Dazzle!

Alt text

I was really amused to finally see this hero in the competitive environment. Don't get me wrong - I always knew he was strong, but I never realized how strong until I saw Na'Vi Kuroky play him in the StarLadder Season 8 Grand Finals Game 2.

And now I think it is the perfect time for me to go in-depth with my favorite hero.

Some Statistics

Dazzle Dazzle is not a very popular hero. In the lower skill brackets he is not picked, because no one picks supports in the lower skill brackets. In the higher ones, he is rarely played because he was not popular enough in the pro scene.

I believe that maybe after the StarLadder GrandFinals we will see some more Dazzle action, just like with Elder Titan Elder Titan and Timbersaw Timbersaw after the The International 3.

At the same time he has a decent win rate of almost 53%, qualifying him for a Tier 2 in our Pub Tier List.

Why should I pick him?

The skillset on this hero is truly amazing! He is the ultimate support, who scales well into the late-game.

His skills are also very versatile. Do you want to be aggressive and deal damage early on? Max your first skill, Poison Touch, to deal some damage while slowing and stunning the opponent.

Do you want to save your teammates? Go for Shallow Grave. It gives a single target 5 more seconds to live and possibly kill everything in the meantime (as shown by Na'Vi with both Luna and Invoker in a single game).

Do you want to do a bit of both? Shadow Wave Shadow Wave is the answer. While the heal might not be that significant, the damage aspect of it is simply superb:

Dazzle!

Above you can see Juggernaut Juggernaut making the horrible mistake of underestimating the power of the Shadow Wave Shadow Wave.

It is somewhat hard to use it to its maximum potential of 840 damage at level 4, but if you have appropriate team mates and good lane awareness, even the toughest of fights can be turned around.

And just to give you some example of appropriate team mates - a Dazzle Dazzle + Naga Siren Naga Siren lane is very hard to deal with for opponents without some form of AoE. She can create illusions to serve as a conduit for the Shadow Wave Shadow Wave, while reducing the armour of the target with Rip Tide. Top it with a ganking Furion and you can net your team some easy kills.

And the ultimate with its short cooldown, long duration and a truly devastating effect should not be skipped at level 6!

Weave Weave can be used just to give that necessary vision to initiate. It can also discourage the enemy from advancing into your high-ground, buying precious time while your teammates are reviving. Or it can be used for its main purpose - creating a drastic advantage in terms of physical damage output for your team.

My usual build is 1-1-3-1 or 0-2-3-1 at level 6, and I find it most fitting for my playstyle and purpose of the hero - saving your teammates, while gradually working an advantage, both on micro and macro levels.

Item build

While Arcane Boots Arcane Boots solve most of your mana problems, you can always opt for the Soul Ring Soul Ring if your team is not mana dependent and the money is too hard to come by.

Mekansm Mekansm is also a very nice pick-up. The item is amazing, as it not only provides a 250 HP AoE heal, but also grants bonus armor - something most people tend to overlook. A general tip is to use it as soon as 3 or more of your teammates have lost 250 HP in a team fight, since the bonus armor will come in handy after the initial magic burst.

Urn of Shadows Urn of Shadows is another good item to have in a team. Since you'll be in the centre of the action (not literally though - in a fight you want to be in the back-line), it should fill really fast, providing you with some extra heal on demand.

However, the most overpowered and crucial item on this hero is the Town Portal Scroll Town Portal Scroll. Just like how Exort Invokers should have good map awareness to secure some kills, Dazzle Dazzle players should have know where and when to save your teammates. You should never be without a Town Portal Scroll Town Portal Scroll after 2 minutes into the game! It creates a huge difference - not only can Shallow Grave Shallow Grave + Shadow Wave Shadow Wave ensure that your teammate will survive, but a sudden presence of an extra hero on the battleground can turn the tide of a battle.

When should I pick him?

To be fair, he is an excellent hero in almost every line up, due to his versatility. But there are better options for an aggressive support than Dazzle. So this leaves us with either a pushing or turtle Dota.

