Sven and his Counters

(art by sniperwaffle.deviantart.com)

Sven the Rogue Knight currently is a typical case of overbuffing; a Hero with great, unrecognised potential he was. After a series of various buffs, he’s now a crazy flash-farmer that three-shots enemies while granting +20 armor to his allies. Sven doesn’t care too much about tactics. Given a little space, he can just stomp on anything blocking his way to the enemy throne.

His playstyle consists of these few simple steps:

  1. Get Helm of the Dominator.
  2. Stack Ancients and kill them for their gold.
  3. Buy items.
  4. Kill enemies and their base.

Not only can he make the best of relatively cheap items, he can also farm them very quickly. The addition of Echo Sabre has completed the set and Sven is now a favoured pick in both pubs and competitive matches.

Today we’re going look at how to put a cage around a (full armor, sword wielding) beast like that.

To start off, I believe people don’t respect him as a carry too much. In the previous patch, if someone picked Spectre, the enemy would start discussing a strong dual or maybe triple offlane to deal with her. Sven arguably deserves the same amount of attention. He’s not one to let being underestimated go unpunished.

(courtesy of dotafire.com)

Also, it’s really worth it to bother blocking his ancient camps, much like we used to do with Tinker a few patches ago. While a deward isn’t that hard, causing him to miss one or two stacks is definitely worth it.

An exploitable weakness of his is that he’s a bad aegis carrier, since he won’t respawn with his ult on. This hurts his mid-late game fights a lot, and it’s actually one of the main reasons he wasn’t picked so much before now, despite having so much potential.

Now, let’s look at some counterpicks:

: Slark is perhaps the only Hero that can attack someone without being attacked himself. Sven is the type that won’t stand for someone manning up to him and fighting head on, but Slark’s ult allows a few seconds of right-clicks. Also, his Essence Shift will take away two Strength from Strength Heroes each hit, which is another 40 HP, and Sven’s Warcry won’t do anything for it.

: Medusa won’t get bursted down by Sven unless she’s completely underfarmed. Her Stone Gaze can stop Sven’s onslaught even through his BKB. And in late game, she’s more likely a scarier carry than him.

: Troll Warlord works really well against Heroes that need to stand in the middle of the fight and right-click. His insane attack speed combined with his bash allows him to lock them down completely. The miss chance from his Whirling Axes won’t go to waste, either.

: Even with his boar’s slow not going through spell immunity anymore, Beastmaster still has a reliable ult that can stop Heroes like sven on their tracks.

: Dragon Knight possesses high armor, a long stun and a ranged slowing attack on his Frost Dragon Form that will go through BKB.

: Since Sven isn’t much of a Diffusal Blade guy, Omniknight’s Guardian Angel can do some serious work.

: Lich will both hinder the enemy carry’s farm through Sacrifice, and buff his allies with Ice Armour.

: Centaur Warruner’s Aghanim’s reduces incoming damage by 60% for four seconds while giving full movement speed; perfect way to kite a Sven.

: Dazzle needs to be careful to net get focused down, but if he doesn’t, he can really be a pain; his Weave will turn Sven’s armor advantage upside down, and a well timed Shallow Grave doesn’t allow for quick bursts.

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