This is my guide on how to play Plague Rider. There will be no fancy pictures, no links, just simply text.
Plague Rider can be a difficult hero to play or a very very easy hero. There are many different ways to build your Plague Rider. There is the "Press R to win" strategy which focuses heavily on Plague Riders' ultimate and Staff of the Master. There is also the BLOODLUST build which focuses heavily on harassing early game which normally results in getting the bloodlust. Then there is my strategy, which I like to call the Champion of Newerth strategy. This is the strategy I will be describing.
Champion of Newerth strategy v1.0
1. Contagion- The Plague Rider instantly afflicts an enemy with a Contagion, damaging and Infecting all nearby enemies.
Level 1 : Deals 50 Magic damage to the target and an additional 75 to all enemies within 200 units
Level 2 : Deals 100 Magic damage to the target and an additional 100 to all enemies within 200 units
Level 3 : Deals 125 Magic damage to the target and an additional 125 to all enemies within 200 units
Level 4 : Deals 175 Magic damage to the target and an additional 150 to all enemies within 200 units
Mana cost 125/150/170/190
Cooldown 9.25 seconds Infected Effects
30% Movement Slow
-20 Attack speed
2. Cursed Shield- Level 1 : +3 Armor. 30% Movement Slow and -20 Attack Speed to any unit that attacks hero with Cursed Shield
Level 2 : +6 Armor. 30% Movement Slow and -20 Attack Speed to any unit that attacks hero with Cursed Shield
Level 3 : +9 Armor. 30% Movement Slow and -20 Attack Speed to any unit that attacks hero with Cursed Shield
Level 4 : +12 Armor. 30% Movement Slow and -20 Attack Speed to any unit that attacks hero with Cursed Shield
Mana cost 25
Cooldown 5 seconds
3. Extinguish- The Plague Rider ends the life of an allied unit instantly, restoring his own mana. His mount enjoys the snack and feeds off the destruction he caused.
Level 1 : Kills target unit and converts 15% of its current life into mana
Level 2 : Kills target unit and converts 30% of its current life into mana
Level 3 : Kills target unit and converts 45% of its current life into mana
Level 4 : Kills target unit and converts 60% of its current life into mana
Mana cost 25
Cooldown 55/50/45/40 seconds
Plague Carrier-The Plague Rider lets loose a Plague Carrier towards an enemy. The Carrier deals damage to all enemies near where it lands before traveling to another nearby target. Any enemy near someone hit becomes Infected.
Level 1 : Deals 280 damage to the target, bouncing to another enemy within 600 units, bounces 7 times
Level 2 : Deals 370 damage to the target, bouncing to another enemy within 600 units, bounces 7 times
Level 3 : Deals 460 damage to the target, bouncing to another enemy within 600 units, bounces 7 times
Mana Cost 200/325/500
Cooldown 145/115/60 seconds Infected Effects
30% Movement Slow
-20 Attack Speed
Explanation: If you get Plague Rider, solo solo solo. I cannot stress this enough. Plague Rider's solo abilities make him able to win the game right from the start. If you do not feel comfortable soloing yet, you may swap rank 2 Extinguish For Cursed Shield. Contagion is your best friend early game. Use it, love it, use it often. If you are soloing then you should use Contagion every time it is available. Its moderately high damage and low cool down make it the perfect harassing spell. But not only is it good for harassing, it can kill your enemies pretty easily once you get it to rank 2. Now, the reason I go with Extinguish early in the game is because that extra mana makes Plague Rider able to pretty much chain cast Contagion. But the big reason for getting Extinguish early in the game is for soloing purposes. Always use Extinguish on creeps that are just coming down the lane with full health. Not only will you get more mana to pwn your enemies with, but it denies a perfectly good creep, except the enemy will get no gold or xp for it, giving you an advantage leveling before them.
At level 6 it is time for you to kill. How you choose to kill is up to you. You can stay and use the first catapult that comes down the middle lane to cast your ultimate and have it bounce to your enemy hero and kill him that way. or you can cut to the bottom or top lanes (assuming you are soloing the middle lane) for a nice and easy double kill. Hint: Always make sure there are no creeps around when you cast your ultimate, this will more often than not cause your ultimate to be ineffective and leave you helpless. Once you get those first couple kills you should have plenty of money to buy your first items
I know I didnt talk about Cursed Shield much but here is all you need to know about it. ALWAYS keep it on. Cast it on others whenever you get the chance. It has a relatively low mana cost so there are no excuses for keeping it up.
My item build is different than most people. If you have ever played Plague Rider and didnt know what to get most people probably told you "OMG GET STAFF OF THE MASTER ITS SO GOOD>!@$@#%" Well the thing is, sorry folks you're wrong if you ever thought that. While Staff of the Master is a good item for Plague Rider, you should not be worried about it until you get better, key items.
Ring of the Teacher
Runes of the Blight
These are the only things you will need early game, Plague Rider has a relatively low damage output other than Contagion so the +6 isnt bad from Ring of the Teacher but more importantly you will need it later in the game.
The first item you should always build is Nome's Wisdom. This is the most important item early game for Plague Rider. It will save your ass more times than not when you heal yourself every time you cast a spell. It also gives you a little extra damage and some mana regen in case somebody survived your nuke with little health you can chase them down. Ghost Marchers for the extra damage and you will need the speed boost later.
Now, alot of people ask me "why get Behemoth's Heart before Staff of the Master?"
Well the answer is pretty simple. While Staff of the Master increases the damage that your ultimate does, what good is alot of damage if you can only cast it once every 2 minutes? Behemoth's Heart is the better choice first because it will reduce your cooldown for Plague Carrier and soon you will have your enemies running from you in fear in no time.
Hint: If you find yourself not doing well early game and low on cash, Staff of the Master can be substituted for Behemoth's Heart so you can gain a little advantage to get some kills. Remember, Plague Rider is a cold blooded killer, not a tank.
Staff of the Master
With this combination of items, you should be purely unstoppable. Whispering Helm for the lifesteal. Restoration Stone to reset your cooldowns. And enough health and armor to the point where you can double cast your ultimate and kill their entire team in their pool.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and I hope you now have a better understanding of Plague Rider. Remember to tweak it all you want, this is only a guide. If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to message me in game, or if you would like to just play a game with me. Have fun, and spread the plague like it is going out of style.