Version 6.37 --
Everyone's favorite guide is finally updated again. =)
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.
2. Overview of Abilities
3. Skill build
4. Item build
5. Overall Strategy
6. Specific Strategy
8. Placing Observer Wards
9. Best Allies, Weakest Enemies and Toughest Enemies
10. Replays and the Practice Your Pudge map
He’s back, and he’s as ugly and fat as ever.
Strength: 25 + 3.2
Agility: 14 + 1.5
Intelligence: 14 + 1.5
1.46 base attack time
Attack range of 128 (melee)
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
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.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
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.
- Spell resistance stacks with items
- Denies and illusions add strength
- Killing yourself with Rot does not count
Chows down on a target, causing excruciating pain.
Lasts 3 seconds (on heroes) at all levels.
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.
- 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
2. Meat Hook
3. Meat Hook
5. Meat Hook
7. Meat Hook
10. Flesh Heap
12. Flesh Heap
13. Flesh Heap
14. Flesh Heap
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
Ancient Tango of Essifation x2
Gauntlet of Strength x2
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.
Boots of Speed
- 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.
Hood of Defiance
- 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.
Khadgar's Pipe of Insight
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.
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.
6. Specific Strategy:
This is where you find out exactly how to kill a hero, as well as use your skills more effectively.
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.
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.
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.