Winter Wyvern/Guide

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Gameplay[edit]

Playstyle
Winter Wyvern minimap icon.png Winter Wyvern is a powerful nuker who also provides utility in her abilities, making her a well-rounded support. A hard support who does not require much gold to function, she protects her safe lane carry with Cold Embrace, as well as rotating to gank with the slow from Arctic Burn and the damage of Splinter Blast. Unlike most supports, she becomes a dangerous threat in the late game, since she can turn her enemies physical attacks against themselves with Winter's Curse while locking them down for a long duration.
Pros Cons
  • Scales well into the late game against physical attacks.
  • Good attributes gain.
  • Not dependent on items.
  • Decent at clearing waves.
  • Abilities have good damage and cast range.
  • Winter's Curse pierces spell immunity.
  • Falls off mid game when most damage is magical and not much physical.
  • Drawbacks from abilities require the right timing to execute.
  • Bad movement speed.
  • Poor at escaping.
  • Poor solo-kill potential.
  • Winter's Curse cannot effect spell-immune enemies near the targeted hero affected by it.

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic Winter Wyvern
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Arctic Burn icon.pngSplinter Blast icon.pngSplinter Blast icon.pngCold Embrace icon.pngSplinter Blast icon.pngWinter's Curse icon.pngSplinter Blast icon.pngArctic Burn icon.pngArctic Burn icon.pngTalent icon.pngArctic Burn icon.pngWinter's Curse icon.pngCold Embrace icon.pngCold Embrace icon.pngTalent icon.pngCold Embrace icon.pngUnknown icon.pngWinter's Curse icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png

Talents[edit]

Hero Talents
Splinter Blast 2s Stun25+1.5s Winter's Curse Duration
-5s Cold Embrace Cooldown20+15% Arctic Burn Slow
+500 Night Vision15+350 Health
+60 Damage10+90 Gold/Min
Notes:
  • 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.
  • The night vision talent does not counter any vision reducing effect.
  • The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.

Tips & Tactics[edit]

General[edit]

  • Unlike most other intelligence supports, Winter Wyvern possesses respectable strength growth, making her quite resistant to damage. However, her poor base agility also means that she has low base armor, and can benefit greatly from purchasing items that provide her with bonus armor.
  • Winter Wyvern has extreme cast range for all of her abilities, allowing her to impact ganks and team fights from the back lines without endangering herself. Purchasing mobility items allows her to position herself for casting her spells more easily.
  • Winter Wyvern has poor base movement speed and a slow turn rate, making her quite sluggish. She also has short attack range and slow projectile speed, as well as poor base damage, making her physical attacks quite ineffective at harassing when not boosted by Arctic Burn.
    • She needs good positioning and planning to make good use of her abilities. Therefore, buying mobility items helps her positioning better to use abilities or escape death.
  • Much of Winter Wyvern's damage output comes from her basic abilities, which are costly but have low cooldowns. So, securing a reliable source of mana regeneration allows Winter Wyvern to keep on the move and enter teamfights ready to use her full arsenal at all times.

Abilities[edit]

Arctic Burn[edit]

  • Arctic Burn gives Winter Wyvern flying movement while boosting her attack range and night vision, as well as causing her attacks to burn a fraction of enemies' current health every second.
  • Prioritizing Arctic Burn may help make Winter Wyvern far more mobile and better able to counter enemy actions.
    • Reducing the cooldown and mana cost allows Winter Wyvern to have Arctic Burn ready as the situation requires, and helps keep her mana pool full for using other abilities.
    • Furthermore, the increased slow can help get kills during ganks, and inhibit enemy movement during team fights.
  • In the laning stage, take advantage of Arctic Burn's increased attack range, damage over time, and movement speed slow to harass the enemies away from the creep waves.
  • Use Arctic Burn at the start of team fights to slow and burn enemy heroes.
    • Arctic Burn deals damage based on a percentage of the target's current health, meaning it deals more damage the more HP the target has.
  • Use Arctic Burn to evade enemy ganks by flying over impassable terrain, preventing them from easily pursuing.
  • When initiating for a gank or team fight, Winter Wyvern can soar over trees and ledges/cliffs, attacking the enemy from unexpected directions.
  • When fighting, use Arctic Burn's unobstructed movement to keep Winter Wyvern among trees and high in the cliffs so enemies cannot reach her, increasing her survivability. As a result, she can keep using her long ranged abilities from safety.
  • Arctic Burn's flying movement, high attack range, and increased night vision range make Winter Wyvern a formidable nighttime ganker.
    • She can spot enemies from far away, allowing her to choose an advantageous approach angle with her flying movement.
    • She can attack from outside most enemies' vision range, perhaps putting their Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger on cooldown for at least 8 seconds.
  • Winter Wyvern still possesses ground vision with Arctic Burn so she cannot see up high ground or through trees.
    • If going up high ground, try to take a side approach from an unexpected angle, using trees for cover as necessary, rather than directly up a stairway where enemies could be waiting.
  • Arctic Burn does not stack nor refresh with new attacks, therefore you should use the ability on different enemy heroes whenever possible. However, purchasing an Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter does allow subsequent attacks to refresh the debuff.

