Hey everybody so this is the first guide that I have made so feel free to leave comments and suggestions as to how to make it better. One of the things I do know this guide will lack is how the skills level up so if someone can let me know that, please and thank you. Introduction Erefern has a mixed reputation, partly because he is a VERY difficult hero to master. Many players think of Erefern as rather weak tank... They have never played against experienced erefern fanatics, such as myself(I currently have 493 WINS alone with erefern). Let me say that while erefern has some setbacks his strengths far outstrip his weaknesses. While technically classified as a guardian an argument can be made that in reality Erefern is more support than tank. A good erefern requires a knowledge of the timing of when to use what skills. I will show you some of(although not all) the tricks of the trade. Let's get started. Skills 1)Rock Smash Damage: 80+0.5 magical damage to all enemies in the target area. Additional effects: Enemies are silenced for 2 seconds. commentary: This skill is extremely useful. While it is not one of the most powerful of skills it has sufficient kick to it at higher levels to bring down foes with low hp who are running away from you, but that isn't why it is so useful. Remember how I said that Erefern can almost be classified as a support? Well this skill is one reason why. A well placed rock smash can keep enemies from blinking or jumping away, buying precious seconds for your team to finish them off. It can also be used to prevent an enemy from using a skill that might finish off one of your allies or even yourself. Those 2 seconds could provide the necessary time for you or your ally to get to safety or delay the enemy enough for you to get wood spirits up. 2) Wood Spirits Erefern summons a swarm of wood spirits around a target effects: When damaged, the target consumes one of the wood spirits to restore 40+0.11 HP. The wood spirits can last up to 20 seconds. This effect can be triggered once per second max. Commentary: This is the skill erefern is famous for. There is one effect that is often left out in descriptions though. When erefern consumes a wood spirit, the damage that erefern would have received from the attack is completely negated. This combination of healing and protection makes it one of the most powerful protective skills in the game. The trick to making it really shine is knowing when and where to use it. Like most of Erefern's skills, timing is everything. First of all, know that allies get priority to the use of wood spirits over yourself. Like I said earlier, erefern is as much support as tank. Your carry in particular gets priority on wood spirit use. I have seen my carry trash an entire team, with almost know help from me, while using wood spirits. Wood spirits are the ultimate lifesaver. If you or an ally are running away with low health wood spirits will often be enough to allow the target to make it to safety, or on occasion simply turn around and kill their pursuer. Now a note for all those who do not play as erefern but have played with others who do play as him, please, oh please, oh please, when you are running away from someone and erefern is running towards you, do NOT run in the complete opposite direction of him. I do not know how many times I have seen allies die when I could have saved them because they ran away from me and I could not catch up to them. Anyways, back to the main topic. Wood spirits are also amazingly useful when tower diving. When an enemy is sitting by their tower with 50 health, you can use wood spirits on yourself or an ally so you can charge in, kill the enemy, then run away as fast as you possibly can. One note of caution about wood spirits. It is powerful. It is amazing. It turns teams into killing machines. It does not make you immortal. Please note the not in that last sentence if you weren't paying much attention. 3) Radiant Light Effect: Erefern has a 20% chance to recover 50 hp when anyone around him uses a skill. Note: skills with no cooldown time and no cost will not trigger this effect. This skill is often underestimated. For example, there have been times when I have been in team fights where my health has dropped to dangerously low levels, but then magically over the course of the fight it would spike back up to full because there are 10 heroes running around using skills, sometimes multiple times, and since so many people ignore erefern to focus on the carries and fighters they fail to realize that Erefern is using their own skills to his advantage. This skill gives erefern the peace of mind to allow himself to put wood spirits on somebody other than himself. It is a good, if somewhat finicky skill allowing erefern to fight on long after others have been force to retreat. 4) Bellow Erefern bellows a forceful roar, shaking those in its path. Damage: 120+0.35 Additional effect: enemies stunned for 2 seconds. This is powerful tool in Erefern's arsenal, capable of stunning entire teams if they are too close together. It is great for initiating team fights. Two seconds can often be enough time for your team to charge in and take out a key player on the enemy team. It can also be used to keep enemies from running away. It is also great to use when you are running away. Just imagine, you and your partner pushing a lane, when suddenly 4 or 5 enemies come charging out of a bush. The two of you start to run but they are right on your heels. Then suddenly you stop, turn around and let out a bellow. The entire enemy team stops dead in its track and you are running as fast as you can after your ally who was still running while you stopped. Then even if one or two of the other team catch up again you still have wood spirits and Radiant Light to protect you. level up order: 2-3-2-1-2-4-2-3-3-4-3-1-4-1 