Dota 2 is a MOBA game that puts great emphasis on balancing its aura items, like the Guardian Greaves. Because of their snowball-y nature, it’s only fair that auras give mediocre effects. Many aura items exist in the game as a means to counter something. Pipe of Insight counters magic, Crimson Guard counters physical, and Boots of Bearing counters slows. But among these aura items is the incredible, top-up king, Guardian Greaves.
Guardian Greaves is a historic support item, sometimes picked up by tanky offlaners. It offers the health and mana injection of Mekansm and Arcane Boots in one. Another bonus to the item is that it dispels things like slows and silences from its holder. Recent patches saw it receive minor buffs and made it powerful and cheaper. The Greaves are now elevated to must-buy status in the current meta, but why is this the case?
Less is More
Guardian Greaves’ most notable bonus is its ability to restore Health and Mana to nearby allies. In this meta of snowball and sustained momentum, this top-up is important. Teams draft offlaners that can buy this as their first big item. When a fight turns sour for a team, their offlaner presses Greaves and their turnaround could be mounted.
Another thing Greaves gives is low-health bonus regen and armor. When an ally reaches 25% HP, these bonuses could be enough to let them walk away alive. If the enemy team is unaware of the Greaves, it could make them overextend for a kill. It’s these key moments of underestimation that turns team fights, something that Guardian Greaves can give.
There’s More to Guardian Greaves
Perhaps it doesn’t add up in the grand scheme of the 350 heal that Greaves outputs per ally. Another thing that Greaves is bought for is the auras and mana restoration it gives. In drawn-out fights, it’s the team with sustain that wins in the end. Giving a spell caster a mana boost mid-fight can make a huge difference in the result of the clash and the game.
But wait, isn’t the Healing of multiple Greaves and Mekansms restricted? Yes, you are right, but this limitation does not affect the mana boost. What this means is that a team can have multiple Arcane Boots to remedy the burden of one Greave. Caster-heavy teams stand to snowball and benefit from this micro strategy, always having mana to spare.
Don’t Vacuum It
Of course, the best bonus that Guardian Greaves can have is other unique aura items. While this item can restore, it can’t block magic or right-click, or speed you away from danger. This is where the aura snowball comes into play. When a team buys auras to supplement their lack, the enemy will struggle to fight against them. Blocking attacks then healing back up? Ouch!
Guardian Greaves works well with items that give regen amplification bonuses. Sange-based items like Halberd, plus Holy Locket, and even neutral item Paladin Sword increase healing. However, this kind of itemization isn’t sought by offlaner Greaves buyers, as they only look for the Greaves itself. But for the Io and the Witch Doctors, this could be some nasty cheese!