Intro

About

This page chronicles my attempts to utilize Winter Wyvern as as core hero—an idea I think has merit competitively because it would give the hero a new edge in drafting. While she may never be stronger as a core than as a support, I think there will definitely be a point, whether through meta shifts, new item builds, or buffs/reworks, where Wyvern will be used as a core commonly. Maybe that time is now. I aim to constantly update this guide as Wyvern and the meta change. If there's one thing to remember here: don't try to shoehorn a Corevern into just any lineup! Half the effectiveness of Corevern is its drafting possibilities, including surprising your opponents and picking insane cheese strategies like Drow, Troll Warlord, Bloodseeker, etc.

For New Players

Wyvern herself is a somewhat tough hero to learn—her E and ultimate are both unforgiving spells—but the upsides of the hero, especially as a core, are vast. I would highly recommend learning to play the hero traditionally (as a support) first. Once you have a couple games of that under your belt, picking up Corevern is a lot more like learning to play any regular mid hero with a ranged attack and nuke, a bit like Windranger, Shadow Fiend, etc. If you're looking to offlane with her, playing offlane Wyvern is a bit like offlane Zeus, Rubick, Leshrac, etc: not really a thing, but still seen from time to time—heroes who use a spell to CS while staying barely in experience range.

Hero Info

Auroth, the Winter Wyvern

Radiant, Intelligence

Support / Disabler / Nuker

Description

Auroth the Winter Wyvern is primarily played as a support, but thanks to her versatile kit—utility, spell damage, and even physical damage with some items—she can really fill any role the team needs. She really doesn't need items to play an effective, though sacrificial, 5-position support, but with proper itemization can become a fearsome damage dealer from any other role. She has the longest attack range in the game and a very long range on her spells as well: Her Q, Arctic Burn, is a temporary steroid that provides that long attack range, burns away enemy health and provides a free Eye of Skadi-like slow effect, combined with flying movement like Batrider's Firefly (though with no flying vision). Her nuke, Splinter Blast, is costly and cannot damage a lone enemy, but offers among the best damage and lowest cooldown of any AoE nuke in the game. Wyvern's next spell is her heal, Cold Embrace, providing a save against physical damage while healing up your ally, but preventing them from moving or acting. Finally, her ultimate, Winter's Curse, is perhaps the least important but highest skill-cap spell in her kit, allowing a strong Wyvern player to shine by finding clutch saves, kills, and setups. It freezes one enemy while making any nearby allies attack their teammate—the catch being that it also blocks damage from your own team. With careful spell usage and a clever gameplan, you might find Wyvern is a hero well-suited to both a greedy support AND supportive carry.

Lore

Like many great poets, Auroth just wants time to write, but the Winter Wyvern's life is full of interruptions. The epics of the Eldwurms have a long and colorful history, but some fear that the remaining dragon scholars are not as prolific as they once were, with few lines added to the Eldwurm Eddas since the last age of greatness. Auroth laments: "We forget that there is more to life than triumph and dominion over enemies. We must also live our lives in the pursuit of creative expression." She embarks on research expeditions, collecting books for inspiration. But all this research can be terribly distracting, and she spends less time writing than she should. Although she knows she should be lurking in her lair, adding to the Eddas, she finds herself engaged in epic battles against powerful enemies. She loots castles, raids ancient libraries... and if she happens to heap glory on herself in the process, she tells herself that it's merely a side effect of her research. The fact is, while her skill and power on the battlefield are legendary, her scholarly travails have thus far hardly been the stuff of literary acclaim. But she is not content to stand as a protagonist of heroic lore. She wishes also to create it.

Attributes

24 + 2.1

16 + 1.9

25 + 3.1

Movement Speed: 285

Turn Rate: 0.4

Attack Range: 425

Projectile Speed: 700

Vision: 1800/800

BAT: 1.7

Base Damage: 13-20 (38-45 at lvl 1)

Base Armor: -1 (1.29 at lvl 1)

Attack Duration: 0.25 + 0.8s

Cast Duration: 0.3s

Skills

Talents

Level 10: +8 Intelligence or +6 Strength

Level 15: +20 Movement Speed or +50 Damage

Level 20: +120 Gold/Min or -35s Respawn Time

Level 25: -3s Splinter Blast Cooldown or +15% Arctic Burn Slow

50/40/30/20s

120/110/100/90

Q: ARCTIC BURN no target, magical

Winter Wyvern soars upon an arctic wind, temporarily granting her unobstructed movement, increased night vision, bonus attack range, a reduced attack point and increased projectile speed, and applies a debuff to enemies you attack that slows them and damages them for a percentage of their current health. The debuff may only be applied to a target once.

Cast Animation: instant

Duration: 6s

Bonus Attack Range: 275/375/475/575

Bonus Projectile Speed: 500

Bonus Night Vision: 400

Burn Damage: 8% current health per second

Burn Debuff Duration: 5s

Move Speed Slow: 19/26/33/40%

Aghanim's Upgrade:

Becomes a toggle spell, but costs an additional 40 per second. Reapplying the debuff now refreshes the debuff's duration and effect.

7s

120/130/140/150

W: SPLINTER BLAST target enemy, magical

Launches a blast of ice that deals damage to enemies around the target, but not the target itself. The secondary projectiles are slow, but may not be disjointed, and apply a movespeed slow to enemies they strike.

