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Io's Beginner Support Guide

Created by bai_duBar on 2011-10-09
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Personally i love to play support heroes and they are varies type of support heroes out there. The one and only epic supporter hero for me is Io. Io can be easily mistaken as a Tank/DPS-er hero but hey, he is taking major in support. When you already master the epic-ness of his epic skills, you will easily support your teammates towards the glorious victory. Enough joking and i hope you guys out there enjoy my newbie guide for my beloved hero, Io.

Io - The Guardian Wisp

Range: | Move Speed: 295
Primary: STR
Str: 17 + 1.9 | Agi: 14 + 1.6 | Int: 23 + 1.7
Damage: 43-52 | HP: 473 | Mana: 299
HP Regen: 0.76 | Mana Regen: 0.7
Attack Speed: 0.67 | Armor: 0
Tether (T)
Io tethers himself to an allied unit, granting both units bonus movement speed. Any enemy units that contact the tether will be stunned. The tether will break if it stretches beyond 900 units. Lasts 12 seconds.
Level 1 - 20% movement bonus with 0.75 stun duration.
Level 2 - 20% movement bonus with 1.25 stun duration.
Level 3 - 20% movement bonus with 1.75 stun duration.
Level 4 - 20% movement bonus with 2.25 stun duration.
If you try to tether a unit that is a outside its range (by up to 900) Io will latch on and pull himself closer to the unit.
Tether transfers other states on the hero to the allied unit. This includes Overcharge, Relocate and any time you regenerate hp/mp.
Has a sub ability that lets you break the tether.
Mana Cost: 40
Cooldown: 12 Seconds
Comment: Tether is the signature skill for Io. Just look at the benefits he can gain from the spell itself. However, this tether is useful when you have allied hero around you. Simply saying this tether can be used both for supporting and escaping.

Spirits (W)
Io summons 5 ancient Spirits over the course of 4 seconds; the Spirits dance around Io in a circle to protect him. If an enemy hero moves close enough to touch a Spirit, the Spirit releases its life energy in a burst, damaging all enemies in a 300 area of effect. Non hero units only take minor damage upon touching a spirit and do not cause them to explode.
Level 1 - 8 damage to creeps, 25 damage to heroes.
Level 2 - 14 damage to creeps, 50 damage to heroes.
Level 3 - 20 damage to creeps, 75 damage to heroes.
Level 4 - 26 damage to creeps, 100 damage to heroes.
Damage type: magical
Nonheroes won't be slowed
Slow duration: 3 seconds
Min/max Oscillation range: 100/875
Mana Cost: 120/130/140/150
Cooldown: 20/18/16/14 Seconds
Comment: One of the versatile spell in DotA. This spell can be used to scout around, disabling/chasing the enemy hero or help (not so much) during pushing. This spell can be leveled only once during the early game since the spell offers the same 30% slow.
Overcharge (V)
Io draws on more energy than he can safely handle, granting him bonus attack speed and damage reduction, but draining 2.5% of his current HP and MP per second. If Io is tethered to an ally the bonus attack speed is also granted to that ally.
Level 1 - 40 increased attack speed, 5% damage reduction
Level 2 - 50 increased attack speed, 10% damage reduction
Level 3 - 60 increased attack speed, 15% damage reduction
Level 4 - 70 increased attack speed, 20% damage reduction
This bonus affects a tethered unit as well.
The hp/mana lost can't be reduced in any way.
The hp/mana loss is actually 0.5% in every 0.2 seconds, resulting in 2.4751256878125% loss per second
Mana Cost: 2.5% Mana and HP per second
Cooldown: Toggleable
Comment: This spell is great to be combo-ed with Tether. Simply activate it and bammm your carry hero will kill the enemy hero within no time. Although you might get too excited while helping your carry hero with it, just don't forget to deactivate it, or something "else" will happen.
Relocate (R)
Io temporary relocates himself, along with any tethered hero, to the target location for 12 seconds.
Level 1 - 2.5 sec cast delay.
Level 2 - 2.25 sec cast delay.
Level 3 - 2.0 sec cast delay.
There is a casting delay and the enemy has visual indicators on the minimap and the world of the teleport before it happens.
If an allied hero is Tethered, that hero will teleported along with you. You can break the tether at any time to prevent that hero from returning back with you. -disablehelp is available for this ability.
Mana Cost: 100
Cooldown: 90/75/60
Comment: When used properly, this spell can easily initiate a gank. Can be used to chase the running hero and maybe can be used to last hit. Simply Tether your allied hero with you to help you to gank/initiate/chase.
Skill Build

Skill Build:

