Items are the driving force for Dota 2’s game of creativity and flexibility. Finding the correct augmentations and item synergies with the heroes you play will often bring you victories, coupled with other factors.
With the huge amount of items there are, some items tend to be overshadowed by others that are generally preferred by most players for consistency. In the event of an unusual situation, sometimes the consistent builds just don’t quite do the job well. For those items that barely see the light of day, that is the time when they get their chance in the spotlight and show what they can do.
Here are our top underrated items in Dota 2’s current meta.
Ghost Scepter is one of the most underrated items in the game, requiring about 1,500 gold to spend on. It gives four seconds of immunity to physical damage in exchange for receiving more magic damage. It is a great tool for resisting the physical-based carries like Phantom Assassin from bursting you. The main problem that players encounter with the item is its lack of options to build from in the early game, standing as a standalone item at such a price range.
In order to obtain the Ghost Form active, players must spend 1,500 gold in one go, and they may opt into building Ethereal Blade at 4,500 gold. This is a terrible option for supports when it only affects themselves, and when Glimmer Cape is also 400 gold away. Ethereal Blade is way higher than their pay grade just to make it work on their allies, and by the time supports get their hands on the item, the game may as well be over.
Spirit Vessel is another item that finds itself in use by extremely niche builds involving Pudge, Venomancer, and Invoker—heroes that can stick themselves to their targets through sizeable slows. It provides a wide variety of stats (health, mana regen, and armor) that are always useful, whether you’re playing position 4 or 5 heroes.
One key trait of the Spirit Vessel is its ability to reduce most forms of healing and regeneration by 45%, which absolutely matters against heroes that rely on lifesteal and massive regeneration like Tiny and Timbersaw. As it is the only item of its kind, coupled with the average damage values present in the game, this seemingly powerful item ends up as a niche option for scenarios where enemy healing is a bothersome threat.
Solar Crest may be a less underrated item depending on who you ask, but the common consensus is that it’s a great item when the situation gives the item to shine its brightest.
Armor is a valuable asset in the game, as it hard reduces the damage relative to the value of armor in a hero or unit. Often, two-digit armor values are quite tanky, with Roshan himself having 20 armor. Solar Crest either provides or reduces 8 armor from its target ally or enemy, and can even put some carries into negative value armor—meaning they will take more damage.
Solar Crest can singlehandedly protect your most important carries and avoid a bloodbath when using it on allies, and it acts as a time-limited Desolator when using it on enemies. Proper and optimal use of the item will reward the team with huge tempo swings, and can open up objectives and opportunities to widen vision.
Most of what has been mentioned is niche items for supports, but here’s one that’s underrated even for carries: the almighty Divine Rapier. Only carries that become super fed ever get the luxury of obtaining an item that gives additional base damage like the Divine Rapier.
A 6,000 gold item for a whopping 330 additional damage and a True Strike passive, under the condition that it drops upon death and enemies can make use of it upon pickup. From that alone, its reasons for being underrated already manifests. The last thing carries want is for their items to be wielded by the enemy carries, for it causes a huge tempo swing in favor of the enemy.
In addition, with 6,000 gold, there are better endgame items that can be made. Bloodthorn, an item costing about 500 gold more, provides a Silence active, a targeted True Strike, and good attack speed without the drawbacks of dropping upon death.
Some other items certainly deserve an honorable mention, but such is the point of underrated items. They serve a specific niche where generally it’s a bad idea to take them, but matching the correct item to the correct situation will pay off double or even triple its gold value.
While some items end up having extremely specific situations for items to shine, it often leads to a debate on whether the item just only serves those rare happenings, or may require a rework to bring them higher up in the pedestal of better item options.
Do you agree with these items being underrated in today’s meta? What are your personally underrated items?