Barathrum is a strength hero. Even so, he is not a excellent tanker so do not treat him like one. The roles Barathrum will play will be as follows:
The Global Ganker
Global in the sense that you can easily gank from one end of the map to the other with his massive speed from Charge. He has 2 stuns and a passive bash at his disposal. Once he lands a succesful charge, it is not easy to escape alive. Exploiting his strength as an early game ganker, he is almost made to gank 24/7 during this crucial period to completely shutdown the opponent’s team
The Tower Diver
A strength hero when equipped with Strength treads and Bracers makes a fearsome tower diver. His unparalleled diving potential puts other ganker heroes to shame.
He moves in, he kills, he moves out. You can’t outrun him, blinking can’t help you, nor can tower hugging help you. Everything happens in amatter of 4 secs. A 2.5sec charge followed by a 1.5 sec Ultimate. Being a disabler might help, if you manage to disable him as he charges towards you. Trying to target a near-invisible hero (like PA’s Blur)moving at top speed, not knowing from which direction he will appear, isn’t an easy task to do.
Almost all of Barathrum’s skills are unique. It is interesting how each of the skills actually work and Virot2 had came up with a thread pertaining to all the nitty-gritty details for each of his skills.
Link: All about Spirit Breaker, Details, details
The relevant details will be summarized again in each of the respective skills in this guide. Skill usage, how to use, and its synergy will not be discussed here but in the later sections under Strategy.
Charge of Darkness
Barathrum fixes his sight on an enemy and accelerates towards it. As you increasespeed, you begin to merge with the shadows around you, becoming difficult to see until you stop the Charge or hit your target. Uponleaving the shadows, Barathrum shocks his opponent into an immobilestate for some time.
Level 1 – Accelerates slowly, 1 sec stun.
Level 2 – Accelerates moderately, 1.5 sec stun.
Level 3 – Accelerates fast, 2 sec stun.
Level 4 – Accelerates very fast, 2.5 sec stun.
Cooldown: 40 seconds.
Mana Cost: 120.
Everyfour seconds, Barathrum’s speed increases, maxing out after 12 seconds.The speed increases at each level (starting at 0 seconds) are:
Level 1 – 10/20/30/40%
Level 2 – 15/30/45/60%
Level 3 – 20/40/60/80%
Level 4 – 25/50/75/100%
Note: Max Speed is 522ms
WithTreads, his ms will be 360. At 40% increase, his total ms = 360*1.4 +360*0.08 (from haste) = 532 (capped at 522). Therefore with treads andlvl 4 haste, he needs 12sec/8sec/4sec/4sec for levels 1/2/3/4 Charge respectively to reach maximum speed.
As of v6.44, the Charge buff (the icon you see in his hero potrait) will remain for 4 secs after he has landed his Stun. Previously, hisbuff will dissapear completely once the stun has landed, or when he stops the charge. This 4 sec buff simply translates to 4 sec of maximum bonus dmg from Empowering Haste (16% of 522ms is 83.5dmg). Withlevel 1 Charge lasting 1 sec and a level 1 NetherStrike at Level 7, this buff is devastatingly powerful.
Another area where this buff ismade useful is when you realise that it is too risky to stun the target just before 1000 distance from you. The 4 sec buff allows you to escape out of sight in an instant. This change change/buff was possible made due to problems with Barathrum getting stucked in ledges and cliffs when he stops suddenly.
Other details include:
he gains shared vision of the target
Charge will continue even when target blinks or teleport away
Charge will target the ‘real’ image if target forms illusions
Collision size reduced to 0 meaning he can pass through creeps and ledges/cliffs similar to Spectre’s Spectral Dagger ability. Charge however, is uncontrollable in a sense that you cannot manually spam-click ground to move through trees or across a cliff.
When a target does BKB whenCharged, the charge buff on the target will be dispelled and so does the shared vision. The Charge buff on Bara however will still remain and he will continue chasing the target. Worth noting is that his attack behaviour will change. If he crosses an area with enemy creeps,he will begin to auto-attack them first, kill them all, and once thereare no more creeps, he will continue chasing the target again. Similar effects will be observed when the target is purged, dispelled, Naixhiding in creep, or against Tidehunter’s dispelling Kraken Shell.
