Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Item Guide: Farming Items

Last Updated: February, 2013

There are a number of items that help with farming:
  • Hand of Midas
  • Battlefury
  • Radiance
  • Maelstrom/Mjollnir
In this post, I'm going to analyze and compare each of these options.


Item Cost Build Up Passive Active
Quelling Blade 225 N/A
  • (Melee) +32% Damage to Non-Hero Units
  • (Ranged) +12% Damage to Non-Hero Units
Destroy Tree:
  • Destroys Target Tree
  • 100 Range
  • 5 Seconds Cooldown
Hand of Midas 1900
  • Gloves of Haste (500)
  • Recipe (1400)
  • +30 Attack Speed
  • Kill Non-Hero/Ancient Target
  • 190 Reliable Gold (instead of normal)
  • 2.5x XP
  • 100 sec Cooldown
Battlefury 4350
  • Ring of Health (875)
  • Void Stone (875)
  • Claymore (1400)
  • Broadsword (1200)
  • +6 HP/sec
  • 150% Mana Regen
  • +65 Damage
  • 35% Cleave in 225 Radius
Radiance 5150
  • Sacred Relic (3800)
  • Recipe (1350)
  • +60 Damage
  • 45 Magic Damage per Second (650 Radius)
Toggle Burn Effect on/off
Maelstrom 2700
  • Gloves of Haste (500)
  • Mithril Hammer (1600)
  • Recipe (600)
  • +24 Damage
  • +25 Attack Speed
  • 25% Chance to proc Chain Lightning
Mjollnir 5400
  • Maelstrom (2700)
  • Hyperstone (2100)
  • Recipe (600)
  • +24 Damage
  • +80 Attack Speed
  • 25% Chance to proc Chain Lightning
Static Charge:
  • Place Shield on Target Unit
  • Lasts 20 sec
  • 20% chance to proc Chain Lightning when attacked


Quelling Blade

A very cheap item that helps with getting last hits. It also brings infinite tree chopping to the table, which can be helpful when up against a hero like Nature's Prophet, or just juking through the trees in general.

Many players, even at the professional level, miss last hits and if a cheap item can boost your ability to last hit, it can be well worth the money. However, note that it does not bring much else. It's purely for farming/escaping.


  • Increased ability to last hit in lane (or jungle)
  • Pseudo-escape mechanism
  • Can be bought entirely in lane
  • Very cheap in comparison to other items that help with farming
  • Helps with stacking the jungle


  • No application to fighting heroes (other than the pseudo-escape)
  • Little to no application past early game
  • Potential to screw up last hitting under the tower (there are patterns of last hitting)
  • Does not build into anything

  • Farming / last hitting
  • Juking through the trees (certain trees can be cut down to enable juke routes)
  • Cut down certain trees to stack multiple jungle camps, or reduce time between camps
  • Some trees can be cut down to give extra vision (e.g. in the safe lane to get rid of the tree that blocks vision)
  • On Radiant side, it can be helpful when pulling to cut down the tree between the lane and primary pull camp


  • Kunkka's Tidebringer - only impacts main target (no cleave element)
  • Illusions can benefit from the damage 

Hand of Midas

This is a decent early game item that has no impact in late game (most sell it in late game). It's kind of a "selfish" item as well.

The item pays for itself through Transmute, it's Active Ability. The item costs 1900, and you get 190 gold per use. You can use it every 100 seconds. In a perfect world, that means it takes 1000 seconds, or about 16 minutes and 40 seconds to pay itself off. Note: in theory, if you use it 5 times and sell it for half price, you make up the cost of the item.

If we factor in that the average game is probably between 35 and 45 minutes, that means you need to get this very early for it to be anything more than a waste of money. Most people would say you want to target between 6-10 minute mark if you're going to get this at all.


  • Gold is reliable (i.e. you won't lose it upon death)
  • Guaranteed farm/XP, even if you're having a rough time
    • Can use it for farming gold or XP (small creeps vs. big creeps)
  • Fairly cheap


  • You don't get much other than farming ability
  • No real use late game


  • Use on a big creep if you want to focus on gaining XP (gives you 2.5x)
  • Use on a small creep if you want to focus on gaining gold (gives you 190 gold instead of the normal bounty)
  • Good for Junglers who are always near creeps
  • Good if you can get it early
  • Can be good if you're struggling for farm



This is a great item for melee carries. The build up is very nice and provides a lot. Perseverance is excellent for survivability and mid-game jungling. You also get one of the best gold-to-damage ratios for an item.

The cleave helps you farm and push incredibly fast. You also can cleave on-attack modifiers like Crits (Note: On-Attack Modifier is no the same thing as a Unique Attack Modifier).

While it is an excellent item, it is much more effective early-mid game. General consensus is that optimally, get this before 20 minutes. I would also say that you can still get it before 25 minutes, but after that, it's usually better to give up and go a different route. This is because you get the item mostly for farming. At a certain point, you just won't have enough time to farm, so it's better to focus on Survival and Team Fight items.


