This guide is written for Forest of Caldavar play on non-EM modes, though the tips and strategies can be expanded for all maps.
I'm well-aware that this is the last hero most players think they need help with, but in fact, it's one of the most misplayed heroes in the game. This is perhaps the only hero that can go 10-0 and not contribute whatsoever to the team. Nearly every Scout I've played with and against has somehow managed to achieve an amazing kill-death ratio, yet has no useful items, and is still a piece of paper when he gets caught with a single disable. This guide is specifically for the discerning Scout player who wishes to forgo the kill-stealing aspect of the hero and become a true team player.
Yet, while the Scout is a capable hero in most public games, in certain lineups he becomes dead weight. This is because he has several exploitable weaknesses that cannot be addressed without a LOT of patching-up via item building. For this reason, he is also one of the most situational heroes against good players, as his window of opportunity to shine is very, very small--he is alright during the laning phase, great during the ganking phase, worthless during pushing and teamfights, and useful again during the endgame.
And finally, because the Scout is often said to be one of the most imbalanced heroes when he is in fact not, we will also be covering how to win against a good Scout player, even if it means dying repeatedly.
- Skill Overlook
- Skill Build
- Picking a Lane
- Starting Items
- Item Decision Tree
- Item Information
- Complete Playguide: Game Start
- Complete Playguide: Laning
- Complete Playguide: Ganking
- Complete Playguide: Team Fighting
- Complete Playguide: Backdooring
- Complete Playguide: DPSing
- In-Depth: Vanish
- In-Depth: Electric Eye
- In-Depth: Marksman Shot
- In-Depth: Avoiding Detection
- In-Depth: Runes
- Specific Counters
You are not a carry. You do not need kills. You are picked solely for your intelligence-gathering, ganking capability, and burst damage. All four of you skills are designed to make you annoying, and you should make your playstyle annoying. This is the ideal way to play Scout. But sometimes, you pick him, and you actually have smart opponents. They get Jereziah, Slither, Defiler, Demented Shaman, and Magmus--all of whom have a pretty easy counter for you. Defiler will undoubtedly buy tank items. Jereziah can heal, and his Protective Charm will stop you from casting Marksman Shot during its windup. Demented Shaman can Arcane Hide and heal, making your burst damage worthless. Magmus can stun you after you Vanish hit, or if you try to Marksman Shot, simply go invisible. Slither will murder you if you try to Vanish hit with his spell combo. In such a case, you are relegated to DPS, as chances are, your ganks won't result in kills, and that
just means you're wasting your time.
The skill that makes the Scout most annoying, Vanish can be cast during Vanish to keep him permanently invisible so as long as he has mana. It also makes him fiendishly fast, moving at 395 MS without Marchers. As an attack skill however, it's not so great. There is somewhat a conundrum in leveling this skill--do you need levels three and four? At level 2, you can already stay permanently invisible--the movement speed bonus doesn't change either. The +60 damage you get between LVL2 and 4 only lasts for a single attack, and only makes a real difference during a double Vanish backstab, in which you're actually doing 120 extra damage. But the double Vanish usually isn't so great, as you'll see later. On the other hand, if you plan on fully embracing the Scout role, this skill is required to conserve your mana pool, as higher levels mean you'll have to use it less. In this guide, I keep Vanish at LVL4, as it's simply more convenient to have a longer invisibility, but it's completely up to you.
An absolute must in all games. No matter what you think, the addition of +2 stats is never worth the wealth of intelligence you gather with Electric Eye.
Not a required skill early on, as you won't be doing any DPS. However, if you plan on playing a DPS Scout, this is really your only method of dealing damage.
Your finisher, harasser, and most of all, initiator. It deals a decent chunk of damage early on, but wanes in usefulness when you are forced to deal with multiple heroes.
