A Look Back on Ember Spirit

Once upon a time Ember Spirit had a win rate close to 40%. He debuted in the "Repick Tier" of our first Pub Tier List. He was featured on the front page of r/Dota2, under the title "Why is Ember Spirit So Bad?". Ember Spirit was bad because we were bad. Like Earth Spirit, Ember is a high skill cap hero with great versatility, provided you knew what to do with him. It's safe to say we didn't know then.

Today, he's climbed close to a 45% win rate. With zero changes to the hero since then, it seems like we've learned to play him a little bit better, but there's still more to know, especially due to his rising popularity in the professional scene. He's been called for nerfs by Cloud 9, a team that exclusively picked him throughout the Monster Energy Invitational. Take a look at Arteezy's Dotabuff and you'll also see he's been diligently practicing his Ember. Other pro players, such as Dendi, Ferrari_430, TC, and Scandal have also showcased their Ember Spirit skills in recent games in Starladder and JD Leagues.

Abilities and Trends

Ember Spirit Ability Build

Here's one of our graphs from our new ability builds page. By far the the most popular and successful early builds for ES is maxing Flame Guard first. If you're going with max Flame Guard, it's important to note that the 1st point is fairly worthless. It may be common sense that a 50 damage shield is trivial compared to the value of Sleight of Fists or Searing Chains, but first point in Flame Guard is seen in 46% of Ember games.

One of Ember's greatest strengths is his versatility. He can be played offensively, defensively, and in any lane. His flexibility can be seen in how all top Ember Spirit players skill. Though pros like Ferrari_430 and Scandal usually opt to max Flame Guard, you also have players like SingSing and Dendi who eschew it for early points in Searing Chains.

Most players will stop with three points in Searing Chains then max out other skills. The third point adds one second to its duration, a 50% increase in lockdown and damage.

The competitive circuit has seen a lot of Ember play, but we're also seeing this in pubs as well, with a recent spike in the pick rate of Ember Spirit. In the last 30 days, his popularity has risen by nearly 40%, reaching the 32nd most picked of all heroes, from 8.85% to 12.56% of all games.

Item Builds

It makes me a little sad that Drum of Endurance nor Ring of Aquila isn't seen as commonly picked in pubs. Drums I have to admit is one of my favorite items for most heroes. It enables early game aggression, sustainability, which fits well with Ember's strengths. He can be played as a passive safe lane farmer (damage items scale very well on Ember), but where's the fun in that?

Battlefury is a given for Ember because of how Sleight of Fists can cleave each unit. However, an early Desolator is also a nice pick up for a team looking for mid-game ganks and push. You'll have to make your decisions early. Are you going to contribute now or later?

For a small period of time, Arcane Boots was a hot item. To be fair it does fix his mana issues, but let your supports build it, and abuse your Fire Remnants to TP to base to heal and return to your lane. Phase Boots gives Ember some chase, as well as adding some damage for Sleight of Fists.

Other Tips

  1. Sleight of Fists has a 0 second cast point, which you can think of it as a Phase Shift that can also harass and kill. It also has absurd range and AoE. Use it to harass from long range, dodge when being initiated, or even reveal units in trees.

  2. Ember is quite squishy. He has naturally low armor and can explode very quickly to opposing carries. Abuse the low CD and high range of Sleight of Fists. In team fights you'll rarely want to jump in the middle.

  3. Fire Remnants can help you escape, chase, and nuke heroes, but they also let you heal and return to your lane. In my opinion this is fairly underused. Always carry a TP. Place a Remnant, TP back to base to heal and fill your bottle, then pop back into the lane. It's this zero downtime in his farming that makes him especially powerful in competitive play. Sometimes a failed gank on carries can disrupt their tempo--they have to heal. But with Ember, he's able to move on like nothing happened.

  4. You can use Searing Chains during Sleight of Fists. Today this is commonly known, but it needs to be abused more. With the low cd of both spells, you can spam it casually to harass supports out of lane. One Sleight/Chain combo in the mid-game can knock a support down to 50-75% HP.

I believe Ember Spirit is especially powerful, in the right hands. Even though he has a high skill cap, he can still be effective in the hands of an average player. You don't have to squeeze the most potential out of him to be effective. Sleight of Fists is nearly a no risk skill. He definitely deserves a higher win rate than 45%. Lately we've been seeing a lot of success with him in competitive play, and hopefully we'll see the same in our pubs soon!

51 comentários
What to wear?

    EMBARRRR

    Axbane

      You can't really dodge with SoF, right? It doesn't actually disjoint anything - it just gives off the illusion that it does.

      stressedsqrl

        imba spirit

        Erdős

          Sleight of Fist isn't a "no risk" skill. Many people forget that it returns you to where you casted it from, leaving you a sitting duck if you don't have a Remnant to port away to.

