Cataclysma's guide to
"It is said that for every fear and phobia that afflicts Man and Beast alike, there is a daemon waiting to be born. Arachna -- chittering, skulking, crooked and wicked -- spawns from the fear of spiders. Protected by a chitinous exoskeleton as strong as cold iron, she stalks, and traps, and slaughters her enemies."
So you want to play Arachna?
Arachna is very possibly the best ranged carry in the game, if played in the right hands. If you manage to harass well early game, and get a lot of creep kills in - late game should be a complete breeze. In this guide I'll list my personal favourite combinations of both stats, and skills, for using Arachna to the best of her abilities.
Is Arachna the hero for me?
Arachna is all about her equipment, and 1vs1 ganking. You jump out of nowhere and slow them to a near halt, forcing them to either stand and fight, or force a retreat. The great thing about Arachna is that retreating is nearly an impossible option - by reducing their movement speed to a slow march they can't get away from your blisteringly strong hits, and many people (especially pubbies) will struggle to counter you in a 1vs1 situation.
The beautiful thing about Arachna, is that most other carry's can't counter her in this situation, as their attack speed also plummets - your main opposition will be those that can heal themselves, stun and disable you, ripping into your weak HP and defences.
If you like getting ganks like this, and tearing through the opposition without them being able to do much about it, this is the hero for you.
Be wary though, as Arachna has very low HP, and definitely can not tank. In team battles you should be staying at the back and applying as much pressure as you can on high key targets.
What do I need to know?
Orb walking is a MUST! Orb walking is a rather simple technique for ranged attackers, in which you quickly cancel your attack animation after a Webbed Shot (in Arachna's case) and click the ground by your opponent to quickly chase after them for another hit.
This saves valuable time, and allows you to catch up to your opponent to deliver the next shot, it also means you can slowly stack your shots till they are moving at stupidly low speeds - rendering them useless. If you don't Orb walk, it is highly possible someone with a better movement item, such as Enhanced Marchers or Post Haste will get away, and you'll lose your opportunity to gank.
Along with Orb Walking, a good Arachna must be able to last hit creeps and harass the enemy in the laning phase, so that they do not get a touch in. Arachna is equipment heavy, so getting the money for equipment is a godsend for her.
So, where do I belong?
Arachna's place at the beginning of the game, is in either top or bottom lane. Don't get me wrong, Arachna CAN solo mid in pub games - but if you try to solo mid against 'pro' players, playing Thunderbringer, Pyro, Defiler or Torturer, you will be harassed, stunned and destroyed with no mercy. Laning top or bottom with Arachna is perfect, as you can pseudo-disable someone with your Webbed Shots, and have your ally wipe the floor with them while they can barely move. You'll be much more likely to get a gank in top or bottom.
In mid game, you should be either tucked away, farming a lane with a Homecoming Stone as to escape from danger, or following your team around in an attempt to push towers, or gank unsuspecting victims. Farming with Arachna is fairly important, as I said, her damage is purely dependent on getting good equipment that can increase both her damage, and survivability.
But don't keep farming if your team needs you - your teams needs come higher on the priority list than farming for that next item.
What are my skills?
I'll go through Arachna's skills one by one, and explain their uses as I go.
"Arachna imbues her attack with webbing, slowing enemies on impact."
Your main skill, this will let you slow, and pseudo-disable enemies trying to escape from them, essentially halting them in their tracks. You'll be using this to harass as much as possible when laning, (as long as it's not on it's cooldown) and spamming it while Orb Walking mid/late game.
"Arachna hardens her carapace for a short duration, increasing her resistance to magical attacks."
Your defence skill, this will be used to remove debuffs from you, DoT's, movement impediments, anything that may be resulting in you dying, or not fulfilling your potential as a carry. Not only this, but the magic armour bonus means you can quickly activate it before running in on heavy magic users that may out nuke you out of existence in any other scenario.
