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[Pudge] - Butcher Guide by Bengal_Tigger


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#1 Bengal_Tigger

Bengal_Tigger

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:18 PM

Guide to Pudge the Butcher

IPB Image

By Bengal_Tigger

Version 6.37 -- 6.49 6.61b

Everyone's favorite guide is finally updated again.  =)

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Why Pudge?

I'll give you some more great reasons in a second.  But right now, you should take a look at these videos and maybe you will start to understand the excitement of this fabulous Hero.

First Pudge Video

Second Pudge Video

Third Pudge Video

Summary of the First Three

Most Recent Pudge Video

Can't believe your eyes?  Can't wait to start doing that yourself?  Great!  This Guide can help you a lot, so let's get started.


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Contents

1. Description
2.      Overview of Abilities
3. Skill build
4. Item build
5. Overall Strategy
6. Specific Strategy
7. Screenshots
8. Placing Observer Wards
9. Best Allies, Weakest Enemies and Toughest Enemies
10.           Replays and the Practice Your Pudge map


1. Description

He’s back, and he’s as ugly and fat as ever.

Strength: 25 + 3.2
Agility:  14 + 1.5
Intelligence: 14 + 1.5

625 hp
182 mana
52-58 damage
1 armor

285 movespeed
1.46 base attack time
Attack range of 128 (melee)

Pros

1.  Good hero-killing combination of abilities
2.  High strength, and able to gain more with Flesh Heap
3.  Abilities are useful in team situations
4.  Hook can win games by initiating fights


Cons

1.  Unimpressive agility and intelligence
2.  Low armor
3.  Low movement speed and attack rate
4.  Melee hero
5.  Weaker towards the late game
6.  Abilities are often not enough to kill an enemy without help



So, you may be thinking, Pudge has a lot of downsides.  Am I sure I want to play him?  I'm not going to lie.  Pudge isn't a top pick in leagues, and he isn't easy.  But he remains one of the most satisfying heroes to play, and I believe he still can fill a role in anything less than the most competitive matches.


2. Abilities

IPB Image Meat Hook [T]

Launches a bloody hook at a unit or location. The hook will snag the first target encounters, dealing damage then dragging the victim back to the Butcher.  Costs 140 mana at all levels, cooldown of 14.

Level 1 - 400 range, 100 damage.
Level 2 - 600 range, 200 damage.
Level 3 - 800 range, 300 damage.
Level 4 - 1000 range, 400 damage.

Notes:

- Physical damage type
- Inflicts a mini-stun on enemies
- Passes through trees, cliffs, buildings and siege creeps
- Can hit allies; allies will not be damaged or stunned, only pulled by the hook
- Hits invisible units


IPB Image Rot [R]

Pudge releases the disease and filth inside of him, dealing intense damage to and slowing surrounding enemies while hurting Pudge as well.

Level 1 - 25 damage/second.
Level 2 - 50 damage/second.
Level 3 - 75 damage/second.
Level 4 - 100 damage/second.

Notes:

- Magical damage type
- Can be turned on mid-Dismember
- Can't be turned off if you are silenced!
- You can kill yourself with this ability
- Hits invisible units


IPB Image Flesh Heap [F]

Pudge is made of innumerable rotting corpses, giving him extra protection against spells as well as the chance to add more to his bulk.  (Adds more for heroes; hero-kill values in parentheses)

Level 1 - 4% magic reduction, .04 (0.9) Str bonus per kill.
Level 2 - 8% magic reduction, .08 (1.2) Str bonus per kill.
Level 3 - 12% magic reduction, .09 (1.5) Str bonus per kill.
Level 4 - 16% magic reduction, .12 (1.8) Str bonus per kill.

Notes:

- Spell resistance stacks with items
- Denies and illusions add strength
- Killing yourself with Rot does not count


IPB Image Dismember [D]

Chows down on a target, causing excruciating pain.
Lasts 3 seconds (on heroes) at all levels.
Channeling.

Level 1 - 75 (75 + 0.75 * strength) damage/second.
Level 2 - 125 (125 + 0.75 * strength) damage/second.
Level 3 - 175 (175 + 0.75 * strength) damage/second.

Notes:

- Magical damage type
- Disable works on magic immune heroes (damage does not)
- Will continue to hold + damage a hero if they become invisible mid-spell
- Requires channeling
- Upgradeable with Aghanim's Scepter to increase damage (upgrade values shown in parentheses)
- Scepter upgrade causes Dismember to heal Pudge for an equal amount
- Mana cost of 100/130/170, cooldown of 30 seconds


3. Skill Build

1. Rot
2. Meat Hook
3. Meat Hook
4. Rot
5. Meat Hook
6. Dismember
7. Meat Hook
8. Rot
9. Rot
10. Flesh Heap
11. Dismember
12. Flesh Heap
13. Flesh Heap
14. Flesh Heap
15. Stats
16. Dismember
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats


I think the build order is pretty clear and intuitive.  You need Hook and Rot maxed to be effective early.   Then get Flesh Heap after.

The only thing I'd consider doing differently is getting Flesh Heap (1 point) at level 2 or level 4.  And then going on to max Hook at 7 and Rot at 10.  Why?  Hero kills give 0.9 strength with just 1 point in Flesh Heap, and you're likely to get a few before you reach level 10.  It's up to you whether you want to do this or not, as it does delay Rot.  I don't do this.


4. Item Build


Basic start


IPB ImageIPB Image Ancient Tango of Essifation x2
IPB ImageIPB Image Gauntlet of Strength x2
IPB ImageIPB Image Ironwood Branch x2



This is a solid start.  Tangos give you the ability to stay in lane long enough to get your Bottle (hopefully).  Gauntlets and Branches help you last hit, and the Gauntlets will be used for Bracers later.