Skill Build1 Electric Eye 1
2 Vanish 1
3 Vanish 2
4 Electric Eye 2
5 Vanish 3
6 Marksman Shot 1
7 Vanish 4
8 Improve Dexterity 1
9 Improve Dexterity 2
10 Improve Dexterity 3
11 Marksman Shot 2
12 Improve Dexterity 4
13 Electric Eye 3
14 Electric Eye 4
15 Stats 1
16 Marksman Shot 3
8 Electric Eye 3
9 Electric Eye 4
10 Improve Dexterity 1
11 Marksman Shot 2
12 Improve Dexterity 2
13 Improve Dexterity 3
14 Improve Dexterity 4
15 Stats 1
16 Marksman Shot 3
Your attack damage output, while fairly high, is nothing compared to your spell-based burst damage. Improve Dexterity should therefore be an afterthought in most games. But again, if you find yourself needing DPS over burst damage, you should prioritize your own farming
Picking a LaneIt's possible in low-mid tier games to solo mid due to Electric Eye and Vanish giving you complete rune control. Vanish can be used to deny and last-hit often if you have constant Bottle charges. On the other hand, experienced players can bully you out of most last-hits and denies. A hero like Soulstealer, for example, can completely destroy you in terms of last-hits, especially if he bothers to spend the paltry 200 gold to buy wards, forcing you not only to spend an Electric Eye to counter the ward, but to run up to it and eat nukes. However, if you can successfully solo mid, that means you're LVL6 while side lane heroes are around LVL4. This makes you an excellent ganker. You should only do this, however, if you have a teammate who is able and willing to take over solo mid after you begin the gank phase.
Normally, you should lane in Top Legion or Bottom Hellbourne. Your ability to windwalk out gives you survivability--let your carry and a babysitter go Bottom Legion or Top Hellbourne--those are the defensive lanes. Top Legion and Bottom Hellbourne also tend to be able to access runes the fastest--which is what you want to do.
Alternatively, if you are facing a weak lineup, you may go Bottom Legion or Top Hellbourne. This is because your lane mate will likely be able to fend for himself after you start ganking.
A ganking Scout is NOT an item-dependent hero. This is a bit weird, because he tends to make a lot of money from kills. Oh well. if you find that you're making a lot of money, get creative and do whatever with your amazing DPS powers. This is unlikely to happen against good players though.Starting Items
I cannot stress enough how important this item is to a good Scout player. A Scout is fast, flexible, and knowledgeable--the Bottle is the perfect item to keep him on the battlefield for as long as possible. Each single bottle charge should result in a hero either dying or going back to base for a heal. That's every 2 minutes, clockwork. You have to be on the ball about this. Check the Rune section for more information about this.
Item Decision Tree
3a. Farmed vs >2 Squishy: Codex, Shieldbreaker
3b. Farmed vs <2 Squishy: Shieldbreaker, Codex
3c. Not Farmed: Soulscream Ring x 3, Shieldbreaker
4. Marchers > Steam Boots
5. Whispering Helm
6. Savage Mace
8a. Need HP: Whispering Helm > Symbol of Rage, Thunderclaw > Charged Hammer
8b. Need DPS: Thunderclaw > Charged Hammer, Whispering Helm > Symbol of Rage
9. Nullfire Blade
If there is an enemy Jereziah, the first item Scout should buy is Nullfire Blade. Otherwise, it's not that great of an item on him, because it doesn't boost DPS nearly as much as other items.
If you are doing extremely well with a fast Codex (read, decimating their team completely), you may opt to simply continually upgrade the Codex. However, this is a risky move, as it makes you suck late game, so you have to keep the pressure on.
I strongly suggest Marchers as the only MS booster you get if you play a ganking Scout. Enhanced Marchers are a waste as you have Vanish. Post Haste is a huge waste because your mobility is already very high, though it's fine if you're nasty rich. Steam Boots are good if you are the team DPS, but again, most of your damage comes from spell-based burst, so it's best to get Marchers and focus on something else.
Steam Boots (500)
If you DPS, get these and leave them on STR until you have enough stats and are doing well enough that you can put them on AGI.
Soulscream Ring (460)
If you're playing poorly, these are an excellent and extremely cheap booster for your damage and survivability.
Codex is a popular build, but it's only good against certain heroes. If the enemy team has a Glacius or another glass hero, a Codex is a pretty good choice--however, it's an all-in choice, as it's expensive, and severely limits his late-game capability if said target manages to obtain a Shaman's Headdress or HP. If you're doing extremely well early on, it's advisable to buy a single level of Codex. In general, if you can Codex before 20 min, it's cool.
