In the genre of MOBAs, the trope of an archer wielding the element of Ice is a copied concept— like Dota’s Drow Ranger. The original concept is gone since MOBAs tend to recycle or reimagine the trope.
While some blatantly copy one concept from existing, some evolve to prevent this. An ice archer that can output great damage, while also keeping themselves safe. This is Dota’s version of the ice archer realized, the Drow Ranger.
Drow Ranger is one of the oldest characters in the game of Dota, dating back to 2004. She is a ranged, agility hero with high and consistent physical DPS at all points of the game. Her strongest is when she can attack freely from distance, away from enemies.
While simple, it is once again the nuances that differentiate the good from the great. How can we play Drow Ranger and win not just the lane, but the game as well?
Drow Ranger’s playstyle incentivizes ranged free firing and melee kiting. Her kit specializes in piercing base armor, slowing targets, and spell disruption. The main reason for this is her ultimate, Marksmanship, which makes her deal more damage from range.
Its downside is if an enemy is within 400 units of her, her ultimate gets disabled. Her Gust ability allows her to push and silence enemies and her frost arrows are self-explanatory.
Her Multishot ability allows her to channel a wave of shots in a curve. The arrows of this ability travel as far as her attack range. Her early core items include Power Treads, Yasha, and a Dragon Lance.
Once the lane becomes difficult to play in, she can transition to the jungle and farm with her ultimate. Drow can take down ancient camps with little effort, so try to ask your team to stack ancients for you. Always keep in mind your positioning—you are a glass cannon!
Drow Ranger Skill and Talents
For a good laning experience, play around with your Frost Arrows and Multishot abilities. The all-purpose build pre-Marksmanship is a 2-1-2. Having a value point in Gust is enough to make enemies disengage, leaving them vulnerable to retaliation.
If you are in a fighting stance, maxing out Frost Arrows is key. Should the game slow down for you to farm, maxing Multishot can be viable. Get your talents when they are available to learn.
Traditional Drow Ranger follows a Left-Left-Right-Right talent tree. These talents enable her auto-attacks and the pseudo-attacks of her Multishot. More so she does benefit from more procs of her Marksmanship damage, which pierces evasion.
Drow Ranger is quick to gather experience thanks to her farm and fight kit. In-between fights, make sure to hit creeps to get to those talents quicker.
Shard or not to Shard
When you play enough Drow Ranger games, you might come across the Aghs shard question soon. While her Scepter allows her to hit up to 3 targets per shot, her shard reinvents her attack function.
Shard adds a stacking anti-regen debuff, as well as bonus damage to her frost arrows skill. If a debuffed unit dies, they explode, dealing moderate damage to nearby enemies. True enough, this shard allows her to flash farm waves and creep camps.
To consider buying the shard, check the healing or unit-heavy lineups like Zoo and Illusion heroes. You can regain the 1400 gold after buying Agh’s Shard by Drow via farming waves easily.
By the time Drow buys shard, you must have her Frost Arrow talent at level 10. After all, without any gap closers, a sharded Drow can kill even a Leshrac with an Io tether from max health. Don’t let the shard get in the way of your core items in the game— buy it afterward.