I choose not to rush Bottle because a naked Bottle is inferior.  You don't need the mana it provides early on, and if you don't leave lane to get Runes it will only provide 405 hit points versus 690 on the Tangos.  The Gauntlets add survivability as well, and more importantly damage for last hits, and will be used in Bracers eventually so the starting build isn't a total waste.


Core Items


IPB Image Empty Bottle
IPB Image Boots of Speed
IPB ImageIPB Image Bracer x2
  • Empty Bottle is the most important part of the Pudge build.  Use it to monopolize runes and keep your health and mana up for frequent ganks.

  • Bracers - Convert your 2 Gauntlets into Bracers for useful stat bonuses.
Core Extension


IPB Image Phase Boots
IPB Image Hood of Defiance
IPB Image Observer Wards
  • Phase Boots - So cheap and effective, they're basically core as well.  More armor, which Pudge needs, plus movement speed for chasing with Rot or positioning for a Hook.  Excellent purchase.

  • Hood of Defiance - I finally broke down and decided to give Hood a serious chance - and it's awesome.  The damage reduction in Rot and life regeneration is really noticeable, and you can use Rot as a farming tool almost at will.  Additionally, the current meta-game is quite spell-dependent, meaning your Hood will go a long way towards saving your life in a hairy situation.

  • Observer Wards are extremely useful because they can spot unsuspecting heroes for your hooks and Runes for your Bottle.  They can also see ganks on you or allies, and are just generally very useful items.  You always see them in league games, and there’s a reason for it.  Knowing the enemy’s location and the location of Runes are two very powerful things.  Make sure to Ward the Runes so you can keep refilling your Bottle.  Use Sentries if the enemy has Wards that you'd like to take out.
Luxury


IPB Image Khadgar's Pipe of Insight
IPB Image Heart of Tarrasque

These are outside the realm of what you will be able to farm in most games, but are worth mentioning just in case.  Pudge isn't a carry hero and shouldn't try to be one, but I guess anything's possible in public games, right?

Khadgar's Pipe is a great addition against caster teams.  It can really turn the tide of a team fight, giving Pudge a great way to contribute.

Heart obviously makes you a huge tank (and lets you keep Rot on indefinitely), and you can consider Assault Cuirass or Shiva's afterward for more team support.

Note for Aegis - If your team kills Roshan, please let your carry hero have the Aegis.  Don't take it.

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Spell resistance on items and Flesh Heap

Resistance with Planeswalker's Cloak - 36.25%
Resistance with Flesh Heap (max) - 37%
Resistance with Cloak and Flesh Heap - 46.4%
Resistance with only Hood - 47.25%
Resistance with Hood and Flesh Heap - 55.9%



5. Walkthrough Strategy:


Pudge’s role is that of the assassin-support-tank, a rather unique role.  He is a ganking predator for a large part of the game, then becomes an initiator support Hero that uses Hook to take out dangerous enemy Heroes before the team fights actually start.  He can also help tank in a long game.

Early game – Levels 1-7

At first, you basically sit in your lane getting last hits.  Go top or bottom (not mid) and don't solo.  Try to get enough last hits to get Bottle by level 5 or 6, without endangering your life.  Buy it at your Circle of Power in case you die.

You and your ally should feel free to get aggressive if you have a strong lane partner like Alchemist or Crystal Maiden.  Chase with Rot, whack them when ally stuns, hit a short-range lower-level Hook, try for a kill.  Simple stuff.

I cut a lot of this section out because there's really not a lot to say here.

Mid game – Levels 7-14

I usually leave my side lane at level 6 or 7.  I really prefer to have Hook maxed out, but sometimes you have to leave early and try for a kill somewhere.  If there's free farm to be had, though, I'll stay through level 7 for sure until an ally can pick up the lane.

Now run around the map ganking enemies.  You aren't the king of the world, though, so make sure you involve your allies.  Pudge can solo kill if you execute it perfectly on a low-hp hero or a non-strength hero who didn't buy Bracers, but it's just much, much easier to bring your allies.  If they get the kill, that's fine.  You don't need the extra cash.

Don't sit in a lane after this point.  Carry TP scrolls and save towers / farm waves that way, or do a neutral camp if it's nearby and you have a Rune to waste, but remember that farming is NOT a priority for you.

Also, make sure to repeatedly kill a dangerous late-game hero that quietly farms - i.e. the other team's carry.  It’s often easy to overlook these heroes and you’ll pay later on for ignoring them.

What if they have wards?

Buy some fucking counter-Wards, you dweeb.

Abuse the runes

This is a good time to reiterate that you should be taking full advantage of your Bottle.  In between ganks, travel via the rivers and pick up ALL runes you see with your Bottle (unless a nearby ally could put it to better use, in which case notify him of it).  Consider putting Wards on the runes to constantly be aware of which runes are where (they spawn every multiple of 2:00 on the game clock).  With runes returning a full Bottle after being used, you may not need to fountain trip for quite a while.  (And if you do fountain trip, refill your Bottle, then use it immediately and refill it a second time.  That heals you faster and cuts down your fountain trip time.)


Late game – Levels 14-18

Support your allies.  Use Hook + Dismember to instantly take out the most dangerous enemy before a team fight starts (it’s hard to expect your combo alone to kill them at this point in the game, but your allies can pound the enemy hero during the 3 second Dismember), giving you a quick advantage.  It's important to know who that is.  It can often be someone with an AoE ulti or AoE disable, like Enigma or CM.  Or, it could be the enemy team's carry hero - the Clinkz/Viper/whoever that spent all game farming and deals 500 damage per hit.  He's a terrific choice because, like the name suggests, he's supposed to be carrying his team.  If he's dead right off the bat, the enemy team will lose.  Another way to think about it is to imagine all possible groups of 4 enemy heroes and leave the least dangerous foursome alone.

