__Basic informations about Accursed
__Role, Strengthes and Weaknesses
- Starting Attributes
- Skill description and usage
__Team synergy and integration
- Laning phase
- Ganking phase
- 5-man pushes and teamfights
__This Accursed guide is mostly written for intermediate players ; true beginners must understand the basics of the game (which are explained in many good guides) to fully understand this guide.
__This guide is written for 5v5 matches at the Forest of Calvadar map. It is also mainly intented for Banning Pick game mode since Accursed is quite a situational pick, but the reasoning can sometimes be extended to Banning Draft or even All Pick games.
__Updated for version : 2.0.16
__This is a remade and updated version of a guide I wrote long time ago.
Basic informations about Accursed
__He was Abaddon, Lord of Avernus (LoA) in DotA.
____Skill description and usage
__Casting time : 1.0 second
__Well, there is not much to say about this skill. This skill has a short cooldown, low mana cost and quite good instant heal or damage, so this will be your bread and butter skill. While laning, it is often better to use it to heal since it is more mana efficient, and thus better in the long run, because damage are magic (assuming 1 heal and 1 damage done are equal in usefulness, which is often the case in harassment), but, of course, it can be used offensively, to deny a health/mana potion, or to put heavy pressure on a hero without regeneration consumables, or obviously to kill a fleeing hero (but you shouldn't use it to KS). Since it doesn't really scale with stuff (well, actually it scales a bit since 250 HP are more efficient with high scores of Armor and Magic armor, but it's neglectable), obviously, the longer the game goes, the less interesting it becomes.
- If you use Cauterize while having Fire Shield on yourself, the Fire Shield will absorb the damage.
- If you use Cauterize while having Flame Consumption on yourself, you will be healed instead of damaged.
__Casting time : 1.0 second
__Nice skill with many uses. However, you shouldn't use it that much while laning, since it's a lot of mana you spend, and opponents can nullify its effect by switching target or getting away. Unless you are dominating them, in which case you may use it on creeps to harass or push, you should keep it for emergency purposes.
__It may also be used to dispell debuffs. Remember most of the ultimates that put debuffs are undispellable, and some skills keep applying the same debuff until the end of the skill duration (Deadwood's Rotten Grasp, for example). Its absorbtion/damage part doesn't scale, like Cauterize, with stuff, but its dispell function is useful at all stages of the game.
- Damage that the shield absorbs does still count as the shielded unit taking damage ; as a result, things which cancel on damage taken will cancel even when the shield absorbed all of the damage.
__This is the skill which gets better with stuff, and, in a more interesting manner, with the stuff of your teammates. It is not very useful early in the game, so you should obviously max support spells before leveling that. It requires you to attack people, preferably the target under focus, which may be quite a problem sometimes, since your mobility is bad to begin with, and since your support skills both have high (1.0) casting time.
- Accursed gains the Burning Strikes buff on the first hit.
__Cast time : Instant
__Not the best ultimate, but it prevents opponents to focus you first in team battles, thus enabling you to constantly use your skills until running out of mana (or until the fight ends, regardless of the issue). It is no longer activated automatically, so you should time it wisely ; if you wait too long, you may not be able to use it before dying because of silences or stuns. Further more, don't picture yourself going back from 10% HP to full life because it won't happen (except in low level games or if you're facing uncontrollable damage like Magmus' ultimate once cast).
Role, Strengthes and Weaknesses
- Very low item dependency
- Good starting Intelligence and Intelligence growth for a strength hero
- Hard to kill
- Good at protecting your teammates
- Useless late-game
- Not that great in laning phase
- Offensive supports (supports with stuns and some follow-up) are far more suited to the trilane/ganking metagame than defensive supports (mainly Accursed and Jeraziah)
__Accursed is designed to be a support hero. Of course, in low level games you can build him however you like, but Accursed is meant to support. You got a heal, a shield, a buff/debuff which mostly helps your teammates, so you're not going to carry. Further more, unlike most of the melee carriers, Accursed's abilities does not help him to go in melee range, so he will be less powerful as a carry than true carriers.
__Many people think that Accursed's disappearance in high level games (back to June 2010, he was perma-banned) are the result of Accursed's nerfs, but the main reason of Accursed's popularity going to oblivion is the huge metagame shift, from dual lanes + solo mid to trilanes (although I thought and still think he was overrated at the time, especially for his lane controlling abilities).
Indeed, trilanes featured more agressive supports such as Andromeda, Witch Slayer, et caetera, and defensive supports like Accursed were not able to fit in those lineups, thus no longer played since 1/1/3 > 2/1/2 ; even over-defensive lanes like Soul Reaper/Accursed couldn't get much XP and farm against a good trilane, not mentioning its poor ganking potential.
__Today, Accursed's options are not endless, though they exist. Defensive supports, like I said, are not suited to gank-oriented lineups, and Jeraziah is far more useful than Accursed in lineups aiming teamfights dominance, as well as in turtling strategies, thanks to Jeraziah's 2nd and 4th skills.
Still, Accursed is better than Jeraziah in push-oriented strategies, and that's where we are going with him.
