Ancient Apparition/Guide

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Ancient Apparition Ancient Apparition is a spellcaster hero whose abilities can empower, disable and destroys with the power of ice. His ultimate, Ice Blast allows him to damage and freeze his foes' health regeneration, placing them on disadvantages during every teamfight, thus making him scale very well into the game.

However, Ancient Apparition is not a beginner friendly support as his skillset requires precise timing and judgement to execute. He is also quite fragile as he does not really possesses any reliable/instant escape and disables mechanisms.

Pros Cons
  • Strong team fight ultimate.
  • Long range scouting spells.
  • Hard counter to healing heroes.
  • Squishy and sluggish.
  • Require good precision and judgement to make use of his abilities—especially his ultimate.
  • Harassment and zoning ability is rather poor.
  • Slightly level dependent.

Lane Support[edit]

Ancient Apparition is usually played as a lane support; which is somewhat a shame since he benefits greatly from farm, especially his fearsome Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter. As a support, stack (and pull) camps for later use, contest runes every two minutes, carry a Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll at all times, buy and upgrade the Animal Courier (Radiant) icon.png Animal Courier, provide vision with Observer Ward icon.png Observer Wards... You have little potential to roam by yourself (like Lion Lion) and limited capacity to react to ganks (like Dazzle Dazzle) since the stun provided by Cold Feet is unreliable at best, so you can endorse the role of full time baby-sitter for your carry, and leech experience at will until you get your level 6.

You will usually start off with a point in Chilling Touch. It allows you (and your team) to harass quite effectively the offlaner. If you're paired with another support, and your carry is smart enough to fight with you, Chilling Touch is somewhat equivalent to a 270 magical nuke at level 1 (3 heroes * 3 attacks * 30 damage). Also, it can help your carry secure last hits (while you can secure denies) in a heavily contested lane. Similarly, you will usually follow with a point in Cold Feet. If the opposition lacks mobility and/or your team has spells to guarantee the stun, it's a good spell. Take at least a value point in Ice Vortex since the vision it provides and its cast range is reason enough to get a point in it.

Ice Vortex, unlike your other spells, doesn't require careful usage or coordination so it is wise to max it out first. Cold Feet is pretty bad if you can't get the stun off and Chilling Touch is literally useless if no one is hitting anybody with the buff.

Once your carry is farmed enough to either push towers or farm the jungle, you should take the lane for yourself for a while, to catch-up on experience and finally get that level 6. You can assist your team's pushes with long-ranged Ice Blasts.

The most common item pick up on the Apparition, besides Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, is the Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity since it should allow you to trigger the stun from Cold Feet, by casting the spell then using the item on the same target. The early Wind Lace icon.png Wind Lace is also nice. Other common items include Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos and Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord, or the more expensive Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard and Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse. These items will help you land your Ice Blast on at least one target. If you're near enough your enemy (which you should be if you used any items before hand), don't forget to put an Ice Vortex below your target as your Blast is connecting.

Since you benefit so much from (expensive) items, it is rather common to aim for a Hand of Midas icon.png Hand of Midas to eventually become a huge threat.

As for less expensive items, Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is always nice, especially since you have no mobility; as is Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape and Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter, although both can be purged off.


This build assumes the unlikely scenario where you're paired up with a strong roaming partner against an unprepared opposition. Even in this case, it's not guaranteed that this is the best build order for you. A strong roaming partner is, for you, someone that can always ensure that Cold Feet triggers its stun, making it suddenly very interesting to max out first. In the same fashion, a good partner will go extra lengths to right-click an opponent while under the effect of Chilling Touch, making it very valuable as well.

Although a good partner will usually be a support, a carry can also be just as good. Maybe you're baby-sitting Wraith King Wraith King, who provides you with both a reliable stun and slow through Wraithfire Blast icon.png Wraithfire Blast to proc Cold Feet.

For items, if your roaming is going correctly, an Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows will help both your partner and you to stay alive, while also providing an extra nuke that could help you reach their shatter threshold.

But your skill build should always depend on who you're paired up with and who you're against. An allied Luna Luna won't help you trigger Cold Feet, so don't level it, but she will gladly chase enemies slowed by Ice Vortex with Lucent Beam icon.png Lucent Beams and buffed up right-clicks. Similarly, an enemy Weaver Weaver will not care much for either Ice Vortex or Cold Feet, but he will think twice about getting a last hit if you're ready to hit him with Chilling Touch. And it is worthwhile to take extra points in Chilling Touch with an allied Weaver Weaver since he will benefit doubly from it with Geminate Attack icon.png Geminate Attack. An allied Zeus Zeus will care only for the spell amplification of Ice Vortex, as well as the vision it provides to keep spamming Arc Lightning icon.png Arc Lightning.

Overall there is no definite build order for Ancient Apparition and you should always think twice before skilling any ability.

