One of the easiest heroes to own pub games, I wrote this guide because I like this hero alot. From being able to do tons of burst damage from level 3 onwards to being a semi-carry later on as well as having a skill that lets you be invisible forever, Gondar is a very fun, versatile hero to play with. Early-game, he is a formidable nuker which helps him net kills early on. Late-game he has a nifty critical skill, enabling him to dish out damage with the right items. Also, he has a very good advantage over all other heroes.
Strength - 17 + 1.8
Agility - 21 + 3.0
Intelligence -16 + 1.4
Starting HP - 473
Starting Mana - 208
Starting Armor - 4
Starting Damage - 45 - 59
Movement speed - 315
As you can see, Gondar's agility gain is high, his strength gain mediocre and his intelligence gain is quite low. Luckily, Gondar's skills don't use up as much mana as other heroes, so it somewhat compensates for it. At level 10, Gondar only has 777 hp without items, so getting items that quickly boost HP are a must for him. Overall, his stat gain is 6.2 which is decent -- allowing him to act as semi-carry.
Level 1 - 100 damage, 90 mana.
Level 2 - 200 damage, 115 mana.
Level 3 - 250 damage, 135 mana.
Level 4 - 325 damage, 155 mana.
Cooldown: 10 seconds.
Gondar's bread-and-butter skill. The damage is one of the highest in the game, and comes coupled with a ministun to boot. This skill gives you 200 damage when you are level 3, which when coupled with windwalk gives an instant 250 damage without counting your normal attack. This coupled with an ally stun and a few hits can seriously damage / kill an opponent 5 minutes into the game. Due to the low cooldown, it can be used twice, as an initiator and a finisher. Max this skill first.
Level 1 - 5% dodge, 1.25 critical multiplier.
Level 2 - 10% dodge, 1.5 critical multiplier.
Level 3 - 15% dodge, 1.75 critical multiplier.
Level 4 - 20% dodge, 2 critical multiplier.
A great stepping stone for Gondar that gives him a smooth transition from a nuker early game to a dps machine late game. The evasion is extremely helpful late game which is when normal attacks count more than nukes, and the critical is great. Get it mid-game.
Turns invisible for a period of time. Deals bonus backstab damage. Transition time decreases per level.
Level 1 - 30 backstab damage, lasts 15 seconds.
Level 2 - 60 backstab damage, lasts 20 seconds.
Level 3 - 90 backstab damage, lasts 25 seconds.
Level 4 - 120 backstab damage, lasts 30 seconds.
Cooldown: 20 seconds.
Costs 50 mana at all levels.
This is your escape mechanism, scouting skill, harassing skill and initiator bundled into one. The low mana cost allows it to be spammed even at lower levels, doing a ton of damage "backstab-harassing". Although it is different from Clinkz's Wind Walk by trading some MS boost for damage, this version of WW is better as your ultimate already gives you 20% movement speed boost. The whole game, it's great of getting out of tight spots as well as finding a lone hero in the jungle to kill. When the game progresses, the bonus damage won't be worth so much anymore, so max it in conjuction with Shuriken Toss.
Tracks an enemy hero for 30 seconds or until it dies. You gain 20% movement speed increase. If you kill a hero, you pawn its head for extra money.
Level 1 - Any hero kill is worth 50 bonus gold, reduces target's armor by 1, costs 100 mana.
Level 2 - Any hero kill is worth 100 extra gold, reduces target's armor by 2, costs 75 mana.
Level 3 - Any hero kill is worth 150 extra gold, reduces target's armor by 4, costs 50 mana.
Cooldown: 10/7/5 seconds.
This skill is the one that enables you to chase anyone short of Lycan's Shapeshifted Form. It gives you sight of the hero as well, so you could actually just right click the enemy hero without fear of him juking you. As a result, you get an obvious advantage on anyone that relies on invisibilty like Clinkz and Rikimaru. The armor reduction gives you a nice DPS boost as well. Note that the bonus gold is given even if Track wasn't used first.
