I’ve seen guides posted on reddit, but they seem to only focus on a small amount of heroes, and gloss over year beast information. I hope that this guide can act as a comprehensive guide to all you need to know about this year’s event.
Players can command the Year Beast to perform these abilities by spending Ability Points (AP). Cooldowns are triggered whenever any team member activates an ability.
At the start of the game, you will be given the option to level up your year beast to one of three skill trees: Combat, Speed, Support.
Combat Path Multiple instances of Combat Path have independent chances to proc Bash, and independent cooldowns for Berserker’s Call, Spiked Carapace, and Greater Hex.
Lvl 1 – Bash: 12% chance to bash for 1s
Lvl 2 – Spiked Carapace: If 2 or more heroes are within 500 range of the Beast, the Beast will stun (around 1.5s to 2s) and reflect damage if attacked at random. (Cooldown Unknown)
Lvl 2 – Berserker’s Call: If there are 2 or more heroes within 300 range of the Beast, they will be forced to attack it for 2.5 seconds. (Cooldown Unknown)
Lvl 3 – Greater Hex: Turns enemies in a 1000 radius into harmless pigs for 4 seconds. (Cooldown Unknown)
Speed Path Multiple instances of Speed Path have independent cooldowns for Stampede, and independent chances to proc Refresher Aura.
Lvl 1 – Attack Speed Aura: Allied units gain 30 attack speed in a 900 radius around the Beast.
Lvl 2 – Stampede: If there are 2 or more enemy Heroes within 500 range of the Year Beast, it causes a Stampede, and all friendly units gain haste and phase for 3 seconds. (Cooldown Unknown)
Lvl 3 – Refresher Aura: When an allied hero casts a spell within 900 range of the Beast, that spell has a 50% chance to be instantly refreshed.
Support Path Multiple instances of Support Path have independent cooldowns for Arcane Boots, Mekansm, and Resurrection Aura.
Lvl 1 – Healing Aura: Heals 10 HP every 2 seconds in a 1100 area of effect around the Beast.
Lvl 2 – Truesight: Grants truesight in a 1100 radius. The Beast will also use Mekansm and Arcane Boots every 35 seconds in a 750 radius.
Lvl 2 – Smoke Aura: While standing near the Beast, heroes are smoked.
Lvl 3 – Resurrection Aura: If a hero dies in an 1100 radius of the Beast, it will be resurrected after 3 seconds. This effect can only happen once every 20 seconds.
Depending on how much AP you and your team has, you will want to get different skill path builds. (You need to have previous level skills before you can upgrade it. i.e. need lvl 2 skill upgraded before you can get lvl 3)
Lvl 1 Skill Upgrade Requires 0 AP
Lvl 2 Skill Upgrade Requires 5,000 AP
Lvl 3 Skill Upgrade Requires 10,000 AP
Best Lvl 1 Skill Set
Default Best 3 Combat, 1 Speed, 1 Support
(The lvl 1 auras from speed & support do not stack, getting more will be a waste when you can increase the chance to bash for your year beast)
some like to go full combat, but the attack speed aura and hp regen can really save you time when pushing towers
Best Lvl 2 Skill Set
There can be multiple ways to set this up, as it really depends on your team lineup
Full 5 v 5 Build 3 Combat, 1 Speed, 1 Support
The combat stun is not to be underestimated along with the call, you set this up with the lvl 2 stampede and keep yourself healthy with the heal
Full Push Strat 2 Combat, 2 Speed, 1 Support / 1 Combat, 2 Speed, 2 Support
Mek heals from the beast can stack, so getting 2 in support might be helpful against some counter-push by the enemy. Otherwise you get more stampede to disengage and tp your beast out, or chase that one or two lone tp defenders
Best Lvl 3 Skill Set
If you can afford even 1 lvl 3 skill, its a pretty significant thing. Especially the Combat lvl 3 hex, or refresher aura if you have heroes that can use it effectively
Full 5 v 5 Build 3 Combat, 2 Speed
3 AoE hex and two 50% chance to refresh important spells? Hell yes!
Full Push Strat 1 Combat, 3 Speed, 1 Support/ 1 Combat, 4 Speed
Depending on your lineup, you may prioritize support over speed if you have a specific hero that the enemy focuses down specifically in a fight. Otherwise, you will most likely get speed because the spell refresh will help you push faster if you drafted spell pushing heroes
I understand that not everyone on your team may have the AP to get lvl 2, or lvl 3 skill upgrade. So if you’re in doubt, just pick combat skill tree and get that maxed out because it’ll give you the best chance of winning out of all the other skill trees. (Not to say they are useless, their lack of points just show they haven’t played much, if at all, of year beast which means you can’t completely rely on them to make full use of the year beast)
Heroes to Pick in Year Beast Brawl Mode First off, you DO NOT want to pick any hero that is not strong in the early game! i.e. Anti-mage, Medusa, Naga (As a support it’s ok with the ensnare and illusion to stall push). In addition, you want to pick heroes that can keep constant pressure and win lanes, because that will give you the momentum to take a lane of racks with 5 min Year Beast spawn if done right.