The preferred DPS item, the -armor effects amplify your backstab damage, making your initial burst damage even higher. Despite the high recipe cost, the effect makes it very cost-effective per point of damage.
Whispering Helm(1850) and Symbol of Rage (6150)
Both increase your staying power within fights.
Thunder Claw(3250) and Charged Hammer (6550)
Gives you very effective creep control, allowing you to push lanes quickly. A must for DPS builds. Sorry about the Thunderclaw image--for some reason that's just how small the official picture is.
Nullfire Blade (3300) and Geometer's Bane (5800)
Worthless early on if you're not fighting a Jereziah, as you can't really finish anyone off by yourself with DPS. But once you have good damage and survivability, this will allow you to get a kill for every charge. Upgrade it to Geometer's Bane when all charges are used.
Runed Axe (4350)
If for some horrendous reason you've managed to farm so much that you can afford a Runed Axe very early in the game, then by all means stack as many as you can. Cleave is affected by the backstab damage from Vanish, so you can actually do an extremely damaging, cleaving backstab to the entire enemy team.
Complete Playguide: Game StartBuy a Bottle and go immediately to top river and place an Electric Eye on the north ledge next to the rune spawn spot. Wait here until 0:00 for the first rune. Grab it if there is one--if not, ping it to your team and go back to lane and try to help block creeps.
Complete Playguide: LaningHang back until you're LVL2 and have Vanish. Once you have Vanish, you can start going for creep kills and denies more aggressively. Do not be afraid to use Vanish to last-hit--remember, Vanish backstab damage affects allied creeps and buildings too, unlike DotA. At this point, unless you have a very strong lanemate, it's useless to use Vanish to harass, as it doesn't do enough damage by itself. Use it to get creeps that would otherwise be denied, etc. Make sure you get the catapult kills and denies with it, as they give more money and XP than normal creeps. Every 2 minutes, take a look at your Electric Eye (you should only have 1 right now) to see if the rune's there. If it's there, grab it--if mid is weak, go gank, otherwise return to lane. Continue this until you're LVL6. Alert your allies that you've reached 6, and will now be ganking full-time.
Complete Playguide: Ganking
Place a second Electric Eye on a ledge at the bottom river rune spot ASAP. Gank mid and bottom. For mid, ask your ally to let him push a bit--once he's off his side of the high ground, initiate the gank with a Marksman Shot. The mid player should attack and nuke simulatenously to quickly finish him off. At bottom, do the same thing--initiate with Marksman shot, using Vanish if needed to finish off. If there is a low HP hero tower-camping, you can go behind the trees on Hellbourne's super neutrals to fire off a Marksman Shot. If this doesn't kill the hero, he will surely run to base--Vanish right away and intercept him. If you laned and ganked correctly, you should have a Codex very soon. Continue until you do, and buy Marchers while you're at it. Continue to gank. Place additional Electric Eyes near their jungle farm spots, especially if their defensive lanes are neutral-pulling or jungling.
Complete Playguide: Team FightingVanish and shadow the enemy team until you or an ally initiates. Target a weak hero with Marksman Shot, Codex him, and Vanish/backstab if needed. If a hero is EVER at all even a few steps away from the rest of his team, target with Marksman Shot and pick him off with your team. If pushing, you should use your intelligence-gathering to find a hero solo-farming. Gather your team, gank, and then push.
Complete Playguide: BackdooringIf it's super-late-game, you are one of the best backdoor heroes. With an excellent crit and evade, you can take down towers and barracks quite quickly. Carry a Homecoming Stone, and move towards the target buildings. Wait until there's no one there--the enemy team might be pushing. Have your team defend on high ground and stall while you attack. If the enemy team is pushing too strong, teleport back to help your team. If they are failing, continue to backdoor until they return. If you do enough damage, chances are they will rush back, and you'll have foiled a push attempt and pissed them off greatly.
Complete Playguide: DPSing
If you're playing a DPS Scout everything changes. You should stick to your lane as much as possible--at some point, your lanemate should leave and go gank, and at best, your opponents will leave too thinking you're an idiot for not ganking. At this point, just carry a Homecoming Stone and farm, farm, farm, farm, farm. Have Electric Eyes placed at points where you can spot incoming ganks, and simply Vanish out when heroes come near. You should continue indefinitely until either your team requires your help badly or the enemy team pushes.
