Dota 2: Sven Guide for New & Returning Carry Players

Sven Dota 2 Featured

In every MOBA game, there is one character that can procure immense physical damage. In the world of Dota 2, there are a few characters that can wipe out a whole team with just their physical damage. One of those characters is the fan-favorite, Sven. In this guide to Sven in Dota 2, we’ll discuss how can you maximize your experience playing as him.


Who Is Sven in Dota 2?

Sven Dota 2 Who Is
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The Legend

The son of a Vigil Knight, Sven was born and raised in the Shadowshore Ruins with his mother. His father, whom he never knew, was executed after it was found he was violating the Vigil Codex. His mother was shunned by her tribe until the day she died. Sven believes that honor is found in the self, and not on any kind of societal or social order. And thus, after taking care of his mother until she died, he went to the Vigil Knights to offer himself as a novice. All the while though, he never told them his identity, mastering their arts and learning their codes.

And finally, on the day of him swearing his allegiance, he took the Outcast Blade, the greatest weapon of the Vigil Knights. With said blade, he broke the Sacred Helm in twain and burned their Codex to ashes using the Holy Flame of the Vigil. Then he left, forever in a solitary road, following his code of honor. A Knight, but a solitary, rogue one, answering only to himself.


Type of Hero

In Dota 2, Sven is a melee strength hero with incredible farming capabilities and versatility. He’s an incredible carry hero but is also used as a Semi-Carry or a Position 4 Hero for ganking. This is because of his pretty diverse kit that can be used in any situation, as you will see later in the article. In addition, he’s incredibly capable of farming to a reasonable level, allowing him to catch up to his teammates and still contribute.

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What Are the Skills of Sven in Dota 2?

Storm Hammer

Storm Hammer
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The Rogue Knight has a gauntlet made from pure iron that used to be an heirloom of his Father’s School. Now, it’s used to stun his enemies.

Sven throws out his gauntlet that damages and stuns the target, as well as enemies in a small radius.


  • Has a cooldown of 18/16/14/12 seconds without Aghanim’s Shard and 14/12/10/8 seconds with it. Costs 110/120/130/140 MP to cast and deals 95/170/245/320 damage.
  • Can’t target spell immune units.
  • Aghanim’s Scepter and Shard improve Storm Hammer in various ways. The Scepter increases the ability’s cast range as well as transporting Sven along with it when cast. In addition to this, Sven is disabled, invulnerable, and unforgettable when he’s using this. The Shard reduces its cooldown while also dispelling enemies.
  • Linken’s Sphere only blocks Storm Hammer if they’re the main target of the cast.


Great Cleave

Great Cleave
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The Vigil Knight’s Outcast Blade was stolen by Sven when doing his escape. This blade is capable of rending entire companies of lesser combatants.

Sven’s slash arcs around with great force and impact. This allows him to cleave any enemies with a single strike.


  • Cleave damages enemies with 25%/50%/75%/100% damage. This is increased to 50%/75%/100%/125% when using Talents.
  • Cleave damage is instantly applied to the whole area, even if the visual effect says otherwise.
  • Doesn’t work when attacking buildings, wards, or units allied to Sven.
  • Great Cleave’s Cleave damage is reduced using Damage Block.



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Even if Sven forsook the Vigil Knights, he’s still devoted to his code. Sven roars out a mighty warcry that emboldens his allies and himself. This increases his movement speed and armor.


  • Warcry affects a 700 radius around Sven, lasts for 8 seconds, 11 with Talents, and costs 30/40/50/60 MP. It has a cooldown of 32/28/24/20 seconds.
  • Gives Sven and his allies an armor bonus of 6/9/12/15, with Talents this increases to 16/19/22/25. Movement Speed is increased by 8%/12%/16%/20%.
  • Warcry only affects allied Heroes, but not creeps.
  • The effect also includes Clones, Illusions, as well as Creep-Heroes.


God’s Strength

God's Strength
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The Rogue Knight calls upon the strength that destroyed the Sacred Helm of his order. With this strength, he stands, with no mortal equal able to defeat him and his blade.

Sven channels the strength that gave him the power to do his vengeance. This gives him bonus damage for 35 seconds.


  • God’s Strength gives Sven an attack damage bonus of 120%/160%/200% without Talents. With Talents, it increases to 170%/210%/250%.
  • The bonus only increases the base damage that’s given to Sven’s primary attribute, which is Strength. The Raw Bonus damage from other items is not affected.
  • The ability immediately checks Sven’s main attack damage for any changes. If there’s a change, the buff is immediately recalculated to reflect the change.
  • God’s Strength doesn’t update its existing buff when the player upgrades the Ultimate with the LVL 25 Talent or Levels.


What Are the Talents of Sven in Dota 2?

