Time has come to talk about a hero, who has one of the lowest pick rates, but one of the biggest win rates among the greatest Dota 2 ranks. By the time we make this guide, this hero has #1 win rate in the Legend bracket and #2 win rate in Ancient, Divine and Immortal brackets. As you probably have guessed, we are going to talk about Visage.

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Table of contents

Setup

Before you start playing Visage, it is important to open Settings and set up necessary hotkeys. Do not worry, Visage does not require an insane micro skill, but it still would be good to prepare several extra hotkeys to be able to use the hero more effectively.

First of all, make sure to select hotkeys for control groups.

Visage 7.22

It will allow you to bind each Familiar and dominated creep.

The other useful hotkey you can select ‘Select All Other Units’.

Visage 7.22

You can find this option in advanced settings. This hotkey will help you to select all your units without selecting your main hero.

Starting items(midlane)

In our guide, we recommend using the most simple, yet effective starting item build. Ring of Basilious and x2 Iron Branch with the addition of shared Tangoes will give you enough damage and stats to feel comfortable at the beginning of the laning stage. By switching Ring of Basilious on and off you can mess with the last-hitting ability of your opponent.

As an alternative, you can go for the more default build, which is commonly used among midlaner. You can purchase x2 Mantle of Intelligence, Circlet, Faerie Fire and an Iron Branch. This build allows you to get Null Talisman quicker and secure yourself more stats.

As you can see, both builds include an Iron Branch. The biggest strength of Iron Branch is that this item allows you to use a Tango without leaving the lane. It also doubles the effect of the Tango.

Starting items(carry)

As for carry Visage, your goal is to get yourself as much stats and healing items as possible to sustain in the lane comfortable. We recommend buying two sets of Tangoes, Circlet, Mantle of Intelligence, Faerie Fire and an Iron Branch.

Visage 7.22

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.

Visage 7.22

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.

Bring yourself a Healing Salve as soon as possible. Having this consumable in your inventory will allow you to play a lot more aggressively in the lane and not fear to go for HP trades.

Grave Chill is your biggest resource throughout the laning stage and the game overall. Use it on your opponent whenever you need to contest an important last-hit or deny.

Even though we do not suggest getting an early point in Soul Assumption in our guide, it can be quite useful in case you see the opportunity to kill the enemy midlaner. By level 6 you should have either 3/0/2/1 or 3/1/1/1 skill build.

Visage 7.22

Once you get to level 6 your hero becomes a lot stronger. With the help of Familiars, you gain an ability not only an additional killing potential but what is more important - farming potential. Use Familiars to push the lane constantly and farm nearby jungle camps to speed up your item and level progression.

Your goal is to purchase the Helm of the Dominator as fast as possible. This item will significantly improve your killing, pushing and farming abilities.

Once you finish HotD you should start pressuring enemy towers all around the map. Keep in mind that Visage is one of very few heroes, who are able to clear ancient camps starting from the early stage of the game. Make sure to use this ability of Visage to secure yourself some extra gold.

Alpha Wolf is one of the best creeps you can dominate in the early stage of the game. This creep will allow you to push and farm insanely fast.

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Mid-stage of the game(12:00-26:00)

Visage gameplay in the mid-stage is very straight forward. You can describe it in two keywords: push and farm. Encourage your teammates to gather as often as possible to apply pressure on enemy towers. Each tower you destroy will give your team additional gold and territorial advantage. Territorial advantage equals space, space equals more farm on the map.

Use the earned advantage to kill Roshan. Having an Aegis of the Immortal will give your team the upper hand in fights.

Make sure to get yourself a Tome of Knowledge at minute 20. It is very important to use the level 15 ‘+40 XP Gain’ talent effectively.

Visage 7.22

The longer the game progresses towards the end of this stage, the stronger you and your team become. Visage is a great carrier for powerful teamfight oriented items, such as Pipe of Insight, Vladmir’s Offering and Solar Crest. In case your team is in lead, these teamfight items will help you secure easy wins in fights and hopefully, you will gain the ability to finish the game quite early.

Late-stage of the game(26:00-99:59+)

Do you get to this stage? Well… unlucky. Once you master your Visage game-play, you should have no trouble finishing games in the mid-stage of the game.

Nothing changes much from the mid-stage. Keep forcing fights to make your team-fight items works to their best.

In the late-game, you should focus a little more on split pushing. You can use Familiars to push lanes from time to time. Having at least two lanes pushed gives your team a lot of map control. The more map control you have, the easier it is to make a successful gank.

Keep track of the game timer. One of the easiest ways to start a fight is to contest the Bounty Rune.

Do not make unnecessary dives while pushing the enemy base. Play safely and disciplined.

Common mistakes

  1. Focusing too much on killing instead of farming and pushing. The biggest difference between good and bad players is that a good player knows all the strengths of his hero and his winning conditions.
  2. Giving away the earned advantage by making unnecessary dives. As Visage has the ability to destroy towers quickly, in most games you will likely have an advantage over your opponents. Make sure not to give it away by making unnecessary mistakes.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Improve your skills through watching streams, videos or replays of professional players, who pick this hero.
  2. Bind all necessary additional hotkeys to have an easier time controlling your hero and units.

Allies and counters

Visage is more of a last-pick hero. You shouldn’t pick him if you are facing too many heroes, who have the ability to deal with periodic damage. Visage is also not the best hero to pick against Bristleback or Timbersaw, as it is very hard for him to get through their armor.
Visage can benefit a lot from having any heroes, who can boost Familiars one way or another. Drow Ranger and Vengeful Spirit with their passive or Sven and Underlord with their insane Aghanim’s upgrades are very good in combination with Visage.

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