Strategy Guide for Mangix the Pandaren Brewmaster by flemeister (as of v6.

59)

http://planetdota.blogspot.com
Changelog:

03JAN09: Started writing 05JAN09: Finished writing (v1.0) 06JAN09: Replaced picture comics with .gif animations (v1.1) 06JAN09: Added to Secondary Items and Credits lists (v1.2) 06JAN09: Added audio replay (v1.3) 06JAN09: Improved grammar and explanations in various sections (v1.4) 16JAN09: Finally added a newer replay, tweak to item build (v1.5) 23JAN09: Repaired various image links (v1.51) 27JAN09: Added another replay, and tweaked formatting (v1.6)

{ Contents }

I. Introduction II. Stats III. Skills Description IV. Skill Build V. Primary Items VI. Secondary Items VII. Gameplay VIII. Good Allies IX. Replays X. Q&A XI. Final Words XII. Credits

{ I. Introduction }
Panda has seen mixed usage over the years, from the classic Panda + Rhasta lane during v6.34, to his demise under the reign of Dagger during v6.43-6.49, to his slowly growing popularity after Dagger's re-balance. His concept is that of a "tank-caster", in that most of his skills revolve around supporting his allies with his extensive arsenal of spells, and surviving focus-fire, all while dishing out the pain with Drunken Brawler. He is immensely fun to play, whether you're playing casual or organised DotA. This guide will aim to give newer players an idea of how to play Panda, and a general item/skill build to get them going. Panda is one of the most well equipped hero concepts in DotA, even if his ultimate may seem weak during late-game. Use the Benevolent Schizo to fulfill whatever role your team requires.

{ II. Stats }
For comprehensive descriptions regarding Panda's stats and skills, visit the DotA Wiki.
Strength: 23 + 2.9

Agility: 16 + 1.95 Intelligence: 14 + 1.25 Attack range: 100 (Melee) Movement Speed: 300

{ III. Skills Description }
QUOTE

Thunder Clap

Slams the ground, dealing damage and slowing the movement speed and attack rate of nearby enemy land units. Lasts 4.25 seconds. Level 1 - 100 damage, 25% movement and attack speed reductions Level 2 - 175 damage, 35% movement and attack speed reductions Level 3 - 250 damage, 45% movement and attack speed reductions Level 4 - 300 damage, 55% movement and attack speed reductions Manacost: 90/105/130/150 Cooldown: 12 seconds QUOTE

Drunken Haze

Drenches an enemy unit in alcohol, causing his movement speed to be reduced, and causing his attacks to have a chance to miss. Lasts 7 seconds. Level 1 - 10% movement speed reduction, 45% miss chance Level 2 - 14% movement speed reduction, 55% miss chance Level 3 - 18% movement speed reduction, 65% miss chance Level 4 - 22% movement speed reduction, 75% miss chance Manacost: 50/50/50/50 Cooldown: 12 seconds QUOTE

Drunken Brawler

Gives a chance to avoid attacks and deal 1.8 critical damage. Lasts 9001 seconds. Level 1 - 6% dodge, 5% chance to critical. Level 2 - 12% dodge, 10% chance to critical. Level 3 - 18% dodge, 15% chance to critical. Level 4 - 24% dodge, 20% chance to critical. Passive QUOTE(Ultimate)

Primal Split

Splits the Pandaren Brewmaster into elements, forming 3 specialized warriors, adept at survival. If any of them survive until the end of their summoned timer, the Brewmaster is reborn. Level 1 - Summons three mighty Pandas for 15 seconds. Level 2 - Summons three even mightier Pandas for 17 seconds. Level 3 - Summons three really freaking mighty Pandas for 19 seconds. Manacost: 125/150/175 Cooldown: 180/150/120 For detailed descriptions of each schizo Panda, refer to these links, from the DotA Wiki: Storm | Earth | Fire Here we see the Elemental Pandas after a big night out:

Unfortunately for them, recent cooldown changes (180 -> 120) have meant that their partying time has decreased. As for telling them apart when they're on the turps, no one knows which is which. If you have any info regarding this mystery, contact me using the ale-keg and string I gave you earlier in the sentence.

