Brace yourself, your new wingman has arrived in Dota 2.
It's always an exciting day when a new hero is added to Dota 2. The MOBA from Valve is built on existing characters from the WarCraft 3 Defense of the Ancients mod, but you never know which hero Valve is going to add next. This week, they've released a hero that was only added to the WarCraft 3 version of DotA pretty late in the game, Dragonus the Skywrath Mage.
Skywrath Mage is a hard-hitting Intelligence hero with great early game harass. His first ability, Arcane Bolt, launches a bolt of magic at a single enemy that deals damage based on Skywrath's intelligence. The bolt also gives 325 vision around itself. It's a great skill and it only has a two second cooldown, so you can spam it a lot.
Dragonus next ability, Concussive Shot, is an instant cast spell that shoots the closest hero within a massive 1600 (!) range. Once it connects to its target, the shot deals damage and slows in an area of effect. Concussive Shot is the hero's only disable, and when used in conjunction with his Ultimate ability Skyflare (which we'll get to in a minute), it's a beautiful thing.
Dota began as a user-made modification for Warcraft 3 and has grown into one of the most played online games in the world. Following in the tradition of Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Portal, and Alien Swarm, Dota 2 is the result of Valve hiring the community developers who built the mod and giving them the chance to finally build a full product out of their idea with the help of a professional team of developers and artists at Valve.
As for the gameplay, it's a little hard to describe. The camera is set in the traditional RTS perspective, but it wouldn't be fair to call Dota an RTS. And while each hero starts at level 1, and many times hits the level cap of 25, it wouldn't be fair to call it an RPG.
Lots of people have tried to assign various genre names to Dota, but we think Action RTS is probably the most descriptive. And while we don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out what genre the game is inventing, we can't stop playing it internally!
His third spell, Ancient Seal, silences enemies and causes them to take more damage from spells. The ability is great when you want snuff a huge nuker on the other team, or if you want your team to focus their magic energy on a certain target.
Skywrath's Ultimate, Mystic Flare, will blow your mind the first time you see it used on an unsuspecting victim. The spell is an active point ability that creates a violent field of magic which evenly damages any enemies within it for two seconds. Once it's leveled all the way, the spell can deal 1,200 damage over two seconds. It's insanely strong if he can manage to only cast it on one hero. Did I mention Mystic Flare also only has a 20 second cooldown? Pretty much the only drawback of the ability is its ridiculously high mana cost.
What it all boils down to is Skywrath Mage is the perfect example of a glass cannon in Dota 2. He doesn't exactly have a reliable escape, but if he manages to unleash his spells on unfortunate victims, they're sure to go down fast.
Aside from Skywrath Mage, the latest Dota 2 update also adds some new visuals, fixes some bugs, and makes reporting players more streamlined. For all of the updates, check out the full Dota 2 changelog.