Doctor Strange is much different than the other characters and his gameplay reflects that. He should keep his distance from enemies, even more than the other mages, and use his ability to create a portal and strike unaware opponents from great distance. At first, he doesn’t seem overly capable, as he has only one damage dealing skill (excluding the Ulti), but after a few games, you’ll get a hang of this Hero.
- Good at poking/skirmishing
- Powerful AoE Ultimate
- Extreme range. He can hit far away with the combination of S3(portal) and offensive skills
- Good Finisher. The ability to hit enemies at great distance makes him great for bursting down low health heroes when they’re fleeing or teleporting.
- Weak early game (before the Ulti)
- Unordinary gameplay makes him a bit difficult to figure out at first
- Cloak of Levitation is a bit unreliable escape tool, and he doesn’t have any other mobility skills to escape
Doctor Strange Item Build
|Wand of Watoomb|
Doctor Strange early game (lvl 8)
At the very beginning of the game, Doctor Strange should play defensively and avoid fighting other heroes, while focusing more on farming XP and gold, because he has only one damage dealing skill and that simply won’t be enough to eliminate a healthy opponent. On the plus side, he is very good at poking with the S3 + S2 combo. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look complete package for this hero.
Doctor Strange should first unlock all three skills and focus on maxing out the S2, S3 after that, and finally the S1. Ultimate should be taken whenever it’s available, naturally.
Cloak of Levitation (passive) can be easily overlooked at first, but it can be a real lifesaver especially at lower levels when your hero can take some hits before dying. At higher levels, enemy damage dealers will be able to eliminate you in just a few shots, so Cloak of Levitation might not even activate. Regardless, always start retreating as soon as you get to 50% or less health, and this ability will occasionally save your skin. Time Manipulation (S1) is a bit situational but still a solid utility skill. The two most useful ways I found to use this skill are when you’re chasing a retreating enemy or when you’re being pursued while fleeing. In the first situation, you could use the S1 to ‘reset’ the enemy position, giving yourself the opportunity to pre aim at his outline (where he’ll appear in 1.5 seconds) and ensure the (possibly) finishing blow with the S2, or to just move him backward so your allies can finish the job. If you’re fleeing, aim Time Manipulation behind yourself, at the enemy chasing you (if he’s close enough) to reset his position and give yourself enough time to escape. The same method can be used to save low health, fleeing ally. The third option for the S1 would be to cast it on yourself, charge forward into combat, casting the S2, before returning to the original position at full health. The last option seems good in theory and would work very well on a tanky character, but Doctor Strange is squishy and can easily die before the S1 activates, and that’s why I wouldn’t recommend relying too much on this combo. On the other hand, the third option could be excellent if you’re on a TeamSpeak with Tank/Fighter hero, who could charge into the fray after you cast S1 on him, wreaking havoc and causing the enemies to ‘waste’ their most powerful abilities on him, before returning to the starting position, with his health intact. Just be careful not to accidentally target a pursuing ally when using S1 on a fleeing enemy, since this is very counter-productive and it will surely anger your teammate.
Bolts of Balthakk (S2) is a pretty straightforward, low cooldown ability, and the one you’ll be using the most. This skill deals solid damage and can be bounced off the obstacles or used through the open portal, which is very neat, as I’ll explain in a moment. Inter-Dimensional Portal (S3) has some utility as a travel skill, but its most commonly used to cast S2 through it, at a very long distance. In the very early game (before the Ulti), this combo can be used to finish off low health enemies that are hiding below the tower, or even target teleporting enemies that are far away, possibly killing them. I managed to pull this off more than once, and it always felt very rewarding. So how to use this S3+S2 combo? It’s quite simple actually, but it can be confusing at first, since most heroes target enemies that are relatively close, within the sight range of their hero. So, first find the already injured enemy, cast S3 slightly in front of him, and immediately cast S2 at the portal in front of you. It is very important to quickly cast S2, and I would suggest doing this almost immediately before the animation for portal completes – the S2 will still go through it. The portal has a few more utility uses. It can be used to quickly leave the base after replenishing health/mana. If you stand at the edge of the base area, you can cast a portal in the desired direction, before your health/mana is fully recharged, and it will be full by the time you teleport (teleporting takes a few seconds), saving you a bit travel time (hey, every little bit helps).
Sorcerer Supreme (Ultimate) is an extremely powerful ability, that makes up for this hero’s lack of damage, and then some. It should be (almost always used) in the following combo S3 + Ulti + S2. So, we basically upgrade our previous S3+S2 combo, and everything else remains the same.
In the early, game poke your opponent with the S3+S2. If you get ganked, and enemy pursues you under your tower, use a dirty S1 trick on him, and continue retreating. This way, you will reset his position, so he will reappear under your tower and possibly die in one or two shots (towers are deadly in the early game).
Also, pay attention to the other lanes. If you spot a low health enemy, Doctor Strange can easily snipe him with his S3+Ulti, since with the portal you can reach both the bottom and top lane, without moving too far from your own middle lane.
Doctor Strange mid-late game
During the late game, the aforementioned, powerful combo, should be used to hit the squishy enemy backline from a safe distance. With the ability to cast his spells at such a long-range, Doctor Strange can easily ‘snipe’ injured heroes that are defending the tower, before they even realize that someone is attacking them. Very often, you won’t even appear on their mini-map! Nice! In team fights, Doctor Strange should keep his distance, staying even farther behind than the regular mages (there’s no point in having the long range if you don’t utilize it right?), moving forward only to pursue broken enemies, or to cover the retreat of his allies. Also, Doctor Strange has very good synergy with heroes that have AoE control abilities, since the teammate could keep the enemies inside Sorcerer Supreme Ultimate, allowing it to deal its full damage potential.
All in all, Doctor Strange should be played as long-range sniper/artillery, and used to take out very dangerous but squishy targets like marksman and jungler, and occasionally other mages. On the plus side, his prey (marksman, jungler) usually has life steal ability and only rarely gets back to base for health, so if other allies can spot for Doctor Strange, he can take out these, normally deadly opponents, with relative ease.