ChaQ’s guide to Puck!

Hi. I’m back! After getting a ton of positive feedback 

both from regular and pro players about my mid guide I decided to write a guide on my favourite hero – Puck! As in my previous guide I will focus on some of the most sophisticated and rarely discussed aspects of playing this hero on a really high level, enjoy!



Table of contents:

1. Introduction

2. Puck’s abilities & stats

3. Skillbuilds

4. Itemchoice

5. Laning – where the fun begins

6. Matchups

6. Gameflow

7. Initiating and “the art of not dying”

8. Farming, farming patterns & some efficiency tips

9. Gameflow

10. What to (not) pick Puck against


12. Ending word and coaching news!



Chapter 1. Introduction

Puck is an incredibly elusive intelligence  initiator. Despite terrible starting strength and hp gain it’s one of the hardest heroes to gank/kill. The reason why I love Puck so much is that it has such an amazingly high skill cap and outplay potential. It also benefits from highly developed mechanics a lot.


  • Rewards skill
  • Extremely mobile
  • Wins most of the mid matchups
  • Huge “big plays” potential


  • You need some practice to be good with this hero
  • Does not forgive mistakes
  • You need really fast reflexes to play it well
  • Easy to feed with when played by a low skilled player
  • Hardcountered by some heroes

Chapter 2. Puck’s abilities & stats

  • Damage: 47 – 58
  • Casting Animation: 0.1 / 0.51
  • Armor: 2.08
  • Base Attack Time: 1.7
  • Movespeed: 295
  • Missile Speed: 900
  • Attack Range: 550
  • Sight Range: 1800 / 800
  • All of Puck’s spells’ type is magical

2.1 Illusory orb


Puck launches a magic orb that floats in a straight path, damaging enemy units along the way. At any point, Puck may teleport to the orb’s location using Ethereal Jaunt.

Cast Range: 3000 Travel Range: 1800 Radius: 225 Damage: 70/140/210/280 Cooldown: 12 Manacost: 150

Important notes:

  1. Gives flying vision in a large aoe around the orb. Example here.
  2. Travels for 3 seconds with constant speed of 600
  3. Shifting into orb dodges projectiles! Example here.

2.2 Waning rift


Puck releases a burst of faerie dust that deals damage and silences enemy units nearby.

Radius: 400 Silence Duration: 0.75/1.5/2.25/3.0 Damage: 70/140/210/280 Cooldown: 16 Manacost: 100/110/120/130

2.3 Phase shift


Puck briefly shifts into another dimension where it is immune from harm.

Duration: 0.75/1.5/2.25/3.25 Manacost: 0 Cooldown: 6

Important notes:

  1. Puck can cancel Phase Shift at any time with any action.
  2. Puck will not receive assist gold or Urn of Shadows charges while phase shifted.

2.4 Dream coil


Creates a coil of volatile magic that latches onto enemy Heroes, stunning them for .5 seconds and damaging them. If the enemy hero stretches the coil by moving too far away, it snaps, deals damage again and stuns.

Radius: 375 Coil Range: 750 Coil Duration: 6 (8*) Initial Stun Duration: 0.5 Initial Damage: 100/150/200 Coil Break Stun Duration: 1.5/2.25/3 Coil Break Damage: 100/150/200 (200/250/300*)

*Shows values improved by Aghanim’s Scepter

Important notes:

  1. Any movement ability used to escape Dream Coil, including blinking or using a town portal scroll, will trigger the damage and stun, though the hero will still continue to their destination. Certain abilities, such as Storm Spirit’s Ball Lightning and Morphling’s Waveform, grant invulnerability during cast and will break Dream Coil with no effect.
  2. If a hero becomes magic immune after being linked by Dream Coil, the visual effect will still be present but the ability will not do anything if the immunity is active upon breaking the link.
  3. The initial stun and damage can be blocked by Linken’s Sphere, but the target will still be affected by the coil itself.


Chapter 3. Skillbuilds

Skillbuilds are often a very controversial issue. Sometimes people have one, favourite skillbuild and stick to it regardless of what the situation is. The best players know that the key to success is often the ability to adapt. Here are three basic skillbuilds I use:

3.1 The “Max orb” skillbuild

Definitely the most common and classic skillbuild that gives you the best runecontrol. It maxes Orb early, getting only one point in silence and phase shift at levels 2 and 4.  Why am I not the biggest fan of this build? In my opinion it’s extremely passive as it focuses on getting as much cs as possible while sacrificing your solokill capabilities. Go for it when your objective in the game is to get a fast blink dagger without too much risk. Extremely useful in the “hard matchups”: Obsidian Destroyer, Templar Assassin etc.

