"The mist that chills you keeps me warm."
Drow Ranger is a ranged agility hero that is played as a hard carry. Like most carries, Drow Ranger relies on building up her high physical attack damage to be a big threat in fights, a feat made easier by her abilities. Drow Ranger has a good Unique Attack Modifier with Frost Arrows, letting her keep her distance against approaching enemies or slow down fleeing targets. Her Gust gives her protection against spellcasters, which is vital as she has no natural escape mechanism. She also has two strong passives that increase her damage. Precision Aura improves the damage of not only herself, but also all allied ranged Heroes on the map. Her Marksmanship is a stronger damage boost, giving her a huge chunk of agility every time she levels it up, but only if she is a certain distance from enemy heroes. Drow Ranger is one of the most straightforward carries in the game, making her a recommended hero for beginners to practise with. However, her lack of an escape mechanism and poor health pool, not to mention the mechanics of Marksmanship, means that positioning is crucial when playing her against more experienced players.
- Ability: Auto-Cast, Target Unit
- Affects: Enemy Heroes
- Move Slow: 11% / 24% / 37% / 60%
- Mana Cost: 12
Frost Arrows causes your next attack to slow enemy heroes for 1.5 seconds and slow enemy creeps by 7 seconds. It can also be autocast, applying its effects on every attack you do as long as you have the mana. Using Frost Arrows on a single enemy will not cause the slow to stack, but merely resets its duration. It is a Unique Attack Modifier, and thus cannot stack with other Unique Attack Modifiers. An 11% slow at level 1 is already much higher that what the Orb of Venom grants, and at level 4 it becomes a ridiculous 60% slow, making it a very potent spell. During the laning phase, it is excellent for harassment due to a technique called orb-walking. By manually casting Frost Arrows and targeting an enemy hero, you can attack that hero without causing enemy creeps to attack you, which will usually happen when you attack a hero with a normal attack. That means that you can keep attacking heroes using Frost Arrows without worrying about getting damaged too much by creeps, letting you harass your enemies with ease. Outside of harassment, the strong slow can also be utilized to prevent wounded enemies from escaping, as well as slowing the approach of melee heroes that intend to attack you.
- Ability: Target Point
- Radius: 250
- Duration: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
- Mana Cost: 90
- Cooldown: 13
Silence sends out a wave that renders any enemy in the targeted area to lose the ability to cast spells for a certain period, as well as get knocked back a bit depending on their distance with you. While an ability like this might seem odd for a hard carry, it nullifies the biggest threats against your survival, which are disables and high burst damage. The brief few seconds of silence gives you more time to flee if you're getting ganked, while it can render a spellcaster defenseless if you or your team decide to target them. The knockback effect can also be used to push enemies out of the deactivation range of Marksmanship.
- Ability: No Target, Aura
- Affects: Allies
- Ranged Damage Bonus: 18% / 24% / 30% / 36%
- Cooldown: 120
Precision Aura globally increases the damage of allied ranged heroes within a 900 AoE radius around you. The ability can also be manually cast to apply its effects on every allied ranged non-hero units on the map for 30 seconds. It is a percentage-based buff, so it doesn't grant a lot of extra damage early in the game, but gives a more noticeable increase when you're farmed. The manually cast part of the spell can come in handy for some extra damage during pushes.
- Ability: Passive
- Bonus Agility: 40 / 60 / 80
Marksmanship gives you a lot of bonus agility, though the effect is lost when there are enemy heroes in a 400 unit radius. While it doesn't sound very remarkable, when you do the math you will gain about 11.2 armor, 80 IAS and 80 damage by level 3. Your attack range easily outranges the area in which the agility bonus will be removed, though you'll need to be more careful with your positioning to make sure it stays active. With Marksmanship, you can start dealing a lot of damage during teamfights before other hard carries. You can also use it to detect invisible heroes close to you, as the buff will be deactivated if an enemy invisible hero gets within 375 range.
Skill and Item Builds
Suggested Skill Build
Frost Arrow-centric Build
This build gives a lot of focus on Frost Arrows for harassment. Max Frost Arrows by level 7 as they are an easy harassment spell, since they don't draw creep aggro. For levels 2 and 4, get one level in Silence and Precision Aura depending on the situation. Get Silence earlier if you fear ganks or Precision Aura earlier if you have good supports to protect you and want to last-hit easier. Max Precision Aura next to maximize your physical damage, then max Silence last. Get Marksmanship as soon as you can, at the levels 6, 11 and 16.
Suggested Item Build
Starting off, get a combination of Healing Salves and Tangos for lane stayability as well as some Iron Branches for stats. You can also get some Slippers of Agility for an easier time last-hitting.
Boots of Speed is a standard item to get for extra speed and can for your boot upgrade. You can upgrade your Iron Branches into a Magic Wand for survivability and your Slippers of Agility into Wraith Bands for a mix of stats and more damage.
It is recommended that you upgrade your boots into Power Treads, as the flexibility of stat switching as well as the attack speed it gives will benefit you greatly. A Manta Style will add more damage and attack speed as well as increase your damage output and purge certain debuffs with Mirror Image. A Shadow Blade gives you a decent escape mechanism as well as increasing your damage output even more. For survivability, a Black King Bar will prevent you from getting killed by burst magical damage, especially after you've used your Silence.
A Helm of the Dominator will give you lifesteal for increased survivability as well as the ability to dominate creeps, and can be upgraded into a Satanic later. A Daedalus gives you a strong critical strike as well as increasing your normal damage. A Butterfly is the ultimate agility carry item, giving you tons of damage, attack speed and evasion to further increase your survivability.