Arachna is one of the most difficult heroes to play, because she is so fragile you're going to be targeted the entire game. To play Arachna to her greatest potential you will have to have mastered concepts such as; Orb Walking, Animation Canceling, Last Hitting, Kiting, Judging Battles and Creep Leashing.
Arachna is considered to be a carry hero. She is really weak at the start of the game, having a small strength gain and barely any base damage. Your goal is to farm lots of gold until you can form at least 2 Morph/Combative items, then push your team to victory.
Why choose Arachna over other ranged carries like Forsaken Archer or Corrupted Disciple? Because she is better(in some situations!). She is a counter her for ALL Physical damage melee heroes due to her Webbed Shot and Spider Sting almost completely removing an enemies attack and movement speeds. Team battles will consist of you standing behind your team waiting for someone on your team to initiate, then you'll charge in, Spider Sting the hero with the most attack damage and Webbed Shot 2 heroes while their team retreats. Try to hit as many heroes with Webbed Shot as you can, giving as little chance of escape as possible to the opposing team. Remember the debuff expires after about 2.5 seconds so you can probably fire 2 attacks into the hero you want to kill and shoot the other hero on the subsequent attack. You have to be able to just team battles extremely well, there is no point is using Webbed Shot on 3 enemy heroes when none of your allies are going to help you clean up. In this circumstance you are better off focusing down 1 her before their ability cooldowns expire.
Arachna is a very psychological hero. She makes her opponents think they can beat her, but she has the power to turn a 1v2 into a 1v1 then a 1v0. Just Spider Sting one hero, then Webbed Shot the other, Webbed Shot the original hero and keep swapping between them while running away. There will come a point where they will both back off and you will still have Webbed Shot on both of the opposing heroes allowing you to chase them for the kill.
Pros and Cons
- Good end-game damage
- Excellent attack animation
- Can stack slows to literally stop enemies in their tracks(80% slow from Spider Sting and 40% slow from Webbed Shot which is an 88% combined slow)
- A good counter hero for strong melee carry heroes like Madman/The Dark Lady/Night Hound
- Can remove debuffs on herself and provide Magic resistance for a short period of time
- Poor early game damage
- Poor strength gain, resulting in low max HP
- has no escape mechanism(ie. Stealth or Blink)
- Slow attack speed compared to her late game rivals(who get speed boosts from abilities)
- No abilities with stuns(ie. Easily countered by a Homecoming Stone)
Strength: 17 + 1.7 per level
Agility: 22 + 3.2 per level (Main attribute)
Intelligence: 15 + 1.5 per level
Movement Speed: 290
Attack Range: 600
Webbed ShotArachna imbues her attack with webbing, slowing enemies on impact.
Mana cost: 12
Cooldown: 2/2/0/0 seconds
Applies Webbed Shot to target for 3 seconds.
10/20/30/40% Movement Speed slow
5/10/15/20 Attack Speed slow
I caught a fly in my web!
Harden CarapaceArachna hardens her carapace for a short duration, increasing her resistance to magical attacks.
Mana cost: 90
Cooldown: 22/20/18/16 seconds
Dispels debuffs on self and applies Hardened Carapace for 3 seconds.
Hardened Carapace: +5/+10/+18/+35 Magic armor
(24.8% base Magic resistance --> 38.7%/48.2%/58.5%/70.8%)
It's touch to be a widow.
PrecisionArachna inspires nearby ranged units, increasing their damage. Also increases Arachna's base damage.
Cooldown: 1 second
Effect: Increases ranged damage of Arachna and nearby ranged units by 7/14/21/28%
Changes aura effect between Ally heroes and all Ally units.
I can see your weakness.
Mana cost: 125/175/250
Hurls a Spiderling toward target enemy unit.
Magic immune, Splash immune, 600 sight range, focuses all attacks on target and keeps them revealed untill the Spiderling is killed.
- Attacks upto 5 times then perishes, lasts upto 15 seconds
- Each attack applies Spider Sting for 1.5 seconds with an attack time of 1.0 seconds
- Each attack deals 75/150/225 Physical damage
- The Spiderling dies once it has been attacked 3 times (loses 1/3 of its health with ever hit it takes).
