Void Spirit is one of Dota 2’s most enigmatic heroes.
Two of his abilities suggest that he is a roaming support that sets up kills. The others suggest he is a pursuit-focused carry built around his basic attack. In reality, the hero is something else entirely.
Early signs indicate that Void Spirit’s greatest strength lies in his AOE magic damage potential. Top players have been looking to amplify his abilities as a nuker and disabler for dominance in the early and mid game, while holding off on his right-click potential until the very end.
Players have gone about this in very different ways.
Void Spirit has a diverse set of spells that allow him to threaten enemies and preserve his own life in a number of different ways.
Aether Remnant is a versatile disable. The spell uses vector targeting, placing a copy of Void Spirit on the map. Enemy units that cross through the remnant’s line of sight are pulled towards it for up to 1.8 seconds, similar to Keeper of the Light’s Will o’ Wisp spell, and absorb up to 230 damage.
The remnants remain on the map for up to 20 seconds, which means units can be chained into multiple remnants under the right circumstances. The remnants can be used both offensively and defensively, and can synergize with allied units’ skill shots.
Void Spirit’s W spell, Dissimilate, functions somewhat similar to Phantom Lancer’s Doppelganger. Except instead of spawning illusions, Dissimilate deals damage within an AOE selected while Void Spirit is hidden. At level 25, players can add a three-second stun to this with the talent tree.
Alongside this disable and escapability is Resonant Pulse. The ability deals damage in a circular AOE around Void Spirit and gives him shield that protects him from physical damage. The shield’s strength increases with each enemy hero hit by the pulse around him.
Astral Step is Void Spirit’s ultimate. The spell sees him jump to a targeted area, dealing attack damage to all enemy units along the path with a chance of proccing any attack modifiers Void Spirit has. All units are briefly slowed and take bonus magical damage.
Void Spirit is a core hero and relies heavily on both spells and items, making him best suited for the mid lane. An early advantage in levels and farm allows him to have significant impact in team fights in the early and mid game.
The tricky thing with Void Spirit at the moment is both his skill pathing and itemization is entirely situational, tasking players to read the game and their opponent in order to be most effective. There are some best practices to keep in mind, however.
Against most opponents, maxing Dissimilate is the best option, followed by Resonant Pulse. Maxing Resonant Pulse can be a good decision when laning against certain physical damage dealers like Templar Assassin and Sniper, but in most cases Dissimilate is the better option. Regardless, focusing levels in those two spells offers incredibly efficient wave clear alongside strong magical damage.
Getting more than one level in Aether Remnant is inadvisable. Though it can be of some use, it comes at the direct expense of the potent wave clear and AOE damage that the Dissimilate and Resonant Pulse combination offers.
Itemization is flexible, but while one might be tempted to bolster the physical damage potential of Astral Step with items like Daedalus or Desolator, accentuating the hero’s magical burst is the way to go. Once again, this can be done effectively in a number of different ways depending on the enemy team composition.
Veil of Discord is a great first item that is affordable, provides good stats, and further boosts the power of Resonant Pulse and Dissimilate. That said, if other teammates won’t benefit from Veil, Eul’s Scepter offers strong mana regeneration as well as a setup tool for Dissimilate and Aether Remnant. The middle ground here is Kaya, which offers an extra bit of magic damage and some mana regen.
From there, Void Spirit’s itemization options remain flexible. Kaya can be built into either Bloodstone or Yasha and Kaya. Orchid Malevolence is another strong choice, giving Void Spirit another boost in one-on-one battles alongside a great deal of mana regeneration. Radiance synergizes with Dissimilation and Veil of Discord, making it another solid option. If the team needs even more magical burst against heroes like Phantom Assassin or Windranger, Dagon is definitely viable.
Once the late game arrives, Black King Bar is likely a must in order to assure that Void Spirit can maintain his output during team fights. From there, the priority is to fully upgrade any other previously purchased items. Finally, players can look to close out the game with the traditional intelligence hero item choices such as Scythe of Vyce and Shiva’s Guard.
Because Void Spirit hasn’t yet been added to the professional tournament hero tool, pro players have not yet begun experimenting with him en masse. The one pro to really dive into the hero to this point is Lee “Forev” Sang-don. The T1 player has begun regularly using the hero in his role and has settled into using the hero as an offlane physical damage dealer.
In terms of skill pathing, maxing Resonant Pulse is preferable to Dissimilation. The increased potency of the shield from having multiple enemy heroes in lane makes it a bit more valuable in dual lanes than in solo lanes. Though one might jump to the conclusion that Aether Remnant would be more valuable in dual lane, it remains unreliable and shouldn’t be leveled more than once in the early game.
Though the extra 0.6 seconds of lockdown from maxing remnant can be helpful and has some fun and silly applications like luring enemies into Techies mines, the extra damage and decreased cooldown still favors leveling Dissimilate after maxing Resonant Pulse.
Forev goes for Phase Boots and then promptly builds Kaya. While this isn’t radically different from the mid lane magical build, he then goes into Desolator.
Depending on the situation and enemy team composition, he then builds a Yasha or heads straight into a Black King Bar. Once those two items are completed, he transitions into Divine Rapier. Once he hits level 25, he goes with the Astral Step talent which bestows a critical hit on impact rather than the Dissimilation bonus stun.
The combination of Kaya, BKB, Divine Rapier, and the Astral Step talent deals over 1,000 damage with each cast of Astral Step before resistances and with two charges, Void Spirit can cut down squishy supports before they even have the chance to react.
It is unclear whether this will end up being the go-to build once the hero is available in pro competitions, but this build offers almost peerless physical burst damage to go along with Void Spirit’s natural mobility.
As of this writing, Void Spirit enjoys one of the best win rates in casual Dota 2. Counter-picking Void Spirit only seems to be of moderate helpfulness at this point. That said, nerfs will inevitably come for the hero, and even before then his weaknesses are fairly obvious.
Though Void Spirit’s elusiveness and physical tankiness can make him a tough opponent, he is susceptible in the mid lane to enemy heroes with potent magical nukes. Storm Spirit, Tinker, and Queen of Pain all fit this bill.
Into the mid game, he struggles with any heroes that have potent lockdown tools, particularly any reliable silences or roots. Crystal Maiden, Death Prophet, and Ember Spirit will likely be troublesome for him moving forward.
As for his best allies, in the early game slows and stuns are helpful for setting up Dissimilate. Should players opt to pick up Veil of Discord, its effects can benefit other allies as well. This makes Lion, Venomancer, and Ogre Magi solid support options.