Sven the Rogue Knight is a versatile melee strength hero with superior physical power yet is coupled with various abilities that provide utility. He can fulfill various roles, but is often played as a semi-carry due to his high utility even without items. He possesses a versatile arsenal, from shouts that grant armor both for escaping and pushing to throwable gauntlets that disorient enemies around the target unit. With enough items, Sven has the potential to be a strong late-game carry due to his ultimate which increases his damage making him up to three times as powerful, which then can be used in conjunction with his Great Cleave in order to deal extraordinary cleave damage which can frequently lead to multiple kills with just a few swings from his sword. This immense power granted to him solely by his ultimate makes one of strongest late-game carries in the game, and arguably the strongest semi-carry of all, as his killing presence is able to stay up even if he decided to build more supportive/tanky/utility items. A truly frightening enemy to go up against if farmed, strong and versatile, Sven is a solid addition to almost every team composition.
Bio[edit | edit source]
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Abilities[edit | edit source]
|Sven unleashes his magical gauntlet that deals damage and stuns enemy units.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Cast Range: 600
Effect Radius: 255
Stun Duration: 2
- The targeting reticule must be centered over an enemy unit.
- Storm Hammer travels at a speed of 1000 and can be disjointed.
- Disjointing it completely nullifies the effects, including the area stun and damage.
- Turning invulnerable, hidden or spell immune does not prevent it from affecting the area around the target.
- The projectile has 225 radius flying vision. This vision does not last.
- Sven's sword emits some particles during the cast time, visible to everyone.
|Sven strikes with great force, cleaving all nearby enemy units with his attack.|
|Cleave Radius: 300|
Cleave Damage: 30%/42%/54%/66%
- Cleave damage is reduced by Damage Block.
- The cleave damages a circular area in front of Sven.
- Fully stacks with other sources of cleaves. Each source of cleave works completely independent.
- Does not cleave upon attacking wards, buildings or allied units. Wards and buildings are unaffected by cleave.
- Despite the visual effect, cleave damage is applied instantly in the whole area.
|Sven's Warcry heartens his allies for battle, increasing their movement speed and armor. Lasts 8 seconds.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Effect Radius: 900
Move Speed Bonus: 12%
Armor Bonus: 5/10/15/20
Buff Duration: 8
|Sven channels his rogue strength, granting bonus damage for 25 seconds.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Self Damage Bonus: 100%/150%/200%
Allies Bonus Radius: 0 ( 900)
Allies Attack Damage Bonus: 0 ( 75%/100%/125%)
Buff Duration: 25
- Only increases base damage and that given by the primary attribute of Sven. Raw bonus damage is not increased.
- The bonus attack damage is based on the main attack damage of the affected allies, and not on Sven's own damage.
- Sven's and the affected allies' current main damage is periodically checked, and the bonuses adapted instantly.
- The aura is only active while God's Strength is active.
- The buff from the aura for allies lingers for 0.5 seconds.
Recommended items[edit | edit source]
- Sven needs Tangoes and/or Healing Salves for initial health regeneration. Clarity potions are also useful due to Sven's small mana pool and large mana cost on Storm Hammer.
- Gauntlets of Strength help Sven hit harder and provide a small boost to his health pool, while a Circlet will provide boosts his overall attributes.
- A Bracer is recommended for better lane performance, especially when falling behind on experience or if facing constant harassment. A Magic Stick is also a great choice due to the high mana cost of Storm Hammer.
- Magic Wand is a good choice to consolidate Magic Stick's functionality and the minor attribute boosts when starting with Iron Branches.
- Power Treads synergize well with Sven's build due to the bonuses in attack speed and its requirement of Belt of Strength.
- Black King Bar is a very important core item for Sven. Its boost in strength and damage will greatly increase Sven's effectiveness in fights, and the magic immunity also shields Sven from stuns.
- Drum of Endurance and Blink Dagger will enable Sven to quickly get into combat and survive team fights.
- Heart of Tarrasque and Assault Cuirass will greatly increase survivability and also help damage output.
- A Daedalus will provide the damage and critical chance needed to make Sven extremely deadly at melee range. Coupled with Mask of Madness, Sven will be able to deal damage very quickly and to multiple targets at once with his Great Cleave.
- Moon Shard grants Sven the biggest single-item-slot increase in attack speed in the entire game, which will dramatically increase his DPS. Though largely lacking in utility and thus exceeded in usefulness by several other choices, maintaining the shard in your inventory until the player absolutely needs the 6th slot is very much worth it.
Counters[edit | edit source]
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Tips[edit | edit source]
- Sven has very low mana early on, so building mana boosting items may be a good idea. Sven's good strength gain and base health pool make Soul Ring an effective item in situations where you plan on skirmishing early and often.
- Drum of Endurance is a great item as it meshes well with Sven's role and play style, all while providing a strong aura to other members of your team.
