"Did the earth move for you too?"
Earthshaker is a melee strength hero who is usually played as a support and initiator. Earthshaker possesses an array of abilities that makes him great at crowd control and deadly against grouped-up enemies. Earthshaker's primary ability is his Fissure, a strong disable that not only stuns, but also temporarily forms an impassable wall, making it not only a deadly stun but one with great utility, as it can be used to save allies or cut off creep waves. He also has a strong passive with Aftershock, which gives an additional stun and does additional damage, making his spell combinations more potent and letting him stun lock enemies for a short while. His Enchant Totem's damage boost is nothing to write home about, but its low cooldown and cheap mana cost makes it spammable enough to be used to trigger Aftershock. Finally, Earthshaker has a strong initiation spell with his ultimate, Echo Slam, which gets increased damage the more enemies it catches within the spell, making it extremely potent against enemy pushes and fairly powerful in teamfights. Unfortunately, Earthshaker's mana pool is relatively low, common for Strength heroes but a big problem for a hero that relies so heavily on his abilities. With good mana management and smart positioning, Earthshaker can shake things up at any teamfight.
- 1 Abilities
- 2 Skill and Item Builds
- 3 Strategy
- Ability: Target Unit, Target Point
- Affects: Enemy Heroes
- Damage Type: Magical
- Damage: 125 / 175 / 225 / 275
- Fissure Duration: 8
- Stun Duration: 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75
- Mana Cost: 125 / 140 / 155 / 170
- Cooldown: 15
Fissure makes Earthshaker split the ground, creating an impassable line of rock and stunning enemies. Not only does it stun, it can also trap enemy heroes, denying them an escape route and ensuring an easy kill. It isn't necessary to block enemies with it, since most of the time the stun alone will be sufficient, but it is still something you should try constantly. It can also be used to protect your allies from pursuers, by using the ridge to slow them down or force them to take a different path. Note that since allies also can't pass through Fissure, you can sometimes make a situation worse by trapping a teammate on the wrong side of the wall of rock, so be careful with your aim.
- Ability: No Target
- Bonus: 100% / 200 %/ 300% / 400%
- Duration: 1 attack or 14 seconds
- Mana Cost: 50
- Cooldown: 5
Enchant Totem causes your next attack to do bonus damage. This ability might sound boring, but it synergises very well with your passive ability. It is cheap in terms of mana cost for activating Aftershock, and it has a low cooldown to boot. Do not underestimate the bonus damage it grants. At level 4, you can be doing as much as 5 times your normal damage.
- Ability: Passive
- Damage Type: Magical
- Damage: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125
- Radius: 300
- Stun Duration: 0.6 / 0.9 / 1.2 / 1.5
Aftershock makes you create a shockwave that stuns and damages enemies every time you use an ability. It synergises greatly with your other abilities, making Enchant Totem more effective and making your Fissure and Echo Slam even more powerful.
- Ability: No Target
- Damage Type: Magical
- Damage: 200 / 265 / 340
- Radius: 500
- Echo Damage: 40 / 55 / 70
- Mana Cost: 145 / 205 / 265
- Cooldown: 150 / 130 / 110
Echo Slam deals damage to a wide area around you. Every enemy that is hit will echo, doing bonus damage to everyone else. Catch a big group of enemies with one Echo Slam and you can do immense damage. This is your main initiation skill, useful for activating to counter pushes. It also deals good damage during teamfights, provided that you manage to catch more than 3 enemy heroes in one slam.
Aghanim's Scepter can be bought for Earthshaker and will make each enemy hero caught in Echo Slam's radius to echo twice.
Skill and Item Builds
Suggested Skill Build
Get Fissure at level 1 and always max it by level 7, since it is your main source of damage and a very useful stun. At level 2, get Aftershock to improve your Fissure and get Enchant Totem at either level 3 or 4 for a cheap spell to activate Aftershock. After you max Fissure, max Aftershock second, since you rely far more on your spells than physical damage. Max Enchant Totem last, as its mana cost and cooldown remains the same throughout all levels and rarely gets used outside of triggering Aftershock. Get your ultimate Echo Slam at the standard levels 6, 11 and 16.
Suggested Item Build
As Earthshaker can contribute a lot with his spells alone, he is usually played as a support and gets less farm than his teammates. However, any items that boosts his mana pool and regeneration, lets him survive in a teamfight or simply lets him pull of a worthwhile Echo Slam are great choices for Earthshaker.
