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Pugna- Sending you to the Oblivion

Created by Dark_3 on 2009-06-25
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Hello everyone! This would be my 2nd guide. And an entry for Dotactics 2009. It is about Pugna, the Oblivion who is mostly unnoticed and only few have unleashed his true abilities. I hope this guide may bring new hope for those who have turned away from him and give new enjoyment to those who haven't used him before. I now introduce to you Pugna.

Pugna - Oblivion

Range: | Move Speed: 315
Primary: INT
Str: 17 + 1.2 | Agi: 16 + 1 | Int: 26 + 4
Damage: 45 53 | HP: 473 | Mana: 338
HP Regen: 0.76 | Mana Regen: 1.05
Attack Speed: 0.68 | Armor: 1
Nether Blast
Nether Blast (B)
Creates a blast of exploding pulses from the Nether Plane, dealing damage to units and buildings.
Level 1 - Deals 100 Damage (40 to structures).
Level 2 - Deals 175 Damage (60 to structures).
Level 3 - Deals 250 Damage (80 to structures).
Level 4 - Deals 325 Damage (100 to structures).
Damage type: magical
Effect is delayed 0.5 seconds.
Casting range: 400
Area of Effect: 400
Mana Cost: 85/105/125/145
Cooldown: 5.5
Comment: Nether Blast deals Magical damage which is reduced by the target's Spell Resistance and is blocked by Spell Immunity.

Decrepify (C)
Pugna casts a powerful banishing magic on a unit. The unit is sent to the ethereal plane for a small period of time, reducing its movement speed by 50% and rendering it unable to attack. It takes 44% extra damage from spells.
Level 1 - Affected unit takes 44% extra damage from spells, lasts 2 seconds.
Level 2 - Affected unit takes 44% extra damage from spells, lasts 2.5 seconds.
Level 3 - Affected unit takes 44% extra damage from spells, lasts 3 seconds.
Level 4 - Affected unit takes 44% extra damage from spells, lasts 3.5 seconds.
Only magical and pure damage can harm units under the effect of Decrepify.
Scream of Pain, Echo Slam, and Heat Seeking Missile will not damage a Decrepified target, even though they deal magical damage.
Casting range: 550
Mana Cost: 100
Cooldown: 13/11/9/7 Seconds
Comment: * This skill is removed by Purge. * This skill is blocked by Linken's Sphere. * Fan of Knives based abilities won't damage decrepified units. This includes Heat seeking Missiles, Scream of Pain and Echo Slam.
Nether Ward
Nether Ward (W)
Summons a Nether Ward that prevents enemy heroes from regenerating mana and can cast Mana Flare, which deals damage to enemy heroes as they cast spells. Lasts 25 seconds. Each level increases the area of effect of the Ward's Mana Flare, the Mana Flare damage, the negative mana regen and the hp of the ward.
Level 1 - Ward has 75 HP, -1.5 Mana regeneration to enemies, Mana Flare deals 0.75 damage per each point of Mana.
Level 2 - Ward has 150 HP, -3.0 Mana regeneration to enemies, Mana Flare deals 1.00 damage per each point of Mana.
Level 3 - Ward has 225 HP, -4.5 Mana regeneration to enemies, Mana Flare deals 1.25 damage per each point of Mana.
Level 4 - Ward has 300 HP, -6.0 Mana regeneration to enemies, Mana Flare deals 1.50 damage per each point of Mana.
Damage type: magical
Mana Flare is triggered when an enemy casts a spell and the damage is based on the spell's mana-cost.
Mana Flare deals the damage before the actual spell is cast, so if the target dies the spell will have no effect.
Area of Effect: 700/1000/1300/1600
Mana Cost: 80
Cooldown: 35 seconds
Comment: * This skill is not blocked by Linken's Sphere. * Nether Ward's Mana Flare can only hit spell-casting units once every 0.75 seconds. * Nether Ward's Mana Flare deals damage when the enemy hero starts his attack animation, so it's posible for it to kill the enemy caster before he even uses his own spell. * Nether Ward deals Magical damage which is reduced by the target's Spell Resistance and is blocked by Spell Immunity.
Life Drain
Life Drain (D)
Pugna summons a very powerful draining magic that absorbs the life essence of an enemy unit. Lasts 9 seconds.
Level 1 - Drains 95 (150*) HP per second.
Level 2 - Drains 140 (200*) HP per second.
Level 3 - Drains 185 (250*) HP per second.
Damage type: magical
Life Drain is a channeling spell.
HP drained depends on the actual damage dealt, so Decrepify increases it and spell reduction reduces it.
Will continue to drain as long as the target stays within 850 range from Pugna.
If the target is an illusion it's destroyed on the first damage tick.
Casting range: 850
Can be improved by Aghanim's Scepter (* shows the improved values).
Mana Cost: 125/175/225
Cooldown: 22 (0*) seconds
Comment: * This skill is a channeling spell. * Drains the target until it moves 800 range away from Oblivion or if channeling is Interrupted. * Pugna is healed by the actual damage that the target of Life Drain takes. That is, the amount of heal is affected by the target's Spell Resistance. * This skill is blocked by Linken's Sphere. If Linken's Sphere's cooldown ends while the unit is being drained, Linken's Sphere will only block 1 tick of damage. * Life Drain deals Magical damage which is reduced by the target's Spell Resistance and is blocked by Spell Immunity.
Skill Build

