Greetings all, and thanks for reading this. Before you continue, I want to state clearly that due to my relative low age, my English is not the world's best and you may happen to find a lot of incorrect grammar. Furthermore I have never played a high competitive game, so I cannot assure that this guide will help you through a tougher match.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Rattletrap the Clockwerk Goblin
Table of Contents
- Hero analysis
- Skill order
- Item build
- How to play
- Optimizing Battery Assault
- Bullseyeing Rocket Flare
- Alternative Kama Sutra - How to use your Cog
- Heroes to watch out for
- Rattletrap's best friends
IceFrog recently released the 6.53 map introducing a new hero, Rattletrap, the Clockwerk Goblin. I think this hero has a lot of potential to become a league picked hero in the future with his tremendous capability and map control. Although some claim he is merely a gank hero with very little team work potential except for his Rocket Flare ability which gives vision on the map, enabling ganks, I'm here to state my personal opinion and hopefully prove them wrong. Here I will examine the new hero inside and out and show you the pros and cons to determine whether or not the hero can be used for competitive play.
The by-product of Goblin technological weapon research during the old War, Rattletrap the Clockwerk Goblin was shut away into storage for countless decades until the Sentinel found and reactivated him. Combat-wise, this goblin's capabilities know few bounds; his body is stocked with a huge array of armaments that destroy targets both near and far with ease. His trademark wrench can even extend itself like a grappling hook, allowing him to pick off individual targets with pin-point accuracy.
Strength - 24 + 2,4
Agility - 13 + 1,2
Intelligence - 17 + 1,7
Attack range of 125.
Movement speed of 310.
Level 1 information:
- Health: 606
- Mana: 221
- Damage: 55-57
- Armor: 2,8
- Attack Speed: 1,5 sec
Level 25 information (without any worn items):
- Health: 2069
- Mana: 1001
- Damage: 112-114 +20
- Armor: 7,8 +2,8
- Attack Speed: 1,06 sec.
Okay, before we begin, I'm gonna correct a too common mistake. Most people I've seen playing Rattletrap besides myself have all aimed for a hardcore, late game, damage dealing item build. I've seen people put their nose up for Radiance, Heart of Tarrasque, Armlet of Mordiggian, Stygian Desolator, Satanic and etc. I'm here to tell you that this is incorrect. Why?
If we look at it, Rattletrap has one of the strongest middle game ganking potentials in the game. He could easily be compared with Pudge. Rattletrap's main purpose is to roam throughout his middle game, ganking and getting kills for him and his team.
Now why is this important? If he needs huge items like Boots of Travel, Radiance and a Heart of Tarrasque it means he needs to farm his entire middle game away, or in other words carry. This means that he cannot spend his middle game fulfilling his ganking role, thereby wasting his potential.
It would correspond to Pudge or Tinker farming their entire game away to obtain high, late game items. Some might say: "Then why don't you just play him as a carry hero? His strength gain is excellent and I could just choose to farm instead of running around ganking."
The argument against this, however, is that Rattletrap has neither the abilities nor the stats to do this. His abilities reflect only his ganking potential and besides from very few aspects of them, they don't help him carry like they help him gank.
His agility gain is also extremely low which gives him a ridiculous attack speed for his proposed damage purpose. And yes, it is true that Rattletrap's strength gain is strong but that doesn't mean he needs to tank. It says more about how it helps him to survive his suicidal playstyle (launching himself in a combat and running right behind his targets for several seconds).
Just like Pudge. It's much wiser to rely on another tank with true tanking capability like Skeleton King or Centaur Warchief.
Don't let you be fooled by either Rattletrap's primary attribute or his strength gain. His abilities and his other stats don't back up the effect of a carry Rattletrap, which is by now the most common mistake if you ask me.
Discharges high-powered shrapnel from openings in Rattletrap's clockwork upon a random nearby target dealing minor magical damage and ministun every 0.75 seconds. Lasts 10 seconds.
Level 1 - 20 Damage.
Level 2 - 40 Damage.
Level 3 - 60 Damage.
Level 4 - 80 Damage.
Cooldown: 32/28/24/20 seconds.
Mana cost: 75.
