Visage is a highly flexible hero capable of fulfilling a diverse set of roles. His stats-based single target slow allows him to chase down fleeing enemies and withstand one-on-one fights. His powerful, reusable, single-target nuke can quickly dispatch targets during ganks and team fights with relative ease. His innate high armor and magic resistance provides natural protection to burst damage and can also be branched upon to create a semi-physical or semi-magic tank. Finally, his Familiars offer high utility; able to scout areas, push lanes, stack creeps, harass enemies and achieve team objectives. Visage is an effective team fighter that thrives in chaotic situations where sources of player damage fuel his abilities. It is also in these situations that Visage is hardest to use, requiring the player to make split-second decisions while juggling in between the hero and his Familiars. Visage lends him fame for having a difficult learning curve with a strong dependence on effective micromanagement, mechanical skill and quick-timed decision making. Once mastered however, Visage becomes a devastating force to be reckoned with, a perfectly balanced mix of physical and magical damage with long ranged disables that can carry his team to victory.
Adaptable to any role (carry, support, tank).Adaptable to any lane especially trilanes.Familiars have high utility (push, gank, scout, creep stack, etc.).Deals large amounts of single target damage.Packs a powerful slow that can overturn one-on-one situations.Active abilities have low cooldown and are highly abusable (except Familiars).Able to absorb large amounts of magical or physical burst damage.Packs a surprise area stun with a respectfully long duration.Powerful early to mid-game presence.Destroys towers with relative ease.Exceptional strength gain for an intelligence hero.
Requires high micromanagement and mechanical skills.His hybrid nature makes him subpar over other heroes with dedicated roles.Severely under-powered without Familiars.Does not scale well into late game.Familiars give 100 gold each when killed.Very weak against damage-over-time sources.May require lockdown assist from allied heroes to secure kills.Slow movement and attack speed.Level dependent.Quite item dependent.No innate escape abilities.
Visage is usually played as a support who can aid ganks and pushes. Grave Chill reduces the target”s movement and attack speed while giving it to himself, leaving not only his victims vulnerable, but also strengthening Visage”s damage output and ability to chase. This becomes of great value when ganking. Soul Assumption is a devastating nuke ability. Every time a friendly hero in range takes more than a hundred damage it gains a charge, while ganking a hero under their tower or near their allies you can expect to gain several Soul Assumption charges. A successful gank would be: cast Grave Chill on the enemy, slowing them, attack them with increased attack speed along with your team and cast Soul Assumption when you have enough charges to hurt considerably. Due to its short cooldown of 4 seconds, you may use it again if needed but always keeping an eye on your mana. Visage is also able to push enemies towers really fast with Familiars, due to their decent damage and fast attack speed.
Blight Stone and
Medallion of Courage are core items on him as they increase his damage output. Generally, Visage uses his gold building supportive items that bestows aura, like
Drum of Endurance,
Assault Cuirass, etc.
From the middle lane, Visage can quickly gain enough gold and experience to obtain
Helm of the Dominator and Summon Familiars. Then, he should organize early pushes with those creeps and allies. Grave Chill steals attack speed and movement speed, increasing his and Familiars” damage output, along with his powerful nuke with low cooldown, Soul Assumption, he can unleash tons of damage in a single fight.
The Familiars benefit from Grave Chill and Gravekeeper”s Cloak, so max those out as soon as possible for damage output and survivability. The Familiars deal huge physical damage at extreme fast rate, so building armor reduction items like
Solar Crest work great. With advantage in buildings, items, and levels, Visage can close down the game before the enemies can build up their defenses.
Visage”s abilities make him a very strong hero to have in teamfights, as he can bring a powerful array of nukes and disables to bear. He can also use his abilities effectively in ganks to jump on and disable targets with little warning and burst them down quickly.Unlike most intelligence supports, Visage is a survivable caster due to possessing a high strength growth and powerful damage resistance in Gravekeeper”s Cloak. Combined with his other abilities, Visage can engage enemies head-on in teamfights and hold his own in the initiation phase.With a 0.2 second cast animation and long cast ranges on his abilities, Visage has great reach if played properly. However, his low base movement speed and slow turn rate also make him relatively sluggish, so positioning is important if he is to take advantage of his strengths.While Visage is usually played as a support, he can also become a strong carry if started in the middle lane. He can be played as a hard support or a farming support, depending on what his team needs, and transition into a ganking or split-pushing role.
