Rhasta the Shadow Shaman is a ranged intelligence Hero mostly used as a pusher and disabler, wielding abilities that make pushing lanes more efficient. When his abilities are used in intelligent combos, he has one of the longest disables in game. He is also capable of disabling multiple enemy heroes, allowing him to initiate encounters as well. Though very supportive in nature, until the late game Rhasta is capable of killing lone enemy heroes with the use of his entire skill set; meaning he is more difficult to gank than most other supports. Playing Rhasta well requires good knowledge of target priority and timing; and some minor micromanagement. His peak is mid-game, but he can continue to wreak havoc on enemies all throughout the match.
| Rhasta, the Shadow Shaman
| Play "I am the intermediary between life and death."
|| Support / Pusher / Disabler / Nuker / Initiator
|| Born in the Bleeding Hills, Rhasta was just a starving youngling when picked up by a travelling con-man. For two pins of copper, the old con-man would tell your fortune. For three, he’d castrate your pig, for five, he’d circumcise your sons. For a good meal, he’d don his shaman garb, read from his ancient books, and lay a curse upon your enemies. His strange new youngling, part hill troll, part…something else, worked as assistant and lent an air of the exotic to the con-man’s trade.|
Always one step ahead of cheated customers, one town ahead of a pursuing patronage, the two trekked across the blighted lands until one day the con-man realized that the little youngling could actually do what he only pretended at. His ward had a gift—a gift that customers valued. And so the youngling Rhasta was thrust before the crowds, and the trade-name Shadow Shaman was born. The two continued from town to town, conjuring for money as Shadow Shaman’s reputation grew. Eventually, the pair’s duplicitous past caught up with them, and they were ambushed by a mob of swindled ex-clients. The con-man was slain, and for the first time, Rhasta used his powers for darkness, massacring the attackers. He buried his beloved master, and now uses his powers to destroy any who would seek to do him harm.
|| Gary Schwartz (Responses)
- Can hit units up to 1000 range away (200 starting radius + 500 distance + 300 end radius).
- The complete area is shaped like a cone infront of Shadow Shaman.
- Unlike other cone-shaped spells, this one starts traveling at the edge of the starting radius instead from center.
- Provides True Sight over the target until the channeling ends.
- Deals 4.286/5.714/6.512/7.2 damage in 0.1 second intervals, starting immediatly as the channeling begins, resulting in 28/35/43/50 damage ticks.
| Mass Serpent Ward
- Healing Salve and Tangos are generally required when playing safe lane support. If playing mid, it is better to forgo the Healing Salve and aim for a fast Bottle.
- Clarity is essential in ensuring that you have mana to cast your disables in the laning stage. Being able to get off both of your disables in a gank go a long way towards ensuring successful kills.
- Iron Branches are good for cheap stats, and can be sold for inventory space or built into a Magic Wand.
- When playing as a support, ensure that the Animal Courier is purchased at the start of the match.
- Magic Stick ensures that Rhasta has burst regen available when needed. 150 mana is enough to cast Hex if it is level 2 or lower, same for Shackles.
- Boots of Speed are important in allowing Shadow Shaman to close the gap with a target and disable them. Acquiring Boots before your opponents can often make the difference between getting a kill.
- Bracer gives Rhasta some more HP, which is something he needs badly as he is very squishy otherwise.
- Magic Wand has all the benefits of Magic Stick, as well as more stats and a higher amount of burst regen. It is important no matter whether Shadow Shaman is played as a core or support.
- Arcane Boots increases the size of Shadow Shaman's mana pool and gives him some burst mana regen; Rhasta often casts his spells as a combo, so he tends to run out very quickly if not furnished with a means of mana regen.
- Aghanim's Scepter should generally be considered a core item on a farming Rhasta, but luxury for a support Rhasta. The upgrade it grants Mass Serpent Ward greatly increases the amount of damage they can do, allowing Rhasta to make short work of heroes that have been boxed in or obliterate towers alarmingly quickly.
