Who is TerrorBlade
So first, let’s consider who is TerrorBlade – He is one of the most notorious Base Sieging machines in the game, right up there alongside Troll Warlord except that he doesn’t need his team to melt your buildings, he makes his own little army of cat-faced demons! TerrorBlade is usually best played against most really hard carries, such as Spectre, Void, Morphling, Medusa, Anti-Mage, due to his nature in being extremely tanky against Physical damage with his high base armor and high agility gain. And if you’re a melee carry against a TerrorBlade you don’t even stand a chance as he will just patiently wait to turn your work against you with a quick Sunder – which ignores all forms of resistances. TerrorBlade is up there with Naga and Anti Mage as one of the fastest farmers in the game if you want to play PvE, but he is also amazing in playing 5v5 if you are careful about your positioning and don’t get initiated on with amazing base damage and very, very powerful spells. But he does come with his own severe weaknesses as well which I will discuss later.
So once you join the game after having picked TerrorBlade, your first decision to make is whether you will want to farm the safelane, or jungle. Generally, in lower MMR pubs I would much prefer jungling as supports are unreliable and sometimes you can get someone who really knows what he’s doing, and other times he has no clue of what’s going on and you have farmed 1k gold in 6 minutes, which by the way can be easily beaten in the jungle. So if you think that your safelane will be unbearable and really hard to farm on, you should definitely go jungle! Here is the guide video I first watched and followed, however with recent changes to TerrorBlade in the last couple of patches the starting items for jungle are now 2 circlets and a quelling blade, and getting an aquila instead of a third wraith band, otherwise everything else is the same!
If you do decide to lane, item builds can vary. One of my current favorites is the one I’ve been seeing in pro games a lot, which is a Tango, Iron Branch, Ring of Protection, Stout Shield. Quickly made into your standard wraith band+ Aquila opening with a Quelling Blade to speed up your farm, followed up by brown boots into Yasha, with a good lane’s farm this should be ready by about 7:30-8:30. If you’re finishing these items by the 10 minute mark you are comparatively getting Jungle farm, so you could consider allowing a high impact hero farm safelane next time, like a Skywrath Mage who can do a lot with the early farm, and won’t take any farm away from you off the map in the later stages of the game. Another item build to consider could be Stout, 2 branches and two sets of tangoes. I really dislike getting a Salve on TerrorBlade as the hero has a very small HP pool from the get-go and very high base regen, so chances are that when you’re using a salve you’re not getting your full 400HP value’s worth, and with Tangoes you can generally recover full health over the course of two tangoes from very low levels.
In lane if you’re vs a solo offlaner that’s melee, you just want to farm and deny as much as possible, which should be easy with his fast attack point and a Quelling Blade, after getting your Wraith Band + Aquila with a QB no one can out-CS you. If the offlaner is ranged you want to use the creep aggro trick to pull the enemy creeps closer to you and create more distance between you and the offlaner so give him as little room to harass as possible. If you are against an aggressive dual lane, be careful as nukes can easily kill you in the early game, and pull the creeps as much as you can to allow for safe farming. Often times against hard lanes I will wait until level three, to get two levels in Metamorphosis, then with careful positioning, using the Metamorphosis I can harass both heroes on the lane and establish a bit of dominance and waste their regen, but this won’t last very long, however with a strong support you can get kills during this Metamorphosis and control the lane even harder with a level advantage. Remember – at level three with metamorphosis, you do about 110 damage, that means most heroes will die in around 5-6 right clicks from you, this is incredible power, but be careful not to simply die to stun locks and nukes.
This is a very scary time for a TerrorBlade, as the enemy nukers will have gotten levels and can easily kill you very quickly at this stage of the game, and you do not have the farm yet to survive through it. If your team has an advantage in a 5v5 scenario, where for example a 4v5 fight for your team would be very close, I would go with my team and take every single tower on the map using Metamorphosis. This is especially true if the enemy took heroes that are good at catching heroes out, such as Storm or Nyx or Bounty Hunter. If you are playing the 5 man game, be sure to suggest to your allies to get smokes, wards and sentries, as with a single smoke you can get a kill and turn that into taking objectives ultra-quickly with Metamorphosis and thus establish map control, and the sentries ensure that you don’t get sneaked up on and initiated on by a Nyx or a Clinkz or any other such hero, the wards can be placed after an objective to secure a location on the map and have knowledge of enemy movements, or even placing a ward in advance of taking an objective with all the new ward spots available, to give you a vision advantage over the terrain.
