Dota players as a whole are quite resistant to change, especially when it comes to item builds and skill builds. Only when pros pull out radical strategies in big tournaments do these item builds get some credence. Part of the problem is that sometimes builds need faith from teammates and you get nothing but flame, and as a result, your build/playstyle is punished. PRM farming is a technique that is well positioned in the metagame right now and is rather agnostic of teammate cooperation. It has been experiencing a surge in pub play but there are still some people that don’t understand how it works, thus punishing people when they do it.
What is PRM Farming?
PRM stands for Phase Boots – Ring of Aquila – Mask of Madness. These three items together combine non-linearly to create a farming environment that simply cannot be directly competed with. PRM Farming is the lens from which you approach the game state. Lately it has gained popularity because of the recent buffs to Juggernaut’s BAT, which changed his role from that of a fringe support pick in competitive to one of the hardest hitting and fastest farming carries in the game.
How does PRM farming work?
The three items work together so well that they have an additive effect where the whole is greater than the sum.
Let’s look at what these items provide:
-Damage and MS burst from Phase boots
-3-way stats, flat mana regen, creep armor from Ring of Aquila
-Lifesteal sustain, MS burst, AS burst from Mask of Madness
Damage/AS is best described in terms of geometric shapes. You want damage and AS to increase but be as close to a “square” ratio as possible. You don’t want to have only damage and no AS, because then you become Tiny, and on the flip side, you don’t only AS, then you have WR with focus fire. Those two are examples of a “rectangle” ratio, where one side is longer than the other. Think back to MS Paint where if drag an image larger, you distort the shape, but if you held down shift, the ratio would remain the same. You want the same thing when increasing your damage and/or AS. That’s the first part of PRM farming, high DPS to slice and dice creeps.
Movespeed works best when you go all in on it because most items/skills that affect movespeed are percentage-based. Thus, the more MS you have, the better those items are. Phase and MoM together will put most heroes in the 450+ range. (Remember to pop MoM first then phase if you’re rushing to a fight!) Movespeed is an often overlooked key to farming because it allows you to move between jungle camps/ancients faster as well get to and back from lanes quicker. That’s the second part of PRM, fast movespeed, so you can take advantage of the entire map of resources.
The third part of PRM farming is sustain. With the slight boost to stats, lifesteal/armor boost, mana regen and low cooldowns on your items, you can pretty much keep up PRM farming the entire game and not have to go back to base.
Don’t underestimate the efficiency having all three items together gives you; many players will only get two of the three, such as treads/ring/MoM, or Phase/bracer/MoM, etc. For example, the flavor of the month, Sniper, likes having treads, but Phase boots are in fact much more preferable because of the burst of moving between camp to camp in the jungle. (Just ranting about Sniper here: sniper is basically just a positioning hero, and thus Phase are much better on him, and the winrates of the two items don’t lie, although the play rates are the other way…)
After you have your three items up, PRM tempo basically goes like this:
Clear your lane ASAP
Turn on your Ring and pressure the tower
After you draw attention, duck into your jungle and farm until the lane is reset.
Other tasks you can splice on:
Join fights if you can TP or run to them quickly
Go to ancients if your support needs a key item/close to a key item like medallion/blink/wards
PRM Item progression
Items also can be described as fitting into a tempo. Correct item tempo means you can jump from one item level to the next, and each purchase helping you jump. The x-axis is item purchases/time, and the y-axis is price. This is the reason why going first item butterfly/guinsoo at 15 minutes into the game is considered newb . You need to get drums/yasha/euls/etc first so you can jump.
The PRM item tiers work like this:
250 Gold tier: Ring of Protection +3/ Quelling Blade / Tangoes
500 Gold tier: Wraith Band, Basilius, Claws of Attack, Boots of Speed
1000 Gold tier: Double Claws of Attack, Morbid Mask, Mask of Madimba recipe
2000 Gold tier: Yasha, Ultimate Orb, Blink Dagger, Shadow Blade, Hyperstone
4000 Gold tier: Abyssal Blade components, Desolator, Eaglesong, Daedelus/MKB, etc
At each tier, the items you have from the previous tier allow you to farm up the next tier. From your starting gold, you have a clear path to your luxury six-slot at the end.
PRM farming is a tempo only suited for carry heroes and select farming mid heroes. Thus the primary benefactors of this play style are Agi heroes. The aim with PRM is win the game from what Chinese players call “item oppression”. You always want to be one big item ahead of the opposing carry.
These heroes all work with PRM farming:
Sven (Get early cleave, , 1 lvl of stun, max warcry, warcry/gods strength works really well with PRM tempo, making pressuring towers even faster so you can just duck back into the jungle) Ursa, Drow, Sniper, Luna, Jugg, Bloodseeker, Gyro, Medusa, Troll, Pa, Razor
MoM is one of my favorite items in the game; I’m holding down a 70% WR on that item, and it’s my 14th most used item. It is probably due for a nerf soon as it has been a casualty of what I call the “Tangled Effect”. Everyone knows about Frozen, and how it’s become a phenomenon, but Tangled was a Disney movie from 2010 that established the animation style, the modern retelling of an old fairy tale, the two-syllable adjective that kind of describes the movie, original musical numbers, a short as sequel, etc. However, it is Frozen that is remembered and that kids sing songs about and sadly not Tangled, which IMO, is the better movie. In the same vein, Juggernaut is probably going to be the hero remembered for making MoM mainstream/OP, but let’s not forget Drow/Ursa/Dusa/Sniper!