Sven Dota 2 Talents
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Level 10
  • +15 Attack Speed
  • War Cry Duration 3 Second Increase
Level 15
  • +25% Great Cleave Damage
  • 15% Lifesteal
Level 20
  • +10 Armor to Warcry
  • +25 Movement Speed
Level 25
  • 1.25 Second Increase to Stun Duration of Storm Hammer
  • 50% Increase to God’s Strength Damage Buff


How to Play as Sven in Dota 2? (7.30b)

Play As Sven
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General Play Style

Sven’s playstyle is still pretty consistent throughout the years in Dota 2. Get farmed, get fat, get kills, done. He’s the embodiment of the Strength Stat and is in general a completely unstoppable landslide when fed. This is because his sheer damage output and abilities allow him to tear apart whole teams at once. Great Cleave and Storm Hammer help this as both abilities have good amounts of AoE. Meanwhile, God’s Strength gives Sven the damage needed to turn teams into sliced apart pieces.

Warcry is also a great ability for this playstyle due to the increased armor giving Sven more survivability. Its increased movement speed also helps in chasing down fleeing enemies and ripping them to shreds. To facilitate this “hit fast, hit hard, hit often” playstyle, Sven gets items that increase his damage and strength as much as possible. This allows him to take full advantage of God’s Strength, and then snowball out of control.


Suggested Skill Progression

Depending on the player, Sven can either go for a Ganker or Farming skill progression. Ganking Sven makes use of Battlecry and Storm Hammer to stun and chase down enemy heroes to kill them.

Meanwhile, there’s also the Carry Sven, or more accurately, Farming Sven. This maxes out Great Cleave first to maximize his melee attack damage. Combine that with copious usage of God’s Strength to farm, well, you’ll see Sven rocket to an absolute unit of a Hero that can solo entire teams by himself.


Suggested Talent Build

Sven’s Talent progression is dependent on the playstyle the player is going for. If you’re going for a Ganking Sven, it’s a good idea to increase Warcry’s duration and movement speed, Lifesteal, and God’s Strength’s multipliers. The opposite is true for Farming Sven to an extent, but you’re more focused on getting items to snowball. Thus, getting more attack speed, and increased Great Cleave Damage is key to success. The level 20 and 25 Talents are usually pretty straightforward—just get what you want on level 20, and get the God’s Strength talent always.


Suggested Items

Start of Game

Quelling Blade
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  • Quelling Blade
    Allows Sven to last hit creeps better, helping him farm for more items.
  • Iron Branch
    Gives Sven more stats to help him in the early game. It also builds to Magic Wand, which is why players get this early.
  • Tango, Salve, Magic Stick
    Sven doesn’t have any healing capabilities which makes him vulnerable in the early game. Thus, it’s a good idea to get as much healing as possible, which means Tangos and Salves. You can also use a Magic Stick here for the same effect.


Early Game

  • Boots of Speed
    Helps Sven get to his enemies faster or run away from said enemies faster. Builds into Power Treads later.
  • Magic Wand
    Gives Sven extra stats while also healing him for each charge that it has. Charges are gained by enemies casting spells near Sven and only 20 charges at one time can be held.
  • Morbid Mask
    Helps Sven by giving him lifesteal which heals him every time he attacks. Builds into Mask of Madness and then Satanic later.



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  • Power Treads
    Gives Sven a ton of options when it comes to how he plays. He can increase his HP and MP regen to get back to farming or fighting faster. He can also increase his armor to be tougher alongside Warcry.
  • Blink Dagger
    The initiation tool gives Sven a lot of surprise factors. Pop his God’s Strength and Warcry beforehand, blink to the enemy and cast Storm Hammer, and watch as they turn to little giblets. This item pairs well with Mask of Madness and Echo Sabre.
  • Mask of Madness
    The greatest gift for Sven players due to its lifesteal passive and awesome active ability. For the cost of silencing Sven, he gets increased attack and movement speed. This means he can be incredibly fast if popped with Warcry while attacking faster. Combined with God’s Strength in farming, he can snowball out of control within minutes.
  • Echo Sabre
    Another great item for Sven as it allows him to boost his damage considerably. The item essentially acts like a Critical effect. When paired with items like Crystalys, he can farm so fast. Anyhow, getting Echo Sabre allows Sven to snowball even faster, granting him access to even more powerful items.
  • Aghanim’s Scepter/Shard/Blessing
    More situational than anything. If you’re not building Blink Dagger, it can be used as Sven’s gap closer, while also being a great stun. This gives him the ability to get into the enemy’s supports and kill them instantly, giving his team more leeway. Combined with Aghanim’s Shard, this allows him to dispel buffs from enemies. An example of this is Windranger’s Windrun, which makes her near impossible to hit and to pursue. A simple application of Storm Hammer dispels Windrun, allowing Sven to get his hits in.


