|128px||Armadon is an interesting hero. He is a strength caster, a tank, and in the late game he is a carry almost without equal. This guide is intended to make armadon viable in the early, mid, and late game, with dramatically different roles during each one.|
- Snot Storm - Hurls a wad of snot at target enemy unit, reducing armor and slowing speed. Additional snot wads will further reduce speed and armor.
- Spine Burst - Showers the area around Armadon with quills, damaging nearby enemies. If a unit was struck by Armadon’s quills recently it will take extra damage.
- Armordillo - Armadon fortifies his spines, reducing damage taken from the rear and sides. An extra spine burst is released based on damage absorbed by the spines.
- Restless - Armadon temporarily increases his movement speed and attack speed for every spell he casts.
This build will bring you through three distinctly different phases. During the early game, you will be leveling Spines up to give you the ability to harass your lane, with only one level of slow. After maxing out spines, you will move on to the Armordillo skill, which will give you an enormous boost to your survivability in the midgame. After taking two levels of your ultimate at 10 and 11, you will open up many more options with Armadon, from pushing/harassing a lane, to farming neutrals, to ganking enemy heroes. Key to all of this is your now fantastic move speed. Finally, you will finish leveling up your snare, making it one of the best snares in the game, and ensuring that your foes cannot escape.
Armadon has decent starting hitpoint, but his starting mana pool is pathetically low. To offset this, we buy 1-2 crowns. He also needs a source of regen, so we get a set of Runes and a couple of mana potions. If you suspect you will get harassed alot in your starting lane, you can skip 1 crown and pick up another set of Runes.
- 64px X1-2 = 183
- +2 to all stats, turns into Fortified Bracer later
- 64px X1-2 = 88
- A regen choice that lets you continue to harass while they are running. Some players prefer healing potions over runes, and if that suits you better feel free to buy those instead.
- 64px X2 = 106
- These potions will give you back 100 mana over 30 seconds, or 3.3 mana per second. They will let you harass alot with your spines early on, hopefully forcing the opponent's out of the lane or perhaps even securing an early kill.
Total Cost = 328
The first thing we need to do with Armadon is to toughen him up. Towards that end, we will quickly be getting an Iron Buckler and a Lifetube. After that, Armadon should focus on getting a manatube to fuel his harassment, and a pair of marchers to add to both his defense and offense.
- 64px X1 = 250
- The Iron Buckler blocks 20 damage 60% of the time. As enemy creeps all do damage under this amount, this item lets you push a bit further in when doing a spree of spine harassment, and all for relatively cheap. You will keep this item in your inventory for almost the entire game.
- 64px X1 = 875
- This is going to be Armadon's main source of regen for the next 12-13 levels at least. Getting it early means that, just like with Iron Buckler, Armadon can afford to be a bit more aggressive in his harassment.
- 64px X1 = 875
- This item will be Armadon's only source of mana regen for the entire game, and because of his astounding 2.8 intelligence gain per level, it is all he really needs. Also, it gives him a decent +10 boost to damage, which will help with last-hitting.
- 64px X1 = 500
- These are pretty self-explanatory. If your opponents can move faster than you, they can catch you and kill you. If you can move faster than them, you have the advantage. Armadon isn't really a ganker hero early on, so it isn't important that he gets boots first thing, but at the same time not having boots for too long makes you extremely vulnerable. If the enemies in your lane are moving much faster than you are, consider getting marchers before your manatube.
- 65px X2 = 650
- These bad boys are the quickest, cheapest, and arguably best source of hitpoints, damage, and mana pool in the game. They will make armadon that much sturdier for the mid-game phase that is about to arrive.
Total Cost = 2825
Ahh, the midgame. This is probably my favorite phase item-wise, because it is when heroes start completing their first big items, and item builds diverge significantly. Armadon will now focus on items which are a bit more offensive in nature.
- 64px X1 = 1050
- Enhanced Marchers give Armadon exactly what he needs at this stage in the game, more move speed. By casting Spine Burst first, then following up with phasing, Armadon gets a whopping 17% move speed increase by level 11. This means you can run down opponents or escape from sticky situations with ease.
- 64px X1 = 2600
- Ahh, the Runed Axe. This is one of the most controversial weapons in the game. Some players swear by it, and others abhor it. Personally, I think many heroes that get it probably shouldn't have, because it doesn't really boost their strengths appropriately. Armadon is one of the few exceptions to this for me. One of Armadon's great strengths is his ability to quickly farm and push lanes with Spine Burst. Any item purchase on a hero should be made with a mind to either shore up a weakness of that hero, or increase a strength. The runed axe does both by increasing Armadon's already significant ability to farm, while boosting his up-til-now paltry auto attack damage. Upon finishing a runed axe, armadon's attack damage should be around 160 or so, enough to start to hurt.