Recommended Skill Build
1. Wind Walk
2. Shuriken Toss
3. Shuriken Toss <-- Attempt for a kill with an ally here.
4. Wind Walk
5. Shuriken Toss
6. Wind Walk
7. Shuriken Toss
8. Wind Walk
10. Attribute Bonuses / Jinada
15. Jinada / Attribute Bonuses
Finish up with Attribute Bonuses.
Skill Build Justifications
Pretty much the cookie cutter skill build. Shuriken Toss and Wind Walk are maxed out first as they are the ones that gives you burst damage quickly, enabling you to net quite a few kills with your combo. At level 3 or 4, you can attempt for a kill with an ally that can stun by wind walking, hitting a few times, and finishing with Shuriken Toss for an easy First Blood.
Track is taken right after as the 20% Movement Speed Boost is too useful to pass up. At level 9, using two Wind Walks and one Shuriken Toss can pretty much net you a kill on any lone hero on the map ( 240 + 325 + 140 damage which comes from two normal hits = ~700 damage), and uses up 255 mana. If needed, use Track to chase for that extra last hit. Whether you take Attribute Bonuses or Jinada at level 10 doesn't really matter much, however my personal preference is to go for the Stat boost.
Jinada is taken at levels 12-15 as the bonuses will come right when they are needed the most, during the transition from mid-game to late-game. It provides in excellent stepping stone for you to build upon, and makes you still useful late game other than a burst nuker.
As said before, Gondar is a hero who can pretty much perform decently when any item is slapped on, even SnY. This is the reason why I will provide several builds, and you can just switch or add on items as needed.
The Lone Killer
This build focuses solely on maximizing damage early with cheap items like Wraith Bands that provide some IAS and damage as well as Strength Treads which gives a nice 190hp HP Boost as well as an additional 30% IAS. This coupled with your nukes gives you unmatched raw damage early game.
Desolator is taken for the nice 60 damage boost, and a great Orb effect that stacks with your ultimate to give you a total of 10 armor reduction at level 16 which is massive. Couple that with a maxed Jinada critical and you have alot of DPS for a cheap cost. Also, Desolator is made up of cheap 1610g hammers which give nice damage themselves.
Alternatively, get MKB instead. It provides very good damage and a nice ministun. The drawback is that you have to farm the Demon Edge which requires you to save 2600 gold.
This is a very cheap core build, as you go around ganking very often and so have very little time to farm. I believe that this is a very affordable build and can be completed before the 40 minute mark if you're doing well. Use the last slot for TP scrolls; they're very valuable.
Total cost: 7650g.
This build focuses on capitalizing the raw nuking power of Gondar early - mid game. However, only use this build when doing well in the game, and are able to rush dagon quickly. When gotten early enough, your two nukes + dagon can seriously wreck agi and int heroes for a long time, and if you gank a lot(which you should be doing), they won't be able to farm up many items. As a result, they'll be screwed up for the rest of the game.
The point booster is gotten to help with your hp AND support the mana usage of dagon. Without it, your mana pool will not be able to handle a single combo. It also becomes a Skadi later which provides a lot of stats and a handy Frost Attack Orb.
Treads give you hp or mana when needed so yeah ^^
Total cost: 7920g.
If you love this item and can't live without it, buy it. It's only 700g and provides excellent HP and mana regeneration. Reason it's not in core is because I don't really lack mana while playing BH, but if you like to use that extra Shuriken Toss to get that last hit, go for it.
Hood of Defiance
In some games, the enemy heroes have tons of nukes all waiting for you the moment you show your face, lowering your HP down to nothing in a second. Hood gives you nearly a 50% resistance to those nukes (47.5%), however you won't need it every game. It costs around 2000g, so decide wisely.
Although not really necessary, it can be gotten to further extend your domination over the enemy heroes, ensuring you maintain your advantage over them.
Monkey King Bar
A great DPS item, the ministun really hurts and the 75 damage isn't too bad either. Get it after your core build if you need more DPS output.