Finally, it should be mentioned that Ancient Apparition makes a very decent mid-laner. He has a good attack animation and fair base damage. He can secure last hits and denies (or harass) with Chilling Touch. He can sort of zone an opponent in a 1v1 situation with Cold Feet, as either they will cancel it and perhaps miss a last hit or two while doing so, or they will get stunned by it in which case you can hit them (with buffed up right-clicks) a couple of times. You can also hit them from the low-ground with the vision provided by Ice Vortex. And once you reach level 6, you can gank the side lanes every 40 seconds without moving with Ice Blast. The thing you will struggle the most with is enemy ganks, since you have no defence or mobility whatsoever. Since you're such a bully in a 1v1 scenario, there are high chances that the enemy will choose to simply push the lane with any AoE ability, something that you lack as well. As for items, an early Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon will definitely help you reach the enemies' shatter threshold.

Ability Builds[edit]

Lane Support Ancient Apparition
Chilling Touch icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngIce Blast icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngTalent icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngIce Blast icon.pngChilling Touch icon.pngChilling Touch icon.pngTalent icon.pngChilling Touch icon.pngUnknown icon.pngIce Blast icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png
Roaming Ancient Apparition
Chilling Touch icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngIce Blast icon.pngCold Feet icon.pngChilling Touch icon.pngChilling Touch icon.pngTalent icon.pngChilling Touch icon.pngIce Blast icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngTalent icon.pngIce Vortex icon.pngUnknown icon.pngIce Blast icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png


Hero Talents
+4% Ice Blast icon.png Ice Blast Kill Threshold25900 AoE Cold Feet icon.png Cold Feet
+80 Chilling Touch icon.png Chilling Touch Damage20+8% Ice Vortex icon.png Ice Vortex Slow/Resistance
+20 Health Regen15-2.5s Ice Vortex icon.png Ice Vortex Cooldown
+10% Spell Amplification10+60 Gold/Min

Tips & Tactics[edit]


  • Ancient Apparition's spells, although spammable, are very mana-expensive. Be mindful of your mana consumption.
  • Any heroes that possess reliable stun/slows such as Wraith King/Lion/Shadow Demon etc. synergize very well with Cold Feet and Ice Vortex; results in extensive magical damage & disables duration.
  • Compare to other supports alike, Ancient Apparition was very level dependent in order to scale; thus making him a legit Hand of Midas icon.png Hand of Midas holder.
  • Ancient Apparition 's abilities require a certain amount of skill and teamwork to make the best out of him; although primarily played as a lane support hero, a good early game allows Ancient Apparition to snowball and possessing a Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter allows him to scale extremely well into late game.
  • Ancient Apparition can solo mid in the early game, as he has all the necessary tools to control his lane. He will look to start ganking as soon as possible and use the early Ice Blasts to his team's advantage.
  • In spite of his ability to solo, Ancient Apparition is still very potent in a dual or tri lane. Cold Feet functions well as a follow-up to an ally's stun, and Chilling Touch is able to buff every one of Ancient Apparition's allies, effectively multiplying its effectiveness by the number of allies you have available.
  • All of Ancient Apparition's spells have good range. Try to avoid close combat when possible.
  • You do not have an escape mechanism, so having vision of your opponents is crucial for you to survive. Ask your teammates to ward or do it yourself whenever possible.


Cold Feet icon.png Cold Feet[edit]

  • At level 4, Cold Feet's cooldown is only 7 seconds while the stun lasts for seconds and it takes 30/50/70/90 seconds to trigger it. It is possible to keep an enemy always under the effect of Cold Feet, either the stun or the damage.
  • The damage part is dispellable by any dispel, don't waste your mana against a hero that will shrug it off with a low-cd spell.
  • Tiny's Toss icon.png Toss counts as distance travelled, and will therefore remove Cold Feet's debuff, even when the target is tossed straight up.
  • Use Cold Feet to harass in the early game, but mind your mana pool.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity in combination with Cold Feet can almost always guarantee a stun (though at the cost of Cold Feet's damage over time). It also allows you to land a short-range Ice Blast in quick succession.
  • More tips needed.

Ice Vortex icon.png Ice Vortex[edit]

  • Ice Vortex's cast range is huge. Use it to scout Roshan, to give vision of the high ground, to reveal common juking spots etc.
  • Ice Vortex's cooldown is only 4 seconds. In the later stages of a game, once you have enough mana, spam it.
  • If you already used Chilling Touch and you're too fragile to get near a team fight to use Cold Feet, you should at least stay behind and spam it.
  • Ice Vortex can be used to slow enemies when chasing or being chased, as well as reduce their magic resistance.
  • Use Ice Vortex to increase Ancient Apparition's movement speed, getting him to position quicker.

Chilling Touch icon.png Chilling Touch[edit]

  • Extremely strong ability for early game team fights: can deal up to 90/180/300/450 damage per buffed ally, and up to 450/900/1500/2250 damage with 5 buffed heroes (before reductions).
    • It's especially strong at level 1 since the enemies will lack mobility (including Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed) to escape before it's too late.
  • Synergizes well with heroes that have built-in attack speed: Ursa Ursa, Troll Warlord Troll Warlord, Echo Sabre icon.png Echo Sabre to name a few.
  • Chilling Touch can be useful to max along with Cold Feet if you are laning with another ranged hero. The harass is extremely potent and can often push your enemies out of the lane.
  • Since the Chilling Touch can be placed on Meepo Meepo clones, it is an incredibly big damage boost for him. 5 heroes and 4 Meepo clones together can deal a total of 810/1620/2700/4050 damage through Chilling Touch alone.