40/60/80% Movement Speed slow
40/60/80 Attack Speed slow
It's a deadly deadly kiss!
Level 1. Precision/Harden Carapce
Level 2. Webbed Shot
Level 3. Webbed Shot
Level 4. Precision/Harden Carapace
Level 5. Webbed Shot
Level 6. Spider Sting
Level 7. Webbed Shot
Level 8. Precision/Harden Carapce
Level 9. Precision/Harden Carapace
Level 10. Harden Carapace/Precision
Level 11. Spider Sting
Level 12. Harden Carapace
Level 13. Harden Carapace
Level 14. Harden Carapace/Precision
Level 15. Stats
Level 16. Spider Sting
Level 17. Harden Carapace
Level 18-25. Stats
If your enemy can give you a debuff early you should consider taking a level of Harden Carapace to remove the debuff. Blacksmith, Armadon, Hellbringer, Deadwood, Pestilence, Predator, Legionnaire, Keeper of the Forest, Soulstealer, The Dark Lady, Wretched Hag and Slither all have debuffs that can be removed, making this skill very flexible. Slither has 2 debuffs that can be removed, making Arachna and ideal counter to slither (thanks XQuicksilver for finding this out). If the enemy team is mostly Physical damage with 1 debuffer, you may want to only get 1 level in Harden Carapace and get stats instead of leveling up Harden Carapace since 2 Strength/Agility/Intelligence is much better than a 2 second cooldown reduction on Harden Carapace. Skill builds are very dependant upon what heroes you are facing so make sure you get a good look at the enemy team and adjust your builds accordingly.
As soon as the game starts you should be getting 1 level of Precision and toggling to the aura so that it only effects your ranged heroes, thus stopping your lane from being pushed by archers/warlocks(more on this later). It's a personal choice to get Precision at lvl 1 over stats, I find that the benefit of getting an early level in stats is overlooked by a lot of players, while other prefer the damage for last hitting over lane control. If you think you're going to have a hard time in lane you should be getting stats instead of Precision as the health boost is necessary to survive, and that's what the game is about for carry heroes like Arachna. A few important things to take note of are; Precision is only affected by Arachna's base damage, which is also affected by all items that give the agility attribute. Meaning that any items you are holding that have agility give you an additional 28% of that agility in damage! Not only that, but Arachna's agility growth is one of the highest in the game, which means her damage grows rapidly when you level up Precision. Since Precision is a passive ability, it propogates to illusions of Arachna as well.
Webbed Shot is Arachna's main ability, its necessary to take this as soon as possible because of the powerful debuff it applies to the enemy. Webbed Shot is used for; harassing, helping out allies, kiting things, and most importantly, making the other team lose their cool. at Rank 1 Webbed Shot does not do much by itself, but if you're manually casting it, the creeps will not aggro you, making it a nifty harassing ability. You shouldn't toggle on autocast of Webbed Shot until the very late stages of the game where you cannot orb walk any more.
Spider Sting is a very, very powerful ability at the moment, it has the potential to do more damage than Pyromancer's ultimate with Staff of the Master. If the target has 0 armor the Spiderling is doing 1225 damage, however 0 armor isn't very realistic unless you have heroes like Pestilence or Demented Shaman on your team. The Spiderling is extremely hard to kill by 1 hero alone, with 2 heroes the Spiderling will probably only get 3 attacks off before it dies. Early game you should use Spider Sting to get hero kills, towers and creeps will not attack the Spiderling so use this to your advantage. When deciding whether or not to use Spider Sting, divide the enemy heroes life up into chunks of 60 then work out how many attacks you need to do to kill the hero. For example if the enemy hero has 600 life, your spiderling needs to do 5 attacks (1 every second) and you need to do 5 attacks (1 every 1.7 seconds), obviously the numbers change a bit depending on your enemies' items. You can also use Spider Sting to escape ganks, cast it on thine enemy with the most damage potential and run for your life, and apply Harden Carapace when necessary. As soon as you get Spider Sting Rank 3, you can demolish any hero 1v1 with Webbed Shot and Spider Sting, make sure it's a 1v1 though, take note of your minimap, if you know where all the enemy heroes are, fire away.
