Game Two

Game ID: 446121834 (download) (Place replay in the “replays” folder found in “steam/steamapps/common/dota 2 beta/dota” and it should show up in the downloaded replays section under the “Watch” tab.)

The Schlieffen Plan

If only Stormtroopers could strafe jump.
If only Stormtroopers could strafe jump.

Game Type: All Pick

Pick Phase

When I end up in an All Pick game I have little intention of counter-picking. Instead, I have a group of heroes that I’d like to play and I filter the list down depending on the first few picks on both teams. Elimination is not particularly dependant on a hero being countered, or being a counter, to another, but more about whether I enjoy playing a hero with or against the picks I see. In this game my team picks a Death Prophet, Legion Commander, and Chen, while the other team has a Luna, Invoker, and Riki. I’m going support again, and my pick is influenced most by the Riki, Invoker, and Chen. Simply put, I do not want to end up with a hero that is food for their 2 most active heroes, and I’d also like something that can work with Chen in moving around the map and ganking or taking towers. Getting away from Riki primarily means a reliable disable and a hero that can rush a Force Staff of Ghost Sceptre. So I go with Rubick, because Luna and Invoker also means there will be some decent spells to steal.

We get a Weaver for our offlane, they pick Venomancer and Tidehunter. At first blush I figured Tidehunter and Riki in their offlane, but I guess they wanted to split their range, so it’s Tidehunter and Luna bottom and Venomancer top with Riki, which might even have been dangerous if I didn’t have Rubick lift and Chen wasn’t going to be around. With 600 range I also get free harass against anyone who might show up in my lane, so I’ll be getting some early stats for maximum annoyance.

game start

Starting Items

Courier x1, Tangos x1, GG Branches x3, Gauntlet of Strength x1

Chen buys Observer Wards and Sentry Wards, so that’s covered. I get my 3 branches for the help in lane, but take a bit longer to decide on how to spend my last gold. I briefly consider saving it for earlier boots, or maybe a piece of something else, but I figure Chen will be getting a Mekansm, and I’d rather be able to hang a bit longer in my lane and help with pushes, so I get the Gauntlet for an Urn. I’m not the type to buy Clarity Potions on any hero unless I’m doing a specific jungling or roaming strat, and I also rarely go for the more standard Tangos and Salve starting items because I’m a gambler, and I’ll take a definite small advantage over a bigger safety net when I have a choice. My lanes tend to go very well or very poorly, because I occupy less middle ground. If I had been feeling ambitious I could have gone for a Mantle of Intelligence instead of the Gauntlets and built into a Dagon, but you have to be a little serious in ranked matches, right?

First Blood

I see our Chen is warding their jungle and the bottom rune (He picks an interesting ward spot for the bottom rune that I don’t think I’ve seen before, and I figured that was because it would be too far to see the rune at night, but it does, so I’m keeping it.), and because I still think Venomancer will be bottom (I don’t even know why, since I wouldn’t lane a Venomancer against a Weaver, who has guaranteed 522 movespeed and invisibility, when he could be up against 2 heroes with no escapes.), so I casually walk over to the top rune as soon as I see it hasn’t spawned bottom. Venomancer beats me to it, and he’s holding a skill point, which was a good idea. The rune that spawns is Haste, and for a moment it seems like I’m in trouble; my team comments that I’m dead. However, the Venomancer makes a crucial mistake by getting Gale, popping a Clarity, and rushing me with the Haste. Because Gale now does no damage, I’m able to just walk away, and even dodge some of his attacks by going uphill and into fog, where my Legion Commander is waiting to chase him off. He didn’t need Gale to catch me when he already has Haste, and I think he would have done more damage if he had gotten Sting instead. Of course, if I hadn’t had backup on hand (and he knows there’s a Chen around at least), I probably would have died to either skill. I also make a bit of a mistake by trying to lift him early even though there was no chance I would cliff him. If I had saved the lift till Legion Commander was around we could have done more. As it is, Venomancer wastes a Clarity and has to eat a Tango before we even get to the lane. I eat a Tango as well, but I’m fine with that since I get to harass him with 600 range while he doesn’t have mana to Gale.