Skill Build:

1. Nether Blast
2. Decrepify
3. Nether Blast
4. Decrepify
5. Nether Blast
6. Life Drain
7. Nether Blast
8. Decrepify
9. Decrepify
10. Nether Ward
11. Life Drain
12. Nether Ward
13. Nether Ward
14. Nether Ward
15. Stats
16. Life Drain
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats
Item Build

Item Build:

1.View Details for Ring of Basilius
Ring of Basilius
6 Damage
1 armor
Passive: Mana Aura
0.65 Mana Regeneration. 900 AoE
Passive: Armor Aura
2 armor. 900 AoE. Doesn't stack with armor auras from Assault Cuirass, Ring of Basilius, or Vladmir's Offering.
Note: Clicking the item will toggle whether Armor Aura affects heroes and units, or just heroes. Can be disassembled.
Ring of Protection + Sobi Mask
Cheap mana regen
2.View Details for Perseverance
10 Damage
5 HP Regeneration
125% Mana Regeneration
Note : Can be disassembled.
Ring of Health + Void Stone
Another helpful mana regen and hp regen
3.View Details for Mekansm
5 All Attributes
5 Armor
Passive: Mekansm Aura
4 HP regeneration. 500 AoE
Active: Heal
Heals 250 HP and gives +2 armor in 750 AoE. Armor bonus lasts 25 seconds. Doesn't affect units that have been healed by any Restore in the last 25 seconds. 150 manacost. 45 seconds cooldown.
Headdress of Rejuvenation + Netherezim Buckler + Mekansm Recipe Scroll
Great support item in clashes
4.View Details for Dagon
13/15/17/19/21 Intelligence
3 All Attributes
9 Damage

Active: Energy Burst
- Deals 400/500/600/700/800 damage to a target unit
- Manacost: 180/160/140/120/100
- Cooldown: 35/30/25/20/15 seconds
- Cast range: 600/650/700/750/800

Note: Buy recipe to upgrade Dagon (up to 5 levels)

Null Talisman + Staff of Wizardry + Dagon Recipe Scroll
With this added to your arsenal, you can easily wipe out heroes
5.View Details for Boots of Travel
Boots of Travel
100 Movement Speed

Active: Teleport
- Teleports you to an allied non-hero unit or building
- Casting time: 3 seconds
- Manacost: 75 mana
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
- Shares cooldown with Scroll of Town Portal

Note: Movement speed bonus does not stack with Boots of Travel, Phase Boots, Power Treads, Tranquil Boots or Boots of Speed.
Double clicking teleports you to your fountain.
Boots of Speed + Boots of Travel Recipe Scroll
Gives you more mobility and teleport
Skill Build

Early Game:



{name} - {alias}

Pugna is one of the many heroes that only few notice his hidden power. Very adept at pushing, support and especially hero killing, Pugna is a force to be reckoned with. He has an undying arsenal of super nukes and skills.





