The Easiest Sniper Dota 2 Guide to climb ranks
Sniper is arguably the easiest hero to play for newcomers. It is also the recommended Dota 2 hero in tutorials, so surely every player knows the basics of Dota 2 Sniper.
Yet behind Sniper’s simple gameplay is an elaborate and situational win condition a well-versed player must achieve.
Sniper Dota Skills
On paper, Sniper is among the squishiest agility hero to play. His skills are all damage-oriented except for his third skill, Take Aim, which increases the attack range. This makes him vulnerable and an easy target to eliminate in fights so that he doesn’t deal damage.
Speaking of damage, his second skill, Headshot, is the main source of damage. It serves as an auto-attack modifier, which procs 40% of the time to slow and knock back enemies. As such, an ideal Sniper Dota 2 build includes maximizing the instances of Headshot via increased attack speed or scenarios where Sniper remains on the battlefield for a long time.
Sniper’s other sources of damage are magical damage from Shrapnel and Assassinate. The former skill is great as an AOE slow to prevent opponents from getting too close to Sniper, while Assassinate is great for finishing off escaping low-health enemies.
The Aghanim’s Shard and Scepter effects are great additions for Dota 2 Snipers as they give additional mobility and utility. Concussive Grenade, which is enabled via Aghanim’s Shard, knocks Sniper and enemy units from the target area. While Scepter transforms Assassinate into a swifter stun-delivering skill.
Sniper Dota 2 Builds
While the general Sniper build the Dota 2 client offers in-game leave something to be desired, those from Torte de Lini or ImmortalFaith are great. Here’s a Sniper Dota 2 build taken from the highest MMR Dota 2 Player from Eastern Europe, Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko.
Pure from BetBoom recently played a fantastic Sniper match, which highlighted his versatile build for laning and progressive itemization. In the laning phase, Pure opted for Headshot and prioritized skilling Shrapnel, which was exponentially stronger than its former level, dealing twice the damage and slow, was a key factor in harassing his opponent.
It’s important to note that Pure’s Sniper revolved around Shrapnel’s strong advantage in the early game, such that he got an Infused Raindrop. The item is effective against opponents that deal high nuke skills as it blocks damage and offers 0.8 mana regen. All these add up to letting Sniper spam active skills in the lane.
If your supports haven’t already stacked the jungle, a quick ping on the camp would do the job. That’s because with Sniper’s maxed Shrapnel, it becomes an effective flash-farming skill too. Dragon Lance and Mask of Madness are great midgame items that can later build into luxury items.
Often, the enemy heroes would have strong lockdowns to catch Sniper players, so Pure’s decision to buy Mask of Madness offers sustainability regardless of the circumstance. If he gets into a bad position, there’s a lower chance of survival in escape than just standing ground and auto-attacking. On the offensive side, the synergy of using Take Aim before MoM gives Sniper the highest frequency to proc Headshots, which can deal up to 140 damage per proc.
Sniper Dota 2 Build for late-game hard carry
Sniper’s early to midgame dominance eventually fades away in the late game when opponents have the means to catch and kill Sniper. Hence, the next recommended item is BKB, which prevents pesky support heroes from landing disables. It’s a lifesaver against strong lockdowns, and a misstep by your opponent’s supports can quickly spell their death by Headshots.
After BKB, any luxury damage-dealing item works wonders, such as Eyes of Skadi, MKB, or Mjolnir. However, if utility items are more effective against certain enemy heroes, the Gleipnir or Silver Edge. With BetBoom’s phenomenal victory in the DPC 2023, Pure’s Sniper Dota 2 build is certainly a perfect example.
Unconventional Sniper Dota 2 Build
Sniper’s versatile utility skills have opened up alternative playstyles to the typical hard carry Dota 2 Sniper build. Position 4 Sniper, which revolves around maxing Shrapnel and rushing Aghanim’s Scepter can work situationally.
However, considering how powerful Sniper’s Headshot passive is, a support Sniper is losing out on damage output.
Sniper is easily among the best Dota 2 heroes to climb ranks, and the general opinion of Dota 2 players on Sniper pickers is they are poorly skilled. Hence, Sniper often doesn’t get banned nor countered until the enemies realized how powerful Sniper is on the battlefield.