Nerif, the Oracle
|Support Nuker Disabler Escape|
Ascendants to the Great Seat of Cymurri had for ages imported their Oracles exclusively from the Ivory Incubarium, high in the hollow peaks of the Zealot's Range, with a downpayment made at the time of the embryo's conception and the balance surrendered on delivery of a mature, well-trained prophet to the Gate of the Graven King. Raised by same Pallid Sybils who bred and birthed them, all sanctioned Oracles were anchored by their physical form to the world we most of us share; meanwhile, their souls roamed far afield, barely bound by the airiest astral umbilicus. From such cosmic roamings the prophets would return, speaking words of fire with tongues of flesh. Their mystic utterances were analyzed by the Cymurri Advisors, who found in them visions of the future, diplomatic advice, all the supernatural ammunition the line of Graven Kings needed to secure victory in every campaign, whether in the court or on the battlefield. Thus it went for generations, the Graventome's pages filling with the names of triumphant kings and the new domains they had acquired. So it went, that is, until the particular Oracle named Nerif arrived to serve the very last of the stone-helmed kings.
From the first, Nerif's prophecies were unusual. They seemed not merely to portend the future, but to shape it. The weird soothsayer croaked out advice no one had requested, and suddenly the Cymurri found themselves immersed in conflicts with newfound enemies. The Advisors, sensing a threat to their power, were quick to pin these unwelcome developments on the latest Oracle. They demanded his removal, petitioning the Sybils to reclaim their defective prophet and replace him with a worthy substitute. But Nerif described an ominous dream of the Incubarium's destruction, and within hours came news of the ancient school's destruction in a catastrophic avalanche. Fearing the same fate as the Pallid Sybils, the Advisors withdrew to their counsel chambers, suddenly anxious to avoid the Oracle's notice. The Graven King, however, was a creature of great practicality. He doubted the commitment of his overprudent Advisors. An Oracle of such rarity, he reasoned, ought be used as a weapon to enlarge his domain. He therefore demoted his timid counselors and stationed Nerif at his side. With only a blunt understanding of Nerif's talent, he boldly stated the outcomes he desired, and coaxed Nerif into uttering his wishes as prophecy.
At first, all was well. The Last Graven King boasted that by adopting Fate's pet, he had made a plaything of Fate itself. He should have taken it as a warning then when, on the eve of his invasion of the Unsated Satrap's realm, he attempted to coerce a prediction of certain victory from his Oracle, only to hear Nerif quietly mutter, "It could go either way." No firmer statement could he force from Nerif's lips. Still, the King was confident in his army. The Satrapy was landlocked, poorly armed, and shut off from all possible allies. He took "It could go either way" to indicate that with tactical might on his side, there was little risk in his plan.
Of course, we now know that he should have taken the sayer's words more literally. Even with careful study of the Annotated Annals of If, what happened on the field before the Unsated Satrap's palace is almost impossible to visualize. It appears that in the midst of the carnage, the battle began to bifurcate. At each pivotal moment, reality calved and broke into bits. Soldiers who staggered and fell in battle also stood sure-footed, forging onward to fight. Their minds also split; the warriors found themselves both dead and alive, existent and non-existent. Victory and defeat were partitioned, so that each separate outcome was experienced in simultaneity by both armies. The universe became a hall of mirrors, with all the mirrors endlessly shattering.
The immediate effect on both parties was insanity. Unable to comprehend the state of being both triumphant and defeated, the Graven King's mind dispersed into motes of madness. The naive Satrap fared no better. The opposing paired realities continued to split and split again, echoing into infinite histories, all of them populated by a bewildered populace that soon lost the ability to feed, clothe, defend, or reproduce itself in the traditional manner.
Long before the repercussions had played out, however, Cymurri's wary Advisors had seized Nerif, bound and gagged him, and launched him out of their universe at high speed on a dimensional barque, in the hopes of depositing him where he could do them no harm forever. It was, of course, too late for them. And may well be for us.
By carefully combining his intricate abilities, Oracle controls the destinies of both friend and foe. Shrouding threatened allies with his false promise, he can grant an ally a few precious moments of protection to destroy an enemy, or even reverse a grisly fate.Oracle (In-Game Description)
- The dispel is applied before the damage. Can remove Fate's Edict and the heal of Purifying Flames from enemies.
- Does not interrupt enemy channeling abilities.
- If the target becomes spell immune while Oracle is channeling, the damage and dispel are still dealt to units around the target.
- Oracle can continue channeling even if the target dies, releasing the spell at the target's death location.
- The projectile travels at 1000 speed.
- Applies a strong dispel to the target on cast.
- The healing is doubled and applied before damage when the buff ends.
- Kill credit goes to the damage source that dealt the killing blow.
- HP Cost is not added to the damage value and is ignored.