Cast Animation: 0.3 + 1.17s

Cast Range: 1200

Splinter Radius: 500

Damage: 100/180/260/340

Move Speed Slow: 25%

Slow Duration: 4s

24/21/18/15s

75

E: COLD EMBRACE target ally

Encases an ally within a block of ice, freezing them solid while healing a base amount as well as a perentage of their maximum health each second. The ice block protects the target from all physical damage.

Cast Animation: 0.3 + 0.63s

Cast Range: 1000

Heal: 20 + 3/4/5/6% per second

Duration: 4s

80s

250

R: WINTER'S CURSE ultimate, target enemy

Winter Wyvern freezes an enemy in place while striking those nearby with a maddening curse which causes them to attack their frozen ally with increased attack speed. The frozen ally and those cursed to attack their ally are immune to ALL damage from enemies for the Curse's duration.

Cast Animation: 0.3 + 1.37s

Cast Range: 800

Curse Radius: 500

Curse Attack Speed Bonus: 70

Curse Duration: 3.25/4/4.75s

Picking

Why Wyvern?

• Wyvern was at one time considered a very strong support and yet still has always been underutilized as a pick: no one has played her as a core hero competitevely—not even once. Why could this be? It likely has to do with the fact most people think she doesn't have enough to offer as a core. Let's start by taking a look at a few of the frequently overlooked reasons why core Wyvern is worth taking a closer look at:

Raw Stats

• Wyvern has among the best stats in the game: out of 113 heroes, she's tied for seventh highest total stats at level 1 and also tied for the fifth highest total stats at level 25:
• Add to her excellent stats the underrated potential of Arctic Burn as a right-click damage steroid: not only does it grant Wyvern the longest* attack range in the game, it also grants her the lowest attack point in the game. With the right items she can become a potent semi-carry, focusing on attack speed in order to deal as much damage as possible during Burn's duration.
• Wyvern's Aghanim's Scepter upgrade, added in 6.87, also removed the one thing truly holding Wyvern back from being a normal carry in the true sense: a carry whose steroid is only available 30% of the time isn't much of a carry! The obstacle now is itemizing to support its 40 mana per second cost.

Flash Farm

• Splinter Blast is among the highest damage per second AoE nukes in the game, making her an excellent flash-farmer and pusher:
• With 1200 cast range on Splinter Blast, Wyvern has the potential to safely farm AND harass even the most dangerous lanes (plus she can clear jungle stacks). Given space in a lane and some mana regen, core Wyvern can build for surprising damage, mobility and control, with the potential to itemize defensively and a useful +120 GPM level 20 talent to back it up.

Control vs. Physical

• A farmed Wyvern guarantees that you'll have more clutch Cold Embraces and Winter's Curses—both long-range spells but which can sometimes be wasted by an underfarmed Wyvern who gets caught out. This build emphasizes the importance of positioning and the right items to make sure that never happens.
• When played as a Core, Wyvern functions similarly to ranged damage dealers like Drow, Sniper, Windranger and OD, hanging back in fights and itemizing for mobility to survive. Wyvern's niche is her flight over terrain, her BKB-piercing control spell, AND her heal, which allows her to sustain herself in lane, save allies from physical damage and aid in pushing.
• Wyvern is well-rounded but you need to fill in the gaps in her kit with items. The thing missing from support Wyvern—which sets Corevern apart—is damage items.

Synergy & Counters

Strong Against

Physical Damage Carries

Picking Wyvern in general always excels against enemy heroes that rely on physical damage, especially when it's the enemy's main carry. This fact persists regardless of role, so try matching your Corevern up against these heroes even before you know what role Wyvern is.

When Wyvern was added to the game, everyone knew one thing about her: she counters physical damage hard. PA is the one hero archetypal of this effect—if your enemy picks Phantom Assassin and Wyvern is still in the hero pool, it's pretty much a must pick. Cold Embrace destroys the PA initiation, and by extension any hero with a similar effect.

Aaand the other hero that Wyvern arguably completely counters—although not as completely as when the slow from Arctic Burn used to go through magic immunity. Instead, Wyvern is now relegated to just nullifying Omnislash with one skill point, and stunning him through magic-immunity any time Jugg goes in otherwise. There's really only one counterplay for a team with Juggernaut looking to avoid getting wrecked by Curse: Linken's Sphere. Lotus Orb is pretty good against Wyvern too, but your team still gets Cursed.

Ursa is perhaps the single hero in the game most vulnerable to kiting, which is Wyvern's specialty. In lane, so long as you stay away from his slow Earthshock, you won't even need to rely on Cold Embrace. Orb of Venom, Phase Boots, and Wind Lace are all good purchases here. If Ursa gets support, make sure you get Soul Ring ASAP and stay back as far as possible while getting experience and farm. Splinter Blast's range (1200) is just under that of exp range (1300).

Drow relies entirely on physical damage—and hates getting caught out of position. Even though she's quite long-ranged herself, Drow is easily shut down in a fight by Cold Embracing whoever she goes on, OR using her to kill one of her teammates with Winter's Curse. In lane Drow has a pretty sizable advantage here thanks to her range, despite the recent nerf to Drow's base damage making hers comparable to Wyvern's. Overall, this can be a close matchup 1v1. Use your nuke a few times off cooldown to force Drow back (you have to hit her though), and Cold Embrace gives you the sustain advantage as the Wyvern player. Make sure to get Boots and potentially Phase Boots ASAP.