- has the highest int gain in the game (4)

- has hero killing abilities

- has fast creep killing abilites

- Nether Blast can be used on towers

- can counter orb walkers.



- has very low HP

- vulnerable to nukes

- ultimate can easily canceled

- no stun or disable


lvl 1


HP: 473

Mana: 338

Str. 17 + 1.45

Agi 16 + 1

Int 26 + 4

HP regen: 0.76

Mana regen: 1.05


lvl 25

Role in the game

"A decent support hero and hero killer because of his high INT gain and such high damage. A very strong pusher since he has a spell that destroys creep waves as well as towers. However, a lack of health has made him very vulnerable."

-> Dota-allstars

The exact summary of Pugna. He manages to become a support and hero killer as well as a pusher. The only thing about Pugna is that he is very soft. Even with his ultimate, he has trouble surviving.




Nether Blast


Damage decrepified

Damage decrepified w/ spell resistance













This skill does 40/60/80/100 damage to buildings. This will be your main nuke and combined with Decrepify deals a lot of damage.


Area of Effect:

Area of Effect

Added info:

- This skill has a 0.5 cast delay

- Pugna should be this near to the AoE to cast it:


- Damage is dealt after all the explosions





For every level it makes the target receive 44% more damage from magical damage and gets slowed for 50%. Once a target is affected by decrepify, it can only take damage from spells. Like frost nova, arc lightning and the like. This would be one of your deadliest skills ever.


A decrepified unit looks like this:


The disadvantage of this skill is that it makes the unit unaffected by other types of damage like pure, mixed and normal damage. Remember that the target is slowd by 50%.



Nether Ward



Mana regen

Mana flare damage



-150 %














The ultimate counter to spell users and orb walkers. If you are laned against Zeus and uses Arc Lightning at level 4 that costs 86 mana and you have a ward at level 4 it would be: 86 X 1.5= 129 damage. Therefore, Zeus would take 129 damage which is reduced by spell resistance.

Nether Ward

Mana Flare

As explained earlier, mana flare is the skill that your ward has. It deals damage multiplied by the mana cost of the skill used:

mana flare

As you can see, Tinker used laser level 4 which costs 170 mana multiplied by 1.5, therefore it dealt 255 damage and reduced to 191 because of natural hero resistance.



Life Drain

Drained HP

Drained HP with Decrepify

Drained HP with Decrepify with natural spell resistance










Compared to Soul Keeper's Soul Steal, it drains more HP and has longer range. And has a very short cooldown despite being an ultimate. This skill has a 9 second duration if target does not move.

Life Drain

This would be the initial range of Life Drain and can be extended if target moves.


Nether Blast-Decrepify

The standard build for early game harassing and killing with teammates. This skill build is suitable against those who are very fragile during early game. This is a very standard build for Pugna that uses a lot of mana but deals a huge amount of damage to enemies.

1. Nether Blast
2. Decrepify
3. Nether Blast
4. Decrepify
5. Nether Blast
6. Life Drain
7. Nether Blast
8. Decrepify
9. Decrepify
10. Nether Ward
11. Life Drain
12. Nether Ward
13. Nether Ward
14. Nether Ward
15. Stats
16. Life Drain
17-15. Stats

This build is quite effective on some very soft heroes early on, like:

Furion - The ProphetRikimaru - The Stealth AssassinLanaya - Templar AssassinSlithice - The Naga SirenKardel Sharpeye - The Dwarven Sniper

They are soft, especially if they start without much items. You can harass away using decrepify and nether blast and can end up by killing them in the process.