The most important thing is to Hook SOMEONE, though, if the positioning is advantageous for your team.  Sometimes you will only have an opportunity to Hook one Hero who is NOT the carry or anything, but do it anyway.  5v4 is really good.  Ater you do this Hook and quick kill, the enemy team will often not sit back and defend at a tower, but charge in to try to save their ally.  This is to your advantage; your team should win the fight unless you have been outfarmed / outplayed prior to this point.

Incidentally, you often won't level past 18 or so.  Hence the 14-18.  If you level more, then good for you.  Have a cookie.

In a very long game, you may be able to tank for your team.  Tanking is really easy because you don't have to do any work, so I won't talk about it.  Use Rot if you can, but it has a small radius so don't get in too far trying to get yourself in melee range of enemies.

Moving on.


6. Specific Strategy:

This is where you find out exactly how to kill a hero, as well as use your skills more effectively.

Rot IPB Image


Chasing - As mentioned in the Early Game section, Rot can be used to chase a running hero while causing damage.  There is an excellent tactic you can use when doing this.  Rot slows by 20%, so you can quickly run next to or slightly ahead of the running hero and attack them once.  During this time they will push back in front, but will still be under the effects of Rot.  Do not attack a second time, but instead continue chasing until you are level with them again and can attack again.  This is an easy way of increasing overall chase damage dealt.

Ganking - Rot is also very good for ganking enemies.  You can continually slow the target hero while your allies pound him.  Just remember not to attack unless you’ve moved slightly AHEAD of the enemy hero (or unless you have Phase Boots and he's slow), or else he might get out of range.  It may be best to just run level with him to keep him slowed for your team.

Farming - Rot SHOULD be used to farm.  I didn't think it was worthwhile in the past,  but it is, especially with the advent of LC and lag-free games.  It can give your last-hitting that little extra punch early on.  Just tap it on right BEFORE you attack, then tap it off when your attack lands.

You can also counter-push a lane with some quick Rot action to defend a tower and make some quick cash if your carry hero can't make it there at the time.  (Don't steal creeps from your carry unless you absolutely need that creep to finish an item.)

With Hood, you can go nuts with the Rot-farm if you want.  Really nice on neutrals; frequently I'll go up to a Centaur camp, turn on Rot, and Dismember the big guy.  They both die.

Suiciding - Rot can also be used to Suicide.  If you’re in trouble and think you’re going to die, try turning on Rot, timing it just right so that Rot kills you instead of the enemy.  This denies them gold and experience and also frustrates them.  Plus, it maintains any kill streak you had.

Caution - Doom and Silence prevent you from turning off Rot.  If you are caught with Rot on when one of these skills is cast upon you, it can mean taking a LOT of extra damage and dying in a situation in which you would otherwise have easily lived.  I recommend not using Rot at all when fighting a Doombringer with his ulti up, unless you are sure he is going to be silenced or disabled and unable to Doom you.

Flesh Heap IPB Image


Denying - Denying does add strength via Flesh Heap.  Deny creeps as much as you can once you have Heap!  Your carry may want to farm and ask you not to take his creeps if you're nearby, but you can just deny the allied creeps and leave him the enemy ones.  Note: I am not sure if denying allied heroes adds strength.  My guess is it does.

Dismember IPB Image


Combination - Dismember is a basic element in your bread-and-butter combo of Meat Hook + Rot + Dismember.  While chasing with Rot, you can Dismember for bonus damage, making your kill easier and, if used to finish them off, can deny the chance to stun you or Sunder you or something awful.  Dismember is also terrific in team situations, providing 3 full seconds for your allies to beat up on the unfortunate hero.

Pierces Magic Immune - Dismember goes through magic immunity.  It doesn’t deal damage, but it does hold the hero for 3 seconds.  Extremely useful in team situations when an enemy has magic immunity.

Casting Range - Dismember's casting range isn't actually melee.  It's slightly longer.  Why is this important?  Well, it means you can Dismember a hero that isn't RIGHT next to you.  This can be useful if you're trying to land Dismember for allies or something, but it can also be very bad if you are trying to hurt them with Rot because they will be out of range.  If you do Dismember them out of Rot range, please notice that they aren't being hurt by Rot and turn Rot off to save yourself some hit points.  But it would be better if you didn't Dismember them out of Rot range in the first place.  So, try to chase a little extra with Rot before Dismembering so they will definitely be in proper range.  Also, if you Hook an enemy (and they don't have Blink or a disable of some kind) give an order to chase for a second with Rot just to make sure you stay close to them while you are hitting the hotkey for Dismember.

Caution - Don’t Dismember Roshan.  It does practically nothing to him.  And “Mmm…Fresh Meat…” can actually be a tip-off to the other team and they will be there before your allies even get a chance to yell at you for being so foolish.  That really happened to me once.  It was unpleasant.


Guide continues in the next post with Meat Hook Specific Strategy.

Edited by Bengal_Tigger, 29 July 2009 - 11:01 AM.


#2 Bengal_Tigger

Bengal_Tigger

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:35 PM

Guide continues here with Meat Hook Specific Strategy.

Meat Hook IPB Image


I will break down this section into subsections for easy reference.

Basic Hook Combo

You need fast fingers to pull off your combination.  After you Hook, while the Hook is coming back to you, turn on Rot.  This is important.  Turn on Rot before Hook is done.  After the enemy Hero is reeled in, chase him for a second with Rot on to make sure he'll be in Rot's range for the whole Dismember (assuming he won't blink away or anything).  Then, Dismember the (probably disoriented) hero.  If it doesn’t kill him, you can chase with Rot for the finish.  If the enemy has a disable and a decent amount of hit points and is likely to survive Dismember, stun you and escape, bring an ally along or be prepared to Hook a second time.

Hooking Stationary Enemies

This is relatively easy to do.  The enemy isn't moving!  They need to be unsuspecting for this to happen, so usually you need to sneak up on them through the forest when they're in a lane to get one of these, although it can also work if they are distracted by, say, an ally of yours that they are fighting.

