Hello there guys. After a TI break, we are coming back with new guides, which will hopefully help you to become better by playing your favorite heroes.
Today we want to talk about one of the strongest and most impact heroes, which was banned a total of 139 times during the latest The International. As you have guessed, we are going to talk about Alchemist.
Even though this hero was nerf'ed in a post-TI patch, he is still one of the most dangerous and uncomfortable heroes you can play against. His ability to out-farm any other hero makes him special in some sort, as he always forces the enemy team to make risky moves, which most often forces them to make mistakes and lose games very quickly.
Few patches ago we could only see Alchemist’s playing the magical build, but everything changed during the last TI, when teams have started to build him as a physical damage dealer.
If you haven’t decided which build you like the most, you can try both of them by using our in-game steam guides. You can find both magical and physical Alchemist builds by clicking on the links. Subscribe to the guides to be able to use them in your games!
Table of contents
- Early-game, Carry (1:30-12:00)
- Early-game, Midlaner (1:30-12:00)
- Middle stage of the game (12:00-26:00)
- Late-stage of the game (26:00-99:99+)
- Common mistakes
- Tips & Tricks
- Best allies/counters
Early-game, Carry (1:30 - 12:00)
Early-stage of the game is the hardest one for Alchemist. At this stage, this hero is not able neither to kill or even fight anyone, all Alchemist can do is to farm.
To be able to farm effectively, you need to make sure to purchase enough healing items to sustain the laning stage comfortably. Usually, x6 Tangoes in combination with x2 Iron Branches are enough. In some cases, if you are sure enemy heroes will apply a lot of pressure on you in the lane, you might also purchase an additional Healing Salve.
To farm in a safe position, you should learn and actively use a creep aggro trick. To make the enemy creeps run at you, you should use ‘Attack’ command on one of the enemy heroes near the enemy creeps. Drag them as close to yourself as you need to last-hit them in a safe spot.
Do not play too greedy. In case enemy heroes have powerful disables or nukes, it might not be efficient for you to try to last-hit a ranged creep. In most cases, it would be a better idea to ask your lane support to last-hit it with a spell of his.
In most games, you can potentially lose your lane quite heavily - it is not a big deal. If your opponents apply a lot of pressure on you or you no longer feel safe in the lane, just abandon it and move into the jungle. Farm neutral camps with the help of Acid Spray. Farm smartly. Use Acid Spray that way, so you can farm multiple camps at once. Bring yourself Clarities from time to time to be able to use this spell as often as you need.
Make sure to stack jungle camps whenever you can. Ask your teammates to make stacks for you too, as well as to control Bounty Runes. It is your job to remind them to do so. The better communication in your team is, the easier it will be to win the game.
Make sure to bring yourself items on time. It is quite necessary for you to deliver Bracer and Soul Ring fast, as these items will help you to lane and farm comfortably.
Ask your support to place several defensive Observer Wards, which will help you to farm more safely in your jungle. If they are unable to do so, consider buying wards yourself.
Early-game, Midlaner (1:30 - 12:00)
The gameplay of middle Alchemist barely differs from a safelane Alchemist.
As your starting items, you should purchase a Stout Shield, Quelling Blade, Gauntlets of Strength and an Iron Branch. Make sure to ask your support to pull you at least one Tango.
As the laning stage begins, you should instantly bring yourself a Healing Salve. Throughout the laning stage, you should always have a Healing Salve in your inventory. You never know when you will get ganked, or when your opponent will decide to act super aggressively. Healing Salve will always allow you to restore your HP and keep focusing on farming.
For a midlaner, it is very important to learn to use courier effectively. Use courier to deliver yourself items as soon as you buy them. As a midlaner, you have the highest priority to use the courier during the first minutes of the game.
Use Acid Spray to ease the process of farming in the lane. When you are about to get out of mana, bring yourself Enchanted Mango to restore it.
Starting from minute three aim to push the lane with Acid Spray to be able to make stacks in the jungle.
Middle stage of the game (12:00 - 26:00)
By the start of the mid-stage of the game, you must be about to finish Radiance. In case you have a good game, you should already have it.
Do not rush to join fights with Radiance. Even though you are already very strong, you are still very vulnerable. Use Radiance to finish your next key items. Your ideal conditions to start fighting - is when you finish Bkb/Manta + Blink Dagger.
Always pay attention to the mini-map. Look for the movement of your opponents and move accordingly. As an Alchemist, your job is to dodge any unnecessary fights before 18th minute, and then as complete opposite find fights once you are in good conditions.
The biggest strength of Alchemist is his ability to finish his key items very soon. Once you finish your items, you should seek for opportunities to finish the game as quickly as you can. You do not want the game to be too long. Your ideal timing to win the game is in between 18th and 36th minutes.
Encourage your teammates to play actively, use Smokes, kill Roshan and siege towers.
One of the simplest ways to find a fight is to contest Bounty Runes.
Always pay attention to the duration and the cooldown of your ultimate. Chemical Rage is a key spell for you to have in fights. Coordinate your team and ask them to play around you and your cooldowns in fights, as you will always be the most important hero of your team.
Late-stage of the game (26:00 - 99:99+)
Your go time begins here. Beginning of the late stage is your best time to apply pressure on your opponents and hopefully finish the game. Never forget about farming, as there is no such thing as farmed Alchemist unless you have given Aghanim’s upgrades to all your teammates. You should have a perfect balance between fighting and farming.
In case it is too hard for your team to find a fight, you can consider to slowly siege the enemy base with the help of Chemical Rage. It is very important to at least destroy a single enemy tier-3 tower, as it will allow you to destroy enemy shrines afterwards. Without shrines, the enemy team will have a very hard time contesting Roshan or even farming outside their base.
- Giving Aghanim’s to your teammates too early. Before you pull Aghanim’s Scepters to your teammates, you need to make sure you have finished all your key items. Alchemist should never be played from behind, he is meant to dominate in the game.
- Joining fights too early. Do not rush to join fights after you finish Radiance. Radiance is a great fighting tool, but it is also a very powerful farming tool. Use this item to finish your other key items quickly.
- Not making Black King Bar. Alchemist likes to position himself aggressively in the middle of the teamfight, this is why it is important for him to have a Black King Bar to avoid annoying disables.
Tips & Tricks
- Improve your skills through watching streams, videos or replays of professional players, who pick this hero. Miracle and Ana are excellent examples.
- While farming jungle, always aim to use Acid Spray to farm two camps at once.
- In the late game, you can catch your enemies by surprise by simply destroying their base using an insane attack speed of your hero. If you get a Desolator or Divine Rapier and receive a Solar Crest buff, you can potentially demolish the enemy throne within several seconds.
Alchemist hardly has any counters, as this hero was fearlessly picked in the first phase during the past The International.
In the middle lane, he can suffer a lot against a Timbersaw, but then again, he can quickly find his farm in the jungle. Ancient Apparition has always been a decent counter pick to Alchemist, but most of the times he can’t catch up with him and become an easy target for Alchemist once he finishes his key items.
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