In case you want to push heavily, while not risking late-game potential with Chen, Dazzle is a good pick. The general strategy would be zoning out the enemy with something like Death Prophet's Exorcism Exorcism or Tinker's March of the Machines March of the Machines. And if they will decide to initiate, not only will they receive terrible damage from Physical/Composite damage, they will also be unable to focus down a target very fast, because of Shallow Grave.

In a turtle Dota there is simply no counterpart - 5 extra seconds for your carry to live can turn around a lot of battles. And the negative armor scales very well.

There are heroes you want to avoid, namely Axe Axe and Ancient Apparition Ancient Apparition. Their ultimates simply make your most awesome skill, Shallow Grave, useless.

Generally all enemy melee carries will make Dazzle a good hero. Especially the Strength ones - they have very little armor and can be melted under Weave. The first ones that come to mind are Lifestealer Lifestealer and Alchemist Alchemist. Try it out and see for yourselves!

Some Useful Tips

  1. Dealing Damage in a lane. Dazzle Dazzle can harass very well, both because of his decent damage and nice attack animation. If you're not denying creeps, you should be throwing some punches at your enemies. But most importantly, you want to learn to time your Shadow Wave Shadow Wave in such a way to deal some heavy damage to the enemy melee farmer, while preventing his last hit. It will discourage him from further entering the danger zone and can possibly lead to a quick kill.

  2. Saving your teammate in a lane. Always, always be aware of where your creepwave is. It is a free conduit for the Shadow Wave Shadow Wave and can easily turn around a small lane skirmish in your favor. If you know it will come in a couple of seconds, it might be better to wait with your heal, since it has a relatively long cooldown at earlier levels.

  3. Running away with a teammate. Dota 2 features a "turn time" stat and Dazzle Dazzle takes 0.157 s. to turn around, which is pretty average. While not a lot, it can still make a crucial difference. So in a scenario where you and your teammate are running away from an enemy, double tapping the Shadow Wave Shadow Wave, instead of casting it on an ally can mean the difference between life and death. Not only will you heal him faster, you will also be able to remain facing the same direction - especially important against Batrider Batrider. It does sound somewhat unnecessary and narrow, but from the experience I have with this hero, I think it should be mentioned.

  4. Choosing an area for Weave. You have to think fast about what you need more - dealing more damage or being safe. Sometimes it is possible to achieve both, but at this point it won't have much of an impact - the fight has already started and the +/- armor effect will not be able to kick in. Personally, I use the ultimate to give vision in the fog, catching a couple of enemies, while allowing my team to perform an informed initiation. Dota 2 is all about information and having an upper hand can do wonders. It can also be used to fully cover your own team. I usually do it before we enter the high ground. With a Pipe of Insight Pipe of Insight it can make the whole team a lot tankier.

  5. Location, location, location. Always be invisible to the enemy team. Trees are you friends, since Dazzle Dazzle is really easy to focus down. If you watch closely the Na'Vi video I linked in the beginning, you will see Kuroky hiding in the trees and doing work. The enormous 1000 range on Shallow Grave Shallow Grave and the chain effect of the Shadow Wave Shadow Wave will let you do your job far away from danger.

Closing Comments

Dazzle Dazzle is a truly great hero that is somewhat easy to play. He has a very high impact on the game at all stages and I can not stress too much what his introduction into the competitive meta means.

At the same time it takes practice to squeeze the most from the hero - timing the Shadow Wave Shadow Wave to deal the maximum damage or casting Shallow Grave Shallow Grave requires some understanding of the game, as well as counting the skill cooldowns of the enemy team.

But if everything is done correctly, your teammates will love you! Dazzle Dazzle is a hero that wins Dota and looks good and awesome in the process!

Thank you for reading! Do not hesitate to leave comments in the section below!

P.S. We are working on adding the Facebook/Twitter share buttons. If you really like the Post or find it particularly useful - please share it manually. We promise to get the buttons up as soon as possible!

P.P.S We have released two blog posts today! So be sure to click "next" after reading this one!

Credit for the picture in the header: Cersei Lannister and Jaime Lannister. Be sure to check more of their works

More from The Dotabuff Blog
52 comments
0ldPlaY3R

    oh good! ADD ME FRIENDS!

    Fakovnik

      he is actually pretty hard to play, crucial timing

      Wink

        DAZZALE!

