Among all the heroes in DOTA 2, there are some that are very familiar since the days of yore when DotA All-Stars was still the main game. Sven is one of those heroes, and he became a staple due to both his simplicity and effectiveness as a carry. For those who want to up their game with him, then here’s a guide for getting more out of the Rogue Knight and his godlike strength.
Sven the Rogue Knight is a powerhouse who can bring the lightning that the rest of the team can follow up on with some thunder. He’s a beast of a carry that can take a good bit of damage and give it back with interest. The great thing about Sven is that he has both awesome damage and good move speed, which are two things that you definitely want from a carry. He also has one of the best stun skills in the game, and he also is a great support early in the game.
But since most of his advantages are from his skills, he is very dependent on mana, especially early in the game. Later on, he becomes more dependent on items, and he’s very risky to play in order to be effective due to his nature. You always have to keep pushing forward with him, especially once you have his ultimate activated.
He takes a bit of getting used to, but he’s a high-risk-high-reward kind of character who can do a lot to affect the balance of each game, depending on whether he gets the items he needs or not. He’s mostly played as a support at first, but then becomes a full-blown carry and initiator with enough farmed gold.
Storm Hammer (Q) – Obtain at levels 1, 3, 5, 7
Sven unleashes his magical gauntlet that deals damage and stuns enemy units.
Aside from being able to hit hard, Sven can also stop an enemy hero in his tracks with this skill. Whoever unfortunate enough to get hit by this at an opportune time will literally be a sitting duck waiting to be butchered. Since this is a ranged skill, you can chase down victims with it to make them ready for slaughter, but only if you use it at the right time.
Great Cleave (W) – Obtain at levels 10, 12, 13, 14
Sven strikes with great force, cleaving all nearby enemies with his attack.
This lets Sven farm very decently, especially due to this passive’s radius of 300. Since Sven’s effectiveness lies in being able to get all the items he needs, being able to hit multiple creeps at once is a luxury that is hard to give up.
Warcry (E) – Obtain at levels 8, 9, 15, 17
Sven’s Warcry heartens his allies for battle, increasing their movespeed and armor. Lasts for 6 seconds.
Despite being a carry, Sven has a support skill that buffs you and your allies. This serves both as boost in team fights and as an escape skill whenever you or an ally is susceptible to a gank at the moment.
God’s Strength (R) – Obtain at levels 6, 11, 16
Sven channels his rogue strength, granting bonus damage for 25 seconds.
This is what makes Sven truly great, letting him become the great threat to enemies that he deserves to be. Twenty five seconds is a long time for a carry to have as much as twice the normal attack damage. If you get all the items you need, literally one blow with this ultimate activated can send enemy heroes running for the hills in terror, even if they have a good bit of armor on them.
Stats – Obtain at levels 2, 4, 18-25
Gauntlets of Strength x2
Iron Branch x2
Mask of Madness – The Lifesteal passive adds a bit more survivability, while the Berserk active makes God’s Strength even scarier.
Magic Wand – As mentioned, Sven’s big problem is lack of mana in the early game, and this takes care of it.
Gloves of Haste – Having more attack speed gives Sven a great advantage in laning, jungling, and especially ganking.
Hand of Midas – If you find yourself jungling quite a bit, then you may want to get this item.
Power Treads – For both move speed and more strength, so make sure that you switch the bonus to that stat.
Armlet of Mordiggian – Solid item for Sven that goes well with the other items.
Heart of Tarrasque – This item is necessary in order to transition Sven from support to full carry.
Black King Bar – Must have for Sven to become impervious to magic and make him nigh unstoppable.
Daedalus – Usually taken after Heart of Tarrasque, this gives most of Sven’s much needed offensive bonuses when
transitioning into the late game.
Satanic – The replacement for Mask of Madness in the late game. While you will no longer have Berserk, Unholy Rage does make you even more invincible, especially with the kind of Lifesteal you’ll get with God’s Strength activated.
Divine Rapier – If you have the money, then it won’t hurt to get all that damage, as long as you don’t die.
Assault Cuirass – Only get this if you end up playing full support. If you are all out carry, skip this.
Abyssal Blade – Just in case the Storm Hammer is not enough, here’s another stun item that should give you an edge in certain situations.
Arcane Boots – If you’re finding yourself using your Storm Hammer a lot, then take this over Power Treads.
Battle Fury – Not bad for Sven, get this if you don’t have enough money and time for better items.
Blade Mail – Another item that could do well if you don’t have enough money to go by.
Monkey King Bar – Just in case an enemy is wearing Butterfly, you can get this for True Strike and hit them solid for the gank.
Blink Dagger – If you find yourself having to chase enemies a lot, then you can get this and get them easily. It’s not that necessary due to Warcry and Mask of Madness, but it could be called for if someone is proving to be incredibly elusive.
Sven is best in a safe lane (bottom for Radiant, top for Dire) while accompanied by a support, like with most other carries. You should just focus on last hitting and denying for now, not pushing your lane to give you time to farm. Help your lane partner get some kills early on while playing it as safe as you can.
Your ability as a carry to survive and sustain in the early game is crucial to your effectiveness later on since your job at this point is to get as much gold as possible. Since you won’t have Great Cleave yet until level 10, you still have to do it the old-fashioned way.
You do have Storm Hammer to give yourself some space just in case an enemy starts threatening you. You can also use that to harass them in turn to keep them from farming effectively.
Sven also happens to be a pretty good jungler, especially in the mid-game due to Great Cleave. It gets even better once you acquire Mask of Madness due to life steal and the Berserk active. However, jungling is only recommended for Sven if you need something like 500 more gold to buy something.
By this time, you should have at least Power Treads, Mask of Madness, and Reaver. If you do, you should be able to kill almost anyone in a 1v1 situation after stunning them with Storm Hammer. You should now aim for Heart of Tarrasque and Daedalus for more damage and survivability going into the late game.
As mentioned, the mid game is Sven’s domain as he takes control of the game with ganks during this phase. With God’s Strength and Mask of Madness, you can take out almost anyone in your path. But be careful though as you’ll still be a sitting duck against multiple enemies due to not having enough defense to cope with taking big damage. That’s where you should do better in the late game.
This is when Sven should really be an absolute beast, and you can push and destroy whatever is in your path. Take note though that Sven is not immortal, even if you might feel like he is at this point once you’ve gotten everything you need. Having an Aegis of the Immortal though does make Sven even scarier since there’s nothing more discouraging than having killed him only to see him come back to life.
If you’re up against multiple enemies at this point, you have a chance of coming out alive and even ganking them all due to God’s Strength and Great Cleave. Just take care though and don’t get carried away with ganking as the objectives are still of the utmost priority.