Today we will talk about the midlaner, who is very popular among players in lower and mid ranks. He is very simple, very strong and can have a major impact in the mid and late stages of the game. The hero of our today's discussion is Sniper.
Table of contents
- Starting Items
- Early-stage of the game(-1:30-12:00)
- Mid-stage of the game(12:00-26:00)
- Late-stage of the game(26:00-99:59+)
- Common mistakes
- Tips & Tricks
- Allies and counters
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Sniper has a very good attack animation, but a very low starting damage. To be able to last-hit creeps and harass your opponents in the lane you should buy items, which will increase your damage output.
You should buy x3 Slippers of Agility, a Faerie Fire and an Iron Branch. Of course, you should nicely ask your supports to pull you at least one Tango.
Early-stage of the game(-1:30-12:00)
For a midlaner, laning stage starts with a creep block. Good or bad creep block can potentially decide an overall outcome of the laning stage. Do your best to block creeps as efficiently as possible.
If you play for Radiant, you should always try to perform ‘Arteezy block’. To make it, you should go to the small texture shown in the screenshot.
By moving to the top of this texture, you will make creeps walk in one direction, and it will be easier for you to block them.
The first thing you need to do at the beginning of the laning stage is to check the items of your opponent. Use gathered information to your advantage. If the enemy midlaner has a very low amount of healing items, with a little pressure, you will be able to zone him out of the lane.
It is very important to skill Headshot at level 1. This ability will help you to have an easier time last-hitting and harassing your opponents. Try always to trade hits with your opponent and be as annoying as possible. Thanks to the knockback of Headshot your opponents will have a hard time fighting you.
Get Take Aim at level 2 and keep being as annoying as possible. Constantly hit your opponent to make him bring additional regen.
Every time you get gold for Wraith Band components you should immediately buy and bring them with the help of courier. Each WB you deliver will help you demolish your opponent in the lane. The faster you bring an item, the sooner you will benefit from having it.
If you lane against a melee hero, you have to start maxing Shrapnel after you reach level 3. In case you lane against a ranged hero, you can consider maxing Take Aim and Headshot instead. It is very effective in games versus Huskar and Outworld Devourer.
Once you reach level 4, wait for the correct timing, use Shrapnel to push the lane and stack the nearby jungle camp. Use Shrapnel to farm it. You should find all the ways to improve your farming potential.
Try not to make any unnecessary rotations, unless you managed to get yourself a good power rune, such as Haste or Invisibility. Other than that, make rotations to other lanes only with the Town Portal Scroll exclusively to save your teammates.
If you do everything correctly, by the end of the early stage of the game you should have x3 Wraith Band, Hand of Midas and Boots of Speed. If you do everything very well, you should also have Power Treads instead of regular boots.
Mid-stage of the game(12:00-26:00)
At the beginning of the mid-stage of the game, your job is to use Midas to farm Maelstorm quickly. Then with the help of Maelstorm, you should farm some more to get yourself a Dragon Lance. Use Shrapnel to increase your farming speed. Use this spell to give vision, farm two neutral camps at once or to make stacks. Try always to keep at least one charge of Shrapnel unused in case fight happens.
Once you have all your key items, such as; Power Treads, Maelstorm, Dragon Lance, Hand of Midas and x2 Wraith Band, you should start playing actively around the map. Encourage your teammates to use Smoke of Deceit to force teamfights or make key kills. Siege enemy Towers, with the help of Dragon Lancer and maxed Take Aim you can hit enemy Towers safely from a long distance.
There are never enough items for Sniper to become unbeatable. You should always find time to farm neutrals and push side-lanes.
The longer the game goes, the more attention you need to pay to your positioning. Sniper is a squishy hero, who can deal a large amount of damage in fights. You should never get caught out of position. Try to position yourself behind the other cores of your team. In case enemy heroes have lots of Blink or other mobility spells and items, consider not joining the fight right away. Wait for a little for your opponents to waste their spells and only then reveal yourself and start attacking.
Late-stage of the game(26:00-99:59+)
The greatest weaknesses of Sniper is that he can not win games by himself. Sniper relies a lot on his teammates. Try to move mostly as five and play around the key objectives of the game, such as Towers, Roshan and Bounty Runes.
Make sure to ask your teammates always to frontline for you. Not under any circumstances Sniper can go first and lead his team.
Encourage your teammates to split push lanes. If you want to do it yourself, use Shrapnel to push lanes from a distance. If your team manages to push two out of three lanes, it means you gain a lot of map control. With more map control, it is very easy to make a successful gank.
- Not buying early cheap-effective items. Sniper has quite poor damage and attributes gain, this is why it is very important to boost his early stats with several Wraith Bands.
- Making unnecessary rotations. Sniper is very dependent on his levels and items. Try to avoid making rotations, unless you were lucky to find a useful power rune.
- Poor positioning. Sniper is very squishy but very powerful at the same time. Make sure to position yourself behind the other cores of your team.
Tips & Tricks
Improve your skills through watching streams, videos or replays of professional players, who pick this hero. Best to follow are Matumbaman and Ori.
If the opponent tries to juke, you can keep a vision on him with the help of Assassinate or Shrapnels.
If you play from behind and locked in the base, do not be afraid to purchase Divine Rapier. Since it is very hard to dive Sniper, you can potentially turn the game around after a few fights.
Allies and counters
Sniper is good to pick when you have a frontliner in your team and the enemy team is lacking mobile heroes, who can get to you quickly.
Sniper is a good counter pick to Outworld Devourer and other similar heroes, as he can outrange and destroy them in the lane.
The most powerful counters to Sniper are heroes, who can jump and burst him down in fights. These heroes are Spectre, Storm Spirit and Phantom Assassin.
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