Along with PA, Sven is perhaps the nastiest hero to catch in a Winter's Curse. Watching the Rogue Knight go rogue and bash one of his allies' heads in is always so enjoyable. Make sure and wait for him to pop God's Strength before Cursing one of their squishy supports. 1v1 you can abuse your 2 built-in slows and potentially an Orb of Venom to keep Sven out of cleave range.

Troll does deal a bit of magic damage, but by and large he's going to be chopping wood on someone at some point during the fight. Shutting down the enemy's carry with just one skillpoint in your E is always clutch, but it also means you never have to fear getting aggressive in a 1v1 lane AS LONG AS your teammates have teleport scrolls. Cold Embrace is not always guaranteed to save youe life when a melee carry like Troll is on top of you, but it will always buy you enough time for an ally to come to your aid (if you're near a tower).

Just like all the other heroes in this section, Clinkz suffers heavily when an enemy Wyvern follows him around Cold Embracing whoever he goes on. You don't even have to be a support to TP to save your safelaner, especially once mid-game comes around and you have Boots of Travel (if you're following this build). In a 1v1 matchup, Clinkz is very hard to handle as a Wyvern, but with detection and possibly an early point in Cold Embrace you might be able to catch up in farm once you have Soul Ring, levels 3-5.

Back in 6.83 I started running this build when Sniper was popular, and Wyvern was even stronger. The Sniper vs. Wyvern matchup is surprisingly one-sided mid—in favor of the Wyvern. This advantage extends the whole game, as I found through experience, thanks largely to the fact that you can out-Sniper the Sniper due to your longer range (1000 vs 950), free Eye of Skadi, and significantly better flash-farming ability. The BKB-piercing disable doesn't hurt either. Or the heal to save yourself. Or the fact that you can come at him over trees. It's really not even a winnable matchup for the Sniper if you play it right—he should be relegated to farming from his high-ground and hiding.

Illusions/Summons

Wyvern is well suited to clearing out illusions, so long as they don't get on top of her to start the fight. Cold Embrace lets her escape unless there's a Diffusal Blade or Necronomicon involved, but you want to take advantage of the long range on Splinter Blast and potentially Arctic Burn plus Maelstrom procs to clear out these heroes when they push towards you.

Terrorblade's meager healthpool, compared to Wyvern's actually quite sizable one at level 1, means that this is actually a way easier lane than you think. Especially if TB wastes his Metamorphosis trying to harass you, only for you to heal it off. Just so long as you start battering him with level 2 Splinter Blasts at level 3, he'll be forced back from the lane to heal at the least. That's enough of a win for a hero like Wyvern, so long as you follow through with a gameplan that involves using that lane pressure to snowball and push so TB can't.

Phantom Lancer's illusions aren't that threatening before they can replicate on you while you're Cold Embraced, but after level 6 you might want to be wary of letting his illusions wail on you. The Spirit Lance spam isn't as troubling for Wyvern as for some heroes, since she has sustain from Cold Embrace, but keep in mind that as the game goes on your advantage in this matchup will slip. Unless you have a Magnus on your team to give you ranged cleave with his Aghs, you're never going to be able to scale a Wyvern as hard with farm as PL can push his illusions to be tanky. For that reason, as a Corevern you absolutely want to take advantage of this relatively easy 1v1 lane to shut down an enemy core and begin snowballing through early towers. Coordinate with your team!

Besides the fact that Splinter Blast dominates clumped up enemies (despite the Meepo's increased magic resist), you can never discount the fact that Wyvern's ultimate becomes the "Hey mepo, kill urself" button in Meepo games. If your enemy is brave enough to pick Meepo anything but last, he deserves to lose if Wyvern is in the pool.

The spiderlings Broodmother spawns with her nuke aren't exactly easy for you to clear with your nuke until level 3 (hero level 5), so really this lane comes down to detection once again, allowing you to trade ranged harass on the Broothmother while she probably targets you with her summons early on. Some armor might help in that regard, otherwise just make sure you don't get run down and surrounded. Don't let her have a boots advantage, and stay positioned defensively. Once the mid-game starts to come around and you scale more as a carry, Broodmother's push will start to feel insignificant due to Maelstrom procs.

As far as 1v1 lanes go this one isn't bad, although Naga's somewhat high base damage and high movement speed do mean that you can't do much about denies early on. Once you have the nuking power of level 2 and level 3 Splinter Blast, things will turn in your favor. In the meantime focus on not getting caught out by Ensnare and an enemy support rotation (if she skills it). Once you get Maelstrom Naga can't really push a lane until she has Radiance and perhaps some stats, but hopefully if you're following this guide you won't let her get too fat before trying to end the game. Also remember that early armor can help here against Riptide armor reduction.

Chaos Knight illusions are among the toughest for Wyvern to clear out, but luckily there's only one of them early on. The best plan of action against CK is to avoid getting caught out, so focus on the vision game and wait for him or his team to go on one of your allies, so you can Cold Embrace or Winter's Curse to start the counter-engagement. Once CK gets any amount of Strength you'll find Splinter Blast woefully inadequate to clear out his Phantasm illusions, so perhaps consider a more utility or split pushing type item build.