There exist a small window of a few milisecs where you can avoid beings tunned by blinking or windwalking. This is when Bara is about to land the stun (which is actually a Storm bolt).
Every few secs, his image will progressively turn transparent to near invisible similar to PA’s blur ability.
Causesthe Spiritbreaker to swing his weapon faster with higher movement speed, allowing him to deal extra damage. His presence increases the movement speed of nearby allied units (300 AoE).
Level 1 – Increases movement speed by 2% and damage by 4% of his movement speed.
Level 2 – Increases movement speed by 4% and damage by 8% of his movement speed.
Level 3 – Increases movement speed by 6% and damage by 12% of his movement speed.
Level 4 – Increases movement speed by 8% and damage by 16% of his movement speed.
Passive Aura, 300 AoE
Attack type Hero, Damage type Normal
Illusions gain Empowering Haste
Attack triggers when Bara begins an attack. To prevent abuse, Haste only triggers a maximum once every 0.3 secs.
With Power Treads and Level 4 Haste, he has 388ms.
388ms ~ 62 bonus dmg
522ms ~ 83.5 bonus dmg
With Charge buff lasting another 4 sec after stun, you gain 4 secs of 83.5 bonus damage. Great Synergy.
Gives a 17% chance to bash enemies across the ground, doing more initial damage and damage as they skid.
Level 1 – 25 bonus damage, 140 knockback distance.
Level 2 – 50 bonus damage, 180 knockback distance.
Level 3 – 75 bonus damage. 220 knockback distance.
Level 4 – 100 bonus damage. 260 knockback distance.
Greater Bash triggers at the start of Barathrum’s attack.
He may Greater Bash even on attacks that then miss or are disrupted.
Totalof 0.95/1.15/1.35/1.55 seconds of slide time for level 1/2/3/4 respectively. This can also be viewed in terms of Stun seconds.
GreaterBash triggers at most once every 1.5 seconds. Hencewise a level 4 bash, you will almost rarely get a chance to bash the target again while heis sliding.
Target will destroy trees in its slide path. If his path is blocked by a cliff/ledge, he will start making jerking movements.
Total slide distance of Greater Bash is 140.2/150.1/156.7/161.1
The bonus damage (25/50/75/100) is dealt all at once at the start of the Greater Bash
Moves you next to your target doing extra damage. Performs a greater bash hit. Casting range improves per level.
Level 1 – 200 mana, 75 cooldown, 400 cast range, lasts 1.55 seconds, 100 Damage, 1 Teleportation Delay.
Level 2 – 250 mana, 75 cooldown, 550 cast range, lasts 1.55 seconds, 200 Damage, 1 Teleportation Delay.
Level 3 – 300 mana, 75 cooldown, 700 cast range, lasts 1.55 seconds, 300 Damage, 1 Teleportation Delay
After 1 second, Barathrum teleports to the target, is ordered to attack and delivers a level 4 Greater Bash
OnceBara finishes casting Nether Strike, nothing will stop the bash. Evenif he died, his dead body will still bash the target. If target teleports to another location, Bara will still appear next to him.
Bara can target Magic Immune with Nether Strike. The bash slide effect will still occur.
6. Nether Strike
11. Nether Strike
16. Nether Strike
Skill Build Justification
You will start off learning Charge. The stun can be handy when you are harrasing with an ally. Possible for first blood or even to save a dying friend. Anyways, even if you learn Haste at level 1, Charge at level 2, it wouldn’t make such a big difference. It will only be a matter of time for you to reach level 2. Haste is taken later and subsequently maxed first (till Lvl 7). Only one point in Bash is needed early on, which you will learn at level 4. The 17% chance at level 1 is too good to pass up. Nether strike is learnt at 6, 11, 16. Charge is maxed next and finally Bash.
Most importantly, at Level 7 you must have Haste maxed out, learn 1 level of Charge and Bash as well as Nether Strike. This will maximize your killing potential as a ganker by Level 7.
Total Costs: 700 (Bottle) + 1850 (Str Treads) + 1020 (2x Bracers) + 1950 (Mask of Madness)
= 5520 gold
I am not joking. Having played so many games with Bara, I can easily achieve Godlike status once these items have been attained. There is nowhere here in this forum where you can find such a cheap Core Build and I can assure you with this simple set of items, you can wreck massive damage even come late game.
