Rod of Atos is one of the most underrated items in Dota 2, but also one of the most useful. Find out what it’s really for in our item guide.
Underrated, but not unappreciated
Rod of Atos is a relatively new addition to Dota 2‘s arsenal of items, having been implemented to the game some time before it went into beta testing. In its eight years of existence, Rod of Atos spent most of its time being a non-standard pickup, up until the item itself and root mechanics were buffed significantly in Patch 7.00.
Image via Valve
Since then, it has become a powerful and compelling choice for intelligence heroes in particular. Being able to prevent certain movement abilities such as Burrowstrike, Ball Lightning, and even Blink is often underrated by many—but its value becomes immediately apparent against slippery, mobile targets.
This makes Rod of Atos an almost mandatory pickup against heroes like Ember Spirit, Queen of Pain, and others with similar escape mechanisms built in. Locking down these heroes is incredibly difficult to begin with, but is made almost trivial by Rod of Atos. Its great cast range of 1150 units and fast projectile speed help in this regard—though the fact that it requires a projectile to make contact with its target means that it can be avoided with reflexes.
Either way, it’s quite a shame that pub players tend to skip the item in favor of other pickups. In fact, just this month alone, it was picked up in a mere 3.37 percent of games recorded on public matchmaking. In contrast, it had a 55 percent win rate in those games, making it quite clear that it does have a place and purpose in Dota 2.
Cost-effective stat stick
Other than its active ability, there are reasons for support players to at least consider buying Rod of Atos. For one, it’s a very cost-effective stat-boosting item that also happens to have a fantastic active component. For just a bit less than 3,000 gold, heroes that have Rod of Atos get +15 strength (an additional 270 health for non-strength heroes), +6 agility, and +20 intelligence (as much as 300 mana). Since support heroes need as much health and mana as possible for them to survive kill attempts and still have enough to fight back with, the additional stats alone are already very compelling.
This is helped by the fact that the components are easy to build. Bracers are already commonly found in a support hero’s inventory, thanks to the cheap increase in stats that they provide. Staff of Wizardry needs no real explanation, since it is a component of several common support items. This is in stark contrast to its old, pre-7.06 recipe, which required two Staves of Wizardry and a Vitality Booster instead. Obviously, these components were a lot harder to obtain for a support, since they required more gold to purchase rather than the piecemeal cost of Bracers (a combination item in itself).
So, the next time you and your teammates find yourself unable to keep mobile heroes pinned long enough to kill them, consider buying this often-ignored item. You might be surprised just how much easier ganking these heroes becomes after purchasing it. It can even be used to break Linken’s Spheres in advance, allowing for bigger spells like Doom or Duel to take over.
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