With each New Year comes the possibility of a new hero joining the age-old conflict of Radiant and Dire. This hasn’t changed for quite some time now. In 2021, two new heroes were added to Dota 2: Marci and, the more relevant one for this article, Dawnbreaker. Today, we’ll talk about the Dota 2 hero Dawnbreaker, who she is, and the best ways to play this hero. Let’s begin.
Inside This Article
- Who Is Dawnbreaker?
- Dota 2 Dawnbreaker Skills
- Dawnbreaker Talents
- Dawnbreaker Items
Long eons after the Keeper made his departure, the age of light came to be. With this came the first of those that came from the light, made from it, and molded by it. Some of these children see it as their right to take up the mantle that the Keeper left and to beat back the yawning darkness that began to rise from the Keeper’s disappearance.
Thus, they created glorious warriors, armies of light to beat back the Dark. Amongst their warriors was Valora the Dawnbreaker, their best and most powerful. Molded from the heart of a metallic star newly shining, charged with the purest light, Valora stands as their greatest weapon against the Dark. She fights in the vast reaches of the cosmos, bringing light wherever she goes and beating back the Dark with her hammer, Brightmaul.
In time, her masters find a way to destroy the darkness forever, thus sending Valora to claim an essential part of this master plan. Unfortunately, Valora’s might wasn’t enough and she failed. Her masters felt this failure most keenly, as their spark was extinguished, vanishing forever. Valora drifted the void for untold years before crashing on an unfamiliar world, where she lay dormant for millennia.
Then, a chance appearance of a young star breathed life on Valora again. With some measure of her former might at her disposal, Valora awakens to a war-torn world. Though her gods are gone, she remembers her sacred duty, and thus, goes into the fray with her hammer raised high for all that’s good and pure.
Valora is a melee strength hero who uses her hammer to destroy her enemies while supporting her allies. She uses her large hammer to crush those who oppose her, all while her inner light reduces them to mere cinders. For those that are under her protection, they need not fear, as she comes to them when they call for help.
Dawnbreaker can do a wide variety of roles. However, she can do a lot of work in a Carry/Offlane (like Mars in some cases) position due to how maneuverable she is. Celestial Hammer and especially Solar Guardian are great ways to weave in and out of fights as a Carry. In addition, they can also be used as a ganking tool, allowing her to join her teammates in killing an alone enemy.
Now that we’ve talked a bit about Dawnbreaker’s backstory, let’s talk about what skills she has in Dota 2. Dawnbreaker has four skills, and they are Starbreaker, Celestial Hammer, Luminosity, and Solar Guardian. Dawnbreaker also has the Converge ability, but it’s only relevant on Celestial Hammer, so we’ll discuss the two skills together.
The Star Progeny is a wild and quarreling bunch, and some are unwilling to align themselves to the Children of Light. To those that dared to try and defy them, Valora’s hammer is usually enough to crush any sort of rebellion.
Dawnbreaker’s hammer whirls around her thrice, damaging enemies surrounding her with additional damage. On the last strike, she brings down the hammer in a vicious slam, stunning and damaging enemies that stand in front of her.
- Starbreaker costs 80 MP to cast and has a 17/15/13/11 second cooldown. With the Level 25 Talent, she gets 2 extra charges on Starbreaker, allowing her to use it multiple times. With Aghanim’s Shard, Starbreaker gives Dawnbreaker a basic dispel when cast as well as giving her Spell Immunity when she’s using it.
- When hitting spell immune targets, the slow and stun don’t pierce spell immunity. But the damage does. If Dawnbreaker is rooted, her movement is disabled but not Starbreaker’s attack string.
- If Celestial Hammer is used without recalling the Hammer, Starbreaker can’t be used.
- Dawnbreaker cannot cast Solar Guardian while in the middle of using Starbreaker.
- Using Starbreaker causes Dawnbreaker to make instant attacks with the whirling motion of her hammer and its slam. These can proc attack modifiers that Dawnbreaker has except for cleave. Starbreaker also has True Strike, and will still damage enemies if Dawnbreaker’s disarmed.
