|Hero||Strategy||Counters||Equipment||Gear||Responses||Sounds||Lore||Old Abilities||Changelogs||Known Bugs|
Nerif, the Oracle, is a ranged intelligence hero who alters the fate of allies and enemies with his combination of multipurpose nukes and buffs. He possesses the ability to change his foes' fortunes with Fortune's End, which deals nuke damage and pins down any enemies in its radius, while removing any purgeable buffs from them. His Fate's Edict can be cast on allies and enemies alike, disarming them but also granting them complete resistance against magical damage; used with skill, he can render his foes' weapons useless or shield his allies from unfriendly spells. Purifying Flames, like Fate's Edict, can be cast on friend or foe, dealing magical damage but also applying a healing buff to them. His signature ability and ultimate, False Promise, puts an ally's fate on hold, preventing them from being disabled or harmed by the enemy for a short time, and then fully returning them to reality at the end of the spell's duration. Knowledge of Oracle's skills is key to use him at his full potential; while he can defy destiny and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, one mistake can potentially seal the fate of his allies.
|Nerif, the Oracle|
|Play "I have an end in mind for you."|
|Role:||Support / Nuker / Disabler / Escape|
|Lore:|| Ascendants to the Great Seat of Cymurri had for ages imported their Oracles exclusively from the Ivory Incubarium, high in the hollow peaks of the Zealot's Range, with a downpayment made at the time of the embryo's conception and the balance surrendered on delivery of a mature, well-trained prophet to the Gate of the Graven King.
Raised by same Pallid Sybils who bred and birthed them, all sanctioned Oracles were anchored by their physical form to the world we most of us share; meanwhile, their souls roamed far afield, barely bound by the airiest astral umbilicus. From such cosmic roamings the prophets would return, speaking words of fire with tongues of flesh. Their mystic utterances were analyzed by the Cymurri Advisors, who found in them visions of the future, diplomatic advice, all the supernatural ammunition the line of Graven Kings needed to secure victory in every campaign, whether in the court or on the battlefield. Thus it went for generations, the Graventome's pages filling with the names of triumphant kings and the new domains they had acquired. So it went, that is, until the particular Oracle named Nerif arrived to serve the very last of the stone-helmed kings.
From the first, Nerif's prophecies were unusual. They seemed not merely to portend the future, but to shape it. The weird soothsayer croaked out advice no one had requested, and suddenly the Cymurri found themselves immersed in conflicts with newfound enemies. The Advisors, sensing a threat to their power, were quick to pin these unwelcome developments on the latest Oracle. They demanded his removal, petitioning the Sybils to reclaim their defective prophet and replace him with a worthy substitute. But Nerif described an ominous dream of the Incubarium's destruction, and within hours came news of the ancient school's destruction in a catastrophic avalanche. Fearing the same fate as the Pallid Sybils, the Advisors withdrew to their counsel chambers, suddenly anxious to avoid the Oracle's notice. The Graven King, however, was a creature of great practicality. He doubted the commitment of his overprudent Advisors. An Oracle of such rarity, he reasoned, ought be used as a weapon to enlarge his domain. He therefore demoted his timid counselors and stationed Nerif at his side. With only a blunt understanding of Nerif's talent, he boldly stated the outcomes he desired, and coaxed Nerif into uttering his wishes as prophecy.
At first, all was well. The Last Graven King boasted that by adopting Fate's pet, he had made a plaything of Fate itself. He should have taken it as a warning then when, on the eve of his invasion of the Unsated Satrap's realm, he attempted to coerce a prediction of certain victory from his Oracle, only to hear Nerif quietly mutter, "It could go either way." No firmer statement could he force from Nerif's lips. Still, the King was confident in his army. The Satrapy was landlocked, poorly armed, and shut off from all possible allies. He took "It could go either way" to indicate that with tactical might on his side, there was little risk in his plan.