Ice Blast icon.png Ice Blast[edit]

  • The only ability in the game that prevents healing, making it a direct counter to a plethora of heroes.
  • There are only four abilities that can help you regain life while frostbitten: Terrorblade's Sunder icon.png Sunder, Weaver's Time Lapse icon.png Time Lapse, Undying's Decay icon.png Decay, and Phoenix's Supernova icon.png Supernova.
  • Heroes who rely on regenerating rapidly during teamfight with abilities such as Alchemist Alchemist and Abaddon Abaddon or those who wields healing items like Mekansm icon.png Mekansm will be rendered useless under the effect of Ice Blast, thus placing them on disadvantages during the encounters. Although becoming spell immune prior getting hit by the blast can negate the impact damage however the freezing debuff pierce through immunity and cannot be dispelled.
  • Remember that Ice Blast debuff prevents all health gain, including healing spells, natural health regeneration, lifesteal, health gained indirectly such as from activating an Armlet of Mordiggian (Inactive) icon.png Armlet of Mordiggian and even bonus health gained from the strength obtained by leveling up under its effects (however, there ARE a few exceptions, namely abilities that directly manipulate health such as Sunder icon.png Sunder or Supernova icon.png Supernova). Landing this spell on the enemy team at the start of a team fight will put Heroes that rely on survivability such as Huskar Huskar, Necrophos Necrophos or Death Prophet Death Prophet into a very dangerous, possibly even suicidal, situation. The debuff is even more powerful if you have an Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, increasing the duration considerably.
  • Ice Blast is a multi-purpose spell that can be cast to anywhere on the map. Use it to aid your allies in ganks, initiate team battles, finish off low-HP heroes, and clear large creep waves.
    • Do not worry about using your ultimate sparingly, it has only a 40 second cooldown and therefore can be used even for harassment or as a deterrent for pushing. The cooldown starts running upon launching the initial tracer, so it already starts cooling down before the actual blast even released.


Starting items:

  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives cheap bonus attributes which is helpful for laning and can be build into Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity is needed because Ancient Apparition is very mana dependent in the early game. These potions will make spamming Cold Feet possible.
  • Tango icon.png Tango grants health restoration, which is very important for a fragile hero.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve also restores health to you and allies.
  • Animal Courier (Radiant) icon.png Animal Courier carries items to team.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Ward not only helps your team out by providing vision, but help you out, too, by scouting low-HP enemies to Ice Blast.

Early game:

  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows gives some overall attributes and good mana regeneration. Its ability will make ganking easier, while it can also be used to heal allies.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand helps with sustaining both your health and mana.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed are needed for the movement speed bonus.

Mid game:

  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots provide Ancient Apparition and his allies with much-needed mana sustain, as well as increase Ancient Apparition's own mana pool.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity gives plenty of mana regeneration, some mana, and some movement speed. You can activate its ability on an enemy after casting Cold Feet and the opposing hero will be stunned and frozen most of the times.

Late game:

  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is an extremely useful item which can be picked up as an escape mechanism or a chasing item. It can be used to help teammates as well.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape grants magic resistance and invisibility to help Ancient Apparition and allies escape or initiate without being seen.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter gives Ancient Apparition a much needed improvement to his attributes as well as increasing the duration of Ice Blast's debuff to 17 seconds, effectively preventing all enemy support heroes with healing spells from healing for an extended period of time. This makes your ultimate ability extremely lethal to low-health heroes, and even tanky heroes that rely on their regeneration or lifesteal to be effective.

Situational items:

  • Hand of Midas icon.png Hand of Midas can be a good item choice when Ancient Apparition has an above-average early game, sustaining him with a steady gold and experience gain.
  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm is a great utility item which will make you and your team much harder to kill. Use its ability to heal you and nearby friendly heroes at the cost of some mana, while buffing everyone at the same time. It can be later upgraded into Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter makes Ancient Apparition immune to physical attacks, allowing him to survive when enemy carries are coming for him.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos grants a decent amount of overall stats, with a particular boost to Ancient Apparition's strength and intelligence. It makes you less fragile and able to spam your spells without worrying as much. Its root can be used with your Cold Feet and Ice Vortex to easily land your spells.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse is a very strong late-game item that gives a great attribute increase, all the mana regeneration you'll ever need, and an amazing disable. Its only downside is its hefty price.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard gives a lot of intelligence and armor. Its ability slows down enemies and damages them in a large radius, making it perfect in teamfights where you are the first priority target.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core is good on most spell-casters and Ancient Apparition is no exception. But it's extremely expensive and should never be considered as the first major item on Ancient Apparition.
  • Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb could theoretically prevent any kind of healing for 34 seconds with a double Ice Blast, an ultimate late game item.
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