- Luminosity only gets charged once per hammer swipe, regardless of how many enemies got hit by each swipe.
- Dawnbreaker’s hammer smashes on the last part of Starbreaker stuns her for .2 seconds.
Valora’s Brightmaul is a fearsome and devastating weapon and her only remaining link to her fallen creators.
Dawnbreaker throws her hammer at a target and damages enemies in the way. The hammer will stay in place for 2 seconds before going back to her, which leaves a fire trail. The fire trail slows and damages enemies that are in its path. Dawnbreaker can call her hammer back at any time, and when she does, she and her hammer meet in the middle as she’s pulled towards it.
- Celestial Hammer costs 110/120/130/140 MP to cast and has an 18/16/14/12 second cooldown. Starbreaker and Solar Guardian cannot be cast if Dawnbreaker just used Celestial Hammer and she hasn’t taken the hammer back yet.
- Celestial Hammer travels a maximum distance of 1000/1100/1200/1300 units away from Dawnbreaker. With the Level 25 Talent, this is increased to 2100/2200/2300/2400 units.
- The fire trail that Celestial Hammer creates lasts for 2.5 seconds. Meanwhile, the Fire Trail slow debuff lingers for .5 seconds before vanishing.
- The hammer throw deals 60/90/120/150 damage while the fire trail deals 20/30/40/50 damage per second and gives a 24%/28%/32%/36% Movement Speed slow. With the Level 10 Talent, the Movement Speed slow is increased to 39%/43%/47%/51%.
- The hammer damages enemies and destroys trees in a 150 radius as it travels.
- Celestial Hammer is replaced by Converge, causing Dawnbreaker to dash towards her hammer. Both the hammer and Dawnbreaker will converge in the middle, leaving a Fire Trail while doing so.
- The hammer immediately returns to Dawnbreaker after 2.5 seconds if Converge isn’t used.
- Converge is canceled if Dawnbreaker is stunned, feared, hypnotized, or cyclone.
Valora is heavily diminished due to the nonexistence of the Children of Light. This doesn’t stop her, though, as she’s still able to recharge herself and support her allies through bashing the skulls of her enemies in.
Dawnbreaker gains a charge every time she attacks. After she attacks 3 times, her 4th attack is empowered to deal a guaranteed critical hit. The Critical hit heals herself and all allies in a 650 unit radius around her for 35% of the damage dealt. Hitting Creeps or Neutrals with Luminosity has a 50% healing penalty.
- Luminosity requires 3 attacks on creeps or heroes to power up. With the Level 20 talent, this is reduced to 2 attacks. On the 4th/3rd Hit, Dawnbreaker’s attack deals guaranteed 120%/140%/160%/180% Critical Strike damage. With the Level 15 Talent, this is increased to 160%/180%/200%/220%.
- Starbreaker’s swings give Luminosity stacks once every swing no matter how many enemies are hit.
- Dawnbreaker is healed for 30%/40%/50%/60% of the damage dealt by Luminosity. Nearby allies in a 650 unit radius around Dawnbreaker are healed for 35% of the lifesteal. Hitting enemy or neutral creeps with Luminosity reduces the HP heal by 50%.
- An example of the above would be if Dawnbreaker hits for 1000 damage. With the 220% Critical Strike, Dawnbreaker deals 2200 damage and heals for 1320 HP. Allies around Dawnbreaker are healed by 462 HP. All this is true if Dawnbreaker hits an enemy hero with Luminosity.
- Break effects prevent Dawnbreaker from getting Luminosity stacks. If she already has max Luminosity stacks, it prevents the Lifesteal from proccing, but not the Critical Hit.
Valora relents using the last reserves of energy she has to fly to their defense, only on an ally’s dire need.
Dawnbreaker charges, creating a pulsing effect 500 units around an ally hero anywhere on the map. The pulses damage enemies and heal allies inside with each pulse. After a few seconds have passed, Dawnbreaker flies to the location, stunning and dealing damage to all enemies in the radius when she lands. Once she uses Solar Guardian and is in the middle of channeling it, Dawnbreaker cannot stop this ability.
