Hero Remakes: Faceless Void

(Courtesy of blog.dota2.com)

(Courtesy of blog.dota2.com)

One of the most traditional carries in the game is now a completely different hero; and the community’s opinions vary a lot on his new form. Today, we’re going to take a look at this new Timelord and see whether his carry potential is still alive and kicking or not.

The concept of Faceless Void was a hero that would have great initiation and lockdown, catching enemies in his Chronosphere and bursting them down while they’d remain completely helpless with the tears in their eyes frozen in time forever. His Time Lock would provide some extra damage during his ult, and some further lockdown otherwise.

His major drawback was that for a carry, his damage output was minimal, which hindered both his burst and farm. To make up for this, Mask of Madness was a core item on him. Very rarely would we see a Void without that mask for a face. The problem was that Mask of Madness doesn’t synergize with evasion skills, namely, Backtrack. 30% extra damage taken means 30% less effective HP, and less effective HP means less Backtracks.

With the remake, mister Darkterror is now a lot tankier. Backtrack was removed as a skill and was practically merged with Time Walk, making it a more reliable ability, paired with a very low cooldown when maxed out. In its place, we were introduced to Time Dilation, a rather unique spell that becomes more effective the more active and spammable skills the targets possess (Bristleback is a sad pig right now). Both of these along with his relatively high base Strength and decent armour can make a hard to kill hero.

On the other hand though, he has arguably lost a lot more than he’s gained. His initiation was butchered, to say the least, with Time Walk range dropping from a powerful 1300 to a little above 600, and people consider buying Blink Dagger on him. Because of this, and because the idea was to make him a bit tankier, getting Mask of Madness seems like a suicidal choice right now. Which would be fine, if his damage output was something a little more intimidating than a mosquito bite.

A carry without damage hardly feels like a carry at all. Quite a few have tried playing him as a 3 position hero. It can work, but considering Time Walk’s long cooldown on low levels, one would have to sacrifice the early levels in Time Lock, thus reducing his damage output even further. He’d need a decent amount of levels to be efficient, not like many other offlanes.

Another approach is to still play him as a carry, but with a different build. Going Treads+Vanguard into Radia

nce seems to be trendy nowadays. It does makes sense, since more tankiness synergizes well with his new powers, and Radiance provides DPS without actually counting on right-clicks too much, along with extra survivability with its miss chance. The question is, is he still viable with this build compared to other heroes? Vanguard into Radiance brings Spectre to mind, and right now she’s incomparably more dangerous. And what about other Radiance carriers, such as Wraith King, who has more right click damage, 2 lives, and generally a more direct approach to deal with his foes, or Lone Druid, who has undergone his own remake, but can still chow towers down as if they were pancakes?

Generally, I believe the new concept on Void isn’t bad in itself, but there are better heroes to fill his role, both as carry and offlane. The only case where he’d be a better choice would be with a Wombo Combo lineup; Chronosphere into some huge AOE burst spells. Then again, he has always been better with those kind of lineups, even before the remake.

In the end, I feel he’s really lacking a direct punching potential for a hero that’s so level and item dependent. I doubt he’s going to see much play, unless he gets buffed a lot, or as part of very specific strategies.

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