Hooking Moving Enemies

This is why Pudge is especially fun to play.  Hooking moving enemies requires you to THINK, and I love thinking.

Point Blank Meat Hook - Okay, so this is the way to Hook a moving hero for someone who doesn't want to think.  Not that that's necessarily bad, because if you miscalculate a long Hook you'll miss.  This is often done while you are chasing with Rot and need an extra punch.  Meat Hook is almost guaranteed to hit and makes for a nice finisher.  This can be worth trying if you are having trouble landing longer-range Meat Hooks for whatever reason, but I find it to be a worse tactic overall.  You don't get the surprise element and the enemy is likely to be near a creep wave, so he could certainly turn the tables on you.  Worse, if he runs before you get close to him you have relinquished all advantage and must either give up on the kill or risk missing with Hook.  He will be on the lookout and try to dodge, and if you miss then he may be able to really pound you.  So, you may want to consider longer range hooks.

Manipulating the Terrain - If you are worried about an enemy juking you, or simply that you will miss because there are several possible paths a Hero could take, wait to Hook until the enemy is at a point where he really only has one option for where to go.  The narrow ramps all along the river are perfect.  It becomes a lot easier to predict the enemy's exact path.  However, it is not always possible to get a Hook at one of these locations.  When it isn't possible, I recommend waiting until the last possible second to launch your Hook, unless you think you will have time to launch another after it cools down.  Enemies often feel safe once they approach an allied tower and they do not think to juke.  Furthermore, once they are in a sort of set path back to base along a lane, it is reasonable to assume that they will be running straight towards the base and have no reason to stop.  This is even more true if there is an ally chasing them.  Letting the enemy hero fall into a sort of "easy escape path" will allow you to land a Hook on them much more easily.

Also, position yourself to try to get the best angle possible when Hooking a moving Hero, especially if the enemy knows you are there and trying to Hook them.  If an enemy Hero is running away and you are directly behind them, don't Hook straight in front of you.  Small terrain deformations and kinks in the enemy Hero's path actually give your Hook a decent chance of missing.  Step slightly to the side so you aren't running directly behind them but rather off to the side a little.  Then you can Hook at a small angle.  Even 15 degrees is enough to make a difference, and it really does increase the chance that you will connect.


Miscellaneous and USEFUL Advice about Hooking

The Ally-Saving Meat Hook - The good Pudge player is always prepared to rescue his ally from a dangerous situation.  If there's only one enemy, pull the hero attacking your ally to you with a Meat Hook and turn your combo for a kill and a save.  However, there may be multiple heroes attacking your ally, in which case your best bet is to hook your ally himself.  He won’t take any damage.  While he’s running, if you aren’t scared of the ganking heroes, you can try to slow them down with Rot/Dismember and you may even score a kill.  If you think they might kill you, though, you’d better do the same as your ally and run.

The Blind Hook - Meat Hook can hit a hero that you can't see due to invisibility or line of sight.  It will still deal damage and bring the Hero to you.  Trace the Hero's projected path in your head.  It's the same sort of anticipation you would use to Hook any moving Hero, but taken to the next level because you can't actually see them.  Aim Hook ahead of the Hero in his imagined path, so it will collide with him as he keeps moving and go for it.  There are some screenshots demonstrating this in the Screenshots section.  Being able to judge a Hero's path is something that you will simply get better at as you play more DotA and more Pudge.

Click on the ground, not the hero - Don’t click on the hero, especially when trying to hit a moving target.  This will result in a miss VERY often.  ALMOST ALL THE TIME.  Click on the ground near the hero, or if they are moving click on the ground in front of them.  If they are very devious, they may try to run in zig-zags or other tricky patterns.  There are several ways to deal with this.  One, try to figure out where it looks like they’re going to move, and then decide where they will deke to.  Basically you are just staying one step ahead of them mentally.  However, you can also run directly at them and turn on Rot as soon as you get close.  Zig zags and fancy jukes take longer than a straight line, so often you can catch up to them and use Rot to chase for your kill.  Plus you can then Hook at point blank range anyway if you need an extra punch.

Click a little short of where you want the Hook to hit - Another thing you should be careful of is clicking ~1000 range away.  The Hook stretches that far, yes, but don't gamble.  If you misjudge by a tiny bit and click 1100 units away, Pudge will have to move before throwing the Hook and it will ruin your angle, timing, etc.  I usually click about 700 units away from Pudge on a maximum range Hook, or 300 units short of the place at which I want the Hook to connect.  Don't worry if you don't know how much 300 units is (it's half of Pugna's attack range, if that helps).  The specific amount isn't that important, though.  Just do it a little short of where you want the Hook to hit and you should be fine.  Not only does it prevent Pudge from having to move to make the Hook, it's also much easier to visualize the angles involved by giving your eye a point in space to use in mental calculations.

What doesn't Hook hit? - Hook will go across cliffs and through trees.  You can't hook buildings, siege units, Roshan, [Syllabear's Spirit Bear or Chickens].  Use this to your advantage!  The enemy may feel safe behind his tower, or "protected" by a siege unit.

Be aggressive! - If an enemy is stunned, immediately Hook them if you have a clear shot!  And in general, when in doubt, throw a Hook unless you think you'll hit an ally.  It's better than not trying, and you might get lucky - and besides, Hook's cooldown is only 14 seconds.  It might come back up again.



7. Screenshots


Contents of Screenshots Section

1.  Hook Mechanics - Moving Heroes
2.  Lane Positions - Mid lane
3.  Lane Positions - Bottom lane
4.  Lane Positions - Top lane
5.  Hook Information - What is the Maximum Range?  How much is 1000 units?
6.  Hook Information - Small AoE on Hook
7.  Hook Mechanics - Blind Hooks
8.  Hook Utility - Saving Allies


1.  Moving Heroes

I'm going to start the Screenshot section with a perfect segue from my discussion of Meat Hook.  I have assembled a few screenshots related to a particular Hook I made on a particular Spectre who was chasing a particularly Lich-like ally of mine.  I did a little work in Paint and I think the results will be pleasant.