Of course, we now know that he should have taken the sayer's words more literally. Even with careful study of the Annotated Annals of If, what happened on the field before the Unsated Satrap's palace is almost impossible to visualize. It appears that in the midst of the carnage, the battle began to bifurcate. At each pivotal moment, reality calved and broke into bits. Soldiers who staggered and fell in battle also stood sure-footed, forging onward to fight. Their minds also split; the warriors found themselves both dead and alive, existent and non-existent. Victory and defeat were partitioned, so that each separate outcome was experienced in simultaneity by both armies. The universe became a hall of mirrors, with all the mirrors endlessly shattering.
The immediate effect on both parties was insanity. Unable to comprehend the state of being both triumphant and defeated, the Graven King's mind dispersed into motes of madness. The naive Satrap fared no better. The opposing paired realities continued to split and split again, echoing into infinite histories, all of them populated by a bewildered populace that soon lost the ability to feed, clothe, defend, or reproduce itself in the traditional manner.
Long before the repercussions had played out, however, Cymurri's wary Advisors had seized Nerif, bound and gagged him, and launched him out of their universe at high speed on a dimensional barque, in the hopes of depositing him where he could do them no harm forever. It was, of course, too late for them. And may well be for us.
|Voice:||Mike Shapiro (Responses)|
Cannot target spell immune enemies. Applies area effect when connecting with spell immune enemy. Does not root, dispel, or attempt to damage spell immune enemies. Root persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
- The projectile travels at a speed of 1000 and can be disjointed.
- Disjointing it completely nullifies the effects, including the area root, dispel and damage.
- When targeting allies, the area effect is still applied to surrounding enemies. The ally only gets dispelled. Can target self as well.
- Enemies in the area always get dispelled, while allies only get dispelled when targeted, so only one ally can be dispelled per cast.
- The dispel is applied before the damage, so that any dispellable protective buff is removed first.
- Can directly be cast on invulnerable units, fully affecting them, though the damage gets negated by the invulnerability.
- When the projectile connects with a spell immune, invulnerable or hidden unit, it still affects other units within the radius.
- The channeling is not canceled when the target turns spell immune, invisible, invulnerable, hidden or dies.
- When the channeling is interrupted through disables, the projectile is released prematurely.
- The damage and dispel effect are static, only the root duration is based on the time spent channeling.
- The stop duration starts at 0.5 and increases by 0.08 ( 0.0846) for each 0.1 seconds channeled, reaching 2.5 ( 3.25) in 2.5 ( 3.25) seconds.
- Fortune's End roots affected targets, preventing them from moving and casting certain mobility spells.
- Applies a visual effect on the targeted unit upon cast, indicating that it is directly targeted. This visual effect is visible to everyone.
- The sound during the channeling is audible to everyone as well.
- The projectile blocks neutral creep camps.
- The damage is applied instantly upon cast, followed by the heal over time. The damage is lethal to enemies, but not to allies.
- Heals in 1 second intervals, starting 1 second after cast, resulting in 9 instances of heal.
- Can heal up to 99/198/297/396 health (9/18/27/36 when considering the initial damage before reductions) per cast.
- Multiple casts on the same target fully stack.
- False Promise fully negates damage after all reductions, causing several on-damage effects to not trigger.
- False Promise has the second highest priority in the group of damage negating spells. It also negates healing effects.
- This means when combined with e.g. Aphotic Shield or Living Armor, False Promise negates damage while the shield or armor do not.
- It has a lower priority than Borrowed Time, means Borrowed Time first turns damage into heal, and then it is blocked as heal by False Promise.
- The heal block has a priority over that from Ice Blast, so that it still gets applied and doubled by False Promise.
- As with all damage manipulating effects, False Promise only negates and delays the 3 damage types. It fully ignores HP Removal (except for Heartstopper Aura).
- Does not prevent instantly killing effects like Culling Blade, Suicide Squad, Attack!, Bloodstone or Ice Blast shatter.
- At the end of the duration, the target gets healed (first sound) if the overall heal was higher, or damaged (second sound) if the damage was higher. The heal is always credited to Oracle.
- If the damage was higher, the target takes the net damage (HP Removal) from each unit which damaged it, based on the order in which the units applied their damage.
- If a unit dealt multiple instances, it gets summed up and dealt in order whenever it dealt its first instance.