Comment: This skill is similar to Enigma's malefice with the multiple stuns doing minor damage but works like Leshrac's Diabolic Edict. This ability is your primary killing tool and will be the essential part of the entire ganking process. It's excellent for lane control and harassment and it can also work as an escaping mechanism on a few occasions because the ministuns make it harder for heroes to come in range of you. It's also especially good at stopping heroes from channeling in fights or teleporting away.
Useful information: The ministuns barely stun, however, they are excellent and devastating disrupters. It's impossible to channel anything near the goblin if you're an enemy and if you're a lone enemy it can be hard just to cast a normal ability. Many heroes have abilities that have casting points meaning that they need to swing their arms, swords or whatsoever in order to caster. Battery Assault will keep resetting this cast point making even normal abilities very hard to cast. However, the stuns don't hit invisible heroes or magic immunes.
The Clockwerk Goblin ejects pieces of inner core to form a circular barrier around himself, trapping nearby units in with him. These cogs require 3 attacks from an enemy to be destroyed before their expiration time. If an enemy unit with mana goes near an element from the outside it gets shocked for some hp and mana and is knocked back. An element powers down if it shocks a unit.
Level 1 - Lasts 3 seconds. 55 Shock.
Level 2 - Lasts 4 seconds. 70 Shock.
Level 3 - Lasts 5 seconds. 85 Shock.
Level 4 - Lasts 6 seconds. 100 Shock.
Cooldown: 15 seconds.
Mana cost: 50/60/70/80.
Comment: This ability is unique. It's a good ability to trap enemies so you can either kill them peacefully or stall them until your allies come to help. It can also be used for juking purposes because it's excellent to throw people off your tail. Finally it's also good for picking out reckless heroes in team fights. By level 4, an enemy can be stuck in for 6 seconds which is a long time and crucial for team fights. As a last note it has a low cooldown, giving it greater potential for an in-battle ability.
Useful information: Once used, this skill summons 8 Power Cogs around you in a square. Each Power Cog has one charge that can push back an enemy with mana, if he gets too close from the outside. After a Power Cog uses its charge it turns grey and it will not knock back anything again. However, it will still block and it needs to take 3 hits or expire before it dies.
The extremely small AOE of this ability makes it relatively difficult to trap units inside it. Furthermore, it captures not only you but nearby allies as well, so be careful.
It does not have any stun effects by itself so units inside it can still move, hit and cast abilities.
Lastly, everyone but you have to hit a Power Cog three times to destroy it manually. You, and only you, can attack and destroy it with one hit by pressing attack key "a" and left-click on the Cog. Both allies and enemies will have to hit it three times."
Fires a fast moving missile at a target area on the map, revealing the targeted area. Upon impact it damages enemy units in the 600 AOE explosion.
Level 1 - Deals 80 damage. Reveals for 5 seconds.
Level 2 - Deals 120 damage. Reveals for 10 seconds.
Level 3 - Deals 160 damage. Reveals for 15 seconds.
Level 4 - Deals 200 damage. Reveals for 20 seconds.
Cooldown: 30/25/20/15 seconds.
Mana cost: 50.
Comment: Its low cooldown and manacost and high duration time (20 seconds at level 4) makes it easy to acquire vision of the map and hereby gain a essential and relatively stable map control. It can be used for many different purposes like checking for neutral farming/junglers, runes, uphills, juke routes and Roshan to mention some. The damage is also fine, but not as excellent as many presume.
Useful information: 600 AOE is big so if you have to shoot someone from short range you just cannot miss it. You can use it anywhere on the map and even though the rocket's movement speed is high, it's actually pretty low (). What I mean by this is that it takes 10-15 seconds to travel across the map. This can make it hard to predict where to hit escaping enemies when you stand on the other side of the map. It's damage is fairly low and therefore, the skill is not very reliable as a source of damage. As such, it should only be used for this purpose on few occasions (read further down in the guide). Also, the rocket does not reveal invisible units.
Finally, the missile will deactive neutral spawns at up to 15 seconds impact if you place it inside a creep camp area.
Fires a grappling, piston-like attachment at a unit or location. It will latch on the first non-neutral enemy target it encounters, pulling you to it. Any enemies whom you collide with while being reeled toward the target will take damage and be stunned.
Level 1 - 2000 range, 100 collision damage and 1 collision second stun.
Level 2 - 2500 range, 200 collision damage and 1.5 collision second stun.
Level 3 - 3000 range, 300 collision damage and 2 collision second stun.
Cooldown: 80/60/40 seconds.