First up, you'll need to look at the enemy heroes and decide what items you want to build. If you think you're going to be harassed quite a bit you should buy an Iron Buckler to finish the Iron Shield Recipe. Otherwise you'll be saving your gold to buy some Marchers and Soulscream Rings to give you some extra early-game potential. Depending on the enemy team composition, you'll either be wanting to finish your Ghost Marchers first, or get a Helm of the Victim. I usually decide this by the amount of regen items I have left. You will need to get movement speed items as fast as possible so you can quickly get in range to use Webbed Shot, or quickly run away when a gank happens, since Arachna has no escape abilities she will be a prime target for ganks early on. If you're not farming that well, try getting Whispering Helm for the lifesteal, damage and armor. You can use Whispering Helm to dominate a Wolf Commander for 30% increased damage which helps with last hitting. Or alternatively you can dominate a level 5+ neutral creep to do some ancient stacking for your team mates. If you are not getting Whispering helm then you will have to constantly purchase consumables throughout the game until you build an item that gives you regen later on.
Should take you about 10 minutes, you shouldn't leave your lane at all until you have these items, they're extremely necessary for Arachna's survival. From this point on you should be carrying at least 1 Homecoming Stone on you at all times, no exceptions! Whether your team needs your help, or you're stuck in a tight situation and need to juke and teleport, your Homecoming Stone will be your best friend.
Here's where an important decision comes into play, you need to build Arachna according to what enemies you're facing.
If the other team has:
Dispels Protective Charm, Hammerstorm's ultimate, Swarm, and most importantly kills Hellbringer's ultimate. This should be built with Geometer's Bane since your images can mana burn. Save charges for dispelling rather then using it on enemy heroes (unless of course you absolutely need it to get a kill or you're saving an ally).
A team of 3+ heroes with strong nukes or chain stuns, including heroes like:
- Pyromancer, Glacius, Soulstealer, Behemoth, Torturer, Thunderbringer, Moon Queen, Witch Slayer, Electrician, Pollywog Priest and Pebbles.
Shrunken Head is the staple item for countering a team of disables and stuns. Its magic immunity provides reduces your number 1 target status and provides you with 5+ seconds of free dps which is good on any hero. Make sure that Shrunken Head is actually going to stop stuns, since some heroes ultimates (Succubus, Devourer, Deadwood, Pandamonium) go through Shrunken Head. You will need health boosting items to counter these heroes instead of Shrunken Head, or maybe even a Null Stone if the other team has a few single target scary disables.
If the conditions for getting Nullfire Blade or Shrunken Head are not met, then you should be getting Geometer's Bane. It gives you; yet another ability which removes debuffs, images which do 33% of your base damage, extra movement speed to catch fleeing enemies or run away, and increases your armor. You should build the Blessed Orb before the Firebrand as the bonus health helps out a great deal when laning against someone. After Geometer's Bane is built, you should be getting Nullfire Blade anyway, since the mana combustion property gets transferred to your images. Keep in mind that images do not benefit from + attack speed, + armor or + damage items, they receive benefits from all stat boosting items though, so you may want to get Steamboots if you decide to get Geometer's Bane.
Now you have ANOTHER decision to make, if the enemy team has just the one (or no) carry hero(es), you should get a whispering helm (if you didn't before) and finish a Symbol of Rage, otherwise the next item on your shopping list is:
The benefits of Wingbow are extremely amplified by Geometer's Bane, your images now get dodge as well as the bonus agility and Arachna's damage and attack speed get a nice boost in effectiveness, she's now effectively a walking anti-physical tank.
You can probably push with your team and win at this point, but just to be sure you should get:
After Wingbow and Geometer's Bane at level 25 you will have 310 damage. Riftshards will increase that to 385 damage with 20% critical strike chance for 2.4x damage (924 crits), which is effectively a 20% chance of 539 physical bonus damage, statistically giving you an extra 108 damage every attack. But wait there is more, your illusions get critical strike as well!