Spectre is chasing my allied Lich into the tower.  Lich is moving slowly and Spectre is moving quickly because she has used Spectral Dagger, and another hit or two will finish off the Lich.

I am in position to Hook, and I have some options.  Here is what some people would do:

IPB Image

Notice that I have drawn Spectre's movement arrow.  She is moving.  This potential Hook is aimed at her current location, but by the time it gets there she will be farther along and it will miss.

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This is a better guess.

IPB Image

It looks good, but it's still not far enough ahead of the Hero.  Don't forget that Spectre is moving especially quickly because of her Dagger, so this Hook will definitely miss.

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This is the correct place to aim Hook:

IPB Image

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And here is the actual Hook, for comparison.

IPB Image

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Here's another example of this.

IPB Image

Notice how I aimed my hook at the red circle ahead of the Dragon Knight.

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2.  Mid Lane Positions

Here are a few spots I like to hook from in the mid lane.

IPB Image

This one is probably the most common Sentinel hooking spot ever.  Notice the easy hook on Spirit Breaker in the middle lane.  It’s a great spot, but people will probably expect it – so you should move around to different angles in the middle lane.  However, if you're on Scourge, people will expect it less.  I recommend using it more often when playing as Scourge.

If you need other spots, though, you could go from the cliffs on the left side instead of the right side.  Or you could go from the little alcove area around the Gnolls.  (This one is tricky because you don’t have sight on the heroes in the lane.  You’ll want to put an Observer Ward in the lane to remedy that.)  You don't need screenshots to show you which spots I'm talking about.

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IPB Image

Here’s another good spot in mid lane.  This one is while I was playing as Scourge, but it works just as easily as Sentinel.  The enemy heroes will simply be facing the other way.  It’s a little harder as Sentinel just because the enemy hero’s allies could pin you in because you’re on the wrong side of the river and you’ll have trouble escaping back to base.  Not a huge worry for the most part, though.

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3.  Bottom Lane Positions

Here are a few spots I like to hook from in the bottom lane.

IPB Image

This is a great side lane spot.  Notice how my ally chases NA, distracting him from the thought of a possible hook and making him run in a straight line.  A little timing, and an easy kill.

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Here’s another from the same general area.  Notice the view from my point of view, and notice the view from Sniper’s point of view.  He actually can’t see me, so that Hook is a total surprise.  Look carefully at my location.  I'm sort of behind a tree.  Take full advantage of that tree when you're in bottom lane.

IPB Image

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4.  Top Lane Positions

Here are a few spots I like to hook from in the top lane.

IPB Image

The above is a good way to kill someone tower-hugging on Scourge.  Or someone near the tower at all.  They do not necessarily have to be hugging the tower.  This hook is a good one to use because the enemy feels more secure by their tower and is less likely to expect a hook.

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And here’s how to kill someone tower-hugging or near the tower on the Sentinel side.  Go to the Sentinel shop.  There isn’t actually a hero shown in this one, but you can see how the Hook is aimed at the exact spot someone would be if they were tower-hugging.  The Hook shown is at MAXIMUM RANGE.  Look closely.  That's 1000 range.  It's important to know the maximum range of Hook.

IPB Image

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.  Maximum Range of Hook - 1000 range

Here's another shot showing a Hook at maximum range.  I missed Sniper, but you can still get an idea of how far Hook stretches.

IPB Image

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6.  Small AoE on Hook

Hook has a little AoE to it.  About 100 units.  The next Screenshot shows this.

IPB Image

I aimed my hook at the red dot, but it still hit Spirit Breaker.  However, do not get in the habit of relying on this AoE to make your Hooks connect.  Always assume that your Hook will miss if it is not spot on.  This will improve your accuracy.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

7.  Blind Hooks

Hook can hit even if you can't see your enemy.  Just figure out where they're going to be and time it.  In this shot, Sniper is running up the hill.  My hook connects, even though I can't see him, and I get a kill.

IPB Image

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the next series, I get a kill on Axe.  Watch as he starts to run:

IPB Image

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now a Hook shoots out.  Here's my view:

IPB Image

That's right.  I can't see him.  I'm guessing where he's going to be by timing it in my head.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here's his view of the same shot:

IPB Image

Delicious.


---------------------------------

8.  Saving Allies

Ursa is in trouble.  He's been Purged by Siren and has 4 images hot on his tail.  Here comes my Hook to save him.  It looks like it's going to miss, but it just barely gets him.  In the lower half, he is shown on the other side of the trees, out of danger.

IPB Image

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One more ally saving Hook for good measure; same heroes in the same game, but so what?

Ursa is netted by the Siren, but a rescue Hook is on the way and he is pulled out of trouble.

IPB Image

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


8. Observer Ward Placement

It depends how many Wards you buy.  The most important spots to Ward are the Runes.  Watch league replays or read a Guide to Using Wards for more information.

My take on the other wards:

You’re going to want to place one Ward near the river slope (on high ground) by the enemy’s first middle tower.  Often ranged heroes will sit on the hill and attack creeps in the middle lane’s river.  Put another one behind the first middle tower if it hasn’t fallen yet.  Between the first two middle towers, that is.  That lets you sneak through the woods and time a Hook to catch a fleeing hero who thinks he’s safe.  Do the same thing to side towers if you are spending a lot of time in side lanes.  I kind of prefer middle myself, but it all works.  Also put Wards by the Runes, and in key areas in the woods where fighting is likely to happen.  The neutrals are also a good place to put Wards, because you can catch VERY unsuspecting heroes farming neutrals.  They’re afraid to be in a lane because of you, most likely, so by paying some attention to the neutrals you can cut down almost any attempt they might make at farming.