Black King Bar
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  • Black King Bar
    Pretty much an essential item for a lot of carries. This item gives them Spell Immunity for a few seconds, making them immune to enemy spell effects and damage. Combined with Blink Dagger and God’s Strength, you can straight up turn enemy backlines into dust while they’re unable to retaliate.
  • Crystalys
    An essential item for Sven that builds into two things that he uses often: Daedalus and Silver Edge. Its main use, however, is the ability to deliver a critical strike, which, combined with Echo Sabre and Mask of Madness, can be incredibly potent. This gets even more potent when combined with Sven’s God’s Strength, allowing him to mow down entire teams on his own in the midgame.
  • Shadow Blade
    The precursor for an item that Sven can utilize incredibly well called Silver Edge. In addition to this, it also pairs with the Crystalys that he should already have bought before Shadow Blade. For now, though, Shadow Blade gives Sven extra damage and attack speed as well as Shadow Walk, allowing him to walk invisible to enemies. This opens up some great ambush potential combined with Blink Dagger.


Sange & Yasha
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  • Sange and Yasha
    Gives Sven several great buffs for the low cost of 4100 gold. It gives him Strength and Agility stats for more HP, HP Regen, Damage, and armor. As well as some status resistance, increased movement and attack speed, HP Regen amplification, and Lifesteal amplification. All in all, a pretty stacked item. However, the buffs tend to be a bit on the low side, which is why there are cases of players skipping Sange and Yasha, or selling it for the gold to buy a new item.
  • Armlet of Mordiggian
    Allows Sven to team fight early in the game. This gives him extra armor, HP regen, attack speed, and damage passively. Its active ability drains 40 HP every second from Sven. However, it gives him more damage, additional Strength stats temporarily, and more armor.
    Do note that this usually gets players killed when they leave the buff too long and they get ganked by enemies. But toggling the item is a good way to stay alive.


Late Game

  • Daedalus
    Gives Sven even more damage as it increases his base damage and his critical damage. Combined with the items we already have like Echo Sabre and God’s Strength—expect Sven to crush low HP enemies with a few swings. It’s not unheard of to hit for almost 3000 damage when Sven is built well with Daedalus and God’s Strength.
  • Satanic
    Another stat buff for Sven, in addition to giving him even more survivability. Its active allows him to regain all of his HP from the lifesteal that he’ll do from his attacks. This makes him incredibly tanky, and he’s a cockroach, coming back to life just to kill the enemy in front of him.
  • Monkey King Bar
    Gives Sven the ability to True Strike, allowing him to hit enemies with high evasion. These include, but are not limited to Phantom Assassin and any Butterfly users. All in all, Monkey King Bar is a good item to get because of the additional damage as well as True Strike. Do note that this is a situational item, get this if the heroes in the enemy team build butterfly, or has innate evasion.


Silver Edge
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  • Silver Edge
    Gives Sven not only invisibility through its active ability, but also extra damage, attack speed, and critical damage. In addition, hitting enemies when invisible Breaks the unit hit, which disables the passive abilities a unit has.
  • Assault Cuirass
    Allows Sven to hit faster while giving him more armor. This allows him to be an incredibly tanky hero while also dealing as much DPS as possible. Overall, a good item to get, but not a priority compared to Echo Sabre or Daedalus.
  • Bloodthorn
    Another stat booster for Sven that gives him more damage alongside a few additional effects. It gives him extra damage, attack speed, intelligence, and MP regeneration. However, its most useful ability is Soul Rend, allowing Sven to silence enemy heroes for 5 seconds.
    In addition to this, Soul Rend also damages the silenced hero with 30% of the damage that was inflicted to them at the time when they were still silenced. In addition, any attacks directed towards the Silenced target gain True Strike and a guaranteed chance to crit for an extra 130%.
  • Moon Shard
    Grants Sven a surplus of extra attack speed when consumed. This item is mostly a pure luxury buy when you want to stick it into the enemy. But it’s still a viable option to increase his dominance.
  • Swift Blink
    Gives additional buffs to using Blink Dagger that Sven can instantly make use of in battle. It gives him extra damage and attack speed for 5 seconds which, in a team fight, is pretty game-changing.


When Do You Pick Sven in Dota 2?

Sven Dota 2
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Players usually pick Sven if they’re confident in their carry or ganking play. This hero is widely considered to be very self-sufficient when given enough time. You can play him as a farming carry, or even a sort of Position 4 Support that can transition into a third Core. This is because he’s very able to catch up quickly even in the later stages in the game due to his Great Cleave, God’s Strength, and Warcry. Combined with lifesteal items, he can easily turn entire jungle stacks to dust, allowing him to get items that make him stronger and harder to kill.


