With Patch 7.07 upon us, here’s all the crucial information you need to get rolling with Dota 2’s new pangolin.
As of November 1, the new Dota 2 patch 7.07 has been released and with it two new heroes, Pangolier and Dark Willow. A lot has changed, more than we can possibly break down in one post, but here’s some useful information on Pangolier to help get you started.
Pangolier is classified as an initiating carry with high nuke damage and escape potential, but that still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. How does that translate in game and when should you consider picking him? How should his abilities be used and what items are worth picking up? So before Weatherman Purge or any of the pros figure him out, here’s the lowdown on Pangolier, his moves, skills and strengths.
A two-part dash ability and your primary source of damage; you target your desired destination and then the direction you wish to aim your AOE attack. Swashbuckle is a physical damage ability that deals four separate hits on everything in the target area: it has a travel range of 1,000 and an attack range of 900; this is all in the info panel but the most important thing about this ability is that each strike counts as a right click melee hit. This ranged AOE nuke can trigger Skull Basher, Sange’s maim, Orb of Venom, Skadi, Desolator, Diffusal Blade and even Pangolier’s passive Heartpiercer. With low cost and cooldown, Swashbuckle is your bread and butter, for fights, pushing and flash farming. Get those supports stacking early.
A stationary close-range AOE nuke with a respectable amount of damage. At level four, Pangolier takes 14 percent less damage over the next 10 seconds for every enemy hero hit. If all five of the enemy team are hit by Shield Crash, Pangolier receives a 70 percent damage reduction, which really is rather ridiculous. This ability can be used during Pangolier’s ult and becomes mobile, meaning this wrecking ball is a brilliant initiate.
Heartpiercer is a passive ability that has a 15-percent chance to trigger for every hit – this includes all creeps. Heartpiercer, after a two-second delay, slows and negates all armour on the afflicted enemies; each subsequent level increases the ability’s duration and it is impossible to dispel. This ability can be activated via Swashbuckle and, with a little luck, can see the entire enemy team fighting with zero armour. Because this ability reduces the target’s armour to a flat zero, this only becomes more and more powerful as the game goes on.
Rolling Thunder sees Pangolier emulating Earth Spirit: he curls up into a ball and rolls wherever directed. You do still have a modicum of control during the ult, however Pangolier’s turning ability is equivalent to that of a double-decker bus at full speed. At max level, Rolling Thunder deals 300 damage on every impact and stuns for 1.5 seconds. While in ult form you’re able to roll through trees, but hitting a wall bounces Pangolier back, allowing for subsequent hits and possible stun locking.
Level 10: +35 movement speed vs + 2 mana regen
Level 15: +30 attack speed vs 2s Shield Crash cooldown in Ball
Level 20: +20 strength vs + 30 Swashbuckle damage
Level 25: -12 second Rolling Thunder vs -3s Swashbuckle cooldown
What does this all mean? What talents should I pick?
Pangolier is an ability-reliant carry, so depending on what your team is going to need late game, you have two options; you can either maximise your DPS with the respective talents, or focus more on your initiation and tankiness with the two-second Shield Crash cooldown while ulting, +20 strength and the Rolling Thunder cooldown reduction, taking it from 40 seconds to 28.
As you’ll be Swashbuckling in nearly every situation imaginable, the first problem you’re going to run into is mana. Bear in mind this patch’s change to mana and regen, the level-10 talent turns your base mana regen of 1.5 to 4.8. It’s a massive boost, but throw in a magic wand and a ring of aquila and at level 10 you’re playing with 6.0 mana regen. At max level, all of Pangolier’s abilities cost between 100-120 mana and all have low cooldowns, so dashing through the jungle and flash farming is the way to go.
What about items?
Starting with your basic tangos, stout shield and items to later build into a magic wand is a safe way to start a game. However, if you want to go big and you have a reliable support to back you up, you can stomp your lane with an orb of venom. Once you hit level two, level up Swashbuckle and Heartpiercer and you’ll be able to hit the enemy hero as many times as is necessary for your passive to trigger allowing you to both bring the pain before they can retreat to their tower. This strategy only works if the enemy starts with high armour or has abilities that grant them bonus armour (such as Ogre Magi, Night Stalker, Axe, Timber Saw and so on).
Boots? Again that depends on what you want. As a carry, Power Treads are always safe, but Phase Boots are the way to go if you want to run down the enemy early on, and are a great way to mitigate the movement speed loss at level 10 if you do pick the mana regen.
An item that works brilliantly is Sange and Yasha. The melee effect of maim can trigger with Swashbuckle over an AOE, and the stats are exactly what you need mid game: health, agility and a big increase in movement speed. The instant slow from Sange helps alleviates the two second Heartpiercer delay to activate and when both are combined, makes escape incredibly difficult.
Kaya, one of the new items being described as the intelligence equivalent of Yasha, grants a nice boost in intelligence and a 10 percent spell amplification, which really stacks up your damage. Diffusal Blade is also a great item to pick up: if you hit a Swashbuckle on the enemy team that’s 200 mana burned from all of them. Eye of Skadi is another great item, great stats and another added slow which makes kiting the enemy carry child’s play. If you need a bit of disable Abyssal Blade’s Bash (which can add another 100 damage to Swashbuckle) and the added health/regen doesn’t go amiss either.
Okay, so how do I beat Pangolier?
With the latest change to how armour is calculated, its damage reduction and the nerf to Desolator, patch 7.07 is the perfect storm for Pangolier’s passive Heartpiercer. Any hero that relies on high armour to survive is easy pickings for Pangolier. The best way to counter this is through sheer strength: tank up with high health and the only way a Pangolier has a chance to kill you is if they invest in a Daedalus (It’s important to note that you can’t crit with Swashbuckle).
The best way to kill Pangolier is to lock him down with stuns, silence, the usual. If all he can do is right click without getting off a single Shield Crash or Swashbuckle, he’s going to be an easy kill. The best way to prevent this as a Pangolier player is, of course, spell immunity, BKB or Linken’s, depending on who you’re against.
When should Pangolier be picked?
If the enemy team has high armour or enemies that need to be kited, such as Sven or Ursa, consider Pangolier. If the enemy is focused on ganking or roaming with Spirit Breaker or Pudge, Pangolier isn’t a bad choice either. If you’re against an illusion-based carry, Phantom Lancer, Chaos Knight and Meepo in particular, more targets means more chances for Heartpiercer to trigger, so again think about Pangolier.
Most importantly, assuming you’re building a diffusal (which you should), it’s the high armour mana-dependent heroes that you want to fight against. Timbersaw is a prime target, as well as Faceless Void and Enigma, a single Swashbuckle could put them below the mana they need to use their big ults.
There’s still much more about Pangolier to figure out, but hopefully this gets you started on the right side of the win/loss ratio. GL,HF.