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Dota 2 item and build guide - Morphling

Updated on August 2, 2013

"You only miss the water when the well runs dry."

If you are new to Dota 2, be sure to check out my guide for beginners here.

"For dark eons the comet circled. Held in thrall to a distant sun, bound by gravity’s inexorable pull, the massive ball of ice careened through the blackness between worlds..."

Morphling is an Agility hero that heavily relies on his slippery escape mechanisms to fully maximize his carry potential. Unlike typical hard carries, his heavy magical damage scales well into late game, together with his natural physical damage.

Very strong nukes
Short attack range
High Agility gain
Very mana dependant
Lots of escape mechanisms
Item dependant
Very flexible (can change from offensive to defensive)
Low movement speed
[Q] Waveform
[W] Adaptive Strike
[E] Morph
[R] Replicate
Your offensive and defensive ability
Can be used to stun or damage
Can quickly go from squishy to tank, vise versa
Can be used for offensive and defensive purposes
Can be used to farm, kill, escape, initiate
Combos well with your skill set and Ethereal Blade
Doesn't cancel even if you are stunned
Provies great mobility
Has a long ass range
Long ass range
Works well with the damage from Adaptive Strike
Can be used for chasing, escaping, baiting, global teleport, healing.
Can be used to dodge projectiles


  • Waveform:
    • Morphling can't use other abilities or items while in Waveform.
  • Adaptive Strike:
    • Knocks the target back 100 - 300 units.
    • Morphling changes the distribution of stun length to spell damage with his attributes when he initiates this spell.
    • Everything in between the two (agility/strength is 50% higher) is a smooth transition from one to the other
  • Morph:
    • Morph can't convert stats from items.
    • Its passives bonuses gives on themselves 3/4/5/6 attack speed, 3/4/5/6 attack damage and 0.42/0.56/0.7/0.84 armor.
  • Replicate:
    • You can't target yourself with Replicate.
    • When the Illusion is created, this ability is temporarily replaced by another ability until the illusion disappears.
    • The Illusion disappears when you use this ability again.

Skill build


Skill build explanation

Waveform (Q) is maxed as soon as possible for the huge nuke damage. This can be used to farm creeps or even score some early kills.

Having 1 point into Adaptive strike (W) before level 11 is optional. I like having extra utility of a mini-stun for chasing purposes.

Morph (E) is maxed second to increase the rate of stat transfer. This will help you survive by making you tank in shorter amount of time. It also allows you to quickly change from defensive to offensive with conjunction with your Adaptive Strike (W).

Morph (E) vs STATS?

  • Grabbing stats early on may seem reasonable because of extra stats. But you lose so much utility be doing this. You're trading off your extra surviving mechanism just for a bit of physical damage.

After several nerfs to Morphling, his "shotgun" Ethereal Blade build is not as viable anymore. But it can still be useful in situational settings. So I will not include that in this guide.

  • Power treads: Provides stats, and great dps.
  • Linken's sphere: All the stats are great for him, as well as the health and mana regen. Lets not forget it gives you even more survivability with the shield.
  • Manta style: More stats, more damage. Since you have a lot of damage from your high agility, your illusions get ALL of that. Also lets you purge silences off, or dodge projectiles. Even more survivability with this!
  • Black king bar: If you feel you don't have enough survivability in team fights, get this. If not, opt for damage such as Daedalus, or defense, such as a Satanic.
  • Eye of Skadi: Everything Morphling needs. All your illusions benefit from the stats. Allows you to be even more tank with the hudge health boost.
  • Butterfly: Luxury item for extra damage and evasion to top everything off.

Early game:

  • You are a hard carry, so get as much farm as possible.
  • Avoid dying, though it shouldn't be too much trouble.
  • Keep in mind your abilities use quite a lot of mana, so use them sparingly.
  • Morphling's early game damage is relatively high with Waveform (Q) and decent physical damage. If your enemies are quite squishy, consider laning with an aggressive support to grab some early game kills so you can accelerate your farm and reach your late game faster.
  • Getting an early Perseverance from the side shop will solve your mana problems.

Mid game:

  • Participating in ganks is optional. You should still be farming.
  • Always carry a TP scroll in case you need to defend a tower, and many other purposes.
  • Replicate (R) is awesome in this phase. Use it like you would with a TP scroll.
  • Once you have your Linken's sphere and half a Manta, you can probably start joining in on the ganks and teamfights. But keep in mind you will still need more farm to maximize your potential.
  • Try to play Morphling as a "hit and run" hero in the early and middle stages of the game. Which means you want to create a Replicate (R), send it to base/safe area, Waveform (Q) in, Adaptive Strike (W), hit a few times, and escape to the Replicate (R).

Late game:

  • This is your time to shine. Remember that you are the HARD carry, so don't do anything stupid just because you've gotten a few multi kills.
  • NEVER initiate a fight at this time. You need to stay back and win the fight for your team.
  • Try focus down supports in team fights.
  • This is where map awareness comes to play. You have a lot of burst damage potential. So if you see a support out of position, you can quickly burst him/her down and be out of that fight in a matter of seconds.
  • Don't underestimate Replicate (R). Use it on an enemy carry to maximize your damage in team fights and pushes.
  • You'll want agility to be double your strength so your health gain scares the enemy even more when you morph

  • If you don't know how much AGI or STR you should be having, have a look at your enemy or team carry. Try to have as much heath them.
  • Don't be afraid to dive towers if it's a 1v1 lane. You have Morph (E) you can easily tank the tower's hits.
  • A good Combo utilizing all skills would be Morph Agility Gain (E) into Waveform (Q) into Adaptive Strike (W). Morph Strength Gain (E) if things go badly. If the enemy retreats use Replicate (R) then take the place of the replicate or possibly Waveform (Q).

DotaCinema's guide to Morphling

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