Viper Guide – Off-lane Utility – Dota 2

Nobody expects the utility Viper. You’re going to deny farm to their safe-lane so much, that they cannot come online against you. Their passives? Not a problem. Once you’ve shut them down, you’re taking objectives and trying to be impactful in teams fights.

This guide will walk you through the process of doing so, to enable your team to be in the best position possible to take the W.

Starting Items. 

600 Gold.

Quelling Blade. 600-130=470 Gold

Only +6 because we’re ranged, but as we’re not taking a lot of stat items to begin with, and opting for items that build into utility, the extra +6 will help a lot. Also, a good start to our utility, helping our supports clear trees for vision.

470 Gold.

Circlet. 470-155=315 Gold.

Circlet gives up overall stats, rather than starting with heavy push in AGI, our primary stat. We prefer overall stats because we want bulk in the offlane, and terribly need the mana and regen. It’s not a lot, but it helps, and builds into our mask anyway.

315 Gold.

Sage’s Mask. 315-175=140 Gold.

We need mana from the get-go. Our mana and it’s regen suck, and we’re going to be consuming plenty of it. Grabbing Sage’s with circlet helps to mitigate some of the early mana-suck. Also builds into Urn and Vessel.

140 Gold.

Tango. 140-90=50 Gold.

We want to be annoying. We want to contest runes. We want to be ontop of the safe-laner. As such, and just because it’s good practice, we want to get a tango for the regen. We don’t regen, we can be taken down. If that happens, we’re not being annoying in our lane.

50 Gold.

Clarity. 50-50=0 Gold.
You’re probably going to be grabbing these throughout the game, best to have one on you at the start incase you need a sudden influx of mana for a gank or survive. You have 50 gold less, this costs 50, bringing us down to a tidy 0 – nice.

Early Game. (In Order) 

Wraith Band.

“+ 5 Agility + 2 Strength + 2 Intelligence + 5 Attack Speed + 1.5 Armor”

Wraith is what we’re turning out circlet into. Good primary stat gain, so that we can last hit and deny easier. Overall stats for the mana and bulk, not a lot, but we’re building early.

Urn of Shadows.

“+ 1.5 Mana Regeneration + 2 All Attributes + 2.0 Armor
Provides 30 health regeneration when cast on allies, and deals 25 damage per second when cast on enemies. Lasts 8.0 seconds.

Gains charges every time an enemy hero dies within 1400 units. Only the closest Urn to the dying hero will gain a charge. Cast Range: 950″

We’re turning our Sage’s Mask into Urn. It provides more than double the mana regen, gives general stats and some armor. Plus, the active is very handy for staying in the lane. Self healing with the urn means you’re annoying them for longer.

Boots of Speed into Arcane Boots.

Boots of Speed:
“+ 45 Movement Speed”

Arcane Boots:
“+ 45 Movement Speed + 250 Mana
Active: Replenish Mana
Restores 160 mana to all nearby allies. Radius: 1200″

Viper is one of the slowest heroes in the game, we’re going to need boots no matter what else we buy. Getting them earlier means we can survive, and escape, or catch up to get someone into the range of our attacks and spells.

Turning them into arcane means a huge boost to our mana pool early, and periodic fulling of that mana bar, along with aiding your allies in their mana management also – this last point is important if you’re offlane Viper as your team will be looking to you to provide lots of utility.

Build Items. (In Order) 

Rod of Atos.

“+ 20 Intelligence + 10 Strength + 10 Agility
Active: Cripple
Roots the target for 2.0 seconds.”

We’re in some desperate need for some lockdown until we can get our hands on our attack range talent, enemies are going to slip through our fingers. We’re slow, and whilst we can slow them, Rod of Atos provides great stats and a root to counteract that. Mana boost and lockdown? Thanks.

Eul’s Scepter of Divinity.

