This time we are going to talk about one of the most popular, simplest, and effective Dota 2 midlaners - Zeus.
Zeus is one of those heroes who can deal over 100.000 damage in a game and is not going to be strange. The hero provides an insane amount of magical damage and can provide a lot of impact in fights in all stages of the game, even if he has very few items.
Table of contents
Role in the game
Zeus is usually played in two roles - roamer and midlaner. He often picked as a roamer as a counter to heroes with invisibility, such as Riki, Clinkz, Bounty Hunter, and Sand King. He can significantly decrease the amount of Sentry Wards needed in fights against these heroes.
However, most commonly he is used as a midlaner. In this position, he can get all the necessary items and use them to demolish his opponents with a high amount of magical damage.
The purpose of Zeus in the game is to provide burst damage to kill enemies quickly. Zeus is also very good at defending high ground, as he can get rid of creep waves quickly and win time for his other core heroes to get their farm.
Arc Lightning helps Zeus to clear creep waves and ensure last-hits in the lane. The spell requires only 80 mana to use and has a very long cooldown, so you can spam it very often in mid and late-game fights.
Lightning Bolt is your main source of damage in fights. The spell deals 350 damage at its max levels with a relatively low cooldown. Lightning Bolt also applies mini-stun and can reveal invisible units, including wards.
Static Field is a passive ability, which works whenever Zeus casts his spells. The ability deals damage based on the target's current health in percent. The more health the enemy hero has, the more damage Static Field is going to deal. It makes this spell scale very well in the late-game.
Thundergod’s Wrath is a global ability, which damages enemy heroes all over the map. The spell gives vision on all opponents on the map, which is very good for macro purposes, as you can gain the information about their positioning on the map. It doesn’t reveal opponents in the Smoke of Deceit.
Nimbus is an additional spell of Zeus, which he gains after Aghanim’s Scepter purchase. The spell helps to deal more damage and apply additional mini-stun debuff. The spell is also very good for split-pushing lanes at later stages of the game.
The item build for Zeus is the same just for like any other ranged intelligence midlaner. Many low ranked players make the same mistake by purchasing Clarities or even Gauntlets to get a fast Soul Ring, but that’s a huge mistake.
Zeus has an insane 59 base damage. By getting two Circlets, Mantle of Intelligence, Faerie Fire, and an Iron Branch you can boost this damage by 10. With 69 damage you should have no trouble last-hitting creeps with your attacks, not to mention there is always an opportunity for you to ensure a last-hit with Arc Lightning.
In the early-game, your goal is to get yourself Bottle and follow it up with two Null Talismans and an Arcane Boots.
In the mid-game, you should disassemble Arcane Boots and use its components to complete Aether Lens. Follow it up with Blink Dagger, Boots of Travel and Aghanim’s Scepter.
In the late-game, you are only required to get yourself Octarine Core and Refresher Orb. Aeon Disk might be useful in the late-game as well, make this item against powerful initiators.
The game for Zeus starts just like for any other midlaner - with a creep block. Zeus has an average attack range, it makes him kind of dependent on a good creep block. With the high base damage of Zeus and Arc Lightning, you should have no trouble securing yourself last-hits. Make sure to use Arc Lightning to ensure last-hits of ranged creeps, as they give more gold and experience than melee creeps.
Zeus wants to use spells often, for this reason, he is very dependent on securing power runes in the early stage of the game. Not to mention, Zeus can benefit a lot from most power runes. Whenever a power rune is about to spawn your goal is to push the lane with the help of Arc Lightning in order to gain an advantage over the enemy midlaner for the power rune fight.
Regeneration and Arcane Runes are very good for farming. If you got lucky to get one of these runes you can move to the jungle and stack some neutral camps to farm them. If you get Invisibility or Haste Runes you can consider making a rotation to the nearest side lane.
Zeus is very vulnerable to ganks, so it is very important to ask your teammates to be ready to save you with teleports. It is also very good for Zeus to have vision advantage around the midlane. Once the nighttime is about to begin you should place an Observer Ward around the midlane and also deward enemy Observers with the help of Lightning Bolt.
Two key items for Zeus are Aether Lens and Blink Dagger. As you can guess, the purpose of these items is to improve the poor mobility of Zeus and allow him to use his spells from a safer distance.
Positioning is a key for Zeus in fights. Good positioning may allow Zeus to deal an insane amount of damage in fights. If you get initiated first it often means your team is going to lose a fight right after.
Allies and counters
Zeus is a great counter to illusion based heroes, such as Phantom Lancer or Terrorblade.
The best counters to Zeus are heroes, who can get to him quickly in fights, such as Storm Spirit, Spectre, Anti-Mage and Ember Spirit. The other common counter to Zeus is Templar Assassin, who can demolish him in the lane.