Items Erefern has a wide variety of items at his disposal and how you build him is largely up to who your teammates are and who the other team is playing as. Squire's wisdom 18 Magical Attack 100 HP 2 squire's patience should always be your starting equipment since it boosts health and attack. The attack is especially useful as erefern doesn't have a lot of offensive capability especially early in the game. Chain Boots 150 HP Decrease Snare effects by 30% You should build boots as soon as possible. The extra speed is crucial in allowing erefern to move around the map quickly. The 30% reduced snare effect is also helpful as erefern is frequently a target of stuns and silences. Hades Armor 400 HP 70 Physical Defense 5 HP Regen Reflect 40% of all physical damage back to your assailants This is your go to item for dealing with fighters. As this is a standard tank piece of equipment for all tanks, not much explanation should be necessary. I usually get it first or second. Stirring Soul of the Dragons 800 HP 6 HP Regen -10% skill cooldown increase physical and magical attack by 2% of maximum HP Tis is a useful item for erefern although it is not a priority item in my opinion. The major boost in health works well for erefern and the CD reduction and extra damage give erefern great harassing capability. Zealot's Horn 500 HP 320 MP 50 Physical Def increase attack speed of allies within 8 meters by 20% This is a useful piece of equipment but not very high priority unless Hades Armor and Draconian Blood mask are not enough to counter enemy fighters. The attack speed works well in enhancing Erefern's support aspect. Farseer Cloth 200 HP 50 Physical Defense 50 Magical Defense +3 magical and Physical defense for every hero killed(maximum of 30 physical and magical defense) This is extremely useful when dealing with mages and has an extra bonus of still maintaining his physical defense strong. Lost Hermetist's Cape 300 HP 320 MP 15 Physical Def 15 Magical Def Passive: cause 10+(4x Your level) magical damage per second to all enemies within 5 meters This is the first piece of epuipment I usually get as erefern. The passive allows erefern to effectively kill soldiers more easily giving him more gold which is always in short supply for erefern. The extra MP is also useful early game as erefern suffers from mana problems. Draconian Blood Mask 180 HP 50 Physical Defense 15 HP regen Passive: increases healing effects by 10% If Hades Armor isn't enough to allow you to effectively counter enemy fighters, then this should be your second item to get. The extra armor is good and the perk of adding massive HP regen and increasing healing effects builds on erefern's already famous reputation to heal himself very quickly. Dull Vine Shield 40% Attack Speed 200 HP 60 Magical Defense Heal nearby allies by 15% of max health This is a good item when you are dealing mages and comes with the added bonus of providing you with another healing ability that can affect multiple people. Though it can be argued that another healing skill is redundant for erefern. Nymph's Relic 400 HP 400 MP 4 MP Regen -20% Skill CD Increases the healing effect of all ally heroes with 10 meters by 8%. + 5% movement speed to yourself This is a low priority item that if you get will be the last item you get. The HP and MP are nice but the big selling points of this are the 20% CD reduction, the 5% movement speed and last the 8% increase of healing abilities to allies around you. Valkyrian Robes 400 HP 75 Magical Defense 4 HP Regen Shields all allies within 8 meters. Absorbs magical damage equal to 15% of ally's Max HP; Lasts 10 seconds. CD Time: 1.5 Minutes Commentary: This item is excellent when up against a team with a large number of heroes that deal magical damage, not only providing you with very high magical defense but providing you and your teammates with a shield that protects against magical damage(sadly it only protects ONLY MAGICAL DAMAGE) Helm of Divine Favor 60 magical attack 350 HP 300 MP Active: You become invulnerable for 3 seconds. During the effect, your character cannot move, attack or use skill. CD time: 80 seconds Commentary: I haven't tried using this item personally yet, but since erefern changed from physical to magical damage I have been intrigued by the idea of using this. It helps fix his problem with low damage output and solves his mana problem while still gives a respectable amount of health. The active would also be great for those situations when you attract the attention of the entire enemy team and just need to hold their attention for a few seconds while your allies cut them to ribbons, or if you just need to last a few more seconds for your wood spirits or healing abilities to finish cooling down. I will test it. Let me know your thoughts on this possible item. (Just played a dozen or so rounds with it. So long as your opponents aren't big on early ambushes of 3 or more this item makes a huge impact in the amount of gold you can get in the course of the game and the active ability is almost comical to watch when their whole team tries to focus on you and their attacks do absolutely nothing. Several people accused me of cheating SKILLS Teleport(every hero should have this so enough said) Heal 2- I have debated with myself as to whether Heal 2 or blink is more useful, ultimately I decided that as erefern is very much geared toward support heal 2 was the better option Talents Everybody has their own variations of talent builds. Here is mine. Support- 19 Spirit- 5 (helps solve mana problem) Nourishment- 5 (helps solve mana problem) Greed- 3 (erefern needs the extra gold) Fortitude- 5 Teamwork pays- 1 Guardian- 21 Strong- 5 Defense-3 Toughness- 3 Fast Healer- 3(absolute must) Block- 5 Last Stand- 1 Bastion of Defense- 1 Tablets Tablet of Bloodfreeze- When a hero's HP is below 10% they