DOTA 2: Abaddon Approaches

Eh? My calculations must have been mistaken! That's it! From now on call me Aal-chemist! Meanwhile I'll mix up a special drink for my new selection-screen neighbor...
Well, yes, apparently because of games like League of Legends, there has been a new genre coined to house games which use the concept originally created by Dota. However the 5v5 game maps for Dota and LoL are nearly identical (where as unreal tournament does not look like halo does not look like half-life and so on). I could say plenty more, but I think Dota 2 fans and LoL fans will always be in a bit of a headlock, and this doesn't seem the proper place to have that discussion (though I always welcome a counterpoint if you so desire).
I believe that Dota copied Aeon of Strife, an earlier custom map for Starcraft that got re-implemented in Warcraft 3.
Abaddon is a jack-of-all-trades type hero. No stun but he shines in early to mid-game team fights and ganks but especially in gank protection and turn-around fights. Late game with farm he can semi-carry and curse is a good buff for the hard carry. He is best played as secondary support (not full focus on wards/courier) and babysitting the carry in ganks/team fightsEarly on get 1 point in each ability then max shield followed by coil. For early items: Magic stick is absolutely core, and soul ring is good albeit situational. Ring of Bascillus and tranquil boots are good, cheap items to disassemble between and early mana boots if you have the gold/will benefit the team.Vlads into AC midgame, an urn is situationally a good pickup too. The idea is that you want auras with your staying power in team fights to buff the carry. Get a friend playing your carry who isn't afraid to dive early and often, and proceed to rape face all game. Personally, I've won 6/8 games with him so far. Best games were when PA and Bristleback were carries. Semi-carried late game myself in two of them. Could not stop laughing when centaur would stomp an ally, I'd shield immediately to remove the stun then Centaur double-edges and loses 1/2 his remaining hp.Notes: Shield does not dispel Ion Shell or Battle Hunger. AA sucks to play against. Omniknight is awesome as teammate - clutch saves and diving all day
Interesting! I should do a little more research into that; I had no idea this could go as far back as Starcraft.Edit: Found this link that explained the evolution of the game over the years. It doesn't have current data, but it does have older info that is much harder to find.
He's a great (secondary) support. Also one of those weird heroes that are crazy strong laners in pubs but can't really fit into the current laning meta (will probably only be picked by Goblak for offensive trilanes).Get Arcanes-Mek-Pipe (exchange Mek/Pipe to Vlads if your team has a "natural" carrier), play aggressive, dive a lot, Abaddon is at his best (aside from laning) in those small "skirmish" fights that occur in late earlygame and midgame.P.S. People who play carry Abaddon make me very, very sad
They aren't even close to 'nearly identical' maps unless you think the US looks pretty much like Europe.
Yes, because both the US and Europe are square plots of land with a top lane, middle lane, and bottom lane and 3 towers in each all leading up to the center of the base where the ancient is that you must destroy. Oh and there's a river running down the middle in exactly the same place. I don't know how I didn't see this before.Honestly, they look incredible similar. I know the differences are big when it comes to strategy, but cosmetically I don't see how they are all that different, so I'm not sure what you mean by your counterpoint analogy.
This. Actually Yea pretty much accurate.

After a month and a half dry spell following the release of Elder Titan, Valve has added another hero to DOTA 2 within a week of the game's release from beta. While Legion Commander seemed a likely candidate for the next hero to make the cut (based on textures and other materials found in the game files), shadow-clad Abaddon, the Lord of Avernus, made the cut first.

As you might gather from his character design, Abaddon's lore casts him in a decidedly sinister light:

The Font of Avernus is the source of a family's strength, a crack in primal stones from which vapors of prophetic power have issued for generations. Each newborn of the cavernous House Avernus is bathed in the black mist, and by this baptism they are given an innate connection to the mystic energies of the land. They grow up believing themselves fierce protectors of their lineal traditions, the customs of the realm--but what they really are protecting is the Font itself. And the motives of the mist are unclear.

When the infant Abaddon was bathed in the Font, they say something went awry. In the child's eyes there flared a light of comprehension that startled all present and set the sacerdotes to whispering. He was raised with every expectation of following the path all scions of Avernus took--to train in war, that in times of need he might lead the family's army in defense of the ancestral lands. But Abaddon was always one apart. Where others trained with weapons, he bent himself to meditation in the presence of the mist. He drank deep from the vapors that welled from the Font, learning to blend his spirit with the potency that flowed from far beneath the House; he became a creature of the black mist. There was bitterness within the House Avernus--elders and young alike accusing him of neglecting his responsibilities. But all such accusations stopped when Abaddon rode into battle, and they saw how the powers of the mist had given him mastery over life and death beyond those of any lord the House had ever known.