Nether Blast-Decrepify-Nether Ward

A usual build for Pugna users. First maxing out Nether Blast and then getting Decrepify and Nether Ward alternately. This is an almost balanced build that focuses on defense against spell users and offense using Decrepify and Nether Blast.

1. Nether Blast
2. Decrepify
3. Nether Blast
4. Nether Ward
5. Nether Blast
6. Life Drain
7. Decrepify
8. Nether Blast
9. Nether Ward
10. Decrepify
11. Life Drain
12. Nether Ward
13. Decrepify
14. Nether Ward
15. Stats
16. Life Drain
17-25. Stats

This balanced build is mainly used for those who cast skills in a limited amount and can be harassed:

Luna Moonfang - The Moon RiderMagnus - The MagnataurBlack Arachnia - The BroodmotherRigwarl - The BristlebackUlfsaar - The Ursa WarriorAnub`seran - The Nerubian Weaver

Nether Blast-Nether Ward

The perfect counter to spell users, early game nukers and orb walkers. Maxing out an early Ward can give enough shelter for you and your teammate to survive early.

1. Nether Blast
2. Nether Ward
3. Nether Blast
4. Nether Ward
5. Nether Blast
6. Life Drain
7. Nether Ward
8. Nether Blast
9. Nether Ward
10. Decrepify
11. Life Drain
12. Decrepify
13. Decrepify
14. Decrepify
15. Stats
16. Life Drain
17-25. Stats

Now, this is the best build to fend of orb walkers and early game harassers, namely:

Aiushtha - The EnchantressBoush - The TinkerHuskar - Sacred WarriorTraxex - The Drow RangerLion - The Demon WitchViper - The NetherdrakeHarbinger - The Obsidian DestroyerKel`Thuzad - The Lich





Very important for early game mana and HP regeneration. Can be later upgraded into other important items.



Despite the fact that you have life drain as a healing mechanism, this item would be more helpful since it is not channeling. Also, you would be able to survive intense clashes and be able to support well. But you can skip this item in the case that you have a teammate that is going to buy it.



An added nuke. You will need this, but not as a killstealer but as a feared nuker. Many underestimate Pugna, you can use that to your advantage. You suddenly dish out big amounts of damage and with this added to your arsenal, you will become feared. You do not need to upgrade it.

Boots of Travel


The usual footwear of most intelligence type heroes. You do have a good base movement speed so delaying this a little bit would be a good choice. This grants you not only extra MS but the ability to teleport to any allied unit.



Level 1-7 

Starting Items:

Option A- Killer Type

Circlet of NobilityGauntlets of Ogre StrengthGauntlets of Ogre StrengthHealing Salve or Mantle of IntelligenceMantle of Intelligence

Simple, you need early HP since you are very fragile and vulnerable to early nukes. But if you prefer mantles it's fine.

Option B- Support Type

Ring of RegenerationMantle of IntelligenceLesser Clarity Potion

Another optional build. The ring of regeneration would help in early game HP regen. Only use this build if you are going to buy Mekansm.


- Farm

- Harass and maybe kill

- Avoid Death


Sentinel- Top/Mid with Lane Partner

Scourge- Bottom/Mid with Lane Partner

Question and Answer:

Q: Why go to a lane without the protection of your tower?

A: These lanes are real close to the secret shops right? Inside the secret shop is a much needed item, it is the Void Stone. We need that item for early game mana regen and we can't afford to go all the way to the opposite side to buy it and lose so much exp and gold.  Besides, you have a lane partner.

Q: Why a lane partner, can't Pugna solo?

A: NO. Pugna is very fragile, and even if you choose to buy 6 Healing Salves (Which is stupid) for your survival, there are times that you'll still end up dead.


Pugna Vs.

Raigor Stonehoof - The Earthshaker1 Melee

- Since you will be doing a dual lane, there isn't much to fear, except sudden attacks by the melee hero. Get as much last hits and denies as you can and try to get cheap shots every time you can. Oh, and if the enemy starts leech exp (Which is just standing around and letting the creeps die just to obtain experience) start denying and get as much as you can.