If your team is not in a position to 5 man and win, which might take some time to learn to judge properly, then you should ask your supports to place wards beside the enemy towers closest to your jungle, as enemies wanting to gank will most often TP to said towers before using smoke or simply grouping up. With the aformentioned build at the Yasha stage alone, you should be able to clear out an entire jungle, an Anti-Mages level of farm, after the Yasha you want to get your Boots of Travel as fast as possible, there is no better boot in the game for TerrorBlade as they give you survivability to get close to a target and sunder, and they give you mobility to TP to any lane you see being free, farm it and the surrounding jungle, and most importantly it gives you 100 movement speed which later on combined with a Skadi and Yasha lets you chase most heroes very easily. Think of Travels for TerrorBlade being the equivalent of Midas on Invoker, just get it, however long it takes it’s always worth it as you get so much out of it, from map control and ability to split push objectives you wouldn’t otherwise be in a position to do, to running between camps in the jungle faster to kill more creeps per minute. Another important faucet of travels is that you can push a lane with an illusion, and if the enemy team is 5-manning elsewhere you can Travels to that lane to finish off an objective.
After the travels most of the time the choice is between a Manta or SnY. Most of the time you’ll be taking the Manta because of it’s utility, even though SnY is much preferred. Generally at this stage I ask myself, is there a debuff I can purge with the Manta or spell I can dodge, if the answer is yes, either from Orchids/Silences to Single Target Stuns like Magic Missile and Storm Hammer, I will get the Manta, if not, I’ll gladly get the SnY. The SnY makes you run faster – which as discussed before does a lot for TerrorBlade, and it also makes you a little bit tankier, which is good for obvious reasons – and also because it will mean that your illusions are tanky enough to farm up two neutral camps – which you can’t do as soon with a Manta alone.
Most of the time you will be wanting to clear out your entire jungle, when you have Manta, a point booster and an Ultimate Orb, you can send a single illusion to clear two creep camps increasing your farm rate exponentially as you cna for example travel into the jungle, make one illusion and shift queue it to kill to creep camps and move onto the other three, by the time you get to the third one you can make an illusion which will kill it and can then be shift-queued to the nearest lane to push and farm it, then travels to the opposite side of the map to clear the part of the enemy jungle that’s closest to where your offlane T1 should be, as long as you have vision and know that it’s safe, you are maximising your farm, clear camps, make illusions to clear other camps and push lanes, and repeat as much as possible. If there are no interruptions to your process you should be able to reach 300 creeps in 33 minutes from a jungling start, or about 28 minutes from lane, and only accelerate your farm from thereon. According to Dotabuff my record is 738 last hits in a 52 minute game, but I’m sure it’s very possible to do better if conditions are more perfect, dying 7 times in that game probably cut my overall possible CS by 100-120.
After the Manta you have a choice in what item to get next, you can either get a BKB if the enemy team is super heaving on disables, or you can go with the standard Skadi most of the time. If you go the BKB route I recommend 5 manning as soon as you get it, and workings towards a Butterfly, if you go with the Skadi you can still choose to go BKB next or get a Butterfly, but most of the time you’ll do well with a Butterfly after Skadi. At this point your items as situationally open, you can go with an MKB or Daedalus depending on the enemy team, get a second butterfly, or my preferred item getting an Ethereal Blade. Ethereal Blade is amazing as it gives stats that are wholly used by your illusions, and between the natural Agi gain and the Agility items you have so far, it is like a rich man’s version of the Dagon build where you can Sunder someone and then EBlade kill them. You should oftentimes also consider getting a Blink Dagger for your 6th slot, as the best carries against TerrorBlade are ranged ones that he will have a hard time getting close to, with Blink however you can blink on top of that Sniper or Drow, create a reflection, meta manta conjure, and two shot them, or even allow you opportunities to make late game pick off plays with a blink sunder on a lone farming hero.
Playing against TerrorBlade
Playing against TerrorBlade is very often quite easy, you simply need to ward the jungles, as that’s where he will spend most of his time, to keep track of him and know when opportunities for ganks arise. Considering that TerrorBlade has no trouble clearing an entire jungle himself, he’ll most of the time be in it alone making him an easy target. Some of the best heroes against TerrorBlade can be:
* Sniper: This little midget can sit half the map away from TerrorBlade and permabash him to not let him ever get close, and the Shrapnel means that he’ll never be able to fake-juke you to lure you close enough for a Sunder.
* Bounty Hunter: Just like with the warding mentioned above, keeping track of terrorblade to offer opportunities to gank and kill him are vital, and Bounty Hunter if very strong at setting this up, along with track giving your team movement speed to keep onto TerrorBlade who has high base movement speed himself.