- As a support, Shadow Shaman should regularly purchase Observer Wards in order to provide map vision for his team.
- Town Portal Scroll is extremely important on all heroes. In Shadow Shaman's case, showing up to teamfights, ganks and counter-ganks to cast his disables can change the tide of battle.
- Refresher Orb allows for two instances of Mass Serpent Wards, which is hugely useful for siege damage and encounters.
- Bloodstone is a very powerful item on Shadow Shaman as it greatly alleviates his mana dependence and gives him more HP for increased survivability. This can allow him to do more in teamfights before running out of mana or dying.
- Shiva's Guard gives Shadow Shaman a much larger mana pool, as well as armor for survivability. The active can be used to slow enemies down on top of his other disables, further contributing to his teamfight potential.
- Necronomicon is very powerful on Rhasta as he can use the warriors either to help his Mass Serpent Wards during pushes, add more firepower to a teamfight, or focus down a Shackle victim while Rhasta channels.
- If playing as a support, try to purchase the Flying Courier as soon as possible so that your team can benefit from faster item deliveries during the laning stage.
- Shadow Shaman is a very powerful ganker and pusher, who possesses very strong disables and nukes. His spells allow him to disable lone enemies for extended periods of time, making them easy prey for his teammates, or to make short work of creep waves and towers.
- Because of his strong disables and powerful nukes, Shadow Shaman benefits greatly from building intelligence items that extend the size of his mana pool and provide mana regen, as well as mobility items to allow him to get close enough to cast his disables and nukes on enemies. The additional mobility also aids in survivability by allowing him to re-position himself to escape enemy attempts to kill him.
- Because Shadow Shaman's disables are all unit-targeted, they can reliably disable enemies if he gets close enough to them. However, this also means that they can be easily negated by Linken's Sphere or even reflected with Lotus Orb, so be sure to check the enemy's inventory prior to committing expensive disables.
- Rhasta can be played as either a support or a core. His farm priority mainly dictates how effective he can be in either role, with small differences in how he is played.
- As a support, Shadow Shaman should focus on babysitting his team's safe lane carry, and setting up kills with his disables when rotating for ganks. As he has two hard disables, getting close enough to a lone enemy can often ensure a kill if his teammates have enough damage output.
- In general, if Shadow Shaman is played as a core, he is played as a solo mid where he can get fast levels to make use of his spells early on. A mid Shadow Shaman should focus on maxing out Ether Shock to farm and harass, push out the lane to clear the way to grabbing a rune, and attempt to get kills on the enemy mid once he is level 6.
- Ether Shock is a powerful damage nuke that must be unit targeted, hitting nearby enemy units according to its level.
- Ether Shock is very inefficient at level 1, only hitting a single target, so it is most profitably cast only when it is level 3 or higher. Depending on how Shadow Shaman is played, it should either be maxed first for the nuke damage, or ignored in favor of maxing out his disables.
- The high damage and low cooldown on Ether Shock allows Shadow Shaman to make quick work of creep waves and neutral camps. Given a steady source of mana regen, Shadow Shaman can flash-farm with the spell while simultaneously pushing or counter-pushing lanes, threatening the enemy's towers and taking away map control.
- When casting Ether Shock to nuke creep waves, remember that it can hit enemies at twice the cast range and the area is largest at the far end. Try to target the spell on the middle of an enemy creep wave, and position Shadow Shaman in such a way as to concentrate as many creeps on the far end as possible.
- Hex disables the target enemy instantly, inflicting a silence and mute while drastically cutting down their movement speed.
- Hex is a potent disable since it will instantly hard-disable its target and eliminates their ability to cast spells or use items. In general at least one early level should be taken, but other levels may be forgone in favor of other abilities depending on the build.
- Hex should always be the spell that Shadow Shaman uses to initiate a gank, as its instant cast time prevents the target from reacting. Following disables can be targeted on the enemy at leisure in order to secure a kill.
