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Strategy Guide for Akasha the Queen of Pain

by Ingolf (as of v6.59)

http://planetdota.blogspot.com

Table of Contents
• Introduction
• Hero analysis
• Skill build
• Item build
• Gameplay walkthrough
• Moving with a blink - A miniguide
• The art of war - Combat analyses
• Replays
• Epilogue
Introduction
Hi there! I'm glad you found your way to this guide whether it was through a link you found
somewhere or you merely clicked on it in the Scourge section. Anyway, now that you're here I'm
gonna take you through an adventure of strategies and gameplay tips; I'm your guide and my
purpose is to enlighten you and teach you how to teach yourself. If you're ready, then let's begin
the ride. Enjoy your trip!

Hero analysis
For more in-depth hero stats and abilities descriptions, follow this link to the Dota Allstars Wiki.

Skill build
Level 1 - Blink
Level 2 - Scream of Pain
Level 3 - Scream of Pain
Level 4 - Shadow Strike/Blink
Level 5 - Scream of Pain
Level 6 - Sonic Wave
Level 7 - Scream of Pain
Level 8 - Blink
Level 9 - Blink
Level 10 - Blink/Shadow Strike
Level 11 - Sonic Wave
Level 12 - Shadow Strike
Level 13 - Shadow Strike
Level 14 - Shadow Strike
Level 15 - Stats
Level 16 - Sonic Wave
Level 17-25 - Stats

Justifications
WTF IS THIS?!

Okay now, at a first glance this might seem a little confusing, but don't run away, I'll give you
some hints. Now, I split the chart up in two parts; the core item build and the luxury items. The
core item build is what you want to look at first, then you want to pick your items from the
luxuries. Now, to make it readable, icons with two items inside of one means "choose either of
them". More icons overlapping each other means "buy both of these, but I didn't want to use
more space because they can easily be bought at the same time"; like the starting items: When
you leave for either a top or bottom lane you ought to buy both 2xCirclets of Nobility, 1xClarity
Potion and 6xAncient Tangoes of Essifation. See that wasn't so bad, was it?

Justifications
End of boring discussion/arguementation part. Let's move onto the strategy. Yay!

Gameplay walkthrough
Early game

Your first thing to find out is if you're going middle or not. It's more or less equally good so it's
not a hard choice to take. Just do whatever fits your team best.

Anyway, if you're going middle then buy a Bottle and use it to hunt runes; spam your lane
opponent(s) with Scream of Pain and refill with Bottle. If you get a good rune like haste, double
damage or invisibility you can/ought to for a gank. Ganking with runes are mostly easy and all it
takes is to notice your allies you're coming. Go on an enemy with them and merely nuke him
down. Rune racing is pretty important when you're running the middle lane; the person that gets
and uses the runes also wins the lane control/gank war. It doesn't matter if you lack slightly
behind in experience if you can use it to gain the upper hand and create ganks.

If you're not going middle you have a much higher chance to face a tough dual lane at either top
or bottom (because that is what most teams do). You can't rune race effectively from the sides
either, which means you can't rely on a Bottle. Hence you should buy stats for better survival and
find other means of regenerations; Circlets, Clarities and Tangoes.

The primary thing you want to emphasize in a bottom or top lane is your safety. Always try to
stay safe. If safety means you have to play passive, then play passive. If you can play somewhat
aggressively without putting your safety at risk then by all means do. Like other heroes, safety
comes first. Now, when you've taken your precautions you should try to see if you can use
Scream of Pain as a mix of last hitting and harassment tool. First and foremost you should try to
aim it on your opponent(s) when you're using it. That's the main reason why you want to use it in
your lane. Secondly when you're using it to harass anyway you might as well see if you can use
it to last hit a creep or two. Especially if you're having troubles with your last hitting, using
Scream of Pain to harass while getting +1-2 creep kills is good. But again, mainly use it to harass
your enemies instead of merely wasting mana for last hits. In addition, try to land hits on your
opponents when/if you can. All in all though, try to focus on your safety and try to focus on last
hitting as well. Use harassment as a measure of gaining lane control without putting your safety
at risk.