Once you have the items, Vanish in during fights and target casters first. Make sure your team follows when you fight--the only thing worse than a killstealing Scout is a team that doesn't support a proper DPS'ing Scout by following through.
A good Scout player never exits Vanish until he can Vanish again right after--always keep this in mind. However, to get some extra damage in, Vanish, wait til the cooldown is over, backstab, then immediately Vanish again and backstab again. While this makes you vulnerable, it gives you some extra damage against easily-killable heroes that can help Marksman Shot or an allied nuke finish. Don't forget that Vanish does physical damage--it will affect magic immune units, as well as buildings. A LVL4 Vanish Scout will ALWAYS get tower kills and denies if well-played.
In-Depth: Electric EyeCheck my ward guide here for general placement help: http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?t=4839
Because electric eyes have less sight range and can be killed if an enemy is in the reveal range, you should adjust it slightly. Basically, place them on ramps near neutral camps. It's also good to get one in on high ground during a base push--this way, you can tell if they're clumping, or are about to initiate (ie, with Behemoth blink). Placing one early on the mid ramp can help your mid solo as well, since it gives sight on high ground. If you have an ally like Devourer (or, if an enemy Devourer is solo mid), that's invaluable.
Putting them in the enemy forest is a great way for a ganking Scout to catch junglers. On the other hand, if you're playing a DPS Scout, you can become impossible to gank if you place an Electric Eye at each of the major jungle entrances and just Vanish out the second heroes head to your position. This can become extremely frustrating for an enemy gank team.
In-Depth: Marksman ShotWhen aiming with Marksman Shot, you should always place yourself in such a position that you cover whatever escape route you anticipate them running. At earlier levels, it has a long wind-up time--during this period, if they escape into fog, it cancels. Therefore, wait behind them. At higher levels, you'll want to stand fairly close to them--this way, you can Codex and finish quickly. In ganks and team fights, you should always fire Marksman Shot from Vanish--you are invisible until the shot, and while this keeps you from doing a double backstab, it is the most effective way to initiate. When chasing fleeing heroes, Vanish and run ahead of the hero, then Marksman Shot to slow them enough for your team to catch.
In-Depth: Avoiding DetectionDetection kills Scouts. It's as simple as that. Before running into a battle, click every single one of your enemies and check to make they don't have any form of detection. It's best to click early on, because Wards of Revelation can be dropped, and you want to check early and often so you can guess where the wards are being dropped. Dust is probably the most common detector; good players will Dust around a hero the second they see a Marksman Shot target appear--chances are, you're gonna want that kill, so you'll still be channeling while they bolt at you to stop you. To avoid this, you should constantly steer clear of the detection holder. You may wish to run to a faraway place, use Marksman Shot to lure him to use Dust, then cancel Marksman Shot and reposition yourself to a better place before using it again.
If you are detected, especially by Dust, abuse your Vanish speed to get out. Chances are, your opponents will try to flank you, so stick to unorthodox routes. You don't always have to be on the move, either--hide yourself behind some trees and wait out the Dust effect before moving again.
Double Damage: THE best rune you can get. Pop this before hitting Vanish. Your backstab damage out of Vanish will be affected by Double Damage.
Haste: Pop this if Marksman Shot and whatever allied nukes used can't finish your opponent off. Use it to chase and finish.
Illusion: Worthless except to Scout, but you should have Electric Eyes covering everything anyway.
Regeneration: Pretty obvious.
Invisibility: Only get this if you desperately need Bottle charges. Otherwise, let an ally get it. Alternatively, you can use it as a getaway tool after a double Vanish backstab.
As we pointed out in the beginning, Scout is a hero with a tiny window of opportunity, who is good at only a few stages of the fight, but dead weight to his team during others. The best way to play against a Scout is to end the game before the game starts. General competitive picking will defeat a good Scout--a team with Defiler, for example, should never lose against a Scout simply because Defiler's pushes become unstoppable in an effective 4v5, and Scout cannot run into Defiler's ultimate without dying in seconds. Jereziah, Voodoo Jester, and Demented Shaman are also great counters, as they can heal players the Scout harasses with his Marksman Shot. Each push you make should net you a gain--whether in hero kills or in buildings destroyed. Preferably, you should be pushing when your solo hits level 11, and sometimes even before. Certain heroes of course can't push--if you're got a team of squishes and no heals, you're probably screwed. Next time pick good heroes!
