We aren’t sure when the patch is coming, but it does feel like it is a bit too late to discuss the meta or the best heroes to play in Ranked. So today we are going to do something different. Today we are going to highlight some fun and somewhat stupid interactions to try in casual, unranked pubs.

Necrophos Necrophos was absent from the meta for a while. Revenant's Brooch Revenant’s Brooch being popular made the hero a very questionable pick in the majority of games and even now we feel like the hero is very weak.

There is one interaction, though, that can make him somewhat viable. It revolves around his Aghanim's Scepter Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade that turns his Heartstopper Aura into a very potent scaling DoT effect. 50% of Necrophos regeneration is usually quite tame, even with several Reaper’s Scythe stacks, but it all changes when Necrophos has Pudge Pudge on his team.

Pudge’s Shard allows him to Dismember a teammate and keep them inside his belly, providing 5% of their Max HP as regeneration per second. On a level twelve Necrophos with Aghanim’s Scepter and one of the Sange derivatives it translates into ~120+ regeneration or 60+ Damage per Second, which isn’t necessarily overwhelming, but it is just the beginning.

It scales with both HP and regeneration and later on, with things like Heart of Tarrasque Heart of Tarrasque, it can reach absolutely insane values. The best part is that Pudge retains his full kit: once Dismember is off cooldown after eating an ally it can be freely used on enemies, without ejecting Necrophos from safety.

The end result is Pudge+ — a very tanky frontline hero who has extra oomph from a well protected Heartstopper Aura. It does mean you are playing 4v5, which is never a good option for higher level games. And we don’t realistically suggest you try this strategy in ranked, but it can be fun to toy and tinker with.

Especially if you also pick Lifestealer Lifestealer, rush Radiance Radiance then Infest Necrophos to provide him with extra HP, for the latter to be Dismembered by Pudge. Rot + Radiance + Heartstopper Aura should be enough DoT to melt most heroes in the game and the best part is that you are well protected against Mage Slayer Mage Slayer, as the main source of damage is Necrophos, who is inside the Pudge’s belly.

Now to something more practical: very few players know that heroes inside Pudge’s belly can use some abilities and items. Any effect that can be used while channelling can be used from inside Pudge without getting out. Most useful items to use are Shiva's Guard Shiva’s Guard and Glimmer Cape Glimmer Cape, as there is nothing quite like a Pudge that suddenly turns invisible for absolutely no reason. Most fun are Juggernaut Juggernaut’s Blade Fury, Mars Mars Bulwark Toggle and Pugna Pugna’s Decrepify.

This is another “don’t try it in high level ranked” idea that, surprisingly, came from high level ranked stats. Both Shadow Demon Shadow Demon and Oracle Oracle are among the top supports in the current patch, but combining them on the same team might not be a good idea. Unless you are going for style points.

Demonic Purge is a continuous dispel effect that can immediately cleanse the heal from Purifying Flames. The latter is a 2.5 (1.5 with the talent) cooldown 360 (468) damage nuke that typically has the healing aspect as the downside. However, since the healing is no longer a factor, there is little to no downside to this massive cast range powerful nuke.

Very few players pick these two supports for their damage output past the laning stage, but it can work wonders in the midgame, for when you have a very greedy (or a very passive) offlaner or mid. The biggest problem in lower level pubs as a support is the passivity of cores, who typically want to farm first and fight second. This support duo is a very strong ganking squad on their own and later on they have some teamfight presence with saves, disarms and Disseminate which is still very underestimated.

Ancient Apparition Ancient Apparition can be a great alternative to Shadow Demon, as he also disables all heals, though it will require some setups and aiming to be consistent. The duration is much longer, though and Ice Vortex is a very strong spell amp for Purifying Flames.

We realise that most of you are probably just waiting for the patch. So are we. It doesn’t mean that the game is not fun, though, and there are many ways to make it more entertaining, even if at the cost of win rate.

Ideas we discussed today are unlikely to be OP, but they are something to try out with a group of friends just for the fun of it. After all, this is what Dota is all about — having fun.

So please share your own fun and creative strategies in the comment section below. There is definitely more wacky stuff in the game to toy with.

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