  1. Illusory Orb
  2. Phase shift
  3. Illusory Orb
  4. Waning rift
  5. Illusory Orb
  6. Dream Coil
  7. Illusory Orb

Max silence then Phase Shift, ult when possible.

3.2 The “hybrid” skillbuild

My favourite skillbuild, it’s meant for ganking and being aggresive instead of passively farming. Two levels in silence at level 6 mean that you can get solo kills on most of the mid heroes way easier, usually makes tp-counterinitiations more successful as well. Go for it if you feel like you’re outplaying your opponent and you can easily kill him at level 6.

  1. Illusory Orb
  2. Phase shift
  3. Illusory Orb
  4. Waning rift
  5. Waning rift
  6. Dream Coil
  7. Illusory Orb

From here, depending on what you need more – get Orb for faster farming and better rune control or Waning Rift if you need it for ganking/solokilling.

3.3 The “Max silence” build

An extremely situational build that is useful only in specific scenarios. Some people use it to lane against batrider (you don’t need to waste your orb to farm, so you can always escape even with 5+ napalm stacks). Generally not recommended as your Waning Rift is way harder to hit than the Orb.

  1. Illusory Orb
  2. Phase shift
  3. Waning rift
  4. Waning rift
  5. Waning rift
  6. Dream Coil
  7. Waning rift

Chapter 4. Itemchoice

4.1 Starting items.

I’ve noticed that many players build awful and ineffective items on Puck. This hero is not about getting strength through bracers and +hp items. Puck is all about avoiding getting hit. Through hundreds of games, both pubs and scrims I have discovered the most effective item combination to go for. Let’s start from the beginning: generally there are 3 starting items builds i use.

a) The “regular” build

This is the most basic itembuild you’ll be using in the standard matchups. It gives you decent damage, stats and a lot of regen. If your opponents decides to rush bottle you can punish him by trading hits and zoning him out from the lane.


Especially recommended against:

indeks Windranger_hero_thumbnail64px-Presence_of_the_Dark_Lord_icon avatar_b781ad21fb2e_64

b) The “High damage” build


The point of this build is to win midlane by outlasthitting your enemy. You start with 3 branches, a circlet, mantle and a tango. You should shift-click “Null Talisman” in the shop to add it to your quickbuy and ferry it as soon as possible. If you get one or two creeps from the first wave you will end up with a ridiculous amount of damage as soon as your courier delivers the talisman recipe. Remember that you are very vulnerable to early harass so don’t try this against heroes with spammable ranged nukes.

Especially recommended against:

f4492fcf153e6673931ec7045512909cf60010bb_medium  mirandanightshade   Magnus_hero_thumbnailnight_stalker_lg_hero_thumbnail

c) The anti-spammer build


The main difference in this build and the previous ones is that you spend 200 gold on a magic stick to get a lot of regen from your enemy spamming spells that he uses to farm.

Especially recommended against:

avatar_a496968d151d_64 dasadasdasd indeks222 Skywrath_Mage

d) Build when getting pooled


This is basically the “b” build but you don’t have to buy any regen or feerry yourself a null recipe. It’s really greedy as you start off with 50 gold only so make sure you don’t lose too much hp before you get enough gold for a bottle.

4.2 Core items:


Why treads, not phase?!!?!! – you may ask

The answer is simple: puck does not need any more damage and the +ms boost. You already have dagger and Orb to get into the right position and really high base damage and int gain. What puck lacks is attack speed and survability/flexibility that only treads can give you. Phase are in my opinion only legit if you’re offlaning and need the damage boost to solokill/outcs or zone out the enemy hero.

Remember that the itembuild should be adapted to your position in the game and to who you are playing against. Getting boots of travel against a splitpushing furion or a 5man lineup may often be the best idea.

Why shiva’s not skadi or orchid?

If you get that late into the game that you already have all the listed items above, you are looking for something that will let you change the outcome of teamclashes. In my opinion Shiva is one of the most overlooked items when it comes to clutchiness. It effectively reduces enemy team’s DPS outcome by a ton, gives you that much needed armor and synergises perfectly with all of your AOE skills. Sometimes, when you are facing a lot of physical damage carries it’s worth getting before hex. Moreover by getting shiva lategame you can farm the entire creepwave in 2 seconds just by using orb+rift and Shiva’s active.

4.3 Situational items:

Dagon_icon Get dagon if you are dominating the game and you feel like extra nuking power will let you snowball into victory. Especially recommended against squishy supports with powerful abilities (Rhasta, Ancient Aparition etc).