Counter-Scout: Specific Counters
Defiler: Pushes fast and hard. Cannot be stopped in an effective 4v5, because Scout can't do anything against a pushing Defiler, especially one backed by healers.
Pestilence: His ultimate is a great detector, which can be avoided by Vanishing right away, but keeps a Scout from performing DPS duties, as the damage amp on him is too high.
Jereziah: Amazing single-target heal, a buff that defends against Marksman Shot, and an ultimate that makes the entire team immune to physical damage.
Demented Shaman: Arcane Hide makes Marksman Shot only deal 50% of its normal damage. Constant team heals make him a huge pain during pushes.
ya he's not a carry, although he can act as a secondary dps
i find that i play him like i would NA -> less burst but better chasing
nice guide ;D
I prefer a scout with difusal blade+runed axe, it's more effective depending on the game.
null fire definitely works i guess pretty easy build up dispel is always rocksauce
Amazing guide imo. advocates an actually intelligent use of a hero that lets face it gets picked almost every game by someone who is just stat whoring.
EDIT: totally agree with the comparison to NA, while scout doesn't have the cc that NA has, the intel he can provide makes up for it. I find that if you set up a ward in the forest on bot(legion)/top(hellbourne) it can really help your carry avoid getting ganked like crazy. Obviously mia calls are a better preventative measure but with only pubs to play in, where mias do not get called, this trick helps quite often.
Last edited by echo; 07-29-2009 at 03:43 AM.
Hey I used this guide and thought it was extremely handy but, I never used eletric eye for much besides rune camping. How should I use it properly?
also use it in an area around a team fight before initiating the fight when they have someone with stealth or assassin's shroud
It's also good to get one in on high ground during a base push--this way, you can tell if they're clumping, or are about to initiate (ie, with Behemoth blink).
Placing one early on the mid ramp can help your mid solo as well, since it gives sight on high ground.
If you have an ally like Devourer, that's invaluable.
Scout is overall pretty useless. People complain about him a lot, but the thing is that it is possible to get a 10-0 score and yet contribute nothing to your team's effort to win the map.
Free wards = free runes and map control
Ult - drops enemy hero to 50% (almost always) and slows letting the rest of the team finish them off.
Invis - huge movement speed boost for chasing and intelligence/map control
Critical strike - with rune axe and vanish can wipe out entire wave of enemy creeps in one strike, making him a pretty decent push hero
Vanish attack bonus - affects buildings, 600 dmg a strike on enemy structures is almost incomparable.
Good players will put wards of their own next to runes. The fact that you have a ward there doesn't necessarily mean you will get the rune (especially if the mid solo hero is good).Free wards = free runes and map control
50 percent? Almost never. More like 65 or 70. If you are targeting a player who is already hurt, sure, but you have to take mitigation into account. The fact that the tooltip lists ~300 damage doesn't translate to 300 damage on a hero.Ult - drops enemy hero to 50% (almost always) and slows letting the rest of the team finish them off.
Invisibility is good, but not that great. There are plenty of counters to invisibility, not just in terms of heroes (pestilence comes to mind, and any hero with a decent disable), but also items.Invis - huge movement speed boost for chasing and intelligence/map control
Except scout is not really an item dependent hero. If you have enough gold to buy a runed axe, you are doing something horribly wrong (unless it is a complete steamroll, in which case none of this matters). Your job is to gather intelligence and assist with ganks, not to push lanes or solo the other team.Critical strike - with rune axe and vanish can wipe out entire wave of enemy creeps in one strike, making him a pretty decent push hero
Also, the fact that your eye can see wards doesn't mean much. It is possible for the two to be out of range of each other, and still see the rune.
Trust me on this one.
What happens if you try to place a fifth electric eye down? Does it destroy the first one you placed, the last one you placed, or randomly?
The reason I ask is that the true sight provided by them makes them a decent asset in teamfights, but I know you can't just kill your own wards (I've tried).