Hi. I’m Shaella, I play some Dota occasionally. I’ve been playing since WC3 dota, though i was terrible back in those days and am significantly less terrible now.
And with that lack of terribleness, I’ve decided I should write you guys a quick and dirty guide on how to play what i think is one of the most criminally misused and misunderstood heros in Dota. The spiderqueen herself, Broodmother.
The common misconception about Broodmother is that she’s all about spawning spiderlings and pushing. This is actually, in my opinion one of the worst ways to play Broodmother. Spiderlings are decent, but the spiderites they spawn are nothing more than 150 hp bags of gold that the other team is all too eager to collect.
To properly play broodmother, you have to change your thinking of the hero. Broodmother is not about pushing, taking towers is something ancillary to your goal. Broodmother is a hero all about creating pressure on the other team to deal with you. Ideally you want at least 2 heros to be forced to deal with your threat against the other team’s towers, this frees up the rest of your team to accomplish goals on the map with a numbers advantage.
This is why Broodmother is best in the offlane solo lane. She requires the solo experience to get her abilities online, and the offlane provides broodmother with access to a very important resource for success. The enemy’s jungle.
And its at this point that I’m going to move away from some of the mental theory on the proper way to play broodmother, to explaining how her abilities are used to supplement this mindset.
Broodmother’s Q is spawn spiderlings. A fairly simple spell, 75 damage per level, 10 second CD, and every time you kill someone, it spawns 1 spiderling per level you have in spawn spiderlings. The spiderlings have a poison bite, and when a target bitten by a spiderling dies, it spawns a very weak spiderite. spiderites are even squishier and are worth more gold, so you want to avoid spawning them.
This ability, to a broodmother who is focusing on pressure, has very little use outside of its nice 300 damage done. So whats the way a pressure focused broodmother uses this?
Well. Primarily its used to harass to drive enemies away, with occasional uses of it in 2 other ways.
The first is to rapidly spawn up an army to push a tower, you can easily spawn up 8 with one wave of enemy creeps, with each one being about equal to a melee creep in strength, they can push down a tower.
The second is to send these spiderlings into the enemy jungle to farm and block camps, increasing the amount of pressure the broodmother is outputting, I believe this is the FAR superior way to using spiderlings.
Many people when thinking of broodmother, think of spiderling surrounds. These are possible of course, but you’ll rarely find a good situation to pull one off, unless you have truly excellent micro (I once played against Idra, who was playing as broodmother, his surrounds were very impressive)
Primarily, use this ability to burst down targets, its damage is pretty significant, as is its range, and utilize any other spiderlings to farm the enemy jungle and increase your personal income.
Overall, the most important thing is -not- to feed spiderlings away, without getting something significant in return like a tower, they give away a lot of money, and there are many heros who can wipe out armies in a second with their abilities. Spawn them carefully and rarely, otherwise you will feed the enemy team enough gold to end you.
Her second ability is of course, her webs, which allow you to walk over -EVERYTHING-.
And I really do mean EVERYTHING, cogs, ice shards, trees, cliffs, the map itself, webs allow Broodmother pretty much unprecedented mobility, allowing you to escape many ganks you shouldn’t be able to, as well as granting you a nice movespeed bonus and health regen that is extremely powerful in the laning phase.
The third, and what I think is Broodmother’s REAL keynote ability, is Incapacitating bite.
This ability allows Broodmother to simply be the best duelist in the game, a 40% slow, and a 60% miss chance means that most rightclickers simply cannot stand against you, and squishy casters cannot escape from you because of the slow.
Combined with Broodmother’s ult, you can basically 1v1 anyone and they’re going to have a hard as heck time fighting back.
Its worth noting that this ability is an orb, so certain items like Desolator won’t do anything on brood.
Finally Brood’s ult, Insatiable hunger gives you HUGE damage, and massive lifesteal to back it up, and it synergizes heavily with Broodmother’s incapacitating bite.
Your starting items should be a stout, some tangos, and some gg branches to round the lane out. Consider upgrading the stout to a poor man’s shield if you’re under a lot of harass. If the enemy buys sentries, don’t be afraid to buy your own set(or ask a friendly support to) and wage the ward war back.
Web is the most important skill in lane, and you want to put a good number of early points in it for the additional regen.
My favored skill build is W>Q>W>E>W/Q>R, max Q, then W, then E, taking the ult when possible.
Broodmother’s core items are a set of power treads, a soul ring, and a manta style.
I believe this build is far superior to the classic ‘orchid’ build for several reasons
Manta makes you even harder to chase after, as you can use it to dispel dust, and the movespeed makes you harder to escape from.
The soul ring allows you to use any spell at will, as the regen from your webs is more than enough to sustain you in lane and throughout the game.
From this point, Broodmother has a lot of options, but I would focus on items like BKB, Butterfly, and Basher as these enhance Broodmother’s ability to fight 1v1, and force more heros to deal with you, thus creating space for your team.
AC is situationally excellent, Broodmother does benefit from the -5 armor and attackspeed a fair amount, but I believe a basher is better before it. Vlads is just outdated in my opinion as well, the aura does very little for spiderlings, (besides making them soak more tower shots), and the cost of it is very cheap, brood shouldn’t have any trouble getting money post laning phase.
I don’t have much more to say, if you’re interested and have a question comment below, and I’ll do my best to reply, I find that responding to questions is a better way of explaining things than just typing more of a wall of text than i already have.
Keep in mind that in Dota, all things are situational, there may be a game when going orchid>vlads may be the right build. There is no way I can provide a fully comprehensive guide explaining the correct item choice in every scenario. This is simply a general guide to helping you get into the right mindset to play brood, and items that complement that, it is not a bible.