        Nope

          Shallow grave should be a channeling c:

          Σfried

            You should mention that any Dazzle + Meepo lane is simply a bane to go against. It allows meepo to go super aggressive with the heal + grave.

            Graves also go hand in hand with meepo since people always try to focus down one of him. Just put a grave on the poor meepo and let him run away as 4 more of them keep smacking the enemy team with shovels while they have no burst left.

            Immunity to death OP.

            Σfried

              And yeah landing the perfect grave is easier said than done. Gauging burst can be pretty hard when you have Lina or Lion on the enemy team.

              Fakovnik

                y also u need teammates who can utilize those extra 5 seconds

                KawaiiSocks
                  This comment was deleted
                  XAXAXA THIS HOPE

                    The Best Dazzle of my life

                    Juraashek

                      This hero is gameruin. I'd like to see him removed! I am afraid he will get buffed one day, which he certainly does not need at all. Most annoying support ever.

                      MATSUMOTO OUTO

                        Finally, people have realized how strong this hero is. I love the negative armor on him, it synergizes well with Bristle, Razor, Slardar... you name it. Also, I love playing with Phantom Cancer, because it's very easy to land those damaging shadow waves.

                        Vanity  ツ

                          Huskar + dazzle = beast mode

                          KawaiiSocks

                            Added Russian Translation!

                            Gordo Lechuga

                              Dazzle is awesome! I've been playing him a lot for a month... I usually build an aggressive Dazzle 4-1-1-0 or 3-1-2-0 at lvl 6.

                              𐂃Calibrating...

                                I play Spectre as hard carry and I win almost every time when I am in lane with dazzle. I wish I wouldn't suck with support role!

                                Gustaphos

                                  Dazzle is my top pick out of 1500 games +/- and have about 60% win/loss on him.

                                  Just a note to do a great dazzle for anyone that wants to try him:

                                  1. Soul ring is CORE. I ALWAYS buy one for him. Starting items are: 1. Sage mask, 1. Soul Ring Recipe, then 1. courier OR wards on initial buy.

                                  Reason for being core: You pop the soul ring, it steals your health, you pop your shadow wave and it heals you automatically every time. No health loss after lvl 2 shadow wave...

                                  2. Buy the Ring of Regen in the side shop. Your carry may get angry stealing farm initially but at my level of gameplay I see the hard carries wiff last hits all day at the early laning phase.

                                  3. KawaiiSocks is 100% right. Get a STR. Hero in your lane if you go dazzle. If you want to support him even more, test out a medallion of courage in place of the URN of shadows. Try it out! Its so easy to farm with dazzle and grab this item before 10 min mark.

                                  REASON: It stacks with your weave - armor. So you can have a -6 armor + your weave grabs heros in the early/mid phase of the game into the - armor and they melt just that much faster.

                                  4. Always buy a mek. You have low armor so you are a great mek carrier.

                                  5. Skill build since 6.79 (modified due to Poison touch nerf)
                                  A. Max Shadow wave 1st at lvl 7. Your job: Keep everyone alive! :O
                                  B. Only put 1 point into Poison touch. Since 6.79, I used to max this before shallow grave. Now it does not do a stun for 1 second after the 4 second slow maxed. More damage now, but not as effective. It DOES do a mini stun initially now, so heros channeling this is effective to put one point in.
                                  C. Max Poison touch last lvl 14
                                  D. Max Weave LVL 16.

                                  Item build side note: You must REALLY pay attention to what support items are missing for the team. If 1 to 2 people have Arcane boots, skip these and get phase. Not for the dmg potential of course, but to get in/out of team fights quickly. Drums of endurance if no one has them, TP boots to round out.

                                  TESTING NEW META: Tried 1 game of Soul ring to Hand Of Midas. We lost, I still kept warding, dewarding, supporting just a bad match up with a too aggressive AXE trying to go behind enemy lines before the 0:00 mark pulling creeps.... so his deaths were 5 before the laning phase ended. Here is the game: http://dotabuff.com/matches/486175381 I think it could be a new build and potentially make dazzle a what I call a "HARD SUPPORT" where you can grab your support gear for the team very early in the game with this build. I "think" it has high potential.

