Dota 2’s new 7.28 update brings it ton of new items and abilities to tinker with, but the most exciting addition of all is the 120th Hero added to the pick screen. Hoodwink is an Agility-based ranged Hero that brings crowd control and damage to any team she’s drafted in. Her ability to reposition and pick off retreating enemies opens up new playstyles that have never been seen in the history of Dota.
Hoodwink: an overview of Dota 2's latest Hero
Her Q, Acorn Shot, sends a bouncing projectile that ricochets off enemy units. The ability deals increasing damage as it bounces and applies a 100% movement speed slow. It’s quite similar to Witch Doctor’s Paralyzing Cask, including many of the same downsides. The ability doesn’t prioritize heroes, so if cast near creeps, the less likely the ability is to maximize its damage. That damage is insane by the way; the bounces deal 1500 Magic damage in total at Level four.
The ability can also be floor-targeted to spawn a tree, which brings tons of synergy with the rest of her kit and other heroes. Timbersaw, Windranger, Monkey King, and more can benefit from some foliage suddenly spawning in the midst of a teamfight. Acord Shot already has plenty of damage and a healthy cast range, so the ability will mostly be used to slow down foes in teamfights and clear out creep waves fast.
Hoodwink’s W, Bushwack, can also be compared to existing Dota ability. Windranger’s Shackleshot ties enemy Heroes to trees, but Hoodwink’s spell takes it one step further. The area-of-effect spell will pull all enemy units in range to a tree that is also in the AOE. If no tree is present, the ability does nothing. Acorn Shot can be used for easy Bushwack setups, and a 2.2 stun with 360 damage seems perfect for ganking. A Level 10 Talent lets you reduce its cooldown to a mere 11 seconds, giving it a flat 20% uptime.
Scurry is probably the most interesting ability on Hoodwink. In addition to granting a whopping 32% evasion when near trees, Scurry can be activated to grant a four-second buff that greatly increases movement speed, grants phased movement and allows Hoodwink to run right through trees. The ability also has two charges, letting you get into the perfect position after rushing to the teamfight. Scurry provides both a repositioning tool and an escape option if any Hoodwink players dive too deep.
Finally, Hoodwink’s ultimate ability Sharpshooter grants access to one of the most damaging abilities in the game. After charging for up to six seconds at Level Three, Hoodwink fires a monstrous 1400 magical damage skillshot with an enormous range. This ability resembles Windranger’s Powershot, but requires a lot more commitment for much bigger rewards. This ability seems geared towards picking off maimed opponents as they retreat from the fight. It could also be used to start off a gank, being charged in the trees while the enemy laner isn’t worried about his positioning.
All in all, Hoodwink seems to be a midlane ganker or greedy soft support. Acorn Shot does an insane amount of damage if maxed, and the ability to tie multiple heroes in an AOE to a tree seems designed to torment dual lanes. Scurry’s fast charge time doesn’t make her as mobile as Void Spirit or Queen of Pain, but high damage numbers and a potent ultimate means she won’t have to be in one place for long.
Pro players will be tinkering with Hoodwink builds for weeks to come, but if you want to try her out yourself, there are a few key items to think about. Both ganking and farming builds will benefit from several of the new items brought by Patch 7.28.
The best item's for Hoodwink
If you want to wreak havoc across the lanes as a Position 4, Orb of Corrosion is an early item that greatly increases your gank potential. A constant slow and damage-over-time effect is compounded by 3 armour reduction. Hoodwink’s Level 20 Talent grants a cool 5 armour erosion as well, giving her a Desolator’s worth of armour reduction for not that much investment.
Mage Slayer also seems designed with Hoodwink in mind. Her ideal position will be on the enemy backline, sequestering supports with Bushwack and annoying the enemy cores with Acorn Shot. Mage Slayer cripples any caster's ability to contribute to a fight, so damage-oriented midlaners like Leshrac or Lina can get the rug pulled out from under them by a well-positioned Hoodwink.
Lastly, soft support Hoodwinks could aim for the newly-added Wind Waker as a late-game item choice. Her low Strength gain can make it difficult to survive encounters past 40 minutes, and Wind Waker provides another course of crowd control, a defensive option, a cooldown staller, and even a way to protect your teammates. The item’s passive mana regeneration will be further boosted by Hoodwink’s 2.9 INT gain.