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DOTA 2 Pugna Guide

Valorant Premier Alpha
By | October 17th, 2022 | Categories: Others

Pugna Build Guide

Being strategic and tactful goes a long way in gaining an upper hand on your enemies. In DOTA 2, there are a handful of heroes with a kit so versatile that it requires a great deal of planning to get any value out of it. Pugna is one such hero, and this guide will help you learn the best usage of his utility.

Pugna’s Playstyle

One of the best ways to play Pugna is by trying to push and make space for your team. He can do that by claiming enemy towers relatively early in the game with the help of his AOE Nether blast. Moreover, Pugna’s kit works best when pushing mid-lane with the intent of denying the enemy last hits and gaining map control. That allows his team to position better for fights and ganks.

Due to Pugna’s ability to damage enemies and towers (with the help of his magic nukes and HP stealing ultimate), the focus of his build should be the items that keep him constantly refueling with mana and help him avoid any physical contact with enemy heroes. 

Understanding Pugna’s Abilities

As Pugna does not possess adequate HP and mana, it can be reckless if you fumble his abilities without a suitable plan. Thorough care should be taken before putting points into his abilities and using them in combination. Following is a quick guide to understanding the effective use of Pugna’s spells: 

Nether Blast

Cast RangeBlast RadiusEffect DelayDamageBuilding Damage PercentageCooldownMana
5004000.8100/180/260/34050%585/105/125/145

Nether Blast is a pulse that explodes and deals damage in its area to enemies and buildings. It’s best to max out this ability first because it can be spammed easily due to its low cooldown. You can use this ability to nuke down enemies, kill jungle camps and creep waves, and even decimate towers early on in the laning phase. 

Decrepify

Cast RangeEnemy Move Speed SlowAlly Magic Resistance ReductionEnemy Magic Resistance ReductionDurationCooldownMana
400/475/550/62530%/40%/50%/60%25%30%/40%/50%/60%3.516/13/10/780

Decrepify is a powerful banishing spell that slows down the target unit, makes it unable to attack or be attacked, and reduces magic resistance. Since Pugna’s only source of damage are its magic spells, maxing out Decrepfiy along with Nether Blast is essential. Pair both abilities up to dish out a strong nuke that can drop down squishy supports to half their health. 

Nether Ward

Cast RangeRadiusHero/Non-Hero Attacks to DestroyBase DamageDamage per Used ManaWard DurationCooldownMana
Global14004/1650/60/70/801/1.2/1.4/1.618/22/26/303580

This is a ward placed by Pugna at the target location, dealing damage to any enemy that casts a spell near it. It essentially punishes enemies for using any mana in its range, and also removes the mana regen from nearby hostile units. The ward isn’t required to use early on unless you’re dealing with mana-dependant heroes like Storm Spirit or Leshrac. 

On the contrary, you can max out all your other spells before you even decide to unlock this ability. 

Life Drain (Ultimate)

Cast RangeMax Channel TimeLink Break DistanceHealth Drain per SecondCooldownMana
70010900160/240/3207150/225/300

Pugna’s ultimate ability, Life Drain, allows him to such away health from the enemy and in return regenerate his own health or mana. Since Life Drain also deals magical damage to the foes, using it in combination with Decrepify will amplify the outgoing spell damage in return, the health regenerated will also be bumped up. 

Pugna’s Build Guide

Pugna needs to rely on a constant supply of mana and health regeneration to be feasible, especially early on, and not hand out free kills to enemies. Therefore, his build is heavily focused on being elusive, escaping at the first site of danger. While Pugna can be played as both, a Support and a Midlaner, we’ll be focusing our item build to be more geared towards a Midlane Pugna. 

Laning Phase

Farming gold and XP with Pugna heavily relies on his Nether Blast during the Laning phase. You should max it quickly and then push Midlane with your nuking ability. You should push the tower, especially with the help of the siege wave, and keep chipping down on it to decimate it completely around the 10-minute mark. The best items to complement your kit early on are as follows:

Null Talisman: Start off the lane with a Null Talisman since this will provide you with ample stats and spell amp to last the laning phase without feeling weak. Usually, it’s recommended to get another Null Talisman after you purchase your Bottle before the 2-minute mark. 