Eul's_Scepter_of_Divinity_icon Eul’s is my go-to item if I see heroes like Skywrath Mage or Silencer. It’s basically a poor man’s BKB with some nice bonuses like increased mana regen and movement speed.

Force_Staff_icon Forcestaff adds some extra mobility and lets you save your allies, also if you use it on the enemy hero after casting Dream Coil it may stun them and apply additional damage.

Orchid_Malevolence_icon This is the most cost-efficient DPS item for int heroes. If you need extra killing power and really useful active, go for it after acquiring blink dagger.

Linken's_Sphere_icon Sometimes there is this one hero that keeps hating on you and spamming annoying spells that make you die. After the linken’s remake and it getting active ability that can be used on allies it’s even more worthy of its price!

Refresher_Orb_icon Double silence, double hex, double coil? Why not!


Aghanim’s scepter after 6.82 update switched from the worst item on Puck to a really viable option. The fact that it stuns for so long and goes through bkb is amazing, I strongly reccomend to get it against BKB antimage and other BKB heroes that want to be as mobile as possible in the teamfight

My usual item progression:

Null_Talisman_iconBottle_iconMagic_Wand_iconPower_Treads_iconBlink_Dagger_icon Shiva's_Guard_icon or Scythe_of_Vyse_icon or Orchid_Malevolence_icon

My item progression when I’m dominating:

Null_Talisman_iconBottle_iconMagic_Wand_iconPower_Treads_iconDagon_1_icon Blink_Dagger_iconDagon_iconEthereal_Blade_iconScythe_of_Vyse_icon

My item progression when I’m behind:

Bottle_iconMagic_Stick_icon  Boots_of_Speed_icon Blink_Dagger_icon Scythe_of_Vyse_iconBoots_of_Travel_icon

Chapter 5. Laning – where the fun begins

With abilities that let you be extremely aggresive as well as extremely defensive, very high base attack damage, smooth attack animation as well as phaseshift to dodge any stuns and targeted spells there’s no doubt that Puck is one of the strongest laners in the game. With a bit of practice and getting used to certain positioning mistakes people often do you will get firstblood in most of your pub matches.

5.1 Using orb

Orb is a wonderful, spammable spell that makes even daggerless Puck extremely mobile and hard to kill. What often goes unnoticed is the huge 500 AOE flying vision “tunnel” that it brings every time you cast it. Use it to scout super early woods-Ursa Roshans, scout runes, scout ganks. Other than that it’s really good as a lasthitting tool. If you are about to miss a CS, use the orb instantly and grab your gold.

Usage of that spell in laning is actually really difficult as it leaves you very vulnerable for ganks and heroes that want to close distance on you (like Ember or Pudge). Remember to always have enough mana to cast 1 orb in the laning stage. Puck with no orb is a dead Puck.

5.2 Using Waning Rift

Even if you went with the max orb build, 0,5s of silence is often enough to bring confusion and nervousness in the enemy player. Let’s say you are fighting Tinker on a really low hp. If you orb and jaunt right above him it’s obvious that he will laser you and from then win the exchange. What you want to do is wait for him to start casting his laser and cancel the animation as late as possible. He will have to target his cursor on you again and guess what, you have phase shift that completely stop his animation as well. What seems like 0.1 s of time bought often proves enough to kill instead of getting killed.

5.3 Using phaseshift

Orb and waning rift are both great spells but it’s phaseshift and the way you use it that makes a good Puck player… a good Puck player.

Phaseshift can be used in several ways:

  • To dodge spells
  • To dodge ranged attacks
  • To cancel enemy creeps’ aggro – in other words to stop them from attacking you.

The proper way of dodging ranged attacks is to wait for the very last second before they hit you. That way you can dodge even 2 autoattacks against heroes with really fast attack speed.

Dangers of using phaseshift:

Using phaseshift against certain heroes – just like Illusory Orb – makes you very vulnerable. If you are playing against Queen of Pain or X-torrent kunkka sometimes it’s better to just tank their autoattacks than to waste Phaseshift on one of them and get killed with their combo.


As there’s not much to talk about other than that you should just practice using it there’s one thing people almost never remember when playing Puck:

 You should never fear diving. If you are Puck the towers actually almost don’t exist for you: you have 2 ways of dodging their attacks. As you will see in the 5.5 part of my guide, Phase shift is a spell that makes stupidly aggresive plays actually work.


