Hello! In this guide I will be trying to cover every single detail about Weaver, which I consider my favorite and best hero. My plan is to make this guide useful to anyone interested in learning more about the hero, be it a new player who randomed him and had a hard time grasping the hero, or an experienced player looking to learn even more.
Weaver, also known as Anub’ Seran (Dota 1), and Skitskurr (Dota 2), is an agility carry that can be placed in any lane. Weaver can dual lane, he can trilane, he can solo mid, and solo offlane. However, what place is the most effective depends on your team composition and the enemy’s. I will cover all of the lane possibilities, and what to expect when you are in certain situations. I can’t explain exactly what course of action you will have to take however, that depends on the game, and your style of play.
Speaking of style of play, Weaver is also very friendly in that regard. Some may argue you have to play cautiously, as Weaver has one of the lowest HP pools in the game. While that may be a valid point, I don’t think weaver HAS to be defensive all the time, because he may have a low HP pool, but , ironically, he is one of the hardest heroes to kill in the game, because his survivability is insane, in form of his shukuchi and time lapse, which will all be covered below.
Anyways, hope you enjoy the read! Hopefully it will improve your play with this hero, and who knows, on other heroes with a similar style!
Pros and cons
Why is this hero so good?
- EXTREME mobility, making him so hard to kill.
- Really versatile hero, can fit in nearly any matchup.
- Really versatile as well in terms of item choices, most carry items are great on him.
- So much fun to play, in the end this is all that counts. Laugh as they just waste most of their spells on you and you just ulti back to full HP. (Within limit of course!)
- Very annoying hero with a lot of lane presence in the early game.
In which aspects is this hero not so awesome?
- Low HP. Self explanatory, even though he is an escape master, you still have to be cautious not to get caught.
- Not very good at farming in comparison to most top tier carries.
- While he can fit in any lane, in most situations he is outclassed by another hero.
- A PAIN TO PLAY AGAINST! 😀
Weaver launches a swarm of 12 beetles that latch on any enemy unit in their path, attacking and reducing armor until it is killed.
Swarm, Weaver’s first ability, is pretty straight forward. You should always use it in the start of an encounter, because the swarm is more effective the longer it is latched onto the enemy.
A lot of people may disagree with me, but I will say it here: The Swarm is Weaver’s biggest DPS boost. So use it. Not many spells can get someone with as low armor as Swarm can, especially early game. And not only it does that, but it also counts as an unit! Which means you can tower dive quite effectively with this spell. Not only you reduce your target’s armor, but you also avoid 4 tower shots (assuming your opponent hasn’t hit the worm). It doesn’t mean you should tower dive all the time. As I said, you have to be cautious even with the spells that are given to you. You can also use The Swarm to push or counter-push, because it takes 8 creep hits to kill the worm, making them effective temporary tanks.
Weaver shifts out of visibility, gaining the ability to move at maximum speed through physical units—doing harm to any enemies it passes through.
Another simple but extremely powerful spell. This is Weaver’s bread and butter spell, and half of what makes him the annoying bugger he is.
With this spell you can harass, last hit, and get in and out of fights. It has such a low cooldown, which means it’s supposed to be spammed, so don’t be scared: do it! However, be careful with it, especially in the early game, even though the cooldown is low, the mana cost makes up for it, making it take a little bit of mana management. Always save at least 1 cast of this spell to escape from a sticky situation.
Allows Weaver to dispatch two swarms, attacking an enemy twice.
The extra attack will not trigger other attack effects (such as critical strike) and overrides Unique Attack Modifiers.
This one is a passive. What it does is that after you level it, every time it is off cooldown, on the next attack, you will send an extra attack, essentialy being a 2x critical strike.
However, the geminate attack does not come with orb effects (Items that make your auto attacks have an extra effect) such as crystalis, daedalus, desolator and lifesteal. Make sure to pick up a level of this at level 2 or 4 (depending on whether you prefer Swarm over this), as it’s a huge dps boost early game, and a mighty harassing ability. But be careful because it makes last hitting a bit harder (in my experience at least).
