July 6th, 2012
Author: Steve ‘Skuax’ George
A guide with some tips and breakdowns of playing the support hero, Treant Protector.
Treant Protector is a very durable strength-based support hero, who is also extremely tanky when geared correctly. His main strengths lie in his ability to initiate and his high utility in team fights. He is a very well rounded hero, who can become a valuable asset as a part of many team compositions. First, let’s take a look at his abilities:
Nature’s Guise: This ability allows the targeted hero to be rendered invisible and a 10% increase to movement speed as long as they stay within 375 units range of a tree. If Treant Protector targets himself with this ability he can cast spells without breaking invisibility. This ability can be used to surprise initiate, escape or trap and gank enemies.
Aside from this, the ability is also very useful at allowing you to remain in lane and keep gaining experience when the opposing hero(s) are being very aggressive. However, when using this ability, players should be aware that it cannot be used as an instant escape as it has a 2 second fade time after being cast and it also only lasts 15/30/45/60 seconds depending on rank.
Unfortunately, Treant himself does not count as a tree when using Natures Guise.
Leech Seed: This ability plants a seed on an enemy unit that slows their movement speed by 24% and damages them for 30/45/60/75 per pulse (4 pulses over 3 seconds). Each pulse will also heal nearby friendly units for the same amount. The slow is very useful for catching overextended enemy heroes and the heal can offer you high sustainability in lane. However, early in the game the mana cost is very high proportionally to your maximum mana, so it should be used sparingly or saved for when you want to make kill attempts.
The AOE nature of the heal makes this ability strong in team fights, as it can offer all your teammates a nice HP boost if they are close enough to the kill target. This ability can also be useful when pushing, as the AOE heals will keep your creeps topped up as they force onwards down the lane. It can also provide your team some needed healing while fighting Roshan.
Living Armor: This passive ability gives Treant Protector an aura that is global during the day and has a 900 unit range during the night. This aura gives Treant Protector and his allies 1/2/3/4 additional armor and 1/2/3/4 additional HP regeneration. This is a highly valuable buff, especially in the early game, as armor is very hard to come by early on. The HP regeneration helps Treant and his allies to sustain in lane even when being poked and harassed. The 900 unit range of the aura at night means that teammates will always be affected by the aura in large team fights.
Overgrowth: Overgrowth summons roots and vines that ensnare enemies around Treant and stops them from blinking, going invisible or attacking. Additionally, the ability will deal 50/75/100 damage per second to affected enemies over its 3 second duration. This ability will affect players even if they are currently magic immune, but using a magic immunity effect while rooted can break them out of it.
This ability is not only excellent for engaging in team fights, it is also perfect for helping your lane partner to set up early kills in lane or roaming to assist with ganks. The generous 625 unit range makes it highly useful as a tool for catching fleeing enemies and making sure your team secures the kill. However the 115/105/90 second cooldown ensures that you must find the perfect time to make maximum use of the ability, often as an initiating skill.
Treant Protector’s ultimate is the root of all evil, not money.
Gearing: As with most Dota 2 heroes, Treant Protector has a lot of gearing options. While, he is very support-like in nature, you can opt to build him as a tanky bruiser who can end up hitting quite hard. Here are some various items that can be useful throughout different stages in the game.
Early Game: In the early game, Treant Protector can suffer significant mana issues if you are frequently using your activated abilities. Ideally, you always want to keep enough mana to use both your ultimate and Leech Seed in case an opportunity for a kill comes up. This will be very tough without some form of mana regeneration. You can opt to use multiple Clarities but I prefer to use a Ring of Basilius as it offers significant benefits to me and my lane partner, as well as the armor adding nicely to what you already receive from Living Armor.
Opting for an early Stout Shield can make you a little more tanky if you are planning on being aggressive early on and Stout Shield can eventually be turned into a Vanguard if you really want to be able to soak up damage later in the game. As always, if you are playing a pure support role, you will be expected to buy a Courier early on. Quelling Blade can be very handy to help you last hit/deny easily and will make you a more significant threat early on.
Early/Mid Game: As the game moves on and more fights are occurring, you will really appreciate having some extra speed. This could come from building some Arcane Boots to help combat mana issues or from Drums of Endurance which can help give your team further advantages in fights. This movement speed bonus will increase your ability to move around the map, capitalising on opportunities to set up a kill. It will also help you chase down enemies and get into proper positioning for a perfect initiation.
If opting to be tanky, you should be able to finish off your Vanguard for significant mid-game survivability. If you have managed to take an early gold lead, then building a Radiance can dramatically increase your mid-game damage and ability to push lanes. A Blink Dagger can also aid your ability to initiate on multiple enemies or to escape tough situations.
Many of Treant’s suggested items are useful as he is so well-rounded.
Late Game: I highly favour building a Heart of Tarrasque as it offers a huge chunk of strength, dramatically increasing damage, giving you huge health regeneration between fights, and increasing your ability to roam and initiate. The health boost on this item helps Treant Protector to become more tanky, making it a fantastic item for late game play.
Whilst I do not favour it personally, Necronomicon can be a good late-game option for Treant Protector. The abilities of the summoned demons offer various utility bonuses to your team including a move speed aura that is handy for giving chase to stragglers after a team fight.
Because Treant’s ultimate is so useful, Refresher Orb is also a viable option late game. Using it’s active ability can be quite mana intensive, but hopefully by the late game that should no longer be an issue. Using 2 Treant Protector ultimates in a single team fight should be utterly devastating if you are properly positioned.
Conclusion: As with all heroes in Dota 2, the best way to play and gear Treant Protector is to find a setup that is not only effective, but that you are also very comfortable with and enjoy playing. Hopefully, this guide has given you some ideas of how Treant Pretector is meant to perform in games and show that he can be a very fun and rewarding hero. Compared to traditional supports, his initiating skills give him a real change of pace, which makes him a lot more fun to play. Practice makes perfect, so go out and try him in a few games today!