"Arachna's renown at being a precise shot inspires nearby ranged units, increasing their base damage. Also increases Arachna's base damage."
A damage skill, nothing more, nothing less. Some people may think "HMH, ILL MAX THIS STRAIGHT AWAY TO HELP LANING", but that honestly won't help at all. The base damage % means that at the beginning, the increase will barely even be noticable. You're better off waiting till you have some force behind your hits, and raising stats until then. The aura is a nice touch, that can be dangerous when combined with Andromeda or Moon Queen, the pure power behind around +100% aura's due to those 3 stacking aura's is unfathomable, the best thing is, all 3 of you get the bonuses..
"Hurls a Spiderling toward a target enemy unit that can reveal stealthed enemies. Upon reaching its destination, the Spiderling viciously attacks the enemy unit, poisoning it, slowing its movement and attack speed."
This is your Ultimate, and oh what an Ultimate it is. This is not the sort of Ult that you can just use, and expect it to kill the enemy for you, oh no, but it is still amazing, and it can even save your ass in desperate situations.
The cooldown is short, and it stacks with your webshot - with this, your opponent won't be going ANYWHERE. You could even use this on a carry, and web shot the other opponent - the carry won't be able to get to you, and will attack super slow while being damaged, so you have a good opportunity to kill another opponent before going back to the carry (in a 2v1 situation)
The mana cost is fairly low, too, you should have all the mana you need to cast Webbed Shot over and over, to kill them, although you may be pushing it if you wish to Harden Carapace as well. And finally, Spiderling's trump card. Its ability to reveal stealth units - oh God do I hate Scout. The hero that is possibly the worst in the entire game. Share my feelings? Hit him with your Ult and watch him try to Vanish and run off, then proceed to assault him with a barrage of webbed shots until he dies. Fun fun!
What skills will I need?
This skill build, in my personal opinion, is the best choice for Arachna, it provides damage, but also a bit of extra survivability and health when needed, and optimum ganking ability.
1. Webbed Shot
2. Harden Carapace
3. Webbed Shot
5. Webbed Shot
6. Spider Sting
7. Webbed Shot
11. Spider Sting
12. Precision/Harden Carapace
13. Precision/Harden Carapace
14. Precision/Harden Carapace
15. Harden Carapace/Precision
16. Spider Sting
17. Harden Carapace/Precision
18. Harden Carapace/Precision
19 -> 25. Stats
In my opinion, these skills let you lane and harass amazingly low level, along with a way to remove de-buffs in case you get screwed by Slither, Hellbringer, or other infamous de-buffers. From here, I get stats for the extra HP, mana, and the small bit of damage - Precision isn't needed quite yet as the damage bonus doesn't do much at lower levels, and it'll only cause your creeps to push harder when laning.
I reckon getting your Ult ASAP is obvious, but from level 11 you can really get whatever you feel like, Precision for hard damage, or Carapace if you're having trouble with heavy casters like Pyromancer or Thunderbringer.
My Item list
I can already feel you guys, leaping at your keyboard ready to criticise me for my items, but oh well.. These items attempt to give you high damage, whilst also allowing a good farming ability that will allow you to gain even more great items throughout the game.
Runes of Blight (x1)
Duck Boots (x2)
Pretender's Crown (x1)
Pretty simple really, small stat boosts to help with last hitting, bit more HP, and some regen so you can stay in the lane for a bit longer, to get some more exp.
Runes of the Blight (x2)
Pretender's Crown (x1)
Minor Totems (x4)
This build gives you more starting regen, and other stats such as Intelligence and Strength at the cost of 2 Agility. Generally this seems like the much better way to go - you have more runes to heal with, and generally better starting stats. The only issue with this starting build is that you won't be using the minor totems, and must sell them later on for a small price.
The difference isn't small though, and if you're a confident farmer then I'd recommend taking this path for the better early game harassment and lane staying power.
