Viper/Guide

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Gameplay[edit]

Playstyle
Viper minimap icon.png Viper is a mixed damage carry who functions as a powerful team fight hero in the midgame. Nethertoxin contaminates the ground, dealing damage and removing his opponents' passives. His Corrosive Skin punishes anyone who dares attack him, while Poison Attack and Viper Strike slow enemies to a crawl. Because of this, Viper is an exceedingly deadly ganker during the early game, but is less potent during the late game. Viper also lacks any disables and struggles against enemies with spell immunity.
Pros Cons
  • Powerful slows and magic damage makes him a great ganker in the early and midgame.
  • Possesses one of the only sources of break without items, the other being Vendetta.
  • Capable of catching up in farm with Nethertoxin.
  • Fairly durable with Corrosive Skin.
  • Straightforward playstyle.
  • One of the slowest heroes in the game.
  • Has mana issues during the early and mid game.
  • No hard disable.
  • Falls off late game compared to other carries.

Ability Builds[edit]

Carry Viper
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Nethertoxin icon.pngCorrosive Skin icon.pngNethertoxin icon.pngPoison Attack icon.pngNethertoxin icon.pngViper Strike icon.pngCorrosive Skin icon.pngCorrosive Skin icon.pngCorrosive Skin icon.pngTalent icon.pngNethertoxin icon.pngViper Strike icon.pngPoison Attack icon.pngPoison Attack icon.pngTalent icon.pngPoison Attack icon.pngUnknown icon.pngViper Strike icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png

Talents[edit]

Hero Talents
+160 Damage25 Nethertoxin Silences
Poison Attack Affects Buildings20+100 Viper Strike DPS
+6 Corrosive Skin Stats15+125 Attack Range
8% Spell Lifesteal10+25 Attack Speed
Notes:
  • The spell lifesteal talent stacks additively with other sources of spell lifesteal.
  • The spell lifesteal talent heals for 1.6% from non-hero units. Treats creep-heroes as creeps and does not heal off of illusions.
  • This attack damage talent is added as raw attack damage, so it does not benefit illusions, and is not affected by most percentage-based damage increasing or reducing effects.

Tips & Tactics[edit]

General[edit]

  • Viper can either be played in the safe lane with a support, or solo mid.
  • Viper's main purpose in fights is absorbing enemy attacks while whittling them down with his abilities, allowing the rest of his team to act freely. This is an intentionally loose definition since Viper's talents allow him to emphasize damage output or survivability.
    • As a natural result of the hero's design, he excels in prolonged engagements where he can cycle through his abilities multiple times.
    • The hero is flexible in terms of item builds and playstyle. Your item progression largely determines what role Viper will play within the team's overall gameplan.
  • Viper does not need to win the laning stage in order to be a powerhouse in the midgame. In most lane situations, you are better off playing safely rather than exposing yourself to possible ganks.
  • Viper is one of the slowest heroes in the game. This makes him a progressively weaker and more exploitable target as enemy heroes purchase items such as Force Staff icon.png Force Staff and Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger.
    • Preemptive positioning is key for Viper to have impact in fights.
    • Viper's large assortment of slows allow him to corral less mobile heroes.
    • Viper should be drafted into lineups with multiple disables or itemized in a way that sidesteps the issue altogether.
    • This problem can be partially solved by forcing the enemy to fight you around objectives.

Abilities[edit]

Poison Attack[edit]

  • Poison Attack is Viper's main tool for harassing opponents in lane.
    • Orb walking is an essential mechanic players must learn to exploit this.
    • Due to cost and limited opportunity, it is pragmatic to only put 1-2 points into Poison Attack during the early game.
  • Poison Attack's damage is inversely proportionate to the opponent's remaining HP.
    • Ensure you or your team has the damage to bring opponents low so it becomes more deadly.
  • Use Poison Attack to slow down fleeing opponents.
  • Use Poison Attack in combination with Viper Strike to kite and control melee carries.
  • Use Poison Attack in combination with Viper Strike to cripple a target's physical DPS.
  • More tips needed.

Nethertoxin[edit]

  • Nethertoxin is your primary farming tool.
    • Viper can safely push out waves with its long cast range.
    • With level 3 Nethertoxin, you can clear an entire creep wave while it is clashing with the enemy wave.
    • Viper can farm neutral camps with enough levels in Nethertoxin. The magic resistance reduction and small mana cost makes it easy to clear camps. Additionally, Nethertoxin's break works on creeps. This is particularly useful against the auras provided by ancients, and allows them to be farmed much easier. However, lack of Bottle (Full) icon.png Bottle in the early game means this tactic will tax his limited mana pool.
    • When playing Viper in the mid lane, Nethertoxin can be used to easily stack ancient camps without risk of losing farm, assuming you can safely spare the mana. You may consider buying a couple Clarity icon.png Clarity for this purpose. A triple or quad stacked ancient camp easily offsets the cost required to stack, and provides Viper with a quick cash infusion in the mid game.
    • When farming neutral camps, it is recommended to first draw aggro with an attack, then place Nethertoxin near the camp instead of inside it. If properly placed, and with the correct positioning, creeps will spend most of the time moving from the spawn location's aggro box to Viper's location, through the Nethertoxin, allowing him to minimize damage taken while maximizing farm speed.
  • Nethertoxin's break makes Viper a potent counterpick against many heroes that depend on strong passives.
  • Keep applying Nethertoxin on the enemies to reduce their magic resistance, causing Viper's and allies' abilities to deal more magical damage.
  • More tips needed.

