Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Counter Play: Bloodseeker

Bloodseeker is a well known pub stomper, especially in the lower tier brackets. In truth, he's not that powerful of a hero, but you have to know how to play against him.

The good thing is that you don't need specific heroes to "counter" him, just use smart play and pick up a few items.

Bloodseeker's Playstyle

  • Early Game / Laning
    • Typically seen at the MID LANE
    • Relies on being able to regenerate HP from Bloodbath
    • Low ability to control the lane (i.e. cannot quickly push it for rune control)
  • Mid Game
    • Moving between lanes and ganking
    • Able to solo kill many heroes who start at a lower HP than him (i.e. will die if they try to 1v1 him and are left with only running)
    • Able to tower dive due to Bloodbath
    • Able to find low HP heroes and intercept them due to Thirst
  • End Game
    • Has snowballed into a carry
    • Becomes more of a support hero using Bloodrage to buff the carry or silence a support
  • Strengths
    • Bloodbath enables him to engage in riskier plays due to HP regen after a kill
    • Bloodrage makes Bloodseeker more adaptable (buff himself/a carry, or silence a support)
    • Laning - as long as he can kill creeps, he's hard to zone out
    • 1v1 Hero Kills
    • Ganking
    • Clean up - finding heroes that escaped a fight and finishing them off
    • Pseudo-Gem - reveals invisible heroes when they are low HP
  • Weaknesses
    • Lacks crowd control (especially stuns)
    • Kiteable - he has speed, but not really DPS (Bloodrage can help though); also no gap closers
    • Escapes - lacking in this department unless another hero is low HP around him
    • Rune Control - nothing to clear the creep wave quickly in order to get there first
    • Unreliable Skills - Thirst is only useful when a hero is low HP around him, it's very conditional as opposed to Nightstalker's ability (you know how long it will be night), or something like Bounty Hunter's Track (hero activated speed increase while around them)
  • Role
    • Semi-Carry - he can snowball into a carry role, but is less effective than other carries in late game
    • Ganker - has a good kit for ganking
    • Utility - he has a decent silence or buff (depending on what you want) and a spell that keeps many heroes in one place temporarily (5/7/9 seconds)

 Countering Bloodseeker

Despite being a new player's worst fear, Bloodseeker is actually not that hard to deal with. Most people just need to wrap their head around the fact that Bloodseeker's power comes from moving while his ult is active on you.

At Mid

Zoning

Bloodseeker can actually be zoned out fairly easily. The simple trick to it comes from one tidbit:

He needs to kill creeps to be viable at mid.

How do we take that away from him?
  • Use spells early on to force him to use all his regen (preferably before he gets Bottle - which would be around 1:30-1:50 if he's bottle rushing)
  • After that, keep hitting him every time he comes close
  • Eventually, he will have to choose between killing a creep and potentially getting killed, or going back to base (giving you a huge lead in XP & GPM)

Rune Control

One thing Bloodseeker is really bad at is Rune Control. Many prominent mid heroes have an ability that allows them to burst down the creep wave. This allows them to get the rune while the other player chooses between farming under the tower, or contesting the rune (while losing XP & Gold opportunity).

With Items

Item choices are pretty simplistic. The common mantra you hear amongst DotA players is:

His Ult is countered by TP Scroll.

That's really it. If he ults you, just start teleporting. He has nothing that can stop your teleport (unless he's with allies). NOTE: Force Staff does not cancel TPs (it does in some other similar games), so if he goes that gimmicky route, you're still safe.

Other items that can be useful:

  • Mekansm - a quick burst heal
  • Heaven's Halberd - more HP, evasion, and the ability to disarm him
  • Wards - information collecting is a huge part of strategy games. Knowing when Bloodseeker is on his way gives you a heads up to go get a TP scroll or hide in tower range
  • Blade Mail - to some extent, this can be used if you're against him 1v1. Discourages him from attacking if you have more HP
  • Tranquil Boots - always stay close to full HP
  • Ghost Scepter - immune to physical attacks (however, his ult is Pure Damage, so you can't run, but you can stay still unless he has Radiance)
You get the idea. Anything that lets you withstand his ult, prevent him from getting you singled out, etc. They all work well. Forms of Stun/Hex can be useful too. I'm sure there are plenty of others. However, most of the time it's not worth building specific items to counter a Bloodseeker other than TP Scrolls and Wards.

With Hero Picks

A WORD OF CAUTION: Do not pick a hero to counter another unless you can fit it in your lineup. Making sure your lanes are solid is much better than countering a single hero.

  • Mid Heroes
    • Any popular mid will most likely be able to outlane Bloodseeker (e.g. Queen of Pain, Templar Assassin, Batrider, etc.)
    • Axe - this is a special case. Sending Axe mid against Bloodseeker means that he has to face Axe's Counter-Helix in order to attempt creep kills. Combined with spells like Battle Hunter, Axe quickly becomes hard for Bloodseeker to go head to head with
    • Huskar - the lower he gets you, the more DPS you have. His ult is a pseudo-buff to Huskar's natural abilities
  • Misc
    • Disruptor - able to send Bloodseeker back by 4 seconds. At high movespeeds, it really hurts his ganking potential
    • Heroes with heals - Omniknight, Chen, etc. that are able to help teammates, or bait tower dives
    • Beefy Heroes - Bloodseeker usually can't 1v1 them, and his ult isn't as effective against them
    • Ancient Apparition - his ult prevents Bloodseeker from healing temporarily (if hit with it)

With Strategy

The strategy is pretty simple: don't allow yourself to get picked off. Move in groups, mount team pushes, etc.

Bloodseeker thrives on ganking heroes that are alone. Don't give him that opportunity. Or, at the very least, carry a TP scroll in the event he comes after you. But in reality, just do things as a team. Keep pushing towers together, or moving as a group to gank heroes. Bloodseeker really does not offer much to team fights.

Utilize good wards to see him coming in advance.

3 comments:

  1. Super helpful tips. Love how you offer counters thru items, hero choice, and strategy. Sooo much better than "just carry tp n00b"

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