Chen's mob of creeps is actually pretty easily controlled with Splinter Blast early on, especially the slow when he's trying to run down one of your allies. In general Wyvern's sustained magic DPS from Splinter Blast excels against pushing lineups like those that Chen usually pairs up with, so Wyvern as a support or a core always functions well against him. Roaming Chen ganks can be problematic for a mid Wyvern, but with appropriate wards and TP support you'll be fine. Consider taking Cold Embrace at level 2 for defensive reasons if Chen is still off the map and you fear he might be smoke ganking you.

Like all the other heroes that push with summons, long range magic damage and even Maelstrom procs will clear a Prophet push right out. Nature's might have the advantage at levels 1-2, even if you go for a Null Talisman build, but once you get level 2 Splinter Blast things will change. Like most close lane matchups, if you add an aura like Drow to the laning stage or roaming support you'll do just as well as most other mid/offlane heroes.

Clumped Enemies

These two heroes in particular leave their team vulnerable when relocating them across the map. Take advantage of tightly packed enemies to get a clean Winter's Curse off before your allies start unloading, killing off one enemy before the fight begins and giving your team the initiative going into the teamfight.

Wyvern is a classic IO counter, especially in the days when IO and Tiny were especially frequently paired together. A squishy support that brings his best friend the overfed carry with him everywhere is the perfect snack for our frosty friend. Wyvern can usually handle a 1v2 lane against IO combos so long as she goes for early Boots and potentially more positioning items like Orb of Venom, Phase Boots, etc.

Underlord can bring his WHOLE team with him across the map, unlike IO who only brings one. This makes Underlord an even more convenient target for Winter's Curse, especially because killing the Underlord himself first means taking that annoying aura of his out of the fight (unless IceFrog does first).

Melee Laners

Out of all the heroes Wyvern is comfortable laning against, these are the melee heroes that she's most comfortable against. While some of them may have enough magic burst damage to make your life miserable, this is usually also at melee range, so as long as you're careful you can usually heal back under your tower. Wyvern is expected to be able to go for CS against these heroes as well, which is why these matchups are notable in the first place. Positioning is as crucial here as ever, but you can still hopefully get CS before level 2 Splinter Blast.

Dragon Knight is hard for most heroes to force out of lane at all, but Wyvern has a fighting chance thanks to her abnormally high damage nuke spam plus the percent-based damage of Arctic Burn. Picking up an Orb of Venom and Boots gives you total control of most melee matchups like this, and this is no exception. Pick up some extra mana regen if you need it, and hopefully with enough spam and no enemy support ganks you'll win this lane. Once the game starts to go later, if you keep up with farm your superior range will make Dragon Knight look quite weak. His counter-play potential ranges from Blink or Shadow Blade to get on top of you, to Mek/Pipe and possibly BKB to thwart most of your damage. Once Dragon Knight hits his stride, you need to rely on your team, and possible the DK's (Winter's Curse) to pick off the DK when he's out of position. You'll need a Blink of your own likely.

Brewmaster is fun to play against in most cases because you can abuse the animation on his Primal Split to freeze him in a most amusing pose before he dies, but if you for some reason fail to counterplay the Panda directly in early-to-mid game fights he can nullify your as well. In lane Brewmaster can potentailly spam Drunken Haze to make your life harder, but otherwise he's a very easy opponent.

Bristleback falls into the same category as DK—too tanky for most heroes to harass out of lane. Wyvern specializes in punishing these heroes, infact you can sometimes justify higher levels in Arctic Burn before level 6 just so you can continue spamming it in these situations. Once Bristle gets a few items he'll definitely reach the point where he's too tanky for you to take down alone, but by that point as a Corevern you should also be strong enough to kill his teammates, forcing some teamfights most likely.

When Legion goes for a Duel on your teammate, both Cold Embrace (on your teammate) and Winter's Curse (on the Legion) can be used to turn it. Wyvern is just an all around great hero against Legion, but if you ever get Dueled it probably won't be pretty. Stay far away, behind the trees, and grab those BoTs early enough to shut down the Legion's roaming ganks by always being there to shut her down.

Timbersaw is difficult for most heroes to deal with, but especially in mid where there's fewer trees for him to chain to Wyvern can consider the matchup manageable. Without plentiful trees to run you down, Timbersaw isn't really fast enough to run you down with Whirling Death or Chakram once he hits 6, so as the Wyvern player you should be mostly free to CS, but beware of feeding him virtually free Reactive Armor stacks with your puny right-click harass early on. Phase Boots may be in order if the game looks to remain calm and farm-heavy for the first 15 minutes or so.

Tiny is the classic example of kitable melee hero—too slow to make you pay for poking him, but dangerous enough to give a wide berth. Your Splinter Blast harass starting at level 3 or 4 should be enough to make his day miserable, and hopefully push him back to base, but in some cases Tiny may have a support in lane, like IO or someone with a stun he can throw, like Tusk. These combos make the lane much harder for the Wyvern, but sometimes seeking support help of your own can put you further behind as you'll gain less experience. In some cases, beating the enemy duo-lane to level 3 and using your first few level 2 Splinter Blasts can be enough to start turning things around.

Clockwerk really hasn't seen much play lately, but his gameplan never really changes: regardless of role, he wants to run you down and Cog you in the early game. Whether a core or a support, if Clockwerk is in your game and ends up near your lane, make sure he either won't get the jump on you or isn't faster than you. He's easy enough to zone out otherwise, but don't forget that you can't simply fly over Cogs with Arctic Burn—the knockback will stop you!