- 64px X1 = 5800
- This is the item that changes Armadon's play from a support and harassment role, to a tank, initiator of teamfights, and carry. Armadon's pathetic 2.2 strength gain is probably his biggest weakness, so getting the monstrous 35 strength from a heart will go a long way to shoring that up. The heart will boost his total hitpoints to around 2400, and when you factor in his Armordillo skill, Armadon is almost guaranteed to have the highest effective hitpoints on the map. Coupled with his crazy move speed, he becomes really hard to kill and you really shouldn't be dying after this point in the game.
Total Cost = 9450
Now, finally, Armadon has choices. Which item you build next really depends on the makeup of you and the opponent's teams. If you have alot of melee damage dealers on your team for some silly reason, then an Abysmal skull will probably come in handy. If you have lots of ranged physical damage dealers, the enemy has lots of physical damage dealers, and there is no other tank on your team, a Demonic Breastplate will be quite useful. If, however, there is another tank to build the breastplate and an Abysmal skull wouldn't give much of a boost to your team, and nobody else is going to build one, you should build a shieldbreaker. If all three of these items are accounted for on other heroes, well, you can just sit back and win because you guys are farmed to the gills, but if that money is burning a hole in your pocket, go ahead and build a Flayer or something. The one exception to all of this is that if the enemy team is very disable heavy and you are the only carry on your team, you will almost certainly want a Shrunken Head.
- 64px X1 = 2050
- Abyssal Skull is one of those items whose usefulness depends entirely on a team's makeup. If only one or two heroes are going to take advantage of the 15% damage from the aura, then it almost certainly isn't worth building. If 3 or more are however, then it's definitely worth getting one somewhere in your team. The bonus armor is nice as well, it really helps to toughen your team up. The 15% lifesteal is really something of an afterthought, it can help to boost the regen you are already getting from Behemoth's heart, but it's a fairly piddling amount all the same, and with a heart already, Armadon doesn't really need to get lifesteal.
- 64px X1 = 5550
- This item is pretty awesome on Armadon. It gives him +55 attack speed, +15 armor, and a -5 armor aura. The -5 armor aura is why this item should be picked up, because it gives a significant boost to damage to every physical damage dealer on your team. If the opposing team has a farmed madman, or other source of large physical dps, this item will make armadon much more capable of swapping blows with them.
- 64px X1 = 4400
- I love this item more than words can describe. It is hands down the best damage item in the game. The -6 armor it gives stacks with the -5 armor from Daemonic Breastplate, and the -6 armor someone will have from 3 charges of snot storm on them. Enemies will simply crumble beneath you once you build one of these. If you feel the need to be a bit more supportive or tanky, then you should build the above items first, but this really is the be-all end-all item for a physical damage carry hero. The only time not to get one is if someone else on your team is already doing so.
- 64px X1 = 5800
- This item doesn't give as large a boost to damage as shieldbreaker, and doesn't synergize as well with the rest of your team as Abyssal and Daemonic potentially can, so it's not an optimal choice, but if the game is dragging on way too long, and there is already a shieldbreaker in play, the damage from a Flayer can help to seal the deal.
Total Cost = 17800
There are a couple of situational items. If more than 3 of the opposing team are nukers, then it is worthwhile getting a headdress after your heart so you can tank properly. If there are strong disablers on the opposing team, and you are the carry for your team, then you will need to get a Shrunken Head.
- 64px X1 = 3800
- As a Tank, Armadon doesn't really need to worry too much about the enemy unloading their disables on him. If you are the carry for your team, however, then you will probably want to invest in one of these so that you have enough time in a teamfight to take out the really nasty disablers. If the opposing team has a Succubus on it, then this item is almost mandatory. If they are mostly nukers or other dpsers, then you can safely skip this.