Alternatively, Armlet is a great substitute (as of v6.49) for MoM. Personally, i have greater preference for MoM but for sake of completeness, I have added Armlet as analternative. I will draw out some comparisons with Pros and Cons of choosing one over the other under Justifications.
Total Costs: 700 (Bottle) + 1850 (Str Treads) + 1020 (2x Bracers) + 2850 (Mask of Madness)
= 6420 gold
Item Build Justification
Treads(Strength) — The boots of choice. A very much needed item on SB. He needs the additional Ias to raise his Dps. The additional strength grants him additional damage and HP. Hence, saving space from the need to buy so many bracers.
Bonuses: +30%Ias, +10 Dmg, +190 hp, +65ms
Bracers– For early game survival during ganks. Good HP boost and additional damage. Allows you to survive a tower dive.
Bonuses: +6 Dmg, +3%Ias, +3 Int, +114 hp
Bottle– Yes. Bottle. Bara is one of the few heroes which I will go godlike every time, every game. The other one is Templar Assasin. Indeed the function of Bottle on him is the same as that of TA in that he needs to replenish him mana to sustain himself in carrying out more ganks. His ultimate has a great cooldown (75sec is as good as 60sec for Primal Roar) but carries along a high mana cost. At level 7, Bara’s mana pool is barely 350mana. A charge and a Nether Strike will consume 320 mana. Going around ganking means alot of tower diving, hence the burst hp regen is very useful too.
Since you are ganking around from Top to Bottom Lane, you will crossing the Rivers quite a lot. Another reason to get bottle .. yeah.
Bottle is almost always gotten from the Side Secret Shops (Top/Bottom Lane) with the initial purpose of staying in the lane. When tangoes run out, Bottle comes in handy.
The Mask of Madness Versus Armlet Argument
I am not going into details on how Armlet works. If you don’t have a clue on what the Item does, take a look on thisArmletGuide to have a basic understanding on how it functions. MoM is an age old which everyone should be familiar with. Along with the comparison, I will include a DPS Analysis in which I use a level 7 Spiritbreaker with the following items — Treads, 2x Bracers, either MoM or Armlet as shown in the image. Also to note is that the Haste bonus dmg is 83.5 at 522ms. This value will be used as your main dmg output occurs within the first 4 secs after the stun.
DPS formula is as follows: DPS = [(1.0+Ias)/1.7]*[Avg Dmg]
Like I mentioned on earlier in the game, it is a matter of preference. In my book, MoM is far more superior than Armlet. One may argue that the extra damage taken is going to make you drop like a fly in thick battles. As a MoM user, you will need to avoid biting more than you can chew. It comes through experience, good map awareness, and being able to predict if they are other heroes hiding and waiting to disable/nuke you. From experience, going the Armlet route usually leaves me with little health after a gank and sends me straight to the fountain. MoM allows you to recover life through neutralling.
Having an additional 50% Ias can grant you an additional Bash. It is based on chances, yes, but as far as Theorycraft is concerned, it is insufficient to come to a conclusion that Armlet has higher DPS than MoM and Armlet wins flat-out. A bash on a target could mean more additional hits, acts as a disable preventing him to cast a spell, buys time for your allies to reach your location, or even saves you a Nether strike since you won’t be needing it to finish him off.
The best part of Armlet is likely the Hp boost you gain upon activation. Allows for better tower diving and survivability. Even so, the hp gain from Treads and 2x Bracers (total of 418hp) is more than sufficient to last you in battle. It is great for mindgames too but that is not something you want to toy around in higher level inhouse games.
Still, it’s a matter of preference. If you don’t buy my arguments, go ahead with the Armlet Route. To be honest, it is almost as effective as MoM after weighing their pros and cons. There exists a very thin line in which MoM is better than Armlet overall which is hard to see if you have little experience playing this guy.
Going Both Armlet and MoM?
Seriously, No. You should head straight for Tier 4 items. It is all about game progression. Building an item takes time. It may seem at that point intime, they enemy team is scattered with solo individuals around the map giving you an easy kill. It is highly likely that 10-20 mins later, they will begin to bunch up. In essence, you need to start building up your team items in preparation for the incoming team battles.
Tier 4 items like Assault Cuirass and Heart are powerful team items. One grants massive armor buffs/debuffs auras while the other transform you into a tank.
