K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple, stupid. Great advice, hurts my feelings every time. Dawnbreaker is the newest hero in Dota and this is a gigantic deal. Why? Because Dota very rarely gets new heroes. The game doesn’t see the influx of new heroes like some of it’s bigger competitors like League of Legends, or even Heroes of the Storm when Blizzard still passionately supported the game.
As such, whenever a new hero is introduced to Dota we see an influx of new players, and players returning from long breaks from the game. This guide is designed to help those players wrap their head around Dawnbreaker’s kit, to get the basics and fundamentals down, so that players can build up their experience and begin to adapt the Dawnbreaker build as they become more adapt to playing Dota and the hero. This is KISS Dawnbreaker.
The Keep It Simple Stupid guide will help you lay the ground work for what your builds will look like, and give you the platform you need to play Dawnbreaker and get your experience up.
However, with that said, the following item and skill build suggestions are in-order, but the more you play Dawnbreaker (and Dota in general) and the more experience you get, you’ll come to know that no one builds is going to solve your problems every game.
No two Dota games are alike, and therefore no two builds you work towards in-game should be alike. But for now, keep it simple, and you’ll get there.
Anything that we can do to make your life easier, we’re going to do. As such, our first starting item is going to be quelling blade. This will allow you to kill creep waves much easier, building gold, getting denies off. Making your lane easier, so that you can make the opposite safe-laner’s life hard is a great first step in winning the game.
Simply put, taking damage early can be pretty unavoidable. You’re going to be contesting the runes, you might pull creep wave aggro, you’re going to get harassed. Your health pool is going to take a hit, and as the offlaner this can sometimes be automatically expected of you. As such, you’re going to want some regen, that’s where the tango comes in.
Double Gauntlets of Strength
Very rarely playing a core will we not take a stat item. We’re going to build a bracer, and building multiple is definitely an option if you’re expecting play against a safelaner that is going to be rightclicking you constantly. Overall bulk, and more damage for your last hits – great and simple.
Double Iron Branch
Wand works very well on heroes that play in the offlane, but rely heavily on mana. Like Dawnbreaker and Mars. So we’re grabbing the double branch here for the overall stats, which is never a bad idea, but also because we’re going to wand the wand ASAP.
Early Game Items
We’re turning our double gauntlets into double bracer. We get a bit of overall stats here, which will help our mana and health regen. But the bulk of the stats relate to our well .. bulk. We’re here to bully the safelaner and be around as long as possible. So, bulk is good for that, so get some bulk. Simple.
As mentioned above, magic wand does a long way in helping to manage the mana of heroes like Dawnbreaker and Mars. If you’re playing a particularly spammy duo in the offlane, well, all the better. This can be used to sustain, and save your bacon as well. We’re getting mana regen, and the active will give back both our pools.
We need some mobility, and if we’re going to be surviving, we’re also going to need so armor. Phase provides both of these. We even get the active for a burst of speed for evading or catching. Early huge boost to movement, armor, and damage? What could be simpler.
Orb of Corrosion
We’re not quite online to the fullest of our capability yet, but we’re building the stepping stones to become a hero that the enemy fears to encounter. Orb of Corrosion is this next step. We’re providing ourselves with more trapping with these combined with the boots, and some utility in slowing and stripping armor for our team, with a health boost to boot. Offlaners like more bulk, simple.
Echo sabre works brilliant on Dawnbreaker. The double attack will help liberally apply your orb of corrosion, and will quickly charge up your next Luminosity passive. So, we’re getting in an attack that will apply our debuffs, then a second that will deal damage with those debuffs applied, AND AND we’re building up attacks to charge Luminosity quicky. Simply amazing.
Now that we’re dealing out plenty of punishment, we want to move back to bulk and survivability. Vanguard provides this in spades, and also builds into a later game item for Dawnbreaker. Blocking and overall bulk? Yes, that is absolutely something most Offlaners enjoy, especially Dawnbreaker.
We’re survivable, we’re providing plenty of utility for the team with our Echo Sabre apply debuffs and charging our Luminosity. Now what? I’m glad you asked. Stuns. Skull Basher stuns. With the double attack, double the change of applying skull basher stuff. How simple is that. We’re helping our team with lock down, and increasing our survivability. They can’t hurt you or your allies if they’re getting stunned constantly.
Late Game Items
Black King Bar
A melee core hero without Black King Bar is like an Beaver without teeth. It’s still a Beaver, just a pretty useless one. Black King Bar ensures that we’re not getting perma-locked down so that we can actually get our ricktclicks and abilities in. It’s not a particularly exciting item, just necessary and can absolutely be prioritised earlier than even the build items.
