Dealing with Lone Druid

The “new Sniper” has been all over pub and pro play in these past few months of the 7.xx era. The new talent system has inspired the fighting Lone Druid build that has been especially remarkable in pro play, resulting in him being the most banned hero (246) during the most recent Kiev Major qualifiers.

We’ve covered how he works, but how exactly does one deal with Lone Druid Lone Druid, especially in pub games, where it is easier for him to be let through?

Cores

Lone Druid is a special kind of carry. Usually, locking a carry down with all kinds of disables should be sufficient. And while it still is a viable strategy against Lone Druid, it’s difficult to actually pull off because of Savage Roar Savage Roar. Unless his Spirit Bear is also disabled, it will be able to steer enemies away for usually long enough to get some space.

That is why the following heroes fit a category that can either ignore/counter Savage Roar.

Sniper Sniper

Fighting fire with fire has been a strategy that pro players used in the past few months. Fighting the “new Sniper” with the actual Sniper was an option that worked quite well.

Sniper “out-ranges” Lone Druid by quite a bit, as he can have an attack range of up to 1190, compared to LD’s maximum of 865. This advantage is important, because one of Lone Druid’s biggest strengths is Savage Roar. The spell allows him to effectively disable opponents for 2.4 seconds. As they run away, he can safely hit them with his long range. Sniper may be sent away, but with good positioning it should not be enough for Lone Druid to pursue him with attacks.

This range advantage is especially important in highground defenses. Lone Druid usually can siege a tower effectively as long as he has vision on it. Sniper can contest such a siege without putting himself too much in harm’s way.

Brewmaster Brewmaster

Brewmaster has been a counter to Lone Druid for a long time already. His ultimate allows Brewmaster to effectively take out the Spirit Bear during a teamfight. The same can now obviously be done with the hero himself. By cycloning Lone Druid, his team will be left without a lot of damage. It’s similar to approaching an Alchemist or Wraith King. Ignore and kite them to finish off the teammates/supports first.

At the same time, Drunken Haze Drunken Haze is a strong spell against Lone Druid. A 70% miss chance hurts a lot for a hero that doesn’t build into either BKB or MKB early and the MS slow isn’t small either (40%).

To top it all off, Brewmaster is a natural Blink Dagger carrier, and thus long range initiator, and can even build into Assault Cuirass Assault Cuirass or Scythe of Vyse Scythe of Vyse, both of which are excellent items against Lone Druid.

Tinker Tinker

Similar to Sniper, Tinker is efficient against Lone Druid because of range. An Aghanim's Scepter Aghanim's Scepter works wonders against the hero, as Tinker doesn’t need to position himself in a bad spot to apply the 100% miss chance. Even if he did, the lack of Radiance in the fighting Lone Druid build allows Tinker to usually get away.

March of the Machines March of the Machines is also a strong spell against Lone Druid’s tower siege, as it covers both the Bear and the hero itself and the bear especially is quite squishy in this build. All the burst from Tinker also allows him to easily kill the Spirit Bear, whose 300 gold bounty is quite sizeable.

Tinker’s set of skills and item pickups make him a strong hero against most hardcarries and he forces Lone Druid to build at least one defensive item usually. Tinker also lanes fairly well against Lone Druid, due to a good attack animation, damage and Laser Laser.

Supports

A good support against Lone Druid needs to be survivable. That means that they either need an innate escape or defense mechanism or that their spells can be cast from long range so that they don’t expose themselves. Ideally, they also counter Lone Druid’s range advantage and kill potential.

Warlock Warlock

Gatekeeper's Loading Screen by Noribu

Lone Druid is squishy. The fighting build doesn’t consider stats as much, leaving the hero open and vulnerable to any kind of damage, which he usually makes up for by putting space between himself and the enemies. Warlock, like many other heroes, can close that gap, but Warlock’s abilities are special in this regard. Not only does he have a large AoE stun, Fatal Bonds Fatal Bonds also make sure that Lone Druid can continuously receive damage. Lastly, the slow from Upheaval Upheaval is not to be underestimated either.

