How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2

Do you want to know how to play Pangolier in Dota 2?

An insanely useful nuker and equipped with the means to frontline, Pangolier is best played as a midlaner or offlaner. Apart from having consistent stuns and good amounts of damage output, he also has incredible mobility. Though he has a high skill cap, learning How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2 is beneficial for all players.

His mobility allows him to initiate fights and kite enemies, but it also provides an efficient escape. This mobility is also credited due to the fact that Pangolier ignores turn rate and performs spells instantaneously. Moreover, his damage makes him able to burst down supports even before fights start easily.

Another reason that makes playing Pangolier so lucrative is his extreme versatility in his playstyles and item choices. With spells that have massive creep clear, he farms creeps better than most, which allows him to snowball easily. This tendency to be ahead in gold and XP also will enable him to scale impressively into the late game.

There are also quite a few heroes that Pangolier works well against and counters with his spells. Firstly, Pangolier possesses insane crowd control, so Naga Siren, Chaos Knight, and Meepo are very weak against him. Moreover, it runs through low-mobility heroes like Crystal Maiden and Lich.

Pangolier’s Abilities

How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2

With spells that provide Pangolier with a wide variety of invitations and team fights, he becomes unstoppable in the right hands. He specializes in being aggressive in-game and is the bane of supports due to his pick-off potential. All these attributes make knowing How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2 essential to winning easy games.

Pangolier’s first ability, Swashbuckle, makes him bolt forward a vector-targeted line and slashes all enemies in the aimed direction. These slashes deal max-base damage of 85 per slash and proc any attack modifiers, making it overpowered with minimal items. A short cooldown at max levels also makes it a great way to constant output damage.

Shield Crash allows Pangolier to slam the ground after jumping up into the air, damaging and slowing hostels after landing. Apart from being his second escape and source of burst damage, this spell is what enables him to tank damage. For every hero he hits with Shield Crash, he receives an 18% incoming damage reduction.

His passive ability, Lucky Shot, grants Pangolier the ability to disarm and reduce enemies’ armor on chance. With a comfortable proc chance of 17% and the possibility to proc on Swashbuckle, it annoys every physical-damage carry. Another thing worth noting is that consecutive procs refresh the debuff duration.

Rolling Thunder; Pangolier’s ultimate ability grants him the power to curl up into a rolling ball. This ball stuns and knocks back enemies while also dealing magic damage every time he hits an enemy. Moreover, this ability also makes Pangolier spell-immune, thus functioning as both team fight potential and as an escape mechanism.

How to Utilize His Spells


Swashbuckle is often the perfect spell to initiate or escape with because of its incredibly long range and mobility. With an initial long cooldown, it is good to hold the spell until the ranged creep is low. Furthermore, a Swashbuckle has a high chance of proccing Lucky Shot, which slows enemies and inhibits their fight potential.

It is difficult to emphasize the importance of the first Shield Crash one hits in a fight. When one uses Shield Crash again, the initial buff refreshes instead of adding a further buff. Thus, hitting a “good” Shield Crash and following it with a “bad” one still allows Pangolier to tank the frontline.

Besides this, spamming the ability to secure creeps because of its low cooldown and mana cost is ideal. It also becomes Pangolier’s second escape as he jumps forward and up to execute this ability. Apart from this, his passive Lucky Shot applies the debuff before registering the damage, which becomes a slight disable.

Rolling Thunder has a relatively short cooldown compared to many team-fighting ultimate abilities. This feature makes this spell great for invading the enemy triangle while being a nuisance because of its solo-kill potential. Colliding with a wall makes Pangolier reverse his direction, gaining the possibility to perma-stun enemies.

Item Build

How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2

Pangolier is quite weak in the first couple of levels. Thus, buying the right items to sustain is very important. To help with this, buying Iron Branches that one upgrades into a Magic Wand for heal and attributes are helpful. A Quelling Blade is also crucial to effectively secure last hits, as Pangolier has relatively low attack damage.

Optimizing one’s Swashbuckle damage by getting an Orb of Corrosion is ideal as the game moves on. It is important to note that before level six, he had limited escape; hence making Boots of Speed helps mobility. A small mana pool can also cripple his fight potential, so making Arcane Boots aids in solving this issue.

Moving on to the midgame, Pangolier starts to use his abilities, mainly focusing on Swashbuckle. Swashbuckle attacks four times instantly, making it perfect to level up with items like MKB, Maelstrom, and Javelin. Items like these proc on every hit of the ability, thus racking up insane burst damage.

Blink Dagger and Aghanim’s Shard are extremely overpowered and are among the items players build most often. These items help with mobility while also combining perfectly with Pangolier’s Rolling Thunder. Consistently stunning enemies and locking supports down is what these items assist in.

Other popular items as the game move on are the Diffusal Blade and Abyssal Blade or its components. These items again act extremely well, both coupled with Swashbuckle and to be an additional source of lockdown. Moreover, aggressive items pair well with Pangolier’s playstyle and grant him the ability to pick off heroes easily. Following this will help you understand How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2.

Laning Stage and Gameplay

How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2

Pangolier is quite weak in his first levels but has a minor power spike at level 4. This is because, at this point, he usually levels up Lucky Shot. This power spike continues if one continues with the correct skill build. Resultantly, Pangolier maxes his Swashbuckle and Shield Crash to output the max damage possible.

After a few levels, Pangolier becomes efficient at clearing waves with his spells. After clearing the wave, it is best to move on to clear the small camp near the lane to snowball. Usually, staying in lane until getting his first items like Javelin is the ideal move. These items allow him to become the aggressor.

Being mobile on the map is essentially what Pangolier specializes in. Smoking every time his ultimate ability is off cooldown to pressure enemies crushes enemy momentum. Relentlessly fighting becomes exhaustive for the enemy. However, with short cooldowns and sufficient escapes, Pangolier becomes impossible to lockdown.

Though Pangolier functions extremely effectively as a front liner, it is often beneficial to stay on the sidelines. This is because he works better as an initiator that instantly bursts down supports and cores. Taking the lead to also use your ultimate to jump into and disrupt team formations is almost impossible to counter.

An efficient scalable farmer, impressive magic damage output along with an unrelenting playstyle, Pangolier can often be overwhelming to face. This, however, combines with an above-average skill cap, resulting in a tendency to be difficult to play in lower MMR brackets. Thus, this article definitively covers How to Play Pangolier in Dota 2.

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