Just by looking at statistics, you can can tell that Wraith King is one of the best junglers of Dota 2 right now. He has one of the highest winrates and ban rates. He has plenty of pressure potential with a high amount of damage that makes him perfect for clearing creeps.
I have prepared this guide for all my jungler mains out there. Even if you don’t feel like playing Wraith King, you should know how to properly counter him.
Who should play Wraith King?
Let’s start with newer players first. If you don’t know how to jungle yet, or which creeps to prioritize, Wraith King is the best teacher you can have in Dota 2. His skeletons do most of the work, and after a certain point you can begin to rely on them. There is more room for error when playing this way, and the game won’t punish you as much for the wrong move.
For that reason, he’s great for more advanced players too. Anyone who wants to focus on improving their skills in a specific area can benefit from playing Wraith King. If you want to improve your positioning for example, you can trust your skeletons to take care of most things while you focus on your drill. Just make sure it isn’t last hitting that you want to learn, because these little bone piles will make that much harder on you. If that’s the case, you should go for Meepo instead.
What items does Wraith King need?
- Assault Cuirass
- Abyssal Blade
Thankfully Wraith King has a pretty rigid build, so you won’t need to adapt much to the situation. You only need to make sure that you buy the right boots and take the right route after getting these first 4 items. Your goal should be finishing up before the 30-minute mark, so these items should be enough, but in some freak scenarios you might go overboard and will have to choose a route.
For boots you can choose between Phase Boots and Power Treads, depending on whether you need more attack damage or speed.
Skull Basher and Black King Bar are great if you want more damage. They also synergize really well. A less popular alternative to these two is Mjollnir and Monkey King Bar. They are just as good, but people don’t use them as often.
Armlet of Mordiggian is also great, the only difference is that it will make your attack speed faster, which might come in handy in the long run, more so than flat damage.
- Reincarnation casts wraith fire blast
- No reincarnation mana cost
- +30 skeletons attack damage
- +20 attack speed
The first two of your abilities will synergize nicely. Using your ultimate will slow every enemy around and deal a significant amount of damage to them. This will allow you to help your entire team in battle, and you might be able to immediately pick up a couple of kills after dying.
You will be going against the grain with the third option, but if you want to do more damage in teamfights without dying it’s best to give more damage to your troops.
When to switch it up
The worst counter of Wraith King in Dota is the infamous Naga Siren. If you can, avoid going up against her entirely, because it’s a pain to fight the kind of snowball she rolls up. The main problem is that she can dominate the game completely by herself, but since she counters you it will be much worse.
If fortune decides to screw you over and you do face a hard counter, you will have to switch to a defensive build. Echo Sabre and Bracer are excellent options against Naga Siren, but they won’t hold out too long. They will help you drag the game out, giving your team a chance to fix the power imbalance, but that’s it.
How to play as Wraith King
The secret to this jungler is power farming in the beginning of the game. For the first 10 minutes you will not take a step out of the jungle if you want to become the strongest you can possibly be. Buy your first item, then you can start helping your team’s laners and ambushing enemy players who might have forgotten you were in the game. By the 15th minute, your skeletons should be strong enough to easily overpower an isolated enemy hero, but if you are there with an ally it will be an even easier kill.
Once mid game begins, you need to re-group with the team, because you will be hunted by the enemy. If you aren’t being chased down by them every chance they get, then you didn’t do a good job of powering up Wraith King and his potential has been wasted. Stay behind your allies until someone initiates a fight, that’s when it’s your time to shine.