- Unlike other hex-type abilities, Shadow Shaman's Hex reduces the target's base movement speed down to 100, rather than 140. This makes the enemy slightly easier to hit with unreliable follow-up disables such as Split Earth or Torrent.
- Shackles is a powerful channeled disable that can stun its target for up to 5 seconds.
- As with Hex, at least one early level of Shackles should be taken to maximize Shadow Shaman's disable potential. A single point in the ability allows Shadow Shaman to disable an enemy for almost 3 seconds while dealing nuke damage.
- While Shackles has a lower cast range than Hex and requires channeling, it also stuns its target for the duration of the channel, preventing it from moving. The longer disable duration also allows teammates to otherwise utilize powerful follow-up disables and nukes, such as Stasis Trap and Ghostship, which might otherwise be dodged.
- Priority between Hex and Shackles should depend on team composition, however Shackles is generally the better disable to max out first as its mana cost scales better and it can deal damage for the duration of the channel. If your teammates have reliable damage output, holding the target in place for up to 5 seconds can allow them to deal large amounts of damage. However, keep in mind that unlike Hex, Shackles can be interrupted by silencing or stunning Shadow Shaman, so it is not as useful if there is a nearby enemy who can interrupt you.
- Shackles deals its damage in a large number of small instances. This makes it a very strong ability for instantly shredding protective abilities like Refraction and Living Armor.
- When possible, try to take advantage of Shackles' extremely short cooldown. If it is cast as an initiating disable, its channeling time will allow half of its cooldown duration to pass, and a follow-up Hex can hard-disable the target for an additional 3.5 seconds, leaving the enemy free for only 1.5 seconds before Shackles comes off cooldown.
- Because it is a channeled spell, shift-queuing other disables during Shackles can allow them to be instantly cast once the channel duration ends. This can be useful for denying the enemy any openings in disable duration to take advantage of.
- Mass Serpent Ward summons ten snake wards that deal piercing damage to their targets.
- Serpent wards can make short work of incoming creep waves and deal tremendous amounts of damage to enemy towers over their long duration. Placing the wards on top of a tower that is being pushed can make quick work of it so long as the enemy is unable to attack and destroy them.
- Rhasta's Mass Serpent Wards can be commanded. Beginners often neglect to control them, but even if Rhasta is dead he can have a big impact on a fight with intelligent use of his wards.
- Beware that while Mass Serpent Wards can deal large amounts of damage, they are also very easy to destroy with attacks, so be careful about when and where they are placed. Enemies that can isolate the wards can make quick work of them, wasting the spell and feeding gold to the enemy team.
- One of the most important features of Mass Serpent Ward is the box figure they are placed in. This allows Shadow Shaman to place the wards right on top of an enemy hero, trapping them in place if they do not have any mobility spells or items to displace themselves.
- In a pinch, Mass Serpent Wards can be used to defend against pushes. Their striking power allows them to quickly kill creeps that are trying to approach the tower, and discourage the enemy from pushing.
- The splash damage dealt by Mass Serpent Wards is registered as magical damage. Against clumped up enemies, it can be beneficial to try to hit adjacent targets in order to deal magical splash damage to the primary target, as direct serpent ward attacks deal minimal damage to heroes with lots of armor.
- Depending on his farm priority, Shadow Shaman can build many items useful to himself and his team.
- Bottle is very important to purchase early on as a mid Shadow Shaman. It provides him with HP and mana replenishment, allowing him to profligately cast Ether Shock to farm, push and harass the enemy.
- Soul Ring is a situational purchase but can help a support Shadow Shaman to maintain his mana pool more efficiently. Having an extra 150 mana on demand can go a long way towards having enough to cast a full round of disables.
- Urn of Shadows can be useful on a ganking Shadow Shaman over a Bracer. It gives him the same amount of strength, making him less squishy, and the mana regen helps to maintain his mana pool. As he is a very strong ganker, Shadow Shaman can roam and get charges easily, using them for additional Pure damage in later ganks or to keep himself and his teammates at full HP for more pushing potential.