1. Tether
2. Spirits
3. Tether
4. Spirits
5. Tether
6. Relocate
7. Tether
8. Overcharge
9. Overcharge
10. Spirits
11. Relocate
12. Spirits
13. Overcharge
14. Overcharge
15. Stats
16. Stats
17. Relocate
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
A Ring of Basilius is a cheap utility item that gives a +3 armor aura, useful when your teammates have very low armor. It's advantage is its cheap gold cost ( 500 ) as it also gives Io extra armor and mana regen. Plus, if your team really need it, you can upgrade it to make Vladimir's Offering to help your teammates by giving them a life steal aura ( melee only ) and a 15% damage aura.
2.View Details for Urn of Shadows
Urn of Shadows
50% Mana Regeneration
6 Strength
Active: Soul Release
Whenever an enemy hero dies within 1425 AoE, gains 2 charges if it has 0 charges, else gains 1 charge (each death can only charge one of these items, if two or more heroes in the AoE have this item, only one will be charged).
Can expend one charge to target an allied or enemy hero.
If an ally is targeted, it is healed for 400 HP over 8 seconds (this effect ends if the hero takes damage from a source other than Sentinel or Scourge creeps or neutral creeps).
If an enemy is targeted, it looses 200 hp over 8 seconds.
10 seconds cooldown. 950 casting range.
Note: Double clicking will self-cast Soul Release.
Sobi Mask + 2x Gauntlets of Strength + Urn of Shadows Recipe Scroll
Urn of Shadows is a very useful item for a support hero, especially that you are a global ganker, meaning that you can gain many charges when you gank. Urn may be gotten before Boots but Urn must be your first core item. Try to, as much as possible, have Urn before you reach Level 6. Remember that Urn is like Shadow Word, healing 400 to an ally or damaging 200 to an enemy. Plus, it give you 6 Strength, which is basically what you need.
3.View Details for Power Treads
Power Treads
60 Movement Speed
30 Attack Speed
8 Selected Attribute

Active: Switch Attribute
Switches the attribute that receives a bonus. From Strength to Intelligence, Intelligence to Agility, and Agility to Strength.
Note: Can only carry one. Movement speed bonus doesn't stack with Boots of Travel, Phase Boots, Power Treads, or Boots of Speed.
Boots of Speed + Gloves of Haste + Boots of Elvenskin or Robe of the Magi or Belt of Giant Strength
Power Treads gives you 60 move speed, 30% attack speed and +10 to a selected attribute. Most recommended attribute is Strength for obvious reasons, for the extra survivability and damage. PT can be changed to any attribute suiting your needs, and depending on the situation. Treads can be gotten last because it's only use is the +10 to Strength, and your other core items is much more useful than that.
4.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
Mekansm is a great item for support heroes, especially for Io. Because of the recent buff, Meka now heal allies in 750 AoE for 250 hp. Plus, combined with Tether, you have the ability to heal anyone for 500 hp, that's pretty OP. Meka should be gotten after Urn of Shadows.
5.View Details for Heart of Tarrasque
Heart of Tarrasque
40 Strength
300 HP
Passive: Health Regeneration
Regenerates 2% of max health each second. Only regenerates health when the bearer has not taken damage from a player owned source or Roshan in the last 6 seconds (ranged) or 4 seconds (melee). Doesn't stack with itself.
Messerschmidt's Reaver + Vitality Booster + Heart of Tarrasque Recipe Scroll
Heart of Tarrasque is your best Luxury item, even for Io, which is a Strength hero. It gives you all your survivability needs, 40 Strength, 300 life and 2% hp regeneration. It also shares the regeneration to your ally, means 2% of your hp is healed to the Tethered ally every second. If you have no item in mind to buy and have lots of gold, then buy HoT immediately.
6.View Details for Guinsoo
Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse
35 Intelligence
10 Strength
10 Agility
150% Mana Regeneration
Active: Hex
Turns a target unit into a sheep. Disables damage block and evasion. Reduces the units base movement speed to 100. Affected unit retains its normal health, mana, armor value, and armor type. If cast on an illusion, it is immediately destroyed. Lasts 3.5 seconds. 100 manacost. 35 seconds cooldown. 800 cast range.
Mystic Staff + Ultimate Orb + Void Stone
Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse is another useful item for Io. Another 3.5 second disable for your team goes a long way, especially in mid-late game phase. You won't really benefit from the +35 Intelligence, but the bonus to stats gives you extra survivability. Combined with HoT, you can leave Overcharge active all the time.
Skill Build

Early Game:

Io - The Guardian Wisp

Before we gonna take a look at his further gameplay, below is the simple sum up of Io.