If taking this starting item build, make sure to only take 1 Soulscream ring, since you don't have the crowns or boots to make 2 - this will also save you some money at the cost of slightly lower health, (worth the trade-off, in my opinion)
Midgame Items (in order)
Soulscream Ring (x1 or 2)
Steamboots (Strength) (x1)
Assassin's Shroud (x1)
Make sure to turn your duck boots and crown into 2 Soulscream rings (or just 1 if you took the alternate starting item build) to give you a bit more of a sting when attacking, along with a nice health bonus.
The Steamboots give you a hell of a lot of attack speed, as well as some needed HP (being the defenceless poor carry that you are). The movement speed will help you catch most after surprising them with a single Webbed Shot, and lets you stack more and more to bring the pain.
Thunderclaw is one of my favourite items - it lets you farm MUCH more efficiently, as well as giving a nice shot of 150 damage every now and then, not to mention it will happen a lot due to your high attack speed - and the +24 attack damage is nothing to turn away either.
Sometimes it can be hard to get near your enemies, or catch up with them - not with Assassins Shroud, you can use it to sneak behind someone before you unleash the pain, chase someone down due to the 20% movement speed bonus, or escape by completely stealthing yourself, and upping your escape speed. Basically, Shroud will work as a phase for your Steamboots, just with invisibility instead of Unit Walking.
And of course, it gives more attack speed and damage too..
Not much explanation to it, really. Both items give you insane damage, and if you even manage to make one of them, the match should turn into a complete cakewalk, stealth in, and then just shotgun them all to death. Your crits will be insane, and their armour will drop like a brick - you truly will be an unstoppable carry.
Of course, if you wanted to get all that stuff, you'd have to farm like crazy.
Runes of Blight
These are random items that almost every hero in the game should be using - especially in the laning period. When you run out of your 3 Runes, make sure to run back to base when you're sure you're safe from a gank, and on around half health. Homecoming stones will allow you to teleport straight back to your position, and buying 2 will mean you wont have to waste time running back in the future.
You'll need to buy more runes to keep you alive, so make sure to buy 1 or 2 sets every run.
Good luck Arachna, and have fun playing with my favourite hero.
--Comments and advice are welcome, but please don't flame <3--
Last edited by Cataclysma; 09-04-2009 at 01:46 PM.
-Reserved for something. Hurp. All the 'professional' guide makers do it, so I'm sure it has a use..-
Ehhh, Good guide. I like the layout ;D
Add the items and it'd be win.
Last edited by ugotowned; 09-04-2009 at 12:21 PM.
2x Duck Boots, 1x Pretenders Crown
+2str +2int +8agi
Total Cost: 485
1x Duck Boots, 3x Minor Totems 1x Pretender Crown
+5str +5int +8agi
Total Cost: 494
Still giving you enough to get a set of Runes of Blight but providing you with more health and mana early on and a build up to a soulscream ring.
Honestly speaking though, you should get more runes of blight (3 is not to survive harass without a courier on your team) and forego the buildup of a ring in favour of more minor totems for stats.
If you're going to argue that this 40g can mean the difference between finishing an item later on slightly sooner, allow me to illustrate that the difference in stats can mean the difference between life or death, or that extra mana to get that saving webbed shot off.
That said, I usually do Pretender's, Pretender's, 2x Runes on Arachna and only really jump into Minor Totems if I'm buying Courrier.
Last edited by Narcism; 09-04-2009 at 01:19 PM.
You save net 72 gold.
And lose out on 5-6 minutes of +3 str and +3 int *shrug*
It's your choice but against hard lanes I'd recommend very much against stacking duck boots early over minor totems and more regen.
2x Blight - 180g
Pretender's Crown - 185g
4x Minor Totems - 212g
That gives you a total of 114 more HP (76 more then your setup outside of the gate), 78 more mana (52 more then your setup outside of the gate), and 2 less agility. As well as a second set of runes to help you stay in your lane.
In my opinion, the early boosts to HP and MP are more valuable then losing 106g towards your Soulscream Rings. But it depends on you and your opposition I suppose.