Corrosive Skin[edit]

  • Corrosive Skin is the best choice to max first if you and your opponent(s) are trading blows.
  • Corrosive Skin is especially potent against damage over time abilities. Between the magic resistance and continuous reapplication of Corrosive Skin to the enemy caster, Viper will usually take less damage than Corrosive Skin returns.
  • With enough sustain, Viper should take attacks from creeps to apply Corrosive Skin's damage over time, clearing them faster.
  • More tips needed.

Viper Strike[edit]

  • Viper Strike is one of the best ganking abilities in the early game. Take advantage of it to help teammates win their lanes.
  • Combine Viper Strike with Nethertoxin to dish out immense damage in the midgame.
  • With an early Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, Viper Strike can be used multiple times in a fight at half the regular mana cost.

Items[edit]

Starting items:

Early game:

  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed are a standard pickup that give movement speed.
  • Wraith Band icon.png Wraith Band provides a decent boost to Viper's attributes. The extra damage and attack speed help him secure last hits.
  • Infused Raindrop icon.png Infused Raindrop adds extra mana regeneration and protection against magical damage.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand offers burst health and mana.

Mid game:

  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots expand his mana pool, allowing him to use abilities more often inside and outside of combat.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos gives Viper access to a root, greatly enhancing his ganking power, as well as much-needed stats. The components also provide a convenient build up for him in the early game

Late game:

  • Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves, the upgrade to Arcane Boots, make Viper exceptionally tanky. The active restores a large portion of health and mana to the entire team while dispelling debuffs; the passive prevents low health heroes from succumbing to their wounds. The extra survivability keeps Viper alive far longer, allowing him to sustain his allies and deal more damage.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter lowers his ultimate's cooldown to 10 seconds and cuts the mana cost in half. Viper can now cast it multiple times in an engagement for offensive or defensive purposes.

Situational items:

  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord enhances the magical damage of Viper's entire kit as well as granting attributes and armor.
  • Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade is a good pickup on Viper if you intend to seize map control. Viper is a very capable ganker if he can get close to a target. Between both of his slows and his damage scaling up as his target's health decreases, he is very good at 1v1 dueling.
  • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd can be an idiosyncratic yet effective choice against teams that rely on damage from 1-2 right-click heroes. Halberd stops those opponents from attacking in addition to granting status resistance and evasion.
  • Sange and Yasha icon.png Sange and Yasha is a common pickup in the midgame. Viper enjoys the additional health and damage, as well as movement speed.
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar grants spell immunity so Viper can act without worrying about most enemy disables.
  • Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar provides magical damage on top of a solid chunk of damage and a little attack speed. It's best suited against enemy carries who are picking up evasion items and heroes with blind.
  • Nullifier icon.png Nullifier shuts down heroes who rely on items. Viper by nature struggles against mobility items like Force Staff icon.png Force Staff and Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger; he is also vulnerable to disables from Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence and Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse. Nullifier also stops targets from activating Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar, Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape and other items that counteract his magic damage.
  • Manta Style icon.png Manta Style provides a mix of tankiness, damage, and chasing potential. Mirror Image dispels certain debuffs that cripple Viper's playstyle. Since Corrosive Skin carries over to illusions, it is moderately useful for split-pushing.
  • Mjollnir icon.png Mjollnir is one of the best DPS items for Viper in the lategame. It accentuates his waveclear, adds more magical damage with the active as well as the passive, and provides high attack speed to enhance Poison Attack.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque increases Viper's tankiness. Combined with Corrosive Skin and Butterfly, Viper becomes incredibly hard to put down.
  • Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi is ideal for Viper players who want to frontline. It gives him great stats across the board and the duration of Cold Attack almost perfectly overlaps Poison Attack. The combined attack speed and move speed slows of Viper's abilities and Skadi's modifier will slow any target to a crawl.
  • Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn prevents spellcasters from using spells, as well as making your targets more vulnerable to your DPS. The mana regeneration also remedies Viper's constant lack of mana.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core combines well with Viper as he can output high magical damage, specifically from Nethertoxin. The spell lifesteal makes this already tanky hero even harder to kill, and stacks with his spell lifesteal talent to provide significant healing. Extra health and mana also allow Viper to live longer and cast more spells during teamfights. Finally, the cooldown reduction allows for more uses of Nethertoxin and Viper Strike, especially when paired with Aghanim's Scepter.
  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance is an item to consider on Viper as he is a durable hero who will survive in fight long enough to deal damage over time to his enemies. Combined with spell lifesteal, it adds to his innate tankiness and the damage also allows him to attack enemies with Poison Attack more effectively.