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Dota 2 Outworld Devourer hero guide: Strategy, tips, and tricks

The Harbinger destroys tanky and magic-resistant targets with his unique approach to carrying.

Outworld Devourer is unique as far as carry heroes go.

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While your typical carry like Phantom Assassin, Anti-Mage, or Terrorblade will put out damage with built-in scaling passives and physical damage items, OD’s auto-attack damage is all magical. That means he shreds through heavily-armored like nobody’s business.

With its built-in intelligence-stealing mechanic, Arcane Orb makes OD grow stronger and stronger in long, drawn-out teamfights. Given enough time, he is able to deal colossal area-of-effect damage with Sanity’s Eclipse.

He does have a bit of a farming problem though. Aside from the area of effect damage produced by his second ability, Astral Imprisonment, Outworld Devourer doesn’t really have a way to clear creep waves quickly. This makes him very reliant on having a good laning phase by getting ahead in terms of last hits and occasionally calling on teammates to rotate to his lane for ganks. He also has no natural escape mechanism, meaning either a Force Staff or Blink Dagger purchase is essential.

Left unchecked, though, OD can take over games on his own—especially against lineups that typically rely on stacking physical armor and magic resistance. If you fancy a breath of fresh air as a carry or mid player, consider taking up Outworld Devourer as one of your heroes. You might be surprised at the things he is capable of.

Foul portents

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Outworld Devourer really only has one skill build, which hardly ever changes from game to game. Astral Imprisonment and Essence Aura are maxed first, to maximize lane control and boost his mana pool in preparation for the mid game. Since Arcane Orb’s damage is dependent on mana, only a single value point is invested into it in the early game.

Sanity’s Eclipse is first taken at level 11, once Essence Aura is maxed out. Similar to Arcane Orb, the damage that Sanity’s Eclipse deals is tied to Outworld Devourer’s intelligence value. That makes it an underwhelming spell early on. Save it for the mid to late game, when you have a significant intelligence advantage over your opponents.

As for his talent progression, it is also fairly straightforward. You want to get the most out of his potential as a carry—that calls for talents that increase survivability, right click damage output, and movement speed to prevent kiting. The latter is especially important for Outworld Devourer due to his below average attack range and reliance on sustained use of Arcane Orb during teamfights. Fortunately he has a talent that fixes that right up.

Thus, our recommended skill build is as follows:

  • Astral Imprisonment
  • Essence Aura
  • Astral Imprisonment
  • Essence Aura
  • Astral Imprisonment
  • Arcane Orb
  • Astral Imprisonment
  • Essence Aura
  • Level 10 talent: +20 Attack Speed
  • Sanity’s Eclipse
  • Max out Arcane Orb
  • Level 15 talent: +40 Movement Speed
  • Level 20 talent: +20 Strength
  • Level 25 talent: +60s Arcane Orb Int Steal

Path of destruction

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Rather than being dependent on items that help him scale in terms of physical DPS, OD instead seeks to build intelligence and mana pool-boosting items throughout the game. This is because of Arcane Orb, which scales depending on how much mana he has upon firing the orb. It deals nine percent of his current mana, in the Pure damage type. For the uninitiated, this means that each Arcane Orb deals magic damage that cannot be reduced by magic resistance.

His ultimate, Sanity’s Eclipse, also deals magic damage in a large area of effect according to the difference between Outworld Devourer’s intelligence and the intelligence of all enemy heroes caught in the blast. Before the damage is applied, however, Sanity’s Eclipse removes up to 40 percent of their mana, making it difficult for your opponents to fight back effectively.

To deal maximum damage with both abilities, however, OD requires time to steal intelligence with Arcane Orb. Fortunately, his role in a teamfight is to focus fire on tanky heroes with lockdown abilities, shrinking their mana pools while making good use of their high health counts in order to stack stolen intelligence. Once his intelligence reaches critical mass or gets reasonably close to it, he can let Sanity’s Eclipse finish the job on squishier targets like supports—assuming they haven’t been taken out by the rest of the team.

Of course, particularly problematic enemy heroes that can shut down OD in a teamfight should be locked away with Astral Imprisonment. Be careful when using this ability, though, as it could end messing up one of your teammates’ long cooldown abilities. Exercise caution and restraint before imprisoning someone, or communicate with your team in order to make sure you get all your spells off properly.

Keep in mind that you can also save yourself or your teammates with Astral Imprisonment, since it can target any unit in the game. It’s especially effective when your enemies are overextending, since they will have to either retreat unfavorably or take damage after the duration ends. Moreover, it gives teammates with Blink Daggers a split second to escape, assuming their Dagger isn’t on cooldown.

The Harbinger’s tools

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Outworld Devourer’s item progression is all about stacking intelligence, while getting as much utility on the side as possible. Hurricane Pike is perhaps his signature pickup. It gives him an escape mechanism, extra intelligence, and a way to keep enemy heroes from kiting him during teamfights. Of course, the infinite range mechanic is also very useful for quickly stealing intelligence from a single target.

Blink Dagger should also be considered as a hard mobility item. Blinking in and quickly disabling a key target with Astral Imprisonment can be the difference between a successful initiation and a botched gank, so its usefulness should not be underestimated. Otherwise, it’s a faster and somewhat harder to counter escape mechanism, which OD obviously appreciates.

After picking up either (or both) of the previous items, Black King Bar should be one of your top priorities. Because of his mediocre attack range, OD normally has to stand in the thick of things in order to deal maximum damage. Coupled with the fact that he is a carry hero, this makes him a prime target for stuns, disarms, and disables in teamfights. BKB will solve that for the most part, allowing him to reign free over the battlefield unhindered.

If facing spell immunity-piercing disables like Doom or Shackles, however, consider purchasing a Linken’s Sphere or asking your supports to buy a Lotus Orb. Compared to BKB, Linken’s Sphere also has the bonus of additional intelligence.

For the late game, Scythe of Vyse comes to mind first and foremost. It gives OD a huge amount of extra mana for more Arcane Orb damage, and a useful disable against heroes that don’t have spell immunity or the protection of Linken’s Sphere. It is extremely expensive, though, so it could be difficult to pick up in the first place given OD’s lack of flash farming ability.

Shiva’s Guard is a good utility pickup for OD, thanks to the additional armor it grants as well as the anti-carry aura. It allows OD to better fight against opposing carries, especially those that need to get up close and personal in order to deal damage.

If the game goes really late, like more than 60 minutes, you can give yourself a flat DPS increase with a Moon Shard. Since OD loves his item slots, though, you might have to settle for just consuming it immediately after purchase, as opposed to keeping it on hand for 120 attack speed.


Outworld Devourer is a very enjoyable hero to play, in large part due to the way he deals damage compared to more traditional physical DPS carries. If you find yourself bored with picks like Sven, Drow Ranger, or Lifestealer, OD can be a refreshing way to play the hard carry role.

Make sure to take note of his weaknesses however, which balance out the fact that he can destroy high armor targets quickly with Arcane Orb. In fact, Arcane Orb is cancelled out by spell immunity which means OD has trouble with BKB-wielding carries.

Without Arcane Orb, OD does pitiful damage. So it may be wise to temporarily disengage from a teamfight or choose a different target if facing magic immune heroes. The same discretion should also be applied to Astral Imprisonment, which can mess up your teammate’s spell targeting if used haphazardly.

Once you have a full grasp on how to play the Harbinger, though, he becomes capable of sowing terror and discord throughout the enemy ranks.


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Image of Patrick Bonifacio
Patrick Bonifacio
Dota 2 Writer