Doom is simple enough to lane against 1v1 or handle as a roaming support coming to your lane—once again your mission is not to get caught out by an Orb of Venom Doom running you down before you have at least Boots of your own. If that means missing experience sometimes in order to be safe, so be it. Doom can harass you with his Infernal Blade, dealing plenty of damage, but you have more than enough of your own to trade blows. Doom's low armor also makes him a perfect Winter's Curse target, and denying his ultimate in a fight can be an instant win on its own.

Alchemist is a greedy enough pick that you shouldn't necessarily choose to play Wyvern into him all the time, BUT the matchup does come out rather evenly if the two are left alone. While Alchemist has a farm accelerator to help him pull away, and can do stacks, Wyvern is excellent at withstanding Alchemist's Acid Spray spam by sustaining with Cold Embrace, and deals tons of damage to Alchemist at levels 4-5, enough to potentially force him out of lane. Always save Arctic Burn for the rune spawns when going mid against the Alch, that way you have it to deny his bounty, get some free harass, slow him as he tries to run, and potentially also to escape over the cliffs if his supports show up.

As an opponent Magnus is quite easy to lane against, just so long as you remember never to Cold Embrace anyway that Magnus could safely skewer you back towards his own tower without eating some tower shots at least. If you can Cold Embrace on the highground, at mid, or behind some trees, in the sidelanes, Magnus will think twice about going on you. Splinter Blast matches Magnus for damage per second but not in mana efficiency, so focus on abusing the fact that Magnus has a Bottle most likely and you have a Soul Ring to push in the lanes on the 2-minute-interval marks, forcing him to miss as much experience as you can as his tower kills your creeps while he's off at the rune spot. Then hopefully you'll be free to get the other rune just as he comes back (make sure you account for enemy supports).

Centaur is a tragically easy hero to kite around before he gets level 6, but by the time Centaur starts to get some levels he can be a huge threat to Cold Embraced targets thanks to Double Edge. In general, laning against Centaur means easy CS even if he gets in your face, just stay back and harass him with your spells when appropriate. An Orb of Venom and/or Phase Boots really help if he keeps getting in your face. After he gets Blink and Stampede, Centaur becomes a bigger threat, especially in teamfights, but his stun animation is so slow that you can Curse or Orchid him during it, hopefully leading you to a won fight. Last, but not least, Centaur's HUGE health pool means that Arctic Burn always deals a ton of damage, especially once you get Aghanim's.

Besides Lone Druid's bear being easy for you to burn down with Arctic Burn thanks to the large health pool, Lone Druid himself isn't very scary for you to lane against as a Wyvern. You can mostly sap experience until level 3 if the bear harassment is overwhelming, but hopefully you can use Arctic Burn somewhere in there to punish the Lone Druid as well. Once LD hits level 5 he might be able to catch you out with a well-timed Entangle, but defensive positioning and Cold Embrace will usually be enough to prevent Lone Druid from getting the kill.

Best Teammates

Damage Auras

The strongest Corevern gets is with teammates that buff her physical damage directly. While this is true of pretty much every hero, Wyvern is a unique case, most similar to Sniper, in that she really does have a unique skillset that deserves to be utilized aggressively at times. Between her insanely long range and low attack point, plus the other effects of Arctic Burn, Wyvern is a truly unique ranged carry that reaches her final form when paired with these auras.

Drow lineups are considered very risky these days, but this is a totally unexplored and I think very strong combo. Safelane Drow with early aura points to secure last-hits for Wyvern and another ranged core can lead to some very snowbally early pushing. Drow is inherently squishy and vulnerable, both of which Wyvern can supplement via Embrace and Curse respectively. Heroes with similar damage boosting auras, like Luna and Vengeful, can also fill the role, though not during the crucial laning stage, making Drow the ULTIMATE in support for a Corevern. If I was trying to cheese someone with Wyvern, this would be my go-to combo.

This is the very essence of cheese: a rarely used, recently added Aghanim's upgrade that might be stupidly broken when combined with some other aspects of the hero pairing. Wyvern and Magnus have TONS of obvious synergy besides his new Aghs upgrade, which turns Empower into an aura. Winter's Curse is an excellent setup for Reverse Polarity, and vice versa, but the combo of two high DPS AoE nukes and 1000-range cleaving slowing ranged attacks is equally as compelling. I think Magnus could be a component of a the ultimate Wyvern/Drow cheese draft, but fitting both a core Wyvern and a core Magnus in one lineup likely means one of them has to offlane. An Alchemist could be nice to help Magnus reach a timely Aghs too.

Yeah, sure—Wyvern is also a pretty good counter to Troll. But as far as core Wyvern is concerned, Troll ult is one of the best damage steroids she can get. Free attack speed plus a tank to play off of Cold Embrace and Curse. I'd almost say that push strats involving Wyvern and Troll would be highly successful, one issue you'd have would be who gets the support items, however. Your 3rd core may be forced to.

Venge's aura is simply second to none when it comes to power that scales all game long. Since it's percent-based rather than a flat value, Venge's aura scales just as well as the rest of her kit, which is basically straight utility. Venge is simply the best support you can put with Corevern.

Luna's aura may not be global like Drow's is, but when early teamfights happen especially Luna's static +damage aura is usually stronger than Venge's or Drow's. If you're looking to craft a lineup that pushes hard early, something like Luna Wyvern Beastmaster Chen +1 would work swimmingly. Luna as a safelaner combos well with Wyvern so long as you don't stack Eclipse over Curse. Some kind of frontliner or tank generally helps when you have this many glass cannon damager dealers, too.