It's a decent guide but I think you could use more strategy elements for Arachna as well, outside of just skill/item choices and stuff.
One thing to note, since the Spiderling already provides a very potent slow you are sometimes better off NOT using Webbed shot on an invis target that you is being chased by a spider as letting them shake off the spider poison, get a little further away, have the spider catch up and slow them again will often give you a longer duration reveal as the spider lasts either 5 hits or 15 seconds. In the meantime, you should chase and animation cancel your attacks instead of orb walking. You can resume Webbed Shots after the spiderling wears off. If you continue to webbed shot an invisible hero your spiderling will finish its 5 attacks in 5 seconds and you'll loose sight of your target.
Added the alternative item build. Please comment, I'd love to get this to the point that it's made into a premium guide.
Eh, the Spiderling early on only does 75x5 damage (375 physical damage), at level 7 a Night Hound with 2 bracelets has 9.636 Armor (36.7% Reduction) and 929 HP.
Granted you hope that he's not at full when you pop a spider or that your team is going to be helping you out to kill him while he's revealed but sometimes all you need is that extra 1-2 hits you'd get if you didn't web him and let your spiderling chase him for awhile. It really is a judgement call on whether or not you think the hero can get away from you (ie scout's vanish greatly increases his speed, as does Madman's stalk, but a KotF's Hide or Night Hound's invis doesn't) and whether or not you will lose attacks by animation cancelling over orb walking while the spider is out.
"Spiderling" is actually called "Spider Sting"
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Look for my highlighted text (important information) and grey text (interesting but not required information).
I wanna take the time to point out how bad precision is:
Assuming you complete your core by lvl 15 (and took 3 levels of stats as listed) you will have 84.8 Agility (108.3 average base damage) and invested 4 points in Precision for 30 Bonus Damage.
Whether that's better then maxing Carapace is entirely dependent on how many casters are on the other team as you cited, but whether that's even better then investing 4 more points in Stats at this phase (where you opt for items like Shroud, Riftshards/Flayer, Shieldbreaker and Thunderclaw over items that provide raw agility gain like Slash, Wingbow or Nullfire/Geometer's) is subjective in my opinion.
30 Damage isn't bad by all means, but 152 HP, 104 MP, 8% AS, 8 Damage, 1.12 armor isn't that bad either.
Especially in a build that doesn't include a lot of stats or HP items, while it has copious amounts of raw damage. Still, it's entirely subjective to the situation and I like that you promote the flexibility of choosing skills to suit your opponents.
Excellent guide/layout so far. Since Arach is often focused quite a bit in team fights despite her best efforts (and can get away ganking/farming with only several Wraith Bands + Steam) have you ever considered tank oriented items like Helm of the Black Legion? I often get that item in particular on her because of the "double-defense" it provides with Carapace. In addition, you can get a Lifetube early (regardless of lane, they all have accesible shops), which can fill the void that not having tangoes leaves in your HP.
I like to think of it in as something similar to getting HotBL on Magebane. Afterwards, stack DPS items (Shieldbreaker is my preferred) and profit.
Last edited by Testknight; 09-04-2009 at 05:38 PM.
Okay guide; don't get maelstrom though. Assassin's shroud is also somewhat of a joke outside of pubs.
Ultimately, you're building yourself to be a glass cannon -- don't.
Nullfire is a very good alternative that capitalizes on your mid-game ganking prowess, and geometer's bane is an excellent follow up afterwards.
Either Manta or radiance/heart is the way to play her in higher level games imo.
Also, this is more of a skill/item guide than anything. Weak strategy coverage and actual tactics. But then again, so are 90% of the other guides.
This is a work in progress, the strategy coverage and tactics will be here in time I assume.
Not bad, although arachna's skill build heavily depends on who youre fighting, getting the harden carpace is good when youre up against int heroes that can rip you apart such as thunderbringer otherwise you can max it in the end.