Dota 2’s latest hero, Hoodwink, has finally arrived alongside the game’s much-awaited 7.28 patch, also known as the Mistwoods Update, which was released on Friday (18 December).
Read on for a breakdown of the new hero’s abilities and a first impressions and quick guide on how to play as her effectively.
Hoodwink is a ranged agility hero equipped with a skillset that allows her to damage and disable multiple enemies while remaining fairly elusive. While a very capable hero on her own, Hoodwink gets much stronger whenever there are trees nearby as they make her abilities stronger and give her greater mobility.
Here’s how her abilities work:
When activated, Acorn Shot buffs Hoodwink’s next attack by giving it bonus 350 attack range, 100 bonus damage, making it bounce to nearby enemies up to six times at max level, with all enemies hit being slowed by 100 per cent for .25 seconds.
Acorn Shot can also be targeted on the ground, where it will create a tree then bounce to any enemies nearby.
With a 105 mana cost and 10 second cooldown, Acorn Shot is fairly spammable and will be Hoodwink’s primary damage-dealing ability.
Bushwhack fires a net trap towards an enemy hero, pulling them and any other nearby targets towards the nearest tree and dealing 360 damage to them.
If enemies hit by Bushwhack are near a tree, they will be stunned for 2.2 seconds and have their vision reduced to 0 for the duration of the stun.
Bushwhack is another fairly spammable ability with a 120 mana cost and 14 second cooldown. This will be Hoodwink’s primary means of disabling enemies, though you will have to hit it near some trees to get their full effect.
Hoodwink’s third ability, Scurry, is an ability that has both passive and active components. It passively gives Hoodwink a 40 per cent chance to evade physical attacks, but when activated it gives her bonus movement speed, phased collision, and tree-walking for four seconds. The active component has a 35 mana cost but no cooldown.
Scurry makes Hoodwink a very mobile hero whenever she’s near trees, allowing her to either escape from enemies or set up an ambush on unsuspecting enemies. The passive evasion is great for survivability too.
Hoodwink’s ultimate, Sharpshooter, is a charged ability that deals heavy damage, slows, and applies Break to an enemy hero. The damage and debuff duration is scaled up to how long Sharpshooter is charged, with maximum effectiveness reached after five seconds when it will also automatically fire.
Once Sharpshooter has been fired, however, Hoodwink will be knocked back by the force of the shot. The ability also has a 150 mana cost and 45 second cooldown.
At max charge, Sharpshooter will deal a whopping 1,400 damage while applying Break and slowing them by 50 per cent for six seconds.
Sharpshooter is a very powerful nuke that allows Hoodwink to easily pick off enemies. With a relatively low mana cost and short cooldown, it’s great for ganking or picking off high value targets in team fights.
Hoodwink first impressions
Hoodwink’s skillset makes her a very versatile hero that can be used in every position, though it seems best to play her in the side lanes as either the offlaner or support as her abilities are heavily reliant on being near trees.
In the laning phase, Acorn Shot and Bushwhack are great for harassing opposing laners. Scurry can be used to skirt around the tree line to take pot shots, set up ganks, or escape from danger.
After the laning phase, coordinate with your team for ganks. You can use Scurry to get in a good position in the trees to charge up Sharpshooter then use Acorn Shot and Bushwhack to finish the target off.
In team fights, Sharpshooter will be very valuable against carry heroes with strong passive abilities like Phantom Assassin or Spectre. Otherwise, Hoodwink can use her ability to soften up high value targets, such as high impact supports or tanky offlaners. Bushwhack can stun multiple enemies if used correctly, while Acorn Shot can burst down enemies that are bunched up. Should the fight not turn out in your favour, you can always use Scurry to escape.
What abilities to get first
Acorn Shot is Hoodwink’s strongest ability early on, so it’s best to take it at level one, three, and five then have it maxed out by level seven. Getting value points on Bushwhack and Scurry on levels two and four, depending on how the lane is going, would be the next step.
While prioritising Acorn Shot is a must regardless of position, a support Hoodwink can also choose to focus on Bushwhack instead to maximize her disabling capabilities.
After maxing out Acorn Shot, go for Bushwhack (or vice versa, if you chose to max out Bushwhack first), with Scurry being maxed out last after getting the value point early on. Of course, get Sharpshooter whenever it’s available.
What items to buy
Since Hoodwink will be spamming Acorn Shot and Bushwhack a lot, get mana sustain items like Arcane Boots or Soul Ring (but not both) for her. Arcana Boots would be the better choice, however, as you can later disassemble it to build an Aether Lens to increase the cast range of your abilities.
You will also be ganking a lot as Hoodwink, so a Blink Dagger will be a must-have for mobility. If you choose to play her as a support, Urn of Shadows is a low-cost yet high-utility pickup which you can then turn into a Spirit Vessel later on.
Hoodwink is also fairly squishy, so items like Force Staff, Glimmer Cape, Ghost Scepter, and Aeon Disk can help create some space then flee to the safety of the trees with Scurry.
If you choose to play Hoodwink as either the offlaner or a support, utility items like Mekansm, Pipe of Insight, Vladimir’s Offering, Solar Crest, and Lotus Orb will be great boons for your team. However, a core Hoodwink would want to build Yasha and Kaya instead to further boost her abilities instead.
Luxury items for Hoodwink include Bloodstone, Octarine Orb, and Scythe of Vyse.
If you want to play Hoodwink as a carry instead (not really optimal), then focus on dealing burst damage with Mjollnir, Bloodthorn, or Nullifier.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to play Hoodwink that we haven’t discovered this early into the patch. Feel free to experiment with the new hero to find the playstyle you prefer, though we don’t recommend doing this in a ranked match.
While the addition of a new hero is always exciting, Hoodwink is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the massive Mistwoods Update. You can check out the rest of the changes in the update page here.
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