Today we are going to talk about one of the simplest and effective supports in Dota 2. Warlock suits new players, as he can be very useful in the lane and then have an insane impact on fights in later stages of the game.
Table of contents
Role in the game
Warlock is purely a support hero. He has long cooldowns on his spells and relies on them a lot. There is no reason to use Warlock in any other role. However, Warlock may work as a midlaner in lower ranks, as he has a lot of sustain and decent base damage.
The purpose of Warlock in the game is to improve the team fight potential of his team, with Fatal Bonds, Upheaval, and Chaotic Offering.
Fatal Bonds binds several targets together, making them take a percentage of the damage dealt to other bound targets. The spell is very good at harassing and team fighting.
Shadow Word allows Warlock one of the best lane supports in the game, as spell allows Warlock to either harass his opponent or heal himself and his teammates.
Upheaval is one of the most annoying slows in the game. It works in a huge AoE, making it impossible for enemy heroes to move around unless they have magic immunity.
Chaotic Offering is a powerful team fight ultimately. On use, it summons Golem and stuns opponents in huge AoE. The ultimate has a long cooldown, so make sure to use it effectively.
On your starting gold, you should get yourself two sets of Tangoes, Healing Salve, Clarity, Enchanted Mango, Faerie Fire, and Sentry Ward. Having a Sentry is very important, as Warlock can benefit a lot from having an unblocked small neutral camp.
In the early-game get yourself Arcane Boots and a Magic Wand. Warlock doesn’t really have problems with mana, but your teammates would love having an additional source of mana.
Your best mid-game item is Glimmer Cape. Warlock lacks defensive potential, so he can benefit a lot from having either Glimmer or Force Staff.
In the late-game, you should purchase Aghanim’s Scepter and Refresher Orb and you are good to go.
So first off, Warlock can’t provide much during the Bounty Rune fight, neither can he help his carry to ensure last-hits.
Get Fatal Bonds on level 1 and use it to bind offlaner, roamer, and several creeps. Harass opponents using your large attack distance.
Check whether the small neutral camp is blocked. If it is, use Sentry Ward to deward and unblock it. Pull, harass your opponents, heal your carry. Try not to die during the laning stage.
Warlock is not very good at rotations. He has no direct disables aside from his ultimate. However, thanks to Shadow Word Warlock is very good at saving his teammates. Keep an eye on the mini-map and be ready to save your teammates with defensive teleports.
Warlock is a team fight oriented hero. Once you reach level 6 your goal is to gather up with your teammates and start playing around key objectives. Play one objective after another. Use the ulti to win a fight -> take tower -> wait for the ultimate cooldown -> repeat.
Pay attention to your positioning. Warlock is not supposed to die often. Your goal is to stay behind and use your three key spells in the fight: Fatal Bonds, Chaotic Offering and Upheaval.
Allies and counters
Warlock works best in combination with heroes, who deal damage in AoE. Spectre and Warlock is a known deadly duo. Warlock is also great in combination with other greedy safelane cores, such as Morphling or Terrorblade.
Best counters to Warlock are mobile heroes, or heroes, who can dispel Fatal Bonds debuff, such as Legion Commander, Abaddon, Omniknight, or Storm Spirit.