Have no friends? Keep losing on Grand Magus level? Worry not ? it is entirely possible to solo beat Aghanim?s Labyrinth from the beginning even on Grand Magus level. Follow this guide and pretty much if you are crusader and up you should have a decent chance to beat the Grand Magus level.
I started trying to solo Aghanim?s Labyrinth after finding that it was pretty easy on Apprentice Level, and worked my way upwards. Surprisingly, Level 2 (Magician) and Level 3 (Sorcerer) are both still pretty easy, succeeding on my very first attempts on those levels (maybe with a little luck) However, on Grand Magus the levels become significantly harder, and it took me three serious attempts before succeeding.
How to Play Solo
Your teammates MUST LEAVE. You will have all their gold as a result. You can queue with allies, or queue solo then asking your teammates to leave. They will not receive the shards or battlepoints, but they will receive the chatwheel and the 3 Battle Pass levels achievement. It will likely take well over an hour doing Grand Magus solo.
Item Build: (Movement Speed Focused)
Movespeed items with a rushed radiance is the strategy.
Start with boots, rushing radiance after the first room. Add a Wind lace then rush Octarine. Build a force staff or finish travels next. The build after varies, Linken?s Sphere is essential for some rooms, turning them from (nearly) impossible to easy, and should be swapped out in other rooms. Shiva?s and Heart help you survive, Kaya and Yasha give increased movement speed. Finally Guardian Greaves is great with the CDR from Octarine, especially once you become low on mana
Boots ? Radiance ? Windlace ? Force Staff ? Travels ? Linken/Shiva/Heart ? Kaya & Yasha ? Guardian Greaves
For Aghanim ? Force Boots / Euls / BKB / Kaya & Yasha / Octarine / Heart / Greaves / Dagon 5
Best Neutral items: Longclaw?s Amulet (Early), Vampire Fangs (Mid), Force Boots (Late), Essence Ring (Early ? Mid) is also a very strong and underrated item too., Phoenix Ash (Trap). Fellow Redditor Manck28 has also mentioned Precious Egg for Trap rooms (1/3 survival chance).
Level 10 ? Spell Lifesteal,
Level 15 ? Either ? both are quite good, take Corrosive Skin if you have Fly into a Rage.
Level 20 ? Viper Strike damage,
Level 25 ? Movement Speed
Buy lives and tomes (strength tome most important) when you can.
Learn Trap rooms and always take them if you can.
Errors in Trap rooms are fatal ? but Phoenix Ash can save you from one mistake! (Aeon Disk possibly also does this ? I have not tested)
Put allies onto Frogs and Penguins first
Only one hero needs to channel next room.
Make sure all heroes are in vicinity before you channel though ? if you accidentally leave one behind you may become stuck later.
Linken?s Sphere can block many stuns (Shadow Shaman, Pudge, Alchemist, Wraith King, Broodmother). However it is useless in other rooms and in final battle.
Rooms which give lives as rewards are important ? assess if you will likely need it.
Rooms which give gold only useful at very beginning.
Rooms which give consumables and tomes are good, best one if you don?t need lives.
Tomes of EXP give more exp later you use it, but honestly here you want your levels sooner, so don?t be afraid to use as soon as you get one.
Worst Room Modifications: Surge, Flicker. Other modifications depends on the room. (Magical Fortitude is at best annoying, at worst fatal. Deadly and Degen can be nasty.)
Aghanim?s Blessings required:
Pretty much must have:
The Vampire Mage (5% Spell Lifesteal)
Death Explosion (all 4 players preferably)
A Blessed Boost (8% Movement speed increase)
Miracle of Life (Extra life)
A Blessed Bite (5% Lifesteal)
Legendary Shards Guide:
The Legendary Shards at the beginning and after the two midgame bosses are the most important to succeed at Grand Magus level. Essentially, Contamination, Antitoxin and Fly Into a Rage are the best Legendary Shards, though getting two of three is still good (I beat Grand Magus without Antitoxin), but you will have to rely on luck with just one of three.
