Rabu, 11 November 2009

Starting Items

In the past, my de facto purchase in the beginning of the game was a Ring of Regeneration. After the introduction of Tangos, I've found people who paired them with Branches to boost their early game. While there are still some who prefer purchasing Boots of Speed as their initial item.

Early game items don't make or break the game, but it helps shape the direction you'll go. The main point is to hold your lane well, be able to regenerate without having to return to the fountain to soak up as much experience as possible.

This article was written pre-v6.50, but the adjustments have been made alongside the changes of the new patch. If you find any subtle inconsistencies, please pardon the writer and leave a note for a correction.

Also, this isn't aimed at competitive play, rather to help newcomers decided where to spend their starting money when they play their public games.

Health Regeneration Items

If you ever have to choose which items to be right at the get go, take these. Health regeneration is very important early game, extending your survivability, allowing you to keep in your lane as long as possible without having to return to the base to heal.

So why is NOT returning to the base important? In the early parts of the game, the main focus is to stay in the battlefield as long as possible. Leaving your lane to return to the fountain removes a significant amount of time away from the combat zone, denying you the opportunity to earn gold (by killing creeps) and gain experience.

Ancient Tango of Essification

Created by cannibals that went vegan. Allows the bearer to consume two trees, restoring 175 hit points over 25 seconds.
2 charges.

This item can earn the distinction of being the most purchased item in the game after it was added into the game. The item is cheap, contains two charges, and allows the user to regenerate a good amount of hitpoints. The best thing about the item is that it’s undispellable, so even if you get hit by enemy fire, you continue regaining hitpoints.

Why Buy?
Why not? This item is cheap (90 gold), contains two charges and lets you regain hitpoints. You can buy 3 Tangos and hold a lane and farm well, saving up for your eventual items. Almost ALL heroes can benefit from this item, even those who have healing spells – you’ll run out of mana eventually.

Ring of Regeneration

This ring is considered a good luck charm among the Gnomes, as it provides additional 2 hp per second regeneration.

Ring of Regeneration is one of my favorite starting items, although it’s popularity has waned with the addition of Ancient Tangos of Essification into the game. This item aids heroes by adding a 2hp per second regeneration rate.

Why Buy?
With the introduction of Tangos, Ring of Regeneration became less popular. But DotA introduced higher-tier items that use the RoR to make it a more reasonable purchase. Buy a RoR if you are against mass spellcasters to create a Hood of Defiance, or planning to make Mekansm (with Headdress of Rejuvenation).

This item can be made into:

Headdress of Rejuvenation

This item gives a +2hp regeneration aura per second for nearby allied units on top of a +2 to all attributes of the bearer.

Hood of Defiance

This item gives a +8hp regeneration per second to the bearer, along with a 30% magic resistance. Good item to go against a team comprising of mainly spellcasters (Lina, Lion, Lich, etc.) due to its ability to block the damage of spells.

Ring of Health

A shiny ring found beneath a fat halfling's corpse. Provides 5 hit points per second regeneration.

This item regenerates hitpoints double compared to the Ring of Regeneration but costs a bit more (two RoRs = 750) than wielding two of the latter. If you are playing Random heroes, you should be able to get this item quickly.

If you plan to take this item, you'll have to be careful about not dying early game to get enough money to buy this item as soon as possible. It’s also not a bad idea to purchase a Tango as a security blanket, instead of holding out completely for a RoH.

Why Buy?
This isn’t an item you can buy immediately, especially if you decide to pick a hero. You can buy a pair or two of Tangos (recommended), and then quickly pooling your money for this item. This item is a component of a lot of popular items, making it a worthy early investment.

This item can be made into:

Hood of Defiance

This item gives a +8hp regeneration per second to the bearer, along with a 30% magic resistance. Good item to go against a team comprising of mainly spellcasters (Lina, Lion, Lich, etc.) due to its ability to block the damage of spells.


This item gives the bearer +5hp regeneration per second, along with a 65% chance to block 35 damage. A good item for tanking heroes to carry to extend their time in battle by deflecting damage.


This is the ultimate regeneration item, giving 100% mana and +5 hp regeneration for the bearer by combining Ring of Health and a Void Stone. A very versatile item that can be made to future, higher tier items.

Flask of Sapphire Water

A canteen full of the purest, bluest water. Heals 400 HP over 10 Seconds on a friendly unit. 1 Charge. Dispels on attack.

The Flask is a good item to regenerate a lot of HP in a short amount of time. However, they lost their popularity after the introduction of Tangos, as Tangos are undispellable.

Personally, I sometimes buy this item when I have some extra money and anticipate a lot of heavy nukers. His way, I’d be less afraid of being finished off by an unexpected nuke coming my way behind the tower.

Why buy?
This isn’t really the most cost-effective item --- consider it more of a security blanket. This item heals a significant amount of HP in a short amount of time, useful during instances when you fear an ultimate from Zeus, or a gank that can take you down in one hit. If you can keep yourself with decent hitpoints while laning, you can just get purely Tangos instead.

Mana Regeneration Items

Mana regeneration's role in lane control is more offensive than defensive. These items allow you to regain used mana from your hero. Spellcasting heroes such as Zeus or Lina requires a lot of mana to be effective, so they usually start with some items that allow them to regenerate mana to hold their lane and push enemy heroes back.

Sobi Mask

A common mask used by Mages and Warlocks for various rituals. Increases the mana regeneration of bearers by 50%.

Sobi Mask is a good item to buy at the get-go if you’re a spellcaster, especially if you plan to use this item in future recipes. You can also make a Ring of Basilius at the get go for the regeneration aura.

Why Buy?
This allows you to spam more spells if you want to keep the pressure on your opponents. Buy this is you are planning to make any items that need a Sobi Mask, but if not, stick to consumables instead or other +intel items.