Only get this item if no one on your team has it, and after lifesteal and Wingbow. Everyone you attack will have -5 armor and you will have an insane attack speed, letting you apply Webbed Shot at a faster rate and increasing the damage your images and Spiderling do.
As mentioned earlier, you should be getting this when you're faced against a team of only 1 or less carry heroes, this is because it's most likely you'll need this to survive the damage from the other enemy heroes which will probably be a combination of magic and physical, and since you have resistance to magic damage you should be able to survive long enough to activate the Symbol of Rage and steal back all the life you lost. Once you have this item you should continue on getting Wingbow and Riftshards.
Any items not mentioned doesn't necessarily mean they're bad on Arachna, for instance you might want to get Savage Mace to stop enemies from teleporting away once you throw a Spider on them (Savage Mace's mini stun bonus damage works on your images as well as giving you True Strike, nullifying any dodge that the enemy has and eliminating any uphill miss chance which is useful when pushing base towers), you shouldn't be getting any items that include an Attack Modifier since Arachna already has Webbed Shot. If you are getting +damage/attackspeed/armor items, keep in mind that images do not benefit from these bonuses, so you'll have to get Behemoth's Heart or another tanking item to survive late game. Generally you will want to avoid Assassin's Shroud because when you're playing against experienced foes, they will always be buying wards/gem when they gank you (and they WILL gank you!) You can remove Dust of Revelation with Harden Carapace in dire circumstances.
I know what you're thinking, how am I meant to farm that much, when my opponents are trying to gank me every 5 minutes or they're pushing mid nonstop at the 20 minute mark. Answer: if you're getting ganked, tp top/bot and farm some more while buying another Homecoming Stone from the Outpost. If their team is pushing, let them 5v4 while you farm, if they're getting a rax you have no choice but to tp back and help your allies.
Keep in mind that Arachna has a very different playstyle to lots of heroes, expect to die in a few games before you know exactly how fragile she is to play. It takes a long time to learn when you should be farming/ganking/running away, it all comes with experience. You may get bored farming for half an hour but you should keep in mind that your team is relying on you to carry them to victory, and the best way to do that is farm, not gank. The only time you should gank is when someone else comes to your lane and you have allies that teleport in to help you.
With a hero like Arachna, it's all about smart counter play. You need to be aggressive and make your enemies fear your lane. You should be attempting to last hit every single creep in your lane, denying creeps makes the enemy players die a little inside, making them frustrated. A good way to harass your enemy heroes is to orb walk 3 Webbed Shots into them, making them run away a bit then last hit a creep. Repeat this until they decide to stand out of exp range and continue to last hit. Don't forgot to make your movements unpredictable, even good players should find it hard to tell if you're going to attack a creep or harass them. When they're at the maximum last hit range, you should be standing in melee range of the creeps, so your projectile distance travels as short of a distance as possible, making it easier to last hit (try it in practice mode!). You should always prioritise last hitting over harassing. Arachna is not just about last hitting, she's about psyching out the enemy heroes in her lane to stop them farming.
If you're in need of some laning advice, or even if you're not in need of any I suggest heading over to  and read Nome's Guide to laning.
If you've successfully scared your enemy out of exp range, they're probably yelling for help on their mic or in team chat, so be prepared for a gank. Hopefully you have smart allies that are warding and/or using abilites for map control, if they are not, you may have to buy some wards yourself. When there are no enemy heroes in your lane, just sit back max range of creeps and only attack to last hit, when one of your ally creeps falls below 50% health, attack it until it dies, this will force the enemy creeps back towards you and you should be able to sit in your lane without it being pushed anywhere. This isn't a skill that can be picked up after one game, you have to practice this a fair bit before you can judge how much damage you need to do to each creep to keep them in the same position. Remember that the ranged creep does more damage so if you're doing it correctly, they should be the last 2 creeps in the wave that are alive, attacking each other. You should be static farming your lane and watching your map while farming. When you think your lane is pushed to far, you should swap to neutrals or maybe even do a quick creep pull so you can farm the lane creeps at a safer distance from the river.