Also put wards in their base towards the end of the game - outside of the sight radius of the towers.  That will let you Hook up into their base and kill a camping defender.

Let me reiterate, ever since the release of 6.38, the importance of placing Wards on the Runes.  Bottle is refilled completely after a Rune is used, so find and use those Runes.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Best Allies and so forth

Best Allies

IPB Image Goblin Techies – Hook an enemy through a minefield.  Plus, Dismember gives the Techies plenty of time to get an accurate Suicide.

IPB Image Blood Seeker – Rupture and Hook work together really well.  Have the Blood Seeker Rupture an enemy.  The enemy is now basically prevented from moving or else they will take large amounts of damage.  This makes it easier to get an accurate Hook, and once you connect you will drag them 1000 units to your location, causing them to take damage from Rupture as if they had run across that area.  Ouch!

IPB ImageIPB Image Omniknight / Abbadon – Repel stops you from taking damage from Rot, so you can keep Rot on for up to 20 seconds without receiving any damage yourself.  100 x 20 = 2000 potential AoE damage you could deal in that time.  Aphotic is nice for similar reasons.

IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image Heroes with vision - Watchers give sight on heroes to set up a Hook, and scout for Runes that you can load into your Bottle.  Beastmaster's Hawk is good for the same reason.  Lanaya's Traps, ditto.  You could add Tree to the list and so forth.

IPB Image Dark Seer - Ion Shell (on you) + Rot is huge AoE damage.  With his Speed Boost move, you'll be easily able to keep pace with an enemy hero, who will take tons of damage.

Also, any disabler, solid carry hero (NOT DROW OR CLINKZ NOT DROW OR CLINKZ) or general league-worthy pick should be an asset to your team.  Anyone who ganks well will support Pudge nicely!

Weakest Enemies – any Agility or Intelligence hero, preferably ranged, should fall easily to Pudge’s powerful combo, but Strength heroes will also fall if you chase with Rot.  My personal favorites?  Lich and Sniper.  Lots of fun to kill, and relatively helpless once Hooked.


Worst Enemies

Tanks.  Centaur/Rooftrellen/Leviathan.  There are more, but I don't want to bore you with tons of pictures and explanations because the principle is the same.  These guys have so many hit points that your combo will be fairly ineffective, and they all have powerful spells of their own (Stomp, Overgrowth, Gush/Ravage) so they can often defeat you in a fight.  Against Rooftrellen, you can Dismember him when he uses Overgrowth to basically negate it (provided he’s alone) but he can cast Invisibility on himself when you attempt to chase with Rot, so it’s unlikely you’ll do much to him, either.

Blinkers.  There are very few things more annoying than Hooking a hero only to have them Blink away quickly.

Carry heroes that you don't properly deal with early on.  If an agility hero farms, you're probably toast.  Pudge can be kind of fat late game, but he just doesn't compare to heroes that were meant to win late game fights.  Make sure you keep the enemy's threat heroes from farming.  I didn't put pictures, but you can figure out who is likely to be a problem late-game.

Silence.  If you are Silenced with Rot on, you can't turn Rot off.  That will hurt a LOT.  Heroes that are likely to silence you include Doombringer, Drow Ranger, Death Prophet, Silencer and Bloodseeker, although in the last case you'll be dishing out some serious damage with Bloodrage.  Doombringer is the most dangerous - his Silence is targeted right on the Hero, so you can't dodge it, and it lasts the longest.  Plus Doom does additional damage to you.  Be very careful against Doombringer; I would avoid Rotting if you know his Ulti is up and he won't be permadisabled.  This threat is reduced if you have Hood, but still be wary.

Observer Wards.  Not a hero, but a common counter to Pudge.  The wards let the enemy see you coming in advance and they will run before you can pick them off.


Combating the problem heroes

Silence - Don't get caught with Rot on.  Figure out when they're going to Silence you, and turn Rot off.  Against Doombringer, don't use it at all unless he's disabled or his ulti isn't up.

Also, with Silencer, his Last Word can interrupt your combination, so I recommend turning on Rot beforehand, then Hooking and chasing until Last Word wears off, at which point you can Dismember.

Blinkers - Two options.  One, Hook them when they aren't expecting it and Dismember them before they figure out what's going on.  Or, start the fight by chasing with Rot and Hook them back after they Blink.

Agility heroes you didn't deal with early on - Self-explanatory.  You didn't shut them down early.  Figure out which heroes are going to be late-game threats and hunt them down to make sure they can't farm up good gear.

Tanks - Whatever, it's a tank.  Ignore him and kill his carry hero, or start a 2 or 3-man gank if you want to take him out.

Observer Wards - Buy Sentry Wards and kill the Observer Wards.  My build has a pretty inexpensive early game (once you have Boots and Bottle you can kind of rock and roll) so you should be able to afford some.  One kill that you otherwise wouldn't have gotten almost pays for it right there, once you factor in the enemy losing gold and so forth.  Be aggressive with Wards unless your team has a Ward Bitch.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want some replays?

Here are some recent replays (July, 2009) of me using Pudge.  They're pub games, and I'm a bit rusty, but I think they demonstrate some important principles and should be helpful.  I'm not promising much on quality control, but if you like watching me play Pudge then you should enjoy them.


Replay 1 - [attachmentid=68023]
Replay 2 - [attachmentid=68025]
Replay 3 - [attachmentid=68024]
Replay 4 - [attachmentid=68027]
Replay 5 - [attachmentid=68026]


(If any of them are truly awful replays let me know and I will take another look.)

I have a few Pudge videos, too, as you may have noticed.  The links are at the very beginning of the Guide.  Expect a new one in the next month or so.  =]


(Older replays below:)

OLD - Pub game.  Totally one-sided.  I played very well.  Good use of Observer Wards.[attachmentid=41086]
OLD - TDA from a while ago: [attachmentid=41005]
OLD - Some game or other: [attachmentid=41018]
OLD - Very long game.  Most good stuff happens in first half.  It's good stuff, though. [attachmentid=41019]
OLD - Even older replay, from 1.20 in case you still play that version. [attachmentid=42468]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wow, I'd sure love a Practice Your Pudge map for me to use to work on my Pudge skills.  Too bad there's no such thing, right?