5.4 Using bottle/salve

Puck is an excellent hero for trading hits. Even though Puck’s armor and hp pools are not high you are able to always trade more efficiently with a smart usage of phaseshift and Illusory orb. What often goes overlooked is that Puck with bottle or salve has effectively 100+ hp more. In a scenario where you and level 2 invoker are trading hits – even if it seems like you are going to lose the exchange – if you use the salve/bottle then phaseshift instantly you gain 40-50 more hp. If you dodge the next incoming attack with jaunting into orb you gain even more making it 80-100 bonus hp. This mechanic also comes in handy in a situation where you dove a tower really hard and without healing up you wont be able to live.

5.5 Going for a kill

a) before level 6

Without anything to hold the enemy in place you need to rely on your orb hitting as well as him making a positional mistake. Really good players will do that really rarely but that happens even in 5-6k brackets.

Here’s an example vid of me controlling my creepwave to end up on my highground. I noticed that he was staying too far and orbed onto his highground. Invoker with level 1-3 is probably the easiest target for this maneuver as he simply can’t do much in this situation, especially if he doesn’t see it coming (as seen here). The smartest thing to do for him is probably to just run back and regen behind the tower but he made another two mistakes: trying to trade hits with full hp Puck as well as thinking he’s safe under his own tower. As I mentioned above, Puck is a hero that doesn’t care about towers. You just go.

b) after level 6

This is where things get a lot easier. If your enemy is below ~80% hp points and it’s not a super tanky strength hero there’s a huge chance that you just might be able to solokill him. My way of doing it is to pretend to farm normally without showing any intentions of being aggresive then orb, coil instantly to ensure the orb hit, then jaunt and waning rift. There’s not much most of the heroes can do against that other than watch you autoattack them to death. Execution of this combo looks like this.

Remember that some games you are just not meant to kill the opposing midder. You have to be aware that getting your dagger ASAP and making action happen somewhere else is always a viable option.

6. Matchups

I decided to break down and describe some of the more popular matchups so that you know what to look out for when playing them. “Chances of winning” is an approximation based on two equally skilled players playing the matchup. Numbers show how big of a chance Puck has to kill and/or outcs the enemy assuming that none of the heroes has received any help from the supports.




Chances of winning: 80-20

I love picking Puck against Pudge. If he goes stout shield he will not have enough damage to compete for lasthits. If he doesn’t – you just keep autoattacking him whenever he comes closer. Finally when he goes for that one lasthit and he’s below 50% hp you can freely dive him with orb and phaseshift prepared to dodge his hook.

Things to avoid: Standing in the river without vision on his highground will make you unable to react to him hooking you and will most likely mean you’ll die.

What to do if you get hooked: do not spam phaseshift, spam Waning Rift to prevent him from ultying you, then use Orb in the direction you want to escape and just then phase shift. As phaseshift is about to run out use ethreal jaunt to get away.


80px-Pugna Pugna

Chances of winning: 70-30

Pugna is one of the worst laners against puck. Puck dodges every ethreal blast without any problem and has way higher kill potential at level 6.  It’s the later stages of the game (if Pugna gets mek and lvl 4 ward) when Puck really struggles against this hero. Remember than one phaseshift is enough to break Pugna’s life drain channeling.


80px-Ember_Spirit Ember Spirit

Chances of winning: 70-30

Description: Ember has pretty bad starting damage compared to puck and generally struggles against any hero with high range and good attack projectile which Puck has. The only way you can lose this matchup is if ember gets his level 3 and surprises you with running at you with his level 2 flame shield and chains. For this reason it may be even better (if you see no enemy heroes that can gank you) to skip phaseshift until level 4. That means that if he runs at you – your combined waning rift and illusory orb will do enough damage to completely dispell his shield (210 damage total vs 200 shield reduction).


80px-Shadow_Fiend Shadow Fiend

Chances of winning: 70-30

Shadow Fiend really struggles against Puck. If you don’t fail at lasthitting and denying first 2-3 waves you can basically start forcing hit exchanges with him or even kill him if you manage to jump at his highground. Dodging razes if practiced enough becomes really easy as well.


80px-Kunkka Kunkka

Chances of winning: 65-35

The reason Puck shines against this hero is because it is able to deny Kunkka’s biggest laning advantage: the ability to harass the enemy with tidebringer every few seconds. Dodging it is really easy against inexperienced players who will most likely use it every time is up giving you a lot of time to react to his big glowing…sword. Against people who know what they are doing it becomes a little more tricky. What you need to do is wait for your creeps get low enough to know that he’s going to try to lasthit them. As he comes for the lasthit simply press the phaseshift hotkey. If he wastes his tidebringer on harassing you without getting lasthits then it should be pretty easy for you to deny a lot of his gold with your high base damage.