You should never attack your enemy tower with Arachna, since you want to farm, if you push down a tower too early, your creeps will be fighting on the other side of the river, making you a very susceptible target for ganks. However once you have your Geometer's Bane, feel free to push down the tower for extra gold, make sure you have keen map awareness, the last thing you want is to trying to last hit a tower with 5 enemy heroes around it, waiting to deny. Remember your Spiderling deals physical damage which is amplified by -armor which rips through enemy intelligence heroes. There's a few scenarios that the enemy team could be doing, each scenario should be counterable by your team line-up.
Full non-stop pushing team - Against a team like this you cannot afford to give them a single tower, for every tower they get, they all gain gold, making the next push even stronger. Your team line-up should be full of heroes to stop this from happening (and there are quite a few). If you don't have any of these heroes I'm afraid it's going to be a quick game, remember Arachna is designed to be shut down enemy carry heroes and she doesn't go well against a team of 5 Intelligence heroes.
2-3 pushing heroes, at least 1 farmer - Your goal in this scenario is to outfarm the enemy farmer, this can be difficult for Arachna as she has no "farming" ability like Madman for instance. If the enemy is pushing with 5 heroes, you should be farming in your lane still while your team is 4v5'ing against them. If they're trying to take down a level 3 tower however, you'll need to defend it with your team. Be sure to watch out for teleports so that you don't over-extend into an oncoming gank. You should not be roaming and looking for the enemy carry to kill, leave that to your teammates. If you notice that the enemy carry hero is missing when they're pushing, your team suddenly has the 5v4 advantage and should initiate. Do not get caught out, if a chronos suddenly appears and he wasn't there before, you're going to be in big trouble.
1-2 carries, 3 disablers/team nukers - This is where you will have a hard time farming a lane, since you will be constantly ganked. You will need Ward of Sight to be able to safely farm and you will need to be present at every team battle and you'll be next to useless without a Shrunken Head, because no matter how well your farming, if your team is dying every 5v4 battle then you're going to lose. When facing a team with a lot of disable, 1 hero can make the difference between a loss and a win. As soon as you take out 1 enemy disabler, you're going to have 1 more ally that is not going to get disabled (in theory).
2-3 healers, 1 carry - A common strategy at the moment, you'll have to rely on your team to pin/silence the healers while you all focus down 1 target and turn it into a 4v5. In this case you should not be spreading your webbed shots, just attacking the one target. If the target retreats into a few of his allies, you should not lunge for him since you're so fragile. Just wait for your team's cooldowns to come back up and try again. You have to make sure you're killing 1 hero at a time.
5 carries - Stop playing 1400+ EM games.
Puuush! You should be at the back of all your heroes, your enemy is looking to pick you off with nukes/disables. Your job is to get Webbed Shot stacks up on as many heroes in range of you while backpedaling away from nukes and stuns. Ideally you will have an initiation hero which will pin enemies so your allies can charge in with you and all look coordinated. Cast Spider Sting as fast as possible to unsettle the enemy, making some of them run back, some of them attack the spider and some of them trying to engage you still. You should have enough dps to down even the tankiest of heroes, if any melee come within 600 units of you, get a Webbed Shot debuff on them as soon as possible. If they are all ranged, then use your Harden Carapace sparingly and wait for someone on your team to initiate then begin casting Webbed Shot on as many heroes as possible. You should never charge out the front of your base and aim straight for the disabler, or the tempest, or their carry hero, just wait for them to come to you. They know you do the most damage on your team so they will try and kill you first. You can sit in your base, drag the game out and get items while they're pushing at your tower and you'll end up winning because pusher heroes lose their effectiveness late game, while you gain effectiveness when you level up because of Precision.
The key to being a good Arachna player is to be patient and smart, you need to know what your enemies are capable of and you need to know all their abilities/combos. You need to be patient enough to not charge out at the enemy, and patient enough to sit in a lane for 20 minutes and not push it anywhere. Webbed Shot is debatably one of the best control spells in the game at the moment, once you have Wingbow you pump your enemies with debuffs and dish out incredible amounts of damage. Debuffing enemies should be your number 1 priority, with debuffing comes kills, which gives you gold to get items that win the game.
