Skills: Learns Acid Cocktail, Mojo, Cursed Ground, Spirit Ward
Well there are quite a few of you that have known that I have been wanting to write a guide to Voodoo Jester for quite some time. A few things held me back though, particularly the HotBL bug, the staff of the master port and my schedule. But in the last couple of days I caught a cold, leaving me restricted in my home on this wonderful Friday night . That's fine though. I will make lemonade out of these lemons.
Anyone who knows me knows I am addicted to Voodoo Jester. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite hero. Despite being a straightfoward hero, mastering him is a feat that many, many people will never accomplish. Slahser set the standard for this hero, and his Witch Doctor (Voodoo Jester's DotA counterpart) is admired to this day.
The traits of a player will become incredibly obvious when playing Voodoo Jester. You need incredible map awareness. You need to be skilled at both harassing and looking for opportunities. You must be a capable ganker when playing Jester. The ability to farm fast and efficiently is also a requirement, and to a certain degree being a decent support player won't hurt either. Positioning is key on this hero, as is mana management.
Long story short, Jester is an incredibly solid choice of a hero to master if you want to increase your game. As far as I'm concerned, no other hero will increase your capability to play this game well more then the Jester.
Acid Cocktail: Voodoo Jester throws a wretched mix of cursed chemicals at the an enemy, stunning them and nearby units one after another.
Target: Hostile, organic unit
Range: 700 at all levels
Bouncing Range: 600 at all levels
Mana cost: 110/120/130/140
Cooldown: 20/18/15/14 seconds
Duration: 1 second on heroes, 5 seconds on creeps, at all levels
Bounces 2/4/6/8 times, dealing 75/100/125/150 damage to non-hero units. The first impact (the target you select) will stun for 1.5 seconds. THE FIRST IMPACT DOES NOT DAMAGE HEROES. FORGET WHAT THE TOOLTIP SAYS.
Speed of initial projectile is 650, bouncing projectiles have 450 speed.
Notes: This is, ultimately, Jester's only method of crowd control. There is a certain degree of luck when using it, but undeniably, skill is required too. Both the casting range and the bounce range is quite large, so underestimating this skill is incredibly foolish. A poorly placed cocktail can mean a 1.5 second stun, where as a ideal cocktail can mean signing the death certificate for 2 enemy heroes. Finally, this skill is Jester's farming tool of choice and is devastating against both neutrals and enemy creeps alike.
Mojo: Voodoo Jester reacts with a target's mojo, healing them over time if they are an ally or damaging them over time if they are an enemy. The good mojo passes to Voodoo Jester's allies, healing those around the target over time. The bad mojo drags down Voodoo Jester's enemies, causing those around the target to take damage over time.
Target: Organic unit
Range: 500 at all levels
Aoe: 340 at all levels
Mana cost: 95/105/115/125
Duration: 8 seconds at all levels
Cooldown: 20/17/14/11 seconds
Heals/Damages for 10/20/30/40 health/magic damage per second
Notes: An interesting blend of Shadow Word and Voodoo Restoration, the uses of this skill are far stronger defensively then offensively. Where as a mojo'd enemy will separate himself to prevent damaging his team, a mojo'd ally will try to heal those around him as needed. Unlike either Shadow Word or Voodoo Restoration, it has some minor uses for farming as well, in particular later in the game as hordes of ranged creeps begin to stack up.
Cursed Ground: Voodoo Jester curses the very ground the enemy walks on, causing them to take damage over time based on how much life they lost after several seconds.
Target: Targeted AoE
Effected Targets: Enemy heroes
Casting range: 400 at all levels
AoE (radius): 165 at all levels
Duration: 12 seconds at all levels
Mana cost: 120 at all levels
Enemies lose 5/10/15/20 hp/sec, 10/20/30/40 bonus damage for every 100 hp lost during Cursed Ground. Bonus damage is calculated every 4 seconds once Cursed Ground is cast, and damage is based on the difference between hp values currently and when Cursed Ground was cast.
