Hunt the wayward souls who escaped the hereafter with our Dota 2 Visage Guide
A guardian of the Narrow Maze, Visage the Gravekeeper now scours the mortal plane hunting down souls who have escaped the afterlife. With its ability to consume inflicted pain and channel it back with powerful blasts accompanied by blind familiars, none may escape their fate, even in death.
Visage is a ranged Universal Hero with an impressive Health pool of 604 and a decent Mana pool of 339. Due to its powerful early-game abilities, it falls short in all the other base stats, with poor values of only 47 damage, 0.8 armor and 285 movement speed.
This Soul Hunter is a versatile Hero capable of taking up many roles. But no whichever role it takes, it excels at nuking down enemies and pushing with its summoned stone gargoyles. It is a bit higher on the difficulty scale due to its need to micromanage its summons and count-based abilities. With a bit of experience and farm, it excels in the early to mid-game, thanks to its devastating nuking capabilities.
Let’s round up the dead quickly by understanding the technical details of the Gravekeeper’s unique abilities.
- Grave Chill – Visage drains the soul of a target victim, reducing their movement speed by up to 30% and attack speed by up to 70 while gaining it for itself and nearby familiars. This debuff lasts for 6 seconds (8 seconds with level 25 talent).
- Soul Assumption – The Soul Hunter is a master of gathering soul essence, gaining a soul charge every time nearby Heroes in an 1800 radius take 100 damage. When cast, Soul Assumptions releases the charges, dealing up to 20 base damage and 70 damage per charge (95 with level 20 talent) to a target Hero (2 with level 15 talent).
- Gravekeeper’s Cloak – Visage’s cloak has up to 4 layers which recharge in the lowest of 3 seconds and absorbs damage dealt to it by enemy Heroes. Each layer reduces damage by up to 20%, with a minimum of 40 damage and a maximum of 80%. This ability can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Shard.
- Aghanim’s Shard Upgrade – Grants the ability Stone Form which lets Visage become invulnerable and regenerate up to 25% of its Maximum HP in 6 seconds.
- Summon Familiars – The Gravekeeper summons 2 blind companions (3 with level 25 talent) to aid in its mission. These Familiars have high attack speed, dealing up to 75 damage (81 with level 10 talent) and have up to 700 HP. They can also cast Stone Form, smashing into the ground below, dealing up to 140 damage and stunning enemies for up to 1.2 seconds. They become invulnerable and have boosted health regeneration to 200 for 6 seconds. Upgrading this ability with Aghanim’s Scepter grants a new ability.
- Silent as the Grave (Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade)– Visage and its Familiars gain invisibility, movement speed and flying movement for 35 seconds. Attacking breaks invisibility and grants them bonus attack damage of 25% for 4 seconds.
- Level 10 – +6 Visage And Familiars Attack Damage or -3 Grave Chill Cooldown
- Level 15 – Soul Assumption Hits 2 Targets or +2s Grave Chill Duration
- Level 20 – +1 Armor Corruption to Visage and Familiars or +25 Soul Assumption Damage Per Charge
- Level 25 – +1 Familiar or Gravekeeper’s Cloak Grants +10 Armor
Dota 2 Visage Guide – Tips
Visage can be played both as a support or a core, and excels in both roles with flying colors. With its ability to slow down fleeing enemies, drain their speed with Grave Chill, and tear them apart. With the ability to tank nukes with its Gravekeeper’s Cloak, it can return the damage multiplied with Soul Assumption, devastating the targets with their own soul essence. Finally, with its Summon Familiar ability, it can conjure fiendish gargoyles to help chase down and capture the souls of any who have escaped the afterlife with chilling severity.
The Soul Hunter is usually played as a Ganker/Pusher support, as Visage can be very impactful without needing much Gold. If paired with an aggressive core, it can easily nuke down or harass the opposition whenever a battle ensues. Due to its lack of base movement speed, armor and damage, the Gravekeeper needs proper positioning and understanding of the technical bits of damage intake and dealing to maximize its Gravekeeper’s Cloak and Soul Assumption.