We’ve gone skull basher and vanguard, the next logical step for the build is Abyssal Blade. Whilst the blink was removed in a pretty heavy nerf, the item is still 200% viable. The nerf simply took AB from being ridiculously good, to very good. Which is still pretty good. We’re getting some stats, and freeing up a slot in our bag by combining the two ingredients. That’s simple and effective.
Sange and Yasha
A huge boost in survivability with the armor, hp and regen. The damage that comes with a huge boost in strength. Attack speed to get off our head basher and abyssal stuns. Attack speed to get off our Luminosity. Movement speed to snare and escape. And status resistance to boot. Sange and Yasha doesn’t add a whole lot new to the build, just turns up what we have and want we want to 11. Simple.
Dawnbreaker will spin her hammer around in a circle three times, which will deal not deal tremendous amount of damage, but will make foes weary of engaging her front on as to be not kept in the pretty large area of focus when casting:
Along with the damage, we also get a stun on the last strike which will last: 0.8/1/1.2/1.4, depending on the level. Works well to sucker opponents in, and keep them on you, whilst your team mates follow up with the execution. Works great as a follow up to:
Celestial Hammer and Converge
Dawnbreaker will throw her hammer in the targeted directions, and it will linger there for a few seconds before returning back to the hero. On the returning path, the hammer leaves a fire path that will damage and slow heroes caught. DB can cancel the throw early, pulling her and the hammer toward a centre point betwixt the two.
This is great for chasing, and ensuring that heroes who have taken an unwise fight, are not getting away. Smack them with the hammer, get the slow in on the return, and pull yourself toward the hammer and your target with the cancel, then follow up with your circle and stun in Starbreaker.
The next listed ability for Dawnbreaker is Luminosity, and this is a passive ability meaning that you will not be able to cast Luminosity, and it will occur automatically. Experienced players will be familiar with this mechanic, but in case you are new to Dota or haven’t played in some time, you don’t need to go looking for a method to cast this one.
Every fourth attack, with Luminosity taken, will be a guaranteed critical hit, that will heal allies in an area around Dawnbreaker. Increasing the level will amp up the damage dealt by that critical hit, but not how much healing is applied in a percentage. So take a point early, and be aware that levels will not increase the 35%.
Dawnbreaker’s ultimate in Solar Guardian is going to allow you to zoom to an ally, deal damage, and stun the enemy. It’s an amazing map moving ability, with pretty decent damage, and great utility in a stun. Use this to save an ally, surprise an enemy with an extra number to a fight, or turn the tide in a teamfight.
Remember though, once casted, you won’t be able to stop, so be sure you want to zoom to your targeted destination with absolute surety.
Once casted, DB will pulse an area with damage for foes and healing for allies, then after a short duration you will zoom to that targeted location and deal another burst of damage, and stunning foes caught on your impact.
Level 10: +8 Strength
We’re grabbing phase boots as opposed to treads as our movement speed item early, and as such I’ve recommended grabbing some of the strength we miss out on here, in the talents. We don’t need the extra movement speed as much because we have the phase active and we can move around the map quite easily with our ultimate later.
Level 15: -20s Solar Guardian Cooldown
This is a much more difficult choice, but at times playing DB early damage can be quite frustrating. The lack of having some, that is. And I don’t really think there is anything wrong with fixing that issue with your level 15.
However, with the item build we’re going for here, I’ve suggested the cooldown. Solar Guardian is an incredibly, incredibly good ultimate, and being on an 80 second cooldown with the talent, and at max level will mean that you’re getting to engagements wherever they are and having a huge impact.
Level 20: 2 Starbreaker Charges
Level 20 is a very difficult choice. And you might be thinking how we’ve built our items around building Luminosity quickly and making the most of its effect, and I can’t fault you for that. If you want the crit with your build, you can absolutely get it.
However, with that said, whilst skull bash might provide stuns in combination with your echo sabre and attack speed, Starbreaker is guaranteed. A guaranteed two use stunning ability with also zones and deals damage, it’s a good ability on cooldown, but with two charges you’re bringing a heck of a lot of utility to the team and this is a key focus as the offlane player.
Level 25: +200 Solar Guardian Radius
Whilst the extra cast range for the hammer is a ridiculous length and makes the fire a pretty long wall, it’s use in this build is more meme than masterful. We’ve specced for using Solar Guardian often, and we need it’s mobility and utility. We’re using it often, and want to make the most of the effect, so we grab the larger area to do so – simple.