Beastmaster is an excellent offlaner to combo with Wyvern as a core, or potentially with support Wyvern too simply because the vision and attack speed Beastmaster provides are always useful. Not only does his Hawk provide a way for you to chase opponents over rough terrain, but the Boar slow stacks perfectly with Arctic Burn and Splinter Blast to make teamfights very difficult for enemy melee heroes to navigate. Beastmaster also excels at pushing relatively early, especially with Necronomicon, which is another Aura perfect for your strategy in all of these cases.

Vision Heroes

Vision is crucial to Wyvern maintaining her ability to deal damage, especially since her range can extend beyond her vision at night and when trees are involved. Arctic Burn may provide flying movement, but without some kind of vision advantage to keep an eye on your enemies, you might find yourself the one being jumped on!

Bounty Hunter is the simplest combo, and sometimes the most effective since he's so great at comebacks. Track provides simple vision over just the target—enough to keep attacking at max range while you chase someone down as they flee. The other two heroes in this section offer a more direct damage increase, however, so consider Bounty Hunter as more of a "standard" rather than cheesy combo. BH + Wyvern was actually a popular support duo especially in China leading up to TI5, and so if you pick one the other is always a good pairing no matter the role. Just focus on picking to counter physical damage as usual.

Bloodseeker is by far the cheesiest vision combo you can put with Wyvern, as once your enemies get under a certain threshold they're doomed unless they can outrun you. Now Wyvern, being a pretty slow hero, can actually suffer in situations against particularly fast opponents, but Bloodseeker himself also counters that with Rupture and his passive. The damage boost from Bloodrage is a particularly safe option on long-range damage dealers like Wyvern, so long as you don't get jumped on. Factor in the aforementioned Thirst UAV radar and this is a very uniquely strong duo, very comparable to Bloodseeker + Sniper but with more utility of course.

Slardar's ultimate Amplify Damage has a dual purpose in pumping up our heroine, the Wyvern, but you can't forget that Slardar has a particular timing and issues of his own. While Slardar's Amp is super-effective at buffing you up as a Wyvern, if he goes offlane and misses his Blink timing, you team can get collapsed on before anyone has the ability to start making space. Picking some space-making supports, and going for a safer, more early-game build as the Wyvern may be recommended here.

Setup Combos

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but merely some of the highlights for the best spells to use right before or right after Winter's Curse. Teammates on this list generally all fit in well with a core Wyvern on the team too, but the main reason to pick these heroes is to reach that critical mass of wombo combo where you can wipe the enemy team with one round of your spells. Try not to overcommit to too many obvious heroes like this early in the draft, or else you might find a clever opponent will draft around you.

If you're looking to open a draft with Wyvern, Dark Seer is the perfect combo pick both because of the draft ambiguity the combo creates and because of the way their skills combo. Dark Seer enjoys the dual slows coming from Arctic Burn and Splinter Blast to run people down, Blus the Vacuum into Winter's Curse followed by Wall of Replica is DEVASTATING. Meanwhile, a Wyvern/Dark Seer opening always leaves you with the ability to flip Wyvern from a support to a mid position— definitely the biggest potential benefit of the Corevern build.

Since there's a slight projectile speed on the Ravage stun itself, Ravage is actually particularly easy to hit after a Winter's Curse because it doesn't have to be so exact. Wyvern, as either a support or a core, can use Curse any time she can catch out 2 or more heroes, and if Tidehunter is in range that's a perfect chain stun. Offlane Tidehunter has great timings to work with you as a mid Wyvern, getting support items like Mek or Pipe to aid in the push effort so Wyvern can focus on damage. If you really need to use Ravage first in a fight, make sure as the Wyvern player to tell your team if you intend to follow up with a Curse next, so they don't waste any spells.

Void is a very simple combo to use with Wyvern, so long as you use it in the right order. Chronosphere does prevent enemies from attacking, nullifying any Curse within its duration, BUT if you Winter's Curse first and use the Chrono as a follow-up, that's the perfect teamfight. Offlane or Safelane Void work quite well with Wyvern no matter the role, but be careful not to Cold Embrace him in situations where he would prefer to Timewalk out. Wyvern's long-range makes it very convenient for her to dump damage into Chronospheres—another good reason for early BoTs on Wyvern.

While the main combo of Sanity's Eclipse after Curse to clean up is easily executed enough (SE is instant), the even better part of this combo is that OD can take advantage of the invulnerable enemies to stack up Intelligence steal from his Arcane Orbs, just like Slark also can. OD and Wyvern work well in a Drow lineup together, just be careful of the obvious counter-picks (Nyx, for one). You can also try to abuse OD's aura with Splinter Blast spam, but that one can be almost too random to rely on.

Phoenix is perhaps the single best wombo combo a Wyvern can hope for—the Phoenix Supernova into Winter's Curse: Moltres and Articuno. Wyvern mid with Phoenix offlane is a fairly risky combo due to their low armor, but could definitely give your team a strong early/mid game. These days Phoenix is more often a support, which works decently well with the slows of Wyvern to run down enemies and burn them with Sun Ray.

