Diffusal Blade is a common purchase on Riki, and the item's Manabreak passive makes him even better at finding pickoffs around the map.
Featured image via Dotabuff.

Dota 2: How to Use Diffusal Blade to Win Games

May 9, 2017
Featured image via Dotabuff.

Picked up in over fifty percent of Dota 2 games, Diffusal Blade is a powerful item that gives heroes and their illusions the ability to Manabreak their opponents—this is, it’s worth noting, an ability that only Anti-Mage possesses innately. Diffusal Blade is an item certain heroes can completely ignore, whereas other heroes should plan on buying it every game. Today, we’re going to take a detailed look at Diffusal Blade. When should you buy it? Which heroes are common Diffusal Blade carriers? What heroes can you use Diffusal Blade to counter?

Let’s dig in, friends.

What Does Diffusal Blade Do?

Purchasable from the Main Shop and costing 3150 gold, Diffusal Blade gives you 25 Agility and 10 Intelligence. It also comes with 8 Purge charges—in addition to the Manabreak passive, the Purge charges on the item can be used at a 600 Cast Range to slow enemy hero movement 100% initially for 4 seconds. It’s worth noting that at the beginning of the four second duration, the Purge slows the enemy hero by 100%, but this amount is reduced by 20% every 0.8 seconds until the duration is complete. In other words, 0.8 seconds after you initially cast the ability, the slow will decrease to 80%, and after 1.6 seconds have passed, it becomes a 60% slow. Furthermore, Purge removes buffs from the target unit with a basic Dispel–however, you should note that the item’s active is blockable by Linken’s Sphere and does not piece Spell Immunity.

Diffusal Blade also gives heroes and their illusions the ability to Manabreak units. When you’re carrying a Diffusal Blade, every right-click attack burns 50 mana from the target, and deals 0.8 physical damage per burned mana. Manabreak does not pierce Spell Immunity. You can Lifesteal off Manabreak but you cannot Cleave or Crit. Furthermore, Manabreak does not stack–there’s no point buying multiple Diffusal Blades or buying one on Anti-Mage. Units without Mana cannot be damaged by the Manabreak. Illusions gain Manabeak, with melee illusions burning 16 Mana a hit and their ranged counterparts burning 8.

For 700 gold, you can upgrade the item into Diffusal Blade 2. This will not only refresh the item’s Purge charges, it also beefs up the stats it provides, granting the wielder an additional 10 Agility and 5 more Intelligence.

Which Heroes Should Buy Diffusal Blade?

Illusion heroes love Diffusal Blade, since illusions benefit from the item’s Manabreak passive. As a result, heroes like Spectre, Phantom Lancer, Naga Siren and Terrorblade pick up Diffusal Blade regularly. Juggernaut and Faceless Void, who usually buy Manta Styles, also buy it most games–Juggernaut can also use the item to Purge off Ghost Scepters. Riki should pick up Diffusal Blade almost every game–it allows him to keep his foes locked down inside his Smoke Cloud, and Manabreak is also applied to enemy heroes through Riki’s Ultimate. Because ranged heroes do less damage, they don’t buy Diffusal Blade quite as often as melee heroes – but those with high attack speed like Weaver, Mirana and Windranger do benefit.

How Do I Use Diffusal Blade?

The general playstyle when you’ve got a Diffusal Blade to work with involves Purging enemy heroes and right-clicking them to death before they can escape. If you’re playing an illusion hero, you can sit back and let your illusions Manabreak enemy heroes, softening them up before engagements and depleting their mana pools. Since the item doesn’t pierce the Spell Immunity of Black King Bar, you’ll want to retreat when your enemy has a BKB active. As you can see in the clip above, don’t hesitate to use Purge to remove buffs from heroes.

Who Does Diffusal Blade Counter?

Manabreak is powerful against Medusa, tearing through her Spell Shield. You’ll also see it used to burn off Wraith King‘s Mana so that he can’t Reincarnate–this is somewhat unreliable and requires good team coordination. Heroes like Morphling and Storm Spirit who rely on mana for survivability can also have their day ruined by Manabreak. A special mention must go to purchasing Diffusal Blade against Omniknight, since Guardian Angel and Repel can both be diffused off.

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Alex Dyet
An English student and freelance writer from London, UK, Alex has spent far more time than he'd care to admit battling it out on FIFA's Ultimate Team mode, before moving on to the more competitive eSports out there, like Dota and Hearthstone. He's got big plans for Blizzard's upcoming shooter, Overwatch, and he's counting down the days until the game goes live in May. You can catch him on twitter @Alexcd13D.
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