Spoiler: Disclaimer I wrote this a while back for my former guild and decided to update and post it here now. The Itemization should be considered a guideline and only displays the range of items you should use for a role optimally. It disregards hero specific item synergies and jungle items. Spoiler: Basic Role Guide I - ADC Spoiler: Introduction ADC's (Attack Damage Carry, ranged Fighter) job is to deal high sustained damage (also DPS=damage per second). Therefore his build focuses on: Physical Attack, Attack Speed, Pierce Through Physical Defense, Critical Rate and Critical Damage. But he'll also need some kind of sustain in the form of defenses, HP or Harvest depending on the biggest enemy threat that could kill him in a team fight. Often you will find people rather building Bruiser Builds [see V] on their ADCs - depending on the enemy team composition it can become quite difficult to protect an ADC from assassination and he better be tanky enough to give their team a chance to react. In other situations a close ranged physical hero can sometimes substitute an ADC using their build, usually that is referred to as Assassin. Spoiler: Gameplay Early game is all about farm. To become strong he relies on items and in most cases also on level to get the skills up that help him kill fast. ADCs are often weak in early game and rely on a somewhat defensive playstyle and a lot of support (he shouldn't be 'shadowed' though as sharing exp from his farm will slow down his progress a lot). Mid- & endgame the enemy team will try to kill an ADC as fast as possible so he relies on the protection by tanks and supports in order to make use of his DPS via Autoattacks. The team should always position according to the ADC's and enemy heroes' ranges and try all they can to help you deal damage while keeping you safe. That does not mean that the ADC can play carelessly, because if he fails to stay in position or does not use opened attack windows in time he puts his team at a disadvantage in this encounter and all might die to a carry with better control. If the ADC is played well and does his job, he will carry the game which means he knows when to be where to secure (destroy or protect) objectives (buffs, towers, other buildings, team fights, help to get rid of counter junglers). As he will often (or in best case scenario always) have the most kills on his team he will give a lot of gold to the opponents who kill them. Teammates with less kills and more deaths might sacrifice themselves to enable their carry to escape. Spoiler: Itemization - Core items (can't miss): and/or - Situational items (usually 1-3 of these will be mandatory situationally): or , or , - Complementary items (get one or more of these depending on how many free item slots you have): , , , , Spoiler: Basic Role Guide II - APC Spoiler: Introduction APC's (Ability Power Carry, Mage) job is to use high burst skills to quickly diminish one or multiple enemy's/enemies' HP (dependent on Area of Effect or Single Target skills) or kill them before they can escape. Therefore his build focuses on: Magical Attack, Pierce Through Magical Defense, Reduce Magical Defense and Cooldown Reduction. But he's also dependent on being safe while his skills are on Cooldown and Regenerating his HP/MP to be ready for the next time he strikes so Movement Speed and some form of sustain are also important to him. Spoiler: Gameplay Early game is all about leveling up fast and somewhat about obtaining Gold for items. Since mages usually only are a threat while their skills are up, they try to have them available for crucial situations anytime and hide a lot (stay out of enemy vision) until they can apply their skills to harass, last-hit, kill - get exp and gold. If you are good with this playstyle a mage won't need much support but will appreciate ganks near them to apply bursts safely. As you see Cooldowns, low mana and not being safe while your skills are unavailable are your biggest issues: Hit & run and paying close attention to your mana pool and skill availability is key for success. Bushes/Fogs are a mage's best friends on the map but can also be dangerous if they're not warded and enemies hide there to gank the mage or enemies put a ward there and have vision anyways. If a mage is played correctly he will have least deaths of his team as he will be hard to catch with his hit and run "rat" playstyle. A mage out of position while his skills are on cooldown is easy food though. He can and should hold a lane on his own - preferably one where hiding is easy. Spoiler: Itemization - Core Items (can't miss): , Situational Items (Usually 2-3 of these will be needed): , , , , - Complementary Items (get one or more of these depending how many free item slots you have): , , , , , Spoiler: Basic Role Guide III - Tank Spoiler: Introduction The tank's job is to be able to soak up as much damage as possible and force opponents to "waste" their main skills on him instead of the damage dealers in his team or disable opponents with CC and debuffs. Therefore his build focuses on: HP, magical def, physical def, CC resilience, movement speed, heals, shields, damage reflection and similar stats. Spoiler: Gameplay Early game most tanks will be forced to jungle to give their damage dealers a lane. This role is often underestimated and not done well. Knowing respawn times of camps is important to be right back at them to clear it again as fast as possible, learning good routes through the jungles is important to maximize the efficiency and possibly be at a camp right *before* it respawns. Since tanks have most resilience they can most easily check bushes without dying from 1-2 opponents hiding there. Therefore they should do most of the warding in jungles and buy farseeing to find and destroy opponent wards. Having good map vision and awareness is important for your team and especially the tanks because they are responsible to keep their damage dealers safe and: Mid- & Lategame tanks are responsible to initiate ganks and teamfights. A tank should never (never ever!) leave his team behind in an ongoing battle to chase a retreating low health opponent. His gold income comes mostly from assists as a tank's main objective is to make his damage dealers (ADCs & APCs) fed. If they consistently take kills on purpose that a damage dealer could have gotten easily it is referred to as kill steal (even if the tank did 80% of the DMG before) and good players will call you noob. However if you can (easily, fast) kill an enemy while damage dealers have to retreat or died already, why not? But remember: don't chase enemies too far when you are alone or could find yourself in an outnumbered situation (bait to fog with more opponents in it or enemies respawn and teleport). Note that not every Guardian is a pure tank. Some tanks can partially substitute a support and use some supportive items. Others are designed to work well as Bruisers. Spoiler: Itemization