Splinter Blast[edit]

  • Splinter Blast fires a shard of ice at a target, splintering upon impact, and damaging and slowing all other nearby enemies.
  • Splinter Blast does not affect the primary target at all, i.e. not dealing damage or slowing, so Winter Wyvern cannot use it against lone targets.
    • If trying to damage and slow an enemy, aim Splinter Blast at a secondary target so that the splinters will bounce to the primary target.
  • Max out Splinter Blast early in the game to nuke enemies, clear creep waves, and farm jungle camps when the situation permits.
  • The low cooldown and high area damage allow Winter Wyvern to clear creep waves in seconds and deal area damage in fights.
    • Maximum level Splinter Blast can kill ranged lane creeps in a single cast, giving her strong pushing and counter-pushing capability.
    • In the early game, use Splinter Blast on ranged creeps to harass the enemy when they are trying to get last hits. If you are using it on melee creeps, enemies may see the projectile incoming and move out of the way.
    • If creep positioning permits, try to target Splinter Blast on a siege creep, as their 80% magic resistance makes the secondary damage ineffective against them anyways.
    • However, the siege creeps usually sit well behind the rest of a creep wave, meaning that unless the melee creeps are aggroed and brought closer, a Splinter Blast targeted on a siege creep will likely only hit the ranged creeps.
  • Splinter Blast allows Winter Wyvern to hit enemies up to 1700 range away, keeping Winter Wyvern far away from dangerous fights.
  • Splinter Blast's initial projectile has a fixed 1 second travel time beyond 650 range, and cannot be disjointed, so it can always catch enemies.
    • Furthermore, the secondary splinters that damage and slow enemies in an area cannot be disjointed either once locked on, allowing Winter Wyvern to splash damage at enemies in many situations where other damage nukes cannot.
  • Because of its long range and low cooldown, Splinter Blast is good for breaking an enemy's Linken's Sphere icon.png Linken's Sphere.
    • In particular, it can clear the way to use Winter's Curse, and come off cooldown shortly after the taunt.

Cold Embrace[edit]

  • Cold Embrace disables a target ally but nullifies incoming physical damage and heals a sizable fraction of their health.
  • As a percentage-based heal, Cold Embrace will not heal much in the early game when heroes have lower health pools.
    • However, a value point in Cold Embrace still grants physical damage immunity, perhaps good enough to save Winter Wyvern and allies from ganks.
  • Cold Embrace's physical damage negation may save a teammate who has been caught out of position and is being focused down by enemy attacks.
    • When the enemies are disabling an ally, use Cold Embrace to not only heal and negate physical damage, but wastes the enemy's disabling time as well.
  • Cold Embrace does not protect from secondary attack effects, magical, and pure damage. Consider the following examples that explore the weakness of Cold Embrace.
  • Fate's Edict can be used well with Cold Embrace as it blocks magical damage while leaving the target still able to receive other buffs such as Purifying Flames, and so on.
  • Put Cold Embrace on creeps to prolong pushes by wasting enemy tower's attacks, allowing all other allies to continue damaging it.
    • Use Cold Embrace to tank Roshan icon.png Roshan.
  • Misusing Cold Embrace on allies in key moments in team fights will disable them, rendering them useless to contribute important abilities and attacks.
    • A good time to use Cold Embrace is when Winter's Curse is disabling the enemies, as your allies cannot damage them anyway.
  • Combining the physical damage protection of Cold Embrace with strong magic resistance from other sources such as Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape will greatly heighten the target's chance of survival.

Winter's Curse[edit]