With Abaddon's release, here's what you need to know once you start playing him or encountering him in the queue.

In some ways, Abaddon can be compared to supports like Dazzle and Omniknight, though neither is a perfect analogue. While his skill set lends itself well to support, he could fill a wide variety of roles, with both offensive and defensive potential. His abilities make him very tanky, key for a melee hero, but he can also enhance his entire team's sustain and counter enemy debuffs. His Aphotic Shield both buffs his team's survivability and their damage output, and by packing a heal, a team-buff-on-hit ability, and an ultimate that dramatically increases his own tanking power, Abaddon enables sudden, dramatic turnarounds in hectic teamfights.

Mist Coil (formerly Death Coil) is a dual-purpose heal/nuke that deals self-damage to Abaddon when used. It has good range (slightly longer than Omniknight's Purification, slightly shorter than Dazzle's Shadow Wave) and deals 100/150/200/250 magical damage to its target. Abaddon suffers half the damage dealt as pure damage. Mist Coil has a low cooldown - only 5 seconds - and costs a reasonable 75 mana. It can also be used by Abaddon to deny himself, although since Mist Coil cannot be self-cast, you'll need to be within range of an ally or enemy you can target.

Aphotic Shield is Abaddon's most important skill. Slows, stuns, silences - cast an Aphotic Shield on someone and all those nasty effects just slide right off. Even Batrider's Lasso is broken by it, something that might make waves in the competitive metagame. But removing debuffs is only half the story with Aphotic Shield. The other half is that the shield absorbs a set amount of damage (110/140/170/200), and once its cap is reached, explodes to deal that damage to anyone within 650 units. In a team fight, that can be a real game changer. It's easy to see a bevy of uses for Aphotic Shield - tower dives, turning team fights around in the space of a few seconds, setting up ganks and ensuring your bait survives to boot. When maxed, Aphotic Shield has a 6 second cooldown, and combined with its 15 second duration you can send you team into battle with two Shields up at once. Not too shabby!

Curse of Avernus, which in the original DOTA was named for the iconic Warcraft III sword Frostmourne, activates upon hitting an enemy. Enemies struck by Abaddon are slowed for 2.5 seconds by 5%/10%/15%/20%. Further, any allies who hit the same target are buffed with increased movement speed and attack speed for 4.5 seconds. Curse of Avernus is something of a one-point wonder; if your playstyle relies on facilitating early game ganks, it can be a great help for keeping your team in range of a target and bringing them down quickly. Curse of Avernus also applies to towers, allowing Abaddon to help any pushing-focused lineups and get that sweet, sweet tower gold.

Lastly, Borrowed Time, Abaddon's ultimate, is yet another tool of reversal, this time by purging negative buffs and temporarily turning any damage Abaddon takes into heals. Borrowed Time can be manually triggered, for no mana and a reasonable 60/50/40 second cooldown, but also triggers automatically when Abaddon drops below 400 HP. The source of damage need not matter - Abaddon's Mist Coil damage will heal him while Borrowed Time is active, so spread the love. Borrowed Time doesn't heal HP loss (so Armlet of Mordiggian and Soul Ring will still drain his health like normal), and can still be countered by Axe's Culling Blade. Massive burst damage can also kill Abaddon outright before Borrowed Time automatically triggers (for example, Laguna Blade dropping Abaddon from 401 HP to 0 HP), though careful timing would need to be used and a quick player could still manually trigger the ability.

While it's active, however, Abaddon can be damnably hard to kill. With Aghanim's Scepter, the duration of Borrowed Time increases by two seconds per level (3/4/5 to 5/6/7), so if you're the party tank or you're flush with cash, it's worth considering. While living on Borrowed Time, try to cause havoc; make the most of your low cooldown abilities and get some hits in with Curse of Avernus.

Abaddon has already made his mark on DOTA 2 by unseating Alchemist from the default hero position at the front of the alphabet. A Captain's Mode implementation can't be ruled out before The International 2013, but it seems rather unlikely with less than a month to go before the big event.

Lex Kotose is an occasional TEST logistics pilot whose love of EVE aligns nicely with his passion for vertical video game learning curves. When not exploding in space, he is usually dying in Nethack or tantrum spiraling in Dwarf Fortress.