He can fulfill two roles, support and semi-support ; by semi-support, I mean a support hero who buys supportive items (like Nome's Wisdom, Astrolabe, Tablet of Command...) instead of buying wards. Of course, wards are essential, so play semi-support only if your team already got a support who will buy them.
__Like nearly any hero, I don't think there is one skill build which is the best in all situations. Still, there is not that many ways to build him, compared to other heroes. A cookie-cutter build would be :
1- Fire Shield
4- Fire Shield
6- Flame Consumption
8- Fire Shield
9- Fire Shield
11- Flame Consumption
16- Flame Consumption
- I don't advise to ever put a point into Sear before level 10, except if for some reasons you are in a solo lane.
- Stats might sometimes be better than Sear, because it is often quite hard to go in melee range and auto-attack foes, since your spells have non-neglectable casting time.
- Why Cauterize over Fire Shield at 3,5,7? Because Cauterize has far better mana-efficiency, because Cauterize's uses are more various, and because Shields are often wasted because of opponents switching target or getting away.
- Sometimes Fire Shield can be maxed before Cauterize, especially at 5 and 7, for pushing purposes. But even in pushing strategies, maxing Cauterize is often better.
- You also can skip your ultimate until level 8 or 9.
__As for skill builds, I don't think there is a single item build which is the best regardless of the context ; just keep in mind you have to fulfill your role in the team to maximize your chances of victory.
Starting items :
x3 x1 x2 
It leaves you with 313 gold, you can buy either Courier + 1 Ward of Sight, or 2 Wards of Sight + 1 Ward of Revelation.
You can also, if you are in a trilane (and expecting to face a trilane), buy a Mana Battery, but you can also buy it at the outpost.
Mid/Late-game items :
If you are a support, well, I won't lie to you, you will mostly buy Wards of Sight and Wards of Revelation ; to maximize their potentiel, I refer you to warding guides. If you're lucky enough maybe you can even afford the legendary Marchers as a luxury item and upgrade them to Striders.
[800 + Wards]
If you are a semi-support, meaning you play supportive but someone else (another support) is taking care of warding, or if by any chance you are litterally swimming in gold, you should buy mana items :
 and/or 
Then, if you follow my advice of playing Accursed in pushing teams only, you can buy one (of more) of these :
Whether you're supporting or not, Mystic Vestments  are also a great and cheap addition, it basically reduces the magic damage you're dealt by 20% for 400 gold. Some people would say that it also reduces the healing you get from your ultimate, but as I said before, don't expect too much from your ultimate.
-  Best boots in a push team, especially since you don't really need extra Movement Speed from Ghost Marchers, or stats/attack speed from Steamboots. Note that you don't need more than 2 of these in a team, and one is, most of the time, enough, so if someone else already got it, you should buy something else with your money.
-  With its price going down and down through patches, it really became a great item in pushing strategies, especially if you play a healer-heavy lineup.
- You can also buy standard support items, like Astrolabe , Nome's Wisdom  (which both are great pushing items too) or even Tablet of Command . Tablet of Command seems bad in most pushing teams but has great synergy with some heroes you could run (Engineer, for example). Astrolabe may be too mana-expensive as a first item for Accursed, though. Stormspirit  is also a valid choice in some situations, because pushing lineups usually lack crowd control (and usually don't need them badly, but it may happen). There is also other items who are great in pushing teams, like Puzzlebox, but Accursed usually can't afford them.
Also, don't forget to always have with you a Homecoming Stone in order to be able to help your teammates when needed!
Team synergy and integration
__Accursed can solo a lane, but I wouldn't advise it. He's still able to do well against low-ranged harassers (namely, Thunderbringer) and even some long-ranged heroes. If you solo mid, then you will need to bottle the runes (or powerups) in order to stay alive. As a result, you have a bad matchup against heroes who can easily grab runes (Wretched Hag, for example), and against heavy harassers (Arachna, for example).
Further more, Balphagore seems far better than Accursed as a solo hero, and is a better pusher.
__Given Accursed's poor offensive potential, he doesn't fit in offensive lanes, whether it's a 2 or 3-man lane. However, as a defensive support, he can be played in defensive lanes, like (good ol' times), with the addition of, for example, Voodoo Jester or even Nymphora for a trilane.
__As I said before, if you pick Accursed, then you know you want a push team because Accursed does not fit well in other strategies. As a result, most of the time, you shouldn't pick Accursed in public games, because he will probably not synergize with the team most of the time.
So, the first question is :
When do I want to pick a push team ?
__It would require a whole picking guide to cover this question, but basically and in my opinion, push teams are known to do well against heavy turtling strats. By "heavy turtling", I don't mean any turtling lineup, since most of the time, the team with the better lategame is turtling, but I mean lineups who will always turtle whatever (or nearly) the lineup they are facing. Those lineups usually feature hard carriers (that's why they always want to turtle), mostly Sand Wraith but The Dark Lady is also a viable hero in a heavy turtling strat. The Dark Lady is never picked early in the draft because she's nearly not used at all (thus making it difficult to counter), but Sand Wraith can be picked early since she's a very popular hero. Further more, Sand Wraith's ultimate can nearly be reduced, against a push team, as a Homecoming stone.