- Solar Guardian cannot be cast if Dawnbreaker is using Starbreaker, or if her hammer is thrown by Celestial Hammer.
- Costs 150/200/250 MP to use and has a 120/110/100-second cooldown. With the Level 15 Talent, The cooldown is reduced to 100/90/80 seconds.
- After channeling for 1.7 seconds (1 second with Aghanim’s Scepter), Dawnbreaker flies high up to the air. She then lands towards a target location after .8 seconds, damaging and stunning enemies in a 500 unit radius (650 with the Level 20 Talent). Dawnbreaker’s landing deals 130/160/190 damage. The stun lasts for 1.5/1.75/2 seconds.
- When Dawnbreaker is channeling and in-flight for Solar Guardian, her landing location is marked for allies and enemies to see. This location is also beset by several pulses that happen in .5 second intervals that heal allies and damages enemies.
- The pulses heal allies for 45/70/95 HP per pulse which is increased to 60/90/120 with Aghanim’s Scepter. It also damages enemies for 30/50/70 damage. The healing and damage pulses happen in the 500(650) unit radius where Dawnbreaker lands.
- In total, allies are healed for 225/350/475 HP, and enemies are damaged for 150/250/350 damage from the pulses without Aghanim’s Scepter. In total, Solar Guardian’s damage is 280/410/540 damage with max pulse damage and landing damage.
Solar Guardian Notes
- Aghanim’s Scepter gives Dawnbreaker the ability called Solar Guardian Land. The Scepter also increases the amount of healing each pulse gives and reduces the channeling time to 1 second.
- The pulses now heal for 60/90/120 HP per pulse.
- When Dawnbreaker finishes channeling, she flies high up in the air, staying there for an additional 4.3 seconds. She can use Solar Guardian Land to land early or wait for the full duration. If she waits for the full duration, up to 11 healing/damaging pulses erupt from the landing radius.
- In total, with the additional HP and pulses that Aghanim’s Scepter gives, Dawnbreaker now heals for 660/990/1320 HP in total. Damage is also increased due to the increase in pulses, up to damage is also increased due to the increase in pulses, up to 330/550/1320 damage if all pulses hit. In total, the damage dealt with enemies if they stand in the radius for the full duration is 460/710/1510 damage.
Let’s talk about Dawnbreaker’s talents that she’ll get at level 10 and 5 levels after. As usual, Dawnbreaker can only pick one or the other in her Talent tree. Then, when she reaches Level 27 to 30, she can choose the other talent from the level’s tier.
|Celestial Hammer Slow +15%||10||Starbreaker Swipe damage +30|
|Luminosity Critical Strike Damage +40%||15||Solar Guardian Cooldown Reduction -20|
|Solar Guardian Radius +150||20||Luminosity stack requirement -1|
|+2 Starbreaker Charges||25||Celestial Hammer Cast Range +1100|
We’ll now talk about what items to get for Dawnbreaker at specific times in the game. Let’s start with what to get when the game starts, then move to the early, mid, and late game. We’ll also cover what items to get in specific situations and which neutral items to get to help her in dealing with enemies.
- Gauntlets of Strength – Give Dawnbreaker additional strength, increasing her strength, damage and allowing her to build up to Soul Ring. Gauntlets of Strength costs 150 gold to buy if Dawnbreaker wants to buy it early. Thus, it might be a good idea to buy 2 of them. This gives Dawnbreaker additional HP and HP regen, giving her more survivability in the early game.
- Tangos/Salves – Give Dawnbreaker additional HP Regen, allowing her to stay in the lane longer. Combined with Luminosity stacks, and she can be a tanky opponent to fight against.
- Quelling Blade – Gives Dawnbreaker additional bonus damage against creeps, helping her last hit and giving her crucial gold and EXP. It’s not necessary to build Battlefury for Dawnbreaker, so sell Quelling Blade when you have items like Echo Sabre already in your inventory.
