I play-tested a home brew Sniper Aghanims build this week and was impressed. The item progression goes Treads; Aquila; Diffusal Blade; Desolator*; Aghanims; luxury (4x Rapier?). I’m going to insist here that this build is optimal for 7.02, but before that I’ll explain the trade-offs:
- It’s not as much damage in the late game. Straight up, if you are going the standard Dragon Lance; Maelstrom; MKB/Crit; MJ; luxury, you will pump out more auto-attack damage.
- No Dragon Lance means you’re easier to gank, and can’t man up nearly as well in the early-mid game. However, I do note you will be DPSing much better with this build until you start up on the Aghanims. Blight; Diff; Deso hit hella hard.
- No Maelstrom means you farm slower. I don’t think the difference is significant but we’d need sample size to tell.
- The purge charges from your Diffusal Blade are honestly not particularly useful.
So now hopefully I don’t seem like I’m high. Here’s the thought process behind the item build.
- Tactical Advantage – Let’s talk Aghanims first since it is the driving force of the build. Sniper players are very familiar with the Sniper-Flanker stalemate / standoff. It’s a game of chicken. Sniper is waiting for the Flanker to show so that he can come in guns-a-blazing without fear of getting reamed by the Flanker. The Flanker is waiting for Sniper to auto-attack, which reveals his position, so that he can jump the Sniper and win the game. Aghs shoots this dynamic in the face. At level 20 with Treads-Diff1-Deso-Aghs, Sniper can fire a ~565 (edited) dmg nuke (reduced by armor-7) with a large aoe that applies corruption, headshot and mana break, every 7.5 seconds. Without revealing his position. From 3000 range. While the Flanker does fuck all. You still enter the fight after the flanker reveals – your dps is less than usual but you’re in the back lines where you belong, the fight is likely won. Aghs makes it much harder for you to throw the game.
- Diffusal Blade – Extremely efficient agility to buff your assassinate later as well as your auto attacks early on. This item is great for smacking people too – 65 damage, 25 aspd for 3150 gold. The 50 mana burn can have impact too. Actually makes Dragon Lance feel like a wet noodle.
- Desolator – Another very efficient damage item that synergizes with Aghanims, and with no Dragon Lance hp/range it’s really nice to kill towers faster.
- No Dragon Lance or Maelstrom – With this build you’re not attacking as much, you’re casting more and you’re staying out of trouble. The extra range and hp on DL is no longer used to its full effect. The chain lightning on Maelstrom isn’t proccing as much – it’s just not efficient when you’re not constantly firing, and it has poor synergy with Aghs (unless they have illusions).
Make sure to take the cooldown reduction @ 20. And the mana regen @ 10 – you’re not utilizing the attack speed nearly as much, way better to have mana for spamming assassinate.
Please no flame,
-gg worst captain ever
* Play-tested Maelstrom in place of Desolator. I believe the choice is suboptimal, but I had a quest to do.