- Example: Unit A deals 150 damage, unit C 200, unit B 100, and then unit A 100 again. The damage at the end is applied in this order: Unit A 250, C 200, B 100.
- Therefore, if the target dies, the kill is credited to whoever's instance dealt the killing blow, which can be the first, last or any other instance in between.
- If the target was healed, the heal is distributed so that all units which damaged the target still have their damage instance dealt at the end.
- Despite being HP Removal, Shallow Grave can still save the target from it and Borrowed Time still turns it into heals.
- If the target is invulnerable as False Promise expires, the delayed heal and damage wait for it to become vulnerable again.
- Successive casts on the same target do not stack, but refresh the duration. The blocked heal and damage counters are not reset.
- The visual orb above the target's head gains more particles based on the received damage and heal. These are visible to everyone.
- Damage adds a fiery particle effect to it, and causes the bubble around the False Promise target to crack. These effects intensify the more damage is taken.
- Heals add green particle effects to it, which float around it. The more heals are received during False Promise, the more green particles appear.
|+2s False Promise Duration||25||+250 Cast Range|
|+20 Intelligence||20||+25 Movement Speed|
|+60 Gold/Min||15||+200 Health|
|+20% XP Gain||10||+0.75s Fortune's End Max Duration|
- The duration increase to Fortune's End increases the max channel time and the max root duration. The minimum root duration is unchanged.
- Gold granted from the talent is unreliable gold.
- Upgrading health increases maximum health capacity and keeps the current health percentage.
- Tangos and Healing Salve allow Oracle to sustain his HP in-lane, preventing him from being harassed away by enemy attacks.
- Gauntlets of Strength give Oracle more HP, making him much less squishy. It can be used to build a Bracer.
- Iron Branch is cheap and gives Oracle extra attributes. It can be used to build Magic Wand, or Mekansm.
- Animal Courier should be purchased by the hard support at the start of a match.
- Magic Stick allows Oracle to instantly replenish his HP and mana, useful in a tight situation or in the middle of a teamfight. Surviving just long enough to cast one or two more of his high-impact spells to change the tide of an engagement.
- Boots of Speed helps boost Oracle's respectable base movement speed. In the early game, it allows him to quickly get within range to cast Fortune's End on an enemy during a gank.
- Bracer improves Oracle's all-around attributes, particularly strength for more HP.
- Magic Wand gives Oracle extra attributes, crucial to have on a hard support with no farm priority. The extra charge storage can give Oracle enough mana to cast his ultimate, or another round of his basic spells.
- Tranquil Boots greatly improves Oracle's survivability and mobility. The movement speed allows him to more easily position himself for his spells, while the armor helps him to survive in the face of enemy attacks. The passive HP regen allows him to keep his HP at full, reducing the need to return to base.
- Mekansm is a powerful support item, allowing Oracle to replenish the health of his teammates. In particular, it can be used in tandem with False Promise to heal an ally for 500 HP rather than 250.
- Observer Wards are important support items that provide crucial vision for Oracle's team. Knowing where the enemy is allows him to be present at fights to change the fate of allies and enemies alike.
- Town Portal Scroll is crucial to have at all times on powerful impact supports like Oracle. His ability to defy fate with his spells makes him a powerful ally to have in any fight.
- Blink Dagger gives Oracle greatly improved mobility and positioning. Getting within range to cast his spells allows Oracle to change the tide of engagements, and it can also help to increase his mobility around the map, reaching hot-spots more easily and allowing him to escape ganks as needed, especially as False Promise can be used to prevent it from going on cooldown due to player damage.
- Boots of Travel allows Oracle to move around the map at will, appearing to save allies from enemy ganks or showing up to add his nukes and disables to a fight. The increased movement speed greatly improves his mobility, allowing him to more easily get in position to cast spells.
- Scythe of Vyse is a powerful item to build on any intelligence support hero. It improves Oracle's attributes, and greatly increases the size of his mana pool and gives him powerful mana regen. The active allows him to instantly hard-disable an enemy from long range, drastically improving his impact in teamfights.
