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Huntress.Acral Guide


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Hello and welcome! Huntress is a very fun and unique hero (especially if you consider that 3 of it's skills and it's heroic passive are taken from 3 separate League of Legends champions). Huntress is primarily an attack damage carry, however can very easily fill a hybrid, and sometimes full int spell-caster role. We will first discuss Huntress' strengths and weaknesses, then optimal talent and item builds, and finally early game lanes and mid to late game match-ups to seek or avoid.


Strengths & Weaknesses:


The most important part of any hero guide is to tell you when that hero should be picked and why. Here goes: Huntress is a hero that works best when it is ignored by the enemy team. If they can react quickly, you have a problem. Unlike Nova and Darpa, you do not deal any additional damage on your first attack, which means that unless you get several attacks in a row against the same target, you are not dealing any more damage than say a DPS rancor with the same items. Unlike Nova, Darpa, Muta, or Warfield or the aforementioned DPS rancor, you also do not have a blink or a dash that you can use to run away. Furthermore, any and all debuff immunity instantly stops your W, and disregards the effects of your Q. No matter how fed you get, any hero with mobility + high burst damage can probably solo you. So that means, if the other team has an LZ, Boros, Balrog, Pentos, Ling, Vergil, Cyprus, Rancor, you are going to have a bad day if you don't play conservatively. On the other hand, any hero that relies on getting a lot of attacks in, or has no mobility, you destroy with ease. You absolutely crush all other ranged dps, and a good deal of melee heroes. Huntress is arguably the strongest counter of Grunty and Leo, especially if they attack you close to terrain that you can pin them to with your Q.


Talent, Skill, and Starting Item Builds:


Your skill build is going to be the same every game, no matter what you do. It looks like this:


E - Q - W - W - W - R -W - E - E - E - R - Q - Q - Q -stats - R -stats - stats


Your Q and E base damages scale quite poorly with levels, while W quite well, especially in it's utility. Level 1 E for the most damage, level 2 Q for escaping early ganks, or for a surprise stun/ flank + knock-back in early ganks of your own. Everything else quite self-explanatory.






Your talents and starting items are flexible, but here are a few guidelines:


-Swiftness, Fitness, Fury are non-optional. You take them EVERY GAME.

-You may want to start with Duran's Blade, an outstanding item on any agility hero, and indeed most others. For that you take Wealth, and a choice of Youth or Prodigy, depending on how much you intend to use abilities. Huntress is not a particularly energy-hungry hero, but spamming W in both lane or fights can prove costly. Take the former if you don't intend to get extra energy from items, the latter if you do.

-Veteran is very strong, get it every game. You already have one point in offense, fill the second one with Bloodthirst if you are going for DPS, Cunning if you are going Spellcaster/Hybrid.

-Might deserves special mention. If you are good at last-hitting with basic auto-attacks and/or are aggressive in lane, you want to get this. If you suck at last-hitting, and are going to be passive, don't. Why? You want to attack a creep 4 times to get that superb damage from your E. In a regular scenario, it might not survive long enough for you to auto-attack it that much, which means your passive won't help you with last hitting. By not getting this talent, you ensure the creep takes 45 less damage before your fourth attack, which means it has a greater chance of living long enough to be shot at a fourth time, which will secure it for sure. If your KDR is above 1-1, or you've at least played this hero several times, do get it, you shouldn't need to rely completely on your passive to last hit creeps, I hope.




-if you've started with Wealth get a Duran's Blade, and one of each health potion. Pretty standard Ranged Agility hero start, tried and true.

-Always underrated, but exceptionally powerful is the Soul Engine, my favorite starting item in the game. It encourages last-hitting, gives great sustain, and a surprise 200 health restore for those close fights at early levels. Get it with either a Quantum Spade, or Fusion Blade, along with potions of your choice.

-It is imperative to get a consumable Ward if you are going to the long lane, or pushing short lane or mid lane hard. Huntress has very little chance of escape if she is flanked, so you need the map vision. Also useful offensively. Jungle camps are close to cliffs and walls, meaning your Q is often a 1.25 second stun, meaning you can quite handily murder unsuspecting enemies in their jungle, if they don't know you know where and how low they are.




Main Item Builds:


Before you buy items, you need to consider several things. Firstly, how good are you? Do you remember to use item actives in stressful situations? Do you position yourself well, or do you absolutely need mobility items because you constantly overextend and have to run for your life? Are you experienced enough to go deep and correctly determine if you should engage or not? How confident are you at using your ultimate to get kills? At team fights, do you just A-move the nearest target, or are you capable of more? I shall provide builds for both less confident and more confident players.


The second thing you ask yourself is: what is my team comp? You always want to build something that is different from your teammates. If you already have a couple of auto-attack heroes, don't just build damage, you will all be countered and destroyed by a chilling artifact, Korhal, and a bunch of DST's. If you have a unix or rancor or zeratul, don't build a Shinobi style... they are already buying a Truesight Elixir or at least scans for them, no point to allow yourself to be countered for free too. If your team already has a bunch of spellcasters, you can probably get away with building int yourself, no one buys spell resist anyway, but it's still a better idea to go DPS.... someone has to kill the towers, and it probably will have to be you.


The last thing you have to look at is the enemy team. How many scary tanks? If it's one or less, pyre is not mandatory. What is the range of their burst? If they can kill you before you auto-attack them, a hybrid/int build could be better. How much gap-closing do they have? If they can jump on you and kill you quickly, you don't have the time to wait for your W to tick them away, go DPS. Are they all stacking a particular resist? It's time to get an item that does a different kind of damage. Pretty obvious stuff, but it's more important to mention for Huntress, who can transition between roles better than almost any other hero




Some Huntress specific things:

-Don't go for critical strike items. It is awesome if your 4th attack does crit, but in the event it does not..... crits also require a lot of farm and several items before they are good. Huntress is a snowball carry, and as such can't wait around.

