Defenders 054: Invoker

March 28, 2012


If you haven’t already, you can still vote for the next defender print for a few more days.  I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Go go go!

PS: I feel sorry for Beastmaster.  No one loves him.

One of the best things about Dota is the breadth of the game. Most games have only a handful of characters, classes, or heroes that you can choose from.  BF3 has 4. TF2 has 9. Dota has 108 now. The amount of variety within the heroes is really quite robust, and this applies to skill levels as well.

When someone is just starting out and asks me which hero they should be, I usually recommend a hero with only a few simple, active abilities, usually including a stun. Someone like Vengeful Spirit, or maybe even Sven.

Invoker is the polar opposite of that.

With ten abilities, he’s hands down the most complicated, and arguably the most powerful, hero in the game. In the hands of a truly skillful player, he is almost too powerful. I am not a “truly skillful player”, so I stay away from Invoker.  But I’ve learned to both respect and fear him when he gets picked.

Do you think Invoker is the hardest hero to play in Dota?  If not, who do you think has the highest skill cap?

Wallpaper.  1920×1080.

PNGs. Square / Wallpaper


  1. March 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm
    Eirik says:

    Invoker is by far the most complex hero to play, so I won’t argue with you on that one. What I want to say, though is that Pugna is the second most complex in my opinion.

    Pugna gets picked rarely in pub games, and when he is picked, he’s usually not played very effectively. He tends to be the hero that is underestimated by both the player and the opponents! His nether ward can be devastating, and decrepify can get you out of many dangerous scenarios if you know how to use it. It takes a lot of time to find out what Pugna is capable of, which is why I believe he has an incredibly high skill cap.

  2. March 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm
    Byron says:

    Meepo is by far the hardest hero to play.

  3. March 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm
    Peyton says:

    Hardest to play to FULL potential is in my opinion, Syllabear. You will tell the difference between a pub Sylla and a pro Sylla. As well, Puck, Chen and Enchantress are up there, though someone using Invoker to full potential is just OP, which is why he is an instant ban. Hell, you could be using him at HALF his potential and he is still a terror to fight against.

    But honestly, on the note of Invoker, he isn’t that hard to use. It’s simply memorization and knowing which spell to use when.

  4. March 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm
    GhstBster says:

    Im really liking this defenders series… but i love invoker to much that i have to point out that it looks like he has a snout, puckered lips, and a mustache.

    i hate pointing out faults in art, but this is a friendly way of saying plz fix


  5. March 29, 2012 at 12:51 am
    1337_n00b says:

    Invoker is not all that hard, though he is very tough for the beginners. It is rahter hard to rotate between the spells to use them to full potential (this is why 90% of Invokers I’ve seen only resort themselves to three or four, two of them being Tornado and EMP), but, as of me, Chen, Enchantress and Geomancer are much, much harder, and I’m not even starting on the Lone Druid. The skill cap might be there, but the micro cap is much bigger.

  6. March 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm
    1000sunny says:

    for me voker is tricky. i try to avoid him in serious games. im pretty good at micro-ing so meepo and chen arent that hard, but sylla is kinda hard to play to potential. the way u build him varies too.

  7. April 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm
    Wolf says:

    Hi, I have all of your designs and I loved them all, I just wanted to ask:

    Why are they all facing the same direction?

  8. April 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    Adam says:

    haha. Good question! Originally, they were based on the in game portraits… but now? I don’t know, no reason really. Just habit/consistency. I don’t even think about it!

  9. April 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm

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  10. April 13, 2012 at 8:32 am
    Sundeki says:

    Invoker takes the longest time to master. People are saying “…all you have to do is memorize some stuff…”, but if you want to not be bad it takes much, much more than that.
    The micro required by Invoker rivals and even surpasses that of a Chen/Enchantress/Meepo,etc.
    Mashing out 6 or 7 different spells efficiently in a team-fight, on-top of using the required orbs at different times for maximum effect takes a-lot of effort and skill. Much more (in my opinion) than hot-keying units and hitting their abilities.

  11. May 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm
    Sets says:

    In my experience just on micro during a clash,


    There’s not a lot to micro’ing Sylla and his bear. Casting your phase boots or return isn’t a stress since it’s just a button away. Meepo is a little harder, but you’ll usually just be spamming poofs or nets, right clicking a target to death or TP’ing your Meepo’s home. It’s all timing based and it’s very repetitive. Enchant is a little different because you’ll need to master conserving your neutrals while spamming your skills on time. Due to her low HP, you’ll need to be fast in reacting at the right moment to cast your skills. Invoke is a little harder since you’ll not only be pressing 6 keys to cast 2 or 3 skills in a clash, you’ll have to pay attention to the style of your opponent’s abilities. Sometimes, you’ll be micro’ing your forge spirits or you’ll have to cast an icewall in a middle of a clash even land a sunstrike. A lot of timing and micro needs to mastered into each skill Invoke has. With Chen, not only you’ll be focusing your micro on your creeps, but you’ll also be focusing your eyes on your teammates when they need your help. He can be pretty easy to play sometimes, but he deserves a lot of mirco/awareness during a clash or a push compared to Invoke.

  12. September 11, 2012 at 11:58 am
    Njdnik says:

    I really enjoy playing invoker in dota2, but ia dont think he is the hardest one to play, hem is the one with the most variable ways to play, but for me the hardest one is visage

  13. April 5, 2013 at 3:46 am
    Tornova says:

    Check out that nose!~

  14. May 5, 2013 at 7:03 am
    Artem says:

    Rubick please

  15. August 25, 2013 at 10:26 am
    Pauline says:

    This is amazing, Adam!
    My favourite is Vengeful Spirit. Any designs of her coming up?

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