We continue to make guides to the strongest heroes of a current patch. Time has come to talk about a hero, who can crush pretty much any other opponent in the middle lane. Huge buffs to one of his spells made him an unstoppable killing machine. Today we will talk about Viper.
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Table of contents
Role in the game
As we said in the intro, Viper is indeed one of the strongest midlaners of a current patch. He can lane very well against any other hero in Dota 2. After a huge buff to Poison Attack in 7.23, Viper became viable in all positions. You hear it right, he is not only decent at carry/offlane roles, but may also play as a soft or hard supports. Moreover, with changes to Nethertoxin, he can potentially play even as a juggler, even though this role has died long ago.
The strength of Viper is his lane presence and insanely powerful scaling towards the late-game. With attack speed, attack range, and bonus damage talents, Viper can provide an insane amount of physical damage in fights.
- Poison Attack is Viper’s strongest harassing tool. By getting 5 stacks of Poison Attack on your opponent you can deal a tremendous amount of damage. The greatest thing about Poison Attack is that this spell is an Auto-cast ability, which means you can use it to harass your opponents without dragging the creep aggro on yourself.
- Nethertoxin is the greatest counter to heroes with powerful passive spells in the game. Nethertoxin is good for farming and split pushing. Once you reach level 25, this ability becomes one of the strongest in the game, as it almost imitates a Disruptor ultimate, with way lower cooldown.
- Corrosive Skin makes Viper a very strong laner, as this spell makes it very hard to trade HP with him. Attack slow de-buff, as well as damage over time, can be very annoying to deal with in the lane. This spell also provides a lot of bonus magic resistance.
- Viper Strike is the last and the ultimate ability of Viper. This ability deals a lot of magical damage and applies a huge movement and attack slow de-buff.
Viper is one a very few midlaners, who needs to purchase at least one Enchanted Mango in the lane. The reasoning of it is that you really want to hit your opponent with Poison Attack as often as possible. Make sure to bring additional Enchanted Mango whenever your mana is dropping too low. Other than Enchanted Mango, you should also purchase an Iron Branch, Faerie Fire and regular Circlet and Slippers of Agility for extra stats.
Make sure to purchase two Wraith Bands and a Magic Wand in the early stage of the game. Additional stats provided by these items are going to allow you to play very aggressively and apply a lot of pressure on your opponents.
The two key items you should purchase on Viper are Dragon Lance and Maelstrom. Both of these items stack very well with level 10 and level 15 talents of Viper, which grants him additional attack speed and attack range.
As Viper is very immobile it is quite necessary to get a Black King Bar and a Hurricane Pike in later stages of the game. Finish your item build with Mjollnir, Butterfly and Satanic and destroy your opponents.
The game for a midlaner starts with a creep block. Good or bad creep block can potentially decide the outcome of the laning stage. If you play for the Radiant, you should always try to perform ‘Arteezy block’. To make it, you should go to the small texture shown in the screenshot.
Coming to the lane start to play as aggressively as possible right away. Select an aggressive position and hit the enemy player with Poison Attack as often as you can. Aim to get five stacks of Poison Attack on him and refresh it with the extra hits of this ability.
Keep destroying your opponent in the lane while bringing yourself all the necessary early items. One of the biggest mistakes you can make by playing a Viper is to waste your resources on destroying the enemy tower too early. Use siege creep to deal damage to the tower, other than that do not bother wasting your time on it. After you finish level 6 or 7 aim to push the lane and farm nearby jungle camps.
Starting from 9:20 start moving towards one of the side lanes to secure an Outpost and Bounty Runes. Right after that, you can either use the siege creep on your current lane or teleport back to the middle lane to use siege creep there to destroy the enemy tower.
Do not waste your time running around the map too much. Viper is a very slow hero. If you want to make a rotation to the other lane, think of it in advance. Move slowly towards the lane you want to gank while also farming neutral camps on your way.
Keep in mind that with the help of Dragon Lance you can easily destroy all tier-1 towers, as you can attack them outside of their attack range.
After you finish your key items, such as Dragon Lance and Maelstrom you should aim to play around the key objectives of the game, such as Outposts, Roshan, Towers and Bounty Runes. Ask your teammates to use smokes as often as possible to initiate fights. You should try to use the gained early advantage to secure as much map control as you can.
Focus on using your ultimate on enemy cores, as this ability significantly slows down attack speed it can help to prevent them from killing anyone.
Pay attention to your positioning in fights. Viper is no squishy hero, but he is very immobile. If you get caught out of position it is going to be very hard for you to escape.
It is very important to use Nethertoxin effectively. In most games it is very likely you are going to face at least one hero with a powerful passive ability. Use Nethertoxin to disable it.
Viper’s best timing to win the game is around 22nd to 36th minute. In this time, Viper can finish his key items and use his early advantage to win many fights and secure a decent map control.
Allies and counters
Just like any other ranged core, Viper can benefit a lot from having a strong frontliner, such as Centaur Warrunner or Brewmaster.
He works great with Vengeful Spirit and Drow Ranger, as he can benefit a lot from their auras.
The biggest counters to Viper in the lane are Lina and Broodmother. Even though Viper is very strong in HP trade, Lina can still out harass him by using the Light Strike Array effectively. Broodmother is able to outfarm Viper by a lot and then bully him all throughout the game.