Gives a massive HP boost, further increasing your survivability.
Gives a huge 60 damage and 60% IAS boost. Only drawback to it is that the 30% evasion is mostly wasted, it only gives you an additional 10% evasion. Great as a third damage item.
Gives many buffs to you and your team, as well as a -5 armor debuff to the whole enemy team.
Gives you 25% + 15% lifesteal, 5 armor, additional HP as well as 30 damage when activated.
Battlefury sucks. You have absolutely no synergy with the cleave, and you don't even need mana regen all that much. I'd rather go for Desolator/Eul if I wanted damage or mana.
Early Game - Laning Phase
So you've entered a game, chosen Gondar and is in the fountain waiting for the creeps to spawn. Buy two Slippers/Gauntlets and four Tangoes, and head to Sentinel bottom lane or Scourge top lane, with an ally hero that has a reliable stun like Sven, VS etc. As a fragile agi melee hero, you need the regen from tangoes to survive the early levels. Sit back, do lasthit/deny until level 3.
At level 3, you can pretty much go in for a kill if you have an ally stunner with you. Wind Walk out of sight, attack the enemy hero twice, stun, keep attacking together with your ally, and finish it with your 200 damage nuke. That's an easy first blood as well as gold right there. Rinse and repeat, keep the pressure on the lane enemies, get a few kills.
At level 8, your nuking potential is at its peak. Go back to the fountain to buy your items or have an allied chick bring them over for you. If you're doing decently, you should be able to buy boots, a scroll of TP and a few of the Wraith Band or Bracer parts. Note that whenever you use a hero like Gondar or Tiny, get boots early so that you can have a movement speed advantage on other heroes quickly. This is very advantageous as there will be no way that they will be able to outrun you, giving you potential easy kills.
This will be when mid-game starts.
Mid Game - Ganking Phase
Congratulations, you've managed to pass the hardest part of the whole game! Now with your raw nuking power, you can proceed to go to over lane ganking with any ally that might happen to be there. A stun + your two nukes and a few hits is very deadly. My calculations show that BH alone can do 694 damage with four hits including two with Wind Walk and one Shuriken Toss. Add a dagon to that and you do almost a thousand damage not including your ally's firepower! Even the likes of Centaur Warchief will fall to that combo.
Killing Sequence: Wind Walk, attack when cooldowned, Optional: Track, Wind Walk, attack, attack twice, finish with Shuriken Toss.
If the enemy is getting away from you, just use Track to be able to chase and get in those few hits for the kill. Your MS will be sufficient to catch up with them easily. Note that since Track gives you vision of the target, you could just right click the enemy without fear of any juking. This gives you an obvious advantage over heroes that rely on invisibility like Clinkz and Rikimaru.
Remember, you're a ganker hero who should run around the map ganking nonstop instead of farming in a lane. This is a common mistake by many players, they don't use Gondar's ganking power during midgame where it shines the most.
With a competent team, if your team clearly has the advantage, this is when you should push and end the game. I've seen countless games that ended in turnarounds as the team with a clear advantage failed to push hard and early, enabling the other team to farm up and eventually own back.
However, eventually you may find that the enemies are very hard to kill or they start walking in groups. This is when you should start ricing your items in preparation for late game. Don't just walk around aimlessly waiting for a lone enemy hero to show up, that's just wasting time that could be used to get more gold.
Late Game - Team Battles and Pushing
Finally, late game. You should, with a bit of luck, have farmed your tier 4 items by now. If you played a nuker BH, you may find that your killing potential has decreased dramatically now. What you should do now is just spam your nukes on the carry while using your melee attack to damage them a little. This prevents you from being like a Goblin Techies without mines.
If you went the Guinsoo - Orchid route, your job in teamfights is to hex the most dangerous hero while silencing the most annoying spellcaster and taking him out before he can do anything. A 3 second disable on the carry will also enable your team to dish out the damage, hopefully killing him before he can use his own firepower. If needed, track any invisible hero as well, and use your Shuriken Toss to further damage a hero.