Grave ChillGrave Chill is a targeted disable that reduces the enemy”s movement and attack speed while boosting up Visage”s and any nearby Familiars”.Because of its scaling, only one early point in Grave Chill is normally needed. Each additional level only increases its duration slightly, and the reduced cooldown does not become useful until much later in the game, unless the familiars can get a substantial increased damage buff that makes the attack speed worthwhile.Grave Chill is a strong ganking ability, as it can inflict a strong slow on an enemy while also robbing them of attack speed, allowing Visage to position himself to easily body-block the enemy”s escape path while bursting them down with right-click attacks. These aspects also make Grave Chill a strong counter-gank spell, since it can greatly hinder an enemy that is chasing a weakened ally and reduce their ability to finish off their target with right-clicks, allowing Visage to turn the tables on them.The increased attack speed provided by Grave Chill means that Visage benefits from building intelligence items rather than simply mana items. Not only will increased intelligence give Visage a bigger mana pool, but it will also increase his base damage to allow him to use his right-clicks more effectively due to the attack speed bonus.Use Grave Chill on creeps to buff yourself and your familiars, useful in farming and taking buildings or running toward objectives.When pushing, Visage may want to keep enemy creeps alive as targets for Grave Chill.
Soul AssumptionSoul Assumption is a potentially powerful damage nuke that increases in strength based on the amount of damage that heroes in Visage”s vicinity take.Soul Assumption makes Visage extremely powerful in tri-lanes, as the amount of damage dealt during ganks and small-scale engagements allow Visage to quickly build up Soul Assumption charges to launch a powerful nuke at an enemy. Additionally, its extremely short cooldown allows it to be cast more than once in a fight, which can allow Visage to deal more and more damage the longer a fight drags on.Soul Assumption”s long cast range makes it a powerful finishing nuke against fleeing enemies. If an enemy has been weakened by allied attacks and spells and is almost about to escape, casting Soul Assumption on them can often be enough to finish them off if the salvo has built up enough charges.Keep in mind that Soul Assumption builds charges based on damage taken on both sides. This means that not only can Visage add more damage on top of his teammates” when damaging an enemy, but also when allies or Visage himself take damage, making it a strong nuke no matter which side is ganking.The yellow bars above Visage”s model represent the number of Soul Assumption charges he currently has. You can wait for the maximum of 6 bars to release Soul Assumption, dealing the most damage.Due to the limited window during which charges are maintained, Soul Assumption is more powerful in situations where burst damage is being dealt, as damage-over-time spells can result in charges expiring over time.Because of its high nuking potential, Visage benefits greatly from maxing out Soul Assumption first among his abilities. The huge nuke potential of the spell allows Visage to deal large amounts of damage whenever fights break out, giving his team more chances at getting kills against the enemy.Beware that since Soul Assumption has a very low cooldown, it is easy to run out of mana to cast it if used repeatedly. Be mindful of when kill opportunities are possible, and try to conserve Visage”s mana as needed.Due to its low cooldown, Soul Assumption can be cast as an initiating nuke to break an enemy”s Linken”s Sphere prior to slowing them with Grave Chill. After breaking an enemy”s Linken”s Sphere, Grave Chill”s low cooldown allows it to be cast at least two more times without interference.