Keeper of the Light Keeper of the Light

Keeper ticks many, if not all of the boxes that a support needs to counter Lone Druid. His spells can be cast from far away and Blinding Light Blinding Light is an excellent counter to Lone Druid. KotL also counters any siege attempts quite well, usually without putting himself in danger. The daylight flying vision from his Aghanim’s Scepter is also a great tool to fight against Lone Druid.

Disruptor Disruptor

The reasons for why Disruptor is good against Lone Druid are pretty obvious. Kinetic Field Kinetic Field makes sure that Lone Druid cannot use his extraordinary MS and range as effectively as he wants to and even if he does get away, Glimpse Glimpse can reposition him into the midst of the fight. Thunder Strike Thunder Strike is also a good tool to keep vision on the main hero, though getting in range to use the spell is hardly viable.

Playstyles and strategies

As mentioned above, it’s not always smart to go all in on Lone Druid from the getgo. Savage Roar can negate a lot of good initiations and will leave initiators vulnerable. Long range AoE disables are usually the key to lock down Lone Druid and his Spirit Bear, as is heavy burst damage. Lone Druids rarely build into defensive items early on, aside from a Hurricane Pike, which means that burst damage of any kind, preferably magic or pure though, will almost always ensure a kill.

Another important tool in dealing with Lone Druid is evasion, or rather miss chance. Three of the heroes mentioned above can affect Lone Druid’s hit accuracy, which is important since he relies solely on attacks to deal damage. In that same vein, heroes with innate evasion (talent or ability) are strong early on against LD until he builds Monkey King Bar, so Slark or Phantom Assassin both are heroes worth considering as well.

Pretty much any defensive support item is good against Lone Druid, be it Force Staff Force Staff or Eul's Scepter of Divinity Eul's Scepter of Divinity. Glimmer Cape however is less useful, especially since Lone Druid players should always have a Dust with them that they can activate from their Spirit Bear, or even a Gem. As good as mobility items may be, armor is effective as well, and Tranquil Boots Tranquil Boots are worth considering for sure. More on the importance of armor can be found here.

Generally speaking, as with any hardcarry, it is wise to be more pro-active early on. Exploiting the early game weakness of the hero and the general lack of damage prior to level 10 is key in delaying his impact and should buy a team enough time to build up the necessary items to deal with him in the midgame as well.

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43 comments
Cazy's Waifu

    LD ez pz lemon squeazy

    This comment was edited
    Bob Caught me :(

      2nd Biaaatch

      MID ONLY

        3ий бляха муха фывфывфы

        Sev

          rawr xD

          ktr

            still i think main problem with lone druid is his bears vision. i think it should also lower when its not in attack range. it gives too many variations to an already strong hero.

            This comment was edited
            vesper

              6th.

              bOOd

                7th

                bOOd
                  This comment was deleted
                  Sabo

                    Not even 1st.hmmm

                    KinG

                      drink bleach and you'll be fine against this hero

                      Cyrex

                        10 th

                        matrice

                          Dealing with Lone Druid : You wait for 7.03 Kappa

                          986

                            lifestealer with a blink should do the job. the heroes above were mostly heroes who counter him on hg. if u r defending hg, you probably lost the early game and early game in this meta is important(although things got a little bit more balanced in 7.03). if a lone druid offlaner does what he wants, it's lost already. get lifestealer and kill him early.

                            bube

                              lone druid build is useless its just downgraded sniper sniper is even better pick

                              Fight Machine

                                He has been nerfed out of existence, which makes me really sad. He is weak against slow and anti mobility, long range attack or spells, burst magic damage, gap closing and evasion. I don't know what to spam next. I liked his mobility, range, flash farming, rosh advantage and numerous advantages that bear provide. I don't like Sniper or Silencer because they are not mobile. Clinkz because he is a weaker farmer and laner. IDK, Troll Warlord or Luna maybe.