Do note that you don’t have to have your enemy targeted after the first attack, which means you can just send the initial attack and target something else, because the geminate attack will go out as soon as the initial attack lands, regardless of your current target. It’s a bit tricky but you get used to it.
Weaver warps backward to whatever position it was in five seconds earlier—regaining the HP and mana from that time. No effect on cooldown, gold or experience.
Reading the spell description, it seems like such a complex spell, doesn’t it? Well it isn’t. It simply puts you where you were 5 seconds ago, and giving you the HP and mana of that time.
You use this spell pretty much all the time, and is the other half of what makes Weaver the slipperiest hero in the game.
You got caught and are taking lethal damage? Time Lapse. Boom, back at full HP, shukuchi away. Next?
You used shukuchi to go in but you suddenly stumble upon 3 enemies in their jungle? Time Lapse before they realize what’s going on. You’re now far away and safe.
You are 1v1ing an enemy hero but you are going to die? Time lapse to turn the tides in your favor.
Pretty much Time Lapse every time things aren’t going according to plan.
Note that at its highest level, this spell has absolutely NO mana cost. That’s right, it costs 0 mana. It’s clear it’s meant to be spammed, cautiously of course, just like with all of his spells.
IMPORTANT! Time lapse removes debuffs that were applied on you once you cast it. Including Dust of Appearance, making it basically useless against Weaver.
Item choices – What to buy, what to aim for
Tango, Healing Salve, Iron Branch x 3, Ring of Protection
Pretty simple, the Ring of Protection will become a Ring of Basilius, should be your first purchase.
With random gold
Tango, Healing Salve, Iron Branch x 3, Ring of Basilius
Same as with no random gold, but you get the ROB right off the bat. Improves your mana regen, and gives you +6 damage, that helps with last hitting and gives you +12 damage when harassing with geminate attack.
Early game pickups
Hand of Midas – Good pickup when you feel like you are going to need a boost in gold and experience over the course of the game to win.
Bottle – Lovely bottle. HP and mana regen, on a hero that doesn’t have a hard time at all getting runes. Get this if you’re mid, or if you are allowed to bottle crow.
Vitality Booster – Important item early game, just buy a casual Vitality booster. It will help loads with your low HP.
Power Treads – Probably the best boots for Weaver. You can set it to strength to tank a little bit better, or agi when harassing or if you want to push an empty lane.
Tranquil Boots – Not as good after the removal of the active effect, I’d say this item is not nearly as good as Power Treads anymore. However, it gives you more survivability overall.
Phase Boots – Personally I dislike these, but a friend of mine has suggested to put these as an extremely situational pickup, in which you buy the boots merely for the damage bonus. Not recommended.
Ring of Health – Really useful for Weaver, as he has a hard time dealing with lane harass, so he needs some regen to stay in lane and farm. This item is great for that, as he builds into a Perseverance, that also gives you mana regen for Shukuchi spam, and builds into Linken’s Sphere, which I will cover below.
Bracer, Drum of Endurance – Great cost-efficient item, profides you a little bit of everything: Survivability, damage, mana. Buy this if you plan on ending the game early.
Magic Wand – Good on every hero really, it doesn’t build into anything, but it provides you with a HP and mana burst that can prove to be useful in many situations, especially in someone as reliant on mana and HP as Weaver.
Medallion of Courage – Armor, mana regen, and an active that reduces armor AND stacks with our lovely Swarm, all in one item. Great early game pickup.
Core items (This is NOT an item build, it is merely an explanation of common pickups and items that can work on Weaver.)
Hand of Midas – Hand of Midas has been really common on any hero as of patch 6.81b, providing a huge experience and gold boost. The earlier you get this item the better, however, as with any item that requires rushing, it has some degree of risk to the purchase. My personal opinion on the item is that you should only buy it if you feel that you are going to need more farm wherever you can find it in order to win.
