So, I'm somewhat new at DotA 2, and I'm looking to learn of the counter-combination of these two heroes:
Anti-Mage and Shadow Shaman

Previously I have been playing a lot of Storm Spirit (And winning; He matches my preferred playstyle to a T, which is run in, kill, run out), and the other team are looking to play these two to counter me, as Storm Spirit is somewhat squishy and has little escape whilst silenced.
In the game I will have a teammate with me, and we'd like to know what would be a decent counter combination to Anti-Mage and Shadow Shaman. We are going to be playing with bots, 'Normal, Easy, Easy' on each team.

I understand that the question borders on subjective, and I apologise for that. However, I feel it may be helpful to some other players.


4 Answers 4


Anti-Mage is a strong carry and Shadow Shaman a strong disabler/pusher. I assume the two of them are laning together, but if not the same will still somewhat apply. Trying to outcarry Anti-Mage usually isn't a very good prospect. If you're really determined to try to do that, Riki and Slardar are your best options.

Otherwise, you need to have someone strong to harass Anti-Mage when he's at his weakest and slow down his farm. If he's allowed to farm easily for 10-15 minutes he's incredibly harder to deal with in teamfights. You can't expect to kill him, however: blink is too good of an ability. Instead, you want someone who's not going to be threatened by him much in lane.

Shadow Shaman is not a very good babysitter because he needs early levels. His autoattack range, damage, and armor are all low, and so he is easily outclassed by an enemy harasser. Once Shadow Shaman is more subdued, you can turn to keeping the Anti-Mage from getting easy farm.

I recommend Lich or Venomancer for this purpose, but you'll need a lane partner with a stun as well to prevent Shadow Shaman from just gripping you. Anyone with a stun will do, but I'm not sure if the bots will be smart enough to use their stun as an interrupt. (At this point I should mention that you guys should be laning against each other if you're going 2v2 with 3 bots per team, otherwise you're just seeing who's better at taking advantage of dumb bots.) Other heroes like Shadow Demon, Obsidian Destroyer, and Bane can be useful counters to Anti-Mage at various stages of the game because of their spells, while heroes like Leshrac and Death Prophet can push towers and make it more difficult for Anti-Mage to farm.

Countering Rhasta (Shadow Shaman) is a lot more simple. You just need to be coordinated to quickly stop his Shackle, and don't be out of position enough to be Hexed. If you get ward-trapped, either use Phase Boots to walk out or kill one of the edge (not corner) wards and then walk free.

Ghost Scepter and Force Staff deserve special notice as great item pickups against both of these heroes. Shadow Shaman's wards won't be a threat and Anti-Mage can't stay on you (but be wary of his allowing his ultimate to do extra damage with Ghost Scepter). Force Staff also helps save teammates (Force Staff them away from the Anti-Mage, forcing him to commit more heavily for a kill attempt).

tl;dr: Lane Lich and a stunner against the AM. Get pushing power elsewhere. Deny him farm, use Frost Armor/Force Staff/Ghost Scepter in midgame to prevent him from killing people quickly with melee attacks. Push heavily during this time to earn a gold lead and hopefully take a set of Barracks quickly. You don't want to go lategame against an Anti-Mage without a similarly powerful carry like Riki/Slardar/Faceless Void.


In 2v2 you cant really get overwhelmed or ganked so you shouldn't worry too much about hero combinations,just make sure you get first blood and a good start.

You could still play as storm since he is a good counter against rhasta :

  • Even if he manages to catch you inside his ulti you can get out behind him and kill him easy while he has cooldowns.

  • You can harass them them both pretty good in early game.

  • You have a decent disable.

Problem is if you get hexed or shackled you are dead,that's why bloodseeker would be a lot of help :

  • Silence will fix your rhasta problem

  • Rupture is a good disable against maginas blink

  • Bloodlust will let him hunt down any runaways after you nuke them with storm.

If you manage to harass them enough and bloodseeker gets an upper edge over magina the game is yours.