When laning top or bottom you shouldn't aim to roam too much. Instead of trying to create ganks
you should rather be ready to join them when your allies create them near you. You should
always try to be ready to go in and do your stuff, but running around too much early on can be a
huge loss because of the experience and gold you lose. You won't be able to use the runes like a
middle hero so trying too hard often results in backfire. Try to lean back and farm your items,
play as aggressively as you can without endangering yourself and join your allies' ganks when/if
they do some near you. If you're having troubles against harassers, then buying a Ring of Health
and upgrading it to a Perseverance with a Void Stone is a good idea. It allows for better
resistance and more Screams of Pain.

Middle game

Once you have your Guinsoo, you're ready to dedicate yourself to ganking. Once you get it, try
to let your carries get the farm when they can. Your job is now to go around and gank heroes (it's
obviously best if you go with your allies, doing it alone often revolves in taking a risk). Try to
hunt and kill as often as possible. Try not to be reckless and try not to headlongly blink around
corners or up to heroes when you don't know if there are more enemies nearby. It can easily
result in a death. A good way is to blink up near him, yet not right beside him and then open with
Guinsoo. If he has more enemies nearby they will most likely show themselves hence you can
better judge if you should proceed or retreat. Anyway, like the early game, try to emphasize your
own safety. Try to use the surroundings to your advantage; stay uphill if you can, try to stay
inside the fog and etc. You're hard enough to target when you have Blink, but using the
surroundings correctly and making sure to stay safe is a great advantage.

Try not to stay too inactive. Your main goal should be ganking but instead of running confusedly
around looking for enemies, you ought to farm a bit if possible. Try not to waste too much time
looking for someone when you have no idea where they are. Eventually try to stay on your mark
and when someone appears, then be ready to go after him with an ally.

Obviously try to follow your team around if they attempt something, whether it being ganks,
pushes or by other means teamfights. Again, try to avoid focus fire. Try to always watch your
position and if you're standing in the middle of a total wreck then get out of it. Try to avoid being
caught by initiators like Tidehunter, Magnus and Earthshaker; if you know they have heroes that
can blink right in and catch you, then stay out of range untill they jump in or untill your team
goes first. Being caught with ease by a Reverse Polarity when you have Blink to stay at range
and jump in at the right time is stupid and completely unnecessary. Your position before, during
and oftenly after all types of combats (ganks, big fights etc.) is important. You're a weak healthed
hero, but you can be very difficult to catch because of Blink so by all means remember to take
your position into account.
Ganking after you finish your Guinsoo and farming casually when there's nothing to do is the
main points on the middle game. Avoiding potential ganks when you have your Guinsoo because
you want to farm instead is a very bad idea.

Late game

It's time for the big fights. The principles as before are the same; always watch your position and
always take your own safety into account. Avoid being caught in bad ultimates. Eventually start
from afar and blink in once they've thrown the worst of it. Once the combats starts and you feel
you can get in safely, then blink in and open with your Sonic Wave. Hitting all enemies is not
mandatory but try to hit as many as possible. If you see they cluster somewhere, try to get a hit
on all of them. If you open with a good Sonic Wave, all of those who get hit will lose just about
30% of their entire health in a single ultimate. That's a pretty damn huge difference between you
and them.
So all in all, follow your team in team fights. Try not to get caught by disables, nukes and
ultimates from the start. Blink in at the right time and cast Sonic Wave on as many as possible.
Continue hitting manually and use Scream of Pain to kill them too. Picking out weak casters or
other low healthed heroes while/if you can is a good idea. Once the first few seconds of the
combat has pasted, most dangerous spells have most likely been thrown thus you can blink after
their weak heroes with easy. Always, always, always try to think about your safety still though.
Taking risks often results in your own death.

Don't be egoistic and farm passively all the time. If you have your Guinsoo, you're done with
your core items which are the important ones. Any items from here are mere luxuries. Hence you
should try to let your real carry hero farm if he comes to your place. Anyhow, like before, just try
to farm somewhere if you have nothing else to do and if noone needs you anywhere. Try to
participate in fights, ganks and defenses as much as you can. Farming comes last in the "actions
hieraki". Teamplaying ranks the top, whether it's defending, pushing, ganking or fighting
anywhere else.

Moving with a blink - A miniguide


Now, first and foremost I want to talk shortly about blinking. It's basically an easy ability to use,
yet I see many people using it wrong. Blinking incorrectly often results in unnecesary deaths.
Here I'm gonna give you a few tips on how to use it properly without doing anything terrible. But
first of all, let me show you a picture:
This is Blink's maximum range at the different levels in practical use. It's important that you
remember to take its range into consideration. Knowing it untill the last inch is not necessary, but
having an idea that level 1 is not very far while level 4 is far is important. It doesn't take much
time to memorize and knowing how long you can reach in one blink is a very good thing.