                                  Wolfwood ♰

                                    with over 100 games of dazzle and a 57% winrate, I can say, I am a clutch dazzle. He is so useful in nearly every game, if I dont know who to pick, I usually go dazzle

                                    Gustaphos

                                      One more weird Dazzle tip:

                                      Jungle Dazzle:

                                      Buy 4 couriers, leave 1 at base for your team. (Preferably the one you opened first will get the "flying courier" wings first)

                                      Do Shadow wave lvl 1.

                                      Smoosh yourself then your 3 couriers following you and let that shadow wave rip. First lvl will be 80x3 = 240 dmg per wave.

                                      2nd lvl shadow wave 4x100=400 dmg

                                      3rd lvl shadow wave 4x120=480 DMG

                                      4th lvl shadow wave 4x140=560 dmg

                                      BONUS JUNGLE NOTE: They changed shadow wave to PHYSICAL DMG in the last patch and is not MAGICAL any longer. Therefore, CLAY GOLEMS will be smoked fast. Don't fear them! :)

                                      HUGE WARNING: Courier deaths result in opposite team gold advantage. I would practice this in a bot match a few times first. Be safe and ward jungle ASAP or they may smell what you are cooking! You could potentially throw the game with 3 courier deaths, and yourself very easily. Huge rewards, but huge risk!

                                      Spiderman 3

                                        Dazzle is underrated!!

                                        Super Meat Boy

                                          Why Soul Ring on Dazzle, when Medallion is so much better choice, and it perfectly synergies with his spells?
                                          Dazzle has 2nd (or 3rd) best intelligence gain in the game, and one Sage Mask (upgraded to Medallion) is usually enough to cover all mana troubles early, while void stone (upgraded to maybe Eul), completely negates all mana troubles in late game.

                                          CePrO

                                            Пздц автор кэп! Знал все это еще в когда в школе учился!

                                            KawaiiSocks

                                              Уже неделю знаком с героем? Ну и ну - профессионал. Снимаю шляпу)

                                              CePrO

                                                Спасибо я знаю, что я профессионал.

                                                illusiveMan

                                                  clock sd dazzle, трипла лгд.инт на г лиге, давно так-то его используют.

                                                  Lorelei
                                                    This comment was deleted
                                                    AAABDRRHHHHHHHH

                                                      Thanks for useful tips, will repick him again in future game

                                                      Lamarkz

                                                        Nice and useful tips. Just think in Dota Dazzle mid power vs a melee hero is underestimated, in my HoN times a good Dazzle can destroy any meele hero in mid lane, i remember some teams using it and doing very very well in competitive.

                                                        gl♥

                                                          gj nice wall of text

                                                          Dog of Wisdom

                                                            i always go pt, soulring, malverence as dazzle. Wave is EXCELLENT skill to push and def. With malverence u get stun silence and infinity mana.

                                                            I got only 14 games like that, but its 80% winrate :)

                                                            Billie Eilish

                                                              Dazzle is my favorite hero and by now I almost never lost with him. With 80% winrate I see that nobody in my levels knows how to counter him. He is surely a pubstomper hero and I'm sure he has a huge impact on the game. Would like to see people starting to pick Dazzle though if so I won't be able to :(

                                                              Zentraedi Elite

                                                                Really liking these blog posts. They cover more than the dotafire guides because it's not just "here are the skills and the items and the order to get them." This guide adds context about _how_ to play and what to think about with this hero. I hope dotabuff keeps writing them.

                                                                NYANTYPEHUMANDESTRUCTIONW...

                                                                  the moment when 10 out of 10 games I won with dazzle I rarely picked him up, scared to screw my 100% win rate on him :D

                                                                  Gustaphos

                                                                    @ SuperMeatBoy

                                                                    Soul ring/ Medallion of courage guarantees you not losing mana. One sages mask is not enough to keep your mana pool from running dry and keeps you out of base and in the field with your heros

                                                                    For example:

                                                                    http://dotabuff.com/matches/488843003

                                                                    I never had to go back to base the whole time. Was testing my hand of midas build this time around and grabbed soul ring @ 1:30 min, medallion of courage @ 7:30 min (allowing my HC Luna in offlane to farm between that time) then for trololols I grabbed a hand of midas around 12 minutes. I had pipe of insight in base and half built sheepstick on courier but not needed due to the extreme spanking the other team received.