  • Winter's Curse fully disables an enemy and applies a taunt to their nearby allies, causing them to attack the target with increased attack speed.
  • Winter's Curse allows Winter Wyvern to turn the enemy's power against themselves, forcing their farmed hard carries to use their powerful physical damage output against their own team.
    • In particular, enemy auras and powerful damage and attack speed buffs (such as Inner Beast, Bloodlust, and Empower) can cause then to connive in their own destruction by turning such abilities into liabilities should they ever clump up.
  • Winter's Curse will lock down the target through spell immunity and cannot be removed by strong dispels.
    • If an enemy carry activates Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar, Winter Wyvern can still disable them and force their allies to attack them, wasting the enemy's spell immunity while dealing damage to them.
    • Winter's Curse cannot taunt enemies that are spell immune, so they will not attack their allies if they activate spell immunity prior to Winter's Curse. Depending on the situation, try to lock down the spell immune enemy over adjacent teammates.
  • Try to exploit its long cast range and prioritize it on a key enemy that has powerful teamfight abilities or powerful utility items.
    • If possible, use it on a squishy enemy who is standing next to their farmed hard carry to increase the odds of getting a kill. Even if a kill cannot be secured, delaying a key enemy from participating in a fight for a short duration can make the difference between victory and defeat.
  • All affected enemies will take no damage from Winter Wyvern or her team for the duration of Winter's Curse, so do not waste abilities or attacks.
    • Instead, get into better positions during Winter's Curse, getting ready to catch survivors and clean up.
    • Winter's Curse should, as a rule of thumb, only be used to initiate fights or buy time to escape losing battles; casting it in the middle of a fight will result in wasted damage. Make sure to coordinate with your allies, especially if your team has another initiator.
  • Winter's Curse on multiple enemies can set up for allied heroes to land their own area abilities, such as Black Hole, Death Ward, Chakram, Blood Rite, and Storm Hammer.
  • The taunt still applies to anything passing through the radius after Winter's Curse has been used, whether nearby enemies or the disabled target itself.
    • If the target is facing the right direction, try to use Force Staff icon.png Force Staff on them in order to push them within proximity of their allies and bring more units within the radius of the taunt.
  • Many passive abilities do not work against allied units, so do not expect enemy Phantom Assassin to inflict Coup de Grace strikes on her teammates.

Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango sustains health in the laning stage to deal with harassment.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity replenishes mana early, important since Winter Wyvern's abilities are expensive in the early game.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch is cheap and gives a small amount of attributes, can build into a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand or Mekansm icon.png Mekansm, and use with Tango for more healing.
  • Animal Courier (Radiant) icon.png Animal Courier ferries items to friendly heroes.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick gives Winter Wyvern burst health and mana, which can allow her to survive just long enough to cast one more important spell in a teamfight.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed will help improve Winter Wyvern's lackluster movement speed, particularly useful in order to get in position or chase/escape with Arctic Burn.
  • Wind Lace icon.png Wind Lace also provides cheap movement speed, great for poor and slow supports.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows gives Winter Wyvern additional attributes, armor, and mana regeneration. The active can be used alongside Cold Embrace to heal teammates, or adds yet more damage to her arsenal of nukes.

Mid game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand gives Winter Wyvern additional attributes and increased charge storage for a cheap price, which can sometimes be the breaking point that allows her to get her ultimate off against the enemy.
  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots improves Winter Wyvern's movement speed while giving her a bigger mana pool and a way to replenish both her mana and that of her allies.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape is a cheap but powerful utility support item in Winter Wyvern's hands. It can be cast on herself to allow her to invisibly approach the enemy during initiations, or can be targeted on an ally under the effects of Cold Embrace to fortify their magic resistance on top of nullifying physical damage.
  • Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel is natural upgrade of Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows and gives her additional single-target damage.

Late game:

  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm gives Winter Wyvern more attributes and armor, and the active gives her another method with which to heal teammates on top of Cold Embrace.
  • Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves restores massive amount of health and mana to Winter Wyvern and her allies. Mend also removes negative debuffs that may hinder her from using abilities.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is a cheap multipurpose item that greatly increases Winter Wyvern's utility. The intelligence and health regeneration give her more mana and better roaming capability, and the active can help her to position herself more easily for casting spells, particularly to get Winter's Curse off on an important target. It can also move allies to safer place during Cold Embrace.

Situational items:

  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens gives mana and mana regeneration, as well as increased cast range to allow usage of abilities further away from dangerous enemies.
  • Meteor Hammer icon.png Meteor Hammer provides area stun and damage to follow Winter's Curse, and supplements Winter Wyvern's pushing power with some building damage.
  • Soul Ring icon.png Soul Ring is a cheap purchase that increases Winter Wyvern's ability to cast her spells. It provides health and mana regeneration, allowing her to roam more independently. The burst mana allows Winter Wyvern to cast her spells more readily, and the health cost can be recouped through Cold Embrace.
  • Solar Crest icon.png Solar Crest gives Winter Wyvern may powerful bonuses for a comparatively cheap price. The armor and attributes make her much tankier, while the mana regeneration helps keep her mana pool topped up. The active can be cast on a Winter's Curse target, weakening their armor and increasing the odds of killing them.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity gives Winter Wyvern all the mana she needs, improves her mobility, and grants both a disable and another defensive ability on top of Cold Embrace.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger is a great way to increase Winter Wyvern's mobility and allows her to more easily initiate with Winter's Curse.
  • Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb applies basic dispel on target to remove some debuffs and gives them a shield to reflect single target spells, which may deter enemies from using abilities on the target.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter allows toggling of Arctic Burn and refreshing the debuff with following attacks, a great item to control enemy heroes from long distance; however, the massive mana drain means it should never be purchased early.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse greatly improves Winter Wyvern's intelligence and provides all-around attributes as well as plenty of mana regeneration to fuel her costly spells. The hex is a powerful hard-disable that greatly increases her ability to contribute to ganks and teamfights.