After Core Items
AssaultCuirass — You can either grab a Platemail or a Hyperstonef irst. Usually I go for Hyperstone for greater killing power. You might need to free up some space, sell a bracer if needed. AC is built first before Heart. It has superb synergy on your hero. Armor bonus is helpful for survivability. The key bonuses that makes it deadly on Bara are the 50% Ias as well as the -5 armor aura debuff. One grants your greater DPS and higher bash chance while the other, amplifies your damage. Also to note is that your Empowering Haste Dmg is amplified also since it is of ‘Type: Normal Dmg’ reducable by armor.
Heart– Heart and AC always comes in pair. If you get one, you get the other. The reason is simple. As much as you want to balance Ias and Dmg to maximize your DPS, you will want to maximize your EHP too with Armor and Raw Hp. Upon completion of this Item, you become an unstoppable tanking perma-basher.
Satanic– In case you went the Armlet route, this item will help you more instead of Heart. Great Lifesteal, good Hp bonus. As a dps cum tanker,it is important for you to have some form of lifeleech.
The Early Game
You start off with 2x Gauntlets and as many tangoes as possible. Head for either the top or bottom lane. This is important because you can access the secret shop to buy your bottle.
Last-hitting with Barathrum — A level 1 haste deals about 10dmg, 20dmg at level 2. Take you time to get used to the feeling of last-hitting creeps with this skill. It isn’t easy if you are new to playing Bara.Your last-hitting might get screwed up because of haste proccing before an attack.
Dual-Laning — There is nothing much I can help out in this. Do the usual thing of last hit and denying and help out your teammate as best as you can. Figure out how best the two of you can synergize as a team.
Solo-Laning against a Dual-Laner — Fret not, this can be done. I have faced dual ranged heroes before and managed to keep myself alive. Usually, I will do this: right-clicking an enemy hero then backing off, causing their creeps to come closer to you, enabling you to get some last-hits in.
The Ganking Phase
Once you reach Level 7, look out for heroes to gank. Make sure you have boots and a bottle first though or chances are the gank will fail. The ganking phase will last as long as pre-lategame. Do not be afraid if you have not yet aqquired MoM even at the 30th min. As long as you have done your job well as a ganker, it is good enough. With your effort, your other allies can easily farm up the items they need to win the game.
Bara’s ganking style can be compared to that of Nerubian Assassin, one that roams around 24/7 from one end of the map to the other.
Look out for runes to capture and replenish your mana consistently. Remember that a Charge and a Nether Strike combo costs 320 mana. Only initiate a gank when you have that amount. After every successful gank, look around and see if it is safe to farm for a while. Finding some time farming is important so you won’t lag out in terms ofitems. Neutrals are a great choice to farm on. They keep you hidden in the forest making enemies be on their toes for a gank.
You will be going back to the fountain often to replenish your hp and mana as well as bottle. Take this time to upgrade your inventory. Form your Treads, Bracers and MoM as and when you can. This is as much advice I can give you on what to do during the ganking phase. Other than that, all I have are ganking techniques which will prove useful during this phase.
Ganking & Other Misc. Techniques
Good Old Fountain Charge — You start off charging right from the fountain. Atrick would be to position yourself as close to thef ountain so that when you start to move, you get to recover your used mana (from Charge) for a longer duration. It looks like a noob move but don’t be fooled.You may argue that “Pros won’t fall to that kind of trap, yada yada..” but this technique in fact has a lot ofadvantages.
* Best case scenario — the target does not notice himself being charged, he becomes a sitting duck. Extra money for you.
* You save alot of time getting yourself back into your lane with the insane speed.
* Good opponents carry a TP scroll. They will tp away, but it costt hem 135gold. Atop of that, you just successfully stopped their farming momentum.
* Good opponent who doesn’t carry a scroll will either move towards their ally or hug a tower. Again, you just wasted their time moving around the map doing nothing.
* Granting Truesight on Invisible targets for your allies.
* You recover back most of your mana after the charge and cooldown isn’t that bad either.