Bottle: As with any spell-dependant Midlaner, a Bottle is necessary to keep your health and mana up while you trade blows and spam your spells in the lane. Try to get this as soon as the lane starts. 

Boots of Speed: These are absolutely crucial if you want to reach bounties in time or slowly chip off the enemy tower. Without the extra move speed, you’re likely going to get caught by your enemies and will be melted in a flash. 

Magic Wand/Stick: When playing against enemies that are spell-dependant, a Magic Wand always comes in handy. If you feel like rushing core items fast, you can only purchase the Magic Stick and use it without upgrading. 

Early to Mid Game

Ideally after the 10-minute mark, you should start aggressively pushing lanes to gain control of all the T1 Towers. You should also use your Nether Ward strategically to keep enemies from ganking you. Ideally, place the ward around trees or chokes where you think enemies might emerge from as you’re taking Towers. 

Ask your teammates for help when controlling towers if they are not busy farming. Even if you are unable to gain enough control, it should distract the enemy teams long enough for your teammates to farm their essential items. Make sure your Pugna’s kit has these core items till the mid-game :

Arcane Boots: Start off with Arcane Boots on Pugna. These will give you ample mana to survive the early 8-10 minutes. 

Aether Lens: Next, when you have the required gold, disassemble your Arcane boots and use the Soul Booster to make your Aether Lens. This item increases your cast range, which is all that Pugna needs; damaging enemies safely from afar. 

Tranquil/Boots of Travel: This choice varies on how the game’s going. If you’ve got enemies like Nature Prophet who’re constantly pushing lanes, getting Boots of Travel would be a wise choice to counter the incoming push. However, if you want to fight early and make space for your team, get Tranquil boots instead of farming gold for BoT.

Rod of Atos: Pugna doesn’t have any inherent stun ability so even if he catches an enemy, they can easily teleport out without any hassle. However, a Rod of Atos changes that. While it’s only a short root, use it to cancel your enemy’s attempt to teleport away, and then slowly suck the life out of them! 

Blink Dagger: Pugna needs mobility to evade enemy attacks. A Blink Dagger does just that, allowing Pugna to jump in and out of fights without the fear of getting caught. 

Late Game

By the late game, your Life Drain should be strong enough to grant Pugna kills and turn the tides of games. Aim for making Pugna immune to spells so his casts cannot be interrupted. Here’s what you should have:

Black King Bar: Spell immunity can really help Pugna compensate for his low health pool. BKB ensures Life Drain can be channeled by Pugna uninterrupted. If Decrepify is thrown in the mix, that makes him almost impossible to be damaged.

Linken’s Sphere: If you can’t touch Pugna while his BKB’s active, you can try to chain-stun him so that he doesn’t get a chance to press the BKB hotkey. However, with a Linken’s sphere, you completely eliminate that risk, activating your BKB and blinking out as soon as the sphere is triggered. 

Scythe of Vyse: To trap down enemies and patiently suck their HP, a Scythe of Vyse is what you need. This item turns the enemy into a harmless critter for 3.5 seconds, giving you ample time to melt them down. 

Dagon: If you’re looking to burst enemy heroes before they get a chance to react, you can get a Dagon and upgrade it to Level 5 for maximum damage. Jump in on the enemy, hex them with your Scythe, use your Decrepify, Nether Blast, and Dagon in tandem, and finally finish them off with your Life Drain. 

General Tips

Keep in mind that Pugna is highly reliant on his abilities to nuke enemies, rendering them slow and weak. However, getting most of those abilities can be tricky due to poor cast animation and slow attack speed.

A build that compensates for his low health, mana pool, and his weaker agility is the only way to make him viable in the late game. Furthermore, make sure you are always using his abilities in combination to get the best results and minimize any chances of enemies disjointing his spells.

You should also try to hold back on using Decrepify aggressively early on. The ability is more powerful in protecting you from physical attacks and keeping you alive. You can keep causing mayhem on the battlefield as long as you’re alive! 

Conclusion

Pugna, despite being a mechanically simple hero, has low strength and agility. However, his true power lies in devastating nukes and his ability to slow down and hold off enemies while constantly pushing the map for control. With that said, we hope you liked our in-depth guide on how to play Pugna in Dota 2. Let us know what other heroes we should cover! 

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