If the enemy Kunkka is getting on your nerves with faking torrent animation get a magic stick! As long as he is in your vision during casting it you will know when it’s really coming.


80px-Magnus Magnus

Chances of winning: 65-35

Magnus resembles kunkka with the playstyle you should take. Outlasthitting, harassing when possible and dodging shockwaves that are meant to hit creeps on low hp. If you hit level 6 solokilling him is quite easy when he’s below 70% hp. Remember to start your killing combo with orb->silence or silence ->orb. If you jsut coil him from 1000 range he is just going to tank the coil break damage and skewer away.


80px-Tinker Tinker

Chances of winning: 60-40

Tinker is a great laner but not-so-great when up against a skilled Puck. Your biggest advantage in this matchup is that Laser’s animation is pretty long and therefore- when used together with some clever highground usage and Waning Rift- it’s easy to mess with Tinker’s ability to cast it. Diving tinker before level 6 is generally not recommended unless you can land your silence and prevent getting lasered.


80px-Invoker Invoker

Chances of winning: 60-40

 It’s one of my favourite matchups. Your role is to win it before he gets his levels up. You can’t outlasthit level 5 invoker with ring of basilius and summonned forge spirit. You should play ultra aggresive when he’s level 1 and 2. Getting level 2 before him (so you start just running at him with your attacks and phase shift) is extremely important so don’t be afraid to use orb to push the lane a bit. If he goes QW you shouldn’t even bother harassing him and just focus solely on outlasthitting your opponent.


80px-Queen_of_Pain Queen of Pain

Chances of winning: 50-50

Puck is often considered a hardcounter to QoP. Puck forces a BKB rush because Waning Rift and Dream Coil really mess with her ability to be mobile and unpredictable. Although in my opinion a really good QoP player can easily win the lane against Puck. Baiting phase shift with autoattacks then blinking on you with shadowstrike and scream of pain can get you killed in no time.

Remember that your initial creepblock pays a really huge role in this matchup.


80px-Storm_Spirit Storm Spirit

Chances of winning:  50-50

It’s one of these matchups that get decided by who gets level 6 first. Don’t bother using phaseshift for normal autoattacks, it’s the ones with overload that hurt Puck the most. Remember that if you dodge an overloaded autoattack Storm will not lose his overload charge and can still attack you using it.


80px-Nyx_Assassin Nyx Assassin

Chances of winning: 50-50

If played correctly Puck should simply outcs nyx by having way higher base damage although if you make a mistake and don’t dodge spiked carapace reflect damage from the orb you might easily get into trouble. Mana burn is annoying as hell and takes a huge chunk from your already low hp pool. When nyx hits 6 you should already have a sentry placed mid.



Chances of winning:  35-65

Windranger is actually one of the best laners against Puck. Her damage is on par with yours but her projectile speed and attack animations are just waaay faster so lasthitting against her is often really difficult. Due to windrun you can’t really expect to trade hits efficiently and her powershot animation is hard to predict as she can cancel it early or wait with it for the full duration. You have to be careful about positioning as well as she can shackle you to your own lane creep and that’s almost impossible to dodge with phaseshift.


80px-Batrider Batrider

Chances of winning: 30-70

This matchup is a really difficult one regardless of the hero you’re playing. Batrider with his sticky napalm is just utterly annoying to play against. Your best bet after recent bat laning nerfs is just to outlasthit him, to never get more than 3 or 4 napalm stacks (you can dodge getting hit by napalm by timing phaseshift perfectly) and by being really careful with how you use your orb. Good bat will use the opportunity to kill you if you waste your orb and have no haste rune rune to run away.



Chances of winning: 25-75

Viper is a really hard counter to Puck. If he levels his corrosive skin to level 2 or 3 you’ll get a ton of damage every time you try to farm with orb. Once again this hero is the weakest against you at levels 1 and 2 so if you ever find a chance to jump on his highground you should definitely go for it.


Templar Assassin

Chances of winning: 20-80

For this one let me quote my own guide, precisely “how to doublewave”.

Normally Puck is considered to be severely countered by Templar Assassin. By using this trick though you may gain enough advantage early to snowball and even win the lane. Getting level 2 when TA is lvl 1 you are able to dive under the tower without risking to be hit and you can avoid any harass easily.

So what exactly is this strategy and how do I use it?

To “doublewave” someone means to accumulate a lot of creeps that start pushing him towards his tower. Meanwhile you are free to harass with all the aggro tricks you’ve learned (yes they work on towers too) and deny his creeps as he tanks them under the tower. Here’s a video of me performing this strategy against my friend:

Using this you can get quite a big advantage that will make you not lose the lane completely. Really good Puck players can go even with TA until she hits level 5 or 7.