Although farming is always a good idea, when playing support, it's easy for Visage to pick up some necessary items by getting enough kills. Experience and level points in Grave Chill and Soul Assumption are essential for early to mid-game impact. Items that help reduce enemy armor or help disable enemies will help you and your Familiars deal more physical damage. Furthermore, due to the spammability of each of its abilities, it needs items to help sustain its Mana pool. Playing it as a core requires much more mastery, as it is far from a traditional carry.
Dota 2 Visage – Pros and Cons
Here are some of Visage’s greatest strengths and weaknesses that you must remember when hunting and returning wayward souls.
- Can be played in many roles
- Can be played in any lane
- Familiars have high utility
- High single-target nukes
- Abilities are extraordinary in 1-v-1 situations
- Spammable abilities
- Powerful early to mid-game impact
- Requires a decent bit of micromanagement
- Less impactful without Familiars
- Not a good late-game Hero
- Familiars give 100 Gold upon death
- Bad against Damage-Per-Second (DPS) sources
- Slow attack and movement speed
- Level dependant
- No escape abilities
How to play Visage
Learn the way of the Soul Hunting Hero and master the art of apprehending souls to use for your own gain with our short guide.
Whether you are playing support or core, start your lane with Tango and Healing Salve for some early restoration and an Iron Branch for cheap attributes.
Having a few Clarites and an Enchanted Mango will help you spam your abilities with more ease, and if you are facing spell-spamming opponents, carrying a Magic Stick will work wonders to turn the tide of battle.
No matter if you are playing support or core, you should try to find kills in your lane whenever you can by coordinating with your teammates. Last-hitting can be difficult with your low base damage. Picking up a Boots of Speed is crucial as you are very slow.
Getting yourself a Magic Wand or Ring of Basilius are great defensive items to help you sustain in lane, but picking up a Medallion of Courage is the way to go if you are playing aggressively. This will allow you to slow and nuke down your targets with more efficiency.
You are most powerful during this phase, as your nukes and your Familiars are excellent at causing havoc in teamfights. Getting a Phylactery allows your Soul Assumption to back a strong punch, and getting items like Solar Crest also opens up more damage output on your end. If you are playing a more defensive role, getting Glimmer Cape, Force Staff or Pipe of Insight will help you, your Familiars and your team with survivability.
You can also go for a Vladmir’s Offering for lifesteal, damage and armor aura, which will benefit your Familiars greatly. If you plan to provide regeneration to you and your allies, you can go for Arcane Boots and Mekansm for better teamfight reinforcement. Getting a Rod of Atos is also a good idea for an extra lockdown. Try to take teamfight and push for towers, ending the game before it goes too late.
You start to fall off late-game, so getting items that will help your allies in teamfights is a good idea. Pick up items like Orchid Malevolence, Bloodthorn or Scythe of Vyse will help you provide extra disables in teamfights. Picking up your Aghanim’s Scepter and Aghanim’s Shard will help you unlock abilities to help you and your familiars make more impact late-game.
If you want more defensive utility, go for a Lotus Orb, which synchronizes well with your Gravekeeper’s Cloak. Aura items like Assault Cuirass and Shiva’s Guard will help your summons and allies benefit greatly from their auras and armor as well. The attack speed from the first and the active slow and nuke from the latter will work great with your Grave Chill slow and help build up damage for Soul Assumption.
Dota 2 Visage Counters
Here are some counters that make the afterlife very difficult for our stony undead warden throughout the game.
- Venomancer – His Venomous Gale, Poison Sting and Noxious Plague all deal damage over time which can chip away Visage’s Gravekeeper’s Cloak, and the overall DPS-heavy abilities also slow the already-sluggish Hero.
- Luna – Her Moon Glaives’ bounces are incredibly effective against the Soul Hunter and his stony entourage. After a few hits killing the Familiars and reducing Gravekeeper’s Cloaks instances, Visage can be quickly nuked down with Eclipse.
- Viper – His Poison Attack and Viper Strike are super effective against Visage and his Gravekeeper’s Cloak due to the DPS. Furthermore, Nethertoxin and his defensive Corrosive Skin make him highly resistant to burst damage.
- Axe – He can easily initiate into a flock of Familiars and kill them off with Berserker’s Call and Counter Helix. Due to the Familiars’ high attack speed, they proc Counter Helix much faster.
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