Who is the Winter Wyvern? (Part 1)

With the re-introduction of Winter Wyvern in Dota 2, here are some tips when playing this new hero type. First, a run-down of Winter Wyvern’s skills and their effects from a player’s perspective:

Image source: http://www.dota2.com/hero/Winter_Wyvern/Debuting in Dota 1, Winter Wyvern is a new hero that was recently re-introduced into Dota 2 along with the ‘New Bloom’ Update. Taking the form of an ice-based dragon, Winter Wyvern is a ranged intelligence hero. It has a slow base movement speed of 285, below the average of 300. With a level 1 health pool of 606, its slow movement speed makes it an easy kill especially in the early game. Having a relatively low damage base of 38-45 per attack, Winter Wyvern cannot solely depend on right-clicking (a phrase to describe attacking someone with normal attacks) to bring an enemy down. Right off the bat, it looks like Winter Wyvern will be a challenging hero to master due to its low offense and defence starting stats.

Like most other heroes, Winter Wyvern has a set of 3 primary skills and an Ultimate:

Arctic Burn: When activated, Winter Wyvern gains a bonus attack range as well buffs its attack with increased damage per second (dps) and a slow enemy debuff. This skill offsets Winter Wyvern’s low base attack damage and provides a safe range from which to attack an enemy. The most important aspect of this skill is how it grants Winter Wyvern unobstructed movement, becoming able to fly over impassable terrain such as cliffs and trees in order to escape or pursue enemy heroes.

Splinter Blast: When activated, an ice-shard is launched at an enemy hero. On impact, although it has no effect on the target, the shard splinters, damaging and slowing all other enemies within a 500 radius. This skill complements Winter Wyvern’s Ultimate, which I will be touching on below.

6SYqTmHCold Embrace: Probably Winter Wyvern’s most potent skill, Cold Embrace can only be cast on itself or on allies, encasing the target in an icy cocoon for up to 4 seconds. Although immobilised, the target is invulnerable to physical damage and at the maximum level, this skill is able to heal the target for 30% max health. Hence, this skill is exceptionally useful to teammates who play Tank and Carry. With a low cool down of 14 seconds at max level, it looks like Winter Wyvern’s best utilized as a Support, protecting and healing allied heroes while keeping itself at arm’s-length from the main action. This skill is usually maxed out first when playing the role of Support or Tank which would be touched later on as well.

Winter’s Curse: Winter Wyvern’s Ultimate. When cast on an enemy hero, its allies within a 350 radius will be ‘charmed’ to converge on and attack it uncontrollably for 3 seconds at max level. Once cast, Winter Wyvern could follow up with Splinter Blast to damage and slow an entire group of enemies at once. The targeted enemy hero bears the brunt of the damage; hence this skill is quite useful in either engaging or bringing down an enemy hero quickly, ironically by its own teammates.

In Part 2, we will look at various roles and their builds for which Winter Wyvern might be suited to complement a team of heroes.