- Tranquil Boots are a situational alternative to Arcane Boots as a support Shadow Shaman. Not only are they cheaper, but they provide additional armor for survivability and increased movement speed for positioning for casting disables on the enemy. The passive HP regen also helps ensure that Shadow Shaman is at full health at the beginning of fights.
- Medallion of Courage is a very useful item, as Mass Serpent Wards deal physical damage. Placing the armor debuff on an enemy after boxing them in with the wards will make short work out of almost any hero. As well, the active can be used on teammates to give them more armor, or on Roshan to make taking the Aegis easier. It can also be upgraded into a Solar Crest to augment its bonuses even more.
- Ghost Scepter is useful to purchase on squishy casters like Shadow Shaman. Giving himself invulnerability to physical damage can buy time if the enemy attempts to focus down Shadow Shaman with physical attacks, allowing him to retaliate with his disables and nukes.
- Glimmer Cape is a strong utility item that benefits Shadow Shaman in many aspects. It can be used to help with initiation by allowing Rhasta to approach enemies invisibly, and allows him to protect teammates that are caught out of position by casting invisibility on them. The invisibility also allows Shadow Shaman to protect himself while channeling Shackles on an enemy, reducing the chances of being disabled by unit-targeted spells.
- Blink Dagger should be considered a core item on Shadow Shaman, no matter what role he is played in. Blink Dagger allows Shadow Shaman to instantly jump on top of a gank target and disable them with Hex, preventing them from reacting during ganks. It should be rushed as quickly as possible as a core, and given priority to obtain as a support.
- Force Staff is an inferior but potent substitute for Blink Dagger. The extra intelligence gives Shadow Shaman more mana, and the active can be used on enemies and allies, not just on Shadow Shaman himself. Purchased as a supplement to Blink Dagger, it can also be used to break Linken's Sphere on a particularly slippery enemy player, or on Roshan prior to casting other disables.
- Aether Lens is extremely powerful in Shadow Shaman's hands, and can be easily obtained through disassembling Arcane Boots. Besides granting some HP regen for additional survivability, the cast range increase allows Rhasta to disable enemies from farther away, making him a much bigger threat in ganks and fights.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a powerful item on Shadow Shaman. The item itself grants Shadow Shaman more mobility, rectifying his poor base movement speed, and gives him more intelligence as well as powerful scaling mana regen to fuel his costly and spammable spells. Most importantly, however, the active can be used to instantly disable an enemy from range and then place Mass Serpent Wards on top of them, easily boxing them in.
- Rod of Atos is a good utility item to purchase. It gives Shadow Shaman more intelligence, allowing him to cast spells more often, and the additional HP makes him less squishy. The long range on the active also allows Shadow Shaman to slow enemies from a great distance, adding yet another disable to his repertoire.
- Scythe of Vyse is a very powerful late-game item to purchase. On top of the extra stats, much larger mana pool, and scaling mana regen, the instant Hex can serve as a complement to Rhasta's innate spell, giving him the ability to hard-disable a single target for up to 12 seconds.
- Octarine Core gives Shadow Shaman many strong benefits. It gives him more HP and mana, and reduces the cooldowns on all of his abilities, making him a much bigger threat with his spammable nukes and disables. The spell lifesteal allows him to maintain his HP through Shackles and Ether Shock, particularly the latter which can deal tremendous amounts of magical damage to grouped enemies.
- The name Rhasta is based on the Rastafarians, a follower of a religious movement in Jamaica known as Rastafari. In DotA, his hero model and dialogue had a strong Jamaican influence and style. But in Dota 2, his theme and style has undertaken a more Native American influence, mostly evident in his attire and accent.
- Rhasta is also a Persian name and word that means "truth" or "path".