                                                                    Long story short, Soul ring, and Medallion of courage needed to stay out of base and in the field and team fights. My 140 + games with dazzle as my top character can't be wrong. If you are not out of mana, you are not casting healing wave, and poison touch constantly. Period.

                                                                    Super Meat Boy

                                                                      @ Cpt. Caveman

                                                                      I respect your opinion, i can see why some people would buy Soul Ring on him.

                                                                      But still, with some nice mana management, i think it's very possible to avoid any mana trouble in my opinion. I even rarely build Arcane Boots on him, unless someone in a team really needs them, and i still manage to do the job right.

                                                                      I think my best argument against Soul Ring would be the fact that it gets obsolete very fast, and that after 15-20min, there is no point in using it anymore (Dazzle's mana regen is usually very good by then and with his intelligence gain, he profits too much form % regeneration rather than raw mana).

                                                                      But then it all depends on how fast you get exp. In a trilane, where Dazzle doesn't get much experience, Soul Ring would probably be an option.

                                                                      Bergman

                                                                        DAZZLE! I love those hero

                                                                        Gustaphos

                                                                          @ Super Meat Boy

                                                                          I agree on your soul ring becoming obsolete @ around 20 min mark. Unless... in this case like I posted before:

                                                                          http://dotabuff.com/matches/488843003

                                                                          PL was running a diffusal blade. The soul ring cast saved teammates bacon with a solid soul ring to shallow grave when I was being focused by him. Its situational past 20 min if there is no mana drain items or anti mage on the team, otherwise it is very necessary to keep along just in case.

                                                                          Yes I usually ditch it so I can carry dust/observer wards/sentry wards and TP scrolls are much better items to have along for the ride than soul ring.

                                                                          I also agree that mana boots are optional if it is a need for it on the team, and no one else grabs them its your job. Otherwise I opt for phase boots for that speed boost.

                                                                          Check this game out I had where I ended up grabbing soul/mana boots then hand of midas. Ended up keeping the mana boots for team, but collected a ton of cash to keep mana boots AND boots of travel, AND sheepstick... sheepstick not intended for mana regen, but the disable:

                                                                          http://dotabuff.com/matches/488953942

                                                                          Either way, Soul ring is CORE Early/MID game end of story.

                                                                          Super Meat Boy

                                                                            @ Cpt. Caveman

                                                                            Just checked some Dazzle players from TOP 50 by Dotabuff, and none of them gets it. Most get Urn/Medallion or both (or just go mid and carry) :)

                                                                            It's ok to buy it, but by no means it is a core item on him. Everything in Dota is situational anyway.

                                                                            Gustaphos

                                                                              @ Super Meat Boy

                                                                              Post the top 50 if you don't mind I'm curious.

                                                                              Mid and Carry would be interesting but a hard sell at low level play like me to other viable mids. Still disagree that it isn't a core. + Once you look at their games they may be selling it by the time the game ends which would skew your results on what the top players use! An urn trade-out or medallion trade out with soul ring is a good option.

                                                                              Its core sorry. Buying Sages mask, and the soul ring recipe, then getting ring of regen in the side shop to complete the item is a necessity for a great dazzle.

                                                                              I'd put my money on my build over the top 50 any day.

                                                                              Gustaphos

                                                                                @ Super Meat Boy

                                                                                You cant tell me you had mana issues with this game you had there is no way....

                                                                                http://dotabuff.com/matches/486648320

                                                                                or this?

                                                                                http://dotabuff.com/matches/455236771

                                                                                There is no way you could constantly spam healing wave, poison touch and your weave all day long and not go back to base. Your win/loss with him is impressive but I bet you would see better results with opting for soul ring first, resulting in less deaths of your teammates.

                                                                                I feel the need for constant spell spamming on any magic/support hero is necessary to win team fights. Mana management on Dazzle is not needed if you go soul ring. You just don't run out.