The itemization of a tank should always be centered around the enemy team composition and their main damage sources (in doubt see the damage recap after you died). In endgame you will end up with a lot of HP, magical def and physical def anyways but the order in that you buy it is important to be resilient enough throughout the different game stages. Some tips: - If opponents have 1 or more hero(es) that deal DMG based on their target's max HP (e.g. Horse, Acridix, Draeznor, etc) - favor defense over HP items - If opponents have more magical heroes than physical heroes get early magic defence and vice versa [The itemization list is based on the assumption that enemies are +/- balanced in DMG types - likely in competitive matches] - Core items (can't miss): , - Situational items (usually 1-3 of these will be used situationally): , , , -Complementary Items (get one or more of these depending how many free item slots you have): , | For magical tanks: Spoiler: Basic Role Guide IV - Support Spoiler: Introduction Supports are meant to help their team with their mostly unique and supportive skill set which often contains heavy CC, buffs for team, debuffs for enemies and heals. Since they're pretty diverse it's hard to generalize this class/role, some are played and build like tanks, others benefit more of stacking magic attack like a mage/APC or build bruiser, their skill set often denies them to burst like a true mage though. They often roam around to check surroundings and ward objectives but are expected to help wherever they're needed and as much as possible. Therefore their itemization should mostly focus on: Movement Speed, CD reduction, HP/MP regeneration and some stats that are hero specific (some atk on healers/bruisers, resilience on tanky supports) Spoiler: Gameplay A true support knows how to sacrifice himself for the greater good of his team. His farm will be the most limited on his team, so smart and efficient purchases are mandatory. He often represents the last protection for the damage dealers when tanks failed and is responsible to ward the direct surrounding of their carries, secure kills and interrupt opponents farming or getting kills. A support should aim for no kills (unless he's the only one who can get them), as much assists as possible and should be prepared to die if that saves a teammate with more kills and thus more gold for the opponent team (no unnecessary deaths though). Stats of supports often look bad in the eyes of inexperienced players, but good players will appreciate what they do if done correctly. A support should be near damage dealers to help if necessary but not 'shadowing' them which would limit damage dealers exp gain. Supports often get the smallest jungle camps, nearest to damage dealers' usual farm or stay hidden in a nearby fog to gank or counter gank or harass a farming opponent - but should always be where he is needed most. Spoiler: Itemization Depends much on what kind of support you are; often shares core items with tanks, bruisers or ADCs (see these role guides, favor items that have supportive traits or help you support faster/passively [e.g. , , , , , +/) but should have 2-3 supportive items that can protect your carries in various situations or help them getting kills and other roles have no spot to build: - (good vs a long stun, taunt or debuff assaulting your carry + big heal) - (good if you have multiple teammates relying on heals or harvest/leech, don't underestimate that 20% CD reduction and 5% more movement speed) - / (never forget to get a couple of these whenever you can afford it) Spoiler: Basic Role Guide V - Bruiser Spoiler: Introduction Bruisers are halfway between tank & ADC/APC role and are fearsome gankers with good initiation, escape and/or kill securing skills and have either skills to improve their DMG output (so they can more easily build defensive items without losing too much burst/DPS) and/or good resilience skills (so they can build more easily attack items without losing too much temporary survivability). Almost every close ranged fighter and some guardians, mages and supports are considered Bruisers in HOC. Spoiler: Gameplay Depending on map bruisers usually go to jungle or may in rift farm the red lane (which is easiest to farm staying defensive). They tend to peak midgame after finishing 2-3 items and have their ultimate skill available, usually they have a hard time earlygame and in most cases fall off lategame. After doing their jungle routine 1-3 times they should be ready for the first gank attempts, some Bruisers heavily rely on their ultimate skill though. For optimal outcome they should always have an eye on the map and watch out which enemies overextend their lane (will have a hard time escaping into safety when the Bruiser assaults them). Make sure to coordinate your gank with the laner and possibly a roaming support via pings or voice chat, also follow pings and questions to gank as much as possible. Getting a kill out of a gank is not it’s only purpose (for further information see: http://heroesoforderandchaosforum.com/threads/ganking-guide.13849/) After ganking phase is over and full teamfights begin it's mainly the bruiser's job to break through the opponent's front line and take out their carry or at least keep him busy or force him to retreat. This requires strict timing with your team’s movements and a good feeling for when it's time to get away again. Spoiler: Itemization Physical Bruisers: Core: , , Situational: , , Complementary: , , , , , , Magical Bruisers Core: , , Situational: , Complementary: , , , Note: While physical Bruisers often get to support the damage of their physical teammates, magical Bruisers usually never build as it is a core item of the main burst mage in the team and all magical Bruisers I can think of have mostly AoE (reduced effect by 50%) or DoT (no proc) skills. Jade Axe has no such drawback on AoE skills. Spoiler: Notable multi-class items These items can help your team gaining advantage used in proper situations. Watch out to not buy too many of the same items with unique passive debuffs as your teammates, they won't stack so the gold could be invested better on your primary build. All classes: vs heroes that are dependent on getting a single target skill off on you and have no good way to disable it with another skill, e.g. All magical heroes: 2s invulnerability - great to make enemies waste skills on you, get 2 more seconds off your cooldowns, become invulnerable in the middle of a team fight when enemies focus you or bait more safely. Can (partially) counter heroes with sudden bursts/temporary strong buffs and weak follow up if timed correctly, e.g. - primarily an item for junglers. But its silencing active makes it a valuable counter item against skill dependent heroes - especially those with skill combos or channeled skills, e.g. All physical heroes: → vs healers (also self-healers and leech-harvest builds/passives), e.g.