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I'm having problems winning a game if the opponent's team has a good morphling player. The problem starts as soon as their morphling acquires one of his core items, Linken Sphere.

The situation gets worse when morphling gets Ethereal Blade with which morphling can kill a squishy support hero in 1 to 3 hits.

What is the best counter to this hero aside from finishing the game early as possible or preventing morphling from farming?

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The best teams in the world right now are having the same issue. –  Decency Aug 27 '12 at 6:51
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@Decency Well, at-least I'm not alone in this issue. Do you think Morphling needs a nerf? –  MegaNairda Aug 27 '12 at 7:59
    
Ethereal Blade is too perfect of a fit on Morphling, I think the hero is fine outside of that. I'd like to see his second skill changed and Ethereal Blade changed to work with a larger variety of heroes. Who knows what will happen, though. –  Decency Aug 27 '12 at 8:05
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Foreword: I am focusing on DotA 2 since i stopped playing DotA 1 for quite a while now.

Offensive

Stuns will hold Morphling in place but wont interfere with his morph ability in any way.

Even Void's Chronosphere cannot stop his health gain.

Therefore you need a silence whether its an ability or an item to counter Morphling.

Important sidenote: Mantastyle does remove Orchid silence.

Naix with Orchid can be good because even if Morphling morphed into strength Naixwill deal more damage.

Clinkz with Orchid works well too because of his burst damage.

Silencer is very good because his Ultimate is not a target spell and global giving your team the opportunity to counter Morphling anytime.

(thanks to Decency for mentioning those 2 in his answer):

Ancient Apparation is another great pick vs Morphling because it prevents all kinds of healing including those from skills or items.

Lion's Mana Drain and Hex can destroy an illusion immediately. Combined with his long disable overall and his nuke he can be a threat at all times especially with Blink Dagger.

Defensive

To protect yourself against the enormous nuke of an Ethereal Blade-Morphling you should buy magic armor and a Mekansm. (Chen's Hand of God can be a substitute for Mekansm. But since you need to heal yourself quickly i would not rely on another players reaction. Having both is even better)

Furthermore BKB and spells like Repel help a lot.

Since EB-Morphling needs as much agility as possible to nuke hard he wont have much HP while nuking. This opens a window for a Blademail that can hit Morphling hard and enables the possibility for a good trade (your support for their midgame-carry)

Since Linkens Sphere is annoying you should pick heroes who can afford wasting a spell to disable his Linkens and have another good stun as a follow up.

For example: Bane, Lion, Shadow Shaman, Shadow Demon, Ogre, Rubik, Disruptor.

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  • Ancient Apparation is widely regarded as one of the best counters counters to Morphling due to his ultimate negating healing (this includes HP gain from morphing to STR).

  • Lion is also a great counterpick as his Mana Drain kills illusions near instantly and his hex allows him to gank effectively if he can initiate, say with a Blink Dagger. Hex is fast enough to be used before STR gain can begin, and his ultimate has a strong nuking presence as well, forcing the Morphling to maintain a high HP total.

That's about it. Riki, Doombringer, and Stormspirit+Orchid with their silences are also notable but much more difficult to pull off.

The hero in general is very top tier right now, being picked or banned in 40 out of 52 games thus far in The International 2 and with a record of 16-10 in picked games. Source.

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hex destroys illusions as well. aa ult got fixed? nice. forgot about that. those 2 are good additions. i will add those to my answer later if thats alright. –  Wandang Aug 27 '12 at 12:18
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Go for it. But don't waste hex like that! –  Decency Aug 27 '12 at 21:06
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@Decency Does AA ulti also negates the HP gain from Armlet of Mordiggian? –  MegaNairda Aug 28 '12 at 3:35
    
@patcol Not sure, pretty easy to test though. My intuition is yes since it functions off the same principle as Morph of adding STR to your hero. –  Decency Aug 28 '12 at 4:46
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