Star-Lord has a bit different play style than other marksmen because he has a lot of mobility (unlike most), and almost exclusively uses his skills rather than auto attacks to eliminate opponents. His superb mobility and pew, pew (S1) are the most distinguishable characteristics of this hero and can be used to zip around the battlefield and suddenly strike at unsuspecting opponents. Although he might look quite simple at first with only one damage and mobility skill (plus the ultimate), playing the effective Star-Lord is actually quite challenging, as it requires a great deal of map awareness, proper movement, and positioning, as we are about to see. The best and shortest way to describe Star-Lord’s playstyle would be Run ‘N Gun hero, that favors mobility over the brute force.
- Exceptional Mobility. With his Rocket Boots, Star-Lord can outrun any opponent. It’s almost impossible to catch him or run away from him
- Very Good at chasing. S1 can be used while moving and is commonly used in combination with the S2
- Solid burst damage (Ulti + S1 combo)
- Good at defending and pushing towers
- Strong early game
- Vulnerable to control
- Very squishy
- A bit weak in the late game (compared to the other marksmen)
Star-Lord Item Build
Star-Lord early game (lvl 8)
At the very start of the game, Star-Lord is very weak, just like most other marksmen, and should focus on farming gold and XP during the first few levels. Although it might ‘feel’ and look powerful, his S1 can’t actually kill even a single minion with all shots fired, while Star-Lord himself is very fragile so, again, he shouldn’t try to fight other heroes until the Ulti becomes available. Now, let’s take a quick look at his skills before delving deeper into tactics and everything else.
Let’s Rock (S1) can be used while moving, and this is the most characteristic of this skill. You should take full advantage of this, and almost move around while shooting your pew, pew guns. Once S1 activates it is a good idea to move slightly away from your opponent (or forward if he’s fleeing) because this skill can hit from a bit longer range but only after it’s activated – before activation the range is the same as most other skills in the game. Because of that, Star-Lord can be one of the best heroes for poking/skirmishing, with his guns slowly chipping at the opponent’s health, while he remains at (relatively) safe distance. Also, S1 should be ideally used when there are no minions around, to avoid accidentally ‘wasting’ your shots on them. However, if you do accidentally lock on the wrong target, S1 can be pressed again to switch targets, so keep that in mind. When I discovered and started using this feature it helped out a lot because if there are two enemy heroes close to each other, you can often start shooting at the ‘wrong’ one, and this little trick can remedy that. S1 should be prioritized over the S2.
NOTE: When Star-Lord locks on his target with the S1, he can’t be interrupted by stun and other CC effects from firing the full burst (he’ll keep shooting even if he gets stunned). So, if you see an isolated, low health enemy, charge up the Rocket Boots and take it out with the S1!
Rocket Boots (S2) provide the Star-Lord with huge mobility, enabling him to hunt down badly injured foes (his main characteristic), quickly get away from trouble, switch lanes, and also dodge some of the very nasty AoE abilities. It is great in combination with the other two skills, as we’ll see in a moment. Mastering the Rocket Boots (and this hero in general) will take some time, so don’t feel bad if your performance was less than expected in the first few games.
S2 + S1 combo is great for chasing and finishing off low health heroes, but it just won’t be enough to burst down anyone ‘healthy’. When zipping around with the S2 try not to overextend into enemy towers. Instead, flying around in half circle, around your opponent, while Star-Lord fires his guns, seems to yield the best results. The huge mobility, plus the ability to shoot on the move, can work exceptionally well against most energy heroes, and other characters that have to aim their skills, since your speed should allow you to dodge most of their, otherwise deadly, abilities making them almost helpless, while your guns keep ripping them apart. Again try it out, low health, and no armor mages will feel every shot from the Let’s Rock, and seeing them miss and waste their abilities on an empty space is quite rewarding. With all that said, avoid moving in a straight line with S2.
Milano Strike (Ultimate) is excellent for defending and attacking towers since it covers a large area, and deals solid damage. It is also great for team fights for the same reasons. This skill has a low cooldown (made even shorter by the items), so don’t be afraid to use it often. So, once we get our Ultimate, we can start thinking about charging in and bursting down someone. Basically, we will do the same thing as before, except now we will use the S2 to get close to our enemy and activate the Ultimate, before firing our guns. However, this is a very risky maneuver, and should be performed against already distracted and (ideally) isolated enemies, since Star-Lord is very squishy and will be in huge trouble if he gets stunned or his movement otherwise disabled from some of those nasty abilities – exactly the reason why you should generally avoid trying this against tougher heroes that have those abilities. Anyway, if this combo does work you should be able to burst down most of the squishier heroes, even if they’re on full health. If your target survives, don’t stick around, and use your S2 again to get the hell out of there. With all that said, the goal when playing Star-Lord in the early game is to get ahead of your opponents, by using his early game advantage and quickly finish the game, so some risk must be taken. Without the Ulti, look for the targets of opportunity and glance a bit around the lanes, using your exceptional mobility to quickly get to heroes on low health and finish them off with S1.
TIP: When you’re not using Milano Strike always keep your distance from enemy heroes, and stay at a maximum range of your guns.
TIP: Do not trade shots against high DPS heroes with your S1, because they will out damage you. However, you can kite them. If they start chasing, move away while plinking with your guns. You can move while shooting, they can’t. The strength of the S1 isn’t an enormous damage output, it’s the ability to move while shooting.
TIP: Avoid getting close to high mobility junglers in 1v1, especially if they can stun you. It’s better to run away from these enemies if they’re at full health since poking them with Let’s Rock won’t achieve much, while the risk of them bursting you down is very real. If they are distracted and/or not at full health, that’s another story.
TIP: The best advice that I can give you with this character is to only take a calculated risk. If the situation seems unfavorable, run away. The Star-Lord’s mobility is his greatest advantage and should be utilized as much as possible.
Star-Lord mid-late game
During the mid-game, Star-Lord should roam around, hunting down any isolated enemies. If your team is pushing the enemy tower, quickly get in there with your Milano Strike, which should either kill some of the enemies or force them away from the tower, so your team can destroy it. It is very important to push your advantage during this period of the game, since later on the Star-Lord will start losing his power spike (advantage). Why? Well, simply because it will become increasingly harder to eliminate enemies with Ulti + S1 combo, and live to tell about it. Also, S1 damage won’t be that impressive once everyone hits level 18, and it will become more difficult to finish off tougher enemies even if they are at low health (20% or less). So, don’t mess around even if you are ahead in the mid-game and try to finish the match as quickly as humanly possible, or the tables may turn, and something that looked like a certain victory may turn into a defeat.