Shendelzare Silkwood - The Vengeful Spirit1 Ranged

- Again, you are having a dual lane so do as much last hits and denies as you can. Be careful for sudden usage of their skills since you are very fragile.

Yurnero - The JuggernautBanehallow - The Lycanthrope2 Melee

- This is where things can get a little rough. You really need an ally this time. Since they are still both melee, denying is still a priority. Don't let your guard down for any sudden skills.

Bone Clinkz - The Bone FletcherRazor - The Lightning Revenant2 Ranged

- Remain calm, you have an ally with you and you should start focusing on last hitting. Try to get cheap shots if you can and don't get aggressive.

Sven - The RogueknightLina Inverse - The Slayer1 Melee and 1 Ranged

- Keep a close look out for incoming spells and continue to last hit. Whenever the melee hero tries to last hit, get a few cheap shots if possible. Stay close to your ally.

Target Items:

PerseveranceBracerBracerHeaddress of Rejuvenation

Perseverance- Important early game HP and mana regeneration.

Bracer- Grants survival since the added HP would be really needed.

Headress of Rejuvination- Used to make Mekansm, but if you are skipping Mekansm go for Staff of Wizardry or Blades of Attack.


Nether Blast

You have a secret weapon for last hitting and at the same time harassing. It is- Nether Blast. This skill is the only one with the highest mana cost of 85/105/125/145. If you noticed, it's mana cost increases by 20 every level. While Decrepify and Nether Ward have the same mana cost every level. To use Nether Blast as a farming tool is very easy, just make sure that all the creeps are inside the Area of Effect. And at the same time, this skill harasses enemy heroes and weakening them.


There are a few techniques in harassing heroes in early game.

Nether Blast

Your key skill, this is a very standard harassing strategy. Simply make sure that the enemy hero would be affected by the Area of Effect of Nether Blast. It deals a fair amount of damage enough to make enemy heroes move back.

Nether Blast-Decrepify

Your super power harassing combo. This deals a large amount of damage that can over power enemy heroes. First use Decrepify on the desired hero and cast Nether Blast.

Step 1:

Cast Decrepify on the target.


Step 2:

Use Nether Blast and see the hero's health go down.


That will be your combo for the whole game.  This deals a lot of damage to enemies and also use up mana.  Other than this combo, you can deal larger amounts of damage with the help of your ally.  Ideally, good allies for Pugna are those who use a lot of skills and chain nukes like:

Zeus - Lord of OlympiaLina Inverse - The SlayerLion - The Demon WitchLeshrac - The Tormented SoulAkasha - The Queen of Pain


This is one thing that Pugna really needs early.  Since he is very fragile,  he can be quite the "feeder" if not used right.  But here are some quick things that can help you survive:


Healing SalveRing of RegenerationAncient Tango of EssifationMagic Stick

All these items grant healing and they have their separate uses.  Your best choice may be Magic Stick since you should have a spell caster as an ally.


Aiushtha - The EnchantressRooftrellen - The Treant ProtectorHuskar - Sacred WarriorPurist Thunderwrath - The OmniknightRotund`jere - The NecrolyteDemnok Lannik - Warlock

All these heroes have the skill to heal and keep you alive.  And most have the capacity to be effective in team clashes.

Early Game Problems

Pugna, being strong and all, has some issues in early game other than survival.  His number 1 problem is Mana Management.  As seen earlier, Pugna's super combo harassing technique consumes a lot of mana.  Here are a few things to keep this from happening:


Lesser Clarity Potion-> Very cheap but takes a long time to regenerate a lot of mana enough to harass.

Sobi Mask-> Very cheap mana regen.  Can give enough mana for a successful harass.  Good option

Ring of Basilius-> This item is an upgraded version of sobi that gives not only mana regen but damage and armor too.  

