It should be no secret that Spirit Breaker is currently on a rampage through pubs. With 52% win rate in all brackets and 54% in Divine+ games, Barathrum is definitely a hero to spam, especially given how fun and effortless his victories are. Today we are going to talk about some unexpected tricks better Spirit Breaker players utilize in their matches.
This one is more or less self-explanatory and everyone should probably know about Vanguard and how it can be disassembled into Octarine Core. The interesting part is that Spirit Breaker, especially a support one, doesn’t really need Vanguard early on.
Most players actually prefer Drum of Endurance after Phase Boots on the hero. This maximizes the hero’s burst damage and speed, while providing a decent amount of stats for survivability.
That said, after you get your starting MS items, it is sometimes a good idea to get a casual Vanguard for survivability, that can be later transformed into the bigger item. Make sure to get Aghanim’s Scepter as well, possibly prior to disassembling the Vanguard into Octarine Core. The cooldown reduction on Charge of Darkness is definitely worth it.
Another interesting trend is that Spirit Breaker players really don’t mind going for double boots. Phase Boots are great on the hero because of the extra Armor and extra MS, but Boots of Bearing are often bought alongside them.
This is mostly done in games against heavy slow, be it Venomancer or Crystal Maiden. In most games getting lower cooldown on your Charge by going the Aghanim’s and Octarine route will probably be more beneficial, but sometimes you just need to be able to get away from some annoying slows.
Armor is a very important stat, especially for a hero like Spirit Breaker, who is all about charging in. However, when it comes to the level ten talents, getting extra Night Vision should be a priority.
There are several heroes it is not going to make a difference against. Characters like Slark, Luna, Night Stalker and several others will still see you before you see them during the night.
Against the vast majority of other heroes, though, you get to pick and choose when to engage. This is not an easily quantifiable benefit, but it makes all the difference at higher levels of play. If anything, in most cases it will help you survive better than the extra 4 Armor you get otherwise.
Another interesting new change is the level 20 talent for the hero. It used to give +10% chance to the Greater Bash, later changed to +13% and finally to +17%. This is an unignorable talent, as it essentially gives Spirit Breaker a BKB-piercing Bash every three hits.
The hero doesn’t attack very often, sure. He has a very high BAT of 1.9 and low Agility gain. By level 20 with a default build he usually attacks once every ~1.10 seconds. Worst case scenario — three attacks take the hero ~3.5 seconds and we are expected to get a 1.5 seconds bash during this period.
Essentially, the worst case scenario is that Spirit Breaker gets an expected ~40% uptime on his BKB-piercing disable, if allowed to attack his target. Add in guaranteed bashes from Charge of Darkness and Nether Strike and you get a hero that can more or less stunlock a priority target.
We are not saying it is always the correct way to play, but in certain games, especially when facing a 4+1 strategy with a very well-defined solo hard carry on the enemy team, going this route can be more beneficial than the extra MS and damage on Charge of Darkness.
Spirit Breaker is probably one of the easiest heroes to play right now. Between high survivability and straightforward impact, there are very few reasons not to give him a try. As long as the player on the hero doesn’t overextend too frequently, he will be an asset to his team.
We hope that you found some of the tricks useful and feel free to share your own findings in the comment section below.