Gravekeeper”s CloakGravekeeper”s Cloak is a powerful survivability passive that gives Visage all damage reduction.Gravekeeper”s Cloak acts as an aura that affects Visage”s Familiars; the damage reduction is based on the number of layers Visage currently has. Therefore, you should engage enemies with Familiars when you have the maximum amount of layers, which is four, to minimize the chance of Familiars dying and feeding gold.The floating stones around Visage”s model as well as the buff icon on unit display show the number of Gravekeeper”s Cloak layers he currently has. Use them to quickly gauge your chance of survival during ganks and teamfights.The layered nature of Gravekeeper”s Cloak makes Visage quite resistant to burst damage, which can help him to shrug off initiation nukes by the enemy. However, this also makes Visage very weak against damage over time spells, as multiple small instances of damage can easily shred the resistance layers and leave Visage open to nukes.Getting multiple early levels of Gravekeeper”s Cloak can make Visage quite survivable in the early game, particularly when few enemies have the attack speed to use their attacks to quickly shred the cloak. However, beware if the enemy team”s composition is capable of dealing damage over time, which can easily negate armor layers.Even with multiple levels in Gravekeeper”s Cloak, it is recommended to build up Visage”s armor and magic resistance, in order to give him some measure of survivability if he must engage the enemy without his armor layers. Armor is more helpful than magic resistance in this regard, since Visage”s high strength growth means that he will eventually have enough HP to outright ignore most magic nukes.The Cloak recharge time reducing talent can dramatically increase the survivability provided by Gravekeeper”s Cloak since many abilities apply damage in 1s or 0.5s intervals which means that you will take significantly less damage instances without cloak layers.Each layer of Gravekeeper”s Cloak has a independent recharge timer.
Summon FamiliarsSummon Familiars allows Visage to summon two Familiars that can roam the battlefield.Proper Familiar management is crucial in order to play Visage effectively. Used properly, the Familiars allow Visage to gank targets, push undefended lanes, scout out enemies in the trees, stack neutral camps, aggro enemy lane creeps away from defending towers, chain-disable multiple enemies, and deal large amounts of sustained damage in fights.Unlike other summons, Familiars will last until they are destroyed, and can still be controlled even if Visage himself is dead. Try to always be active with the Familiars, using them to accomplish tasks no matter Visage”s status.Familiars possess flying movement that allows them to ignore terrain. However, they have limited vision range and low attack range, making them poor scouters and forcing them to attack enemies at close range.Because of their ability to ignore terrain, Familiars can find safety in hovering over trees, where the enemy cannot easily find them. They can also escape destruction by flying over impassable terrain in order to prevent enemies from easily pursuing.Familiars do not have to be at Visage”s side all the time. There are many strong advantages to moving them all around the map, since they can assist teammates who are ganking on a different part of the map, push an undefended lane, attack the enemy from behind during a teamfight, and many other uses. Be creative with how the Familiars are used, and try to always catch the enemy off-guard.Be wary of the long cooldown on Summon Familiars, and try not to allow the enemy to kill the Familiars. Not only will this give the enemy a large gold bounty, but can leave Visage without his primary method of burst damage when he needs them.If the enemy is about to kill the Familiars and they have no path to escape, casting Summon Familiars will instantly kill any active Familiars, preventing the enemy from getting a gold or experience bounty. However, beware that this will also leave Visage without his Familiars for an extended period of time if they are killed again.Since Familiars do not lose the buff received from Grave Chill, when teleporting away from Familiars, consider first using Grave Chill in order to give Familiars a boost of movement speed to head towards Visage”s teleport destination.Towers and creeps prioritize attacking other units over Familiars.
Stone FormStone Form will cause the controlled Familiar to turn into stone, dealing damage and stunning any enemies in their impact radius while also making them invulnerable and healing them.The most general way to utilize Stone Form is to heal the Familiars. Additionally, Stone Form can be used as an additional damage nuke and stun, adding more disable and damage to an engagement.Because of the autonomous nature of the Familiars, Stone Form can be used to stun enemies with little warning and through defensive measures by maneuvering the Familiars into a position of surprise and dropping them in place when the opportunity presents itself.Beware that Stone Form has a delay between commanding the Familiars and them becoming invulnerable and impacting; the Familiars can still be killed before they complete the transformation, so be careful about when and where to cast it.By staggering Stone Form and casting it one after another on the Familiars, it is possible to chain-stun enemies within the impact area, allowing two Familiars to stun for a maximum of 3 seconds (4.5 seconds with Aghanim”s Scepter/Talent and 6 seconds with both scepter and talent).This can be doubled up, at risk, by instantly re-summoning the Familiars at close range and executing another cycle of drops.This can also be repeated again with aid of a refresher orb for a potential stun duration of 18 seconds as well as with the refresher shard (dropped from the third Roshan kill) for a total of 24 seconds of stun.