Ophelia is a powerful, flexible, and difficult hero to use. In the right circumstances, she can decide the outcome of the game in the first ten minutes. In the wrong circumstances, she can be a liability.
This guide is aimed at 1600-1900 games. I'm going to assume you have a basic knowledge of how HoN works and who Ophelia is, and I'm not going to tell you things you already know or don't care about. The guide will, however, go into great detail on everything else.
Detailed information about Ophelia's stats and skills can be found here
This is a distinctly mediocre slow/damage amplifier. When timed perfectly, it'll take out about 20% of the enemy's HP, or about 150-300 damage early- to mid-game. The slow at level 4 (32%) is about equal to Hellbringer's slow at level 2. The cooldown and mana cost are pretty low, though.
This is a terrible nuke, at 300 damage for 175 mana with a 16 second cooldown. It's also an awesome ally-saving skill. At level 1, it will teleport your ally to base 6 seconds after the spell is cast on them, regardless of what happens during that time. At level 4, it only takes 3 seconds.
Ophelia's signature skill. The health bonus from Command also applies to Puzzlebox minions and any units you dominate with Whispering Helm.
Heals everyone by 200/300/400 HP. To use this skill effectively, you have to have good map awareness. Keep an eye on your allies' HP at the top-left of the screen. If one starts to drop, see what's going on and heal if necessary. Touch heals all your creeps to full HP but should rarely be used for that alone, you can send the creeps back to the fountain instead.
Your ideal early-game set consists of 3 Minotaurs, or 2 Minotaurs and a Skeleton King. Late-game you want 1 or 2 Minotaurs, 1 Wolf Commander, and maybe 1 Ice Ogre.
Minotaurs are the best creeps. They do a lot of damage, have a lot of HP, and most importantly have a 2 second stun stomp, which they can use twice before running out of mana. Try to micro your minotaurs independent of your hero, otherwise you might end up running into the middle of a fight while trying to line up a stomp. Their 15% attack speed aura is also nice in pushes and late-game.
The Skeleton King's 1.5 second 550-ranged disable is ideal for getting Minotaurs into position to stomp enemies. Bear in mind that the disable only prevents movement, but doesn't stop them from attacking or casting. It does stop channeling, though. They can Grip enemies 3 times, or 4 times with a little bit of mana regen. Skeleton King's Grip stops channeling spells even if the enemy has a Shrunken Head.
Catmen are basically the poor man's Minotaurs. They have a 100 damage stomp with a 3 second 25% slow, which they can use 3 times. This makes them useful in clearing stacked creep camps.
If Catmen are the poor man's minotaurs, Vagabonds are the poor man's Catmen. They also do 100 damage, but with no slow. Vagabonds do have more AoE on their nuke, though, and they can use it twice in one gank due to its low cooldown. Vagabonds also have a 3 HP/s regen aura.
Vulture Lords are the worst big creeps. Their Tornado skill does a reasonable amount of damage (45 dps) and a 15% slow, but with 130 movespeed and 150 radius (plus 15 DPS in a 450 radius), it's difficult to keep the enemies near it. It's channeling, so you can't attack with the vulture at the same time. Vultures are good at tanking towers and creeps, and in longer engagements where the enemies aren't running away. You can use the Tornado to take down stacked creep camps, especially easy camps, fairly quickly. To move the tornado you have to select it at its base; boxing it or selecting the top of the tornado won't work. The tornado can't attack, but you can right-click to move it.
Ice Ogres are reasonably good mid- to late-game, where you can give +8 armor to up to four allies at a time. Note that it no longer slows enemies that attack. Ice Ogres are useless in combat, so try to keep them separate from your minotaurs and catmen.
Wolf Commanders have a +30% damage aura which is excellent late-game. They are rather fragile, so you'll have to micro them carefully to stop them from running into a fight and getting blasted to death by AOE, while keeping your DPS heroes within its 500 radius. One way to do this is to right-click an allied ranged DPS hero with the wolf to issue a follow command; unfortunately this doesn't prevent the wolf from running off and attacking things. I don't recommend getting wolves early-game.
Vagabonds are a very niche creep. They can burn 100 mana up to 8 times, with a 18 second cooldown, but they're extremely fragile. Vagabonds are good if your long lane is having an extremely difficult time against a strength hero, and you can use the vagabond to keep that hero's mana low.
Vagabond Assassins have a purge which removes buffs and slows for 80% decreasing over 5 seconds (so on average, a 40% slow for 5 seconds). I'm not sure exactly what's removed by the purge. This can be useful, but you have to be extremely careful as the purge has 200 range and assassins die to a stiff breeze.
Snotter Bosses have a +12% move speed aura (about equal to +45 move speed) with 900 AoE. This isn't bad, but Snotters die to absolutely everything, so they're not worth getting if there's anything better available.
In my opinion, Sporespitters (20% slow on attack, 400 range) and Antlore Healers (15 HP/second heal, 250 range) are too fragile and have too little effect to be worth getting. Combined with Puzzlebox Wizard's 9% movespeed aura you can get pretty fast.
Both Judgement and Wrath are quite weak during the laning phase. I choose to max Judgement first because it's stronger in the mid-game, where porting an ally to base in 3 seconds instead of 6 is likely to save their life. If your team really needs another slow, you can max Wrath first, though you should have enough disables with just Minotaurs, Catmen, and Skeleton Kings.
