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DOTA 2 Invoker Guide

Hello there! While writing my article about carries I did some research about a hero I found really hard to play and learned that as tricky as it may seem it's just like any other hero and all it requires is some practice. Therefore here is my general thoughts about Invoker.
Throughout this post I'll display different situations and builds you can play and hopefully you will find one that suits your playstyle best wether you're new to the world of DotA or if you're up to a challenge.

I. Introduction
II. Stuff you should know
- Aghs
- How Quas/Wex/Exort works
- Spells
III. Invoker Builds
IIIa. Starting off
IIIb. Quas/Wex Invoker - the Crowd Controler
IIIc. Quas/Exort Invoker - the DPS beast
IIId. The Lazy Invoker - easy two-spell-combos
VI. Friends and Foes
- Friends
VIa. Initiators
VIb. DPSers
VIc. Aura Providers & Pushers
- Foes
VId. The 'counters'
VIe. Heroes with silence

Invoker is a singular hero among all others. Instead of having the standard 4 spells this hero is capable of using 10 of them which are determined by how you level his abilities: Quas, Wex and Exort. In order to use a spell you must 'activate' a determined count of each ability and then Invoke the spell, more in-depth information about is found on a sequent post.
Unlike other heroes, Invoker doesn't level attribute bonuses and from level one to 25 he'll effectively get stronger spells. You can level each ability 7 times and the 4 remaining skill points are used to level Invoke - Invoker's ultimate - at level 2/7/12/17. Quas, Wex and Exort not only allow you to invoke powerful spells but also work as attribute bonus like this:
- Quas will increase your HP regen and provide you strenght passively.
- Wex will increase your Attack and Movement Speed and provide you agility passively.
- Exort will increase your Attack DMG and provide you inteligence passively.
Having this broad gamma of spells to work with and his natural stats/buffs makes this hero the most versatile of Dota. Wether you want to carry, push, gank or provide your team utility items/spells this can be your guy.

Stuff you should know

The hero

The key to Invoker success is getting the levels so make sure you'll play a solo lane. On a duo or even trilane you will have a hard time getting the so much needed Invoke levels and this will drop down your efficiency since you'll either have an incomplete spell cap or a long cycle between spells. It's also very important that you level your Quas/Wex/Exort abilities to increase different aspects of your spells.

As said previously, in order to have a spell you must invoke it and that requires you to activate your abilities. Every time you press the hotkey to use Quas/Wex/Exort you will notice that a new flying sphere appears around invoker (with a max of 3). After having your abilities up, all you gotta do is invoke a spell that matches the spheres around you. Invoke is Invoker's ultimate and it's scepter upgradable.

Note: Back in the original DotA you had to activate your Q/W/E in the correct sequence in order to invoke the spell and in Dota 2 you don't. This means that if you have 3 Wex up and you hit Quas two times you'll be able to invoke ghost walk without having to go from WWW to QQW.
To know what abilities to press in order to get each spell you can press the button circled on the following image and this list will be displayed (click to enlarge).

Should I get Aghanim's Scepter?
Aghanim's on Invoker will reduce Invoke's cooldown drastically and remove the manacost. On the right hands, getting Aghs will make it possible to cast spell after spell since at level 4 invoke the cooldown is only 2 seconds which basically allows you to Invoke -> Cast -> Switch Q/W/E -> Repeat.

Even though it's a great item it's not really a must if you don't feel comfortable with it. If you're an unexperienced Invoker player you could make good use of the mana free Invoke and short cooldowns to make up for invoking mistakes but there's a lot more to add to your hero with 4.2k gold.

How Quas/Wex/Exort works
As said previously Q/W/E will affect your attributes and provide bonus related to each one of them. This bonuses are added according to the ability level (up to 7) and the number of instances (the floating spheres) around you. Your attributes will be upgraded everytime you level your abilities but the bonuses will only add up accordingly to the instances you have up.
Q/W/E also affect your spells effect but this aspect has nothing to do with the instances around you. This means that having 3 instances of Exort up won't make your Sun Strike more powerful, for example.

Quas will generally increase spells duration. It will give you 1/2/3/4/5/6/7 bonus HP regen per instance and 2/4/6/8/10/12/14 bonus STR .
Wex will generally increase spells range. It will give you 2%/4%/6%/8%/10%/12%/14% bonus AS 1%/2%/3%/4%/5%/6%/7% bonus MS per instance and 2/4/6/8/10/12/14 bonus AGI.
Exort will generally increase spells damage. It will give you 3/6/9/12/15/18/21 bonus damage per instance plus 2/4/6/8/10/12/14 bonus INT.