will only receive 10% damage for 3 seconds. This effect will only be triggered once every three minutes. commentary: A new tablet with powerful applications that is excellent tablet for erefern who is already tough to kill even without this tablet. Those 3 seconds will often be enough for his infamous healing abilities to kick in and restore a big chunk of his HP. Courage Tablet- When being stunned or silenced, in the next 5 seconds all direct damage you receive will be reduced by (15+ your level)% Commentary- Another strong tablet as erefern is frequently the target of stuns and silences and having up to a 30% damage reduction makes it easier for him to survive until the effects wear off. Purity Tablet- reduces all damage received by 10% when your HP is below or at 50% Commentary: This tablet stacks well with the last stand talent effects Tablet of Springs Restoration- When a hero has more than 80% HP they will recover 1% of their max HP per second Commentary- Another new tablet with interesting applications. This tablet is definitely situational. Early game this tablet is amazing for countering those heroes who like to harass you with ranged attacks or skills thinking that if they hit you every now and then they can whittle down your health or for you to use wood spirits and through that your precious mana. With this tablet you can easily shrug off such annoyances and allows you to focus your wood spirits more effectively on your allies(after all with its effect your health regen can spike to over 10 HP/sec at lvl 1). Late game however this tablet loses its usefulness though it can provide a small first line of defense. Tablet of Immortality- Increases all healing effects on you by 40% if your HP is at or under 20% Commentary: This is a powerful tablet for erefern. Imagine this effect of 40%+35%(fast healer)+ 10%(draconian blood mask)+8%(Nymph's relic). Than is an additional 93% more healing. Tablet of Favor- When you are healed, an allied hero with the lowest HP within 10 meters will also receive 40% of this effect. Commentary: Between wood spirits, radiant light, Heal 2, healing spices, and Dull Vine Shield, Erefern is constantly healing himself. This tablet can help to heal both yourself and a teammate at the same time. It is excellent to use in team fights where you are constantly healing from radiant light and the other listed healing abilities and can often tip the balance of a fight. Knowledge tablet- Increases the effect of the player's heal skill by 15%, and if a target is at full after the skill is used the target's movement speed will be increased by 20% for 5 seconds. Commentary: This tablet stacks well with other healing boosts, such as the Tablet of Immortality, Nymph's Relic and Draconian Blood Mask. The movement speed is a nice bonus that may allow allies, or yourself, who are being pursued to pull far enough ahead of a group of enemies who would otherwise catch and kill them. Elder Tablet- Increases your physical defensibly 12% of your magical attack. Commentary- Now that Erefern does magical damage instead of physical an argument could be made that your can use this tablet so that you can buy more offensive items and boost his attack without compromising his defensive capabilities too much, but I do not recommend it. Of all these tablets my preferred 3 are Spring's Restoration as a first line of defense, Immortality as a second line of defense kicking in at 20% health, and Bloodfreeze as a third and final line of defense. Strategey Ultimately Erefern should be played cautiously. Do not expect to just charge in and expect to punch through the enemy like paper. I tend to hang back a little early game and last hit soldiers for gold, usually until I reach level 6. At that point I will follow my team's carry. This is where you should switch to full blown support mode. At this point you still lack the true tanking capabilities that erefern can achieve on his own, but with a stun, silence and wood spirits you can open all kinds of openings that your carry can exploit. Try to stun enemies, particularly those that are solo and follow up with your silence so they cannot immediately blink away. If they do get away from your carry then they likely have low health and if they are alone and next to the tower stick your wood spirits on your carry so he can tower dive to deliver the final blow(enemies will not often expect that kind of move in early to mid game as most characters do not get tank enough until later in the game, but wood spirits can give you that unique opportuity). Once you get to around level 12 erefern starts to slow down. His gold issues catch up to him and his equipment start to fall behind everybody else. Stick with it though, he may slow down but he doesn't stop. He can still make opening for your team to exploit and wood spirits remains an active threat, tipping fights in your favor where they would otherwise be dubious of the outcome. As the game lasts longer and everybody else reaches their maximum build erefern will start to catch up. His tanking abilities will start to shine, especially against fighter. The longer the game last the more effective he will become. Well that's all for my guide, feel free to leave questions, comments and suggestions below. I will do my best to check them frequently and to make any necessary updates to my guide. GL HF Note on most recent update: Changing Erefern from Physical to Magical damage is, in my opinion, a move of pure genius. The most common defense that is used is physical defense. You will often see fighters employing physical defense items, such as Hades armor. Erefern already has low offensive capabilities, by switching his attack type his attacks, more often than not, meet less resistance and lower defense. I have seen a noticeable increase in the number of kills I get since the update.