{ IV. Skill Build }

Justification:

Thunder Clap is your nuke and disable, dealing big instant damage early-game, and is your best chance at early kills. It should always be maxed first, no arguments.

One level of Drunken Haze for the sexy evasion and minor slow. 45% miss can be useful in those toe-to-toe encounters. Also, if you've only got 50 mana (not enough for Clap), then it's better than nothing. If you're on 100hp, and your ally is being pwned, you can throw the keg before legging it back to base.

Early Attribute Bonuses are mainly to cover Panda's low starting INT and INT gain. I've been doing this on Panda since I started playing him, and it's quite effective at giving him a respectable mana pool. His mana pool is a mediocre 338 at level 11. Even 2 Bracers only bumps it up to 416. 4 Levels of Stats gives you an extra 104 mana to play with. The other levels of Haze can wait until 17-19 unless you're against a particularly tough enemy DPSer.

Drunken Brawler gives your physical attacks a boost, with or without dps items. The evasion also helps as you move into late-game. Unless you're playing a full support Panda, you'll want this maxed before late-game for it's two pronged benefits.

This is an awesome skill. As long as your micro isn't piss poor, you'll have these useful spells at your disposal:

Cyclone (6 sec duration against heroes, 20 against creeps [including Spirit Bear, just tested it, make Syllabear cry ])

Boulder (2 sec stun, 100 dmg) Dispel Magic (350 damage to summoned units) QUOTE(IAteGodzilla @ May 28 2007, 05:31 PM) Dispel Magic is an interesting skill that acts like Purge, except in an AoE. Things that come up to mind that can be dispelled are Cyclone, Guardian Angel, Decrepify, and Beserker Call. It's unique in that it is can be cast on multiple units and even invisible units (with Windwalk, Sandstorm, etc.). Here is a list of spells that Dispel Magic can and can not work on (humongous credit to Tales).

Dispel Magic List by Tales
Underlined text is the formal name of the ability. Bold text is shown with "Yes" or "No" according to whether Dispel Magic works on the certain spell. (Text in parenthesis are the names of the spell used in DotA). <blockquote>Phoenix Fire: No (Poison Nova) Slow: Yes (Enchant, Life Break, Psionic Trap, Void, Upheaval, Poison Touch, Plague, Maim) Invisibility: Yes (Nature's Guise, Sand Storm) Cloud: No (Smoke Screen) Inner Fire: Yes (Chakra Magic, Berserker Call, Enfeeble, Living Armor, Empower) Aerial Shackles: No (Shackles, Dismember, Fiend's Grip) Berserk: No (Frenzy, Ultimate, Rampage, Sprint, Strafe, Mask of Madness) Bloodlust: Yes(Bloodlust, Frostmourne buff, Strygwyr's Thirst, Track, Rabid, Surge) Burning Oil: No (Auto Attack) Ensnare: No (Net, Geo Strike, Pit of Malice) Lightning Shield: Yes (None ATM) Envenomed Spears: No (Poison Sting, Geostrike) Spirit Link: Yes (One) Unholy Frenzy: Yes (None ATM) Purge: No (Purge, Overload, Diffusal Blade) Anti-magic Shell (Old): Yes (Repel) Anti-magic Shell (New): No (Barrier) Web: No (None ATM) Cripple: Yes (Requiem of Souls, Grave Chill, Mana Leak, even though Mana Leak can and will still remove mana afterwards) Curse: Yes (Blind) Frost Attack: No (Skadi, Frost Nova's Slow) Freezing Breath: No (None ATM) Eat Tree: Yes (Tango) Roar: Yes (Double Damage Rune, Guardian Angel, Howl, God's Strength, Battle Cry) Cyclone: Yes (Eul, Cyclone) War Club: No (None ATM) Rejuvenation: Yes (Regen Rune)

