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Dota 2 Zeus Guide – Builds, Abilities, Items and Strategy


Zeus has fallen from grace, in recent years. What was once a staple character in almost every public game, has become a rarity. Zeus wasn’t nerfed into the ground, like many once popular heroes. Iinstead, and quite ironically, his popularity was his downfall.

After seeing him in almost every game, the short comings of Zeus became glaringly apparent, and everyone started shutting him down.

His lack of an escape, and pushing nature, makes Zeus very vulnerable to ganks. In order to combat this, you must have impeccable map awareness as Zeus. Luckily, while playing Zeus you command extremely long range nukes, extending globally with his ultimate.

Browse through the guide – Abilities, Skill Builds, Recommended Items and Strategy. For more help on Dota 2, read our Juggernaut, Storm Spirit and Tidehunter Guide.

Zeus Abilities

Arc Lightning

  • Targets: Enemy units
  • Range: 700
  • AoE: 500
  • Damage: 85/100/115/145
  • Effects: Arcs 5/7/9/15 times
  • Cooldown: 2
  • Mana: 65/70/75/80

A wonderful one-point-wonder ability that allows Zeus to make up for his horrendous last hitting ability. This ability simultaneously harasses your opponent, while netting you last hits on creeps.

Lightning Bolt

  • Targets: Enemy units
  • Range: 700
  • Damage: 100/175/275/350
  • Cooldown: 6
  • Mana: 75/95/115/135

When cast, gives vision of the area, 1000 distance in an AoE, in both day and night for 3 seconds. Also, it gives true vision in a 900 area, which allows Zeus to detect invisible targets. Lightning Bolt also comes with a mini-stun, allowing you to interrupt channeling spells.

Static Field

  • Targets: Enemy units
  • AoE: 1000
  • Damage: 5/7/9/11% of the targets current hit points.

Static Field is a passive that procs every time Zeus casts a spell. It’s important to note, that the damage is dealt before the spell he casted to proc Static Field deals its damage.

Thundergod’s Wrath

  • Targets: Enemy heroes
  • AoE: Global
  • Damage: 210 (400)/335 (500)/450 (600)
  • Cooldown: 120
  • Mana: 225/325/450

When cast, gives vision of the area, 1000 distance in an AoE, in both day and night for 3 seconds. It also gives true vision in a 900 area around each target hit. Aghanimn’s Scepter effects are in parenthesis.

Zeus Skill Build

  1. Arc Lightning
  2. Lightning Bolt
  3. Lightning Bolt
  4. Static Field
  5. Lightning Bolt
  6. Thundergod’s Wrath
  7. Lightning Bolt (maxed)
  8. Static Field
  9. Static Field
  10. Static Field (maxed)
  11. Thundergod’s Wrath
  12. Stats/Arc Lightning
  13. Stats/Arc Lightning
  14. Stats/Arc Lightning (maxed)
  15. Stats
  16. Thundergod’s Wrath

Because Arc Lightning’s main use, is to last hit creeps in the early game, and in mid/late game, it’s to proc Static Field, you’ll generally want to keep it at rank 1, for the very small mana cost. In pushing line ups, you may want to consider putting more points into it, over stats.

Go to next page for recommended items and gameplay strategy tips.

On this page, you will find recommended items and strategy tips for Zeus.

Zeus Recommended Items

Starting: 2x Iron Branch, 2x Clarity potions, 1x Healing Salve

Early: Bottle, Arcane Boots

Core: Forcestaff

Situational: Ghost Scepter, Aghanim’s Scepter, Veil of Discord, Refresher Orb, Scythe of Vyse, Magic Wand

Starting items for Zeus are extremely flexible. Basically, you can mix and match whatever regen items you need, with a handful of Iron Branches to cheaply pad out your stats.

Last hitting with Zeus, isn’t done through auto attacking, so padding your stats for last hitting is pointless. Instead, you’ll want to grab a few Clarity potions, so that you can maintain a steady flow of cash, till you can afford your Bottle.

Try and go as light as you can possibly manage with your starting items. The quicker you get your Bottle, the faster you begin to dominate mid lane.

Forcestaff is arguably the best item in the game. The ability to push yourself, allies, or enemies is unbelievably powerful. The fact that it comes in relatively easy to afford pieces, simply makes it spectacular. For a hero like Zeus, who has no escape mechanism, and relies on having large amounts of distance between him, and his foes, Forcestaff is absolutely vital to success.

Ghost Scepter is almost always bought on Zeus, due to the fact that it makes Zeus immune to scary hard carries for several crucial seconds. Combined with Forcestaff, and Zeus goes from being an easy target, to a pain in the ass that nukes very, very hard. Scythe of Vyse, if you can afford, is a natural extension to shutting down carries even further.

If you’re simply stomping people, and survivability isn’t a priority, Veil of Discord is an absolute must buy. It sky rockets your total DPS, to monstrous levels, and if there just so happen to be any other high damaging magical based heroes, then their damage output explodes, as well. After that, Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades your ultimate, and gives you the stats you need to be able to use Refresher Orb, if the game some how doesn’t end before you obtain it.

In case of an emergency, it can be wise to get multiple bracers, to cheaply and quickly beef up your HP.

Zeus Strategy Tips

Laning
Zeus is the quintessential mid only hero. Zeus has no escape, and no utility, making him a massive liability in any of the side lanes.

To last hit, he has to use Arc Lightning, which naturally pushes the lane, making him susceptible to ganks, and doubly more so in side lanes. In mid lane, however, he can bully most heroes around, since they have no one to rely on outside of ganks.

By constantly harassing the opposition with Lightning Bolt, and pushing the lane with Arc Lightning, Zeus normally has full access to the runes, enabling him to gank as he pleases. With the level advantage he gets from mid, Zeus is a potent ganker when it comes to dishing out the damage.

When he has his ultimate, he can often walk into a side lane and kill someone without any assistance required. Though, with assistance, you can easily turn that kill, into a double kill – which is always nice.

Map Awareness
The key to playing Zeus, is having map awareness. Because he has no escape, and is extremely fragile, being aware of where the enemy team is at, is absolutely crucial. Not only that, but having great map awareness, allows you to support your teammates with your global ultimate.

Keep in mind that  Thundergod’s Wrath only kills people bellow 158/252/345 hp. Wasting it is a pretty big deal, so the better you are monitoring fights around the map, and taking note of the enemies hp, the better you will do.

Positioning
Zeus has a much greater cast range, than he does an auto attack range. Because your auto attack animation, range, and damage are worthless, make sure that you’re never, ever auto attacking in large clashes. Keep your distance, and abuse his quick cast animations and long range.

If someone is after you, lead them on a merry chase through your team, with use of Forcestaff and Ghost Scepter (if they’re melee, you take more magic based damage while Ghost Scepter is activated) In team fights, you may have to use Thundergod’s Wrath before, or just as the fight starts.

The reason is, that it will give your team vision, which can help your team avoid a gank. or keep the other team from initiating with their Blink Daggers.

I can’t stress the importance of map awareness enough, while playing Zeus. It’s one of the most important skills to have, while playing DotA in general, but given the fragility and global presence of Zeus, it’s absolutely vital to success.

A Zeus with good map awareness, can easily bully every single lane, leading to a gross experience and gold difference between your team, and the enemies.

Don’t forget to share your gameplay tips and builds with us in the comments below!