Black Hole is a great combo with Winter's Curse since you can very simply just overlap the duration a tiny bit to make sure no one escapes, giving your team up to 8.75 seconds of BKB-piercing disable in total. Enigma is still a strong jungler, making him perhaps the best afk jungler to pair with Wyvern if you're going to go that route. Enigma coming out of the jungle with an Early mek can be game-changing, especially in some kind of Drow push strat, for instance.

With his long duration spells and easily overlappable Ice Path, Jakiro does an excellent job comboing with Wyvern, plus his slow animations won't impact you as much with a Wyvern to set up for him. Blink on Wyvern, for example, lets your slow Jakiro follow up with his Ice Path at the appropriate time after Wyvern jumps in for a Curse. Jakiro's early game is a little weaker than some supports unless you're getting a chance to wail on towers with Liquid Fire, so make sure to go for some kind of aggressive gameplan here.

Naga in general doesn't seem to be as powerful as she once was, but since the combo of Song into Curse remains exceptionally strong we might as well discuss it here. Naga has seen some place as a support and core both, like Wyvern hopefully will one day, meaning that at worst these two heroes are useful to pick together because they don't give anything away. Unless your Naga is particularly fed these two alone won't have enough damage to win most fights, so grab some more wombo combo to go along with what may be the two strongest setups in the game.

In case you haven't figured out the pattern by now: like all the other heroes on this list, Disruptor can drop his area-denial spells, in the form of his Static Storm and Kinetic Field, while your opponents are Winter's Cursed and losing a small amount of the CC or damage is inconsequential. Static Storm in particular is the perfect way to ensure that a slippery opponent like Weaver, Anti-Mage, Morphling or Ember Spirit can't get away from your ganks. Disruptor is perhaps the best in the game at this, so grab him early on when you see such a slippery enemy in the draft.

Puck has both a silence and a leash, allowing him to perform actually the exact same function as Disruptor after the Winter's Curse ends, BUT Puck is a completely different hero who of course should probably go mid or offlane, whichever one is more dangerous (if you're trying to run Wyvern as the other one). Puck isn't quite as reliant as his Blink timing as some heroes, so luckily if you pick a Drow-type lineup with Wyvern and Puck you won't be entirely screwed if things go poorly in the early game. Focus on making space and splitting the map, and your team can definitely compete on physical damage in the late-game.

This one might seem obvious, BUT it's surprisingly effective! Veno's DoT lasts for 16 seconds, so missing a second or two of it just because of Winter's Curse is not big deal. It gives Venomancer a moment to set up wards around the battle, plus Venomancer and Warlock make a disgusting combo and as supports would be disgusting with Drow safelane//offlane Wyern type lineups. Venomancer is just an all around versatile damage dealer, and his ability to grab support items plus even Veil helps Wyvern do her thing.

Perhaps the riskiest combo I decided to list here, Shadow Fiend is an excellent combo with Wyvern both because of all that magic damage he can dump in to a chaotic teamfight right after Curse ends, but also because of the minus armor Aura from Presence of the Dark Lord. The timing of Winter's Curse into Requiem of Souls can be tricky to pull off, but with a Shadow Blade or BKB you'll find that the Shadow Fiend merely has to keep canceling until he knows he won't be early, so long as your opponents aren't going to BKB/blink out right away or otherwise escape in an instant.

Magic Amplification

This section is a bit of stretch, to say that magic amplification alone is why these heroes combo well with Wyvern, but magic amplification IS what they all have in common. Wyvern's sustained magic DPS from Splinter Blast and Arctic Burn's burn can be enough reason to go for these heroes on their own, but you might want to add in some AoE stuns and damage if you want to construct a lineup around magic amplification. Without stuns to help line it up, these heroes tend to fall flat on their own.

As far as supports go, few buff Wyvern's offensive capabilities like AA does. Ice Vortex can amplify Splinter Blast during the laning stage, Chilling Touch with Arctic Burn provides intense ranged harass, and later on Ice Blast onto Winter's Curse is an easily won teamfight. Picking the combo early probably isn't advised, but if you do the enemy may assume that you've just picked your two supports, hopefully leading them to waste some bans and letting you get the support of your choice.

Elder Titan buffs everyone's damage evenly, so to speak, but few heroes put out as much magic AND physical damage as a Corevern does. She benefits from both aspects of the Elder Titan Natural Order aura, plus the additional setup from Echo Stomp makes any team with Wyvern + ET's teamfight off the charts. Be sure to pair them up with even more wombo combo, as the Wyvern and Titan on their own can't really sustain a teamfight for 3 squishy carries.

Undying's ultimate provides an up to 25% damage increase while he's in Flesh Golem form, but the rest of Undying's kit actually suits an aggressive early push style lineup quite well. For this reason Undying and Wyvern as a support duo was even somewhat common back around the Frankfurt Major and OG's golden days. The Tombstone provides an excellent distraction for enemies while Wyvern can plink away at them from long range, slowing them further and creating the perfect chaotic teamfight for a Wyvern to control. Finally, Undying is the perfect hero to build Mek and Pipe in such a lineup.

Warlock's recently buffed Fatal Bonds is actually in many cases more powerful for a Wyvern than Warlock's signature ultimate, Reign of Chaos, now that lower levels in Fatal Bonds are more useful. While early points into Upheaval-based builds have been in vogue some as well, Fatal Bonds plus Splinter Blast and Maelstrom procs, especially when timed with an early push 10-20 minutes in, can be absolutely devastating. Reign of Chaos on top of that might not even be needed in some cases, provided you have other AoE stuns to pair with Wyvern while she cleans up.