Avatar: No (Rage, BKB) Banish: Yes (Decrepify) Battle Roar: Yes (Double Damage Rune, Guardian Angel, Howl, God's Strength, Battle Cry) Big Bad Voodoo: No (None) Black Arrow: No (Soul Assumption) Death and Decay: No (Midnight Pulse) Drunken Haze: Yes (Drunken Haze, Incapacitating Bite, Laser, Penitence slow, Crippling Fear) Breath Of Fire: (extra damage by Drunken Haze) No (None) Divine Shield: No (Flying Courier Shield) Cold Arrows: No (Frost Arrows) Entangling Roots: Yes (Entangle, Overgrowth, Frostbite) Flamestrike: No (Scorched Earth) Howl of Terror: Yes (Terror) Earthquake: No (None) Hex: Yes (Voodoo, Guinsoo) Rain of Fire: No(Firestorm) Shadow Strike: No (Shadow Strike, Viper Strike) Silence: Yes (Silence, Global Silence) Incinerate: No (Fury Swipes, Caustic Finale) Poison Arrows: No (Poison Attack, Arcane Orb, Impetus, Glaives of Wisdom, Burning Spears) Wind Walk: No (Windwalk, Sukuchi, Vendetta, Meld) Soul Burn: Yes (Last Word, Bloodrage) Sleep: Yes (Nightmare) Tornado Spin: Yes (Not used) Thunder Clap: No (Timewalk, Thunder Clap, Earthshock, Primal Roar, Slithereen Crush, Epicenter, Berserker's Call) Windwalk (+50% movespeed and 100 backstab damage) Taunt (a broken version of Berserker's Call, only useful against players with exceptionally low apm [actions per minute]) QUOTE(IAteGodzilla @ May 28 2007, 05:31 PM) Taunt is thought to be broken, but it is doing what it was coded to do. Like Berserker's Call, it forces all units in range to attack Earth. However here is where it changes: if the victim(s) order another command, they will immediately stop attacking Earth to execute that command. Taunt does NOT STOP CHANNELING SPELLS. Basically, let the Fire Elemental auto-attack someone, and micro the others to cast their stuff where appropriate. Cyclone a dangerous enemy who your team does not intend to focus, and use Boulder on someone you do want to focus. Use Dispel Magic to remove disables from your carry hero, or God's Strength from that enemy Sven, and Taunt to cancel an enemy attack/cast animation (better than nothing). If necessary, Windwalk to chase and cast a second Cyclone when the cooldown is over. Remember that most of the Elemental's spells have a very short cooldown (5 seconds for Cyclone, Dispel Magic and Windwalk, and 7 seconds for Boulder), which allows you to use them multiple times! Check out inDe_eD's Guide to Micromanagement for advice on controlling the Elementals effectively. Some things to keep in mind:

• •

The Elementals are automatically selected when you cast Primal Split, so no need to waste time selecting them All 3 levels of Primal Split have the pandas grouped in the same order; Storm -> Earth -> Fire. Remember this when tabbing between Elementals When chasing a blinker (QoP, AM) or a hero with Dagger, be wary of Cycloning them. You may give your allies 6 seconds to prepare for pwnage, but you also give the Cycloned unit 6 seconds for their Blink skill to cooldown. As soon as they come down, they're liable to just blink away. Having Radiance is one solution.

Imo, when Split, your priorities should be in this order: 1. Cast your spells on the correct heroes and at the correct locations
2. Position your Earth Elemental so that when you re-form, you will be in the ideal

location according to the current circumstances (If you're winning the fight, move Earth into the thick of things. If you're losing, then get him out of there asap, using Storm and Fire to cover your team as you retreat) 3. Auto-attacking with the Elementals Don't be afraid to die so that your carry hero may live. You're nowhere near as item dependant as he/she is. Of course, don't needlessly die. You'll be able to judge these situations with experience.
Extended Spell Combo:

(Blink + Clap'n'Whack + Split + WW + Cyclone/Boulder + Clap'n'Whack)

1. I see Centaur fleeing after a skirmish at top lane. Use the death timer at the top right as a guide. 2. Blink + Clap. 3. Enemy backup arrives. I want to catch up to Centaur now, instead of waiting for Dagger and

Clap to cooldown, so I cast Primal Split. 4. I send Storm windwalking after Cent, and quickly micro Earth and Fire in the same direction. 5. Gotcha. 6. The Brewmaster re-forms, and it's a simple Clap for the kill.