“+ 10 Intelligence + 3.5 Mana Regeneration + 20 Movement Speed
Active: Cyclone

Sweeps a target unit up into a cyclone, making them invulnerable for 2.5 seconds. Cyclone can only be cast on enemy units or yourself. Enemy units take 50 magical damage upon landing. Range: 575 Dispel Type: Basic Dispel”

Eul’s has everything we want in one item. Wind lace into Eul’s is going to help our movement speed so much, which we desperately need. Otherwise, we’re just not getting around effectively. as a bonus to that, we get some nice mana and regen too and an extra disable! Use Eul’s to bide your time on yourself, or lock down and enemy whilst your team catches up, or skills come off CD.

You want to be as useful as possible to your team when playing Viper offlane, since your skills aren’t really making the impact of something like a Warrunner, or a DK. Eul’s and Rod are good for this, where your skills lack.

Urn of Shadows.

“+ 250 Health + 1.75 Mana Regeneration + 2 All Attributes + 2.0 Armor
When used against enemies, it reduces health by 4.0% of current health per second, and reduces HP regeneration, healing, lifesteal and spell lifesteal by 45%. Deals 35 damage per second.

When used on allies, it provides 40 health regeneration per second. Lasts 8.0 seconds. Gains charges every time an enemy hero dies within 1400 units. Only the closest Spirit Vessel to the dying hero will gain a charge. Cast Range: 950″

Percentage based damage baby. Aw yeah.
% based damage can almost be a must take again certain line ups. You’re going to be a offlaner or support tank’s worst nightmare. You’re going to strip away their passive, and deal huge % based damage. Screw tanks. I’ve brought Urn.

Hood of Defiance.

“+ 8.5 HP Regeneration + 20% Magic Resistance
Active: Barrier
Creates a spell shield that absorbs up to 325 magical damage. Lasts 12 seconds.”

We’re going to want some beef in the offlane. We get passive magic resist and this takes that up to eleven. You’ll have much great surviavility against casters, and the HP regen will ensure that you’re constantly in lane and have very little down time. Barrier for predictions, ganks, nukes etc

dota 2 viper guide

End Game Items. (In Order) 

Aghanim’s Scepter

“+ 10 All Attributes + 175 Health+ 175 Mana

Decreases mana cost and cooldown, and increases cast range.”

Stats are nice, but nothing crazy. We’re here for the ult upgrades. Because they’re significant.
Cast range – 900.
Cooldown – 10.
Mana cost – 125.

We’re going to be spreading the love around. Ensure that you’re using this liberally. Make sure everyone gets one. It’s cheap, you can do it from afar, and you can do it often. Boom baby.

This is a huge utility bonus for your team in teamfights. The effect doesn’t stack with the low cooldown, just refreshes the debuff. So, ensure that you’re spreading it to different foes in fights. Or just spamming it whenever you can when you see someone.

Eternal Shroud.

“+ 20% Magic Resistance + 8.5 HP Regeneration + 20.0% Spell Lifesteal (Heroes) + 4.0% Spell Lifesteal (Creeps)

Active: Shroud
Creates a spell shield that absorbs up to 400 magical damage, converting damage taken into mana. Lasts 12 seconds.”

Further improves our magic resist, gives us pletny of bulk between the HP regen, and our spells are life-stealing (stacks with the talent). A straight improvement and a no-brainer upgrade on your Hood of Defiance. It gives us more of everything we need.
Guardian Greaves or Boots of Travel.

Guardian Greaves:
“+ 50 Movement Speed + 250 Mana + 4 Armor

Active: Mend
Restores 300 health and 200 mana to nearby allies, and removes most negative effects from the caster. Radius: 1200 Dispel Type: Basic Dispel

Passive: Guardian Aura
Grants 2.5 health regeneration and 3.0 armor to allied units. If an allied hero’s health falls below 20%, they receive 16 health regeneration and 10 armor. Radius: 1200″

Boots of Travel:
“+ 110 Movement Speed Town Portal Scroll Cooldown: 40

Upgrades your Town Portal Scroll, allowing it to target units, reduces cooldown and does not consume a charge on usage.”