- Dagon greatly improves Oracle's burst damage potential, on top of Fortune's End and Purifying Flames. Used in combination with his spells, Oracle can potentially blow up squishy enemy supports almost instantly.
- Flying Courier is crucial to purchase as early as possible, in order to facilitate ferrying important items to Oracle's team.
- Guardian Greaves greatly improves Oracle's support potential, allowing him to replenish both HP and mana for his allies. Just as importantly, using the active allows Oracle to remove debuffs from himself, chief among them silences that may be preventing him from casting spells.
- Sentry Wards should be regularly purchased along with Observer Wards, in order to de-ward enemy vision where possible.
- Soul Ring is cheap and gives Oracle a way to sustain his casting. The HP and mana regen allow him to remain in the field without having to return to base as often, while the burst mana regen allows Oracle to quickly get the mana he needs to cast his low-cost low-cooldown spells. As well, it can be used for free healing by combining Fate's Edict and Purifying Flames, the sum of which costs less mana than the amount given by Soul Ring's active.
- Urn of Shadows is a useful support item that gives Oracle some better benefits than a Bracer. It provides the same amount of strength while also giving some mana regen. The charges can be used as yet another source of healing or damage alongside Purifying Flames.
- Medallion of Courage is a useful utility support item that gives Oracle many benefits. It increases Oracle's armor, giving him more survivability, and some mana regen for sustaining his mana pool. While Oracle does not specialize in dealing physical damage, the active can be cast on allies to give them more survivability, particularly during False Promise to increase the odds of surviving. Upgrading to a Solar Crest further increases the benefits it provides.
- Arcane Boots is more expensive than Tranquil Boots, but greatly improves Oracle's team contribution. Increasing the size of his mana pool allows Oracle to get more out of his spells, and the active can replenish mana for himself and his allies.
- Aether Lens Useful as extra mana and health regen and Energy Booster can be disassembled from Arcane Boots. Gives Oracle more range which can be useful in fights or when allies initiate and Oracle needs to follow up or if Oracle is staying in the backlines to ensure he can use his ultimate to save a crucial ally.
- Glimmer Cape is a powerful utility item that synergizes with Oracle's ability to protect teammates. Cast on an ally, it can help with initiation for casting short-ranged disables in lieu of a Blink Dagger. As well, it can be cast in place of Fate's Edict to give an ally invisibility as well as increased magic resistance when fleeing. While not as strong as Fate's Edict at mitigating damage from Purifying Flames, it does not disarm the target, allowing them to act if needed.
- Force Staff is an easy-to-build item that gives Oracle many good benefits and synergizes with his abilities. The increased intelligence gives him more mana, while the HP regen keeps his health topped up. The active allows Oracle to quickly re-position himself for casting his spells, and in a pinch can be used as an escape ability. It can be cast during False Promise to help a fleeing ally clear the area faster and put them in a safer place from where Oracle can quickly heal them back up.
- Necronomicon is a useful utility item that increases Oracle's teamfight contribution. Increasing his intelligence and strength gives Oracle more survivability and allows him to more easily utilize his spells, and the summons can add damage output during a teamfight. Upgrading to level 3 allows Oracle to provide True Sight as needed.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity greatly improves Oracle's casting ability while giving him a powerful active. The increased intelligence and mana regen fuel Oracle's spell casting, ensuring that he can use his spell combos more easily, and the bonus movement speed grant him more mobility for positioning himself for casting his spells. The active can be cast on himself to purge debuffs (such as silences) while providing temporary invulnerability, or can be targeted on an enemy as a hard-disable that purges buffs, doubling up on his ability to do so with Fortune's End.
- Pipe of Insight is a strong teamfight item that helps Oracle to further protect his teammates. The magic resistance and HP regen help to make Oracle more survivable, while the aura gives his team improved resistance to magic nukes, including from Purifying Flames. Using the active in a teamfight will allow him to shield allies from enemy magic nukes, without having to resort to Fate's Edict.
