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Dota 2 Item Guide: Annoy Your Enemy To Death With Spirit Vessel

Dota 2
Spirit vessel dota 2

Image credit: Valve Corporation

We continue with the next item in our Dota 2 Item Guide series. In today’s edition, we’ll be taking a deeper look at Spirit Vessel. When to buy it and how to utilize it?

Every game of Dota 2 is different and you’ll need to itemize properly in order to counter the enemy team. We’ve already covered Blade Mail, Abyssal Blade, Eul’s Scepter of Divinity, and Manta Style. Now it’s time to look at Spirit Vessel.

What do You Know About Spirit Vessel?

As usual, let’s take a short overview of the item first:

  • Added in patch: 7.07 – making it one of the newest items in the game.
  • Total cost: 2940 gold
  • Grants: +2 Strength, +2 intelligence, +2 Agility, +250 Health, +1.5 Mana Regen, +2 Armor
  • Active: Soul Release – When used against enemies, it reduces health by 4% of current health per second, and reduces HP regeneration and healing by 45%. Deals 35 damage per second. When used on allies, it provides 40 health regeneration per second. Lasts 8 seconds. Gains charges every time an enemy hero dies within 1400 units. Only the closest Spirit Vessel to the dying hero will gain a charge.

How to Use Spirit Vessel

At first glance, Spirit Vessel is just a support item but in reality, it’s often a viable pick even on core heroes. The total gold cost is quite low considering the most expensive component is Vitality Booster, sitting at 1100.

While the stats provided are not that impressive, the utility it offers with the active is quite useful. When used to heal yourself or an ally, you can regenerate up to 320 health. If you take any damage from an enemy while healing, the effect will be canceled.

What you’ll usually be interested in is the item’s offensive capability. Reducing an enemy’s regeneration and healing by 45% is no joke and the damage ticks of 4% current health plus the extra 35 per second can diminish a foe.

It can deal a total of 280 + 27.86% of current health before reductions. To put this in perspective, a target with 2000 HP and 25% magic resistance will take around 580 damage.

The healing reduction effect is excellent when dealing with something like Huskar, Lifestealer, Morphling, or Alchemist, supports that rely on healing an ally like Oracle, Dazzle will also be punished. In addition, every hero with a high health pool (most Strength carries and offlaners) will take massive damage from the effect. On cast, it applies heal reduction, health regen reduction, lifesteal reduction, and spell lifesteal reduction.

When to Buy It?

Note that if there is more than one Spirit Vessel/Urn of Shadow on your team, only the one closest to a dying enemy hero will get the charge. Heroes that should buy the item include pretty much anyone with a decent damage over time effect:

  • Witch Doctor
  • Ancient Apparition
  • Venomancer
  • Doom
  • Phoenix
  • Ogre Magi
  • Earth Spirit
  • Invoker (it’ll proc Cold Snap as often as possible)
  • Pudge
  • Viper

Heroes like Io and Oracle can also use it to greatly amplify the amount it heals. Io through Tether and Oracle through False Promise. As long as an enemy is affected by the Spirit Vessel debuff they won’t be able to use Blink Dagger. This makes escaping harder and will net you a kill in some situations.

Countering Spirit Vessel

The most simple way to counter the item is to not die. Easy right? Spirit Vessel can only gain a charge when an enemy hero dies in rage. The second best option would be spells that dispel. A lot of heroes like Abaddon, Oracle, Legion Commander, and others. If you’re missing a direct dispel spell it’d be a good idea to have a Lotus Orb on one of your teammates.

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