Anyhow, what I want to go through in this minisection is basically the tip of how to use the
environment to blink around. Blink does not only give you a movement advantage, it obviously
also allows you to blink over cliffs and etc. A wise man once said:

QUOTE(PieMonger (Quoted For Truth))


Blinking over big patches of ugly landscape is something that you will be doing all the time. No
hero can pursue you if you do these maneuvers correctly. Blinking from the river to the Sentinel
Secret Shop, for example, will throw off just about any predator. Basically, using Blink to
traverse obstacles is a great escape tool. Whoop, up the cliff you go. Whoop, over the trees. Only
Blink (and skills like it I guess, pfft) can do this.

Instead of describing it, let me illustrate it with a few examples:

The final thing I want to teach you in this miniguide is that Blink can help you avoid many
nukes, including most stuns. This is an advance strategy and it requires exceptional reflexes and
a lot of training. Even if you're waiting for a guy to throw his Storm Bolt at you, you might not
even blink away in time. Anyway, the concept is simple but the time you've got to react is really
short. A tip though is that the further away you stand from the caster, the more reaction time you
have. If you stand really close, your reaction time is near 0. Anyway, here's an example:
There you go. Here're the basic tips you need to know about blinking. Use the environment to
your advantage, whether it's to chase, escape or anything else. Try to dodge dodgeable missiles
like Storm Bolt and Shadow Strike. Finally watch where you're blinking. Give it a thought before
you blink somewhere, especially if you have no idea what's there where you blink. It's likely that
you will blink into something ugly.

The art of war - Combat analyses


Let me start with another quote:

QUOTE(banjkan3)
You can't teach QoP, you're born with or without the ability to play her.
This is partly true and partly false. You definitely don't have to be born with the ability to be able

to play her . However, it is true that it's hard to teach someone how to act with the Queen.
Unlike one can read and learn how to use Pudge's Meat Hook or Shadow Fiend's Requiem of
Souls, you can't simply read about the Queen's advanced strategies and learn them from here. To
fully understand and learn how to play the Queen of Pain, one most gain knowledge through
practical experience.

I, however, want to try to give you an idea of what playing Akasha is all about. Let me first
introduce a few useful things about Akasha's abilities.

Scream of Pain
Sonic Wave

By looking at these two pictures while taking Blink's range into consideration, you can see that
she is able to affect enemies from a pretty far range; you don't have to stand right next to your
target to be able to do something to him. With these words I will now explain a very theoretical,
yet useful term to you.

Area of Influence (AOI)

Every hero covers its own area of which it can affect enemies. This area is known as the hero's
Area of Influence, or AOI. This area is defined by the hero's spells, items and physical attacks.
All heroes have a different set of spells and attack ranges which all create an individual AOI
around the hero. This AOI get stronger near the center; a unit can do more things to another unit
the closer the two units get to each other. The AOI will also get stronger when allies "overlap"
each other. If two allies stand very close they will be much more dangerous than standing
completely split.
Don't quite understand it? Take at look at this:
Sven and Akasha stand in a lane together against a Zeus. Zeus' AOI is rather big because of his
Lightning Bolt and Arc Lightning; he has a global AOI from his Thundergod's Wrath too, but
that is left out of account. Sven and Queen of Pain have their own AOI which overlap each other.
If Zeus enters these overlapping AOIs he puts himself in a great danger because Sven can easily
stun and Queen of Pain can easily follow up on it. Theoretically if Zeus makes sure to keep out
from these AOIs, Akasha and Sven will not be able to touch him because they cannot do
anything to him. However, Akasha has the advantage from Blink that will carry her AOI with
her. Practically she can use that to cast a Shadow Strike so Sven can catch up.

Now, Akasha's AOI when considering her spells looks like this:

As you can see, this is a very, very huge AOI. You can affect people from a very long range. The
closer an enemy gets to your AOI center, the more can you affect them with. If he is standing
about 800 range from you, you can only affect him with your Sonic Wave. If he stands 500 range
from you, you can hit him with Scream of Pain and Sonic Wave.