+ One of the best gankers
+ One of the best support heroes
+ Has a scouting ability
+ Global Teleporting skill
+ Skills cost little mana
+ Easy to master

- 0 starting armor
- Easily killable
- Laughable starting damage
- Useless without a good ally
- Auto-banned in -CM games

Level 1 - 7:

Basically, Io can play in any lane, as long as he have someone to support. Io can be best with any carry hero since Io can help them kill the enemy hero. Io is played along with other hero because Io can't kill alone. He simply need someone to kill while he (obviously) supports them. For your information also, Io has the dissapointing starting status. As the STR hero, he has the second worst STR and the second worst starting damage with only decent amount of AGI and INT. So thats why being a supporter is the most viable way for Io.

In addition, Io has the potential to become a Roamer. But unlike other roamers, Io has to have at least Level 1 on both Tether and Overcharge and must have another roamer with him, preferably one with a stun or a super slow. But choosing to roam on such low level will leave you under-leveled a lot. Plus, without you, your carry won't be able to kill with ease early.

Below is the list of heroes that greatly gain benefits both from your Tether and Overcharge:

Sven - The RogueknightTraxex - The Drow RangerUlfsaar - The Ursa WarriorMortred - The Phantom AssassinSlardar - The Slithereen GuardN`aix - The LifestealerStrygwyr - The BloodseekerBarathrum - Spiritbreaker

Basically all of these hero (and i believe more it is) have quite nice AS to be able to launched their physical attack towards the enemies. With a great help from you of course, they will tackle the job quite easily. Ganking/Harassing is needlessly important but don't forget to farm a bit since you can't rely very much on the 1 gold/sec. Having all of the main ingredients for your early game items is very nice indeed. At least, when the game already reach mid game, your inventory should have this item:

Point 1 ---------------------------------

Magic Wand Mekansm
Boots of Speed

----------------------------------Point 2

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23 By GuriPSYCO 2012-05-10

Arcane is also an option,if your partner is mana hungry, since you already have meks and urn, you can afford to losing one heal.

22 By kaitokid777 2012-05-10

boots should be tranquil.
tether shares regeneration.
tether with heal from boots, you and your carry can go on almost forever.
urn is also a must. extra dmg or heal is never bad on supportive hero like Io.
mekansm grants double heal on tethered carry as well, core.

21 By Lindarx 2012-04-25

Best guide on Io ever.

20 By KNiteman 2012-04-12

Has anybody noticed that 1 click heros get more attention than your difficult to master heros yet they are more fun to play?

19 By GuriPSYCO 2012-04-12

And it always happens of you going back to death, so hateful! But also a way to avoid couriers in pub!

18 By KNiteman 2012-04-12

Still a hero I hate to play. Invoker is easier to master, relocate sound like you wanna move the poor people away with that!

17 By shone123 2012-03-26

INSANE ASSIST! best assist in game!

16 By LIBROSCORPIAN 2012-03-16


15 By LIBROSCORPIAN 2012-03-16


14 By LIBROSCORPIAN 2012-03-16


13 By LIBROSCORPIAN 2012-03-16


12 By ElusiveBash 2012-01-30

Imba support

11 By snail_000 2011-10-29

an unique ulti...
Just spend 12 sec for return to fountain+refill hp n mp+buy item+coming back to battle field

10 By The Ronin 2011-10-23

Oh sorry I forgot to say "why max a skill that give only 0.50 stun with each level EARLY". Because damage is more important at the earlier stages of the game rathen than disables.

9 By SonWilhelm 2011-10-22

I like how in your intro, you said he's "easy to master" and in your conclusion, you said "mastering Io will be rather difficult"


Anyway nice job. You can also check out my Io guide (here: ) for some strategy and other bits. Feel free to use whatever...I don't beleive in plagiarism.

Keep up the good work! Cheers!

8 By ChaoS_ThronE 2011-10-17

outdated, and imo, doesn't rly clarify Io well, better take back it to pending guides repertoire..

lol, he's not here anymore..
imo, a 0.5 sec stun can even turn the tides of battle, although i personally seconded leveling tether more than 1 time early

old, short, and not deep enough..

7 By The Ronin 2011-10-16

I did not understand the skill build part too. Why max a skill that only gives 0.50 seconds more stun with each level upgraded insted of overcharge or spirits. It is completely pointless too.

6 By Cantubia 2011-10-15

Why wouldn't you max Spirits. It's a 500 damage spell, 375 with 25% magic reduction.

5 By The Ronin 2011-10-10

I think the most important thing is missing. Use of relocate. This is the hardest part of IO to master. Explain it, and get a good 9/10 from me.

4 By silentzero 2011-10-10

Indepth skill explanation pl0x
alternate skill build
some emphasis on the role
example of some proper relocate usage (saving an ally and stuff)

and err... something that will add content on the guide.