Notes: Easily the strongest non-ultimate spell in the game in terms of damage, this is a skill that scales all game. The algorithm is rather annoying, so instead of solving using an iterative method I just decided to test it out in-game. Know that level 1 Cursed Ground is next to useless, so I only tested for level 2, 3, and 4. Base Magic reduction is accounted for, and I used a test value for raw damage at 300. Note that because Cursed Ground scales linearly, changing the test values will get similar modifiers.
2 1.41x 1.25x 1.12x
3 1.67x 1.43x 1.24x
4 1.95x 1.63x 1.38x
The output of these 9 values are the total damage multipliers after base magic reduction and/or armor is taken into consideration. Going along the y-axis yields levels of Cursed Ground, while going along the x-axis yields multipliers before the 4th, between the 4th and 8th, and after the 8th second respectively.
These numbers do not take into consideration health regen, since the result would be a range, so I used a test value of 1.75 hp/second.
After magic reduction, but not regen, Cursed Ground deals approximately 105/185/290/385 damage by itself. Lethal. Not an easy skill to land, with a relatively long cooldown too, but practice makes perfect.
Spirit Ward: The Voodoo Jester channels a deadly Spirit Ward to attack enemy heroes. Boosted by Staff of the Master.
Ability Type: Targeted, channeling
Allowed Targets: Enemy heroes
Targeting Type: Point
Damage Type: Physical
Casting range: 300/350/400
Duration: 8 secs at all levels
Mana cost: 200/200/300
Spirit Ward has 700 range and attack cooldown of 0.3 seconds at all levels.
Without SotM: Deals 60/90/120 damage (bounces once)
With SotM: Deals 90/120 (bounces once)/150 damage (splits to hit 3 targets)
Spirit Ward can be controlled to attack a specific target. This is often overlooked, but Spirit Ward will attack the closest thing to it when cast, and will continue to attack it unless the target runs out of range or you select a different target. No point having Spirit Ward attack a full hp opponent when it can attack a red hp one right?
Spirit Ward can be dodged with evasion or with fog/uphill attacks.
Notes: A very underestimated ultimate, the damage can easily add up quickly if not considered. A bouncing Spirit Ward means that the attack bounces from one target to another, like chain lightning, where as the splitting Spirit Ward means that the attack splits from the Spirit Ward itself, like split shot (if you've played dota). I know it may sound intuitive but there is confusion about this even to this day.
The casting range of this skill is something that is worth noting. It may be small, but it is enough that you can channel from the fog of trees, amongst other things. Just something to remember.
You would be naive to underestimate a spell that deals 200/300/400x2/500x3 dps, even if it is channeling.
Core Analysis: This is where we analyze hero-specific stuff like stat/stat gain, movespeed and hero independent synergy. Jester's base stats are undeniably lacking, with less then impressive numbers in all departments, including armor. His base damage is rather high, but his attack animation is subpar compared to his dota counterpart. His stat gain isn't particularly interesting, except for his int gain, which is high enough that he can support his relatively low cost skills mid-late game with ease. He is also a fast hero in general, giving him a considerable advantage at harassing early on.
As mentioned earlier on, Acid Cocktail is his only crowd control skill, and as such needs to be maxed out relatively quickly for ganks and team fights. Cursed Ground is incredibly strong just by itself, now imagine what happens when the enemy hero eats a nuke before the 4th second of a level 4 Curse and the damage is almost amplified by a factor of 2. Throw in a channeling spell that can do the dps of an agi carry x3, and you have a recipe for disaster. There are milestones to overcome though. We just need to build and skill logically, and the rest will follow easily.
1: Acid Cocktail
2: Cursed Ground
3: Cursed Ground
4: Acid Cocktail
5: Cursed Ground
6: Spirit Ward
7: Cursed Ground (maxed out)
8: Acid Cocktail
9: Acid Cocktail (maxed out)
11. Spirit Ward
12-14: Mojo (maxed out)
16: Spirit Ward (maxed out)
Explanation: If you've played witch doctor before, this should look familiar. It is the cookie-cutter WD build, with voodoo restoration replacing mojo. Cursed Ground takes priority as the strongest non-ult nuke in the game, and Acid Cocktail is taken secondary due to it's incredibly strong uses as both a crowd control skill and as a farming tool. Mojo is taken last, as it helps sustain pushes, but it is worth taking over stats. Spirit Ward is a strong ult despite being channeling and should be taken whenever possible.
