getting BoT to chase is really not that great a use of gold for you.

Therefore our boots become treads, and we leave the creep-clearing to the creep-clearing heroes.

4. Cystalys before skadi? Why don’t you rush to skadi?

I’ve tried rushing skadi before and I don’t like as much for one main reason. DAMAGE. Once Mirana’s nukes have become weaker in mid-game due to enemies’ increase in health she needs to be able to handle them some other way. Skadi will help with this once you get it because it will slow the enemy as well as increasing your damage by 25 and your attack speed. But while you’re farming up that point booster and those ultimate orbs you’re way behind other heroes on damage. Therefore, I get crystalys first in order to get a quick +35 damage (only 2350 gold, 50 more than an ulti orb and an extra 25 damage + crit strike over the ulti orb!) and then move on to skadi. Skadi is a great item and the best for Mirana in my opinion, however it doesn’t allow her to be as effective mid-game as she can and deserves to be.

5. Eye of Skadi? But that’s so expensive!

Indeed skadi is expensive but we have two things going for us in getting skadi.
  1. Mirana is a great hero-killer with her leap, arrow and starfall so once she has crystalys she can take part in ganks and get some hero kills to help you get the parts for your skadi.
  2. STARFALL. This ability alone makes farming skadi before late-game feasible. Whenever there is a large creep wave coming Mirana can just run over and starfall all the creeps and farm up some quick gold. Whenever I’m not busy somewhere else I’ll run to a big creep wave and starfall it, and when I’m done doing that and pushing another wave or two I’ll have 300-500 more gold depending on how large the wave is.
6. So getting skadi is feasible, but why get it?

Well skadi is a great item on Mirana for several reasons. Let’s take a look at them.
  1. Mirana has a mana problem: As anybody who has played priestess of the moon knows, she has more than a little mana problem given her four active abilities that she wants to use whenever possible. Skadi solves this problem beautifully with its +150 mana and +25 int giving Mirana 500 additional mana.
  2. Mirana needs more HP: Being an agility hero has its pros, good armor, great attack speed, great damage-dealing potential. However there are some drawbacks and one is a lack of HP. Once again skadi to the rescue with +200 HP in addition to +25 strength for a grand total of 675 extra health.
  3. Slow attack works perfectly on Mirana: Mirana does a great job of ambushing heroes and dealing a lot of damage quickly, however she isn’t very good at keeping them in place. Her disable is more effective at finishing and allowing her to chase, and not very effective at giving her free hits. Therefore skadi is needed to let Mirana keep her enemies from running away from her.
Alternatives and why Skadi is better:
  1. Sange and Yasha:
    IPB Image
    Many people get this on Mirana as well as many other agility heroes. It’s a really nice item but it isn’t that great on priestess and here’s why. Mirana’s leap already gives the user an increase in move speed, so the move speed from S+Y largely goes to waste. The bonuses do stack, but the fact that something stacks isn’t a good reason to use it. Your money is much better spent slowing your enemies down than trying to speed you up more. You don’t want to chase, you want for them not to run!

    Also, S+Y does nothing to help Mirana with her mana problem, and the HP increase is 390 less than that of skadi. S+Y is cool if you don’t plan on using her spells (or killing anybody)

    Finally, Maim is just not as good a slow effect for Mirana as frost. Maim only procs on 10% of attacks which is a joke to anybody who’s ever tried holding enemies in place effectively with it. It always seems to get you when you’re trying to run, but you can never seem to catch people with it. Quite a shame. Frost is a much more reliable slow than maim and skadi is a much nicer item than S+Y. Therefore skadi is taken rather than Sange and Yasha.
  2. Guinsoo's:
    IPB Image
    Guinsoo’s in an intriguing* item on Priestess as it solves two of our three problems. It gives Mirana gobs of mana and a huge mana regen boost, and it keeps enemies from running with its hex. In addition to this it gives the same amount of damage that skadi gives. So what’s not to love a bout guinsoo's?