December 17, 2014 Patch Update 5
- Fixed the damage source of the Mass Serpent Wards' splash damage to be the wards, instead of Shadow Shaman
March 28, 2013 Patch
- Fixed Shackles doing a little less damage than intended.
February 28, 2013 Patch
- Updated Shadow Shaman's attack sound.
- Updated Ether Shock's visual effects and sound.
November 08, 2012 Patch
August 02, 2012 Patch
- [Undocumented] Added Teleport animations for Beastmaster, Bounty Hunter, Broodmother, Clinkz, Lifestealer, Necrolyte and Shadow Shaman.
- [Undocumented] Added Spawn animations for Beastmaster, Bounty Hunter, Necrolyte and Shadow Shaman.
July 12, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Ether Shock ignoring Linken's Sphere.
April 19, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Corrosive Skin affecting Serpent Wards.
April 12, 2012 Patch
- [Undocumented] Added a haste rune run animation for Shadow Shaman.
March 22, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Serpent Wards having instant attack point (instead of 0.3).
March 08, 2012 Patch
- [Undocumented] Added idle injured animations for Shadow Shaman.
February 16, 2012 Patch
- [Undocumented] Added injured animations for Shadow Shaman.
- [Undocumented] Added chase animations for Shadow Shaman.
January 12, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Ethershock hitting units in the FoW.
November 17, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Ether Shock hitting invisible units.
November 10, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Voodoo not being blocked by Linken's Sphere.
August 06, 2011 Patch
- Veno wards and Shadow shaman wards all use the smaller hull size. This should prevent them from blocking narrow paths.
August 05, 2011 Patch
- Added lifetime indictator for Rhasta's Wards.
August 03, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Lion's Mana Drain and Shadow Shaman's Shackles to properly handle getting purged.
- Fixed Shadow Shaman's wards and Venomancer's Wards not being able to attack Roshan.
August 02, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Shadow Shaman's wards not drawing.
July 16, 2011 Patch
June 10, 2011 Patch
- Fixed cast point issues with Shadow Shaman, Lion and Tinker.
May 26, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Lifesteal from leeching off of wards (like rhasta's wards).
March 03, 2011 Patch
- Fixed more bugs with Ether Shock search area.
February 12, 2011 Patch
February 09, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Ether Shock search distance.
February 04, 2011 Patch
- Added tooltip durations to Shadow Shaman's abilities.
- Increased Shackles damage per second from 43.5/51.5/56.5/60 to 43.5/57/66/72 (total damage from 120/180/240/300 to 120/200/280/360).
- Mass Serpent Wards now take 2 hits to destroy, instead of having 135/150/150 health.
- Reduced cooldown from 16 to 10.
- Increased damage per second from 43 to 43.5/51.5/56.5/60 (total damage from 120/150/180/220 to 120/180/240/300).
- Fixed sometimes not granting True Sight over the target properly.
- Increased base strength and gain from 19 + 1.6 to 21 + 1.8.
- Hex no longer applies Break on the target.
- Increased Shackles duration from 2.5/3.25/4/4.75 to 2.75/3.5/4.25/5.
- Mass Serpent Ward
- Increased number of wards from 8 to 10.
- The wards are now placed so that the center of the formation is empty (square-like formation).
- Increased base attack damage from 21-28 to 26-33 (total attack damage is now 47-54).
- Ether Shock
- Reduced number of targets from 3/4/6/7 to 1/3/5/7.
- Increased damage from 80/160/240/320 to 140/200/260/320.
- Increased Ether Shock damage from 75/150/225/300 to 80/160/240/320.
- Increased model size of Hexed units a bit.
- Increased base strength from 16 to 19.
- Mass Serpent Ward
- Reduced manacost from 200/350/610 to 200/350/600.
- Reduced cooldown from 120 on each level to 100/80/60.
- Increased duration from 40 to 45.
- Increased Hexed unit model slightly.
- Now deals 40 damage per second to the target.
- Reduced duration from 3/4/5/6 to 2.5/3.25/4/4.75.