Dota 2 Item Guide: Mage Slayer | EarlyGame
Don’t buy it on Anti-Mage!

Dota 2 Item Guide: Put an End to Magic With the Mage Slayer

Dota 2
Dota 2 Mage Slayer Anti-Mage
Anti-Mage isn't a top candidate to get a Mage Slayer. (Credit: Valve Corporation)

It’s the weekend and that means only one thing - another Dota 2 Item Guide! This time we venture further into the newest items with the recently added Mage Slayer. Is it better than a BKB?

If you're looking for more item guides, check out some of the previous ones: Blade Mail, Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Abyssal Blade, Manta Style, Spirit Vessel. Today we'll be examining Mage Slayer. An alternative to BKB for agility cores?

Dota 2 Item Guide: Mage Slayer

A quick glimpse at Mage Slayer:

  • Patch created: 7.28
  • Total cost: 3450 gold
  • Provides:+20 Damage, +20 Agility, +20% Magic Resistance
  • Passive: Mage Slayer - Places a debuff when you attack enemies, causing them to do 35% less spell damage for 4 seconds.

The Mage Slayer is one of the newest items in Dota 2 much like Gleipnir, Orb of Corrosion and others. It comes at a total cost of 3450, which is quite low. Then again... the stats aren’t that tempting either. It requires a Claymore, a Blade of Alacrity, a Cloak, and the recipe.

For years, there was only a single choice when building magic resistance: Hood of Defiance/Pipe of Insight. Mage Slayer provides an alternative, but it’s only viable on core heroes that’ll actually make use of the passive debuff and agility/damage. Much like any other source of magic resistance the one provided by Mage Slayer stacks multiplicatively.

Mage Slayer – When to buy it

Mage Slayer will be a decent pick in most games, as there’ll be at least one hero on the enemy team that deals heavy magic damage. Getting Mage Slayer will basically half their damage output if you're hitting them. Since the item provides +20 agility, it’s obviously aimed at agility-based cores. It’s especially good on heroes that can also hit multiple targets or have illusions that’ll allow them to apply the debuff on multiple targets:

  • Pangolier
  • Monkey King
  • Ember Spirit
  • Phantom Assassin
  • Riki
  • Medusa
  • Naga Siren
  • Phantom Lancer
  • Hoodwink
  • Spectre
  • Terrorblade
  • Slark

Any illusion-based hero will greatly increase the effective HP of their illusions with a Mage Slayer. Imagine how quickly Phantom Lancer's illusions melt against something like Leshrac. With a Mage Slayer the illusions won't be so frail thanks to the debuff they apply on the target.

Dota 2 Phantom Lancer
Mage Slayer is a must-buy for illusion heroes like PL. (Credit: Valve Corporation)

Mage Slayer vs. BKB

The cost of Mage Slayer is only slightly lower than a BKB. While the two items are a viable pick vs most spells they are also quite different. Black King Bar will allow you to ignore most spells and crowd control. When we say most, there are numerous exceptions that pierce spell immunity. That’s where Mage Slayer comes in, as the debuff will still greatly reduce even pure damage spells.

Unlike BKB, Mage Slayer will be more of a situational pick
. Still, it's a viable alternative to BKB in some scenarios. It’ll be amazing against the right line up, but most of the time it’ll just be ok.

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