Neophytes Book (1000 gold)
Bolstering Armband (450 gold)
Recipe (1250 gold)
Total Cost: 2700/3950/5200 gold
When activated, summons a Puzzlebox Mauler and a Puzzlebox Wizard under your control. After obtaining this item, the recipe may be re-purchased to upgrade it. Can be upgraded two times. Minions may not attack towers unless the owner is within 950 range.
Puzzlebox Mauler (Melee):
-5 hp regen/second
-100 base attack speed (1 attack per second)
-11 magic armor
-330/360/390 base move speed
-Passive: On death deals 200/400/600 true damage to whoever killed the Mauler
-Passive: Burns 25/50/75 mana per attack and deals physical damage equal to 100% of mana burnt
-On level 3 passively reveals all invisible units within a 1000 units of the Mauler
Puzzlebox Wizard (Ranged):
-5 hp regen/second
-100 base attack speed (1 attack per second)
-11 magic armor
-330/360/390 base move speed
-Active: Burns 125/175/225 mana from target and deals an equal amount in magic damage (250 range, 60 second cooldown)
-Aura: Grants 3%/6%/9% bonus move speed and 3/6/9 bonus attack speed to all allies within a 350 radius of the Wizard
-Cooldown: 90 seconds
-Duration: 35 seconds
-Mana cost: 50
*Refreshing the cooldown and activating the Puzzlebox will replace the minions currently spawned
Unfortunately, despite the incredible power a Puzzlebox provides many people hesitate to pick it up due to the potential that it represents the need to micromanage the minions. I’ll be up front with you: It usually doesn’t. Puzzlebox is quite an easy item to use effectively and works well in many situations whether you need push power, a bit (actually a lot) of extra damage, someone to tank Kongor for you or find their pesky wards. It is also a viable pickup on many, many heroes and should always be on your team’s mind as a potential purchase.
How to use Puzzlebox
When considering Puzzlebox, it is important to remember that it will be useful in almost all stages of the game. Puzzlebox is also viable on a large selection of Heroes. Anyone who can either hold a foe in place or help the minions “stick” to an enemy is generally a good choice. Some more specific and detailed examples of usage will be given later on in the guide. Suffice to say that if you have a lot of gold lying around then it might be worthwhile to pick one up.
Now to the burning question, how do you effectively use a Puzzlebox? It really isn’t that hard, simply activate it, tab (or if you have bound it to a group then simply tap the corresponding number) to the ranged creep and cast the manaburn on your target before selecting both the Wizard and the Mauler and right clicking whatever you want dead. Now, this is arguably the most basic usage of the item (there are other possibilities such as using the minions incredibly movespeed at higher ranks to block fleeing or chasing enemies) but for using the Puzzlebox effectively this is the most you will have to do. Keep in mind that even if you die, the Puzzlebox minions may still be alive and you can still use them to net a kill. Just be careful not to feed them without good reason since they do give gold on death.
While the most basic use of Puzzlebox is the “select minions and right click whatever you want dead” approach, there are several other ways in which it may be utilized. Puzzlebox may appear to drop off a bit lategame but if your team has several Post Hastes then it can be incredibly useful. Pushing a lane with no creeps left and an ally who can help with Post Haste? Simply activate the Puzzlebox where desired and port to the minions (this can be effective if your team intends to backdoor lategame). Alternatively, if you have a Flying Courier with Ring of Sorcery and a Puzzlebox you can essentially backdoor with impunity lategame so long as you have Post Haste.
While if you wish to use it basically it might not be an item that requires hugely intensive micromanagement, you can also (so long as you are comfortable doing so) use the creeps to help block fleeing or chasing enemies. Tab (or group bind) to the desired creep (make sure your hero is set to continue chasing/fleeing) and edge it in front of the desired target. You can shift queue a path that your opponent may take or simply run into potential juke spots and grant vision and block them off. If at all possible, try to force your opponent into a situation where they must kill the Mauler since 600 true damage (assuming level 3 Puzzlebox) is a huge amount at any stage of the game. To put it in perspective, assuming a hero with base magic armor this is roughly the same amount of damage as a level 5 codex would do for a drastically reduced cost and many other uses. This can be achieved by baiting AOE spells or forcing them to go through it to get to you.
With juking in mind, Puzzlebox can be used to get out of sticky situations simply by blocking off the path behind you in a juke spot (or if you desire, trapping your opponent in one). This can either buy time for an ally to get there or if used correctly can allow you to terrain walk your way to safety. To terrain walk, get into the furthest end of a juke path with a narrow entrance and summon your Puzzlebox minions in front of you, blocking both you off from the exit and your enemies from the entrance. This should grant you the ability (if used right) to simply walk over terrain for a short while to escape using S2’s pathing mechanics. Alternatively, if you know you will die you can always have the minions come in to block an enemies exit forcing them to either kill the Mauler (and sustain heavy damage) or delaying them until your allies can arrive to secure a kill. Alternatively, if juking isn’t your thing the 9% bonus move speed from the Puzzlebox Wizard can sometimes be enough for you to simply outpace your opponents.
Puzzlebox minions are also great when taking on Kongor, together they add over 152 physical damage per second (and an extra 75 so long as Kongor has mana). I say over because the attack speed aura will give your team that bit of extra damage in addition and they are also able to sponge a few hits from Kongor for you. Don’t be afraid to do some scouting with the minions (especially once the Mauler is level 3). If you are fairly certain an enemy is waiting for you but don’t have vision you can always pop your Puzzlebox and run the minions in there. When doing this however, be mindful that killing a minion will grant 100 gold so only use do this when all else fails (short of having you or a teammate die). If you wish to counter enemy wards then Puzzlebox is a great option (especially on heroes with some form of clear vision) and lategame when you are lacking slots it is a safer pick than a Bound Eye.