In this session I'll talk about every spell Invoker has. I'll provide an image of each of them followed by it's name, default hotkey and invoke demand as well as information about it. You will also see how each ability affect each spells effect.

Invoke (R)
Invoke gives you a spell according to the abilities you have activated. Leveling it will decrease the cooldown, mana cost and increase the number of spells you can have at the same time. The oldest spell will always be replaced if you exceed the spell cap .The arrangement of your abilities/instances doesn't matter in Dota 2.
Number of allowed spells: 1/2/2/2
Cooldown (w/ Aghs): 22(16)/17(8)/12(4)/5(2)
Mana cost (w/ Aghs): 20(0)/40(0)/60(0)/80(0)

Cold Snap (Y) - QQQ
Mini stuns target enemy every time over 10 damage is dealt to him. Cold Snap only proc itself with the initial 60 damage.
20 seconds CD, 100 mana cost.
Stun Duration: 0.4
Damage: 60
Duration (Quas): 3/3.5/4/4.5/5/5.5/6
Stun Duration: 0.4
Bonus Damage: 30
Cooldown Between Stuns (Quas): 0.7715/0.7430/0.7145/0.6860/0.6575/0.6290/0.6005
Additional info;
- Damage type is Magical.
- Stun won't trigger with self damage.

Ghost Walk (V) - QQW
Invoker goes invisible slowing nearby enemy units and himself*.
60 seconds CD, 200 mana cost.
Slow Radius: 400
Slows Enemy (Quas): 20/23/26/30/33/36/40%
*Slows Self (Wex): 30/25/20/15/10/5/0%
Duration: 120
Additional info;
- Slow affects magic immune units.

Ice Wall (G) - QQE
Invoker creates an Ice Wall in front of him slowing enemy units who walk inside and dealing some DPS.
25 seconds CD, 175 mana cost.
Duration (Quas): 3/4.5/6/7.5/9/10.5/12
Movement Slow (Quas): 20/40/60/80/100/120/140%
Damage Per Second (Exort): 6/12/18/24/30/36/42
Additional info;
- Damage type is Magical.

Tornado (X) - WWQ
Invoker hurls a tornado capable of sending his enemies up in the air.
30 seconds CD, 200 mana cost.
Range (Wex): 800/1200/1600/2000/2400/2800/3200
Disable Duration (Quas): 0.8/1.1/1.4/1.7/2.0/2.3/2.5
MDamage (Wex + Quas): 70 + (20 * (lvl Quas + lvl Wex))
Additional info;
- Damage type is Magical.

 EMP (C) - WWW
Enemy units under EMP AoE will have their mana drained.
30 seconds CD, 125 mana cost.
Delay: 3.7/3.4/3.15/2.85/2.6/2.3/2
Radius: 675
Damage (Wex): 50/75/100/125/150/175/200
Mana Drain (Wex): 100/150/200/250/300/350/400
Additional info;
- Damage type is Magical if fatal (leading to affected units death), if not it's HP removal.
- Damage is dealt before the mana drain.
- Won't magic immune units (including targets currently tornadoed).

 Alacrity (Z) - WWE
Attack speed and damage single target buff.
15 seconds CD, 100 mana cost.
Duration: 9
Attack Speed (Wex): 20/30/40/50/60/70/80%
Damage (Exort): 20/30/40/50/60/70/80
Additional info;
- Can target siege units.

 Sun Strike (T) - EEE
The sun strikes any location of the map granting vision and damaging any units that are hit.
30 seconds CD, 175 mana cost.
Delay: 1.7
Radius: 175
Range: Global
Damage (Exort): 100/162.5/225/287.5/350/412.5/475
Additional info;
- Damage type is Pure.
- Damage is spread between targets under the AoE - creeps and heroes.
- Reveals the target area before Sun Strike lands.

 Chaos Meteor (D) - EEW
Invoker summons a powerful meteor that leaves a burning path, damaging enemy units.
55 seconds CD, 200 mana cost.
Main Radius: 275
Damage Per 0.5s (Exort): 57.5/75/92.5/110/127.5/145/162.5
Meteor Range (Wex): 2/4/6/8/10/12/14
Additional Damage (Exort): 11/14/17/20/23/26/29
Additional info;
- Damage type is Magical.
- Additional damage is dealt every 0.5 seconds for 3 seconds.
- The meteor takes 1.3 seconds to hit the ground and start damaging.
- The meteor has a movespeed of 300.