{ V. Primary Items }

Recommended Starting Items:

You should choose starting items according to the situation. However, the above items are, imo, suited to the greater majority of situations. +6 to all stats is hard to beat at this stage of a game, and Tangos give you the most optimised regen for the first 15-20 minutes of the game. Mana isn't really a problem. Clap only costs 90 mana at Level 1, while you've got 260 mana to play with.

Core Build:

and some form of regen...

/
QUOTE(PieCr3w @ Feb 27 2007, 12:58 PM)

/

/

You should really consider what items your character needs. Many times players don’t think before they buy, and buy excessive items that do nothing for them. The secret to DOTA is minimalism. Get what you need to survive, the rest will come later. Bracers are cheap, easy to build, and provide excellent stats. Three of them, combined with early Stats, secures your mana and hp for most of a game. Always carry a tp scroll. 135 gold for priceless flexibility in movement. How much would you pay to save an ally on the other side of the map? Or to farm a lane on the other side of the map? That's 135 gold invested well (270 gold if you carry two at a time, which I strive to do). Tangos give you +7hp/sec on demand. When you go to use a charge, don't forget to cut paths through trees every so often. Try and do both at the same time for the sake of efficiency. Check out Isiloki's guide to escape by juking for an exceptionally detailed guide on this. When you're on 100hp with an enemy up your arse, you'll find those routes very handy for juking. Just keep in mind that trees respawn every 5 minutes starting from the 5 minute mark. No, you can't get caught in them, but looking for a non-existent path that you cut earlier... Flasks become better than Tangos once you have 3x Bracers, since you can regain a lot of hp very quickly. One trick you can do is to use a flask while running into fog/up a hill. When the enemy comes up the hill, greet them with Thunder Clap and ~200-300 more hp than before. Only get Bottle if you're going to roam, otherwise Tangos/Flasks will suffice. Ring of Health is an expensive last resort, for when you're constantly taking damage in lane. Luckily, you can upgrade it later on if desired.

{ VI. Secondary Items }

Blink Dagger provides for your initiating and escaping needs. It's instant nature will get you into battle before the enemy can competently react. Defensively, it will get you out of trouble before that Storm Bolt even hits you.
Elementary Offensive Blink:

I see Puck on low hp trying to escape from my allies. I blink a little in front to compensate for hosting delay/cast time. Beware of smart enemies trying to juke you. In this case however, Puck had N'aix right on his arse, so I had no trouble doing the combo.

Elementary Defensive Blink:

The evil NA, SK and Centaur have come to gank thee! Easy fix. I blink away, completely avoiding a 1v3 confrontation.

In most cases, Treads are the best option, since they provide survivability, dps, and some extra mobility to boot. It's also an easy to build item. Get Travels if you're going full support Panda (aka no dps), or intend to farm for 60 minutes until you have lolhuge items. I think I've been unfairly harsh towards Phase Boots. You do get quite a good deal for 1550 gold, with all it's benefits being useful to you (the armour compliments your high hp, the damage helps Drunken Brawler, and the movespeed bonus helps place Thunder Clap).

An excellent stats boost, oodles of mana regen so that you always have enough mana to support your allies, and 3.5 seconds of free hits on an unlucky enemy. This is the best support item for Panda, giving you a total of 5 disables (Clap, Haze, Hex, Boulder, Cyclone). Use it before you Split for maximum efficiency; so you can cast it again when you re-form.

Perfect when against a mainly spellcasting enemy team. Soulburn also ruins orbwalkers, while +40 damage and 30% IAS is fantastic combined with Drunken Brawler. To top it off, it's easy to build up, with Oblivion Staff being quite a nice standalone item.

Synergy with Drunken Brawler, and easy to build up. Deso should be your primary dps item, because gives a nice damage boost while also fitting your support role by reducing enemy armour for allies to pound on.