Akasha has the ability to instantly move her AOI with her Blink. Theoretically, Akasha's total
AOI is an 800 range radius which is defined by her Sonic Wave. Blink can take her up to 1150
range away. Indirectly this means that her AOI can almost instantly reach 1950 range away from
her center. In all directions of course.

Now how can we use this in practice?


We can use the knowledge of heroes' and Akasha's AOIs to understand how the Queen of Pain
should behave in a team fight. Due to Akasha's monster AOI, you can and should stay out of the
combat blast. Stay out from your enemies' worst spells and ultimates (things like Tidehunter's
Ravage, Magnus' Reverse Polarity, Luna's Eclipse and etc.). Once your team has the grasp of the
combat and/or once they have initiated with their abilities, blink in from your safe position and
hit as many enemies as you can with your Sonic Wave. The cone the Sonic Wave makes is
illustrated above. Try to make that figure cover as many heroes as possible. Here's a common
situation of a well executed Sonic Wave:

I started away from the combat to avoid the spells they wanted to throw off. After my
Earthshaker stunned most of them thus giving us grasp, I blinked in to a position where my Sonic
Wave cone covered all 5 heroes. I succesfully damaged all 5 of them with not much effort, but
just a little patience and timing.

The heroes' AOI is a two-ways street. The one way you want to take your own AOI into account;
you have to try to cover as many as you can with your AOI and make sure to position yourself to
hit as many heroes as possible. The second way is to watch out for your enemies' AOIs and
especially the way they overlap each other. This means that you have to be extremely careful
with blinking into a complete mess. If you don't have blink and/or if you get disabled while
you're covered by too all your enemies' AOIs, you will most likely die. Here's an example:

In this scenario I made the worst mistake I could. My Earthshaker had just thrown a perfect ulti
and my allies were all rushing in with their full arsenal. They were all on fairly low health but
still with spells to use. I got reckless and blinked in to kill them all. What happened was that all
their AOIs were covering me perfectly allowing them to disable me and nuke me down within
seconds. Even though we won the battle, I made a stupid mistake and blinked to a spot where I
covered myself in my enemies full AOIs. As a result I got myself killed.

So basically the things you want to think of when you encounter someone, is the heroes' AOI.
You should try to find an excellent, yet safe spot to throw your Sonic Wave to hit as many as
possible. Try to avoid most ultimates and horrible spells in the first few seconds of the fight if
you can, you AOI is huge and you can carry it 1150 range away with Blink so you can stay from
a pretty far range and still join the combat effectly. If you Blink into the center of your enemies'
total AOI, you will eventually get focused and killed, so avoid to do it unless you feel perfectly
safe by doing it.
Staying near someone is a two-ways street: The closer you stand to an enemy, the greater damage
can you afflict to him because because of your centralized AOI. However, he can also do more to
you. It puts both him and you in risks. It's a double-edged sword.
If you want to read more about heroes' AOI and general spatial awareness, I recommend you
read Ironfisto's Spatial Awareness article. I give this article credits for my knowledge and
theories behind above sections.

Replays

Queen of Pain 1

Mode: -cm

The Sentinel

Ingolf(Middle)

YouAreNothing(Bottom)

Maldejambes(Bottom)

Henry]108[Gale(Top)

camgi(Top)

The Scourge

cook1e(Top)

hMrAs(Top)

laooola(Bottom)

dMenik(Bottom)

WE]Exor(Middle)

Queen of Pain 2

Mode: -ap

The Sentinel
linchen_(Top)

BlooD_FeaTheR(Top)

Ingolf(Bot)

stookl(Bot)

46and2(Middle)

The Scourge

me]it[(Top)

X_tD(Top)

DRPHiLLiNGSPREE(Mid)

funoxeyh(Bot)

Herr_Schultz(Bot)

Epilogue

This is the final stop. I hope the ride hasn't been too bumpy. Hopefully you've arrived safely at
the end well knowing what to do now. Though I've taken you through boring explanations,
advanced strategies and theoretical thoughts I hope you like what you've seen and that it can help
you in the future. I'll be more than happy to listen to your praises and critiques.

Step out to your right and watch your step when you exit the ride. I hope you enjoyed it and that
you will visit it again another time. Also don't forget to enter some of my other rides, which can
be found just a few centimeters below this.

Yours sincerely

Ingolf
Visit http://planetdota.blogspot.com for your Dota
needs!