 Forge Spirit (F) - EEQ
Summons up to forge spirits.
30 seconds CD, 75 mana cost.
Number of Spirits: 1/2 (if Quas + Exort are lvl 4+)
Duration (Quas): 20/30/40/50/60/70/80
Mana (Quas): 100/150/200/250/300/350/400
Attack Range (Quas): 300/400/500/600/700/800/900
Damage (Exort): 29/38/47/56/65/74/83
Health Points (Exort): 300/400/500/600/700/800/900
Armour (Exort): 2/3/4/5/6/7/8
Additional info;
- Upon re-casting old Forge Spirits will die if they're still alive.
- Have the auto-cast Melting Strike ability (40 mana cost) which reduces attacked unit's armor by 1 every time it hits for 5 seconds. Stacks at 10.
- Their bounty when killed is 32-46 gold and 31 EXP.

Forge Spirit stats
Health: 300/400/500/600/700/800/900   
Mana: 100/150/200/250/300/350/400
Damage: 29/38/47/56/65/74/83
Movespeed: 320
Atk Range: 300/400/500/600/700/800/900
BAT: 1.5
Missile Speed:1000
Armor:    2/3/4/5/6/7/8
Sight Range: 1200 (day time) 800 (night time)

 Deafening Blast (B) - QWE
Pushes back and disarms enemys in a 'wave' AoE, resembling Guile's Sonic Boom.
40 seconds CD, 200 mana cost.
Stun Duration (Quas): 0.25/0.5/0.75/1/1.25/1.5/1.75
Attack Prevention (Wex): 1/1.5/2/2.5/3/3.5/4s
Damage (Export): 40/80/120/160/200/240/280
Additional info;
- Damage type is Magical.
- Will disable channeling spells such as Epicenter and TP scrolls.

Invoker Builds

Starting off
You should never get Wex at level 1. The attribute gain it provides at level 1 is rather useless in the laning stage and the pure Wex spell - EMP - won't give you any lane advantages. Exort at one will add 15 damage to Invoker but Sun Strike with 1 point on Exort will only deal 100 damage so it may not be the best choice. Quas however will grant you Cold Snap at level two which can punish enemy heroes if they dive you or even grant you first blood with the help of a stunner.
That being said, there are several starting items you can go for and these are the ones I recommend you and why:

Ferrari.430's build
By leaving the base with these items you'll be closer to your phase boots and have good start damage. If you pick Quas at one, this will be all the regen you need.

Quick Drums

This set will give you a fair amount of stats and leave you one step closer to your Drums while losing only 4 damage from the previous build.

Double Mantle

This build will give you a higher mana pool to work with on top of +9 damage to harrass your enemy either by nuking or right-clicking him.

**DISCLAIMER** Items like BKB and Linken's are very situational since sometimes it won't really provide you great defense against nukes and disable. They shouldn't be left out your build if you need them however.

Quas/Wex Invoker - the Crowd Controller

Benefits: Big AoE spells, really useful to start team fights and high MS and tankability.
Downsides: Relatively long cooldowns and lose effectiveness against items like Arcane Boots and Pipe.

This build was the preferred one until the 6.74 update when Exort spells got buffed and Tornado/EMP got a bit nerfed. The reason for this is because it's the best one to initiate and annoy enemy heroes.
The Tornado can be cast from a long distance and give you and your allies time to get ready to engage. Also, throwing your enemies up in the air gives you time to prepare the EMP and therefore deal a lot of damage and drain the enemy's mana leaving the whole team (depending on their positioning) crippled even before the fight starts.
This build also provides great survivability through HP regen/gain and MS bonus as well as leaving Invoker fast even under the effect of Ghost Walk.
To get the best out of this build, these are the items you should go for.

Mid game
Despite of what are your starting items either PB or Drums will be your first item, followed by the other. This will already make you really nimble and tanky on the early outsets of the game leaving you able to walk in and out team fights causing a great impact in it.

Late game (core)
Sheep Stick will provide you a strong disable on top of two things that will really buff your hero: extra stats and mana pool/reg. Euls + Drums + Phase will give you insane move speed with your 3 Wex instances maxed. Euls also gives you time to Invoke spells if you don't have Agh's and escape from unfavorable situations.

