How to Play Dark Willow in Dota 2

Do you want to know how to play Support with Dark Willow in Dota 2?

Mireska Sunbreeze, the Dark Willow, is an Intelligence-based fairy that uses her Disables and spells to bamboozle enemies. She has multiple abilities that help zone and control enemies to make winning fights much easier. Furthermore, with all types of lockdown in her arsenal, learning how to play Dark Willow in Dota 2 is vital.

Apart from being this potent at controlling enemies with Disables, she also has damage and farming abilities. In fact, she has insane magic burst damage that aids her in demolishing enemies and large crowds. It is also worth noting that her abilities have relatively low cooldowns, making her a great Team fighter.

In her balanced line-up of spells, she also has escape mechanisms for both herself and her team. As a result, fighting and disengaging after gaining the lead is easy, and a viable option for fighting strategies. Above-average Intelligence gains are another significant reason players play Dark Willow in Dota 2.

This brilliant combination of spells, Talents, and inherent attributes lend her a lot of versatility in drafting. As a result, some heroes she works well with are Mars and Invoker due to their well-matched Team-fighting abilities. In contrast, the heroes she counters, include Monkey King, Faceless Void, and Spirit Breaker because of her Disabling spells.

Dark Willow’s Abilities

How to Play Dark Willow in Dota 2

Her first ability allows her to construct a max out of thin air, in which hedges trap and damage enemies. With her Bramble Maze, Dark Willow can catch a large crowd of enemies at once for 2.5 seconds each. Eight Brambles spread out over a radius of 500 units, making it very hard to navigate through the dangerous shrubs.

One of her escape mechanisms and also a brilliant source of Magic Damage, Shadow Realm is an essential spell. Using this ability grants her the opportunity to slip into the shadows, becoming invulnerable and untargetable. The potential damage it can output is the main reason to learn how to play Dark Willow in Dota 2.

Cursed Crown is an AoE stunning ability that casts after a four-second delay once applied to a hero. Dark Willow uses the spell on a singular target, who stuns every hostile unit around him in a 360-unit radius. After this delay, all enemies under the effect of this spell are unable to do anything for three seconds. The ability also has a low cooldown of only 12 seconds.

Bedlam is an aspect of Dark Willow’s ultimate ability, in the essence that it gets upgraded and unlocked with it. This ability unlocks the potential of her pet, Jex, who roams around her and attacks nearby enemies. Every quarter of a second, Jex attacks the closest enemy for 170 damage, making it easy to eliminate them.

Like Bedlam is unusable while Terrorize is active, the same is applicable to Terrorize itself. This ability, however, serves as a major escape mechanism and a tool to command Team fights expertly. In a radius of 400, Terrorize sends every target under its effect back to their fountain in fear of her.

How to Utilize her Abilities


Bramble Maze is great in trapping enemies in corners and keeping them restrained to a certain area. As a result, blocking a path and preventing enemies from escaping is probably the primary use of this ability. However, it is also worth noting that it is also useful in fending away enemies chasing Dark Willow.

Shadow Realm is perhaps Dark Willow’s most reliable and the spell she uses most in the lane. This is due to her Scalable damage that increases incredibly with every level and is perfect for harassing enemies. Moreover, it is also a tool that enables her to slip out of dubious and slippery situations effortlessly.

Cursed Crown is often the second or third spell that Dark Willow uses to capture an enemy hero. This is because the four-second delay can make it very easy to dodge the spell and escape. As soon as the other spells are underway or allies initiate, the Cursed Crown is of utmost priority for maximum efficiency.

Bedlam is Dark Willow’s most damage-heavy ability with insanely good Scaling potential over time. However, it is best to use this ability around only one target, as it outputs the most damage. Furthermore, Bedlam is a better ability in Solo-pickoffs instead of full-blown team fights, where Dark Willow is at risk of death.

With Terrorize, though it is a beneficial ability, it works best in tandem with other Team-fighting abilities. Examples of possible use-cases of this ability include using it to stop High-ground pushes and Roshan attempts. In addition to this, using Terrorize to make sure some heroes actually run away is good for isolating easily killable targets.

Item Build

How to Play Dark Willow in Dota 2

Dark Willow is a hero most effective in the Hard Support or Utility Support/Roamer position. This is because, in these positions, she can fight ruthlessly without worrying about farming. In the lane, she requires adequate healing and stats to persevere or even dominate her enemies.

With regard to the text above, she should aim to purchase stacks of Tangoes, Clarities, Healing Salves, and Iron Branches. Although, these items are helpful only in the early stages, and she requires items like Null Talismans later on. These Talismans both give her essential Stats, make her tanky and amplify her already impressive Magic Damage.

Moving on to the end of the Laning stage, by this point, she should also have invested in Boots. Arcane Boots or Tranquil Boots are amazing assets that boost some sort of regeneration, making her increasingly durable. For this exact reason, she should also look to pursue a Magic Wand, which is quite a cheap and reliable item.

Later on, to have a valid impact in-game, she should look to buy more items that accelerate her fighting potential. One appropriate item for this is Eul’s Sceptre of Divinity. With this item, she can easily connect her spells to enemies who she lifts into the sky. Additionally, the Sceptre also assists her in increasing her Mana pool and regen.

In the Late-game, few items can make her more potent in dishing out damage than Aghanim’s Sceptre. With the Aghanim’s Sceptre, she can rapidly shoot projectiles in her Shadow Realm state. Consequently, her attacks deal insane damage, making it easy to burst down heroes from a distant position, away from harm.

Laning Stage and Gameplay

How to Play Dark Willow in Dota 2

During the lane, there is no goal more superior than inhibiting the enemy Core while aiding your own Core. To do this, she can take multiple steps, all of which help her become more useful support. Some steps are pulling the small camp, denying the ranged creep, and dragging waves to restore the creep equilibrium. 

After the lane, there are few ways that establish and increase a gold and XP lead better than ganking enemies. Constantly smoking with one’s Offlaner and Midlaner to invade the enemy jungle is the utmost priority. Dark Willow, even without help is an excellent Ganker who can easily bring down heroes with her Bedlam.

Dark Willow, is much more useful than most assume, due to her great Disabling abilities. Easily trapping heroes while making them participate in disadvantageous fights in her specialty and something which makes her daunting. These are just some attributes that make it a must to learn how to play Dark Willow in Dota 2.

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