Bloodseeker is one of Dota’s oldest heroes and has gone through several changes over the years. As of late, he has been in a state of flux, not being favored in the competitive scene. However, this patch has brought on a new way to play Bloodseeker — in the offlane. In this article, we present a basic guide on running this hero in the offlane, why it is viable, and what skill builds you should go to reinvent an older hero who has lost his luster.
The strength of Bloodseeker offlane comes from his recent changes in 7.27c, where his Blood Rite damage increased and the heal from thirst also increased a significant amount. The increased damage on Blood Rite gives him an extremely consistent strategy to survive in the offlane by constantly pushing lanes with Blood Rite early. The pushing strategy works because most safe lane carries cannot deal with the amount of push that Blood Rite provides early and have to constantly tank creeps under their tower. This gives your support ample time to pull, roam to other lanes, and set up vision.
Constantly pushing and killing creeps also sustains you through the passive healing you get from Blood Rite. The goal is to make the carry uncomfortable while you can constantly push and farm the hard camp closest to the offlane tier 1 tower.
Push the lane with Blood Rite.
The enemy will have to deal with a number of creeps under their tower, allowing your support to roam/place wards, or you to farm camps, etc.
You then pull to reset the lane and end up with a net advantage in exp and gold.
Transitioning to midgame, the only real core item is a Veil of Discord. The Veil gives ample mana regen, armor, and stats that all help Bloodseeker and increases his pushing capability even more. Beyond this point, it is snowballing your early advantage and making space through ganking with Rupture and constantly shoving waves in with Veil active and Blood Rite. For most carries, fighting a Bloodseeker under a Blood Rite, with Veil and Rupture on them is a losing battle.
Beyond Veil of Discord, Bloodseeker has an array of items that he is comfortable going with according to the game state that he is in. Bloodseeker can buy a number of aura items for different situations, such as Pipe of Insight, Guardian Greaves, or even Vladimir’s Offering if you have a lot of melee cores. A build I personally like is one that protects your safe lane carry as much as possible, buying items like Lotus Orb and Solar Crest in order to make your win condition even stronger. A final consideration would be getting an Aghanim’s Scepter somewhere if your team is heavily reliant on you to pick off and catch mobile heroes.
Just like any other strategy, running Bloodseeker in the offlane has its weaknesses. The primary weaknesses are Strength carries that can hold their ground and fight through rupture. The best examples of this are Sven, Lifestealer, and Wraith King. These three carries completely counter Bloodseeker’s strategy. Wraith King and Lifestealer are comfortable under the tower farming creeps as they have passive lifesteal and virtually eliminates Bloodseeker’s lane pressure. On the other hand, Sven hits harder, can clear waves just as fast with his Great Cleave, and is a better late game carry. Looking at the counter statistics, Lifestealer, Wraith King, and Sven have 3%, 1.39%, and 0.5% advantage respectively over Bloodseeker.
Another issue that plagues Bloodseeker is the lane pairings on the enemy side that are able to constantly kill the Bloodseeker. The main issue with Bloodseeker is that he needs a lead in the lane to be the most effective. Aggressive supports like Undying and Ogre Magi are able to outtrade Bloodseeker through his sustain and all-in him for constant kills. Once Bloodseeker is behind, the game becomes much harder to play.
Bloodseeker is a hero that has carved itself a nice niche in the meta. Although the strategy does not work all the time, his sustain and wave push allow him to be a comfortable laner against most traditional hard carries. At the same time, he is able to be flexible and build whatever utility that the team needs. While the build is not broken or unbalanced by any means, I hope that this article will help you in finding some spice in an otherwise stagnant meta that is waiting for a patch.