Continuing our series, today we are going to look at the best bang for your buck when your team lacks damage output. There are numerous Aghanim’s Scepters that either directly or indirectly increase your DPS, so finding the best of them is slightly harder than it looks.
Wait, didn’t we do that one already? We most certainly did, but this Aghanim’s Scepter is just that good. It is a global follow-up for any initiation, it is a reliable damage source in a teamfight and with a Refresher Orb or Shard it can also turn into a sort of lockdown.
There are reasons not to rush Aghanim’s on Zeus: you might need save items first or some tool to deal with a problematic hero no other members of your team can deal with. But in most games, going for Aghanim’s on Zeus is a must.
Having an Aghanim’s Scepter on a historically right-clicking DPS core might sound like a bad idea, but we assure you — it isn’t. Luna is firmly a tempo core in the current meta: her stats and abilities scale pretty well, but she can’t really go toe-to-toe with heroes like Phantom Lancer or Terrorblade.
What she can do instead, however, is get an early Aghanim’s and with the help of Eclipse try to break the highground. It is a huge commitment in terms of cooldown, but it isn’t in terms of positioning, since it can be cast from very far away. And this Agh’s can and should kill both enemy supports pretty fast, leaving the enemy at a disadvantageous position and potentially allowing Luna to take a lane with no retaliation.
It says a lot about the item, when it was nerfed several times in a row and is still built on the hero regularly. Agh’s on DP is definitely no longer a must, but it is still a very strong option, especially if you have a push-heavy lineup and ways to increase AS on your team.
No item in the game gives a hero almost 400 HP, almost 2 armor, some extra attack speed and 100+ extra damage on all attacks and spells for 4200 gold. Sure, in most evenly matched games Death Prophet will have to solve survivability and mobility issues first, but going for Agh’s is rarely a bad idea.
This is one of those Agh’s that work both directly and indirectly. Having five remnants does give Ember Spirit a higher potential peak damage, but its main use is still the added mobility that leads to higher survivability and more potential damage output throughout the fight.
Ember Spirit might no longer be the most successful hero in the professional scene, but he is still absolutely amazing in pubs, which typically last longer than official games. That means you will have more time in the game and higher chances of purchasing this potentially game-changing item.
The biggest reason this Agh’s is on our list is not the actual DPS output of the ability. It is definitely great, as is the ability to disjoint spells and avoid damage. The biggest reason for this Agh’s appearance is the cast range of Swiftslash.
It is 650 cast range, compared to 350 on Omnislash. That means it gets that much harder for the enemy to kite Juggernaut, it allows Juggernaut to initiate and prioritize targets much easier and it is a very valuable purchase in the later stages of the game. Sure, Abyssal Blade, with it’s somewhat similar cast range should probably take priority, depending on the game, but why not have both, if the game does go late?
This one barely made it into the list, but we feel like it is worth discussing for one big reason: Phantom Lancer. Phantom Lancer is probably one of the most hard to deal with popular cores in the current pub meta and unless you manage to shut him down completely, he will become a problem. Unless you have Faceless Void with an Aghanim’s Scepter.
Stunning all PL’s illusions right after he uses Doppleganger and dealing damage is already quite strong, but you can also combine it with things like Maelstrom or even Battlefury for maximum effect. Cleave is definitely a far cry from what it was previously, where it would ignore the enemy armor, but when the amount of targets is as high as it is in the game vs. PL, it can still create massive nukes, albeit in a pretty small AoE.
In all honesty, the damage increase is mostly negligeble: 50 extra damage, even if it is pure damage, does very little. But the cooldown reduction is definitely worth it in most games, since it opens up two new appealing options.
Queen of Pain can now fight in every single fight with her full kit, which is a great tempo setter, especially against enemies that rely on longer cooldowns. And Queen of Pain can now potentially use two ultimates in a single fight, which should never be underestimated. Eating upwards of a 1000 pure damage in the midgame is not something many lineups want to deal with.
The potential damage output increase from this ability is unparalleled on a hero, who gets to refresh all his spells at will. The Laser is especially oppressive, since it can apply a continuous blind effect to a large group of enemies, rendering many popular cores in the current meta useless.
Given how the damage on Laser is pure, there is very little counterplay to it, except for either a BKB, which has charges and a decreasing duration, or trying to kill Tinker before he gets to kill you. The latter is always a preferable option.
Black Dragon DK is definitely a force to be reckoned with: while his damage output changes only slightly, mostly through the application of the DoT effect of Corrosive Breath, the ability to fly over any obstacles does wonders to a hero who sometimes struggles with movement speed, despite fighting in the ranged form.
The added splash damage should also not be underestimated: dealing 15% extra damage in an AoE typically means that you get to deal extra damage to cores, while focusing down supports at the start of the fight. The AoE on it is also big enough to catch multiple targets with ease and it is a pretty reliable tool for dealing with illusion-based heroes.
We don’t know whether Elder Titan should be even considered a core and should he be picked outside of Meepo matchups, but getting a better BKB for the price of BKB and then dealing upwards of 600 damage from each hit definitely sounds like a good plan.
Once again, this Agh’s doesn’t strictly give DPS, it just creates conditions under which dealing damage becomes trivial, at least in the majority of games. Let us know your thoughts on Elder Titan in the comment section below, because, frankly, we are still slightly baffled by the hero.