Linken’s Sphere – This item has been core on Weaver for ages, and for a reason. HP and mana regen, stats, and an ability that blocks a targeted spell? What’s not to like?
Daedalus, Crystalys – This item is decent on Weaver, but you don’t get 2 crits with Geminate! Only the first attack counts. Same applies to any other orb effect item listed below.
Manta Style – Useful for farming and split pushing. Gives some decent stats, and some move speed, not that important, but every little bit counts!
Eye of Skadi – A LOT of stats, HP and mana, and a huge slow. The problem with this item is that it’s very expensive.
Monkey King Bar – Great item for DPS, it benefits both the regular and Geminate attack. Probably the go-to item for damage on Weaver.
Heart of Tarrasque – An upgrade for your early game Vitality Booster if you opt for one, and even more HP on top of that, and unbeatable (when it comes to items) HP regen. This item solves Weaver’s main issue which is his low health.
Butterfly – Expensive item, but Weaver benefits from everything it offers: Armor from agility, damage, and lovely evasion so we can tank a bit more.
Black King Bar – You could argue that BKB is a good pickup on any carry, but even more so on Weaver. The bonus strength in this helps a lot. And the magic immunity makes it so that you can’t get stopped for the duration. All they can do is take damage and wait for the avatar buff to run out.
Orchid Malevolence – Damage, silence and mana regen. Good on Weaver if you plan on doing mid game skirmishes for kills.
Desolator – A pure damage item. The earlier you get this the better. See the problem? You have to skip your survivability items most of the time for this. However, swarm+Medallion of Courage+Desolator HURTS.
Radiance – Same as Desolator, but even more so. It’s so expensive, and there’s no build up, which means you are forced to save 3800 gold for the sacred relic, and then more gold for the recipe. And since you have to get it as soon as possible, dying is such a stepback that you might as well give up on building it. Most carries that had this as core are now transitioning to items with an easier buildup.
Divine Rapier – Don’t get this when winning. Seriously. Even when you have heart. If you get caught, you just threw the game. Buy it as a last resort item when losing to try and turn the game around.
In this part of the guide I will be covering the item choice paths that are most commonly taken. Every build below has the items as if you had finished farming and have reached the point where they are most effective.
Early game build
Drum of Endurance, Magic Wand, Medallion of Courage, Desolator, Power Treads
This build pretty much includes the most effective items possible in the early game, in order to get an early advantage, before buying a Black King Bar and pushing your lead even further.
Black King Bar, Monkey King Bar, Linken’s Sphere, Power Treads
This build is the most common, and has a good balance of damage and survivability. Late game items are your choice, my personal preferences are Heart or Butterfly.
Maximize Mid Game Impact
Power Treads, Heart of Tarrasque, Manta Style, Drum of Endurance, Monkey King Bar
In this build we opt for Manta for extra survivability, but manta also allows you to pick off heroes with targeted disables more reliably, because you are not going to get disabled that easily, due to the confusion effet that the illusions provide. After Manta, you are free to go for any other damage item, and, as always, Black King Bar if needed.
Lanes & General Strategy
Safe Lane solo
Weaver is an excellent safe laner, as he can safely farm with his Shukuchi. If you don’t feel safe, last hit with shukuchi, and if you are TOTALLY in danger (Agressive trilane, too much ganking focus on you, sentry wards), it may be a good idea to lane switch or get someone to help you, or let your teammates know the other 2 lanes are more vulnerable.
The most dangerous one and trickier one. If you’re solo against a trilane, you’re not gonna have fun. If they work well together, you should be lvl 1 for 7 minutes (theorically), and if you get close to get a last hit, you’re dead. Hope that your allies are doing a good job in other lanes to make up for yours so they can come and help you. Best way to come back from this is through teamfights, if won you will catch up easily. Your focus here is to try to stay alive no matter what, wasting the trilane strategy, while trying to get the most out of the lane EXP wise.