Starting off, any combination of Iron Branches, Tangos and Healing Salves should be good enough. You may also want to get Clarities due to your horrible early-game mana pool, letting you use Fissures more in case you miss a kill attempt with one or want to be more aggressive in lane. Get the courier or wards if you're the support and no one else has purchased them. You might even go for a straight Bottle is you're playing as a roamer, though that leaves you for no gold for anything else.
A Magic Stick upgraded into a Magic Wand is generally a cost-effective item for instant regeneration, especially for mana. You should also get a Boots of Speed to help with positioning and for your eventual boot upgrade. A Bracer is optional, but it provides a good mix of stats that is affordable enough for any support.
A Blink Dagger is definitely recommended when using Earthshaker, as it lets you blink into groups of enemies to pull off surprise Echo Slams, greatly improving your ability to initiate teamfights. Your boot upgrade should be Arcane Boots, since you are so reliant on spells yet often starved of mana. After these two items, any more items you get will be a luxury, so feel free to help with warding or get more Bracers for further survivability.
An Aghanim's Scepter will greatly amplify your Echo Slam damage, but remember that it only does increased echo damage for every hero. It is quite useful against illusion-based heroes like Phantom Lancer, as their illusions count as heroes, potentially skyrocketing Echo Slam's damage. An Eul's Scepter of Divinity, a Rod of Atos or even a Scythe of Vyse will grant you an additional disable. A Ghost Scepter is a good defensive item to protect yourself against carries. A Shiva's Guard will give you a very helpful aura while giving you a lot of Intelligence. A Heart of Tarrasque is the ultimate survivability item if you can afford it, greatly increasing your stayability in teamfights.
During the laning phase, you will most likely find yourself as a lane support or as a roamer. As the lane support, you should constantly be looking to land a perfectly aimed Fissure at the right time. As your melee range means that you're not very effective with harassing and denying, you will usually find yourself hidden behind the tree line of the lanes. Anytime your enemies wander too far into your territory, dropping a Fissure will all but ensure a kill, or force a severely wounded opponent off the lane. In a trilane, you will fare a little better, as you have another support to help out and pull jungle camps, giving you more time to focus on the lane itself.
Roaming with Earthshaker is quite possible but very risky. Your Fissure is a really good roaming spell, as you can almost guarantee a kill on an opponent caught by it if there are teammates nearby. However, your early-game mana pool is very small, which means you need to have some form of mana regeneration. Clarities are an obvious choice, but you can even go for a Bottle. Played well, you can give your team a great advantage during the early-game, but if you fail to get enough kills, you can wound up underfarmed.
During the mid-game, you can roam around to find potential kills, preferably with some allies. Your Fissure is always immensely useful for trapping enemies, and now you should have enough mana to use it multiple times before running out. By now you should also have Echo Slam which, while it is more effective during teamfights, can be used to tack on extra damage and an extra stun if you need to secure a kill. When pushing, Fissure can help clear creep waves, but make sure you have enough mana left in case a teamfight breaks out.
If there aren't any better heroes for initiating, you will likely have to do this task yourself. Echo Slam is a great way to weaken the enemy team as a teamfight starts, but it will be hard to catch many heroes or survive long enough to even drop an Echo Slam until you get a Blink Dagger. Fissure is a decent alternative, and its stun will give allies and yourself time to jump in and do damage while they're still vulnerable. Once you get a Blink Dagger, your initiation power becomes much stronger. Try to remain outside enemy vision before a teamfight, such as hiding on high ground, so that you don't lose the element of surprise. Once you see a good opportunity, such as the enemy team grouping up together, blink in and use your Echo Slam to soften up the enemy team.
Late-game, your spell damage starts to fall off, but nevertheless they remain quite useful. Fissure is still a great stun and trap, while Echo Slam can still be quite threatening if you catch enough units with it, particularly if an enemy has bought and activated a Manta Style. What worked during the mid-game should still work here, except that enemies generally get tankier and the threat of carries are much larger.
Aftershock directly synergizes with every other ability you have due to its stun and damage. A Fissure can be followed up with an Echo Slam and vice versa, letting you do huge burst damage to a group of enemies. Enchant Totem can trigger one last Aftershock you use up your other spells, letting you keep your enemies stunned for a little longer.
Any hero with a strong or reliable disable can set up your Fissure or follow up after it, such as Sven or Leshrac. Heroes with the ability to draw enemies close together, like Dark Seer or Magnus, can easily set up an Echo Slam.
Like most other spellcasters, Earthshaker is vulnerable to mana draining abilities that will eat away at his already abysmal mana pool and silences that will render him effectively useless. Magic immunity such as a Black King Bar is a defensive counter to Earthshaker, since none of his spells outside of Echo Slam's low base damage can go through magic immunity.