Radiance may have gone out of fashion, but it's still a fantastic item when you're able to farm it. You can plant yourself right in the middle of the enemy formation, annoying them with

Immolation, until your last sliver of hp... and then cast Split. The +60 damage goes alright with Drunken Brawler. The only issue is farming Relic, and even if you get that much gold in one go, you'll probably want to get Dagger first. Nevertheless, if your team needs you to be the tank, you already have Brawler to draw fire, and Split to survive. Radiance will serve you well by complimenting these skills.

Battlefury secures your regen and farming needs. +65 damage with Cleave is great with Brawler. With this item, your late-game farming will be fast and free of fountain trips.

Heart is fine. Some say that you already have Split to survive, but that's just being cheap arse. One minor perk is that you can get 19 x 15 = 280 hp regen while split. Add your natural regen to that, and you've got a default 300hp heal tacked on to Primal Split, plus the 1000hp from the item. That combines to give you an excellent survivability item, that actually compliments Primal Split.

So, you want to draw fire, but not enough to get wtfpwned or rendered useless with a single disable? Linken's [usually] fixes your problem. Of course, if they have lots of expendable spells that cancel Disentangle (eg. Mana Drain, Headshot), then you're better off skipping it. Linken's pwns most single target disables. If that's what is pissing you off, then Linken's will force your enemy to spend at least 2 disables if they want to neutralise you, thereby fulfilling your role of tank.

Shiva's is excellent support, let down only by the hideous build up. I'll just quote Patccomi's comments on it, since he covered it nicely 9 months ago:

QUOTE(Patccmoi @ Mar 28 2008, 01:10 AM) Pandaren? Yes, i actually tried it and liked it quite a bit on him. It increases his tanking power and his potential as an anti-carry [referring to the -25% attack speed aura in conjunction with Thunder Clap's -55% AS], and he can certainly use the extra mana to Clap-Haze and keep enough for his Ulti. The snare also stacks with Thunder Clap, pretty much stopping people from moving (they have ridiculously low MS AND AS). If you plan to carry with Panda, likely not your best bet, but a Shiva's Guard + Radiance/Heart or Satanic/Armlet makes Panda a ridiculously annoying tank and anti-carry. Not necessarily superior to other builds, so Grade C, but efficient and fun nonetheless.
General benchmarks for getting your items: Starting Items:

By ~20 minutes:

By ~30 minutes:

By ~40 minutes:

{ VII. Gameplay }

Check out this link for all sorts of articles that will help you improve your gameplay. You need to cover both theory and practice if you want to learn effectively, so read up.
Early Game:

Lane with a ranged disabler if you want to get kills. Let him/her initiate, while you run up to cast Clap. If you're against a nasty dual-disable lane, then just be passive and ready to cast Clap in defense. Don't forget to use Haze when chasing. 10% slow can mean the difference between your ally catching up or just missing their disable. Imo, don't go off ganking this early; stay in lane and help control it with your ally. I like rushing Dagger if possible, and going roaming will just delay it.
Mid Game:

Now that you have Dagger, you can place Clap exactly where you want it. Ganks have become prevalent, and Dagger will be useful both offensively (initiating) and defensively (blinking before you get focused). Now that you have some Bracers, you can be the meatshield for your team's carry hero. Prioritise his/her life over your own, keep the gameplay smooth and in your team's favour, and prepare to push/defend. Use your spells with these aims in mind, especially Split.
Late Game:

All 10 heroes are well into their item builds, and the carry heroes are becoming huge. Clap's damage is now moderate, but you become fantastic late-game support, with your 5 disables. Guinsoo provides the hard disable that you otherwise lack, and completes your arsenal as the Benevolent Schizo.

{ VIII. Good Allies }

The classic lane partner. Shackles + Clap is powerful enough, but at level 6 you gain awesome synergy between your ultimates. Cast Primal Split away from view, Cyclone the poor sod, Cast Mass Serpent Wards right on top of the Cyclone, and go to town when they come back down.

She has dual nukes/disables for mass pain, and the sheer utility of Brilliance Aura will have you shooting your load quite often. Saving hundreds of gold that would otherwise have gone to mana regen/mana pool items is great. In teamfights, you can Cyclone/Boulder the most dangerous enemies so that Freezing Field lasts for more than 1 second.

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