Bringing Back Armlet

By now many of us have seen the skillful and fortuitous armlet toggling mastery of Dr. Lee:

Before the nerf that no longer granted instant HP for toggling, Armlet was a core item on nearly every strength hero. We saw it often on heroes such as Nightstalker, Sven, and Alchemist when now it is only a situational choice. Today, it is core for a few heroes with life steal, such as N'aix and Wraith King. Even then, professional players have opted for other items. In competitive play for patch 6.81, Drums has overtaken Armlet as the most bought item on N'aix. It has been awhile since we saw WoDota Armlet toggling plays until Dr. Lee reminded us that they can still happen.

Mistakes Were Made

Armlet gives you an opportunity that other comparable strength items do not: it allows you to outplay your opponents. Similar to magic wand, players often underestimate the extra health when they're calculating how much damage it would take to kill a hero. Though you'll have countless opportunities in pubs, we've seen it pro games as well, such as at TI4 when Yamateh's Wraith King, with his ultimate on cooldown, baited iG into a losing fight:

Armlet lost its popularity because of the nerf to it's toggle. While it did hamstring the item, we can see that skillful toggling can still be game changing. Aside from the nerf, Armlet still retains the same stat benefits it's had since 6.78. Armlet is still one of the most cost efficient items for the stats it provides, if you can sustain the HP loss. 2600 gold for +31 damage, 10 attack speed, and 25 strength -- essentially better than a Reaver and Mithril Hammer. It buffs Sven's ultimate, N'aix's Feast, Chaos Knight's Illusions, yet the item has fallen out of favor more than it deserves.

Unconventional Builds

Armlet is most intriguing on Agility heroes. It may seem like a terrible idea to use a core strength item for an Agility hero, but if it works then you're a genius. If we never saw Dr. Lee's auspicious Sniper rampage, we would be flaming every pub Armlet Sniper. We still do, but part of us realize there is some merit in the build.

Armlet is such a cost efficient item that it benefits heroes who do not gain damage from Strength. It still gives a sizable damage boost and health for heroes that require it. Sniper is one of them, with Mask of Madness as core to regain HP loss. Another hero that benefits is Slark, whose passive synergies with the HP loss of the item. Armlet is rarely used on Slark, but it does retain a 54.64% win rate in pubs.

I enjoyed seeing these recent Armlet highlights because it opens our creativity to imagine new item builds. No one item is 100% bad on a hero, nor is another item good, but we often believe that is the case. Boots of Travel on Tinker was once unheard of, and so was Blink Dagger on Slark and Nature's Prophet. Those items are now core. What will be next?

33 коментара
Captain Dawg



      SECOND! to get an anal rape!




          < Grey Face (nospace)

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            5th, and therefore the fucking worst


              "Aside from the NERD, Armlet still retains the same stat benefits it's had since 6.78."

              Spelling error FYI :P

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              Hafla Enjoyer

                "Boots of Travel on Tinker was once unheard of"
                really? then what boots did people choose?

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                  Dumpster Tier All Star

                    Tell you what. Once my pub teammates (and I, as well) get on Dr. Lee's level, I'll stop shitting on snipers for picking up armlet. I mean, once I get done shitting on them for picking sniper to begin with, of course.


                      I need a way to change only Sniper's dialog to the Chinese version.

                      Pathfinders. Sir Isaac Ne...

                        Never Ever try this at home pls.


                          @Shpitzick BoT in Tinker was a thing way before Dota 2, but I'm not sure if there was ever a standard pair of boots before it. Some say threads, some say tranquils and some even skipped and went just for usable items.

                          Witch Doctor Livesey

                            "Boots of Travel on Tinker was once unheard of, and so was Blink Dagger on Slark and Nature's Prophet. Those items are now core". Doesn't make blink prophet good. The reason to get blink is to position yourself and use some abilities that require doing so, which slark does have while prophet doesn't. And who said it was core? Int that case, it should be core on every single hero, including qop and death prophet.

                            If you're trying to do community a service by bringing various underused items to the spotlight, you should probably start with something truly underrated, like vanguard, s&y or rod of atos. Sorry if you already did it and i missed it.


                              Admiral Bulldog says its a core. Only one of the best NPs in the world, no biggy.

                              Doesn't only have to be used to get into position. Its a more efficient escape than Shadow Blade if you're quick enough / ready for whatever gank is coming.

                              I agree that Armlet is underrated..... same goes for S&Y. Vanguard and Atos aren't underrated. People just know when and when not to buy them.


                                When the hell were Boots of Travel unheard of on tinker? That's simply wrong unless you're talking about some really ancient dota times, like 5.xx version era or something, which i don't know anything about. BoTs on tinker were core way before tranquils, arcane boots, or even phase boots even existed.

                                I've actually just found an ancient dotastrategy guide from 2006 suggesting BoTs as a core on Tinker.


                                  in 5.xx era, BoT on tinker was sort of a core item, but not to be rushed. A lot of strategies involved with Tinker were not developed at the time, including ancient farming, stacking, maxing march first, etc. When you get max march by lv 14, you don't really farm faster with a rushed BoT, so the builds were a lot more diverse. Dagger was not a core, while BKB and manta were. You can imagine how different it was back then for a tinker game :-D


                                    Armlet was op because of abuse, now its super bad




                                        "Boots of Travel on Tinker was once unheard of"
                                        Yes, this is true
                                        The player who made the Famous "BOT Tinker" was Ben MERLINI Wu a professional dota player, also known for his mad zues skills And this was way back in dota 1, Soul ring on tinker too was not that popular before 6.71? correct me if im wrong
                                        Now BOT on tinker is the very 1st core item needed by the hero
                                        Merlinu is also famous for his lycan game plays.

                                        just a littlle trivia here

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                                        Mr Meow

                                          why u link datdota instead of dotabuff itself ?


                                            so much flaming..

                                            The Legendary Gideon of G...

                                              armlet broodmother is also legit.



                                                Be aware snipers at my 3k potato lvl. Armlet is not as good as mask of madness first.... derp.

                                                Deep Love, No Web

                                                  Armlet pudge ;)


                                                    ITT: players who didn't play dota back in the day but like to pretend to look smart on these forums.


                                                      If there ever was a standard pair of boots on Tinker before BoT, it was a very long time ago (7+ years) because I never saw that. It certainly wasn't Tranquils, since those boots are relatively new.

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                                                        хуй азазазазаз


                                                          Азаза мамку ебал


                                                            I remember back in dota 1, nobody picked tinker, but if they randomed him, they go mana boots -,- I'm guessing because they thought they could re arm it?


                                                              dude, we used sniper mom armlet back on dota 1, come on, this isn't anything new or genius

                                                              Lester, Moe

                                                                blink isnt core on np or slark

                                                                if u get blink on slark ur literally doing no damage

                                                                30 YEAR OLD DOTA VETERAN

                                                                  If u get blink on prophet its a good combo for dagoon+etherial then blink escape. We always do it in dota 1 but i barely see it in dota 2. Also a good micro for carry build, i jave seen my friend do that and he is almost unstoppable nd jard to catch.

                                                                  Illinois Enema Bandit

                                                                    The old old tinker build was a strange int carry build so treads were the standard, arcane, tranquil or phase didn't even exist then.

                                                                    Some people who played the carry build past 06/07 would go phase when phase boots were introduced they were so OP you could get phase on everything and it would be OK.