- 64px X1 = 2050
- Many players like to get one of these very early in the game, but in my opinion that is a huge mistake. Building a couple of bracers will give the same effective hitpoints vs magic damage that a headdresss would, and are half the cost. The regen is useful, but Armadon needs a manatube to spam his spells anyway, so it makes more sense to build up a runed axe as his first damage item. After he has a couple bracers and a runed axe, he is fairly sturdy, but more importantly he can now farm and push lanes at a phenomenal rate, meaning it won't take too long to farm up a heart, and simply buying the 3200 gold Axe of Malphai will yet again give more effective hitpoints than a headdress would. The only time to build a Headdress is when the entire team's strategy revolves around doing magic damage, with a lineup like Tempest, Glacius, Magmus, Behemoth or something similar. In such a situation, pretty much every member of your team will want to build a headdress, but it is still better in my opinion to delay the headdress until after you have all of your hp items built.
- 64px X1 = 600
- If you don't have a solo laner in mid who needs runes, which shouldn't happen often and is probably a bad sign, then getting a bottle as your starting item can be very effective. You might also consider a bottle if somebody else on your team buys a courier, as you can use the courier to refill bottle. I prefer getting the crowns and a couple of clarities, but YMMV.
Use bursts(!) of Spine burst early on to stack up large amounts of damage on your opponents. 4 casts of level 1 spine burst that all hit your opponents will do 20+50+80+110 damage, or 260 total damage to each one, for only 140 mana, and each Spine burst after that will do another 110 damage for 35 mana. As soon as you start spine bursting, your opponents will likely back off, so you don't want to use this ability next to the enemy tower. Instead, you should wait for them to push forward quite a ways, and then use spine burst to drive them out of experience range of the creeps, while your lane partner denies as many of your creeps as he can, shutting the opponent's out of experience. Done properly, this harassment can decide a game by keeping your opponents far behind you in levels.
Because Spine Burst does more damage the more times in a row you cast it, you should wait until you have a full mana pool before using it, and then use it as many times in a row as you can. Occasionally you will be able to last hit some creeps with a spine burst, and it may be worthwhile to do so if you have the mana to spare, but before level 8 you should be saving all the mana you can to harass your opponents.
You should take one level of goo, but you should only ever cast it if doing so will guarantee you and your lane partner get a kill, or will save one of you from death. In any other situation, it is better to save your mana for spines.
Now that the midgame has arrived and you have two levels of your ultimate and some enhanced marchers, you can start to dash around the map a bit more quickly. This opens up a few options. If your opponents are not being aggressive, then you can use this time to sit back, jungle, and farm up your carry items that much quicker. If, on the other hand, the enemy team or your team are trying to be aggressive and take down towers, you should be sticking near your teammates. Your snot, even at level 1, is a 23% snare, enough to ensure an easy kill if you and an ally catch an opponent out of position. By the time your snot is leveled up to 4, a couple of casts of it will slow your opponents down to a crawl, probably guaranteeing a kill.
If the opposing team is pushing as a group, then you should wait for them to get near a tower (and for the rest of your team to arrive), then start dashing in and out hitting them with spine bursts. Just like in the early phase of the game, a few well placed spine bursts can take a significant chunk off of the opposing team's health, and because of your armordillo skill, if they attempt to engage you, the tank, the rest of your team can move in and unload on them. In a teamfight you should be casting spine burst every single time it comes up, for 170 damage on every target in range. You should be using your snot both offensively and defensively, slowing down people who are chasing your weaker teammates, and slowing down enemies running from your damage dealers. Because of the low cooldown, it's entirely possible to keep snot up on 3 players simultaneously, and almost always worth doing so rather than loading it up on a single target. Because you are spamming your spells almost nonstop, you will have a large boost to move speed and attack speed, so if you aren't being focused you should be pounding on their weaker heroes, softening them up and maybe getting a kill. Once you get your runed axe, you will begin to have threatening damage for a change.
Once you get your Behemoth's Heart, the late-game phase has begun for you.
Now that you have a runed axe and a heart, you are a terror to behold. You can initiate team fights with impunity, and can soak up tons of damage while your team unloads theirs on the opponent's weak heroes. If the enemy team decides to ignore you, which most players will when faced with a farmed tank, you can start pounding down their int and agi heroes in short order, using snot spam to ensure they don't escape.
Any time there isn't a teamfight going on, you should be pushing a lane. Armadon's strength at this point in the game is the ludicrous bonuses he gets from Restless and spamming his spine burst while running all over the map. You should easily have 19% move speed and 90 IAS almost constantly, which is arguably even better than madman's ultimate. Your move speed means you can push a lane up, and as soon as the enemy begins to move towards you, you can back off and join up with the rest of your team to take a tower or rax. The gold should be flowing in at a staggering pace now, and as you get your lategame items you will see your damage numbers going higher and higher, and the opponents dropping faster and faster.