    Ever hear that saying too much of a good thing? Well it applies here. Guinsoo’s gives Mirana way more mana than she knows what to do with. It increases her mana pool by only 490, which is 10 less than skadi. But it gives 150% mana regen which coupled with basilius means you will never run out of mana, ever. But +35 intelligence doesn’t really do that much for her otherwise, and she really doesn’t need all that mana if she doesn’t have time to use it.

    Which brings me to my next point; NO EXTRA HP! Guinsoo’s does nothing to keep Mirana from being a pathetically weak tabby-cat rather than the fearsome roaring tiger that we want her to be. Being able to leap at your enemies and starfall and hex them does you know good when they can just turn around and demolish you once the disable is over. Mirana does not have a lot of health and because guinsoo’s does nothing to solve that problem you’ll finding yourself doing a lot more of the getting killed than the killing.
  3. Diffusal Blade and Manta Style:
    IPB ImageIPB Image
    This is a very nice item and an interesting one for Mirana, but it falls short of skadi in terms of solving all of her problems. The +6 intelligence is nice, but Mirana will still have mana issues even with the robe of the magi that comes with diffusal blade. In addition, it does nothing to buff her HP until you get the vitality booster for manta style.

    Purge is a nice disable, but once those charges are gone or you’ve upgraded it, you no longer have a disable and enemies will just run away from you leaving you no time to shoot them for massive damage. (In their weak point maybe?)

    Finally, let’s take a look at what kinds of heroes normally get manta style:
    • Image Heroes:
      IPB ImageIPB Image
      These heroes have images on their own, and, in the case of naga, have their own disable. The feedback from manta will stack onto those images as well as the images from manta, meaning that these heroes get a lot more out of that feedback orb than Mirana would.
    • Tank Heroes:
      IPB ImageIPB Image
      These heroes get manta as a way to draw attention to themselves so the other team has to waste time attacking them instead of attacking the real damage dealers on the team. If a tank can’t draw fire, what good is he? Hence the manta style on tanks strategy. However, Mirana wants no part of drawing fire; she IS the damage dealer that you want to draw fire AWAY from. Therefore manta is not a good plan for Mirana.
    • Morphling:
      IPB Image
      Morphling is in a class of his own in that he can buff his agility stat using morph making for some extremely scary images.
    Which brings me to my last point about images, the best way to buff them is with agility. And what is the most cost/item slot effective way to do that? Mass Yashas. But I already explained why S+Y isn’t great for Mirana. The Same goes for Yasha, you get more out of making your enemies run slower than you get out of moving faster. Therefore skadi is superior to manta style on Mirana.
  4. Dagon
    IPB Image
    I've been getting a lot of replies suggesting this item and I have no idea why. I have already done this to death but I'll say it again, Mirana has a MANA PROBLEM. Dagon, if nothing else, is extremely mana intensive. Adding a 245 mana nuke to mirana's abilities just compunds the problem, despite the extra 15 int (giving only 195 mana by the way) Also, Mirana already has a high powered nuke. If you hit with a double-starfall that's a 450 base-damage nuke, 50 more base damage than dagon. And it costs 85 mana less than dagon. Dagon is also not an option as a lead in to skadi as it gives a measly +12 damage compared to crystalys' +35 and doesn't feed into anything we want, unlike crystalys.
  5. Mjollnir:
    IPB Image
    A really nice damage boost and a chain lightning to boot, what's not to like? Well, no HP boost for one thing. No mana boost for another. As I have said before, Mirana's stats are not that great (or even that decent really) so buffing those is important to making her a viable hero later in the game. You won't have time to blast your enemy with chain lightnings when you don't have enough life to get off many attacks. You're dead before the lighning has a chance to go off. I also do not like this item as an addition to skadi, because maelstrom is 1010 gold more expensive than cyrstalys. This slows you down in getting to skadi, and I've found that the key to this build is getting to skadi quickly once you have your crystalys. Streamlining this build is key and maelstrom is just getting in the way.
  6. Soul Booster:
    IPB Image
    More mana, more HP, what's not to like? Well for one thing it's not as much mana and HP as skadi, but that's negligable given that it costs so much less. So what's wrong with soul booster? Well the big difference is that soul booster gives you pure HP and mana boosts wheras skadi gives you ever hero's best friend, STATS. +25 in all stats is amazing. The strength gives you HP and HP regen, the intelligence gives you mana and mana regen, but here's the kicker, you get 25 agility which gives you 3.6 armor, 25 damage, and 25% IAS. As a damage hero this is a godsend. Soul booster does none of this for you and to get an equivalent effect you end up paying much more than the cost of skadi and use up more item slots. In conclusion, skadi gives mirana everything she wants, soul booster gives her some of what she wants. We're nice people so we'll give the lady everything she wants and get skadi.
7. Buriza vs. MKB

