128px A correctly played Thunderbringer is hilarious, because the Thunderbringer is a huge, hairy ape that waddles around just outside your sight--sound familiar? Like sasquatch, a good Thunderbringer is elusive as hell, much to the dismay of your opponents. Even if you've played DotA for years, chances are you'll still learn something here. So read on!

From Greek God to Giant Gorilla

The Thunderbringer, aka Zeus from DotA, is one of the oldest and most-feared heroes amongst the entire lineup. Throughout DotA history, he's been nerfed continuously until he's reached his current form. At some point, he had 600 range (now he has 350, the lowest of any ranged INT), 300 movespeed (considered normal, but now he has 295), and his ultimate did a lot more damage. Even so, and despite the fact that he lacks any true AoE, and the fact that he scales horrendously in terms of attack and item-based growth, he's still a top-tier pick in competitive games and is considered to be one of the best solo heroes in both DotA and HoN. Let's see why all of these nerfs are justified.

By: Nome

Skill OverviewПравить

  • Chain Lightning - Despite being in slot 1, this is TB's secondary nuke. It does nearly negligible damage to the target, scales horrendously (adds a few bounces and a tiny amount of damage), reveals your position, and drains mana from your primary nuke. For our build, this skill is largely useless. Some players like to get this at LVL1, because it offers similar damage to Blast of Lighting--85 vs 100 damage, at a lesser cost--65 vs 75 mana, and at a lower cooldown--2 vs 7 seconds. Don't fall for this. We will be only leveling this a single time, as its effectiveness is largely for the bonus we get from Lightning Rod.
  • Blast of Lightning - This is, without question, the most dangerous nuke in the game. It costs very little mana at all levels, does insane damage LVL2 and onward, has a big cast range of 700, and has a short cooldown of 7 seconds. You will without doubt be leveling this as your primary skill. Oh wait, it also ministuns and reveals invisible heroes within a large area for 3 seconds. WAT.
  • Lightning Rod - Possibly one of the best passives in the game, Lighting Rod will be our secondary skill in terms of leveling priority. This is what makes TB incredibly dangerous from beginning to end, and is what makes his already insane nuking ability absolutely stupid.
  • Lightning Storm - Yo, it hits and reveals every enemy hero on the entire map.

Skill BuildПравить

You should always wait and see who you're matched up against before you decide on a build. I go by the general rule of "if my enemy has 1+ deny per wave" then I go safe build.

Prefered Build

The preferred build deviates from most popular Thunderbringer builds in how it treats Chain Lightning. The reason you want to go BL/LR/BL instead of CL/BL/BL is because two levels of BL boosted by a single level of LR at level 3 is ridiculously potent harassment. While LR doesn't add much damage to BL, there's absolutely no reason you should be using CL at this point--not even for last hits, as it just pushes the lane. Besides, at only 95 mana, you need all the mana you can get for BL harassment. CL, at 65 mana, is a complete waste, and should never be used unless you're going to miss a kill. Moreover, we leave CL at LVL1--this is because the damage scaling on it is horrendous--for 20 mana more, all you add is an additional 50 damage, which, while it may make a small difference in large head-on teamfights, is not ideal as you should not really even be spamming it in teamfights (more on this later).

Safe Build

The Safe Build lets you Chain Lightning so you can use it to prevent denies--it's suggested that instead of getting your first skill point in base, wait until you see who you're fighting to select the build.

Merlini Build

Finally, the ultraconservative Merlini build will get you the most CS, keep you the safest, but will also severely nerf your ability to kill an opposing player early on. This is the preferred build if playing against a high-skilled player.

Rich Mans Build

The Rich Man's Build acknowledges that at some point, +2 all stats becomes trivial. This point comes at different times in each game (thus it isn't listed below)--if you're rich, and have a lot of stat boosters already, +2 stats a level isn't going to make a difference--so pump that Chain Lightning early. But if all you have is Enhanced Marchers, a Bottle, and two Talismans of Exile, then you're much better off getting stats and waiting to get that Chain Lightning upgrade later.

Level Prefered Build Safe Build Merlini Build
1 Blast of Lightning Chain Lightning Chain Lightning
2 Lightning Rod Blast of Lightning Lightning Rod
3 Blast of Lightning Blast of Lightning Blast of Lightning
4 Chain Lightning Lightning Rod Blast of Lightning
5 Blast of Lightning Blast of Lightning Blast of Lightning
6 Lightning Storm Lightning Storm Lightning Storm
7 Blast of Lightning Blast of Lightning Blast of Lightning
8 Lightning Rod Lightning Rod Lightning Rod
9 Lightning Rod Lightning Rod Lightning Rod
10 Lightning Rod Lightning Rod Lightning Rod
11 Lightning Storm Lightning Storm Lightning Storm
12 Stats Stats Stats
13 Stats Stats Stats
14 Stats Stats Stats
15 Stats Stats Stats
16 Lightning Storm Lightning Storm Lightning Storm
17 Chain Lightning Chain Lightning Chain Lightning
18 Chain Lightning Chain Lightning Chain Lightning
19 Chain Lightning Chain Lightning Chain Lightning
20 Stats Stats Stats
21 Stats Stats Stats
22 Stats Stats Stats
23 Stats Stats Stats
24 Stats Stats Stats
25 Stats Stats Stats

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Starting ItemsПравить

TB is a hero that heavily depends on rune control in order to dominate his lane. If you feel confident about your ability to grab runes, then go ahead and get a Bottle first, but otherwise, I suggest you get a Winged Courier, some consumables, and then get a Bottle. More information about why we do this in the Complete Playguide. If you're playing with friends, it would be beneficial for an ally to share the cost of buying the Winged Courier, though as a strong solo, you should at least buy one component.