- Iron Branch – Additional stats as well as the ability to plant a tree. The planted tree can be eaten with Tangos for extra HP regen.
- Faerie Fire – Additional damage so long as it’s not consumed, helping her last hit creeps. If consumed, Faerie Fire gives Dawnbreaker a burst of healing, helping her stay longer in a fight during the early game.
- Soul Ring – Gives Dawnbreaker additional stats in strength, armor, and gives her HP and HP Regen. It also gives her the ability to have a burst of MP restoration at the cost of her HP. The HP cost that Soul Ring takes from Dawnbreaker can be easily mitigated with Luminosity, as well as the HP Regen that the item gives her.
- Magic Wand – Additional stats, as well as the ability to store charges every time enemies cast spells. When consumed, Dawnbreaker gains a burst of HP/MP restoration for every charge consumed.
- Boots – Universal item for all Dota 2 heroes as it gives them good movement speed and transition towards several useful items. In Dawnbreaker’s case, she usually buys either Phase Boots or Power Treads. However, Arcane Boots is also a popular option so that she can go buy Guardian’s Greaves.
- Oblivion Staff – Additional MP Regen, Damage, Intelligence, and Attack Speed. It’s also one of the items needed to get Echo Sabre, one of the best items that Dawnbreaker can get.
- Sange – Can be picked up to boost Dawnbreaker’s damage as well as her Luminosity healing. Later on, Sange can be fused towards Sange and Yasha, or Heaven’s Halberd depending on the situation.
- Buckler – Additional armor and an aura that gives additional armor to allies. It’s also one of the items needed to create Assault Cuirass or Guardian’s Greaves.
- Echo Sabre – A great item to get on Dawnbreaker because it allows her to quickly stack up Luminosity. This is compounded if she takes the talent that reduces the number of attacks needed to proc the buff. One double attack with Echo Sabre can immediately get her the critical strike.
- Phase Boots – Gives Dawnbreaker additional attack damage, armor, in addition to the ability to phase through units. This allows Dawnbreaker to deal more damage while giving her better survivability and the ability to chase down enemies to kill them.
- Black King Bar – Gives Dawnbreaker Spell Immunity as well as additional stats and damage. Do note that the duration of the spell immunity decays after every use, so use it wisely.
- Blink Dagger – A great initiation tool for Dawnbreaker as it allows her to blink into battle and then use Starbreaker to cause havoc. It’s also great for chasing down fleeing enemies and killing them.
- Aghanim’s Shard/Scepter – Depending on the playstyle, getting either the Shard or Scepter might be a good idea for Dawnbreaker. The Shard gives Dawnbreaker spell immunity when she’s using Starbreaker, while the Scepter improves Solar Guardian. Either can be picked up for any game depending on the playstyle, but overall they’re a pretty solid pickup.
- Blade Mail – Gives Dawnbreaker extra damage, armor, and the ability to reflect some physical damage to the enemy.
- Overwhelming Blink – Blink Dagger with the addition of damaging and slowing any enemies in a radius around Dawnbreaker. The Strength bonus that it gives is also a great thing to have, especially since it translates to more HP and even more damage.
- Assault Cuirass – Gives Dawnbreaker additional armor and attack speed while also reducing the armor of enemies.
- Desolator – Shreds the armor of any hero that Dawnbreaker is hitting, allowing her to deal even more damage.
- Heaven’s Halberd – Gives Dawnbreaker extra stats, evasion, status resists, HP Regen, and lifesteal. Combine that with the ability to disarm heroes, preventing them from attacking Dawnbreaker, and you have a good item to get for her.
- Skull Basher to Abyssal Blade – Gives a really good chance to stun enemies every time Dawnbreaker attacks them. Combine this with items like Overwhelming Blink and an eventual Abyssal Blade stun, and Dawnbreaker will be able to kill enemies pretty quickly.
- Orb of Corrosion -Might be a good item to get in Dawnbreaker’s early game as it gives her extra HP. It also allows Dawnbreaker’s attacks to reduce enemy armor.