- Instant Kill abilities such as Culling Blade and Ice Blast will kill through False Promise.
- Shallow Grave and Borrowed Time can save a target under False Promise. Invulnerability cannot.
- The orb visual above the target is fiery when taking more damage. If it is fully ablaze, the target will die when False Promise ends.
|+1.5s False Promise Duration||25||Instant Fortune's End|
|+30% Purifying Flames Enemy Damage||20||-20s False Promise Cooldown|
|-1.25s Purifying Flames Cooldown||15||+15 False Promise Armor|
|+12 Intelligence||10||+0.4s Fortune's End Duration|
Oracle is one of the more unique heroes in Dota. His abilities are all double-edged swords, having the ability to help or harm allies and enemies alike. As a result of this he has a higher skill cap than most heroes, but once someone can master Oracle that person can completely dominate a team fight. In comparison to the other heroes, Oracle is most similar to Shadow Demon due to his high nuke potential, unconventional disables, and the ability to dispel.
For most heroes you can just read the abilities and that's it. With Oracle, this isn't the case.
- Fortune's End
Fortune's End is simply a Channeled Nuke that Roots, and applies a soft dispel. But it goes further than that. You don't need to channel Fortune's End to deal the damage, and apply the dispel. You only need to channel to increase the root's duration. Also, you can cast Fortune's End on allies. While the Nuke damage and Root wont be applied to the ally, the Soft dispel will be applied to them as well as an AoE that nukes and dispels enemies. This means that Hexes, Slows, and certain roots (CM's W for example) will be dispelled from your ally.
If you cast Fortune's End in the Fog of War onto an enemy you will be shown and the enemy will have a visual display warning them of the channel duration/incoming attack. An interesting note is that once Fortune's End begins channeling it won't stop no matter how far the enemy/ally goes. And if the enemy or ally disjoint during the channel, the projectile will NOT be disjointed. This means, you can channel Fortune's End on an ally with blink, and if they blink during the channel (for this example they blink on top of an enemy) once the channel is finished or cancelled the projectile will shoot towards the allies new position (on top of the enemy, effectively rooting and nuking the enemy). This allows you to disable an enemy without them being prepared.
- Fate's Edict
Fate's Edict is essentially a way to give magic resistance to allies so they cannot be damaged by Purifying Flames. But, just like Fortune's End it goes further than that. Fate's Edict applies a 100% Magic Resistance Buff (Which can be affected by negative magic resistance items, such as Ghost Scepter and Veil), and a Disarm. Fate's Edict can be cast on allies and enemies alike, providing the same bonuses/debuffs. Naturally this leads to two ways to use the ability, using it on enemy right clickers so they cannot autoattack (this effectively stops Orb Attacks as well). And using it on allies so they cannot be damaged by magic. There are negatives to using it at the wrong times though. If you use it on an enemy right clicker and then that enemy gets hit by Finger of Death, the enemy will take no damage from Finger of Death. And alternatively, if you use it on your ally, that ally cannot attack. Be wise when you use the ability, will it hurt more than it helps should be a thought constantly on your mind.
Note that Fate's Edict can be dispelled. While this could leave you vulnerable to Diffusal Blades, the bigger threat is Fortune's End. Be careful that you don't hit the target that was affected by Fate's Edict with Fortune's End or Fortune's End's AoE.
- Purifying Flames
Purifying Flames is seen as Oracle's most obvious double-edged sword. It is basically a Nuke followed by a Heal that will heal for more than it damaged. Purifying Flames is a magic damage based nuke that heals and has a 2.25 Second cooldown. Purifying Flames deals magic damage instantly and heals over the duration of nine seconds. This means that you could get off 4 Damage instances (casts) before the heal would equalize. Now it's not ideal to have an ally suffer the damage, and it's not ideal to have an enemy enjoy the heal. So as a result you look towards your first two abilities, Fortune's End, and Fate's Edict. If you want to heal an ally the order you cast your abilities would be Fate's Edict on an allied and then a Purifying Flames on that ally. As the Fate's Edict will prevent the instance of damage but not the heal. And this is why you get a second level in Fate's Edict at level 8. While it is mathematically possible to cast Purifying Flames twice during the duration of (Level One)Fate's Edict, in practice it's not realistic. A second level in Fate's Edict ,increasing it's duration by 0.5 seconds, creates enough room to do this. If you want to damage an ally the order you cast your spells is Purifying Flames and then Fortune's End. As the soft dispel from Fortune's End will remove the healing buff from Purifying Flames. If your attacking an enemy the chances are likely that you would like that enemy to be rooted for the full 2.5 duration of Fortune's End, but if you cast Purifying Flames and then channel fortune's End they get 2-3 ticks of the heal of Purifying Flames off, reducing your overall damage. How you can prevent this is by channeling Fortune's End for the 2.5 duration, and then casting Purifying Flames while the projectile flies towards the enemy, thus allowing no instances of healing to occur if you Purifying Flames before the projectile hits, maximizing your damage.