Shiva's can be a good way of dealing with enemies who are close to your speed level, Veil can maximize your great array of spell damage and Ghost Scepter is a good alternative when you feel that you're under too much focus since it will allow you to wait a bit longer for the cooldown on items like Force Staff or other escape mechanisms.

Quas/Exort Invoker - the DPS beast

Benefits: Great pusher and ganking hero. With high DPS and Sun Strike leveled Invoker will be a killing machine.
Downsides: Lacks the teamfight initiation Q/W Invoker has.

Building Invoker around Quas/Exort is (imo) the most fun and versatile way to do it. It's rare to see Invoker getting play and everytime we do there are variations to this build so I'll just go through some guidelines you should look after.
Exort is your main attribute on this build. This build can provide you strong DPS and pushing abilities. My suggestion is to max Exort, get Quas to 4 and then proceed to get Wex.
It's up to you wether you should go for Quas at level 1 so you can get a more reliable spell to kill your counterpart or just go for Exort to make last hitting easier and guarantee passive harrasment towards the enemy.

In order to get the max of your Forge Spirits you need 4 levels on Quas to summon two of them but if you level it to 6 then your summons will be able to hit towers 100 distance away from their fire range. It's advisable to get one point of Wex until level 6 so you can Invoke Ghost Walk.
Let's procceed to the item choices. I'd also like to point out that even though we skip most of the Movespeed items, Phase Boots are left in this build since once the laning stage is over and you've maxed Exort you can still make good use of them on top of Wex as long as you get it a few levels up.

Mid Game
By skipping Wex, MS% bonuses like Drums and Eul's won't be as effective but you can find substitute escape methods with items like Force Staff and Dagger. I left normal boots on this pic due to some controversy but even on Exort Invoker I personally prefer PB since Invoker has really bad natural MS.

Late Game (core)
The only items strongly advisable for this build on late game are BKB and Sheep Stick. BKB will allow you to stand your ground (as said previously) and leave you be with the power of your right clicks while Sheep will turn enemies into sitting ducks. Dagger is really important since you can use it to initiate (combo with Ice Wall) leaving your Force Staff to your escape or further chasing. Travel Boots are also welcome as you get closer to being Six-Slotted and it can also be used to split push with your Forge Spirits or even to TP into them.

This items will maximize your Exort bonuses and turn you into a really strong DPS dealer. Cuirass will also provide you stronger pushing power with your Forge Spirits.

The Lazy Invoker - easy two-spell-combos
Here are some combos you can have prepared if you have trouble cycling through your spells.

Alacrity + Forge Spirits

Pushing has never been so easy if you maximize 900 range units damage and attack speed.

Deafening Blast + Chaos Meteor

By pushing enemies into the Meteor path you can get the higher damage output from it.

Cold Snap + Forge Spirits

Who needs allies when you can summon fiery minions to perm-stun your target?

Deafening Blast + Ice Wall

This combo allows you to either push your enemy inside your Ice Wall or push him behind it so you have time to escape.

Tornado + EMP

A classic when it comes down to winning a team fight even before it started.

Ice Wall + Chaos Meteor

Another way of getting the max out of your meteor is making your enemies unable to run away from it.

These heroes have the ability to line up enemies in order to maximize the damage from spells like Chaos Meteor and provide a longer disable paired with Ice Wall or Tornado.

Heroes with inate DPS power, critical strikes or bash will strongly benefit from Alacrity and disables like Ice Wall and Cold Snap. To keep this image clear I've left out many heroes but each one of these represent a way to sinergize with Invoker.

Aura Providers & Pushers
Summon heavy heroes and heroes that provide some sort of aura will stack up really nice with Invokers builds wether it's consistent of Forge Spirit/Alacrity or simply Drums.


The 'counters'
Pugna and Silencer are the ultimate cockblocks to Invoker. They won't turn the hero useless by any means but Nether Ward and Last Word will slow down the fast pace this hero can bring into the match.

Heroes with silence
Long silence spells will make Invoker a really poor right-clicker generally and this is why you should always carry a TP Scroll and go for a Force Staff!

Final Thoughts
That's pretty much it. Hope that with these posts you see Invoker as it is: a playable hero. If you don't or you feel like there's something missing here feel free to bring it up and we'll clear it. Big thanks to the joinDota staff who put up the hero wiki which made my life easier while creating this and to everyone who read it! GGHF

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