Note: Do not underestimate your nukes. 300 damage is still 300 damage, which is probably higher than anyone's physical attack. Use them when needed, don't save your mana for nothing.
If you took Desolator instead, your job is to scout with Wind Walk, pop out of nowhere and wreck havoc on the fragile support heroes. This will enable your teammates to concentrate on the carry or tank. With desolator and another tier 4 item, your DPS output is massive, even moreso with Jinada factored in.
If your team manages to wipe out the enemy heroes, go and push for the win!
#1 : Always have Wind Walk ready to use in a tight situation.
This is essential. I've seen many players too eager to pop out of wind walk to attack a lone hero in the jungle. But what if the tables are turned, and you suddenly are on the verge of dying? A Wind Walk with 5 seconds to cooldown isn't going to help you. So, before you come out of Wind Walk, especially when you know you're in a dangerous area, always make sure that your Wind Walk is at least half cooldowned.
#2. Utulize Wind Walk's short cooldown to score free bonus damage on enemy heroes.
The cooldown of Wind Walk is shorter than the duration of it, starting from level 3 of the skill. Therefore, you can wait for the cooldown to be over while wind walked, hit the enemy hero, re-wind walk, and hit him again. That's an instant 240 damage, and coupled with your physical attack damage, is very likely higher than 300 damage at very early levels. A few more hits and a Shuriken Toss gives you an extremely good chance of garnering an easy kill.
#3. Search the enemy jungle for lone heroes with Wind Walk during the Ganking Phase.
When there are few heroes on the map, chances are they're farming in the jungle at the moment. When you encounter a lone enemy hero, check the nearest creep camp to him to make sure that no allies are there before coming out of Wind Walk and surprise attacking him. Chances are he won't realise you're there immediately, letting you score free hits and, again, another kill. However, do not wait for someone to show up if there's nobody there. Use that time to farm instead.
#4. Do not Tower Dive enemy heroes all the way to the base.
I've seen a freaking lot of people do this. When they see the enemy heroes at red health, they chase them for the easy kill. However, remember that Gondar is a freaking fragile agi hero. Low HP makes Gondar a poor hero to chase pass the second tower, or even the first tower at earlier levels. Remember that a kill does not justify a death. Usually, you lose more gold than you would have had if you didn't chase an enemy and got a creep kill instead.
#5. Always be aware of your remaining mana and make sure you have at least enough for a Wind Walk after a gank.
Simple enough. A shuriken toss costs about 150 mana. A wind walk costs 50 mana. Track costs 100. If you're chasing a hero, you would probably have used wind walk once to initiate, track once, and shuriken for the last hit. That all costs about 300 mana. So to be safe, make sure you have at least 350 mana before starting a gank on a hero which will certainly require the use of Track to kill.
Examples: Clinkz, Rikimaru, Sven, Slardar, Centaur.
In short, heroes that have high HP, or heroes with the ability to go invisible.
#6. Abuse the low cooldown of Shuriken Toss by using it as an initiator as well as a finisher on heroes with high HP.
If in doubt, do it. Tough heroes to bring down are easily brought down to the HP of a sniper by a single Shuriken Toss at the start. What's the point of conserving mana if you're not going to get the kill by doing so? However, as usual, keep track of your remaining mana and use your bottle mid-chase if you have one when needed. Don't start ganks that you can't finish.
Gondar has the ability to dish out tons of damage quickly with his nukes and physical attacks. As such, having an ally stun to hold enemy heroes in place for Gondar to whack on is ideal as Gondar has no means to hold enemy heroes.
As mentioned before, Gondar's power lies in being able to dish out loads of damage in a short time. Having an ally hero who can do the same thing doubles this power, guaranteeing a kill on an enemy hero before he can get away.
Any ability to reveal invisible units removes Gondar's only escape mechanism as well as his scouting ability, which is a big blow to him.
Simply put, when you have no mana, you can't nuke, you can't use your escape mechanism. When facing NA, run. Get a lane change ASAP to save your early game.