DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

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nitromon
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DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

Postby nitromon » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:47 am

I was hoping some pro-Zeus would write a guide and I'd just tag this in the comment section as a fun alternative. I don't actually play Zeus except when I get him a couple of times in AREM. And when I do, I simply play him standardly with scepter and refresher, then with situational items for the game such as linken, euls, guinsoo, etc...

So this build is "theoretical" and it works great in concept and in AI games, but I don't know how well it will work in a real game and I'm not really familiar enough with this hero to really give it a try. I may have to rigorously play Zeus for 2-3 months to get a feel of him and then get a fair accessment to this build. If any pro zeus out there would give it a try, greatly appreciate it.


Theoretical Guide to Zeus:
So the main thing I noticed missing in most Zeus plays is exploiting his 3rd ability, the passive. It takes % damage per cast and abilities that do that are always considered "tank killers." This is why I build Wyvern on the Arctic Burn and why Naix can destroy tanks. Though Zeus only gets it from cast and not attack, many overlook this as a viable option to build around. However, he has one massive advantage, actually 2. One, his is AOE, that makes this completely OP if you can exploit it. 2nd, because he cast it, you can get 6 quick hits with it within a couple of seconds if you have a refresher. This instantly destroys any opposing team in a team fight.

In a real game with SB and Spectres hunting Zeus, most Zeus end up in the back line and hiding often, which is why I don't know if this would actually work in a real game.


Theoretical Strategy:
Play him like Earthshaker. Get a blink at some point, or lothar. When your team is engaged in a 5v5, you blink in and cast ult first (no targetting required), then your subsequent 2 nukes. Then you refresh and repeat. That's 6 cast in 1-2 seconds. Aside from the nuke damage, the passive itself is 11% 6 times (granted it is based on current hitpoint, so reduces damage as enemy gets weaker). That is one scary AOE if done correctly and is effective even lategame b/c it is % damage. The greatest part is that the AOE is 1200, which is twice the range of average range hero at 600-700, so it will get everyone even their range heroes in a teamfight.


Theoretical Item Build:
The build should make most standard players happy as you still need the scepter and refresher. The 2 ideal item recommendation is blink to engage and mjolnir. Cast the mjolnir on yourself before you blink in and the 200 damage return lightening stacking with your abilities is massively dangerous to the enemy. That gives you 5 items with the 6th item up for grabs. Theoretically a Shiva is the suggested item b/c it gives you that extra mana for your combo, nuke to stack more AOE damage, and then armor to help you tank.

But of course, you can also get Skadi if you want more bulk or heart, or situational like euls, guinsoo, linken, etc...

Theoretical Build List: BoT, Blink, Agh, Refresher, Mjolnir, Shiva


Conclusion:
Like I've said, this is great on paper, may not work so well in the game. But even if you can't get it exactly to turn out perfectly, it should still be quite effective as it is merely the same strategy as standard Earthshaker. Like standard ES, you will require a strong frontline, hopefully something like a Skeleton King or Axe or SB to hold so you can blink in with your combo. Basically there isn't much item changes except for lategame, but it is about the mentality, not playing like a fearful weak support in the back, but aggressively as a crowd controller. Basically like an Earthshaker.

Preciate it if some pro-Zeus would give it a try and report on the effectiveness in a real match up. ;)

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Re: DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

Postby xSAINTx1 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:31 am

You're right Nitromon, zues is only strong due to his passive. I think aghanims upgrades that only improve ultimate damage such as leshrac, and zues are two of the biggest wastes of 4200 gold and an item slot, on two heroes who desperately need hp/armor/survivability. I believe it's best to have positioning items and survivability to enable zues to continue to use his spells in a 10-15 second teamfight, which allows him to evaporate the enemy. An example of a 6 slot zues would be BOT, blink (mobility, faster farming) bloodstone (gives 200% mana regen, lots of hp and mana), eblade (more damage for your spells, 80% MS slow to enemy if casted, 4 sec physical immune), euls scepter (remove debuffs, allows escape with blink, allows your team to position for ganks or setup stun, improved MS), force staff (situational, but effective), hex/bkb or refresher. Shiva is okay if the enemy has ridiculous physical damage, and you keep being focused down. Refresher is good to bring all spells and items off cooldown (huge value double hex/eblade/euls, etc.).

I always get veil on zues instead of aghanims, since it's cheaper, provides the same damage (25% debuff for all your spells, and ally spells), and cheap stats. If you are so ahead that you can win the game with aghanims/refresher, you could probably win with any other item too. I don't think zues is meant to have items such as skadi, or any orb effect, since he never gets close enough in fights to actually hit people with auto attacks; rather he kills with his spells in prolonged engagements. Zues's entire kit is damage, so purchasing items to survive and position are the best bet.
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Re: DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

Postby nitromon » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:46 am

xSAINTx1 wrote: I don't think zues is meant to have items such as skadi, or any orb effect, since he never gets close enough in fights to actually hit people with auto attacks; rather he kills with his spells in prolonged engagements.


Yah, it sucks how his attack range is so short. Even other INT heroes like CM, Lion, Lina, etc... all have decent range. :lol:

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Edit: Just tried a game with Zeus, lol you're absolutely right, Bloodstone is definitely better than the scepter and I rushed it so he has enough bulk and mana to survive early game. :D

Application is often so different from theoretical. I think going BS then blink... then refresher... then last 2 items up for grab.

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Re: DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

Postby BeerLord » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:00 am

I play zeus quite a bit, and have some input here.

I like aghanims on zeus a lot, because i can usually farm it by the time im level 8 or 9. When other heroes are level 8-9 the extra damage has a significant impact.

I like blink dagger early, after mana boots and point booster, because that allows both escapability and the ability to chase down an opponent and hit him with multiple bolts. Early game this is very effective, since even a level 3 bolt is op.

I dont get bloodstone, but every great zeus I have played against has. So I think it works for elite players, but not necessarily for the only average.
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Re: DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

Postby nitromon » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:47 am

BeerLord wrote:I play zeus quite a bit, and have some input here.


Thanks! I'm wondering what's your suggested skilling? I never really have the time to think it over and test since I don't play him much.

Originally I went static charge first b/c all you really need is level 1 of the 2 nukes to trigger the passive and it is AOE so better for team fights. Since the passive is %, I figured it would be worth it more even early. However, later I thought that doesn't make sense as % of early HP is insignificant compare to the nuke itself.

So more standardly, I think the lightening strike should be leveled first as it is the heaviest nuke to get the most damage on a hero during a fight. But then it cost more mana than chain lightening and leveling chain first allows you to farm better and also striking more during teamfights again in AOE and a quicker CD.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

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Re: DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

Postby Astros » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:54 am

BeerLord wrote:I play zeus quite a bit, and have some input here.

I like aghanims on zeus a lot, because i can usually farm it by the time im level 8 or 9. When other heroes are level 8-9 the extra damage has a significant impact.

I like blink dagger early, after mana boots and point booster, because that allows both escapability and the ability to chase down an opponent and hit him with multiple bolts. Early game this is very effective, since even a level 3 bolt is op.

I dont get bloodstone, but every great zeus I have played against has. So I think it works for elite players, but not necessarily for the only average.

hi beer, good to see you again!
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Re: DOTA Guide - Zeus (Theoretical)

Postby xSAINTx1 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:17 am

I believe level 1 always arc lightning to allow you to secure cs. Max lightning bolt by lvl 7, keep one level in arc lightning until you max passive; get ulti at 6, 11, 16. Bolt does most damage for the mana cost.
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