Now, you may be thinking, what about a solo Jester build? Or a babysitting build? Or a pushing Jester build? These things all have 1 thing in common, and that is that they force you to take mojo early on. Taking mojo over jester's only crowd control skill and the strongest non-ult nuke is simply not legitimate. I honestly don't care about the damage potential of mojo+ cursed ground either. If you think that is good try leveling up cocktail instead so that an extra stun from the bounce in effect grants you 200 damage which is amplified by cursed ground? Beats mojo any day.
If you have to solo Jester, follow the same skill build and just use mana battery/bottle like any mid solo hero reliant on spells would. If you have to babysit/run a push strat, try picking heroes that are more suitable for it, like Nymphora and Demented Shaman.
Item build: The goal of this skill build is incredibly, incredibly straightforward. It will focus on early game stats and items to null Jester's vulnerability and mana problems early on, and will build up to maximize the full potential of Spirit Ward and Cursed Ground.
- 1-2x Fortified Bracers (510 g each)
- Mana Battery/Power Supply (optional, 210/519 g)
- Bottle (600 g)
- Steamboots (1500 g)
- Staff of the Master (4300 g)
- Shrunken Head (3900 g)
Some starting item builds never change, start off with basic stat items, a mana pot or two, a set of runes of blight, a mana battery...basically any combination of the above which works for you.
Bracers are needed to null Jester's poor vitality, they have precedence over talismans.
Mana Battery/Power Supply is a pretty generic item that has its uses on like 95% of all the heroes out there, but Jester's combo of stun, nuke, ult is quite restricting early on and you do need the instant supply of mana it supplies.
Bottle is a no-brainer. Anyone who has been assassinated by an invis or hasted Jester knows this.
Steamboots are superior to Enhanced Marchers as of this version on casters. Enhanced Marchers just give you phase and negligible, while Steamboots give you more base movespeed and stats, which are incredibly useful early on as Jester, particularly due to his low base int and fixed mana costs.
Staff of the Master gives very generous stats for what you pay for, and its components are all useful from the instant you purchase them. Besides that, it basically amplifies your total damage output by nearly 87.5%
Shrunken Head is a simple item that gives str, some damage, and magic immunity, nothing more, nothing less. The synergy between channeling your ult and being magic immune are obvious.
Now a good question is, which one to get first? They both have their pros and cons. Staff of the Master is incredibly strong, except that it does not help you against disables. Shrunken head, on the other hand, allows you to channel your ult effectively relatively earlier on, but the stat gain is incredibly inferior, and the lack of int means that you will not be using Jester's primary farming skill, Acid Cocktail, as much as you might have liked.
I can basically guarantee you it will take you longer to farm shrunken head first, followed by SotM, then the other way around. It's up to personal preference and lineups, but even against a disable heavy lineup I find myself going SotM first the majority of the time, unless of course it is obviously impossible and impractical. You have to adapt, it's that simple.
Rejected items include wards, couriers, codex and assassin's shroud. Jester is not your typical ward whoring support hero. He is a ganker, and properly played, at least semi-carry status. We don't need to piss our money away on wards and couriers. Let the Glacius and the Nymphora do that.
Shroud is incredibly common in pubs, but it blows. There are so many aoe stuns and silences in HoN that even if they don't use wards or dust you will not be able to channel your ult in peace. Now imagine what happens if they do have truesight...
Now about codex, it has it's uses early on, but they begin to tapper off quickly. It does not give any vitality, where as both shrunken head and SotM have at least +10 str. Remember you have a team, just get your curse off and rely off their nukes to bring down their target, instead of buying a 3k item to do it yourself. Both Shrunken head and SotM have far more value to your team then Codex.
Luxury Items: Honestly I don't get this far often. There are 3 main items to consider though.
- Portal key (2150 g)
- Totem of Kuldra (5675 g)
- Null Stone (5175 g)
Portal key is a flexible item, being magic immune and blinking beside your target with cocktail, curse and ult is never a bad thing.