Hero Specific Usage:
There are many heroes the Puzzlebox is a very viable pick up on. In this section, several of these will be detailed with instructions for usage. By no means should you always think you have to pick it up on these heroes or that these are the only heroes it is viable on but it gives an idea of the versatility of the item and some potential uses for it. If you are picking up a Puzzlebox then it is always nice to have someone on your team with Plated Greaves or Abyssal Skull for that extra bit of damage. Sheepstick, Hellflower and Frostfield plate also work nicely with the item. Just be careful when picking up a Puzzlebox against Electrician as he can simply purge the minions away (though he still takes damage from the Mauler), this applies to Nullfire blade too. Also, enemy Parasites can turn your own weapons against you so this has to be considered when picking up the item too.
This might seem like a very odd choice but with Arachna’s low base move speed (which Puzzlebox somewhat mitigates) and her potent slows, the Puzzlebox minions can shell out an incredible amount of damage on an ulted (or even Web Shotted) target. Precision will also give the Wizard a bit of extra damage.
In conjunction with Snotstorm after a few survivability items, Puzzlebox can really lay on the hurt.
A decent item choice, it can help you push, keep up and your Regurgitate will keep enemies straggling behind to be picked off.
Blacksmith’s Frenzy along with Flaming Hammer (and to a lesser extent his slow) allows the Puzzlebox minions both to stay close and tear through anyone who might oppose you.
If you have the gold then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick up a Puzzlebox. While Blitz benefits from the bonus speed from the Puzzlebox Wizard, the minions in turn benefit from the plethora of slows that Blitz can throw out which allow them to get a lot of hits in.
With his ability to keep an enemy from moving with his ultimate, Puzzlebox can allow you to drop someone if they so much as dare to try hold H. Considering that Bloodhunter is usually an overshadowed pick a Puzzlebox isn’t a bad option. While silencing a creep will grant extra damage it might not always be the best choice (it is better to reserve the silence for heroes).
Bramble (No icon for Bramble yet ):
Bramble can slow, stun and increase the movement speed of Puzzlebox minions in addition to them helping him push. It is an incredibly viable pickup.
Bubbles’ ultimate will force a difficult decision when you have a Puzzlebox, do you let the minions hit you and take a large amount of damage or do you try to run, get stunned and still take a large (but not quite as large) amount of damage?
With his Static Grip and ultimate, Electrician is a great option for Puzzlebox as it also grants him his 2 most useful attributes (strength and intelligence).
Lategame if you somehow manage to acquire the gold, Puzzlebox can be used while using As One and your Illusory Veil and Essence Link can make it difficult for Enemies to escape.
Lategame it isn’t a bad option for Fayde as a luxury item as the minions benefit from your Burning Shadows and Deep Shadows skills. Since Fayde doesn’t exactly scale all that well as an auto attack carry it can help her stay relevant further into the game.
While not an obvious option, the minions will work well with Unholy Shackles and will also aid in pushing. Life voiding a target being attacked by the minions will also grant you a huge amount of health regeneration.
Keeper of the Forest:
Perhaps not quite as useful as on some others but they can do a lot of damage when Keeper’s ult is up and also aid in pushing down towers.
Ophelia is one of the best possible Puzzlebox users you could hope for. In addition to granting them each an extra 300 hp and 30 movement speed with a maxed Command, she can slow and apply a damage amplification to your target and her ult will heal your minions back to full. In return, with 3 neutral creeps and Puzzlebox minions, Ophelia can tear down towers in the blink of an eye.
With Flick and Face Smash, Puzzlebox can yield a huge amount of additional damage as a luxury item.
Parasite is another hero who can use Puzzlebox to great effect since he can Infest one of the summoned minions which grant it both ridiculous movement speed and damage in addition to damage amplification. This allows for either huge offensive power or great escapes later on in the game.
Pharoah's Wall of Mummies allows your Puzzlebox minions 6 seconds to destroy a target. In addition, the bonus move speed will help Pharoah keep up with Hellfire (and Hellfire can help your minions keep up in turn).
In addition to the extra pushing power it provides, after the duration of a Morph and Tongue Tied, the Mauler will usually leave your opponent with no mana left.
One of my personal favourite users of the item, not only can Puppet Master hold a target in place for up to 8.75 seconds but he can force your enemy to attack the Mauler which (when they kill it) will yield a huge amount of damage.
Rampage is another hero I love Puzzlebox on, he is able to keep an enemy stunned and slowed for a long duration and also gains movespeed (and as a result damage) from the Puzzlebox Wizard’s aura.
Slither has an arsenal of slows and the Puzzlebox Mauler’s revelation is great in conjunction with Toxin Wards for taking out pesky enemy wards. If you aren’t playing Slither as a hard support or carry, it should be considered as it also offers great pushing power.
Succubus has both mesmerize and her ultimate to help your minions do their thing and the resulting damage is frightening.
In addition to helping you push, Tempest has the means to farm a Puzzlebox quite quickly and they can wreak havoc in his ultimate.
This is the hero most people think about as likely to pick up Puzzlebox and with good reason. Not only does his ultimate and Cold Shoulder allow your minions to destroy a target but Coeurl is able to effectively slow targets for them. One important thing to note is that the revelation of a level 3 Mauler and Shiver’s clear vision are an incredibly potent combo which will keep you both forewarned and your enemies map awareness (since you can lay down the hurt on their wards) to a minimum.
Hasted Puzzlebox minions with increased damage and attack speed that will shred towers and heroes with ease. What more do I need to say.
Last edited by Dawnbringer; 07-04-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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