- Lotus Orb is an expensive but powerful utility item that allows Oracle to take False Promise to its limit. The item gives Oracle more armor, increasing his survivability, and HP and mana regen for self-sustain. Echo Shell, when cast on a False Promise target, can dissuade enemies from targeting them with burst damage nukes, increasing the target's survivability.
- Orchid Malevolence gives Oracle an assortment of useful bonuses and a strong active. The increased intelligence and mana regen help fuel Oracle's casting, while the damage and attack speed bonus allow him to be a threat with his auto-attacks. The active can be used to prevent enemy spell casters from using their abilities, or can be combined with Fate's Edict to completely prevent an enemy from attacking or casting spells.
- Shiva's Guard greatly improves Oracle's survivability and gives him more casting power. The intelligence greatly increases the size of his mana pool, while the armor helps him to resist physical damage. The Freezing Aura can reduce enemy attack speed, allowing Oracle to reduce the effectiveness of enemy auto-attacks, particularly against a False Promise target, while Arctic Blast can be used to add more nuke damage and slow enemies from fleeing or pursuing.
- Oracle made his first official Dota 2 appearance in the comic The Contract, revealed on the 14th of November 2014 on the official Dota 2 blog. On day 2, his spells and model were revealed.
- Mike Shapiro (Oracle's voice actor) is also well-known for voicing Barney Calhoun and G-Man, two prominent characters in the Half-Life series
- The line Play Play Play "So it goes." is a reference to the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. In the novel, it is a phrase used by the aliens, known as Tralfamadorians, who perceive all time simultaneously.
- The line Play "First blood! Out of fifty possibilities, that was my preferred." is because there actually are 50 possible first bloods (each of 10 heroes can be killed by any of the 5 opposing heroes).
- Oracle's spell Purifying Flames and his phrase Play "I must harm to heal." are a direct play on the medical principle "Primum non nocere", which is latin and translates into "First, do no harm".
- The hero kill line Play "Ask again later." is a reference to an answer of the Magic 8-ball, a toy used for fortune-telling.
- The respawn line Play "Like the past, I'm never dead. I'm not even past." is a reference to the novel Requiem for a Nun from the author William Faulkner. The original quote goes The past is never dead. It's not even past.
- The very rare death line "I want to die" alludes to a passage from Petronius's Satyricon, concerning a seer from Roman Mythology: "For I, myself, saw the Sibyl at Cumae, hanging in a jar; when the boys asked Sibyl, what do you want? She responded I want to die." The passage was made famous as the preamble to T.S. Eliot's poem The Wasteland.
- The prophecy line for Lion Play "Fear neither witch, nor wardrobe. Tis a demon beast that fingers your demise." is a reference to the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia book series by C.S. Lewis, titled The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
- The prophecy line for Faceless Void Play "You ought to read Chronosphere of a Death Foretold. It's a prophetic book." is a reference to the book called Chronicle of a Death Foretold, written by Gabriel García Márquez.
- The prophecy line for Viper Play "V is not for visions of victory, but for a victim of a vicious viper." is a reference to the quote of V for Vendetta.
- The prophecy line for Chaos Knight Play "Beware the knight who commandingly demands: do you even rift?" is a reference to the internet meme "Do you even lift?"
- The prophecy line for Ember Spirit Play "I foresee four flames." may be a reference, both in content and length, to the fact that most of Ember Spirit's spoken lines are four words long, or to the four of "him" – the real one and three remnants.
- The prophecy line for Morphling Play "No empathy test can save you from the watery replicant." is a reference to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, where human-like androids called replicants can only be distinguished from human beings through an empathy test called the Voight-Kampff test.
- The second sentence of the prophecy line for Meepo Play "Four friends await divided from earth. But they are no friends of mine." may be a reference to the sentence in the song Safety Dance from Men Without Hats.
- Slaughterhouse-Five, the novel Oracle is referring to with some of his lines.
- Primum non nocere "First, do no harm".
- The Magic 8-Ball Oracle is referring to with his line "Ask again later.".
- "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
- Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
- V for Vendetta.
- Do you even lift?
- Empathy test in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
- Safety Dance - Men Without Hats Official Video