Totem of Kuldra is...Totem of Kuldra. Not really much to say. All players fear this item.
Null Stone can help block some spells that go through magic immunity, for example, Succubus' Hold.
Laning: Any lane is fine, I generally don't recommend soloing, but I am rather fond of sending a dual lane of Jester + Elec/Pebbles/Magmus mid. Jester is in the same class as Torturer, Defiler, and Soul Reaper are in. They are all quite strong when farmed. Do your best to farm, but don't neglect harassing.
If you are mid, do your best to maintain rune control. And finally, look constantly for openings for a cocktail+ cursed ground combo. You will have to capitalize on the enemy player's mistakes, which I find more often then not comprise of overconfidence or ignorance concerning the raw power of Cursed Ground. Oh well. Their loss right?
Ganking: Straightfoward, cast cocktail, cursed ground and ult right? Well it's not quite that easy, even in low-tier games people know that Jester's ult is channeling and will focus you with stuns.
A more ideal approach would be to look for an ideal opening to cast cocktail, run up and cast cursed ground while they are stunned, and then immediately judge the scenerio of the gank...against some heroes like slither, you can immediately drop your ward, again, using the casting range to block off likely escape routes
The vast majority of heroes, however, will immediately try to stun you right after they recover from acid cocktail. Most of the heroes, however, only have 1 disable. Eat the disable (hopefully your gank mates has already done their part with their own stuns and nukes) and then proceed to chase the hero, again, using the casting range of Spirit Ward and the surrounding areas to your advantage.
Team fights: Same deal as ganks, really. Hopefully you have shrunken head by now, if not, you will just have to be as opportunistic as possible. You will want to curse key heroes, which are usually carry heroes or incredibly powerful disablers like succubus. A key thing to remember here is not to get caught, especially by initiating heroes like tempest or behemoth. Mistakes do happen, but honestly you should be smart enough not to bunch up with your allies while pushing uphill to a base tower, especially given the nature of Jester.
Other: Although Jester's base damage is high, it won't be enough to farm the core items before it matters. When farming a lane with Jester, dps a creep down, and when he is below 150 hp, cast cocktail to ensure the kill, and mop up. If you have to choose between melee and ranged creeps, pick ranged.
Mojo is used similarily when farming, but using both mojo and cocktail to farm a wave is usually excessive unless it is really that big. You should always maintain enough mana for Jester's combo (560 at maxed out ult), so yea. Again, prioritize ranged creeps over melee, and use the aoe to your advantage...cast mojo on the middle ranged creeps rather then those by the edges.
When pushing with mojo, casting it on an ally will almost certainly instinctively get nearby allies to rally by the mojo'd unit. This obviously can raise issues, especially if the other team has initating heroes, again. Just be smart about it, that not only applies to you, the reader, but also your team. Rallying is fine if they are dead and you are pushing raxes. Rallying is not fine if you are pushing without vision against 5 alive enemy heroes.
Finally, when pushing raxes, don't bother using cocktail on the enemy creeps that spawn. Allow your allies to take care of them, and save cocktail for when the enemy heroes challenge you.
Not gonna lie I haven't played Voodoo Jester in months. So I decided it was time I played him again. Although this was a low-ranked game, I really liked it because it really highlights all of Voodoo Jester's strengths and weaknesses. It shows just how deadly curse is, how to balance farming and ganking (I farm a 19 min sotm this game although my cs was pathetic due to me half-babysitting Hammerstorm top), and how positioning is key. Everytime magmus or DW catch me in their respective stuns, I die. Even with the early boost in hp from sotm. That says alot. Was a fun game, even though I was spiking a bit and was fairly one-sided.
Also features Swordknight as the enemy Magmus
Voodoo Jester Replay
And so we have come to the end of my sixth, and final guide. There have been some highs and some lows, but ultimately I am satisfied with how my guides went. As always comments and concerns are welcome.
It has been my pleasure to write these guides. Cheers.
Last edited by TinyBlkTears; 05-03-2010 at 12:10 AM.