Mana cost: 125.
Comment: This is a pretty fun skill to aim and use. It's similar to Elune's arrow and Meat hook. It has a huge range with acceptable damage and it's excellent for killing lone heroes, initiating or joining fights or finishing off heroes that have straggled away with low HP. It has a pretty nice stun which does not only hit the target, but also units around it and units you hit when the hook descends. The mana cost is also pretty low and cooldown's fairly low for an ultimate too. Sometimes it can also be a good escape mechanism.
Useful information: The hook on grapples on enemy units. If it hits allies or neutral units it will merely descend without stunning, damaging or pulling you to it. It needs to hit an enemy before it works. The skill can even hit magic immunes and invisible units but it will not damage or stun either of them.
Level 1 - Rocket Flare
Level 2 - Battery Assault
Level 3 - Battery Assault
Level 4 - Rocket Flare/Power Cog
Level 5 - Battery Assault
Level 6 - Hookshot
Level 7 - Battery Assault
Level 8 - Rocket Flare
Level 9 - Rocket Flare
Level 10 - Power Cog/Rocket Flare
Level 11 - Hookshot
Level 12 - Power Cog
Level 13 - Power Cog
Level 14 - Power Cog
Level 15 - Stats
Level 16 - Hookshot
Level 17-25 - Stats
Basically, Rocket Flare and Battery Assault are your primary ganking abilities and their importance's are therefore the highest. Battery Assault is the primary killing ability of the two which makes it more important than Rocket Flare. However, the Rocket Flare at level 1 is essential to check the first one or two runes as well as scouting for potential first blood gankers or countering jungle heroes.
Now, some might argue that one level of Power Cog at an early level is essential to capture enemies. This is not wrong, however, there are several reasons I think why not to get it. First of all it's a trap for yourself too. While you "just" have a high chance to catch the enemy if you use it correctly, you can be absolutely certain that you will capture yourself. This will often put yourself in a bad position, also if it separates one of their enemies from the group. It also separates you making you essential and perfectly positioned for e.g. Lina's, Leshrac's and Tiny's stun or Witch Doctor's Maledict and of course it also makes you more vital for other stuns like Storm Bolt or Impale. Capturing yourself while you're still relatively fragile is often very dangerous.
Also especially during the early stages of the game, not only the damage from Rocket Flare can be useful in many situations, but the reveal time and cooldown can be astounding too.
However, you might want to level Power Cog in few situations when you know for sure you have the absolutely better of the lane which means your allie backs you up nicely and you don't put yourself in a dangerous position. Say if you're facing a Leshrac/Witch Doctor, using Power Cog is the worst thing you can do. Before taking one level of Power Cog at an early level you need to be absolutely sure you're not gonna die or endanger yourself from using it. If you have the slightest feeling you might do so, then skill Rocket Flare instead. The damage is still nice early game.
Hookshot will of course be taken when you can. It damage and stun increase, but most important so does the range. Imagine if Meat Hook increased by 1000 range too over two levels. Ooouch. Last but not least, statpoints are saved until very late.
Of course stats are always nice but seeing that your strength gain is strong and your abilities' mana costs are fairly low, they're not obligatory and shouldn't be skipped ahead of either Rocket Flare, Power Cog or anything else.
The starting items
2 Circlets of Nobility to give you some start stats for both your health and mana. There's no need to buy Gauntlets of Strength instead because you have very much health already, and some extra mana wouldn't hurt. 2-4 Ancient Tangoes of Essifation should be purchased too so you have some health regeneration should you take harass, which is very much likely to happen.
Core item build
Yes, Rattletrap's strength gain is high, but that doesn't mean he is invincible. His ganks involve suicidal acts by hooking himself into the heat and running along side his target, so to survive properly he needs some backup health to stay safe. His own base strength isn't gonna keep him safe by itself. Now, some might argue about the effectiveness of the Bottle. Some may claim that its regains are too low. But the truth is that this makes Bottle even more fit for Rattletrap. If you think about it, his abilities cost near to no mana. Also he's an excellent roamer and his Rocket Flare helps him control the rune spots on demands so well that it makes you cry. Boots of Speed should be self-explanatory and keeping one Scroll of Town Portal at your inventory at all times is essential.