The actual first blood comes soon after. I see that the 2 minute rune has spawned top, because our wards only see the bottom rune and it isn’t there, and I saw that Venomancer did ward the top rune when he got the Haste, so as my lane seems pretty safe at the moment I figure I’ll make sure that Death Prophet actually gets the rune, because apparently she wants to use all her bottle charges first. I stupidly walk right through their ward vision, but that doesn’t seem to matter. A Double Damage spawns, and I’m standing right next to it, waiting for Invoker to come. Even though he has no items he chooses to attack me instead of trying to deny the rune. He hits me with Cold Snap, but the beauty of Rubick is that he has no cast times, so the ministun doesn’t make a difference and I grab the Double Damage and lift him anyway, then just beat on him a bit until Death Prophet comes in with a nuke and helps finish him off. I do take a Sun Strike to the face, but it’s only level 1, Rubick’s pasty-white skin is safe (Is it racist that I’m pretty sure Rubick is a white dude? I blame his Warcraft 3 model.).

Early Game, First Tower, and Courier Kill

After I get the first blood I swing around to our jungle to hook up with Chen. He’s been worried about our top camp being warded, not because he needs to farm there, but because he wants an approach for a gank on the top lane. With both of us there, and my Double Damage still active, he activates a Smoke of Deceit so we can get around the ward vision, and we go for the kill. I bought boots with my first blood money, but that was when I thought I’d still have to go back to the fountain after Invoker got me low, but with the Smoke on Chen I could have bought them at the side shop during or after the gank instead of having to use the courier. But I am a well respected courier hog, if such a person can still be respected while playing a support.

The gank doesn’t go as hoped: by the time we get there, Legion Commander is already killing off Venomancer, since there is still no mana for Gale (and a properly timed Press the Attack would have negated that anyway), but it looked too uncertain for me, so I use the last of my mana to Fade Bolt the incoming creep wave so that it will bounce to Venomancer, but Legion Commander gets the kill and I have no mana to lift Riki.

I see that Venomancer is spamming Plague Wards when he TPs back, and Chen wants to push the tower, so I buy a Magic Stick from the secret shop to get charges from the Wards so that I can recharge my mana and try for another kill. Or at least that’s what I should have been doing, while instead we just kill Venomancer again and I use my stick charges after Invoker hits me with a Sun Strike. Still blaming lag.

Meanwhile, Death Prophet gets an Invisibility rune bottom, and even though Invoker must have called MIA and there were Sentry wards up for Weaver, she manages to get a double kill on Tidehunter and Luna, and they take bottom tower while we take top tower. Death Prophet displays some hero knowledge by taking tower aggro onto herself before her ult runs out, which helps the creep wave and she still gets full HP when her spirits return.

Invoker gets his Midas. He is now 1-slotted.

Riki hits level 6 relatively late, and he also has few items. Even better, with our early pushing lineup I can stick with Chen or Death Prophet and not have to worry about a Riki jumping me alone. I finish my Magic Wand and go for Arcane Boots instead of the Force Staff first. Venomancer is reduced to trying to jungle farm with Plague Wards.

Eight minutes in and Tidehunter is only level 4, so we keep pushing mid and get the tier 2. Riki picks off our courier after it delivers Chen his Buckler and Headdress (KFC count: 1), and after we get the tower he has enough for Mekansm. Even though we all stick together on our way out, Riki still tries to go for me, and Chen drops a ward, then it’s a Troll Net and a Rubick lift and a few Weaver auto-attacks and we get a free kill.

At this point I think half their team is still trying to get a Midas, and the only weak link we have is our Legion Commander who keeps standing under Sun Strikes while Riki beats on her (and is also rushing a Shadow Blade), and Weaver, who gets himself silly-killed by Shukuchi-ing directly into a Luna ult. But everything else is going so well that I’m happy as a pig in shit.

After Riki tries another unsuccessful gank on him, our Chen decides to end the Cold War with the nuclear option and buys a Gem of True Sight.