Void Stone-> Fastest choice.  100% mana regeneration is not a joke.  This item gives enough mana regen for continuous flow of attacks.

Empty Bottle-> It gives not only mana but also HP.  Very good choice if you'd like.


Rylai Crestfall - The Crystal Maiden-> Global mana regeneration.  And at level 4 it grants 3 mana regen.  Very fast and nice.  Also, Rylai is very effective in team clashes.

Ezalor - The Keeper of the Light-> Chakra Magic grants a lot of mana which would suffice for easy harassments.

Harbinger - The Obsidian Destroyer-> Easy restoration of Mana.

Ending Inventory

  Bracer   Bracer  
  Perseverance   Ring of Regeneration  

If possible:

Headdress of Rejuvenation

If you are not going to buy Mekansm:

Staff of WizardryBlades of AttackDagon



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229 By psychotics16 2011-05-10

I think you should try to lane with someone that has bash or stun instead of going with other nukers that way your life drain would be more should also get aghanims so you wont have to wait for your life drain to cooldown.

228 By The Guardian Angel 2011-05-02

Aghanims Gives you enough Lifesteal.

227 By bmndude 2011-05-02

all you need are, survival skills, and a mana regen item early, my build would be tangoes and void stone for 5v5 (Farm a bit in Center lane first) then start harrasing. Since your INT gain is very high (4), you can harass almost every type of hero except for dangerous gankers such as pudge or vengeful.

226 By mawhpawh 2011-04-14

Lifesteal, really? After those items you won't even autoattak.

225 By cameronsmithat 2011-04-14

i think fist i get perseverance. Linkens sphere then dagon then power treads. then get a life steal item

224 By yudista06 2010-12-03

quite hard to use him.
i rather use hit, kill, and run intel hero like lion.
pugna has to stop, and has to stop, to use his damaging skills. which is lead him vulnerable.
also most of the time not synergy with team coz decrpyt nullify normal attack, which sometimes lead to confusion, especially in sudden clashes.

223 By silentzero 2010-11-03

rhetorical question is rhetorical

222 By thecape 2010-11-02

i'm also trying to say that armour reduction does not work for spells. im noob, im not sure if this is true. please correct me if im wrong :X

221 By thecape 2010-11-02

@219 and 220: if im not wrong, because pugna highly depends on spell attacks to attack the enemy hp and is less dependent on normal attacks (not 'not dependant') so the armour reduction is pretty useless since pugna needs a few more hits to kill his opponent after casting decrepify+nether blast. same reason for manta, it's pretty much useless. if you wan orb attack, eye of skadia i suggested in this guide. it gives awesome damage boost + slow. will def help if opponent runs. all this is IMO.

220 By silentzero 2010-09-21

Is pugna's main role DPS?
does manta/deso help his main role?

219 By LeoMaru_22 2010-09-21

i wonder why u don't add manta or desolator .... ( sorry if my question is a noob

218 By DefinitionOfPower 2010-06-02


217 By nigielee 2010-05-25

Also, on the mana flare picture, your Pugna is level 5 and thus it is impossible to have ANY skill at level 4. This means that the maximum level of your ward is 3 (if you didn't up nether blsat) thus the damage is actually 170x1.25=212.5 damage.

216 By nigielee 2010-05-25

Hey! Nice guide, but don't you think in early game one level of decrep is enough? if you are laning against an early game nuker who needs mana to do his stuff, a level 2 nether ward is enough to combo him to death. :D just a suggestion

215 By Ephemeral96 2010-05-23

nice guide.........

214 By Medex 2010-05-15

Best guide I have ever seen! Very thorough, and easy to understand. Thank you!

213 By stephen_0416 2010-04-23

my build:
dagon 5

212 By Carl2275 2010-04-17

I only came for the build.... but good guide.. I read it aswell.... nice!! ^_^

211 By elfelebusterismoflo 2010-04-16

does skadi works with decrepify, orbs??

210 By AngelofHat 2010-03-28