Outworld Devourer

Chances of winning:  1-99

This hero, alongside with Doom is the doom of every Puck player. You just can’t do much on this lane. No mana to use spells, no damage to lasthit, no mana pool to gank. My best advice past lvl 3 is to stay as far as possible in the xp range while getting occasional lasthit with your Orb. You can also stack jungle and check runes blindly. At level 6 try ganking other lanes or simply ask the team to gank OD and you’ll be fine!



Chapter 7. Initiating and “the art of not dying”

As I said in the introduction, Puck is the hero that regardless of really low starting hp pool and armor is extremely hard to kill. Therefore it is likely that enemies will waste a lot of spells on you in teamfights just to count on your mistake and to ensure you don’t get your crowd controlling spells off.

7.1 Phaseshift usage in teamfights/when getting chased

So… how to not die with puck?

Let’s take a look at Phase shift’s duration depending on the level:

  • level 1: 0.75
  • level 2: 1.5
  • level 3: 2.25
  • level 4: 3.25

What I want you to remember is that in order to be able to blink away safely you should never use phaseshift before the cooldown counter on your blink dagger shows 1 second for lvl 2 phaseshift, 2 seconds for lvl 3 phaseshift and 3 seconds for level 4 phaseshift. Just try running away while looking at the blink cooldown counter, if you can’t make it then until then then you wouldn’t have made it anyways. Of course this only applies when you want to run away from a very heated situation.

Additionally it’s really important to rememer about using bottle or salve before phaseshifting. Nothing (except AA ultimate buff) can stop you from regenerating hp and mana when phaseshifted. If you use bottle then phaseshift, bottle heal will resume as soon as the ice blast negative buff wears off.


7.2 Euls+phaseshift usage

Click here to see a short clip from a real game in which i fully utilise Puck’s survivability potential. In the beginning I get silenced by Skywrath and meteor-blasted by Invoker. I used Eul’s to dispell the silence as soon as possible then started spamming phaseshift hotkey to avoid getting hit by kunkka and icewall. Notice that after I phaseshifted I blink straight into direction my hero was facing before the phaseshift. This makes it possible for me to blink instantly, without waiting for my hero to turn. Puck’s turnrate is extremely low so it’s crucial to remember about that in heavy teamfights or when you’re getting focused. If you blink in a straight line it’s possible to blink away from almost any AOE spell, even Storm’s static remnant casted under you!

Cool fact: If you orb then phaseshift there’s literally no way for the enemy to stop you from jumping into orb. Even chronosphere doesn’t disable this subability.

7.3 How to initiate?

As you already know, Puck is an initiator. Knowing how to initiate to wreck the most havoc in the enemy lineup is crucial if you ever want to have success with this hero.

1. Stay in the trees!

This piece of advice is actually really appropriate here. Enemy heroes should not have vision of you before you initiate. If they do – they can do a lot of things to mess your initiation up: from spreading out, casting a long ranged spell on you, spraying an AOE damage over time spell to make your blink be on cooldown constantly to advanced tactics like prehexing your hero so when you blink in you will be hexed instantly. Lategame where one clash can win you the game don’t be afraid to use smoke to stay out of enemy’s vision.

2. Learn to prioritise supports

Always make a mental note about who you need to focus in every teamfight. Don’t try to silence or coil a BKB hardcarry. Try to do it on his supports who won’t be able to do anything before your team marches in with all the spells and physical DPS. If there’s one crucial hero with bkb like luna or gyrocopter try using hex on them before they bkb. In most cases a farmed carry means nothing if his supports die instantly. If i catch two lonely supports I don’t hesitate to use all my spells on them. (Example here)

3. Learn the combo

My usual teamfight initiation combo is silence – > coil -> orb -> phaseshift->jaunt out of battle but you should never be afraid to change it. As you can see on the example here as I was tping into the battle I saw leshrac charging stun on me. I shift-queued phaseshift so that it wouldn’t hit me and used my combo on as many heroes as I could.

If you don’t get focused after blinking in and using Silence Orb Coil – there’s no reason to use phaseshift. Wait for your enemies to switch target to you then make them waste time on searching for a new target as you Phase Shift and blink away. The confusion Puck brings into the teamfight is really underappreciated!

If you are chasing someone then there’s also “catching up” combo which basically uses blink-> Coil first then Orb to catch up and Waning Rift to silence and damage the enemy hero.

Chapter 8. Farming, farming patterns & some efficiency tips

Farming is an important aspect for pretty much every single midlane hero. As the game progresses Puck’s damage falls off and it’s items that really decide the strength of your hero.