          Oh Shit Waddup

            no you can dodge stuff with SoF. its like a jug omni slash, he doesnt get affected by anything; BH, Chrono, ravage, normal stuns like svens etc. ofc if you go in the radius of BH or chrono before SoF you cant cast it during the effects of those spells obviously.

            crayhack

              Alex you can dodge with it, I have dodged quite the number of pubge's (yes pub+pudge) hooks with this and impales are easy to dodge. Pretty much anything with a cast point/wind up is easy to dodge with it, see them about to use it, cast on a bunch of units. Even harder though is dodging things when there are no units to cast on, that is something that I have rarely had success with.

              SimplySerenity

                I always thought ember was good, ever since I started playing the hero I've held a 70+% winrate with him, and just dumped on people in pubs. Do I think he needs nerfed? No, I think people should learn how to play against him, the same way most carries nerfed when they're emerging.

                Androgynous

                  @Alex

                  Yes you can, when you are in Sleight of Fist it's exactly like being in Phase Shift or Omnislash, the duration is 0.2 seconds x number of units caught in SOF. So more units, bigger timing window to dodge stuff. 4 units for example is like a level one Phase Shift and would last 0.8 seconds total

                  Kill'em With Kindness

                    "Sleight of Fist isn't a "no risk" skill. Many people forget that it returns you to where you casted it from, leaving you a sitting duck if you don't have a Remnant to port away to."

                    You know u can place a remnant during SoF right?

                    Mac_Lilypad [NL]

                      Is E-Blade (+linkens) legit on gember, cause with triple ult + searching chains you nuke (shotgun) people pretty hard

                      EmbeR

                        You can place a remnant during sleight of fists :)

                        XYYQ

                          I started playing ember and beat 5 records in 3 days. For me the scape mechanism and TP back Remenant are the main Power of Ember.
                          Hope he continues like this and receive no nerf

                          I'd hate to see ember spirit have the same fate of earth spirit

                          Sup m8

                            He is op...

                            The Perfect Speciment

                              Daedallus + BF.

                              Divergency

                                OP i think. I can use this hero very easily. Usually take mid-lane, really effective when facing well-known mid-laner hero such as Pudge, Tinker, SF and others. But not really durable.

                                aaty

                                  In my opinion he is the most "op" hero in the current meta, the ability to have total sustained farm, relocation and effectiveness throughout the entire game starting level 3, if you choose the (better) flame guard first (3,1,3,1,3,6) (2 if necessary) means he gains levels absurdly fast, counters pushes with ease and in my experience, one shots 3 heart-meepos for fun.

                                  Fearsome Doomguard

                                    I actually think the max flame guard build is really situational and bad in a lot of situations because it's very unreliable damage and has little lane presence mid unless you're lucky with your Q(and if you miss often, you go oom ASAP), and is why he was considered bad early when people always got it.

                                    Este comentário foi editado
                                    NumbSchiller

                                      I dont see any downside on this hero.
                                      Build in Radiance. 550 Spelldmg Block. SoF as instaescape every 5s or if you are kinda farmed you just stop a complete team with sof by punshing all of them down to ~50% life with 2 jumps. What can they do? Nothing. Double long ranged disable which just needs a little timing.
                                      And no I didnt mention his ultimate yet which can give you somewhat like global presense if you use it with some brain.

                                      Downside? He is squishy and kindy easy to kill early on. Thats it. Dont let him get farm. Dont let him get exp.

                                      I never though a hero was out of balance like this one.

                                      Perpetual State of Indiff...

                                        Fucking bullshit. I can't even believe how can someone have made such a hero. Only but ONLY thing bad about the hero is his low armor and terrible stat gain. That's it. The entire skillset is broken as well. 50 mana 700 range 6 CD teamwipe spell? Please give it to me. 500 magic damage shield that also does as much damage as a level 3 ion shell? Balanced for sure. And a double man 3 second ensnare that also deals 300 damage with only 8 seconds CD? Dude this hero sucks Kappa

                                        Este comentário foi editado
                                        eXceL

                                          It's kinda true, I played my first few games on ember ever recently, didn't really bot or practice... 15 games later i'm on 7+ KDA and 80% wr.

                                          Rikyako🌸

                                            Ember Spirit is the most technical hard carry hero for me. That's why I don't pick him, lol, but with proper use of skills and item builds, he could dominate the whole match. Ember's not -that- imba, though. He's easy to counter when you gank him to much.

                                            Nekoknight

                                              yeah, he's good, but he has downturns.
                                              first, searing chains is not a full stun. second, SoF is kinda weak compared to burst spells of ~300 dmg. His guard is good, but it only blocks dmg, it doesn't grant stun immunity. His ult is good, but take natures with his teleport.
                                              and to wipe the whole team in one SoF he needs to be farmed, very farmed.
                                              plus he's squishy, low armor, and his midgame is not as good as early and late.