Ophelia's build is entirely dependent on the decisions you make in the mid-game, and whether you want to focus on ganking, pushing, countering your opponents, or going to late-game. You shouldn't go into the game with an item build in mind; you should determine your item build based on the hero selections of both teams and how the early game has unfolded. Each item below will be labeled with the strategy it works best with.
A lot of Ophelia's items are most useful if there's only one on the team, so make sure your communication with allies is good so you don't double up.
You should always get a Ring early-game even if one of your teammates has one; the armor bonus to your creeps is too useful to pass up.
Plated Greaves gives all allied creeps +20% damage and 10 damage block, making it excellent for pushing. If one or two allies are already getting Greaves you could consider Striders instead, but Ophelia is by far the best Greaves user in the game.
Most of the time your first item will be Astrolabe; you have the mana to support it and your creeps benefit from its heal. If you have a Plague Rider who wants to get Astrolabe, then don't get one yourself. If you have a Demented Shaman, Soul Reaper, or any other hero that often gets Astrolabe, tell them not to get Astrolabe because you'll be getting it. If they insist on getting Astrolabe, let them and don't get it yourself.
Unlike most support heroes, you rarely want Power Supply or Vestments. Greaves, Ring, Astrolabe, both wards, and Homecoming Stone take up all 6 of your inventory slots. Get them only if they'll be particularly useful and/or you can afford the inventory slot (an ally is warding, you don't need to counterward, you don't need Astrolabe, or you don't need TP).
Kuldra's Sheepstick is a great item for Ophelia, but it's very hard to farm. If you think you can get it in a reasonable amount of time (I'd say that's by the 40 minute mark), go for it. Sheepstick keeps you relevant late-game.
Stormspirit is a reasonably good item for Ophelia if you can't afford sheepstick. If you cast Ophelia's Judgement on an ally and immediately stormspirit them, they'll almost certainly survive, though you might die in the process. It can also be used to break channeling spells and deal with fat initiators like Pestilence and Legionnaire, preventing them from hurting your allies and allowing your allies to damage their fragile ranged heroes.
Nome's is great if you want to push early with your team, or if you've got a lot of high-mana-use casters like Wretched Hag. However, getting Nome's means you're not going to be that useful late-game. There are a number of better Nome's users, so make sure you don't get one if they are.
If you're farming really well, an early Puzzlebox is awesome. It lets you push quickly, run quickly, and kill your enemies quickly. It's especially good if the enemy has invisible heroes, or heroes with small mana pools, or if your team has a lot of disables so the minions have time to hit your enemies. The minions get +400 HP from Command, and the benefit of any auras from you and your creeps, but they can sometimes get in the way of you and your other creeps. Puzzlebox is best when someone else gets Astrolabe, letting you put all your money into the box.
Staff of the Master reduces your ultimate's cooldown to 30 seconds. You need to get a Stormspirit, Sheepstick, or Nomes in order to have enough mana to really take advantage of this. Staff doesn't do you much good in teamfights, as they rarely last 30 seconds. It's good when you've farmed it and another item reasonably early (30-35 minutes), and your team is heavily focused on ganking. Staff means you've always got your ult up to help your allies in a fight, allowing them to gank more frequently and effectively. Most of the time, Staff won't be the correct choice, but it's great when it works.
If the enemy has a lot of AoE magic damage, Barrier Idol is Astrolabes number 2 and 3, allowing you to prevent or heal up to 1000 damage on all your allies. Barrier's especially good if you're being sniped by a Hag, Fayde or Pebbles and want a Shaman's Headdress to be able to survive that. Ophelia isn't the best Barrier carrier, so don't get it if another ally already is.
Tablet is a cheap way to break channeling spells and get people out of Pharaoh's mummies. Since Ophelia often stays back in fights, she's in a good position to break a Tempest ultimate with Tablet. Ophelia isn't a great Tablet holder in general because you're usually focused on creep micro and miss opportunities for a good Tablet use.
Abyssal Skull is a good way to support any melee DPS heroes on your team. It's typically gotten late-game if you have an extra 1500-2500 gold sitting around before a big push, haven't got a Nome's, and need something to buy. If you do get Abyssal, make sure that nobody's already got one, and make sure your allies understand that they shouldn't buy one.
Bulwark is amazing pushing item, and in any push-focused team (some would argue any team) someone should get one. That said, there are a lot of heroes who benefit from Bulwark's armor more than Ophelia.
If your team is short on disables and teamfights tend to involve a lot of running back and forth, Energizer gives your team the extra movespeed to catch up to enemies. Typically gotten after Nome's if your team has a significant advantage and you want to maintain it.
Void Talisman is a very situational item. It should be gotten if you're being ganked by and want to be able to port out before they kill you.
Whispering Helm is decent if the enemy has no AoE and your team's gotten a significant advantage early game; it lets you push quite well and improves your ganking slightly. The 6 minute cooldown is huge, though, so if your creeps are dying at all regularly it's a terrible item. I've never gotten it; I prefer Nome's or Puzzlebox to fill its role.
Codex is terrible on a support hero even with a 28% damage boost. If you want to Codex, play Parasite instead.