There are a few facts about farming with Puck that will make your play more efficient:

1. Creeps get a +10 hp upgrade every 7:30 min. That means that you can farm a wave using just maxed Waning Rift and Illusory orb until 15:00. Creeps that spawn after 15:00 will have 570 hp what means that you need one autoattack on each melee creep before you nuke in order to kill them.

2. Always autoattack creeps before you nuke them. If you do this the other way around – half of the creeps will get lasthitted by your allied creeps.

3. To be mana and time efficient in the jungle attack the neutrals until they are 280 hp then use the orb so that it hits creeps in the nearby camp. Example here.

4. Puck is a hero that is extremely hard to gank if the enemy doesn’t have an instant disable. If enemy teams’ composition allows you to do so you should farm in places that would normally be extremely dangerous to farm for any other hero.

8.1 Example farming pattern:

There is no enemy tier 1 so i can safely farm creeps with no vision of the enemy team. (Yes I know there’s no enemy team)


Farming small then big camp in the jungle is way more efficient than just waiting for the next creepwave.

dota 2014-08-18 16-45-09-88

I cleared the small camp by orbing into the centaurs and damaging them in the process. By performing this farming pattern you force enemy rotations to defend the top tower, farm their jungle and spread the map so your team has more places to farm. Additionally if you have items that allow you to solokill anyone you can wait for the enemy defensive rotation and kill them, they most likely won’t have wards on the top lane.

dota 2014-08-18 16-45-23-92

8.2 Some efficiency tips

  •  Always bottle up and use wand on agility treads. For a hero with really low hp pool like Puck it really does make a difference.
  • If you are leaving the fountain area use the orb and blink to get to the midlane faster. It looks like this.
  • The level 2 orb only build I mentioned has one more advantage over the max orb build: if you use the orb then your tier 1tower hits the ranged creeps once you will always be able to lasthit it. Level 3 and 4 orb will get that creep killed by the tower.

Chapter 9. Gameflow

9.1 Early game

Your objectives: Puck’s biggest objective is to dominate the midlane and get blink dagger as soon as possible. Good blink dagger timing when rushed is 9-11 min, and 13-14 min if you buy treads first.

Remember to always! get a tp scroll when you are level 6 and above. Puck is one of the best counterinitiators if your enemies overextend and dive a tower.

Expected items at the 10 minute mark:

Null_Talisman_iconBottle_iconMagic_Stick_iconPower_Treads_iconTown_Portal_Scroll_icon + ~1k gold for blink dagger

9.2 Midgame

Your objectives: Find pickoffs, participate in teamfights and control supports with your silence. Farm your core items.

Expected items at the 30 minute mark:

Power_Treads_iconBottle_iconMagic_Wand_iconBlink_Dagger_iconScythe_of_Vyse_icon or Dagon_icon or Shiva's_Guard_icon

9.3 Lategame

Your objectives: Find pickoffs, always participate in teamfights and the most important at this stage: don’t get killed without buyback.

Expected items at the 45+ minute mark:

Boots_of_Travel_iconBlink_Dagger_icon plus at least 2 of the following luxury items:                                        Dagon_iconShiva's_Guard_iconScythe_of_Vyse_iconEthereal_Blade_iconOrchid_Malevolence_iconRefresher_Orb_icon


 Chapter 10. What to (not) pick Puck against

This chapter will help you decide whether you should pick Puck in that particular match you are about to play.

Heroes puck shines against:

1. Heavy casters with low hp pool:

  • Lina
  • Leshrac
  • Lich
  • Shadow Demon
  • Batrider
  • Lion
  • Rubick
  • Wisp
  • Keeper of the light
  • Crystal maiden

2. Squishy carries:

  • Luna
  • Weaver
  • Mirana
  • Terrorblade
  • Sniper
  • Ember

3. Heroes that get screwed up by Phaseshift/Dream Coil:

  • Lycan
  • Dark seer
  • Spiritbreaker
  • Pudge

Heroes Puck sucks against:

Heavy disablers:

  • Doom
  • Outworld Devourer
  • Faceless Void
  • Disruptor
  • Skywrath Mage
  • Bloodseeker
  • Legion Commander

Heroes that get bkb and you don’t do anything to them aka “Super-tanky unkillable heroes”:

  • Templar Assassin
  • Sven
  • Tiny
  • Slark
  • Bristleback
  • Dragon Knight
  • Viper


Chapter 11. Tricks!

Playing Puck is so fun not only because you can outlane your opponent in a really humilating fashion. There are also some neat flashy tricks that – if performed correctly-  will show your opponents that you really know what your hero is capable of doing.