                                This comment was edited
                                B.L.U.E

                                  I don't know you will read this and care or not
                                  but please write something about sven after 7.00
                                  before he had 54% win rate and in top 15 most picked heroes
                                  but now -49% win rate and 33th hero
                                  say what changed about him and why he lost win rate and how to play with him

                                  JadedAndroid~

                                    I wonder when Brock Hall will mention his thoughts on this, and what they will be... XD

                                    -DI-FerynaCZ

                                      What about Phantom Assassin?

                                      -DI-FerynaCZ
                                        This comment was deleted
                                        mECh-

                                          Pros using purge to counter LD. You can build diffusal or dominate a satyr.

                                          MoonStar

                                            Well slardar+naix combo will be ez to kill LD

                                            Z0mBi3

                                              pub games LD are no problem lol. I jump on the hero with PA and 2 shot that biatch

                                              Kanna-chan

                                                LD not that dominant in the 3k bracket, but this was very informative. Ty Skim.

                                                Batlhazar (MKITOWTPD)

                                                  Legion commander and outword devourer is quite good too

                                                  Just Get Out Of My Way

                                                    jug arcana shittiest arcana ever and yea ive seen lc arcana...dont care if it's for marketing purposes still sucks

                                                    WackyJustLucky

                                                      sour grapes for those who can't afford the arcana

                                                      GenGimli

                                                        Too bad Admiral Bulldog has retired. It would be fun and informative to see him use LD! I wonder how he would play LD now.

                                                        ЗИГА ЗАГА

                                                          Вы про что вообще говорите? Друид умер, его просто унизили хуже некуда с выходом патчка 7.03. Его вообще теперь пикать неактуально, и заменить лучше тем же снайпером...

                                                          Dallon Avery

                                                            Нехуй игнорить ульту медведя.

                                                            OSfrog

                                                              Pretty sure Disruptor counters every hero in the game, shouldn't include him in these kinds of lists.

                                                              jungle picker = aids

                                                                "Pretty sure Disruptor counters every hero in the game, shouldn't include him in these kinds of lists."
                                                                Nope Lifestealer gives a fuck about Disruptor

                                                                Dallon Avery

                                                                  In other words black king bar counters Disruptor.

                                                                  Laserist

                                                                    The writer of this article is a mooooorooooon, there is no counter to LD in pubs, and he writes kotl as a counter which I consider as a new high for being a total mooooooooongloid. I'll read more what you write to watch in awe how low iq a human being can have. Thank you very much,

                                                                    WackyJustLucky

                                                                      Only a moron can't counter LD in pubs.

                                                                      sergen

                                                                        "Only a moron can't counter LD in pubs." said 1k mmr :)

                                                                        WackyJustLucky

                                                                          right :-) the place to be on SEA server

                                                                          Cody

                                                                            geez i can bully him with enchantress max skill 1. I keep zoning him out from his creeps and he cant farm well. not to mention he has no magic damage so facing encha in lane will be hard.

                                                                            Mohammed El Sayed

                                                                              Remove Tinker and Invoker from the game

                                                                              Kizaru

                                                                                In the newest patch, I rarely see someone picked LD on pubs.

                                                                                kndSTAR

                                                                                  quem ler é viado!

                                                                                  Гусь-хуюсь

                                                                                    What can you say about Enchantress versus this lone druid?

                                                                                    Alienmax(Clorox Over Porn)

                                                                                      Get enchantress for lone druid........Her passive says goodbye to lonedruid' attack speed and her Ulti just Rapes Lone Druid quickly

                                                                                      !@#

                                                                                        lol enchant ? its like sniper vs sniper

                                                                                        like sniper vs lone druid , lone druid max range cant exceed sniper max range

                                                                                        btw , a lot of counter to him , like u counter drow , sniper , and other range carry

                                                                                        get LS , or BKB , his skill 3 annoying , without magic immune , u cant go deep near him

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