Glacius: Arguably the best support hero in the game at the moment, his mana regeneration aura will keep you in your lane for an extremely long time and he will constantly help with ganks and map control.
Initiation heroes: Behemoth, Tempest and Keeper of the Forest all have extremely good initiation abilities which lets you put Webbed Shot on lots of enemy heroes before they have a chance to do anything.
Specifically ask for a lane with these heroes if they're on your team.
Demented Shaman/Accursed: A Support Healer will help you be more aggressive and so you can push your enemies all the way out of exp range, none of these heroes are item dependant so you can take all the kills as well.
Pharaoh: When you slow, he can catch up and use Wall of Mummies and Hellfire to deal large amounts of damage to enemies and constantly stunning them, so if they have a delayed spell it can't be cast. Once you reach level 6, he will be able to interrupt the enemy Homecoming Stone so they can't get away. He goes roaming at level 6 as well, leaving you to farm the lane.
Devourer: He is a very scary hero when the enemy does not know where he is, but he needs levels and your lane is good for exp. Once he reaches level 6 he will be off ganking and you are free to farm the rest of the game.
Witch Slayer: He only needs exp to become powerful, so he should be sitting in your lane harassing your opponents with you, he has 2 strong disables allowing you to destroy any opponent that comes too close. When you both reach level 6 it's a guaranteed kill, possibly double kill.
Jeraziah: His ultimate completely counters you for its duration, Spider Sting will do no damage, combined with his Protective Charm will nullify your Webbed Shot (Note: Your Spiderling will still apply the -attack speed and movement speed debuffs though it will do almost no damage, thanks to Built for pointing this out) . You will be expected to get Nullfire Blade to dispel his charm and you will need to farm it fast.
Disabler + stunner: Escape mechanisms almost become pointless when you're hit witt 2 stuns and a slow, these caster lanes are way too difficult for you to lane against having no real escape mechanism, especially when you're faced against a lane that can just spam Blood Chalice and out-harass you.
Accursed: He is going to remove your debuffs and heal his allies, making you entirely useless early and mid game.
A High level 1800+ game where Scandal plays in an aggressive Arachna + Glacius vs Accursed + Forsaken Archer lane. Arachna gets a situational Null Stone to exploit the lack of single target spells that burn it, forcing legion to either waste a flick, face smash, cauterize or codex if they want to focus Arachna.
In this next replay we see Era playing in a high level match as a solo Arachna in the Hellbourne top lane with a jungle Tempest against Pollywog and Hammerstorm. Hugging the forest allows Arachna to harrass and last hit without the fear of a Hammerstorm stun and Pollywog follow up. Since pollywog's disables have such short range (400 grip, 500 hex), Arachna can harass him whenever he gets out of position, and the gank from tempest secured the win for the lane. Era chooses to get Geometers, Savage mace and Portal key. In this circumstance 3/5 of his team members are heroes that normally get portal key, so he gets it as well to get himself in a better position as well as having an escape mechanism. Geometer's is fantastic against Moon queen and chronos since the images tank some moon beams and Chronos has to spend time working out what the images are. Savage mace is also good for interrupting long channeling spells such as Pollywog's grip.
The last replay is a ESL match between unZ and TSoG with Revyy playing as Arachna on Legion. He lanes top as a solo knowing that he'd either be against Wretched Hag or Corrupted Disciple, since his team has the defensive tri-lane with Dark Lady. Thunderbringer ends up dominating mid, and TSoG had to start trying to gank TB, Dark lady and Arachna, which ended up being too hard for an underleveled Wretched Hag. The threat of an outlevelled Arachna means 2 heroes need to be dedicated to ganking her in order for her to die. Even if TSoG got a kill on her, they still had to move bottom again in order to stop dark lady's farm from getting out of hand.
Arachna Premium Guide, by Shadowcamsy.