It is also possible to just spam Purifying Flames and just let the heal stay there, as long as you are able to finish off the enemy before they can truly benefit from the heal.
- False Promise
False Promise is an interesting Ultimate, with a fairly short cooldown it can be used frequently. However, unlike Oracle's other abilities it can only be cast on allies. Simply put, False Promise is a Hard dispel, and a modified Shallow Grave. Now while, yes, it is a Hard dispel. Thinking of False Promise as a Shallow Grave is dangerous thinking. It can indeed act as a device to delay death for 7/8/9 seconds. It is better used to ensure life. During False Promise, all sources of generating health (gaining strength doesn't count) is doubled. This means that everything form Puryifying Flames, to Magic Stick, to Lifesteal is doubled (Satanic Included). No damage, and no healing will be applied until the end of the 7/8/9 seconds. The target will take whatever amount of damage it was dealt and whatever amount of healing it received (doubled), and then if these values will be applied at the end, if it more damage than healing was taken then the target will take that damage (more often than not that amount of damage kills the target). Use False Promise not as a Shallow Grave but as a Hard dispel. If the enemy is ulted by Beastmaster, almost instantly ult that target, and make it as if Primal Roar was never cast. Try to make sure the target isn't going to die. Try not to cast Purifying Flames if the target wont receive the benefits of the nine second heal during the False Promise, if the Purifying Flames will damage the False Promise target (I.E. use Purifying Flames once or twice at the beginning of False Promise or when the target is affected by Fate's Edict.)
Keep in mind that False Promise is NOT a BKB it is a dispel. It only works once, and it works when the ability is cast.
Oracle is a hard hero, truly. Think about if your abilities will help your team or not. At first you will make mistakes, but if time is taken and you master his abilities, you can control an entire teamfight at whatever speed you would like.
In the Early Game Oracle's primary goal should be to protect your carry and ensure that the carry can get farm. If the lane is ganked Oracle can easily ensure that he and his carry live. Your two saving graces would be Fortune's End and Fate's Edict. If the enemy relies on slows to kill you (Venomancer, Dazzle, Crystal Maiden) use Fortune's End on your carry so that you can dispel the disable. If the enemy relies on magic damage (Skywraith Mage, Puck, Ogre Magi) to kill you, use Fate's Edict on your carry before he/she gets nuked. This will prevent all magic damage, but not the disable. If the enemy relies on Right Clicking damage to kill you (Clinkz, Outworld Devourer, Windranger) use your Fate's Edict on the enemy to disarm them. If the enemy relies on Buffs/Abilities to kill you (Haste/DoubleDamage Rune, Ember Spirit's Flame Guard) use your Q on the enemy as it will dispel the enemies' buffs. Fortune's End can be used to stop and dispel enemies or it can be used to save and dispel allies. Fate's Edict can be used to disarm enemies or protect. More often than not you can't stop an entire gank by only casting Fortune's End or Fate's Edict, you have to use both abilities. You need to decide how you are going to use each ability to save you and your carry/teammate.
Keep in mind that Fate's Edict can be dispelled by Fortune's End.
In the Mid Game, your goal should be shutting down enemies who will cause trouble for your team. And also enabling your team to keep fighting.
Similar to the Early Game, use your Fate's Edict on enemy right clickers or on allies when they are going to be nukes. Use your Fortune's End to catch out of position enemies and save allies from being caught. Use Purifying Flames to quickly burst down squishy heroes, and to save your teammates. Use False Promise to save allies.
In the Mid Game your biggest issues will be Levels, and Items. Make sure you farm well, and take time to get your own money. Through utilizing a level 4 Purifying Flames you can clear Large Jungle camps quickly. And also instantly kill ranged creeps. Use this to your advantage. Don't cling to allies trying to save them every single fight. But rather work on your own items. If you can get items like Force Staff, Glimmer Cape, Lotus Orb. You will help your team even more than if you saved them from that one death.
Late Game isn't different from mid game too much. Use your abilities in the same way. And try to ensure that you, yourself have farm. Make sure you position yourself in fights. Don't be in the back. You need to be able to help your team and harm the enemies at the same time. You need to be closer to the fight just not right in the thick of it. Some people fix this issue by buying Aether Lens so they can have more range. But the 2300 gold used for an Aether Lens could be better spent on a Force Staff, Ghost Scepter, Platemail, or Glimmer Cape. Any of those items will allow you to stay safe, and keep your team safe at the same time. While Aether Lens only ensures that you are safe.
Make sure you use your ult to stop big stuns. It would really make the difference in the late game.