Dota 2: Is the Mage Slayer really an item that should be thrown away?

Item Dota 2 - Emergenceingame

Evaluating items in Dota 2 is a lot harder than evaluating heroes. With heroes, we can look at win rates at different ranks, popularity, and at least understand why they fit into the current meta. As for items, things are much more difficult, but today, we will try to find out why Mage Slayer is not popular with many people.


The item list on the Dotabuff page includes statistics showing what players have in their inventory at the end of the game. This information is flawed because it reduces the win rate of “tempo” items that are raised mid-game to gain an advantage, but then sold.

The most obvious example in recent years is the Drum of Endurance. It used to be a must-have item for every professional team. Pub then followed suit, but this item’s win rate was still below 50%. This is because the player successfully sells the Drum of Endurance towards the end of the game, to make room for other items. That causes Drum’s win rate in the late game inventory to be significantly reduced.

Therefore, relying on this statistic alone is not reliable. However, we can compare the Mage Slayer as a late-game item because it is as expensive as the late-game item group.

This month, the Mage Slayer has a win rate of about 56% in the late game inventory pool. This item costs 3250 gold, on par with a group of 20 items: from cheap early game items like Witch Blade, Maelstrom and Eul’s Scepter of Divinity to Kaya, Sange, Yasha as well as Battle Fury.

Among them, only 8 items have a higher win rate in the inventory group at the end of the game than Mage Slayer:

  • More than 850 gold with a win rate of over 58% are Sange, Kaya and Yasha. Sange and Yasha are most likely to compete for a slot with Mage Slayerr because they have a 58% win rate.
  • Items that increase teamfight, like Pipe of Insight and Crimson Guard have a win rate of about 58%. These are teamfight items and if used correctly they can have a big impact on the game. Pipe alone brought an extra 2000HP (magic resistance) to the whole team.
  • Lotus Orb is still one of the best defensive items with a nearly 60% win rate in the late game. It is very effective in the later stages of the game. Lotus Orb is also often promoted by support, so if a support has close to 4000 gold to go up, there is a high chance that their team is winning.
  • Aeon Disk and Solar Crest are the only two items that surpass the Mage Slayer, despite the cheaper cost. Aeon Disk has a 59.5% win rate while Solar Crest is slightly ahead of Mage Slayer 0.10% this month.

In terms of win rate, Mage Slayer looks good at 56%. It surpasses Battlefury in the late game and even Diffusal Blade. Mage Slayer is also slightly better than Desolator, Heaven’s Halberd and Orchid Malevolence.

Of course, Mage Slayer only works best in certain games and its low popularity reflects a higher win rate, because this item can only be increased when gamers know what they are doing and why they need it. , as opposed to many items that are always in the hero’s default build. However, it shows that there will be games, Mage Slayer really effective, very worth it. We just need to know how to recognize which is the game to go to Mage Slayer.


With a name like Mage Slayer, most of us would mistakenly think it is most effective for countering spells. Nuker and burst damage heroes like Zeus, Queen of Pain, Invoker, Skywrath Mage, etc. are the first names that come to mind when one thinks of spells. Although the item is effective against these heroes, the article does not think it works best in this situation.

The problem with the Mage Slayer and the “magic” interaction is that: any good nuker player will understand they shouldn’t be within range of the Mage Slayer’s hand before casting the spell. These gamers just want to appear for a few seconds on the map, cast spells on priority targets very quickly and then disappear, before you can use the Mage Slayer to hit your hand.

The Mage Slayer can’t do anything against this group of players, even if you catch them afterwards. Because when caught, everything has already been cast and the Mage Slayer debuff at this point is almost worthless.

However, that does not mean that Mage Slayer is not worth it. It’s very effective, especially in this patch, where heroes like Leshrac, Bristleback, Necrophos or Timbersaw are gaining popularity again. Heroes can deal continuous damage, but need to be at the vanguard. Therefore, this is the group most often affected by the Mage Slayer.

Of course, the Mage Slayer’s magic resistance might not be very effective against Bristle or Timber – these are pure physical damage and pure heroes – but the debuff doesn’t bring a lot of value. With Mage Slayerr’s debuff, Bristleback’s Quill Spray now deals 350 physical damage instead of 550, or Timbersaw’s nuke deals 150 less pure damage.

Against heroes like Leshrac, things are even better. When debuffed, even with the level 20 talent, Leshrac only deals 155 damage per pulse (not including damage reduction afterwards). Hero holding Mage Slayer will take about 85 damage per second, not really too dangerous. More importantly, this item will help the team as well as the support increase their survivability.

The article thinks this item is misnamed, making it not used much. “Handling the hero who pioneered continuous damage” is long, but will probably describe this item more accurately and thereby help it become more popular and successful.

So what do you think of Mage Slayer? Is this article enough to convince you to try Mage Slayer, or do you think this item needs more buffs? Please share your comments in the comment section below.

According to dotabuff

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