__Push teams, besides to counter Sand Wraith, can also be used as a supportive tool to increase the gold income of a hard carry. Anyway, you will probably have some carry in your push team to provide late-game presence, in case you don't win the game early.
OK, I have a good opportunity to draft a push team, should I pick Accursed?
__Not necessarily. Actually, there is better pushers than Accursed, but none has the exact same role as Accursed. You want a "tank" ? Balphagore pushes harder, better, faster, stronger than Accursed, and is far better in teamfights, and has better lane control. You want a support ? Andromeda/Demented Shaman are better. You want a solo hero ? Defiler, Pollywog Priest or, again, Balphagore are better.
Now you lost me. Are you saying Accursed sucks and that I shouldn't pick him? What a guide.
__No, actually there is some cases where Accursed is a good choice. First, Accursed is a healer. Heals, if you got enough of them, help you push without interruption. So, some healer-oriented lineup, with the help of great pushers, could push really fast.
You can take for example MSI's lineup in the match versus SK Gaming in the GG Finals game 1 (cf Replays section) : . Pollywog and Wildsoul are both great pushing forces, Wildsoul ensures late-game presence, Pollywog is great midgame, the healer trilane is hard to kill, and Soul Reaper is a great semi-carry. You can also pick Defiler or even Madman instead of Wildsoul if noone in your team can play it efficiently.
YOU's lineup is also interesting, featuring Arachna and Slither instead of MSI's Pollywog and Wildsoul, and Voodoo Jester going Cursed Ground build instead of Mojo, for a heal/DoT heavy lineup. Arachna doesn't seem an auto-include in this lineup, though, more likely a counterpick. They lost the game but I still found this lineup interesting.
So, basically, Accursed should be picked in pushing lineups stacking healers. These lineups will probably always feature Soul Reaper who is the healer who benefits the most from farming, and a third healer (). Your 2 last heroes will be 2 solo ; one of them should be very active in midgame ( for example, but there is plenty of valid choices), and the other should have lategame potential ( for example).
In other situations, there is often better heroes to pick than Accursed, but Accursed is not that bad, and can thus be used without shame when the hero pool is restricted, ie in Banning Draft.
__Most of the time, you don't need to specifically counter Accursed, but rather the global strategy around it. Still, Accursed is quite sensitive to :
__Unfortunately, most of the healers are also sensitive to mana burn and silence. Nullfire Blade and Puzzlebox are, thus, deadly against those lineups, and a farmed Magebane could be devastating too, especially since healer lineups usually lack crowd control. Nevertheless, don't forget the main goal of push strategies is to win before the opposing carry is farmed.
- Mana Burn
- Dispell (buffs)
__Further more, trilane, while being very annoying past level 2, is quite sensitive at level 1 ; agressive trilanes can get some kills early, thus getting a nice advantage over them.
__Also, Accursed can't really gank in laning phase, and can't harass much. So, you don't want to face the situation where trilanes are not put against each other, but against the solo of the opposing team. As a result, if you can predict where the Accursed trilane is going and act accordingly, you will most likely win laning phase.
This also extends to dual lanes, it should not be too risky to put a solo against an Accursed+X lane, thus allowing you to have a jungler, two heroes mid or a trilane.
- Dual/Tri lane : deny creeps when you can (it's your job since you don't need farm and can't harass ranged heroes), heal your teammates, attack melee heroes, shield to prevent a teammate's death. Mana management is the key to survival against agressive lanes. If you are 3v1 or 2v1, the priority is to prevent their solo to get xp/gold. If you can't (which can be tough at 2v1 since Accursed's lane presence isn't that great), just push the tower fast.
- If you want to solo mid : just grab a Logger's Hatchet , a stack of Runes of the Blight  and farm that Bottle  while shielding yourself to get creeps without being too much harassed. Get runes whenever you can ; don't be afraid to shield a creep to push the lane further before the rune spawn, to increase your chances of getting it. Gank is cool if you got haste.
- Solo side is even worse than mid since you can't refresh your mana pool with runes, so you really shouldn't do it. Further more, you really don't need level advantage on Accursed.
__5-man pushes and teamfights
- Since most lineups with Accursed don't have much ganking potential, you will most likely push during this phase. By using the "ganking" term, I assume you're not doing 5-man pushes for now, but 1 to 3-man pushes in 2 or 3 lanes at the same time. Basically, you cannot gank but you (or anyone in your team) can, of course, be ganked. You should, as a result, always carry a scroll of TP in case you or one of your teammates is ganked ; if one of your teammates is ganked but you can't help him even if you TP to the nearest tower, just keep pushing.
- You should be careful with mana expenses since you don't know when the opposing team will defend their towers. Your priority is to heal your teammates so if a teamfight occurs they aren't at low HP. Then, if you can afford it (probably once you got Ring of Sorcery), you can throw a shield or two to push.
- During a teamfights, just spam your skills (except at late game, if your Fire Shield's absorbtion is neglectable, wait for a stun or other annoying debuff to put it), and try to reach and auto-attack the hero your carry is attacking, to buff him via Sear. Pop Flame Consumption asap when you're under enemy focus.