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The Real Mage Slayer

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While he was created with the idea of being a counter to spellcasters and high mana based Heroes, Magina is mostly known for being a hardcore farmer. This is mostly due to the fact that his innate Blink paired with a Battle Fury can result in tons of gold, EXP, and opponent frustration quite quickly.

In recent patches however, this approach seems underwhelming. In a meta where passive gold income and kill bounties allow Heroes to get items easier than before, someone who farms 25 minutes straight, avoiding doing anything remotely useful, doesn’t quite fit.

Dota has changed a lot since when Anti-mage was a terror. Even with old Battle Fury, that didn’t contain Quelling Blade’s effects, he was pretty unstoppable; now, he can be simply non-existant for the first half of the game, and even after that he isn’t that scary.

And your base is in shambles. (courtesy of


So, a new way to play him may work out for the best.

A factor that also determines how well a carry can farm is their survivability. With that in mind, Vanguard is currently a great first item on Magina. While it doesn’t provide extra damage, being hard to kill means he can farm and push towers more aggressively. Of course, that was always the case, but now it can also be upgraded to Abyssal Blade, so it doesn’t eventually become a dead slot.

Getting extra points in Mana Break instead of Blink is also an option if you want to fight early. While a high cooldown, Blink is a risk. Power Treads Strength+Vanguard+maybe a Magic Wand and a level in Spell Shield result in a quite durable Hero.

The big question in people’s minds would be, of course, do we still get Battle Fury? Well, it depends.

Anti-mage used to carry because he could heavily out-farm most Heroes. His skills do not scale well though. This means another, traditional 1.5k crit right-clicker can really be a problem. Battle Fury can work mostly when the opposing carry can’t outcarry and/or outfarm Anti-mage.

Playing against an Alchemist, for instance? Bad idea to trade farm.

Skipping Fury completely and going directly for Manta Style and Abyssal, and maybe a Vlads along the way can work better than it sounds. Most people will feel uncomfortable with it after ages and milleniums of AFK farming, but that’s actually how the Hero was originally played.

While he won’t get the same insane gold per minute, his Blink and better Base Attack are still there; he’s not a bad farmer even without Fury. Of course, you’re aiming to be present in more fights with this build anyway.

As a good example, consider watching this guide, Slahser’s way of playing Anti-mage. This is on one of the previous patches, so the item build isn’t exactly the same, but the mentality and playstyle are self-explanatory.

This guy generally plays Heroes in alternative ways (and with quite a bit of success, mind you). This way of playing definitely works best in 6.87.

Try it if you’re fed up with killing Kobolds for 25 minutes before playing Dota.

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