Last time we alluded to one hard support hero who almost made the Top Tier list. Like many of you correctly guessed, we were talking about Disruptor — possibly one of the most fun position five heroes to play in the current patch. Today we would love to give players a quick primer on how to make the most out of this character.
One thing needs to be immediately addressed — Disruptor is the support hero with the highest “first move” advantage. Disruptor and his team need to be on the offensive, they want to be the ones initiating every single fight.
You make a quick pick off with your team initiating a good gank? You can send one enemy away from defending the tower or get a plus one kill by catching a fleeing target with Glimpse. But if you get initiated on? Chances are by the time you react the enemy already killed you or their priority target and now gets a free ride to safety; or just presses Black King Bar and ignores your kit.
Late game, once you have Aghanim’s Scepter and a potential Blink Dagger or Glimmer Cape you can start a fight on a priority target leaving them with absolutely no options for up to 6.5 seconds. But if the enemy starts the fight and they are smart, it is suddenly Disruptor who does nothing with his AoE Doom.
This is something all players in a team should understand when playing with Disruptor. He is an extremely powerful hero, but to maximize his potential he should always be played proactively.
With the general idea of the hero out of the way, it is time to talk about skill and item builds on the hero. Until recently the 2-2-1-1 by level six was the default. Players took two points into Thunder Strike for the laning stage, so that their aggressive potential could be realized from the very beginning.
Some of the more recent change, however, led players to what is now considered default: a 1-3-1-1 with Glimpse prioritized in lane and maxed out first. The potential damage on Glimpse is impressive even as a value point, but when maxed out it allows Disruptor to start rotating much earlier.
On top of it, Glimpse also has a better mana to damage conversion rate. At level one of the ability it is more than two damage per mana point, which is ridiculously efficient. One might be inclined to concentrate on Thunder Strike we are absolutely confident it is a mistake, as it restricts Disruptor’s playstyle too much, while providing him with a better cooldown nuke by the end of the laning stage which is mostly irrelevant at this point.
In fact, getting more than one level of Thunder Strike is currently frowned upon. Getting a longer duration Kinetic Field is prioritized, as it gives much better teamfight. Don’t forget: it doesn’t just prevent heroes from getting out, it can also be an obstacle for their supports and is also a scouting tool.
For similar reasons all Disruptor talents should concentrate on improving his teamfight potential. Technically, you can get Thunder Strike to ~1000 damage by level twenty, but you are playing a position five support and the damage from you is expected during the laning stage, not from midgame onwards.
Going for the Kinetic Field talents at level 10 and 20 get you to ~91% uptime on the ability. It isn’t the strongest of abilities, sure, but it can be very disruptive and annoying for the enemy to deal with. In a sense it works similar to Dark Willow’s Bramble Maze and Aghanim’s Shard combo — it is a soft disable that forces BKB usage, since there is no amount of dispels that can help the enemy. For that alone it should be valued.
Level 15 and 25 talent should concentrate on Static Storm and this should be more or less self-explanatory. More radius and longer duration are always great, though it should be pointed out that the duration talent does decrease the damage ramp up on the ability. Not that it matters, since the hero is not about dealing damage, but it is a rather peculiar quirk that in some very fringe, low probability cases can be a detriment.
The last section is quite easy: you mostly want Tranquil Boots or Arcane Boots. The former are better for when you are constantly running around and have heroes to play with from the very start of the game. They are also pretty good against long range magic harass in lane. A couple of Clarities and Tranquil boots will keep you healthy and battle-ready at all times, but if the game is a bit slower Tranquil Boots can be skipped.
Arcanes are great because they can be later disassembled into Aether Lens. It is not a key Disruptor item, but it can be handy, though it should never be a priority. For the most part you are getting Arcanes to keep your team topped-up mana-wise, so if there are no mana-intensive heroes, once again, it is an optional item.
In a typical game you will also want either Glimmer Cape or Blink Dagger or maybe both. Blink definitely gives you a much higher potential, but if you are seeing that your teammates struggled through the laning stage or just don’t want to play aggressively, go for the regular defensive items. Sometimes even Force Staff can be necessary.
Finally, in every single game, at some point you want to have Aghanim’s Scepter. It is what makes the hero incredibly scary and when paired with Blink Dagger can win teamfights. Do not expect to win them alone and coordinate with your team when initiating though. Static Storm with Aghanim’s is a very powerful control ability, but its damage is pretty much negligible by the item a position five gets 6000+ luxury gold for all the necessary items.
Disruptor is an incredible hero to both play and have on your team. Moreover, some of the more annoying heroes who get to ignore Disruptor, most notably Juggernaut and Lifestealer, are not particularly popular.
As such, we believe Disruptor should be strongly considered top tier as well, despite not having the stats to fully back it up. The hero is definitely a bit trickier and a bit more coordination-dependent, compared to our list, but he definitely deserves some love and attention.