* Medusa: Medusa is a little hard to talk about, she’s really good against TerrorBlade because her ult can kill all the illusions and amplify the damage TerrorBlade takes, however Sunder ignores Mana Shield completely, so depending on who gets the jump on who, Medusa can be very potent against him, or very weak. She can oftentimes keep up in farm as well.
* Lion: can very easily clear illusions with Mana Drain and Hex, and has a lot of disable and burst to keep you from Sundering.
* Lina: Has a tonne of AoE damage and very high burst potential,+she runs around very quickly so is a little hard to Sunder.
* Axe: Can finish you off before you get a Sunder off, unpurgable Disable is very strong as well, being able to potentially kill off all your illusions in one call.
* OD: Can kill illusions very easily and has a very very high damagin instant cast nuke in the form of his ultimate.
* FV: Can be potentailly good as Chronosphere means TerrorBlade can’t Sunder.
* Sand King: has a lot of Solo Kill potential for a majority of the game making split pushing very risky.
I hope to have covered a lot about TerrorBlade, but if you have more questions below regarding him, feel free to ask in the comments!
Some things I forgot to mention!
My skill build will usually depend on the situation, if I’m jungling I’ll be wanting to have 0441 by level 9, however if I’ve left the jungle to pressure a lane right before level 6, and get a level6 in a teamfight then I would definately consider skilling my ult to try to turn something around, but that’s very, very rare.
If I’m laning however, things are a little more complicated, I’ll definately still get a value point in Q, as it’s a great harass tool and with my great starting movement speed I can get in close to slow the enemy offlaner and let my supports get close enough to use their disables, or line up their skillshots. If the lane seems extremely easy I’ll get Sunder at level 6 and Meta maxed by level 7, if however by night time I’m being pressured a lot I’ll skip the Sunder and leave Meta at level 2/3 and max Conjure Image first so that I can transition into the jungle as quickly as possible, but still get Sunder at 9 at the latest.
When you’re starting out in the jungle as TerrorBlade, you should definately keep wary of what’s happening on the lanes, if the enemy mid laner is some sort of hero like Pudge and he has left mid to start ganking around the map, I would go towards my mid laner and have him help me kill the middle tower, usually pubs are really bad about defending the middle tower, or if my safe lane won really, really hard I’ll go to them to help kill that tower. Generally I do this after I get my Wraith+Aquila+Brown Boots and go to regen in base as I’m out of mana, I’ll grab a TP scroll at this point and if there are any lanes that are winning hard I’d go there and help push it. This is very important to try to get your timings down as they were before the nerfs, having a 10 minutes Yasha.
One of the most important things to keep track of as a TerrorBlade is your item progression over time, so I’ll mention some important timings to try to train to get close to:
* Wraith+Aquila+QB+Yasha+BrownBoots = This should be done at around the 10-12 minute mark from jungle, 7:30-8:30 from safelane * Travels+Manta/SnY = This should generally be done between the 16-19 minute mark depending on how the game has been going
* Skadi = This should be finished up before the 25-26 minute mark, but might be delayed until 28 minutes depending on how the game is going and how much space you have to farm. If you’re going BKB that should surely be no later than 25 minutes
* Butterfly = Should be done by the 30-35 minute mark depending on how quickly you were able to get up the Skadi, in tough games where there’s little space to farm but you’re still not dying you might get it by 37-38 minutes
Afterwards money flows like a fountain, but don’t forget that that isn’t an exact item build to follow, just the amount of gold you should be getting, and most of the time you can just replace whatever item you want to get in there and substitute the costs, if you’re getting diffusal you’re obviously going to finish it much faster than the Skadi, and your Skadi might get delayed a tiny bit.
Playing against counters
The reason why I haven’t mentioned the likes of EarthShaker and Legion Commander as some BIG counters to TerrorBlade is because usually they can just be outplayed, one technique for this is when you use Metamorphosis and Conjure Image, you should send your Conjured image onto the other side of the lane you’re in, then A-Click it in the direction you’re pushing. If there’s a particular target you want to focus, press your all units hotkey, click on the target, then press your select hero hotkey to control your hero again, and when controlling your hero don’t let him travel in the cone shape alongside your illusion and get closer together, stagger the walking, with your immense movement speed you shouldn’t have trouble clicking on a hero for an attack, then clicking to move forward parallel to your illusion again, then attack against and move forward again, this will keep you away from your illusions and the aforementioned heroes have to make a choice, either use their skills only on a bunch of illusions, or on a hero and nothing else!