This would make a fun game but you could always use crazy aoe ultimate combinations: Tidehunter+Nevermore,Enigma+Sandking,Earthshaker+Jurnero...

  • I forgot to mention, but we are going to be playing with bots, 'Normal, Easy, Easy' on each team. The bots all seem to prefer picking ranged disablers, does this change much? Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 21:01
  • They will make you some trouble from time to time but bots will mostly cancel each other out,especially since they are on lower difficulties.
    – Mentales
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 21:08
  • Also, I can 100% guarantee that Anti-Mage and Shadow Shaman will be walking around the map together. These people are trolls, and rely on surprise to win. Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 21:09
  • They will probably try to kill the easy bots at some point,if you ward up the map good you can get them instead...Not many hero combinations will help you against a good team of gankers,make sure you always know where they are.
    – Mentales
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 21:18
  • Stormspirit is absolutely not a good counter to Rhasta, it's decisively the other way around because disables are the only weakness of Stormspirit. Bloodseeker's silence is indeed useful but the hero as a whole is quite terrible and will lose to Anti-Mage badly. Consider Death Prophet, Night Stalker, or Drow instead.
    – Decency
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 15:11

Anti-mage is what is called a 'flash farm' carry.

His main asset is his 'blink' ability which combined with his slightly above average auto attack item efficiency due to lower base attack time and a battlefury (which allows him to quickly kill neutral monsters and more importantly minimize his time spent traveling between places to kill monsters [lanes, jungle, ancients] ).

In a competitive environment, normally what antimage's team tries to do is not lose too many towers/die too much and stall for him to buy his battlefury. After he has his battlefury he uses blink on every cooldown when not beating things to death and quickly acquires his manta style and then some combination of black king bar, abyssal blade, butterfly, heart.

Flash farm carries are less powerful when fully equipped than true hyper carries because they have abilities that allow them to acquire money faster but aren't actual combat abilities (for example, Alchemists' Goblin Greed is useless when there is nothing left to buy, Alchemist is also no longer run as a full carry but we're getting off topic now).

For example, antimage's flat damage bonus from his mana burn is much less useful than a damage multiplier like Juggernaut's critical strike. However it's pretty useful against Medusa who relies on mana shield (do not pick Medusa against anti-mage unless you are extremely confident that your Medusa can stall the game 20+ minutes after the anti-mage's team is done stalling the game).

AM is weak against push, especially early since all he does is hit people at melee range and he can't fight until he has battlefury and one more item. He is out carried by true carries if the game goes on long enough like Faceless Void, Phantom Lancer, Spectre.

SS on the other hand is this mostly a pusher who requires levels (level 6 ASAP is crucial) and a lot of down time because his spells are hideously mana inefficient. He sort of fixes AM's problem of being weak to push and needing space to blink around and get rich by dropping his wards at towers and trading towers (since AM is more mobile than every other carry, trading loss of map control is almost always good for him).

Countering SS requires forcing fights so that he wastes his ultimate outside of tower range. His wards do not get any stronger and become incredibly weak as soon as enemy heroes can one hit kill them.

Antimage has no disables and can't do anything if Rhasta is stun locked into death.

Dragon Knight while boring is almost always a good choice and simply a nightmare to fight against by un co ordinated teams. He is incredibly bulky, does respectable damage with his spells and auto attack, crushes towers with his poison and has one of the most terrifyingly long (and undodgeable!) stuns in the game. A DK with a Halberd (4k gold) is untouchable by an AM unless the AM has both a BKB and an MKB (8 or 9k gold).

Storm is fine but you have to buy an orchid and play more to get experienced enough to not overlap the pull and the silence and not run out of mana. Magic wand is a god send against antimages and most heroes in general. Also always jump on him from fog/out of range/invisible/etc.

Hard carry siren with an early radiance and godly Starcraft 2 level macro to farm even more than antimage is a viable counter especially in bot games as well since bots tend to be somewhat disorganized and bad at ending the game. It looks like this and is the most disgusting thing in the world.


In 2v2 I always use Bane Elemental

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