Now, for the coming items you should be open and ready to judge by the game. Rattletrap is a very situational and all-around hero and thus needs situational items. Do you need pushing capability and/or true sight? Buy Necronomicon. Do you need enemies to not blink away or cast spells? Get Orchid Malevolence. Do you need disables? Get an Eul's Scepter of Divinity or Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse and so on.
Here's a few opinions on different items either viable or not viable for Rattletrap:
Yes, yes, yes!
Because it helps you spot invisible heroes who can be a pain when you try to kill them. It also gives you very sweet stats, good pushing capability, fine auras and a strong mana burn that works perfectly well with Power Cog. The all-around usability of the Necronomicon is also good. For example it assists great in cleaning hostile wards.
Buy it when you fight invisible heroes or your team strongly needs a Necronomicon for e.g. early pushes.
Because it helps you fight a lot of niffy casters and especially heroes that would normally escape from you with Blink, Time Walk, Waveform and whatsoever. It also makes your target take a lot more damage when you capture him for 6 whole seconds. The attack bonuses it gives is slightly unimportant but still nice though.
Buy it when you need a damage amplifier for your team against nifty tanks or bad damage dealers or when you need to 1) counter Hudini-wannabes from your lock downs or 2) silence certain casters.
Because it has an excellent blast as well as other good features. The attack speed penalty effect deserves to be mentioned. It will in general help you kill targets much easier and clear unnecessary creeps that redirect your Battery Assault.
Buy it when your team needs it, when you're against someone with high damage or when you're against heroes with summons. It doesn't always kill the summons (Chen's creeps and Undying's Zombies for instance), but the chances to kill a few at least should be fairly high. Killing their summons with a blast increases your Battery Assault's effectiveness.
Because it gives you good health and mana (though the mana isn't needed that much). Also so more kills you get, the more health and mana you regenerate which is good for Rattletrap when he survives fights. Finally and most important it reduces your resurrection time and you lose less gold when you die, which you probably will with time seeing that you "suicide" yourself a lot. If you can manage to get charges on this it can be very good and it can help you fight, die, respawn and whatsoever much more fast.
Buy it when you need survivability, feel you need to respawn faster, when you can farm it relatively fast and think/know you can get charges on it (killing heroes).
Because the disable is good when your team lacks it. It's as simple as that.
Buy it when your team needs disables and you cannot afford Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse.
Because the disable is excellent and even better than Eul's Scepter of Divnity. It gives you some fairly good stats bonuses and the hex allows you to beat on the target while he's disabled in opposition to Eul's Scepter of Divinity. It's rather expensive though.
Buy it when your team needs disables and you can afford this instead of Eul's Scepter of Dvinity.[/b]
No, no, no!
Because late game damage items don't fit Rattletrap. If you want to aim for something bigger than above mentioned items you at least ought to buy tank-like items like Heart of Tarrasque.[/b]
Because Rattletrap's abilities contra mana pool is in an equivalence. By using Dagon this balance is disrupted and eventually Rattletrap will gain just about no remarkable benefits from this item. Rattletrap's mana pool is low and so are his abilities' mana costs. You will afford to use a full Hookshot/Battery Assault/Power Cog/Rocket Flare/Dagon combination much more rarely than you'd think.[/b]
Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm...
Get it when and if you can farm it rather fast and your team needs it and none else is buying it, Radiance can be a very optional choice. Not so much because of the direct damage itself, but the sparkling work fairly well with both Battery Assault and Power Cog.
The downside is that it can be tough, heavy and very unreliable to aim for and if you're being too stubborn to get it, it can draw you back more than it will pull you forward.
Get it when you strongly feel you need health to survive and you have a lot of spare gold and you do not benefit from buying any of the other situational items like Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse or Necronomicon for instance.
The downside is that it is very heavy and tough to farm. It comes in huge pieces and it is not always easy to save for it and you might not be able to complete it untill very late if you don't get most of your kills. On another note it does not turn you into a tank, it barely boosts your survivability. Do not think that because you wear this you can act like a Centaur Warchief, rush in and take a lot of damage. You're still too fragile to rely on tanking methods, even with a Heart of Tarrasque in your hands.
Get it when you need the purge to counter different heroes like Warlock, Sven or Broodmother.
The downside is that its upgrade Manta Style doesn't work very well with any of your skills which doesn't make it (Manta Style) directly bad but not much useful either.
Q: What about Power Treads? Aren't you gonna upgrade your Boots of Speed to them and use them for attack speed?