This has been done to death so I won’t go into detail on this one. Sufficient to say a ranged hero with high attack speed prefers the crits of buriza to the mini-bash of MKB. Also there is no good component of MKB to stick into our build before skadi for damage purposes.

BE the Priestess of the Moon:

Oh boy, now onto the good stuff. These strategies make the difference between being an average Priestess player and a great priestess player. So let's leap in! (har)

Laning with PotM:

Priestess is extremely effective at controlling her lane early in the game. Being ranged gives her an instant advantage in avoiding harassment early in the game, but there’s more to it than that. Starfall is a great spell for keeping your enemies back early in the game. Any heroes that try to get too close, especially melee heroes trying to creep are at the mercy of Mirana’s falling stars.

Mirana could solo a lane reasonably well, but ending up in a 1v2 lane would be bad news because despite her starfall, Mirana’s health and manapool are very weak early in the game. So let a better solo hero take the solo lane and pair up with somebody who can take advantage of your auras from basilius. So who do to pair up with? If there is somebody on your team who is playing a weak early-game hero like naix, bloodseeker, or anti-mage you can pair up with them and protect them from harassment by starfalling anybody who messes with them. If nobody needs your backup then it’s time to think about doing as much for priestess as we can (because we do like to spoil ourselves sometimes.)

So if possible, pair up with a strong early-game nuker like tinker, lich, or Zeus. They will benefit greatly from your basilius auras, and will be great for taking out enemies early in the game. Have your lane partner nuke an enemy down to about half health. Assuming the enemy doesn’t run away (and if they do that’s fine too, more time for us to last-hit) you can wait until they’re about to attack a creep, and leap behind them and cast starfall. If you’re lucky they’ll get hit twice for an easy early kill and if not you still have a chance to kill them or if your ally has a nuke left they can also take care of the enemy. Either way this should buy you plenty of time to rack-up the early game gold and get you closer to your key items.

Lane preferences:

Because we will be rushing point booster, it is necessary to pick the top or middle lane for sentinel and the bottom or middle lane for scourge. Mirana can help out a weak early-game hero in a side lane as well as fight well in 1v1 or 2v2 environments. The middle lane is fine as that is where your best friends the heavy-nukers often go and because of your range as long as you play cautiously you can handle fighting against two ranged heroes. Essentially, 2v1 and 2v2 in a side lane are ideal situations for PotM and 2v2 in the middle and 1v1 anywhere are less desirable alternatives. 1v2, bottom lane sentinel, and bottom lane scourge should be avoided if at all possible.

Last Hitting with PotM:

I don’t want to go to in-depth here because if you don’t know how to last hit, then you need to learn that ASAP and I don’t have time to teach it here. Effective last-hitting will make any hero look good and is key to increasing your level of play. Just a few quick rules of thumb:
  1. Don’t constantly attack the creeps:
    As tempting as this might be, especially with range, do not give into the temptation. If you continuously attack the creeps, you won’t score as many last-hits as you could and you’ll probably push the battle closer to your opponents’ tower. This is exactly what we don’t want to do. We want to fight as close to our own tower as possible in order to avoid getting ambushed and to allow us to attack the enemy when they’re vulnerable.
  2. Only attack when a creep is in red health:
    Whenever you see a creep (even your own) in red health, wait until you think one attack will kill it and then attack. Timing on this is key. Fortunately for us, Mirana’s attack animation is not that hard to master. Just wait until the time is right and then right-click on enemy creeps or press ‘A’ then click on a friendly creep. Which brings us to our next point.
  3. Attack your own creeps as well!
    Don’t spend all your time attacking enemy creeps, attacking friendly creeps will do almost as much for you because having lower-level enemies is key to controlling your lane and not screwing yourself over for later in the game. So don’t hesitate to kill your own creeps as pushing the lane is not our goal at this point
So I’ve said more than I probably wanted to say about this so let’s move on to some more priestess-specific strategy such as:

Farming with PotM:

Despite the common misconception farming is NOT the same as last-hitting. Farming involves clearing large groups of creeps and getting gold during mid-game and this is where Mirana excels. Starfall is the key move for this part of the game. If you see a large group of creeps pushing its way towards your base then run up to it and get ready to gain a lot of gold. I am borrowing from Rai-wK’s excellent guide on Omniknight here (http://www.dotaportal.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=35688), which gives a great description of how to get the most out of farming with purification. Here we will replace purification with starfall.

The basic strategy is to move into the middle of the creep wave, but make sure you are very close to the melee creeps. Attack a creep that your creeps are not attacking until at least two melee creeps are in the red. Then cast starfall. This should kill both melee creeps and severely damage all ranged creeps.

4 Comments:

Blogger robelyn said...

hi there sir im a newbie in dota. and my fave hero is mirana, im thankful for this review , now i know how to equip mirana better. i have problems dealing with the sand king even if i build her with the linken sphere, radiance and bloodstone. i keep on running cause of her low hp and mana and i hate sandking's stun and epicenter..grrrr..., i plan on doing what you instruct on this review to defeat the sand king, or much better if you have some strategies to share against the sand king..thank you very much and please pardon my being too noob.

robee

11:29 AM

 
Blogger John said...

um... your skill build and item build are questionable. I play Mirana a lot and I always always say build skills in this order.

Arrow,Starfall or Leap,Arrow,(other skill), Arrow, Starfall, Arrow, Starfall, Starfall, and then you consider getting her ult.

Why? because before level 9-10 she really does not have the mana capacity to use her ultimate effectively, and continue to gank around the map. Mirana is an amazing gank character if played properly. Also, the early game higher level arrows keep your opponents constantly moving to dodge you.

As for item build, yes I would agree with Skadi, and Buriza Do-Kyanon is a decent choice, but the ring, RoB, and Treads are unnecessary. Mirana can get around just as easily by constantly carrying a tp scroll and using leap to speed boost around the map when enemies aren't present. Also instead of RoB get a Bottle so that you can have much easier mana access when you do rune control up and down the river. By getting a bottle, it allows her to replenish hp and mp while moving up and down lanes to gank enemy heroes. Although I might suggest Mjolinir just to static yourself to make Mirana less susceptible to enemy attacks.

Early game item build I go for,

Start: 2x circlet 2x tango sets 1 clarity

Then in this order:Bottle Boots Point Booster.

Point booster sets you up for skadi if you're going to support, and if you're going to carry, it gives you extra hp and mp bonus to throw those spells as you please and have mana to ult afterwards.

3:19 AM

 
Blogger (a.k.a)PotM-kDx:from dota League said...

thankyou but you are so noob
hehehehe im just joking but
why starfall,starfall elunes
leap.Why? and im build skills are
true build skills i know it
from the HoLyHeXoR the PRO mirana
on DotA Leauge and im there to^_^
the build are elunes,starfall,elunes,leap,starfa-ll,elunes.starfall,elunes,leap,starfall,moonlightshadow,and etc. nice tutor but there are some
weaklings and noobies there^^
hehehehehe tnx to the guide
..................................
from:DotA Leauge
Post Comment by:kDx



(a.k.a.)PotM

9:38 AM

 
Blogger KHET KEANG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:56 PM

 

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