11.1 Orb buyback trick

This famous maneuver popularised by Arteezy looks great when followed by a triple or ultra kill but can also become a complete disaster if you die instantly after jumping back to the orb. Never attempt it unless you are 100% sure that it will make you score an additional kill or two. If you dieback like that you will embarass yourself really bad.

Execution itself is pretty simple: use orb just as you are about to die then spam “Buyback” button and instantly use ethereal jaunt subability to get back into action.

It should something like this.

11.2 Chen bottle refill trick

First performed by Dendi and Puppey on one of the Internationals this trick is pretty useful if you want to get back to full health without going back to base.

Execution: Ask your Chen to send you back. Observe the buff icon on the status bar. When it gets close to 80-90% use your orb. Start spamming bottle hotkey and as your orb starts flashing red come back to it using Ethereal Jaunt ability. When you go back to lane you cna use the bottle on your ally or yourself to maximise the heal as you will carry the fountain buff that refills your bottle for a few more seconds.
It should look like this:

11.3 Quick dagger – orb jump trick

This trick allows you to quickly snipe a hero with one of your spells or items without the risk of getting out of position. It’s also really useful against instant silences or stuns that may prevent you from picking up a rune.

Execution: use orb in completely other direction than the one you are  going to blink. Dagger in and kill the enemy/pick up rune. Instantly jump back into orb. You’re safe!

It should look like this. Or this. 

11.4 Stacking camps using orb

This little trick is particularly useful if you need to catch up from a completely disastrous midlane or you want to sacrifice your own farm to stack some camps for your allied batrider/tinker etc.


You will stack the big camp if you stand somewhere between these two trees (indicated by the yellow line) and use orb in the direction of the camp (indicated by the green line) at XX:50.


Standing in place shown in the picture above results in you being about 1800 units away from it. Creep aggro range equals 2000 so you should wait 3 seconds after throwing your orb so that creeps start following you and leave the spawnbox. If you just throw the orb and run away you risk that Puck will be out of 2000 circle when the orb hits and creeps won’t move at all.radiantstack1ipol




The most optimal and precise spot is marked by the mushrooms growing on the ground (yellow circle)


Use orb in camp’s direction at XX:50 standing on the “mushroom spot”. The orb will hit neutrals at XX:53. You can stack up to 4-5 times using this method but after 3 stacks try throwing orb a little bit earlier.


12. Ending word and coaching news

That’s it! Thank you for reading!

First of all I would like to thank everyone who read my mid guide and found it useful. The amount of positive feedback – be it by emails, tweets or adding me on Steam was just overwhelming. Never in my life have I thought that writing it would make me as recognizable and liked by the community as it did.

As you might have noticed it took me a really long time to finish my next guide and I don’t have a good excuse for that. When I don’t feel like doing something (in this case writing a guide) I’m just not doing it because forcing yourself to do it will never produce any good results. I actually started writing this (and one more, yet unpublished guide) about 6 months ago but never felt like finishing it. I guess i just needed my energy and inspiration to be back and now I’m happy with the result of my work.

~Coaching news~

As I mentioned before after publishing my guide to solo mid I got a ton of emails from all around the world and there was one question asked in almost every one of them:

Do you do coaching? Can I 1v1 you? Can I add you for you to tell me what mistakes I make in my laning?

Getting mails like this every day made me think that if there’s demand then maybe I should consider giving it a try.

After a lot of preparations (remember that if I decide to do something then I do it to the best of my ability), some trial coaching sessions and hours of thinking of the format and things to improve I decided that I’m ready to offer you my laning coaching.


For the price of 29.50$ for a 90 min session you will get:

  •  Your replay of choice analysis – laning, gameflow, biggest mistakes
  • A buch of unpublished 1v1 tips compiled in a handy doc that I have prepared for my students
  • learning to get the most of the matchups in which you should dominate your opponent
  • 1v1s and deep analysis of your laning – solo mid or 1v1 off/safelane

In case you are interested – don’t add me on Steam – just write me an email at so we can set the date and preferred voice communication program to use during the session.


Yet again, thanks so much to our awesome DotA 2 community, have fun with Puck and see you!

Puck out!

3 comments on “ChaQ’s guide to Puck!

  1. boss says:

    Puck you!! haha peace out

  2. Joshh_Avatar says:

    Chaq, your 1v1 solo mid guide changed the way I play forever and I’d just decided to start playing Puck. You my friend are a complete and total boss and your toils are greatly appreciated🙂

  3. [CFZ]CnTrl X says:

    This guide is gonna change the way i play puck forever! Very Nice Guide😀

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