Hidden Charge — Hidden Charge basically means Charging from a shorter distance while under fog of war (hence hidden). As far as possible, you want to reach full ms of 522 before hitting the target. As a general rule to reach Maxspeed with Treads, you need 12sec/8sec/4sec/4sec for levels 1/2/3/4 Charge respectively. The faster your speed, the less time your target will be able to react. He could be a stunner but at such high speeds, itis easy miss landing a stun. Night time plays a role too. With reduced vision, your target won’t even know when you came. This form of charge is used in a pre-planned ganking with an ally.
Nether Before Charge — This combo starts off with a nether strike first rather than Charge. The aim is to push back the enemy hero towards your own allies so they can land a disable or nuke him to death. You wouldn’t want to do a charge cos it will take some time for you to reach the target. Nether is immediate. Again, Charge accordingly with respect to whether they are a disbler or a non-disabler
Communicating for a gank
— Sometimes you charge an opponent from a distance and it takes 10-15 secs to actually reach the target. Use that time to communicate to your allies. Say in chat, “Charging [inserthero]” and ping the target’s location on the map. This will inform your nearby ally to get ready to assist you in the gank. At times it may be helpful if you ping your own current location so that your ally can have a good judgement on how much longer you will take to reach yourtarget.
Wards, Watchers and Revenants
— Having played many games with him, I can feel the difference when my allies starts warding, putting watchers and revenants. It makes ganking easier. To charge, he needs vision and these will fulfill its purpose. I’ve caught many by surprise neutralling in the camps.
When without wards, you need to be observant in looking at the minimap. When all they heroes are missing,do not immediately charge the next red dot that appears in the map. Youmight end up in a trap with 4 other heroes waiting for you. As a general rule, you might want to have at least 3 enemy heroes visible in the minimap before charging the lone hero. Make sure the other two are far away from him. Now you are left with two other heroes with unknown positions. As you close in, keep track on the minimap and see if anymore red dots appear.
Remember you are a god damn assasin! You kill and you move out! Do not hang around unless you have allies in your back.
A Split Stun — A Spilt Stun is when you split your Charge and your Netherstrike on two different targets. This is most notably used when you are chasing more than one target which are on low life after a major battle where you arrived late. For example, your allied SK landed an Epicenter but two of them escaped with near red health.With a level 4 charge, youwill charge one of the target, once you landed the stun, immediately nether the other fellow. You will most likely kill him in 1-2 hits. 2.5sec stun is quite a long duration.Quickly finish him off before he recovers.
Another scenario could a chasing scene where you have allies behind you. Knowing that they willc ome to support you, land a charge on one target, and Nether the other. Focus hitting on the ‘healthier’ one while your allies finish off the low health target.Hopefully you land a bash or two on your target hence buying more time for them.
Escaping A Failed Gank
— A nether escape is done whena bunch of heroes tries to gank you and you have no choice but to run.Yes, a failed gank, one where you didn’t notice that he had other allies waiting behind trees. If say, 2 disablers a Sven and VS are chasingyou, let one of them land a stun on you and then immediately nether the other guy who has yet to land a stun. Then quickly make an escape int he other direction. The general rule is to nether the furthest guy from you or someone who is near a tree bend or cliff so you can nether and run into fog of war.
Joining A Late Battle — A skirmish erupts on the other side of the map and you are not there. Use Charge to reach the location ASAP. Target a full health hero (not a semi-dead one because once he is dead, you will lose your Charge buff and the ms bonus). Someone in your team will usually die. Once you’ve landed a stun on your target, if you have a fleeing ally, use your Nether Strike to save him from the nearest threat. Now decide whether you can manage the battle, whether to flee or fight is up to your judgement
Transition to Late Game
It could be 40th min, it could be 50th min. Around this time, you probably have built your AC. This is the period when team battles often erupt.Whenever possible, enter the battle late. Leave the initiation to your allies. Use your stun well, either to disrup3 a channeler,disable their carry or finish off their main support hero before he causes trouble on your team. BKB comes useful during these times but it isnt always a necessity. You begin your battle with a charge. Strange, but SB is actually a very mobile hero. If he ever gets focused, he can easily escape with nether strike and disable the hero at the sametime. He is a cow, he is beefy, but never treat him like a tank. Not until he gets his Heart. Activate your MoM wisely. Activate it in mid-battle, not during the start. If in any case I get disabled or trapped, I won’t die an insta-death. As heroes slowly exhaust their disables and ultimate, activate your MoM to clean-up your opponents. The speed boost will prove useful in outrunning your opponents.
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