Wrong!  I made one!  Here it is:

[attachmentid=40936]

Notice that I have uploaded a newer version with many small optimizations.  The drills work a little better, and, aesthetically, it's much nicer.  Enjoy!!!

P.S.  Yes, I know it's single-player only.  I hope to eventually release a multiplayer one.  For now, just run it in single player.

IF YOU CAN'T DL IT OFF THERE, YOU CAN USE THE FOLLOWING LINK: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=7DS300DH

Thank you to CrazyDemon for that.

I can't get your map to work!  It says I need an opponent to start the game.  What do I do?

Don't play it online.  When you start Warcraft 3, hit "Single Player" and load the map that way.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Credits:

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on this Guide.  You guys helped make it a lot better.

Thanks to everyone I play with on Battle.net for being fun to game with.

Thanks to the HGC Judges - New-Zealand, Kai, Furious Furion and littlespawn - for helping improve this guide a lot.  And giving me such high marks that I left the competition in the dust...wait, I didn't win...damn.

Thanks to TreeBeard for his general advice and support.

Thanks to shinlogen for formatting those split-screen screenshots, and for making some great artwork for me.

Thanks to DemonicTrashcan for playing with me while I got back into Pudge, and for helpful suggestions regarding item build.

Thanks to Beast_Pete for the tremendous support he has always shown for this guide, and for his remarkable contributions to DotA strategy in general.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Changelog:

Feb 23, 2007: Guide posted on DA.  Made Meat Hook strategy more concise.  Made a few small modifications in other places.

Mar 10: Added this here changelog.  Added a section in Early Game Walkthrough Strategy.  Emphasized Bottle before Boots in item build; added note on farming for Boots of Travel in a mid-game lull.  Made cosmetic improvements to the last parts of the guide, from Combating the Problem Heroes onwards.

Mar 12: Notes on Aegis and Hood in the item build section.

Mar 19: Officially revamped item build.

April 27: A few tweaks.

Jan 21, 2008: Updated the guide at long last!

Jan 13, 2009: My, my, another year goes by.  Pudge is hurting, guys.  I'd love to update the item build for you all, but I can't even figure out what's good on him.  Phase Boots + Magic Stick seems good lately (expect nerfs to those items, lol) but it's really hard to say because Pudge is just so...bad...of late.

As for what I'm doing with my time while praying for Pudge buffs...well, see link below

This one.

July 29, 2009: BENGAL IS BACK.  PUDGE IS...WELL, NOT REALLY BACK BUT I'M PLAYING THE FUCKER ANYWAY.  Item build changed, strategy sections consolidated, made sure all the images work (URLs changed, resulting in broken image links).

ENJOY THE UPDATE!!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hope you enjoyed the Guide.  Thanks for reading all the way to the end, and may you play Pudge more often and more effectively in the future!

Attached Files


Edited by Bengal_Tigger, 29 July 2009 - 11:52 AM.


#3 Duckcowhybrid

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:47 PM

Hmm a very nice indepth guide. The build is easier to pull off than Captain Hook's. I honestly suck at pudge and I have read through every Pudge guide I could find, and I still suck. I may use your practice pudge map. But GJ!

This is a very nice guide

WTFBBQPWNEDLOL FIRST POST

PS: E-COOKIES PLZ


EDIT: Tried the Practice map. Tis awesome.

Edited by Duckcowhybrid, 23 February 2007 - 04:22 PM.


#4 I HATE LIFE

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 11:28 PM

Hmmm, Bottle instead of Perse on Pudge is a refreshing build. I'll give it a try next time I play Pudge.

Strat section + hook lessons is excellent.
I <3 your Pudge Practice map.

This is a masterpiece.

You may want a different host for your images because I get the bandwidth exceeded message on a few of them.

#5 [MVP] DM.

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:06 AM

very nice guide with some refreshing ideas. nice part about the hooking as well.

#6 Beast_Pete

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:35 AM

Added to the list of complete guides.

#7 inDe_eD

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 05:52 AM

Pro guide.  Everything is perfekt or almost so.

some minor quibbles.

I would head out to gank at an earlier level (5 or so) because a good hook at that stage usually means someone is dead anyway, doubly so if you pop a haste or invis rune.

Farming with rot is a decent idea, provided you do so in short bursts right after you attack normally, to finish off the last tiny sliver of creep HP.  You lose about 20-30 HP per creep to assure that you last hit perfectly if turned on/off fast enough.

but-ya-pro-guide-3-thumbs-up!

#8 Hero_Frenzy

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:04 AM

Is it really necessary to have half the guide on hooking?

#9 inDe_eD

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:14 AM

QUOTE(Hero_Frenzy @ Feb 23 2007, 10:04 AM) View Post

Is it really necessary to have half the guide on hooking?


have you ever played pudge?

#10 Tucker

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:21 AM

QUOTE(Hero_Frenzy @ Feb 24 2007, 12:04 AM) View Post

Is it really necessary to have half the guide on hooking?



A pudge guide would still be good if it was 100% about hooking.


But yeah great guide man... gonna try your practice map =D 17 thumbs up!


Edit: just tried out the practice map.... damn man thats awesome work!

Edited by Tucker, 23 February 2007 - 06:28 AM.


#11 concourse

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 07:02 AM

Premium this right now!

I see so many pudges running around with RoH because Captain Hook told them so even when an empty Bottle is cheaper and so much more useful. Good stuff man.

I recommend this vid called Pudge Mastery SE. That movie is just leetness.

