By Mohammad Abubakr
Techies has been one of the most hyped and anticipated heroes to be ported to Dota 2. Even before The International 3, Dota 2 players had been looking forward to the release of this hero. With The International 4, it was clear that Techies’ release was close as hinted by the compendium stretch goals. He was finally unveiled during the all stars match at The International 4 along when Arteezy’s sniper pick changed into Techies. That was truly a great moment, you could hear the excitement from the crowd.
Techies is an intelligence based hero that relies on mines to kill their (Techies is the name of a group) enemies. He has an interesting play style where you need to use mind games and traps to come out on top. You cannot just run into a team fight and expect to come out victorious, enemies must fall into your traps. As we will see from their skills, Techies requires both teams to change their play styles.
Before we get to their play style, let us go over their arsenal of skills. Techies’ first ability, Land Mines, plants an invisible mine that explodes when an enemy steps near it. The closer the enemy is to the center of the mine, the more damage they will take. There is a limit of 20 mines that can be placed at one time, planting new ones will cause the oldest mines to explode. These mines are triggered both by players and creeps making them great both for pushing and setting traps. However, they must be placed in clever locations that are not obvious so that enemy players cannot simply plant wards and kill the mines. These land mines also deal damage to buildings and can be used to destroy enemy bases.
Their second ability Stasis Trap places an invisible trap that is also triggered by nearby enemy units. This trap has an activation time of 2 seconds and can be easily dodged by enemies. For this reason this skill is not invested in early on as it will only be successful with setup stuns or during the chaos that is a team fight.
Their third ability, Suicide Squad, Attack!, is my favourite. This ability deals massive damage at the cost of Techies’ own life. Like the Land Mines ability, full damage is done to enemies close to the explosion. This ability deals 650 damage at level one and can be used for easy first bloods. Since it results in Techies committing suicide, enemies do not receive any gold or experience. Additionally, the respawn time is reduced by 50% when Techies is killed by this ability. To balance this ability, the cooldown ranges from 180 – 150 seconds.
Remote Mines is Techies’ ultimate ability which works similar to the Land Mines but these mines must be manually detonated. There is no limit to the number of Remote Mines on the map. This ability is the ultimate rat killer, that is heroes that just focus on pushing and run from team fights. Simply plant these mines near towers and watch rats die.
While initially a new ability only with the Techies arcana set, Valve gave Techies a new Minefield Sign ability. This ability costs nothing and simply places a sign warning enemies to step lightly. Only one sign can be placed at a time and it can be used to play mind games with the enemy. Is there really a mine field there or will I die by stepping around it?
As far as skill priority goes, players will want to focus on Land Mines first as Techies’ entire play style revolves around setting up mines. Stasis Trap can usually be skipped until later on but one value point can help save your life. Simply plant a Stasis Trap behind your towers to prevent enemy dives. Suicide should be leveled whenever it is not possible to level Land Mines. Of course Remote Mines will always be skilled when possible. Minefield Sign does not take any points.
I prefer to lane Techies in the offlane due to their ability to plant defensive mines preventing enemies from killing him without taking casualties. Simply plant Land Mines away from the creep wave but near your tower preferably covering ganking routes. If enemies run at you with the intent to kill, retreat towards your mines. While Techies’ auto attack damage is terrible, once enemies are harassed to a low enough health, feel free to use Suicide to secure a kill, especially for that delicious first blood gold.
For items, you will want to start with some stat items to improve your auto attack damage such as a null talisman and preferably be pooled regeneration. With a terrible attack animation and a measly 35 damage, it will be very hard to last hit or harass. However, you can still trade auto attacks with enemies due to your high starting armor. After farming some gold, items that give mana such as soul ring and arcane boots are recommended to allow for a lot of mine placements. During the mid to late game stages, items are up to personal preference. You can focus on items such as Shiva’s Guard for increased survivability and intelligence or simply focus on mobility items. I personally recommend and prefer items such as Blink Dagger, Force Staff, and Eul’s Scepter for increased mobility. These items allow you to setup suicides by getting close to enemies. Force Staff can also be used to push enemies into your mines.
As mentioned above, both teams need to change their play style whenever a Techies’ is in game. The enemy team needs to watch their step and use items providing true sight to kill invisible mines. Necro books work great as they can both detect and kill invisible mines. Another great item against Techies is Blademail, if you’re going to die, might as well take Techies with you.
Techies’ allies need to play around mine setups and avoid random fights. You should try and take fights which will result in enemies stepping into your mines either when advancing or retreating. Heroes such as Pudge and Vengeful Spirit work great with Techies’ since they let you pull enemies into minefields.
While Techies was much anticipated, it was sad to see the reactions of players when a teammate picks Techies. The pick is treated like an instant loss, players think they have no chance of winning if someone picks Techies. This is the same mentality towards Meepo pickers. However, like Meepo, a player that knows how to make use of Techies’ skill set is a pain to play against. In random public matches where fights are spontaneous it might be harder to win with Techies but I am looking forward to well co-ordinated teams making use of this fun and unique hero.
The latest Dota 2 update also came with some other exciting additions such as the new All Random Deathmatch game mode. This fun game mode gives all players a random hero every time they die. The game is played on the traditional map but instead of just winning by destroying the ancient, teams can also lose by depleting their shared 40 respawns. Every time a player dies and respawns, one respawn is used. If there are no respawns remaining, you remain dead until your entire team dies at which point the game will end. This is a fun to play game mode that should not be taken too seriously. It can be quite fun to play but like Ability Draft, do not expect any balance as you may end up with a bad team composition.
Other changes with this update include the A to Z challenge which challenges players to win games with each hero while tracking stats and a new Gallery of Triumphs which is similar to an achievement system. I hope these achievements don’t result in players changing their play style simply to gain achievements but I trust Valve knows what they are doing.
Conclusion: Techies is a great addition to the Dota 2 roster.
In conclusion, I am very happy with this update and its addition of Techies to the Dota 2 roster. I am really looking forward to seeing how top level players utilize this hero and if it will be popular in competitive play. I am hoping to see a balance patch soon as we tend to see too many Tinkers and Voids in public matches but it is better to spend time perfecting a balance patch than to rush it out. Do not be discouraged by teammates’ hate towards Techies as a good Techies can turn the tide of a game but it is probably a good idea to practice in unranked or bot matches before jumping into ranked matches as the hero is quite unique.
You can find more about the Techies update here.