- Take Attribute Bonus over the two other abilities instead if you want more mana, attack speed and strength to increase the bonus of God's Strength early on and to help sustain your mana for using skills. However, this is only useful very early on, as Warcry is amazing for teamfights and Great Cleave helps Sven's farming speed.
- If you prefer to initiate, get a Blink Dagger. Blink to your target and stun them with your Storm Hammer, make sure you activate God's Strength immediately or beforehand, which is more preferable as you can save more time on the casting animation and transformation time.
- Avoid leveling Great Cleave early on, as it will greatly push the lane towards the enemy tower making farming more difficult.
- As a melee carry without a blink, Sven is especially susceptible to being kited and having crowd control effects placed on him, negating his damage output. Don't skip Black King Bar to buy more damaging items, as it may result in doing no damage at all.
- Sven's unique position of being a Support and Carry at the same time can make him a decent babysitter for a ranged carry like Weaver, Luna, or Sniper.
- Consider support items such as Arcane Boots to give you and your lane partner more mana for your spells.
- Without taking anything away from your lane partner, always try to find gold whenever and wherever possible (through pulling jungle creeps, roaming to help allies across the map, etc).
- Sven's unique kit allows him to transition into a strong late game hero. Although transitioning a dedicated support into a carry is not often ideal and difficult to execute, this can give your team an edge in long games; use this strategy carefully.
- Due to his Great Cleave and God's Strength a carry Sven benefits especially well from heroes who can pull the enemy team together. This holds especially true with Magnus who cannot only pull heroes together and stun them but also give Sven an additional cleave and damage bonus through Empower.
- You can also get added cleave by buying Battle Fury; one will bring your cleave percentage to 101%. However, this isn't absolutely necessary given Sven's already high cleave percentage with maxed Great Cleave, and you should consider buying more useful items instead.
- Later on in the game, Assault Cuirass could be considered as well, as the negative armour debuff, attack speed and massive armour gain allows for Sven to truly become a tank.
- In order to maximize the effectiveness of God's Strength, you will need to obtain items that increase Sven's strength rather than raw damage – for this reason, consider skipping Mask of Madness for a Helm of the Dominator into a Satanic instead, as the substantial increase in strength, coupled with some decent raw damage and armor, and most importantly its intensely powerful lifesteal can increase his survivability dramatically, and if he has other strong strength items (Such as Heart of Tarrasque) and items with substantial attack speed bonuses (like Assault Cuirass} or perhaps even Mjollnir), he can be nearly unstoppable under the effects of his ultimate.
- Sven and Troll Warlord are excellent together; with an Aghanim's Scepter, God's Strength will give Troll Warlord a damage amplify aura and the Battle Trance will greatly increase their attack speed. If they both have Black King Bar they will be a force to be reckoned with.
- Unless the enemy is constantly ganking you and it's simply not safe to move around without your ultimate, do not be afraid to use God's Strength for purposes other than killing throughout the early game (and to a certain extent, even mid game) - The cooldown is relatively low (80 seconds total, but 25 of those seconds are spent under its effects, meaning only 55 seconds if the player lives through the whole effect), and its massive damage increase can allow you to farm stacks faster or destroy towers much quicker, allowing you to gain significantly more map control and gold to secure your early advantage allowing you to farm and move to your late game easier.
- Sange and Yasha is a worthwhile pick up for the mid game, especially if you can obtain it quickly - The attack speed, movement speed and added damage (partially added through strength) are all things Sven needs while the maim makes it harder for enemies to kite you. On that note, an Eye of Skadi fills a similar role with much more reliability though at a significantly higher price and harder build up - With the strength and attack speed added it gives you identical amounts of DPS to that of a Heart of Tarrasque whenever you don't use your ultimate (And only marginally less when using it, thanks to the attack speed), while also solving all of your mana issues and giving you an orb effect similar to that of the maim from Sange-derived items, but with ability to pierce spell immunity and removing chance out of the equation, guaranteeing the slow with every strike.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Sven's name is a reference to Sven-Ole Thorsen, a Danish bodybuilder and actor.
- In an earlier version of DotA, Sven had a fun name called Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- The phrases "Play Twas only a flesh wound" and "Play It was but a scratch" are references to the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- The phrases "Play Blame the host" and "Play Bad host" are references to the original Warcraft III DotA gameplay when game stability depended on quality of internet connection on the host player.
- Storm Hammer was named Storm Bolt in the early beta phases and was renamed into Storm Hammer at one point. It is also its original name in DotA1 and reflected in one of Sven's cast responses in Dota2, where he's referring to it as Play "Storm Bolt".
Update history[edit | edit source]
Balance changelog[edit | edit source]
Replaced abilities[edit | edit source]
|Storm Bolt (pre 6.60)|
|A magical hammer is thrown at an enemy unit, causing damage and stunning the target.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Cast Range: 600
Stun Duration: 2
|Sven is here to pump you up! Increases armor of nearby allied units.|
Armor Bonus: 2/3/4/5