  • Excellent Regen
  • Excellent Damage Output
  • Able to Cleave
    • Stacks with other sources of Cleave
  • Increases Farming Ability
  • Increases Pushing Ability (or counter-pushing)


  • Cleave only works on melee heroes
  • Somewhat costly


  • Early-mid game farming
  • Pushing/Counter-Pushing
  • Mid-Game Jungling (i.e. more farming)
  • Doing lots of damage in team fights with good positioning (e.g. after a Dark Seer Vacuum)


  • Cleaved Damage will affect primary target normally, but secondary targets will only have the damage reduced by their armor type (i.e. by some standard percent, rather than based on armor value).



A great early-mid game farming, harassing, and pushing item. This is very common on Illusion heroes like Naga Siren, Spectre, and Phantom Lancer because Illusions alone can farm/push effectively with the Burn Aura.

You also see it picked up frequently on beefy heroes like Alchemist and Doombringer because they are difficult to kill, have trouble farming (not real great candidates for Battlefury, but also need the farm). Being tanky and carrying Radiance makes you very deadly in team fights. The longer the fight lasts, the more damage Radiance will deal out. If they can't kill you, then they have to deal with the aura for the duration.

Weaver is a unique case. Because of Germinate attack, Weaver usually just wants raw damage. Getting attack speed won't give you more Germinates because it's on a cooldown. It does benefit from Raw Damage though (unlike some other modifiers that only take your Main Attribute into account). In addition to the damage output, it gives Weaver a way to farm. She is also difficult to kill, not because she's tanky, but because she has temporary invisibility and her ult gives her another health bar (essentially).

Lastly, you'll see this picked up quite frequently on Lone Druid's Spirit Bear. Using the aura, he can send his bear to push a lane while he farms (and he gets the gold from each kill Radiance gets). Normally, if the bear is out of range, it cannot attack. However, it can grant auras. This is a huge benefit for Lone Druid so he can use his bear in more than one way.

Like Hand of Midas and Battlefury, Radiance also loses potency over time. Common opinion is that you want to get Radiance before 25-30 minutes. After that, the burn damage just doesn't do so much to heroes, or the creeps.

This is what makes it a difficult item to decide to go for. Sometimes, you'll have to abandon going for it. It's hard to save up for because you need 3800 gold, then 1350 for the recipe. That's no easy task and you need a lot of uninterrupted farm.


  • Easy harass due to the burn damage
  • Works on Illusions (and spirit bears)
  • Great farming ability
  • Great early-mid game pushing ability
  • Excellent in early-mid game team fights


  • Very difficult to save for
  • Loses potency in late game
  • Aura can give you away while ganking (but you can turn the aura off)


  • Tons of damage in team fights
  • Farming
  • Split pushing/farming (send illusions to different camps or to the lane to push while you farm safely)
  • Raw Damage output
  • Killing invisible units (not a reason to pick it up, but fun nonetheless)



When people think farming items, this is one that doesn't always come to mind. However, it can be loosely labeled "the ranged Battlefury". This is because the passive (Chain Lightning) rips through creeps, especially given the attack speed increase the item grants.

The two items are fairly similar (granted Mjollnir builds off of Maelstrom). They do have some differences though.


  • Chain Lightning
    • Maelstrom: Deals 120 Magic Damage, hits 4 targets, 25% chance
    • Mjollnir: Deals 160 Magic Damage, hits 8 targets, 25% chance
  • Attack Speed
    • Maelstrom: +25
    • Mjollnir: +80
  • Active
    • Maelstrom: N/A
    • Mjollnir: Static Charge
      • Lasts 20 seconds a target unit
      • 20% chance to cast Lightning when attacked
      • Lightning deals 200 Magic Damage to attacker and 2 nearby units
      • Costs 50 Mana, 35 sec Cooldown
As far as I know there's no standard time to get either by.

It's a great item for farming/pushing as a ranged hero. The Lightning Jumps do a good deal of damage in a team fight too (e.g. 480 Magic Damage per proc for Maelstrom, 1280 per proc from Mjollnir).

The active ability on Mjollnir is also pretty veratile. It can be cast on allies, along with yourself. So say you cast it on Axe, he uses Berserker's Call. Least you can say is that the enemy team will be hurting.


  • Increases farming ability
  • Can be used on Ranged heroes
  • Mjollnir's active ability has lots of uses
  • Exploits teams that don't have magic resist/immunity/Pipe
    • Gives Magic Damage to accompany Physical Damage
  • Huge increase to attack speed
  • Build up can surprise people (Mithril Hammer looks like you're going for BKB or Desolator)
  • Mjollnir can be disassembled


  • Still a lot of discussion as to whether it's worth picking up versus more "standard items"
  • Counts as a Unique Attack Modifier


  • Mjollnir can be a counter to Radiance carriers (each tick of damage can proc Lightning)
  • Farming/Pushing
  • Teamfight Damage output
  • Static Charge can be placed on allies (like initiators), or yourself
  • The attack speed can be great in combination with other effects like chance based bashes
  • Heroes like Dragon Knight and Lone Druid benefit from it in both their Melee and Ranged forms
  • Gives mostly Physical Damage heroes some Magic Damage to ensure they hurt everyone

1 comment:

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