Anti-Mage is one of the best carries in Dota 2, so here is how to make the most after picking him in your pubs.
Every meta in Dota 2 favors certain heroes over others. There are only a few carries in the game that can work almost all the time, and one of them is Anti-Mage. This is a hero that pro teams pick when they have their backs against the wall because he has the potential to carry his team to victory. Besides being a niche pick in pro games, AM is regularly picked in PUBs because of his carrying capabilities.
Despite not being the hardest hero to master in Dota 2, AM has its specifics that make him special. Experienced Dota 2 players are probably aware of most of them, but there are a few things that should be noted, so let’s check them out.
Anti-Mage needs as much farm as possible
Every carry in Dota 2 needs as much farm as possible, and Anti-Mage is no exception. This is one of the few heroes in Dota 2 that doesn’t do much without items. Sure, he can use his ultimate on a low-mana hero, but that’s pretty much it. So, in order to maximize his efficiency, you need to get as many last hits as possible.
Everything starts from the laning stage, which means you need to have a solid lane if you wish to succeed. Although AM is hard to kill, he can be bullied from his lane fairly easily, especially early on. Hence, people often pick very defensive support to babysit him while he farms. If you fail to secure yourself a good laning stage, you won’t be able to do anything until later on because you need your timings.
If your laning stage is going well and you secure a lot of last hits, try to farm the jungle camps near the late. Don’t forget that you have Blink, so you should always try to utilize this ability to its full potential. AM’s mobility allows him to farm several lanes and camps at the same time, which gives him a solid advantage.
Timing is really important
Another thing that makes Anti-Mage a dangerous hero is his timings. Every hero has certain timings, which means that he should have specific items before a given minute. Of course, you can purchase these items later on, but they won’t be that effective.
Anti-Mage has numerous item builds that you can go for, but the most popular one involves buying Battlefury. This is the item that changes the game for AM because it allows him to farm “at the speed of light”. Battlefury is not that expensive, but it is not cheap either, so AM needs to have a solid laning stage to get it as soon as possible. Purchasing the item between minutes 13-17 is great because you will have enough time to scale your farm and get the next important items.
Speaking of the devil, the second must-have item that makes AM a dangerous hero is Manta Style. This item also increases his farming speed because the illusions benefit from Mana Break. What’s more, this item gives him a lot of stats and HP, which means he can participate in team fights and run away from them when needed.
Participate in team fights only if needed
As we’ve mentioned a couple of times throughout this review, farming is essential for every Anti-Mage player. Unfortunately, many people think that AM is like Gyrocopter, which means they try to participate in every team fight. Although helping your teammates might seem good on paper, you shouldn’t do that until you have at least some of your must-have items.
Besides the risk of being killed, participating in team fights means that you will lose valuable time during which you farm. This will result in losing even more gold, and ultimately, delay your timings. That’s why most pro AM players don’t engage in any fights until they have all the items you need.
Sadly, not participating in these fights is not as easy as it seems, especially in PUBs. Lower-MMR teams do not know how to utilize this hero’s potential, which is why instead of trying to avoid team fights, AM’s team members start them.
Know your limits
Anti-Mage is one of the Dota 2 heroes that can escape from many tricky situations. It is probably the most elusive late-game carries in Dota 2 because he can use Blink and Counterspell to dodge enemy ganks. Furthermore, he has a lot of magical resistance, which makes him great against heroes known for their nuking power.
Sadly, the fact that AM is hard to kill often has a negative effect on people who don’t know the hero’s limits. They think that AM is unkillable and often makes risky maneuvers that can have devastating consequences during the later stages of the game. So, one of the most important things you have to learn when playing with Anti-Mage is to know your limits. Know when to jump in, jump out, and when you can be killed.
Always be aware of the counters
The last and probably the most important thing that you have to know if you want to utilize the hero’s full potential is to know your counters. AM is strong against every intelligence hero, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t any counters. In fact, Storm Spirit is one of the AM’s nightmares during the mid-game because he and his teammates can kill him in a matter of seconds.
As for the late game, there are a few heroes that you should be aware of, such as Phantom Assassin, Lifestealer, and Spectre. AM could defeat these three heroes in a 1v1 matchup, but it won’t be easy, so you should be careful.
Anti-Mage is a deadly hero that can make a drastic impact, as long as you know what you’re doing. If you don’t have any experience, you should try to pick the hero as much as possible in order to learn how it works. Once you know what you’re doing, you can gain tons of MMR in no time.