Does demonic breastplate (or for that matter, any attack speed aura) increase ward attack speed?
Last edited by Craftyman_; 09-26-2009 at 05:55 AM.
uhm and wheres the codex as an option for making it? in earlygame it work perfectly with invis rune and u didnt even mention it.
jester with no codex = demented without kundra...
Thanks Trainingday, Voodoo is one of my favourite heroes and it's always good to see someone else's take on something.
@ Craftman_ No, Spirit Ward is not effected by ias aura. As the damage is physical, it is effected by armor though. So if the enemy Jerez pops his ult, spirit ward is useless. Likewise, if spirit ward attacks a caster effected by Pestilence's swarm, expect him to die in less then 3 seconds.
Unless another high-tier hero like Electrician comes along this will indeed be my last guide lol (man I say that so much). Writing guides for dota-port heroes is fun and all but I am mainly interested in the potential of new heroes as they come. Mb by Christmas I'll write another guide
Last edited by TinyBlkTears; 09-26-2009 at 12:10 PM.
Should add a tip that you can actually target the ward. Just click on it to select it and then target it like your hero.
I've had pains before finding out this trick
Oh, really. Did not know that. It always seemed not targetable. Maybe S2 should do something about this? ;E
Great guide! I love Voodoo Jester, and it's always nice to see other peoples' strategies. I might stop buying Assassin's Shroud in favor of a Portal Key now, you made an interesting point.
thank you for bestowing upon us the gift of your knowledge, you truly have a big penis
Glad you outlined that Jester shouldn't waste gold on wards if support *****es are present. While he doesn't scale quite as well as other int carries because his big lategame damage spell is channeling he still uses items effectively enough to justify calling him an int carry considering if you land a good ult it will put out more burst physical damage than most melee carries can. It's a common misconception that he's just some support *****.
Voodoo feeds off the tears of Electrician, Magmus, Succubus, and Tempest. Nice guide, too many focus on the Cursed Ground/Mojo combo instead of leveling Acid Cocktail first (the ~100 damage you get in from autoattacks from the extra stun before the first Cursed Ground tick far outweights Mojo until it's level 3 or 4)
Really good guide, interesting to hear someone speak of Voodoo Jester as a semi-carry (never heard that one before). I always thought he was just lumped into ganker/support with limited late-game potential.
I don't get the logic behind not leveling Mojo early.
The heal will keep both you and your lane partner in good shape most of the game and you can save money by not getting (as many) tangos or use the money to get claritys.
Likewise, the DoT effect deals a lot of damage, around 320 at level 4 if I'm correct. Sure it's not an instant nuke, but that can deceive enemies into not running when they should have, get them to low hp and then watch the kill message appear 5 seconds after they supposedly get away.
Acid Cocktail's duration is 1 at all levels and getting a longer stun times depends on the bounces, so I don't see how leveling it more will help you. Getting it at level 1 to gank/prevent ganks is a smart idea, but I usually go Mojo/Cursed Ground after that.
I'm not going to argue that I'm an expert, because I'm not, but this this the most logical way to play Voodoo from my perspective. If you could further explain to me why Acid Cocktail/Cursed Ground is better than my build I would appreciate it.
Acid Cocktail is far more useful early to mid game when Jester is ganking all over the map. Jester's biggest asset is his ability to cause mayhem during a team fight with Acid Cocktail, stunning multiple heroes and locking them in place.
Mojo is certainly a good skill, and a big step up from Voodoo Restoration (the skill Witch Doctor had in DotA). However, it is not good enough to replace Acid Cocktail, which is an invaulable gank skill.
Voodoo Jester is a ganking hero / intiator. Acid Cocktail as an opening is pretty much his bread and butter. You need this skill early game to be useful, otherwise you have to totally rely on teammates to get kills (or be really good at placing Cursed Ground).
Personally TrainingDay, I like to go Bottle/Steamboots/Blink rather than rushing a Staff of the Master. I find it easier to land and setup stuns and Cursed ground, as the projectile speed for Acid Cocktail is way slower than the DotA incarnation.
Last edited by xahxah; 09-26-2009 at 10:34 PM.