Dota 2 Io Guide

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Dota 2 Io Guide

Unleash the power of the celestial Hero Io and learn about its abilities, gameplay strategy, and counters with this Dota 2 Io Guide

Io is a ranged Universal Hero with a base HP of 494 and a significant Mana pool of 351. It has an underwhelming average base attack damage of 44, and is deceptively durable with a base movement speed of 320 and base armor of 3.3.

This Hero is not too difficult to play, but requires perfect movement and positioning, map awareness and dedicated patience to babysit your cores in lane. Its abilities help amplify allies' regenerative capabilities, and even has decent nuking potential. It can also assert global presence, popping into existence with an allied comrade


Dota 2 Io Guide

Learn about the cosmic powers of the fundamental Wisp with this deep dive into its unique abilities.

  • Tether – Wisp tethers itself to an allied unit for up to 12 seconds, granting bonus movement speed of up to 12% for both (18% with level 15 talent) to both. When Io uses any regeneration, the ally also benefits from it. The tether slows the enemy's percentage movement and attack speed by up to 45 (60 with level 10 talent), but breaks above a 1000 distance. This ability can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Shard.

    • Aghanim’s Shard Upgrade – Wips gains Spell Lifesteal and can now share it with its tethered ally.  
  • Spirits – Io summons five particle spirits that dance in circles around it for 19 seconds. These spirits can not-fatally collide with enemy units dealing up to 25 damage. When colliding with enemy Heroes, it explodes and damages them for up to 90 in a 360 AoE (area of effect). The Spirits can also be spun inwards and outwards with sub-abilities called Spirits In and Spirits Out. This ability can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Scepter.

    • Aghanim’s Scepter Upgrade – 5 Spirits particles passively spawns and replenishes every second, and slows enemies by 15% for 0.3 seconds. Io may also explode all 5 spirits by activating the ability. 
  • Overcharge – Wisp can activate this ability to gain bonus attack speed of up to 110, spell amplification of up to 14%, and HP Regen of up to 0.8% (1% with level 20 talent) based on its max HP. The ability lasts for 8 seconds and shares the buffs with any tethered ally. This ability can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Shard.

    • Aghanim’s Shard Upgrade – Grants Overcharge slow resistance by 30%.
  • Relocate – After channeling for the lowest of 3 seconds, Io and any tethered ally are teleported to a target location for 12 seconds. At the end of the duration, they are returned from where they teleported. Double-click to teleport to your team's base fountain. 


  • Level 10 – +15 Attack Damage to Tethered Units or +15% Tether Enemy Move/Attack Slow
  • Level 15 – +55 Spirits Hero Damage or +6% Tether Movement Speed
  • Level 20 – -25s Relocate Cooldown or +0.2% Overcharge Max HP Regen Bonus
  • Level 25 – Attack Tethered Ally's Target or +400 Health to Tethered Units

Dota 2 Io Guide – Tips

Io, often played as a support (Position 4 or 5), wields unique battlefield control through perfect coordination. Through Tether, it preserves allies' safety, bolstering them with Overcharge and harassing enemies with Spirits. The game-changer is Relocate, enabling ambushes, saves, and global map control. Io thrives with core allies, but requires XP to unlock its impactful abilities. Gaining experience with care, sticking with your cores, and purchasing items to enhance them is key. 

Dota 2 Io – Pros and Cons

Understand the strengths and weaknesses of this ethereal guardian. 


  • Incredible mobility
  • Strong sustain for ally
  • Map-wide presence with Relocate
  • Versatile utility 


  • Squishy if caught out
  • Dependent on good coordinatIon
  • Lacks direct damage abilities
  • Hard to play effectively

How to play Io

Mastering Io revolves around understanding the game's rhythm and your team's needs.

Starting Items

Starting with Tangoes and a Healing Salve ensures you have the regeneration to sustain both yourself and your tethered ally. A couple of Iron Branches are essential for a minor stat boost. Consider Clarity Potions and mango to maintain your Mana and ensure you can constantly heal and protect your ally. A Ring Of Regen will give you the passive HP regen you need.

Early Game

In the early stages, your main role is to bolster your carry's lane presence. Use Tether to share regen and provide strength, while Overcharge can both reduce damage taken and enhance their offense. Employ Spirits strategically for harassment, maintaining lane control, and securing last hits if necessary.

For items, consider getting a Magic Stick for immediate regen and Boots of Speed to improve mobility. If engaging in frequent trades or facing opponents with spammable abilities, upgrading to a Magic Wand is prudent. Additionally, acquiring an early Bottle can prove advantageous for sustaining yourself and your lane partner.

Mid Game

In the mid-game, you shift from a lane-focused role to a global threat. Relocate lets you impact fights across the map, tipping the balance in your team's favor or rescuing allies. An Urn of Shadows is valuable, healing allies and damaging foes.

For boots, choose between Arcane Boots for Mana and restoration, or Tranquil Boots for speed and health regen when combined with Tether.

Late Game

In the late game, Your item choices should focus on enhancing your team's survivability and ensuring your own. Mekansm is a crucial pick-up, providing your team with a substantial burst of healing. Upgrading this to Guardian Greaves not only amplifies this effect but also provides a dispel and bonus healing and armor when Health is low. If you're finding yourself becoming a primary target in team fights, a Glimmer Cape or an Aeon Disk can be a worthy investment. 

Buy a Vladimir’s Offering if your team needs it. Solar Crest is good if you have a high damage-dealing core. Heart of Tarrasque is an excellent item choice to increase your survivability, thereby indirectly increasing the survivability of your tethered ally. For extended games, an Aghanim’s Scepter can be a potential game-changer item. 

Dota 2 Io Counters 

Here are some Heroes that can make life difficult for our celestial Wisp.

  • Earth Spirit – Earth Spirit can cause problems for Io with his versatile skill set. He can silence Wisp with Geomagnetic Grip and stun with Boulder Smash, disrupting its life-saving activities. His ultimate, Magnetize can be a significant problem for Wisp and its tethered ally, as they often stick together.
  • Disruptor – With his Glimpse and Kinetic Field, Disruptor can separate Io from its tethered ally and trap it. Static Storm is also a potent weapon against Wisp since it prevents it from casting abilities, disrupting Wisp's escape plans.
  • Ancient Apparition – Ancient Apparition’s Ice Blast can prevent Io from healing its tethered ally, reducing the effectiveness of Wisp’s primary strength.


We regularly upload guides for your favorite Heroes, so watch for more to come.  


Dota 2 Io Guide
The Old One
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