A: No. I do not either rely or use my physical attack as my main damage source. Rattletrap's attack speed is very, very lousy and he's farming relatively terrible if he ganks as intended. This means, as explained earlier, he shouldn't aim for hardcore, late game damage items and thus there is no need for extra attack speed. Your job is to gank, rape with your abilities, lock out enemies, initiate fights and etc. but not to carry games with Divine Rapiers and Power Treads.
Q: What about Boots of Travel then? They're nice, they make you teleport!
A: It's not that Boots of Travel are bad. You just can't really afford them. Or maybe you can, but that means you "waste" 2200 gold which you could've spent on some other item. You don't really need the movement speed, you have your Battery Assault, Power Cog and Hookshot and as for the teleport part - well... Hookshot goes 3000 range at its max level, you can hook for an insanely long distance so getting up to the heat at the combat every time is not necessary (saving you for a lot of walk) and Scrolls of Town Portal should cover your need of teleportation perfectly. In fact you ought to have atleast one scroll in your inventory at all time.
How to play
Start with running to a double lane, seeing that you don't have the lane power to dominate a solo lane. Lane partners that fit Pudge mostly fits you too, seeing that you a very likely to him. Omniknight, Pugna and Lich are good examples. Try to farm your way to level 6, which is the main goal of this stage of the game. Eventually be ready for a right moment where you can run up with Battery Assault fairly easy and kill one or two enemies. Don't hurry too much though so you end up suiciding yourself. Patience is the key to many things.
Try to scout the runes with Rocket Flare (read further down in this guide for more information), harass your enemies with it (don't spam it and lose all your mana though) or last hit heroes if possible. Basically it's very hard to hit heroes in other lanes with Rocket Flare so don't use it to harass other than your lane opponents. Concentrate about your own lane, get a few kills if possible and gain level 6 so you can start the roaming.
Roam and gank as much as possible. Try to stay distanced to your target and wait until the right opportunity to kill him with Hookshot and Battery Assault. Eventually use Rocket Flare to scout before you rush in (read further down in this guide for more information). However, remember that even though you're a killing machine, you aren't a superhero. Don't feel invincible and bang your heads against too tough situations where you know or think you might die. It's much better to play it safe and pick out heroes one by one instead of getting yourself killed too much.
It happens to all of us that we die from time to time because of unforeseen situations, but try not to make it a habit. Also a rule of thumb is that no heroes in this part of the game is able to beat you in a "fair" 1n1 situation. You just have too much damage and disrupts for e.g. teleports and channeling effects and you have too much health to "just" be nuked down. If you find your unit properties (lfie and mana) to be efficient, don't be afraid to pick up 1n1 situations, unless you have a bad feeling that you actually might lose it.
When you gank, the most common abilities-combination which you should use is as follow; scout behind or around your target with Rocket Flare so you know where he goes before you go in. When you're ready, actviate Battery Assault and then use Hookshot on him. If you have Power Cog then once you're in, run up to him 100 % (mostly you land a few feet in front of him after hitting with Hookshot) and activate Power Cog, else just follow him without attacking him with an activated Battery Assault. If you smell the situation is turning bad, like you see any incoming heroes, just give it up and retreat.
On another note, try to scout the runes with Rocket Flare when they spawn and eventually grab them with your Bottle which you supposedly have. Refill yourself and continue your ganking. Also, if you have an idea or know that your enemies have warded certain spots, e.g. the runes, try to take a detour around them. This might take a little longer than running straight to your target, but as a reward you won't see him skipping off every time you approach.
You shouldn't worry too much about your items in the middle game. With time you'll get some money from scoring kills and eventually you'll earn one or two items soon.
Don't spend too much time farming in lanes though as this is more or less waste of your potential. Your middle game is the strongest and where you dominate the most. Utilize it, kill as much as possible and carry your team through this part of the game. You own it and you shouldn't trash it because of greed for gold. Carry your team through the middle game and allow them to carry you through the late game. One good turn deserves another.
By this time you have probably lost a lot of your killing potential. Try to stay around your team instead of running around alone too much and then pick out heroes as usual when you find the opportunity. In team battles, try to stay way distanced and when you get the chance, grapple on a hero and lock him out from his team with Power Cog, allowing your team to pound him down. It might be hard but it's doable if you do it in the right moment. You won't deal as much damage anymore but your Rocket Flare is still excellent and so is your Hookshot and Power Cog for isolating heroes. Battery Assault isn't terribly either and it's still essential for cancelling teleporters and channelers but its killing capability is more or less over.