-Lightning Rod. You want to hit a target at least 4 times anyway, and it gives int and weapon speed, as well as damage that scales off of int. If you are going to buy any other int items, this item is very worth it. It might be worth it even if you don't.

-If you lived long enough to auto-attack a target 4 times, then you've done a lot more damage to it than any other ranged agility hero could have in that time. That means your items should strive to allow you to do so. Don't be afraid to buy a purely defensive item after your first or second major offensive one, if you feel you are likely to be bursted down in team fights otherwise.

-Naix Claw: special note for this item, if you choose to buy it. Activate it right before your 4th's strike on the same target, if possible. The highest amount of weapon damage to be multiplied by your E, and the greatest amount of damage for the greatest amount of lifesteal to leech back.

-Stun Knife: if you can avoid getting it, do so. Sometimes you just need it, to keep the target in place long enough to proc E. Otherwise, Q is good enough to interrupt most abilities with a channel time, or better yet displace them so for example Drake ults in the middle of nowhere instead of the middle of your team.




The basic DPS build for those less confident in their abilities. Intentionally only includes one active, which you can activate before combat.


Duran's Blade -> Pyre Weapon Speed component -> Shinobi Style -> Pulse Hammer -> Sliptide Scythe -> Two FoE health components -> complete FoE -> complete Pyre -> Complete Organic Carpace -> one of: Cauterizer/Zenomorph Cleaver




Advanced DPS build for those reasonable certain in their ability to keep themselves alive and properly use actives. Also scoot-and-shoot mechanics are presumed to be present, since FoE is not included in the build. FoE health component doesn't build into anything. You just get it for some health in the mid game. If the enemy has long silences, don't buy more than one defensive active.


Duran's Blade -> Pyre Weapon Speed component -> Shinobi Style -> FoE Health component -> complete Pyre ->Sliptide Scythe -> Naix Claw -> Galactic Defender -> one of: Cauterizer/Zenomorph Cleaver




Basic Hybrid build. Relies somewhat more on spell damage. Again, only important active is Shinobi Style (cerebro is nice once in a blue moon too, but if you forget about it it's not a big deal). This build is quite a bit weaker than the advanced one, though it is easier to correctly use. Switch to the advanced build as soon as you are able to confidently and correctly use actives and better position yourself so you don't need as many defensive items.


Duran's Blade -> Lightning Rod -> Shinobi Style -> Sliptide Scythe -> Argus Crystal -> Nitrogen Retrofit -> Cerebro -> one of Cauterizer/Zenomorph Cleaver/Parallax Generator. Potentially trade in Cerebro for a Gravity Edge or Pyre.


Advanced Build, has a lot more actives and is less defense stats. Greater emphasis is placed on your own mobility, and scoot-and-shooting. Capable of unleashing a very quick and unexpected burst.


Duran's Blade -> Lighting Rod -> Stun Knife -> Shinobi Style -> Argus Crystal -> Yamato Reactor -> Cerebro -> Timesplitter -> one of Cauterizer/Zenomorph Cleaver/Parallax Generator. Potentially trade in Cerebro for a Gravity Edge or Gauss Cannon.





Full spellcaster build. These are somewhat troll.... you shouldn't have more than three int items for optimal use, though with that said, a full int build if you are ahead is very amusing. I only include the advanced build because if you are not confident with yourself, you shouldn't go full int on a DPS hero.


starting items of choice -> lightning rod -> flare gun -> TPI -> Argus Crystal -> Gravity Edge -> Parallax Generator -> Sunflare Gun -> Yamato Reactor -> replace lightning rod with Warp Shard.




Lane Phase


Huntress is a snowball carry with a powerful early game. That means she should be in the mid lane, or at least a lane with strong kill potential. The strongest lane partner for Huntress is Rancor, but any other that can keep a target within range for you to attack 4 time is great. That means, unix, tosh, micro, zeratul, balrog, cain are outstanding. Toxi, Kerrigan, Lz, Justicar, Dehaka are also very good, but they are more likely to force the enemy to tower hug without actually killing them. Boros/Roach/Hydra/Viper can be good, but it's a less certain lane. All others are less optimal, avoid them if you can.


Huntress is powerful in lane, but she has enough counters. You want to avoid certain heroes at all costs. They are overpowered vs everyone IMO, but are especially strong at exploiting Huntress' weaknesses. They are: LZ, Pentos, Boros, Biotron. Avoid balrog, ling, and cyprus too, if possible. A good gap-closer and burst is dangerous, and anyone with a built in debuff imunity is terrifying. Raynor, Immortal and Psionic can ruin your day, but it's a skill match-up and you are as scary to them as they are to you. Cain can straight up outrade you with auto-attacks. Everyone else? Open buffet.


Post-Lane Phase


Not much to say here. Be map aware, your ult gives you global presence. With Shinobi you can solo anyone except the 4 previously mentioned heroes, if you know where their teammates are don't be afraid to attack anyone alone. Flank where possible, and be creative with your Q in 1 vs 1 fights. My favorite play with huntress was when I cloaked and stood still to prevent a shimmer, a grunty walked by me, trying to finish a low hp tower with a small wave, and I Q'd him into it, just as it finished the last creep. In teamfights act like a normal DPS carry like nova, pick a priority target, W and attack them. You can save ult to execute someone, or you can use it when you have the opportunity to spear multiple people. Save your Q until someone gets in your face, it is the difference between easily soloing heroes like Leo, Shadow, and Zeratul and getting destroyed by them.



Good luck, and have fun.

Edited by Doom
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