Poison Snap ? Useless ? Ignore
Venomous Discharge ? Useless ? Ignore
Contagion ? Useless ? Ignore
Nethertoxin Charges ? Semi useless as most of the game you will be kiting and the cooldown is not reduced. Take if nothing better
Toxic Osmosis ? Take if the three best ones unavailable.
Lingering Miasma ? Only useful on few select levels ? about as useful as Nethertoxin Charges.
Exudate ? Only useful if you have Fly Into a Rage (actually quite good if you have both exudate and Fly Into a Rage, but still nowhere near as good as the Viper Strike shards), otherwise semi useless
Fly Into A Rage ? Allows you to kite (over cliffs and ledges) and do AOE damage while kiting. Tied second best blessing.
Shedding Skin ? Useless ? Ignore
Antitoxin ? Gives you a heal + huge movespeed boost. Tied second best blessing.
Snakebite ? Semi useful, but only if you have either Antitoxin (so you can cast on self and bounce on surrounding enemies) or Contamination
Contamination ? Best Blessing
I recommend that you restart if you cannot obtain one of Contamination, Fly Into a Rage, Antitoxin or Toxic Osmosis (in that order of importance) at the very beginning of the game. Although Contamination is the best shard, Both Antitoxin and Fly Into a Rage are probably better at first.
For normal shards, just avoid anything for poison attack and you will be fine. Movement Speed, Viper Strike and Nethertoxin shards are all great.
Level 1: Buy boots. You need a gold room to buy radiance for next room.
Level 2: All rooms are a similar level. Try to keep Viper alive, while the three other heroes are free to lose some lives and explode for the cause. Buy Radiance and Wind lace.
Level 3: Avoid Silent Killer if possible, especially with Deadly modification. Other rooms proceed patiently, trying to keep as many heroes alive as possible. Buy some or all of Octarine.
Level 4: If you have lost some lives on viper, a room with lives as a reward might not be too bad. Similar to first two rooms, proceed carefully, expect to possibly lose a life but try to avoid deaths on Viper. Finish Octarine.
Level 5: You only have one choice here. Toothy Toothums are the most difficult, especially if you don?t have Fly into a Rage. Proceed carefully, one lifestealer at a time. This level might be impossible under certain modifications. The Ogre Seals are the easiest, and for the Warlocks just kite them clockwise, but it is likely you will lose a life or two. Have boots of travel (or force staff) to help kite on this level.
Level 6: Boss: Timbersaw or Temple Guardians
Either boss is probably the easiest so far, as by now you should have Radiance and Octarine. Just kite, and kill both Temple Guardians at similar times.
Bonus Level 7: Put other heroes on their seats first before Viper!
Level 8: Again, only one choice. Buy shiva if you get Mirana room, otherwise it is pretty much essential to buy Linkens to block the Shadow Shaman or the Legion. Top up lives and spend any leftover gold on tomes at the Bristleback shop.
Level 9: Essential to buy Linkens (if not already) for Pudge and Beastmaster. Otherwise get Shiva/Pike/Kaya&Yasha. Clear all Beastmasters first before opening crates, kill left troll first.
Level 10: Naga room is probably the hardest but still quite easy, other rooms is simply kiting. Nethertoxin disables Spectre blademail ability.
Level 11: No particularly hard rooms here, Big Ogre does a lot of damage (care!), Dragon Knights room with bad modifications might cost a life or two, Hurricane Pike is quite useful for all rooms here.
Level 12 Rest ? and buy lives and tomes!
Level 13 Boss ? Storegga is the much easier boss, though the biggest boulder he throws can cause instant death. You should be maxed out in items by now ? Travels 2, Radiance, Octarine, K&Y, Pike and Shiva are recommended items. Having Heart/Greaves instead of Shiva is also okay, but other items are quite essential for the increased movespeed. The Purple Shadow ? Kite and use your spells. Use Guardian Greaves instead of Shiva?s. This will take much longer than Storegga and usually costs me a life or two.