Try to use your Rocket Flare as much and often as possible. Especially in team fights, cover uphill areas or send it to the flanks so their low healthed heroes cannot juke you. Use it to scout Roshan. Use it to scout the runes. Use it to scout the forests so you can eventually do a succesful gank with your team or find a low healthed hero. It's not important to spam it every 15th second, but try to use every time you go somewhere. It's very important that you have map control and Observer Wards may not do the job entirely.
Anyway, during the late game you're more like a support hero and your two main jobs are to scout and to lock out enemies from combats with Power Cog. Basically hope for your team to carry you through the rest of the game while you assist them with sight areas and isolations. If you did brilliant during the middle game your team will probably have a much easier time pwning by now given that the game is in fact not over yet. If you did good late game but still lose (hopefully not), it's most likely your team who fails to carry you through here like you carryed them through the middle game.
Optimizing Battery Assault
Okay, before we start about in-depth strategies, we ought to remember the important information of the ability. First of all it's a mix of Leshrac's Diabolic Edict and Enigma's Malefice. It works the same as Diabolic Edict, however it doesn't hit buildings, magic immunes or invisibles and it does small ministuns on the unit it hits. The duration is 15 seconds at all levels and it shoots a shot once per 0.75 second. Simple 3rd grade math tells us that it will fire 20 times totally. When accounting for its damage per shot it will deal a total 400/800/1200/1600 damage before spell reduction. In other words, this is very much damage. However, the shots are randomed so if you stand around many targets you will have a small chance to hit the one(s) you want. Second of all, the aoe is small and you need to cluster to your target when using it. Here's a (hopefully) describing picture of its aoe. At least you should have an idea of its size so you know that it's actually very small:
Okay, when you use Battery Assault, there are basically three points you want to remember and follow, all depending on the exact situation:
- Your position
- Your enemy's actions and movement
- You attacking the target
First of all your position in the situation is often an important thing to take into account, especially when you gank heroes in lanes. Why? Because there will most often be other hostile units than the hero alone. It's important that you stay away from as many creeps as possible but still close enough to the hero so you still hit him and so you have a chance to change your direction should he move (see point 2 and 3 for more information).
As you see on the picture I've distanced myself from the Necromancer so I don't waste my Battery Assault in it. Instead I've run up between Earthshaker and Faceless Void so I'm 100 % sure that I will hit either of them with of course Earthshaker being the primary target. A bad position would've been between Earthshaker and the Necromancer. This is a situation with only one creep in my way, but situations may happen where you're walking around much more creeps so try to distance yourself from as many as possible. Don't lose the track on your primary target completely though and the most important thing is of course to stick to it. But do it without being surrounded by too much so you completely waste the Battery Assault.
2. Your enemy's actions and movement
This point is much likely to Juggernaut's Blade Fury or Pudge's Rot. Try to cluster to your target and be ready to turn around and follow him if he changes his direction to shake you off. Be fully aware about his path he takes and the field around you so you make sure you don't suddenly get assaulted by incoming heroes. It's very important that you turn your awareness on completely and be ready to react when the situation changes.
3. You attacking the target
- Or basically don't. This is the exact same thing and therefore just as important as using Rot or Blade Fury. If they aren't stunned or disabled in any way, don't attack your enemies while you run near them with an activated Battery Assault. You will lose too much movement speed and you will be shaken off too easily. Instead click around on the field near him and let the ministuns do the job. It will also often prevent the tower and nearby creeps from shooting on you unless you're completely alone.
By remembering these 3 main points you should do more or less good with Battery Assault. Now, a final tip when using Battery Assault with Hookshot is that it's most often a good idea to activate the Battery Assault the moment before you hook. This saves you from the trouble of doing it when you have grappled and this allows you to do other actions like moving, scouting with Rocket Flare or disabling your target with Power Cog instead of wasting important time with activating Battery Assault too late. In other words, activate Battery Assault before hooking.