                                                                                Super Meat Boy

                                                                                  @ Cpt. Caveman

                                                                                  Added you to Steam. Better to exchange opinions there, then to post endlessly here :)

                                                                                  KawaiiSocks

                                                                                    We actually do not mind the constructive and well-argued discussions. In fact, I would say, we promote them)

                                                                                    Also - imo, Soul Ring is a really good item, but it is not necessarily a core. Sometimes rushing arcane will be more useful. I use a lot of mana on lane as well, but getting the Urn for the sage mask and extra HP is usually a better option.

                                                                                    Gustaphos

                                                                                      Thanks Kawaii and Super Meat boy!

                                                                                      Yeah maybe I'm stuck in a rut. Would enjoy playing a game w/u Meat and have you hard carry I dazzle, then vice versa with the different builds.

                                                                                      @ KawaiiSocks

                                                                                      Yes no need to troll right? :) Just a friendly discussion here sir!

                                                                                      Maybe one more improvement on the site would be a build tab and discussion board about it. The forums tend to get a bit busy with random stuff. Would be nice to put a home for builds and discussions for them.

                                                                                      One more thing I liked was your GIF above. A lot of people do not realize that the healing wave is "physical" and not "magical" any longer after the 6.79 patch. So therefore you smoked that silly juggernaut trying to spin his way out. Another reason weave/medallion/healing wave is a BIG damage combo.

                                                                                      Look forward to more posts keep it up!

                                                                                      AJ from the Backstreet Boys

                                                                                        Can you make an RSS feed please?

                                                                                        KawaiiSocks

                                                                                          @chequers - even though we are considering adding an RSS feed, you could always

                                                                                          like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dotabuff
                                                                                          or
                                                                                          follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/DOTABUFF

                                                                                          Mr. Magister

                                                                                            SHADOWW WEAVEEEEEEEEE!! ZZZZZZZZZZZaaAAaaAAPpPPpPPP!

                                                                                            Gustaphos

                                                                                              Here is a situation where I baaaarely made it out alive without soul ring when I sold it off past 20 min last night my only game:

                                                                                              http://dotabuff.com/matches/490451992

                                                                                              Situation was I was laning with Mirana, kept diving towers and dying early laning phase. Enigma was off and on jungling past the 30 to 50 min mark? Ended up being a 4v5. If it wasn't for the invoker we would of parished.

                                                                                              Found myself spamming shadow wave and shallow graves a lot, and that extra mana regen and soul ring pop would of helped me later in the game where I couldn't shallow grave the invoker which obviously won the game for us.

                                                                                              BTW who does a lvl 2 diffusal blade on a mirana? Seems kind of corny......

                                                                                              ~Say ツ

                                                                                                i hate you for exposing dazzle!

                                                                                                lol j/k, his time is now! he's a long time snub, many consider him as very situational where the truth is he's a very versatile support, can even handle mid, can disrupt channeling spells, can pass thru BKB and magic resistance (shadow wave and weave). what's not to love? good thing yol from RoX.KIS is welcoming Dazzle to the scene, many EU players now considering him (and KuroKy recently played him to near perfection), that's pleasing to the eye. maybe someday Asians consider him too especially turtling ones (Meracle comes to mind, his teammates need to learn Dazzle for him)

                                                                                                teddy

                                                                                                  I fell like the last guy, how dare you put a spotlight on him, nobody knows how to play against him and he's really damned strong.

                                                                                                  Ever since they fixed poison touch, he's a damned wrecking ball in a trilane, he can use the heal to push really hard (or nuke if you get a good one off), he's got a great follow up disable, and he makes sure the carry isn't killed with grave.

                                                                                                  His ult is supremely underrated, god help you if dp or bristleback is on the enemy team with a dazzle, if dazzle's on your side, those 2 do jack shit.

                                                                                                  Gustaphos

                                                                                                    Nice post teddy. I actually thought they broke poison touch some after 6.79 and liked the stun more.

                                                                                                    Out of all the things, why haven't I thought of tri-laning with a dazzle...... i was so caught up with having stuns in the lane but that is a great lvl 1 nuke against the opp team with an offensive tri lane... nice work ted I must try it now.

                                                                                                    Soultrap

                                                                                                      What do you think about desolator as a core item for Dazzle?