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Core ItemsПравить

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  • This is one of the first items you'll want to get. It increases your movespeed and armor for a fairly low price, which is absolutely necessary for playing like a monkey ninja.
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  • I highly recommend buying two of these, as they will increase your mana pool by a lot, as well as give you pretty decent HP. Of course, they're ridiculously cheap. Some players like to get Fortified Bracelets--I'd caution against that, because if you're getting hit, either you, or your team, is failing. You should be invisible, and therefore, maximum mana is more important than maximum HP.
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  • Every hero should have one of these at all times, no exceptions. This is from early game to end. As a below-average speed hero, this is especially important.

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Шаблон:Hero Guide Item Section Шаблон:Hero Guide Item Section Шаблон:Hero Guide Item Section

Complete GameplayПравить


Do not get a skill at LVL1--wait until you've reached the lane. Start off by blocking your creeps as they spawn--this is more important than grabbing that 0:00 rune, unless that 0:00 rune is regen. Rather, tell an ally from each lane to camp the runes. An ideal block has the creeps fighting around your ramp. This way, you can stay on high ground, while your opponent must get on high ground to obtain sight of you. Gauge your opponent's aggressiveness in denies--if it's a strong denier, spend your saved skill point on Chain Lightning to last-hit. Otherwise, get Blast of Lightning. If you are facing a weak hero, you may attempt to last-hit or deny. However, if you're facing a stronger laner, like Arachna (who can orbwalk you to death if you're not careful) or Defiler (spammable nuke that good players use to prevent denies and harass), hang back out of sight and just chill until you reach LVL3. Once you hit LVL3, you can start playing extremely aggressively. Maneuver yourself to an advantageous position and hit with Blast of Lighting, then immediately pull back--don't attack any units, don't attack the hero. Keep back and out of sight until the 7 second cooldown is up, then repeat. You want to minimize damage to yourself--whether or not you, or your opponent, is getting creep kills doesn't matter much, as you'll be doing a ton of damage very early on like this. Chances are, your opponent will be spamming his regeneration consumables. Use your mana pots as you hang back, and use your Winged Courier to bring you more if absolutely needed. Otherwise, buy a Bottle. Once you have Bottle, use your Winged Courier to scout runes before grabbing them, or, if someone else is getting the runes, use your Winged Courier to ferry your Bottle from the fountain back to you. Once you hit LVL5, you are more or less an unstoppable nuking beast. Combined with a ferried Bottle, very few heroes can stop you from the constant damage. Once you have a Bottle and Marchers, you are ready to move on to ganking. However, it's best to have Enhanced Marchers first. My more general guide on laning can be found here--most of the tips given in that guide apply here as well.


Your gank attempts should generally go with the direction of your rune grabs. However, as usual, the Hellbourne Bottom and Legion Top lanes are the easiest to gank due to tower positions and neutral creep positions. You should wait until after the most current creep waves clash. This way, when you pop out, you're not greeted by an enemy creep that instantly gives away your position. That is... if you pop out at all. If you are uncertain of a kill, you should pop out from behind--this forces the enemy to either run towards you, or run towards your allies. On the other hand, if you're certain of a kill, abuse the range on Blast of Lightning and use it from behind the trees. Again, this minimizes the ability for your opponent to pinpoint your position and target you. Of course, if there is no chance for you and your allies to kill an escaping enemy, finish him off with Lightning Storm--otherwise, don't use it. After a gank, go for the next rune. You should occasionally return to the mid lane, as you don't want the enemy mid solo to free-farm for too long.


Once the teamfight stage has begun, you truly begin to shine. Read up on the in-depth analyses on Blast of Lightning and Lightning Storm for more information about how to use them in teamfights. In general, you will want to stay hidden--this can mean behind allies, behind trees, or on ledges. You want to avoid physical attacks, but rather, use Blast of Lightning, and if you don't mind giving your position away, Chain Lightning as well. Basically, stay alive, and just nuke. Against certain teams, you may want to use Lightning Storm to initiate--for example, if they have a blinking Behemoth. This must be extremely well-coordinated, however. If your team doesn't go in after you use Lightning Storm, it's completely wasted. If you're about to die in a team battle, make sure you use it before you die, so you at least do some damage. Usually however, you'll want to save it for the middle or end of the fight.

In DepthПравить


_Archangel_ has an excellent general rune guide here. Runes spawn every 2 minutes, and to keep up your nuking, you will want to make an attempt to grab as many as you can. Файл:RegenRune.jpg

  • Regeneration: The granddaddy of laning runes for TB, this lets you spam Blast of Lightning to no end. Make sure you exhaust all your mana doing this before popping the Regeneration--then hang back and spam it some more until it wears off.