Okay, so we have the rod, urn and Eul’s. We’re regening plenty of mana. So, we’re probably get less and less use out of our arcane boosts aside from helping allies with their mana. As such, we can do two things here: spend a lot of gold, gain an aura, dispel and heal in Guardians. Or, spend half that and move really fast. Travel and Eul’s means we’re going fast.

The choice is yours on how you want to play after the laning stage, what your team needs, and what the enemy is playing.

  • If you want to be an aggressive pusher, taking objectives – go with Travel and consider level 2 also.
  • If you want to be a great help in teamfights, keep your teamates up and provide utlity – go with Guardians and stick around your team to get the maximum benefit off.

Luxury Gold. (No Order) 


“+ 30 Damage + 20 Intelligence + 12 Strength + 12 Agility

Active: Eternal Chains
Roots all enemies in a target 450 radius for 2.0 seconds and deals 220 damage. Range: 1100

Passive: Chain Lightning
Grants a 30% chance on attack to release a bolt of electricity that leaps between 4 targets within a 650 radius, dealing 160 magical damage to each. Lightning proc pierces evasion.”

If you’re not strapped for cash, Gleipnir is a great upgrade to consider late game. It upgrades from your Rod of Atos, and turns the root into an AoE. It also provides some nice stats, and enhances your farming capabilities with the chain lightning.


“+ 60 Damage
Toggle: Burn
When active, scorches enemies for 60 magical damage per second, and causes them to miss 17% of their attacks. Illusions deal 35 magical damage per second.Radius: 700″

You’re durable. You’ll survive in team fights. You’ll be around plenty – makes you a good Radiance holder. Makes enemies miss, works with your spell lifesteal. Great item. Accelerates farm. Boom, radiance baby.

Wind Waker.

“+ 50 Movement Speed + 6.0 Mana Regeneration + 35 Intelligence

Active: Cyclone
Sweeps a target unit up into a cyclone, making them invulnerable for 2.5 seconds. Cyclone can be cast on yourself, enemy units or allied units. Enemy units take 50 magical damage upon landing.
Range: 575 Dispel Type: Basic Dispel”

WW is insanely expensive for what is essentially upgrading your Eul’s with higher stats. But what is often overlooked is that now you can cyclone allies. With Eul’s alone, you can only cyclone yourself or an enemy. Now however, you’re getting a huge boost in stats, and you can save allies with your cyclone.

WW combined with boots of travel (level 1 or 2) means you’re getting around incredibly fast, and you don’t need the mana from guardians.

Arcane Blink.

“+ 25 Intelligence

Active: Arcane Blink
Teleport to a target point up to 1200 units away.
After teleportation, you gain 25% Ability Cooldown Reduction and 50% Cast Point reduction for 6.0 seconds.”

Oh yeah, arcane blink baby. They wont see this coming, and if they do, they can’t do anything about it.

You’re going to blink in, INSTANTLY ult everyone with arcane blink and agh’s scepter, start absolutely SPAMMING stacks. Bye, I’m out, you’re dead.

Can use blink to initiate, catch up, escape, anything! So much utility. The fact that you can get cooldowns reduces is the cherry on top – if you can afford i


Poison Attack.

“Intensifies Viper’s venom, adding an effect to his normal attack that applies a stacking movement speed slow and magic resistance deduction while dealing damage over time. Stacks up to 5 times.”

Skill at: 2, 13, 14, 16

Can be costly if you’ve set up to auto-cast, so be careful with that and try to limit your engagements early. Because of that cost, we don’t go fully in on this skill too early. We grab a point early for harass, then finish it later for application in team fights and to KS (kill secure).

Can be toggled on/off for harass, without consuming your entire mana pool.

Eventually down the line once we’re applying 5 stacks, and spreading the love, this has the potential for huge damage.

Shard: Causes Poison Attack to lower armor by 1.5 per stack and increases max stacks by 3.

The shard can be considered if your opponents are beefy and are likely to hold the 8 stacks, if not, well you can decide whether the addition is worth hefty fee.


“Viper releases a Nethertoxin at the targeted area. Units in that area take an increasing damage over time based on how long they remain in it. Disables passives of affected units.”