This item can be made into:

Ring of Basilius

Ring of Basilius 0.65 Brilliance Aura and +3 armor Devotion Aura. A good beginning item for a spellcaster and can be disassembled to use the Sobi Mask and Ring of Protection into other recipes. This item is a component of Vladimir's Offering.

Oblivion Staff

This item gives the bearer 10% attack speed, 75% mana regeneration, +6 intelligence and +15 damage. Oblivion staff is a component of Refresher Orb and Orchid Malevolence.

Clarity Potion

A live wisp is captured in each bottle. Regenerates 100 Mana over 30 Seconds when used. Dispels on attacks.

As is said in the official description, this item regenerates a hero’s mana. That’s an estimated 3.3 mana points in 1 second. The new patch makes this undispellable, similar to Tangos. You will continue to regenerate Mana despite being hit by the enemy.

Why Buy?
Buy a couple of these if you don’t have a need for a Sobi Mask or Ring of Basilius at the beginning but require a bit of help in the mana department. It makes little sense to buy this after your first trip back to the fountain to shop.

Void Stone

A stone of seemingly endless inner power. Grants +100% mana regeneration.

Void Stone stands as the most expensive initial item. This item is hard to advocate since it doesn’t help you in being able to heal yourself unless you have a regeneration skill such as the Warlock.

It’s probably feasible to get a couple of Tangos and then save up for a Void Stone if you want to spam spells. Make sure you take the top lane for Sentinel or the Bottom lane for Scourge.

Why Buy?
Void Stone gives you good early mana regeneration if you need to spam spells. On top of that, it’s a component of one of the most used items – Perseverance.

This item can be made into:

Eul's Scepter of Divinity

This item gives the bearer the ability to cast Cyclone. In the new version, it has unlimited charges compared to the old version that only had 6. It also gives +20 movement speed, making the wearer move faster.


This is the ultimate regeneration item, giving 100% mana and +5hp regeneration for the bearer by combining Ring of Health and a Void Stone. A very versatile item that can be made to future, higher tier items such as Battlefury and Linken's Sphere.

Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse

The new version reworked Guinsoo's -- the new recipe requires Ultimate Orb, Void Stone and Mystic Staff. This item turns enemy heroes to sheep for a

Health and Mana Regeneration Items

Empty Bottle

An empty bottle that has survived through the ages. It can store healing water for up to 3 uses, each healing 200 hitpoints and 100 mana over 3 seconds. Alternatively it can be used to capture magical runes for 2 minutes.

Not really empty as you buy it, since it contains 3 charges when purchased.

When your Bottle is empty, capturing a rune and using it refills your bottle with 2 charges. This is useful when trying to gank heroes, giving you various potential powerups such as Haste or Double Damage when taking down the enemy.

Why Buy?
A Bottle is close to indispensable to most heroes such as Bounty Hunter, Lina and Priestess of the Moon. This complements their ability to gank enemy lines. While it’s an expensive investment right at the beginning, it can compensate its cost by mid-game with the healing and rune captures.

Other Starting Items

Gauntlet of Strength, Slippers of Agility, Mantle of Intelligence

+3 to Strength, Agility or Intelligence

These are the main components of the most popular early game attribute-boosting items: Bracer, Wraith Band and Null Talisman. Additionally, Gauntlet of Strength is also a component of Cranium Basher.

Why Buy?
If you plan to make a Bracer, Wraith Band of Null Talisman, then you can start with these items. However, if you feel you can survive without having to buy yourself these items and go straight for mid to high-tier items, feel free to do so. These combinations do not combine to any bigger item, and will be generally useless late game.

Circlet of Nobility

An elegant circlet designed for human princesses. Increases all stats by 2.

Why Buy?

There's only ONE (or three) reasons to buy a Circlet... if you plan to make Bracer, Wraith Band or Null Talisman. You can start with a couple of these to boost your early game stats, while saving enough money to complete the item recipe.

Branch of Ironwood

Wearing one of these ensures a Good Game. Increases all stats by 1.

Why Buy?

This item is a great early game stat booster. Buying it costs 57g, but selling it back makes its initial cost only 27g. If you don't plan to buy anything else early on and just want a bit of attribute boosting, its good to buy some branches along with some Tangos.

Boots of Speed

Generic sneakers, increases movement speed by 50.

Boots of Speed is a MUST buy item, although not necessarily right at the beginning. There's little sense to buying a Boots of Speed at the get go since it doesn't help you stay in lane for as long as possible.

However, if you're planning to gank heroes early on without returning to the base and/or plan to purchase a Bottle at the secret shop, then an early Boots of Speed might be a possible decent first purchase. Or, you just got nothing else to buy... then Boots of Speed is a fail-safe purchase.

Why Buy?
You snooze, you lose. You don't want to be the hero who's always last to come in and last to come out. More movement speed is always a plus!

Belt of Giant Strength, Boots of Agility, Robe of the Magi

These items give +6 to a particular attribute, but is purchased more to create higher tier items.

This item is made into Sange and Necronomicon.

This item is a component of Yasha and Maelstrom.

This item is made into Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Oblivion Staff & Diffusal Blade.

Additionally, any of these three items is a component of Power Treads.

Why buy?
After the Power Treads remake, purchasing any of these three makes it more appealing if you plan to get Treads early in the game.

Also, if you are planning to make Sange for example, you can purchase the Belt of Giant Strength along with a couple of Tangos to keep your lane. The extra HP boost and HP regeneration (especially if you're a Strength hero) helps you be more resilient in battle.

If you're planning to make Maelstrom of Yasha first, it wouldn't hurt to take the Boots of Agility either, as it gives you more damage early game.

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