- Bottle – A good pickup for those who don’t want to sacrifice HP every time they want to regain MP.
- Satanic – Yet another good item as it gives extra strength to Dawnbreaker, increasing her HP, HP regen, and damage. It also gives her Lifesteal, which can be a really big deal, especially when combined with Echo Sabre. The lifesteal also allows Dawnbreaker to stay in fights longer, giving her the chance to deal even more crits from Luminosity to heal her allies.
- Sange and Yasha – Give Dawnbreaker good buffs to her agility, strength, movement speed, status resistance, lifesteal, attack speed, and damage. Overall, Sange and Yasha is a nice item to get in general, but not that much of an important buy.
- Holy Locket – An upgrade to Magic Wand that allows Dawnbreaker to burst heal an allied hero. Overall, Holy Locket is a great item to have for a soft/hard support Dawnbreaker.
- Mekanism to Guardian Greaves – Another good item to get for support Dawnbreaker is Mekanism to Guardian Greaves as it allows her to burst heal her entire team in a team fight. Combine Mekanism with Arcane Boots for Guardian’s Greaves to also restore some MP for the fight.
- Heart of Tarrasque – Gives Dawnbreaker extra strength for damage, as well as monstrous amounts of HP and HP Regen. Perfect for someone that wants to stay in the fight long and bash people’s heads in. Combine this with Overwhelming Blink for extra shenanigans.
To know how to play Dawnbreaker best in Dota 2, it’s important to know who she can effectively counter and which heroes to avoid. This is also good to know if you find yourself face to face with a Dawnbreaker in the enemy team.
Legion Commander is a hero that wants to destroy her opponent in duels to increase her damage. Unfortunately for her, Dawnbreaker’s Starbreaker allows her to stun Legion Commander mid Duel. This prevents her from attacking and dealing damage to her current Duel opponent, which can be dangerous. In addition to this, Solar Guardian can be used to save the ally that Legion Commander is dueling.
Nature’s Prophet needs trees to be dangerous, with his Sprout being his lockdown ability. Unfortunately for him, Sprout is useless against Dawnbreaker due to Starbreaker and Celestial Hammer destroying trees when used. In addition to this, Dawnbreaker can efficiently deal with Nature’s Prophet in the early to mid-game with a teleport Celestial Hammer+Starbreaker combo. Once she does this, it’s a simple matter for her to use Solar Guardian to re-join her teammates.
Spectre, unfortunately, doesn’t have any way to silence or disable Dawnbreaker. This makes Dawnbreaker especially dangerous to her, as a Celestial Hammer+Starbreaker combo can shred her low HP. In addition to this, Desolate is more useful on lone heroes, which can be countered easily with Solar Guardian. Last but not the least, Dispersion’s damage is easily countered by Luminosity’s Lifesteal.
Drow Ranger’s Gust is very useful in shutting down Dawnbreaker, preventing her from using her abilities, and knocking her back. In addition to this, Frost Arrows alongside Marksmanship’s additional damage allows Drow Ranger to immediately punish an overextended Dawnbreaker. Pelting her with arrows that slow her attack and movement speed and prevent her escape.
Nyx Assassin’s Spiked Carapace can be a useful tool against Dawnbreaker’s abilities. A single Spiked Carapace cast can shut her down from the stun, preventing her from doing anything. This is especially true with Dawnbreaker’s Solar Guardian, but this relies on timing.
Disruptor is yet another good counter against Dawnbreaker due to Glimpse, Kinetic Field, and Static Storm. Glimpse can immediately return Dawnbreaker to where she comes from right after using Solar Guardian. Meanwhile, Static Storm and Kinetic Field can shut her down hard, stopping her from joining fights or even escaping using her abilities.
Master the Dota 2 Hero Dawnbreaker
If you need a tanky carry, offlaner, or support with a global ability, Dawnbreaker is not a bad hero to try out. Her flexibility allows her to fulfill multiple roles and you can even use her skills as a save. By following this guide, you can get the best possible path when learning this Dota 2 hero.