Mid Game and Roshan

Twelve minutes in and our Chen has his Mekansm, while their Tidehunter just hit level 6 and their Venomancer is only level 5. Any team fight will strongly resemble one of the more horrifying World War I battles, where Europeans were still working on the whole, “Marching into massed machine guns isn’t going to work,” concept. Except we’re not the defenders, so I guess it was more like a late WWI tank battle, where we just rolled slowly on them because they didn’t have the firepower to stop us. Except those tanks were constantly getting stuck and breaking down, so it we were more like WWII tanks, yet somehow still going up against entrenched infantry with poor firepower.

The Schlieffen Plan is working as intended and we destroy their barracks at 14 minutes.

Fifteen minutes in and I’m hanging around mid lane when Invoker comes at me with his Eul’s Sceptre nonsense. But I’m Rubick, and he’s a little slow, so it’s a simple matter to instantly lift him when I land, so I get hit by the Meteor but he can’t combo into the Deafening Blast. Cast times are important. If I was feeling frisky or had a teammate nearby I may have even gone for a kill on him.

I have my Force Staff and Tidehunter doesn’t have a Blink Dagger. Obviously I want to get that Ravage, so I’m standing quite far back now during the pushes. It’s not like my right clicks make much of a difference when we have Chen creeps and Death Prophet ult, so there’s no need for me to be nearby unless someone gets silly and walks into my lift range. Unfortunately, even when I adjust my ambitions down from getting Ravage to getting Gush, I still end up with Anchor Smash. Small defeats, but defeats all the same.

We get the bottom tier 2 and then go for Roshan. It’s 18 minutes in and we’re prepared for the final stages of our Schlieffen Plan, which will trump Plan XVII this time because the German Empire has tanks. We push mid for the win, and even though I wait so, so long to get the Ravage, essentially doing nothing while my team takes the high ground, when he finally uses it he is already dead. If only Rubick’s Aghanim’s upgrade let him steal spells from corpses. Of course, I’d also have needed an Aghanim’s Sceptre, but one step at a time.

18 minutes

Generic complaints about Peruvians from the other team, I steal nothing interesting, which seems to be a theme for my Rubick, where I can have a great game during which I steal all the best stuff and make the big plays, but we lose anyway, or I get a game where I’m just a support with a good disable and a nuke, and I only manage to steal Lucent Beam, but we win. The Rubick life is a hard life.

end game

Dire Victory

Ranked solo queue record: 2-0

Best Pick

Getting Chen after the Death Prophet against a team that had already picked 2 carries and a hard-farming solo mid. As someone on my team said during the game, “Thank you for playing Chen properly.”

Worst Pick

It’s a toss-up between Riki and Invoker, both of which were picked (no randoms) after Luna and Death Prophet. Invoker would have to have been really good to stop Death Prophet mid, and even if he was Chen could have helped. Best case scenario was that Invoker and Death Prophet trade farm equally, then Prophet gets her ult and pushes other lanes while Invoker keeps on farming mid. He even went for a solo ganking build (Eul’s into combos) against a team that was guaranteed to be pushing together. Riki had nowhere to lane and was also susceptible to counter-picks. Bottom lane was still a toss-up, but with those picks they pretty much threw away mid and top lanes against a team that was already going to try and push and snowball on them. That bottom lane was also a horrible failure just made things worse. All those problems could have been negated by playing better, but they’re still leading with their left foot.

MVP

Chen, easily. He did his job, let us take an early tower advantage, and after that there was nothing they could do to stop us.

MUP

Invoker. Bad pick or not, he rushed useless items and did silly things like running in to drop a Meteor on a tower being pushed by 4 heroes, only to be Rubick lifted and killed. By the time he actually got his build up he couldn’t even kill a solo support. Riki may have also died by jumping supports when there are other heroes around, but at least he was a threat and forced us to buy detection.

Personal Rating

It’s hard to evaluate play when the game is such an obvious stomp. I could have done more and we’d have won harder, and I could have done less and we’d have won regardless. Well, getting that first blood did help, but Invoker was already behind. Still getting some lag spikes as well. Without them I’d hope to do more, if only to make it more entertaining. The DSR site seems to have stopped working, so none of that.

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