With the addition of the Anti-Mage persona, it is the best time to talk about one of the strongest and most iconic heroes of the game. We hope this guide is going to help you understand the hero better.
Table of contents
Role in the game
Anti-Mage is purely a carry hero. In some very rare cases, he may also stay in the mid, as he can lane quite well against some melee heroes, such as Ember Spirit or Void Spirit.
From time to time you may also see some enthusiasts play in the roamer position, however, Anti-Mage is the most dangerous in the role of a carry.
The purpose of Anti-mage in the game is to farm his items quickly and then use his high net worth to get an advantage in the game.
Mana Break burns an opponent’s mana on each attack and also deals bonus damage based on mana burned. The spell helps Anti-Mage to apply a lot of pressure on the enemy offlaner in the lane and significantly increases his killing potential in later stages of the game. The ability works best in combination with Manta Style.
Blink is Anti-Mage’s utility and escape tool. The ability helps Anti-Mage to move faster around the map, increasing his farming and split-pushing potential.
Counterspell is your defensive tool. The spell passively increases magic resistance, as well as can be activated to dodge any incoming target spells.
Mana Void is your killing tool. The spell deals damage based on the missing mana of a target. The more mana your enemy is missing, the more damage dealt. Damage is dealt in a decent AoE, so potentially you can kill several heroes at once. Mana Void applies mini-stun, which means you can use it to cancel teleports.
The item build for Anti-Mage is very straightforward, especially in the early and mid-stages of the game. You are always going to go for Battle Fury and Manta Style, and only then you can think about going for different items, depending on your situation in the game.
At the beginning of the game, you should purchase a Healing Salve, a set of Tangoes, a Circlet, a Quelling Blade, and two Iron Branches.
In the early-game, your goal is to get yourself a Wraith Band, a Ring of Health, a Power Treads, and a Magic Wand. In case you have a free lane you can consider skipping a Magic Wand in order to purchase Battle Fury faster.
In the mid-game, as you have guessed, you have to do everything possible to purchase Battle Fury and Manta Style as fast as you can.
In the late-game is where the fun begins. Anti-Mage has many good late-game items. First off, it is always a great idea to go straight for Butterfly in case you play against heroes, who deal a lot of physical damage. In case you play mostly against heroes with magical damage, you can go straight for the Abyssal Blade. In most games going for Butterfly, Abyssal Blade and Eye of Skadi is going to be great.
Anti-Mage has very simple, yet very hard gameplay. The gameplay of Anti-Mage is mostly focused on farming but you are very wrong if you think that it is easy. Anti-Mage should farm very carefully to avoid any deaths and get his key items as quickly as possible.
During the laning stage, your goal is to farm creeps safely while also using any opportunity to harass your opponents and burn their mana.
Anti-Mage is quite weak in the lane and in the early stage of the game. This is why it is very important to pay close attention to the mini-map and avoid any incoming ganks. Once the laning stage ends, your goal is to find yourself the safest place on the map to farm. Encourage your teammates to destroy the enemy offlane tier-1 towers, so that you can have access to the enemy jungle.
Look at the fights, especially if the fight takes place around ally towers. Even though it is hard for you to join a fight, you can potentially get a kill or two with the help of Mana Void. It will significantly increase your item progression.
Once you get yourself a Battle Fury and Manta Style you can start joining fights more regularly. However, you are nowhere around your good conditions yet. To be able to fearlessly demolish your opponents, you have to finish Abyssal Blade and Butterfly or Eye of Skadi, depending on a situation in the game.
Basically, your whole gameplay is based around your items and the time you get them. Got a Battle Fury? You can start farming ancients actively. Finished Manta Style? Now you can join fights more often and kill supports quickly. Got an Abyssal Blade? Well, finally you are able to fight on a constant basis and be a real treat for the enemy cores.
Allies and counters
Anti-Mage is a great counter pick to mobile heroes and intelligence heroes. He is always good to pick in case the enemy team barely has any pushing potential.
Good counters to Anti-Mage in the lane are Legion Commander and Slardar. Both of them can destroy him in the lane quite easily.