Skill at: 1, 8, 9, 11

We grab a point early, as to enable our farm, and keep the enemy at arm’s length during the laning phase of the game. Then once we want to start really ramping up our own farm, taking camps and clearing waves quickly, we grab more points.

If you’ve picked late in the draft, and the enemy are playing heroes that heavily rely on passives (like BB), then you can just straight up ruin their day with Nethertoxin points.

Corrosive Skin.

“Viper exudes an infectious toxin that damages and slows the attack speed of any enemy that damages it in a 1400 radius. The acid exudate also increases Viper’s resistance to magic.”

Skill at: 3, 4, 5, 7

We’re grabbing plenty of this early. The return damage is nice, and can dissuade those with shallow health pools from trying to harass you. And if they want to get ontop of you, they’re going to suffer for it with the attack slow. Can help with clearing creeps too, if you draw their aggro.

But, the main reason why we want to make it early is because of where we’re playing, and how much bulk we need. It provides passive magic resist, and with items, we can withstand some punishment from casters in a big way.

Viper Strike.

“Viper slows the targeted enemy unit’s movement and attack speed while also dealing poison damage over time. The slowing effect reduces over the duration of the poison.”

Skill at: 6,12, 18

This skill is insane, especially at level three. 80% movement reduction. 240 damage ticks (with talent). 80 attack speed slow. Incredibly powerful, even the first take of a skill point at 6 provides you with an extremely powerful ganking tool

Now, imagine if you could get the level three version, on a ten second cooldown, with the level one mana cost, and an enhanced cast range of 900 units. Well, you can.

Grab an early scepter, and you’re going to be giving out Viper Strike left right and centre. You’ll rack up the assists, and your team will wonder why they ever questioned off-lane Viper.

You won your lane. You have the most assists. Their safe-lane has disconnected. Good job.


Level 10: 8% Spell Lifesteal.

We’re going to get enough attack speed through our AGI, and AGI enhancing tiems. An extra +20 is nice early, but because we’re playing in the offlane we want to be a bit more beefy early. Grabbing spell lifesteal early helps us achieve this, and makes you even more annoying to deal with.

Level 15: +100 Attack Range.

Argh. This is always a tough decision. The extra corrosive skin can be so useful, it makes enemies think twice about touching you, harassing you etc. It can help clear waves with agro. Honestly, it just enhances the skill we want to max first – which makes it so much harder not to take.

We’re slow, we have little disable or lockdown outside items, and we want to be able to keep our distance when we want. Have to take the attack range, as good as the extra stacks seem, playing Viper without the extra attack range is very frustrating.

Level 20: +70 Damage.

We haven’t specifically built into many damage items, or items that provide a huge AGI boost, to get damage, so this is nice.

There’s not really a bad pick here, if you decide to go the other way and get the ult DPS instead of the auto attack damage. We’ve got scepter and we’re giving out viper strike plenty, so the extra damage on ticks is never a bad call.

I just find in situations where I need to hurt something that isn’t a hero, the damage comes in handy, and whilst the cooldown is low on viper, you’re still going to be attacking plenty. I like damage, otherwise Viper feels like a pea-shooter.

Level 25: -11s Nethertoxin Cooldown.

By level 25, buildings are few and far between. Simple as that.
Poison damage effects buildings used to be at 10, but it was a little too good, so now it’s at 25 – basically useless.

Now we can spam nethertoxins around the place. Which is nice, get some ticks off, disable passives. But essentially we take this talent because there are no buildings left for us to take, bar perhaps one or two rax and the ancient.

Having said that, if you haven’t snowballed, and taken the safe lane from the enemy team for all his money, and you’re playing from behind – well then the building damage can be considered if the enemy team has plenty left. That way you can take building after building if your team secures a wipe, helping you catch up.

But, just win before the enemy team does, and you’ll be fine without it.


ProgramFounding Writers
AuthorLuke Cowling
YouTuberGameLeap Dota 2 Pro Guides
GameDota 2

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