Level 14 BONUS ? remember to buy more lives and tomes!
Level 15 Wildwings are probably the hardest as it is hardest to kite, especially with Degen modification. Tiny Io is easiest if you have contamination. (just run and cast Viper Strike on CD). Linken needed for Alchemist.
Level 16 Probably the most difficult level. All three rooms are hard, avoid Badland Bandits as it is probably the hardest. (You will need to kite and kill all units as you don?t have time to kill portals). You need linkens for The One King room, and the Techies Pudge Room is often quite brutal as it is extremely difficult to not die at least once. Check modifications carefully before proceeding.
Level 17 Avoid Phoenix Room. Two Roshan room is easiest once you know their attacking patterns, just takes a long time. Linkens essential for Broodmother room, but that can also be difficult depending on modifications (pyromaniac). You can swap out boots for Broodmother room as you will likely be dragged around often even with linkens.
Level 18 Rest ? Buy lives and tomes, and force boots if possible.
If you have force boots, then Octarine, Yasha & Kaya, Euls are the essential items you should always carry. In case you didn?t know, Octarine CDR as well as give spell lifesteal are super important. Euls allows you to dodge spell steal from Aghanim if you use if around 4 seconds after channeling, and both Euls and Y&K provide movespeed.
Other slots should be Dagon 5 (damage), and two of Greaves/Heart/Bloodthorn/Aeon Disk. Heart should at least be in backpack and swapped in when you are low and need to kite for a long period. When Aghanim is at around 2/5 health, swap both BKB and Heart in. I find Guardian Greaves is very useful as Viper runs short on mana, while Bloodthorn is for extra damage when Aghanim is stealing your spell as well as mana regeneration. Aeon Disk is for mistakes, but has long CD (backpack it). Sell Radiance/Linken/Shiva now.
Without force boots, Boots of Travel 2 and Hurricane Pike are both essential as well, and your damage output will be much lower. I tried Slippers of the Abyss, but it is inferior to travels 2.
Level 19 ? Aghanim has the following attack pattern: (Channel Spell Steal starts around 2/3 health, Channel Aghanim Shards starts around 1/3 health, becoming faster and more numerous as health lowers). This level is significantly harder than other levels, even Sorcerer is very easy comparatively.
Ice Shards ? Just kite, use Viper Strike and Nethertoxin when you can. Negated by BKB
Channelling Spell Steal ? Attack him! Use force to get near him, and use Euls after around 4 seconds to dodge spell Steal.
Aghanim Spears (Like Mars spell) ? run in opposite direction and dodge. Negated by BKB
Channel Aghanim?s Shards ? Produces Rings on Blue Shards which will reduce your health to below half from full on collision. This is the hardest part, especially when Aghanim becomes low on health as the rings will come faster with more shards, so BKB is really needed for this. The CD for BKB should be just about ready when he completes a cycle, so save BKB for this.
Laser ? Run! Use force boots and spells if you are near him
After this Aghanim?s attacks repeat, starting from Ice Shards.
Rock Golems are summoned during channelled spell steal. They do significant damage but are easy to deal with if you have contamination. When Aghanim is very low on health, try to get some poison attack stacks with a dagon burst ? you want to kill him as quickly as possible the lower his health is, as his spells are more dangerous. Good luck! (You will mostly likely need it in some way or other)
Grand Magus: 5556754767
Solo run with allies leaving so you can get all their gold.
Kite with movespeed, kill with spell damage and spell lifesteal.
Radiance / Octarine / Linken / Travels / Shiva / Pike / Heart for mobs.
Force Boots / Octarine / Euls / BKB / Heart / Dagon5 / K&Y /Greaves for Aghanim,
Contamination / Fly Into a Rage / Antitoxin best shards.
Edit: added match IDs and formatting, added talents, Precious Egg (trap rooms), clarifications