Bullseyeing Rocket Flare
Let's first clear up what it does exactly so we know how to utilize it as good as possible. It has a 600 aoe which is large. As the spell describes it damages and reveals the targetted area for a set amount of time on impact. It moves relatively fast but not insanely. It takes around 15 seconds for it to travel diagonally across the map from one corner to another, e.g. from one fountain to another and about 11-12 seconds to cross directly from one side edge to the opposite. In other words, it uses a lot of time travelling across the map, so long distances can be hard and unpredictable. It moves in a straight from where it was shot and to where it was shot too. It damages but doesn't reveal invisible units and it does not damage magic immunes either. Finally, it stops neutral units from spawning if it impacts latest 15 seconds before the spawn time (02:45, 03:45...xx:45 game time).
Okay, basically there're three main aspects on the Rocket Flare:
- Using it to damage
- Using it to scout
- Using it to counter junglers
Basically this is rather "simple" but might be hard in some situations. You can use the rocket to harass your heroes in your lane but you should not spam it too much as it will unnecessarily but your mana. You can also use it to finish off escaping heroes across the entire map if you are lucky to hit. It may also be used to cancel your opponents' Clarity Potions and/or Flasks of Sapphire Water. Hitting with it on a short distance is very, very easy seeing that it has a great AoE. Missing with it on heroes that are almost in front of you is barely impossible. Now, it's actually very rare that you want to shoot the Rocket Flare across the entire map in order to kill some hero in another lane, but the situation might arise. Here's an example of how to aim it:
As you can see (hopefully) I spotted a Luna on low health a second before she ran into the fog. I know she's running towards her fountain unknowing of my intention to finish her off with my Rocket Flare. After quickly destinating the distance between her current position, her movement direction and my distance to her, I target my Rocket Flare around her middle melee rack, which is a good distance ahead of her. As a result I hit her perfectly, finishing her off and scoring a kill for myself. Now, situations and outcomes like that may not always be possible and the further you are from your target, the harder it gets to hit it. It's very rare that you will actually have enough luck to hit and finish off heroes on long distances so don't count on it. This is just one of few examples where I actually predicted correctly, got lucky and hit my target as I wanted. It will mostly miss though so don't blame yourself when you don't hit it like this. However, it's of course always worth the try so don't hessitate with at least trying to hit.
Other than relying on luck when shooting it after heroes far away you can also use it to simply harass your lane opponents of course. You should mostly use it to check runes during the early game but a few shots on your enemies to either harass your cancel their consumables can be a good choice from time to time.
Anyway, it's mostly in the beginning of the game you will use it as a damage tool because the damage it deals is rather low and also because the scout effect's effectiveness descales which I will describe in the next paragraph. A tip is to not use it as a damage tool in general at all during the late game and hardly using its damage during the middle game. The scout effect is much more useful and it doesn't scout very much if you throw it on where you stand already.
2. Using it to scout
Now, the main aspect of this ability is to scout. It reveals an area you hit for a set amount of time, but it's important to remember that it also reveals the path it takes when you launch it for a short time too. This can be essential for scouting e.g. runes and the jungle. Every mathematician knows that it is always possible to have two points laying on the same straight line. We are going to use this fact that the Rocket Flare moves in straight lines to scout multiple points or areas you might say. For example, if you stand correctly on the map, you can scout both runes with a single rocket. Here are a few illustrations on examples of where to launch the rocket in order to scout multiple spots effectively.
These two launching points will be your main ones during the early game. If you launch your Rocket Flare from where I stand/where I've marked you will check both runes with only one rocket. Practivcally the two points connect from the goblin merchant shop's entrance at top to the small statue at the bottom.
These are good lines to check for junglers from. Note that I've remarked the creep camps with new dots in order to make it more user friendly. If you look closely you see that one line cover atleast two dots. Some cover three dots. Some dots are only covered by lines up to some extent which practically means that you won't see the entire creep camp but you will get a glimpse of it so you can still see if someone is fighting there, if it's cleared or if it's still there. Anyway, if you cast your Rocket Flare correctly you can check up to 3 creep camps with only one rocket from certain spots at certain camps. At the first glare the picture might look a little messy but hopefully you should be able to have an idea of where to stand when you use your flare to check for junglers. It might take a few shots before you get the position exactly, but it doesn't take long to find it and memorize it before you know how to shoot the rocket so it exactly reveals as much as possible. This helps you count jungle heroes so much better and saves you the trouble of running around checking yourself.