                                              Biggsy

                                                He isn't imba. He is very easily shutdown by early ganks (much like storm spirit!). Cut his farm and xp advantage with early aggression (I can see roaming alch/SK/venge coming back on pro scene as a way to do this) and he will begin to feed as easily as a crystal maiden

                                                QuicK

                                                  orchid and doom ez game ez life

                                                  EmbeR

                                                    clinkz, doom counter him pretty well

                                                    Faded

                                                      ^ yeah

                                                      couldnt out carry a freaken clinkz :/

                                                      doom is well... what isnt he a counter to eh?

                                                      also bane, dazzle, DP are annoying

                                                      fiendsgrip for obvious reasons, grave/touch, dp's somewhat tankiness + ability to silence u with ease

                                                      Big Dick Barry
                                                        Este comentário foi excluído
                                                        NumbSchiller

                                                          Moreover SoF even hits hidden units. So you cant even juke this dude.

                                                          mamapootis

                                                            He's so OP.... Pro players and casters think that too. Him with a deso is death by snakes, and a DEADALOUS on that.. op-ist. *I cannot spell*

                                                            SleepyAF!!

                                                              see my pudge gameplay.... Match 590916409

                                                              lune

                                                                shit happens

                                                                † Ken1)ricK

                                                                  I don't think he's unbalanced, an average ember may cut through you in laning phase as would others rly strong early heros, but if u know to play against him you just need a long range disable or some control (like hex or silences) that's what ember suffers the most. Also, once ur underleveled as ember ur game is pretty much over ^^

                                                                  Wojo

                                                                    One point not made here is his huge BuyBack potential. If you're in a pivotal late game teamfight and happen to get killed with a remnant down, your buy-back can be very valuable as you can teleport back to the fight and proceed to clean up. Its very useful.

                                                                    ✪GOBLIN

                                                                      ember fanboys, ready to get rekted at 6.81

                                                                      Adrα

                                                                        Looking forward to this guy being nerfed to the ground next patch

                                                                        Big Dick Barry

                                                                          ember fanboys, ready to get rekted at 6.81

                                                                          12 years old dead inside

                                                                            imba spirit will die after next big patch. you heard it first Kappa

                                                                            Fleakachu

                                                                              Emba Motherfuckin spirit OP

                                                                              galaxy

                                                                                holy shit, just a month ago everyone thought ember was garbage trash, now everyone's saying he's too strong, MAKE YOUR MINDS UP

                                                                                Amo Ahmad Mehrabon

                                                                                  ty very useless article

                                                                                  John Sick

                                                                                    unless.

                                                                                    PROGRESS TA

                                                                                      "balance in all things"

                                                                                      -imba spirit

                                                                                      Aregluss

                                                                                        does anyone else find his 3rd skill very strong early on?

                                                                                        DULO

                                                                                          FIX YOUR SYSTEM! I GOT 2000000000000 K GAMES AND PLAY WITH PEOPLE WHO JUST START THE GAME!

                                                                                          Max Mayer

                                                                                            Ember is so fun to play, and its even funnier when you win 3 out of 4 games like i did (75 wr i mean is kinda imba, imba spirit)

                                                                                            LONELY CLOUD

                                                                                              Xin is not OP. He's squishy, has low stats gain. He's more like a mobile caster guy, sho's dependent on some right click damage items. Also he's getting absolutely useless during silence, thus can be killed in like 3 secs by whatever heroes. And i'm talking about Xin killers right now like Doom, Clinkz, Riki.
                                                                                              Some people just don't understand how to play versus ember atm. You just need some disables and a good guaranteed silence( Skywrath mage's like Or Global) And ember will eat shit whole game. And a decent phys damage guy since ember has low armor.

                                                                                              Este comentário foi editado
                                                                                              Mickey

                                                                                                NasledniknaDULO 3 days ago
                                                                                                "FIX YOUR SYSTEM! I GOT 2000000000000 K GAMES AND PLAY WITH PEOPLE WHO JUST START THE GAME! "

                                                                                                That's because you suck, abandon games and have a 47% win rate, lol :))

                                                                                                I have 400 games and play in high-very high skill bracket.

                                                                                                Imba spirit 11-1 games, KDA 7.24. Slightly op in the right hands :))

                                                                                                Asriel Dreemurr ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

                                                                                                  He's probably in low-priority, too c:

                                                                                                  im trash and trolling

                                                                                                    lol ember is a nice hero, tho hes op, but you have to train the combo and the build. it is not so easy to play rite?

                                                                                                    Vanya

                                                                                                      for me ember is easy in early game and i feed with in in late game ._. i really dont know how to play him