Heroes Countered by Sven in Dota 2


Broodmother’s spiders are incredibly vulnerable to Sven. He can use Storm Hammer to stun them all, before closing in for the kill with his Cleave. In addition, She’s very susceptible to getting yeeted to death by Sven with God’s Strength.



Enigma is an incredibly squishy hero with low HP. This allows Sven to easily burst him down with a few swings of his sword.


Arc Warden

Arc Warden
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Arc Warden’s illusions are easily destroyed by Sven and he usually tends to fight in his bubble due to being a melee hero.



Warlock’s golems are incredibly powerful. However, God’s Strength plus Great Cleave can easily kill them in mere moments. In addition, Warlock’s Shadow Word is easily dispelled if Sven has the Aghanim’s Shard improvement to Storm Hammer.


Phantom Lancer

Storm Hammer allows Sven to stun entire groups of Phantom Lancer’s illusions. In addition, Great Cleave can also turn these illusions, and Phantom Lancer, into shreds. Do note that if Sven hasn’t popped God’s Strength before fighting PL, there’s a good chance for his MP to be drained. This is because PL players tend to build Diffusal Blade, which burns MP.



Sniper usually has a hard time killing Sven due to his high armor. In addition to this, he’s incredibly easy to gank as Sven thanks to Storm Hammer. With Aghanim’s Scepter or blink Dagger, this is trivialized.



Doom’s ultimate doesn’t do much to Sven as his main source of damage is on his physical attacks. True, it might prevent Sven from using God’s Strength, but even without it, he’s still a juggernaut in the late game.



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Sven’s Great Cleave is an indiscriminate damage dealer and will hit all of Meepo’s clones if they’re close enough.



Chen’s creeps are easily killed by Sven thanks to his Great Cleave, and Chen himself is easily killed due to his low HP.


Chaos Knight

Sven is an incredibly tanky hero, making him incredibly difficult for Chaos Knight to burst down and kill. In addition to this, Sven’s Great Cleave and Storm Hammer can easily destroy his illusions, leaving him vulnerable.


Death Prophet

Sven’s Warcry gives him and his teammates extra armor, which reduces the damage Exorcism deals to them. In addition, Death Prophet is incredibly squishy, making her vulnerable to ganks with Sven’s God’s Strength and Storm Hammer.


Counters vs Sven in Dota 2


Lifestealer can easily kill Sven due to his Feast ability, as it deals more damage the more HP an enemy has. In addition, Lifestealer can render himself immune to Sven’s Storm Hammer with Rage and Open Wounds to reduce his movement speed.



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Spectre has an easy way to escape Sven through the use of Spectral Dagger and Haunt. In addition, Dispersion blunts Sven’s damage up to a point and Radiance blinds Sven, making him miss his attacks. Desolate also punches through Sven’s armor. However, a fully slotted out Sven can take out Spectre, so it’s usually a race against time on who gets to be fat enough for the other to take out first.

Also Read: Dota 2: Spectre Tips & Tricks for New Players (7.30b)



Razor’s Static Link can immediately neuter Sven as it drains his insanely high attack damage.



Omniknight’s abilities are specifically made to counter Sven’s. His Guardian Angel can nullify physical damage; which Sven deals a lot of. Meanwhile, Purification heals allies while dealing Pure Damage to Sven, and Heavenly Grace removes/mitigates Storm Hammer’s stun.



Clockwerk’s Iron Cogs ability disrupts Sven’s positioning, potentially making him waste God’s Strength or Black King Bar. In addition, Battery Assault is a real annoyance for Sven, stunning him periodically and not allowing him to bring his massive damage to bear.



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Pugna can make allies ethereal, saving them from Sven’s damage. In addition, his Life Drain can heal allies with low HP at the cost of his own.


Winter Wyvern

Winter Wyvern’s Winter’s Curse can remove any of Sven’s allies in a team fight if Sven is caught in its radius. In addition, Cold Embrace can save any of Winter Wyvern’s allies as it gives them insane amounts of armor while healing them.


Wraith King

Wraith King’s Wraithfire Blast has a low cooldown, this allows him to stun Sven multiple times. This is valuable in a team fight as this wastes Sven’s God’s Strength. In addition, his Reincarnation ability allows Wraith King to outlast Sven, wasting his God’s Strength and giving Wraith King time to kill him.


Templar Assassin

Templar Assassin’s Refraction is a great way to block some of Sven’s dangerous auto-attacks.



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Terrorblade can easily turn the tables on an attacking Sven with Sunder. In addition, late-game Terrorblades are usually annoying to fight as they like to stay in their Ranged Form constantly. This makes it difficult for Sven to close in on Terrorblade, which isn’t helped by Refraction.


Troll Warlord

Troll Warlord on Battle Trance can easily take down Sven if he has equal amounts of farm. In addition, Whirling Axes can be used to blind Sven, allowing Troll to attack him without issue.

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