Easy lane duo
Simple enough, you should be able to farm, and if anything comes, your lane buddy (hopefully a support), will be able to save you or take the blow for you. This is more up to your lane partner than you, but make sure you don’t do anything dumb and blame it on him just because of it!
Fast levels and solo lane gives Weaver relatively easy farm. Make sure you keep an eye out for the enemy supports’ movement, because mid ganks are the norm. Buy a bottle and get rune control, it’s very easy with your max speed! That should make your lane easy.
Simple. Just farm and harass when you can, only fight when the supports initiate.
These are the lanes weaver is most commonly found in. I was planning on adding aggressive trilane as well, but I decided not to, as Weaver isn’t actually seen in one that much, due to its risk, and how much of a liability Weaver is with no items.
In all lane choices, your main priority is to find farm. As much as possible. If you can get a kill or two, do it, but your early game priority is to farm.
Reaching the midgame, where teams stop laning and start looking for teamfights, you have 2 choices.
- Join your team in roaming, be careful not to get caught, you can scout ahead for traps. Only run into high ground if you have shukuchi on, and if you run into their whole team, just ulti away. Their little trap is now over.
- Stay in lane to farm and splitpush. KEEP A TP SCROLL IN YOUR INVENTORY AT ALL TIMES. Farm farm farm, and if the other team is 5-man dotoing, take a free tower quickly, and then tp to help your team. However, if there’s no time to take the tower, Helping your team should always be your priority.
In the transition and in the late-game, your strategy shouldn’t change much. The biggest difference here is that you will most likely have a few items (1 or 2 from the list), and be able to get kills by yourself, you can try to pick off squishy heroes, or still do the cleanup-style Weaver, come from the back and kill low hp enemies that are running away.
Friends & Foes
Which heroes pwn WITH Weaver?
Bane, Rubick, Shadow Shaman, Shadow Demon, Crystal Maiden
Weaver has many friends, mostly heroes that are able to keep your target in place while Swarm works its magic, and are able to initiate early game kills.
But there is always that ONE hero, that paired with Weaver…
…Treant Protector, Treeman, Icefrog’s favorite hero, the most useless hero in the past and the most imbalanced thing in the present, got a remake on his passive, that used to give global bonus armor and health regen during daytime. It is now a global spell, that applies a buff that adds 80 damage block at it’s highest level, plus insane health regen, for 15 seconds, or until you take 7 damage instances. Living armor can make Weaver win any lane, as it makes harass irrelevant, and allows extremely agressive play. This hero used to be picked as a joke, or “trolling”, but, at the Dreamhack Summer 2013, Quantic Gaming picked Treant+Weaver versus Alliance, arguably the best team in the world currently, and absolutely dominated that game. Living armor made it so that towers did literally NO DAMAGE, allowing even Weaver, one of the most squishy heroes in the game, to tower dive. After his “true potential” was shown, he is now one of the top picks in competitive Dota, and as of 6.81, a standard pick that has proven its worth after so much time being made jokes about.
For anybody interested in watching this game, the VOD will be located down below, in the VODs section. However do note that this is a very one sided game, so you might not learn much from it, and it is merely intended to show how powerful Treant is alongside Weaver. 
Which heroes PWN Weaver?
Silencer, Disruptor, Axe, Bane, Magnus, Keeper of the Light, Faceless Void
Heroes that are able to keep you in place, or make you incapable of using your spells turn you into free gold. Most Weaver players will build Linken’s Sphere, so heroes with non-targeted (area or global) Silences are extremely effective, hence Disruptor and Silencer. Void’s Chronosphere keeps you in place, defenseless, and it breaks your invisibility. RIP. Magnus has an AOE stun that keeps you in place, and Axe can do a similar thing, taunting you, making you defenceless for the duration.
 Quantic versus Alliance, DHS2013, showcasing Treant+Weaver combo. (Casted by BBallin)