#12 Bengal_Tigger

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 07:39 AM

QUOTE(Duckcowhybrid @ Feb 23 2007, 01:47 AM) View Post

Hmm a very nice indepth guide. The build is easier to pull off than Captain Hook's. I honestly suck at pudge and I have read through every Pudge guide I could find, and I still suck. I may use your practice pudge map. But GJ!

This is a very nice guide


Thanks.  Hope this guide will allow you to finally enjoy an extremely fun Hero!

QUOTE(I HATE LIFE @ Feb 23 2007, 02:28 AM) View Post

Hmmm, Bottle instead of Perse on Pudge is a refreshing build. I'll give it a try next time I play Pudge.

Strat section + hook lessons is excellent.
I <3 your Pudge Practice map.

This is a masterpiece.

You may want a different host for your images because I get the bandwidth exceeded message on a few of them.


Thank you.

Yes, I know a few images have a bandwidth problem.  That's because a friend of mine formatted and uploaded those and his photobucket is over the limit.  He says he'll get more bandwidth on Sunday, but if I see him online I'll try to get the hard copies of the images over MSN and upload them myself.

QUOTE([MVP] DM. @ Feb 23 2007, 06:06 AM) View Post

very nice guide with some refreshing ideas. nice part about the hooking as well.


Thanks.

QUOTE(Beast_Pete @ Feb 23 2007, 06:35 AM) View Post


Thanks, Pete.

QUOTE(inDe_eD @ Feb 23 2007, 08:52 AM) View Post

Pro guide.  Everything is perfekt or almost so.


smile.gif

QUOTE(inDe_eD @ Feb 23 2007, 08:52 AM) View Post

some minor quibbles.


Okay.

QUOTE(inDe_eD @ Feb 23 2007, 08:52 AM) View Post

I would head out to gank at an earlier level (5 or so) because a good hook at that stage usually means someone is dead anyway, doubly so if you pop a haste or invis rune.


Yeah, you probably could net a kill with a gank at level 5.  The problem, I find, is that you get stuck at level 6 for an annoyingly long period of time.  I'd rather hit 7 in my lane if I can, because then I don't have to worry about finding a semi-open lane to farm a few creeps in later.  I may mention that you can leave sooner if you want, though.

QUOTE(inDe_eD @ Feb 23 2007, 08:52 AM) View Post

Farming with rot is a decent idea, provided you do so in short bursts right after you attack normally, to finish off the last tiny sliver of creep HP.  You lose about 20-30 HP per creep to assure that you last hit perfectly if turned on/off fast enough.


True enough, but with lag?  Maybe worth doing if you're the host.

QUOTE(inDe_eD @ Feb 23 2007, 08:52 AM) View Post

but-ya-pro-guide-3-thumbs-up!


Thanks, inDe_eD, and a special thanks to all of your thumbs.

QUOTE(Tucker @ Feb 23 2007, 09:21 AM) View Post

A pudge guide would still be good if it was 100% about hooking.
But yeah great guide man... gonna try your practice map =D 17 thumbs up!
Edit: just tried out the practice map.... damn man thats awesome work!


biggrin.gif Thank you.

QUOTE(concourse @ Feb 23 2007, 10:02 AM) View Post

Premium this right now!


cool.gif

-------------------

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback.

#13 MasterJoe

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 10:32 AM

Oh nos, it's Tigger!

Like always, excellent guide. Presentation got SOO much better, and everything else was always good

#14 Bengal_Tigger

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 11:33 AM

Thanks, Joe.

Looks like the bandwidth issues have been cleared up, guys.  I will grab hard copies of the images when I get home in case the problem occurs again and I need to re-upload them

Will post replays when I get home as well.

#15 mankyboo

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 12:30 PM

wow i loved ur guide. i found out a lot of new things i never noticed.
4 thumbs up

#16 X-ATM092

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 01:17 PM

The "Practice Your Pudge" Map is brilliant, amazing practice, and most importantly it's FUN. This guide is probably the best guide I've read on DotA Forums to date.

Really good work man. Premium this ASAP.

#17 Gerbear

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 01:25 PM

Nice guide. Premium on DP, probably on DA too. We need a new good pudge guide. Nice job!

EDIT: I still get the bandwidth problem on a few(not all) of the images.

Edited by Gerbear, 23 February 2007 - 01:30 PM.


#18 Bengal_Tigger

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 02:05 PM

QUOTE(Gerbear @ Feb 23 2007, 04:25 PM) View Post

EDIT: I still get the bandwidth problem on a few(not all) of the images.


Damn it!  You're right.  It looked fixed earlier.  I'll work on it.

#19 Melty blood

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:53 PM

damn im having this problem recently..

in a game i played pudge for the first time and used your skll build..

it was going nicely until late game my 4700hp pudge cant kill a 3100hp abbadon

my items were 2 tarrasque, PT and a vanguard while his items are PT, tarrasque, basher and a hyperstone..

his bashes completely destroyed me damn..do you have some tips?

#20 Bengal_Tigger

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:05 PM

QUOTE(Ino_Lover @ Feb 23 2007, 06:53 PM) View Post

damn im having this problem recently..

in a game i played pudge for the first time and used your skll build..

it was going nicely until late game my 4700hp pudge cant kill a 3100hp abbadon

my items were 2 tarrasque, PT and a vanguard while his items are PT, tarrasque, basher and a hyperstone..

his bashes completely destroyed me damn..do you have some tips?


Yes.  Buy armor!

But in reality, Pudge is not a late game Hero.  He is not a combat Hero either.  He is not a 1v1 Hero.  So you were very much out of your element.  It's a rare scenario, so I wouldn't be too concerned.

Edit: Uploaded a few replays.  Can't find my other 1.21 ones, but those should do decently.  They are from before my last update to my item build, so there will be a few small differences but the gist (Bottle + Boots of Travel + Platemail) is the same.

Edited by Bengal_Tigger, 23 February 2007 - 06:17 PM.





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