There are lots of examples like the pictures above, but the most important ones are still the rune spots and the creep camps. Just remember that if you want to check more points you can always find a spot to shoot the rocket from. However, not all areas require a certain launching position because it does not have two or more important points. If you want to check Roshan for example or uphills before fights, it's enough to launch the rocket at the wanted area before rushing in.
Now, for the scouting part itself for combat uses, you can use it in a few different ways. First of all you can use it passively to predict incoming gankers and etc. This means setting the flare on where you think a hero might come. Now, a good thing to remember when scouting like this is to scout a good piece ahead. Here's an example:
As you can see I'm in a lane farming creeps. I begin to have a bad feeling so I use my Rocket Flare to secure the area. Please notice that instead of placing it merely in front of me I place it much further away in front of my enemies' tower where the road crosses with the river. The green spot is where I put the flare and the red spot is where I shouldn't put it. I can see if any heroes come from either the tower or from the river so I have more than enough time to react on a possible gank. It's often important that you set it more in front of what you actually want to see so you can predict unforeseen situations much better.
Above picture is an example of securing yourself from ganks. It may also work if your team pushes a tower. Set the Rocket Flare a little further away so you have more time to react. Putting it on crossroads and uphills are often a good choice. Beneath is a picture of how you should do when you scout before ganking which is most often the best idea.
I get ready to kill Faceless Void, but before I rush in I take care of my security breach by setting a flare rather distanced above Darkterror. This will firstly give me vision of incoming heroes and secondly let me know exactly where he is if he decides to move back, giving me the perfect opportunity for a succesful gank.
When you are about to gank like this, it's alway a very good idea to put a pre-flare at a location that might be a threat to you so you know what's going to happen. It's not important that you hit anyone with you flare at all. The importance lies within the scout effect in order to give you vision so you can judge and execute the exact situation perfectly to your advantage. If I had shot the rocket on Darkterror, he had firstly begun to walk back which makes me lose vision of him and secondly I wouldn't be as safe from incoming heroes.
3. Using it to counter junglers
Okay, last but not least I'm gonna introduce you to how to use the Rocket Flare to counter most jungle heroes. As I've mentioned, if you shoot and impact the rocket at a creep camp latest 15 seconds before the spawntime, the creeps will not spawn. Beneath is shown a classic example. The game mode is -ap where the first creep camps spawn at 2:30:
As you can see I fired a rocket on two camps (in single player mode though). As said the game mode was -ap so the creeps were supposed to spawn at 2:30. My rockets impact at 2:17 which is 13 seconds before spawn time. Even though the reveal period is only 5 seconds, it still prevented the creeps from spawning at 2:30.
Now, how can we use this to counter jungle heroes? It's very simple actually. Most jungle heroes rely on early game creep pulling so they can kill camps more effectively at the beginning. Some examples are Terrorblade, Tidehunter, Treant Protector, Centaur Warchief, N'aix. Heck, even normal heroes sometimes creep pull in order to gain easier and faster gold and experience. Now, the two most common camps from each side to creep pull are without any doubts these:
This means that all you have to do to counter creep pulling and hereby many jungle heroes is to shoot a rocket latest 15 seconds before the spawn time directly at the camp. If you're Sentinel if you should of course shoot towards the Scourge's camp and Scourge towards Sentinel respectively. It's not necessary though to shoot it so it impacts exactly at 15 seconds before the spawn time. Shooting it so it impacts 5 seconds before is of course just as good and is much easier to do as well. Anyway, I think you know what I'm talking about. So effectively countering creep pulling throughout the early game, just keep shooting a rocket each time one of these two creep camps are about to spawn.
I think you should have a general idea on how and how not to use the Rocket Flare. In general it's much more important to use it for scouting than damaging, though you might encounter situations where the damage can actually be helpful or decisive. Use your Rocket Flare as much as possible throughout the game to scout different things. Runes, Roshan, uphills, jungle, dangerous positions, juke spots and etc.
A final note and a last illustration will be on base pushes. The Rocket Flare is arguably the most excellent tool for base pushes when it comes to sight advantage and initiating power. It gives you perfect vision of the areas you might not be able to hover a hawk or puts wards. Of course this is helpful in normal pushes and common situations too, but base pushes are outstanding examples as they have the well-known nifty uphill disadvantage. Anyway, here goes:
Edited by Ingolf, 07 October 2008 - 03:52 AM.