  • Haste: This is the most important rune to obtain for ganking, as it allows you to chase after you nuke--because the cooldown on Blast of Lightning is only 7 seconds, it's perfect for you.


  • Invisibility: The second most important rune for ganking, it allows you superior positioning, which is quite important. However, most of the time, if you're ganking, you're probably going to be well-positioned anyway. If you're of sufficient level, consider going back mid and killing or at least forcing a fountain trip.


  • Double Damage: Another lame rune. It'll help you last hit, and that's about it.


  • Illusion: Fail!

Blast of LightningПравить

700 Range: This is a long-range nuke, and you should use it as such. In essence, it makes up for your 350 attack range, and you should use it as if it were your primary attack. The high range means you can deliver it from behind a lot of cover, so as long as you have sight of your opponent.
Ministun: If the enemy lineup includes a powerful channeler like Electrician or Tempest, you'll want to save it for when they channel--hit 'em with it and the ministun will stop the channel. The ministun is also useful for disorientling moving enemies slightly. If an enemy charges you, and very briefly enters tower range, cast it on him as he enters so he spends that extra little time getting smacked by the tower.
True Sight: If there's an invisible hero that's in the area, use it on a random creep to reveal the area. If the invis player is bad, chances are he won't even notice.

Lightning StormПравить

Infinite Range: This will hit all heroes on the map, invisible or not. Abuse this fact, because this means that all your enemies effectively have lower max HP at all times your ultimate is up. This also means you can participate in ganks without being there. See Synergy section for more info on heroes this works well with.
True Sight: Again, this will hit all heroes, including invisible ones. If you know a Scout is invisible beside you, waiting to pop out, use Lightning Storm, then Blast of Lighting and Chain Lightning. Even better, if you have a disabler on your team like Electrician, Devourer, or Pollywog Priest, have them ready to disable--this will catch a lot of stealth players off guard, as they love to position themselves in vulnerables places as they depend on quick fading. You should also use it to check enemy position. Several heroes missing? Use it. Think they're killing Kongor? Use it. Afraid of going up that hill? Use it. Enemy just popped a mana and healing pot? Use it.
Initiating vs Finishing: In ganks, you always want to save it for the finish--this way, they don't run before you actually need it. However, never use it if the hero's going to die anyway--you don't need the gold. In teamfights, only use it to initiate if you need to see where they are, if you need to stop a Portal Key user from blinking, or if you KNOW you're going to get focused and die quickly.


You are a long range and global ganker, so you synergize well with just about everyone. However, players with magic damage amps are particularly good. Voodoo Jester's Cursed Ground + Blast of Lightning is a surefire kill. And if you're not there, using Lighting Storm is a pretty good chance too. Always use them at the beginning--this way, it deals more damage in the later ticks. Ophelia's Nature's Wrath is also a good damage amp that benefits from your nukes.


Line of SightПравить

Line of sight is an extremely important aspect to consider when playing TB. In particular, you want to always have sight of your opponent, but never let him have sight of you. This can mean forgoing creep kills and denies in favor of hiding behind some trees, or sitting on a ledge to the side while an opponent Defiler blindly Wave of Death's some creeps hoping to hit you on higher ground. This extends to team battles--if there's a clump of trees nearby, sit back and take shelter. Avoid damage, and just nuke. Viole has an excellent guide on juking [1]--many of those areas can be of direct help when following the way of the bigfoot ninja.

Movement BlockersПравить

In addition to using line of sight blocking, you should always position yourself such that there is impeded movement between your opponent and yourself. If he comes after you, he should have to run around some trees, a cliff, or some units. Units are easily one of the best choices, if you have Enhanced Marchers and he doesn't--you can run through them, but he can't. Abuse this fact against melee heroes like Scout that try to double Vanish backstab you--activated your Enhanced Marchers after the double backstab, then run through some creeps while repeatedly nuking--he won't be able to keep up!


One of the most important tactics when playing TB is to abuse the way opponents think. You want to avoid your target from drawing any association between him talking damage and you dealing it. For this reason, you should forgo attacking, using Codex, and Chain Lightning--all three will draw a direct line straight from you to your target--when he sees this, his brain will perk up and think "Oh, that's what's attacking me". It's pretty much an invitation to attack your position. On the other hand, if you stick with casting Blast of Lightning from afar, you minimize your profile, especially in hectic battles where the opponents may be actively searching for you. If you become a master of positioning and psychology, your opponents will often ask in All Chat: "What just happened?"


You should use a very simple rule when determining your positioning. Simply, 700 > enemies > 350. That is, your enemies should be between 700 and 350 range. 700 is the range for Blast of Lightning, and 350 is your attack range. Unless you're getting pummeled in the face by a melee, there is absolutely NO reason you should EVER use your normal attack, for reasons stated above. You want to be able to nuke someone, but you never want them to be so close to you that you're in danger from physical attacks, especially if their team has a powerhouse melee like Madman or Legionnaire.

Шаблон:Hero Guide Hero Synergy