Top Tier Picks (Should always have 1 picked)
Phoenix – Sun Ray is such a strong ability to keep the Year beast alive in the early stages. Combine that with Fire Spirits, and you can slow pushes to a halt or stop the enemy from attacking your beast.
Winter Wyvern – Cold Embrace heals the year beast by a % of his HP, which makes it a good spell to max in this game mode. Combine that with Winter’s Curse on an enemy hero, and they’ll cry for mercy as they get beaten down by 2 year beasts.
Omniknight – Repel the year beast, and he’ll be much harder to kite. Combine that with Guardian Angel and the enemy will have a hard time dealing with it.
Dazzle – The constant heal, the Shallow Grave, and best of all, Weave which will give your team and the year beast armor.
Juggernaut – His ability to heal the beast for a % of his HP with the healing ward, as well as provide strong early aggression with Omnislash makes him a great early farm hero before the beast spawns.
Extremely Strong Picks
Razor – Static Link to steal all of the year beast’s damage. In addition, his ultimate melts the beast if it decides to chase him due to minus armor.
Abaddon – His heal is nice, but more importantly the shield and attack buff is what helps the beast more, especially since the shield removes debuff which will keep the beast from getting chain stunned or slow kited
Io (Wisp) – Tether & Overcharge will keep the year beast attacking fast and hard while barely taking any damage. If you can play this hero to the fullest extent and not get focused down, your year beast will become nearly unstoppable.
Bloodseeker – You can heal the year beast while pushing down the lane with Bloodrage, and also buff your year beast damage. It is risky if the enemy is able to kite the year beast, as it’ll take extra damage as well.
Invoker – Going Quas Wex, alacrity can buff your year beast by a lot, and you can use tornado, emp, deaf blast to engage or disengage. (Note that tornado does not affect the year beast, but it can still be used to stop the enemy heroes)
Troll Warlord – His ultimate provides your beast with a ton of attack speed, and whirling axe debuff can be applied to the enemy beast.
Vengeful Spirit – Her aura provides good damage to the team and the year beast, plus -armor and swap can allow you to pick off an important core when pushing high ground
Keeper of the Light – With the ability to push and slow pushes using illuminate, mana leak the beast to stop chase or even prevent tp, and ultimate to blinding light the beast.
Zeus – Early game nuke, and assuming you reach lvl 6 by the time the beast spawns, you can do a ton of damage to the enemy team instantly by combining both the beast and zeus’ thundergod’s wrath. In addition, zeus’ passive will help take down the beast, and his bolt will prevent any tp out. (When out of mana, Global Chakram) If you’re playing against him, get a pipe for sure, and also carry smoke if you’re scared of that early zeus ulti spam.
Lina – Similar to Zeus, she has a lot of early game nuke that can be spammed. (Global Chakram when out of mana as well)
Luna – Damage increase aura is extremely strong early game, and she has enough movespeed that she can kite. She can also push and racks easily once she gets levels in her glaive.
Bristleback – Goo kiting + quill spray stack will make the beast an easy prey as long as you don’t get focused down. Beware magic nukes early on.
Warlock – Fatal Bonds the enemy team with the beast for damage to the whole team. Follow that up with a golem stun and upheaval slow, atleast one hero is bound to die from being barely able to move.
Ogre Magi – His strength lies in the bloodlust buff. Cast that on your year beast and he’ll be much faster. I personally recommend maxing his Ignite & Bloodlust after getting one level in Fireblast, because the slow is much stronger at higher levels where as Fireblast stun duration stays the same.
Undying – A strong pick for 5 v 5 fights with the tombstone slow. Reason he isn’t higher on the pick is because the enemy can always choose to avoid a fight and push a different lane, or if the enemy is smart and has fast attack speed + decent attack range they can kill off the tombstone more often than not.
Sniper – Can be an effective hero if not jumped on, as he shoots and fights from far away and chips the enemy down
Tinker – Very farm reliant, but can be strong in the right situation. Getting that march spam to counter push, and then hex after blink to completely shut down 1 hero.
Shadow Shaman – Able to assist in pushing with his shock, disable the beast for a long time with shackle, and take towers with his serpent wards. Positioning will be important to get the disables off
Ursa – One of the few heroes that can take down the year beast fast. Only issue is getting kited or focused down before he gets that chance.
Death Prophet – A good tower pusher with her ultimate, and a decent wave clear with crypt swarm. Her drawback is that she is squishy early on to the beast, and her ultimate doesn’t do enough at the 5 min beast spawn, and you can fall behind if not enough is accomplished by your team
This is not yet finished, but I wanted to publish what I had written so far. Feel free to point out any mistakes, or give suggestions on what I should add. Also, I suck at formatting (－‸ლ)