As someone who was new to Dota-style games, the game of Heroes of Newerth (HoN) seemed fun but there was never a character that seemed to match my personality and gaming preferences. I’ve always been drawn to “Crowd-Pleaser” characters in multiplayer games. This could be “King” or “True-Ogre” from the Tekken series. The multithrows of King and the fire breath/snake-arm of True Ogre seem to make people watching the game who may not even be necessarily playing have a great interactive time. It’s kind of like seeing a pro-wrestling match except better.
Well, it turns out Rampage can be a real crowd pleaser as well. This is especially true if you are the kind of person who has a good sense of comedic timing. Rampage can seriously make people rage, and your friends will have a blast.
To build an “Assault-Style” Rampage, you need to understand he is a set-up, gank, and map-control character. Later in the game he becomes a carry which can play ball with the best of them, but that isn’t until very late, so survivability and escape in the beginning is key.
When I first played Rampage, I thought the best item for boots would be steam boots. My thinking was that the additional strength and attack speed would make Rampage a more effective fighter and tank. That never seemed to work.
Then I talked with a friend from Starbucks who is very good at HoN and he recommended for me to purchase “Ghost Marchers” for Rampage. This is for multiple reasons, Ghost Marchers can be activated for additional speed. This extra speed temporarily increases your damage bonus which is passively given by your “2″ skill. But most importantly, the Ghost Marchers are generally very fast and they allow you to walk through creeps and players on command. This “ghost” ability is excellent for both catching up to prey and for escaping.
My starting items are slightly unorthodox because I choose to get minor totems all around and a shield. If there is only one ward being placed in the beginning, I’ll even sacrifice one of my minor totems to purchase a ward even if I’m middle lane. This is because Rampage is a map control character, if you know what’s happening…you’ll be able to better communicate ganks and set up solid plays.
My first skill that I get for Rampage is the passive stun. This stun is on a cooldown timer and it adds bonus damage and stun/knockback similarly to his “1″ skill.
The beauty of the passive stun is that it allows you to last-hit with tremendous ease. A shield and a passive stun allows you to get creep kills like a pro. The only real trouble character for middle lane would be Arachna, because her slow and excellent range can really punish you for going in for a last hit.
Early game strategy is to simply stay mentally alert and if you’re mid try and get runes if your opponent is going for them. If your opponent isn’t going for runes, you should probably only leave the lane if you see a Double Damage (DD) rune, or possibly if you see Haste or Regen if you know it will give you guaranteed survivability or if the lane is pushed deeply toward your territory and you can get an easy gank with either top or bottom lane.
The first item to build is your Ghost Marchers (which are often referred to as Phase Boots). Then after that rush Shrunken Head (BKB). The few seconds of magic immunity which BKB offers gives Rampage the perfect vehicle for initiating charges (1-skill) and chaining to his ultimate ability. All you have to do is charge your enemy, throw on BKB when you get close…and then chain your target with your ultimate. Then immediate activate your Ghost Marchers and then drag your chained enemy to your friends. At this time I often hold the “T” button and then tell my allies, “Hit this kid!!!” and other anti-social suggestions in order to wake people up and to use their auto attacks. This techqnique I call, “Drag and Drop” because it works so well.
As for your 3rd big item, that would be FrostBurn or “Sange and Yasha” depending on if you’re a Dota player or not. What is important is that you build the agility “Firesword” first as opposed to the ice sword. This is because the fFiresword gives you extra agility and movement speed which affects your armor rating and bonus damage because of your “2″ skill. Also the extra attack speed doesn’t hurt.
Once FrostBurns are complete, you’ll be able to start doing some fun things. Actually, you don’t need to wait for FrostBurns to do these more advanced tactics but they definitely are made easier by the movement slow which is brought on by the ice sword.
Advanced Tactics with Rampage:
If you don’t have your ultimate ready or if you aren’t even level 6 yet. You can still do some amazing things with Rampage. The first tactic is called, “Rhino Assault” because it uses the “2″ skill to play ping pong with your enemies.
First, charge your opponent using the 1-skill. Then if you have enough mana, use your “2″ skill to call the might of the herd. This slows the enemies in a short radius.
This is the tricky part. You will be tempted to immediately hit your opponent again because you know your passive does so much extra bonus damage. But if you are able to mentally hold back, you can actually use the movement slow of your 2-skill to walk around your opponent. You might have to activate your Ghost Marchers for an additional boost of speed. Make sure to use hotkeys because clicking all these activatable items with your mouse is completely nub-style.
After you walk around your enemy while it is slowed, then hit the target back in the opposite direction that it “wants” to go. This is probably away from your team. If you can consistently pull this off, your enemies will have a very hard time escaping when you and your pals are bringing on the pressure.
The next tactic is called, “Gangsta-scape” because you will be allowed to run from a single or multiple enemies and waste a lot of their time without dying. When I do this escape I usually type something like, “BRBZLZ FROM CLAN CZLZ” and the other team thinks that I’m 10 years old. But I’m not, I’m just immature.
This tactic is pretty easy to do, it just takes some guts. When someone is chasing you, run away and make it look like you’re really scared. This is usually made possible by doing dumb stuff like walking in a straight line. But at a time where you’re coming toward a fork in the road or near some line-of-sight impeding trees or elevation, turn around and hit your enemy with your passive stun. You’ll take your opponent off guard because you’ll knock them back. Then activate your shrunken head and/or Ghost Marcher boots and run away.
The final advanced tactic with Rampage is “Map Control” and although it sounds more like a strategy than a tactic, it works for both. Your “1-skill” charge ability allows you to keep “Perma-Sight” on your target, even if they are on the other side of the map or if they become invisible. This is a great way to help allies finish a gank because sometimes in early game, all your allies need is to know where an opponent is going during a level 3 fight in order to get the kill. If you charge in, they might be able to finish the target before you even get there. And if they don’t, you’ll be running so fast you might be able to finish off the dude before he can run back to tower or base.
One piece of advice which I sometimes blunder with myself, would be the necessity to charge from out of the line-of-sight of your opponents. So if you’re going to gank bottom lane and if you’re middle lane, make sure the opponent doesn’t see you begin your charge. A good idea is to make it look like you’re running back to base to buy something and then charge from in between your forward and middle tower. This way the middle lane might omit informing his teammates that you’re missing. And when you open up shop on bottom lane they will be sad little wigglers.
Late Game Items:
Since your 3 primary items are always going to be Ghost Marchers, BKB and FrostBurns…you’re probably wondering what to fill the last 3 slots with. I recommend getting Runed Axe 4th, Rift Shards 5th and then Savage Mace 6th. This is because Runed Axe and Savage Mace and Rift Shards all stack with your passive stun “3-skill” and your 1-skill charge stun. So if you hit your target and proc you stun, you will also have a chance to do critical damage on that bonus damage. But this happens in a radius because of the Runed Axe. To make things more impressive, the Savage Mace has a bonus damage proc which might go off in an area of effect as well. With these items, your Rampage can seriously just turn on BKB and make short work of extremely strong characters.
Of course, that’s a more carry-style build for late game and should only be used if your team already has a tank. If you’re the only STR hero, then go ahead and get Behemoth’s Heart.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and happy Rampaging!