Other Combos

These are the other buffers and defensive combos that perform well with Wyvern.

Ogre's main purpose in most lineups, besides running at people and hitting them that is, is buffing up a carry or carries with Bloodlust. This spell seems to just get better and better over time, to the point where it's now comparable to Spirit Breaker's movement speed aura while providing a stronger version of Beastmaster's aura. Just ridiculous. Pair Ogre and Wyvern with some strong physical damage dealers that can easily get on top of enemies and you have a gameplan. Ogre also makes an excellent partner with Wyvern in lane at level 1, bullying out the enemy with dual slows with Ignite plus Arctic Burn.

Invoker can be a bit of a selfish hero with his steroid spell, Alacrity, but if he were to share it with someone else, who better than someone with an even longer attack range? Especially if Wyvern has Aghanim's and thus can cast spells continuously, putting the Alacrity on Wyvern is like giving her a free Mask of Madness plus the same amount of damage (up to 100 of each, max +115 with Invoker aghs). Sun Strike and Invoker's other big nukes like Chaos Meteor into Deafening Blast can be great followup for Winter's Curse... as can Ice Wall/Cold Snap and EMP/Tornado. This combo really goes as deep as you want it to. Boots of Travel 2 onto Ghost Walked Invoker?

Legion Commander doesn't often use Press the Attack in a purely supportive way, but Legion Commander offers a ton of utility even from the support role, enough that you could consider picking up Legion purely to purge stuns off of your core Wyvern and other squishy cores when they get jumped. Press the Attack is a decent buff for Wyvern if she's spitting away, but simply having a Blink on Legion to initiate and frontline can be enough to give Wyvern the screen she needs to deal fatal damage.

Oracle is just a clutch support in general, but the overwhelming amount of synergy he has with many different heroes seems to mean he's always a safe early pick. The defensive combo of Fate's Edict plus Cold Embrace makes one of your allies invulnerable to everything except magic-piercing spell damage, and Fortune's End allows Oracle to kite enemies for Wyvern and help her keep her distance. Oracle has quite the right-click for an otherwise physically weak support, so he's the perfect combo when you want to go for a Drow strategy, plus his ultimate amplifies heals meaning you can also use Cold Embrace on someone who might pop at the end of False Promise otherwise.

Worst Matchups

Lane Dominators

The heroes in this category are the ones that you should probably avoid picking Corevern to lane 1v1 against. All of these heroes have some combination of lane presence and scaling that makes them capable of negating your gameplan as a somewhat weak laner who needs to get levels before she can start to push back and snowball.

Viper is a NASTY hero to lane against as practically anyone, and Wyvern is no exception. His high base damage will force you to attempt some CSing with Splinter Blast before level 3, which is usually only reserved for a lane you're far behind in. Viper's potent slows can ruin your escape plan, which is usually just, "FLY OVER THOSE TREES" or "FLY OVER THAT CLIFF". Lastly, Viper is an annoying target to Curse, since his orb won't affet his allies if he's a secondary target, and he's generally too tanky to burst down during the Curse if he's the primary target.

Windranger is another general lane dominator that excels against a short attack range and low base damage hero like Wyvern. While you can obviously deal with her ranged harass and still get a good number of last hits once Splinter Blast level 2 is up, as usual—when playing against a Windranger as a Wyvern, you'll want to avoid using Cold Embrace while in vision, to avoid giving her easy Power Shots. You may also need to bait out the Windrun in order to land your Arctic Burn, so watch to see if she has it skilled before shooting the first volley!

Storm Spirit used to be a particulary bad matchup for Wyvern in 6.84, but due to recent nerfs he isn't nearly as big of a threat as Queen of Pain. Her huge burst nukes will always make going for a clutch Cold Embrace dangerous—plus in lane it means you'll have to play extra carefully. If QoP goes heavily into the Shadow Strike harass, leveling Cold Embrace early on may be necessary simply to stay healed up and safe. Keep in mind that you out-damage her at levels 3-5, but once she hits 6 you're vulnerable to being burst down. If she doesn't have ult up and you can make her waste Blink, you can definitely get the kill in lane. As the game progresses, an early Orchid is an excellent item to hunt QoP down and potentially force her to commit for a defensive item (which you can then 1-up with Winter's Curse after she uses her BKB/Eul's/Linkens).

OD is, for the most part, the strongest mid you'll encounter these days, largely because he has a strong defensive measure in the form of Astral to ensure your Splinter Blast harass misses, and that if you ever try to run, go on him, or even heal while he's nearby he'll Imprison you. OD's pure damage orb-walking from Arcane Orb can be especially annoying too, as it also goes right through Cold Embrace. OD's ultimate, goes right through Cold Embrace. Just avoid playing against OD when possible. If you have to face him mid, try to coordinate with supports to kill him before he gets to level 3 or so. OD with an early CS lead can slow your own farm with his intelligence steal, and you absolutely need mana to keep nabbing what CS you can.

Silencer is a terrifying opponent both in lane and in late-game teamfights—a fact that pretty much every hero must face. Wyvern is not especially vulnerable—since she can counterplay Last Word by using Cold Embrace on herself—but the Glaives harass is especially hard to deal with without a proper escape. Your best hope is that he doesn't burn too much of your mana with Curse, allowing you to punish him when he gets near creeps. Late-game, attempt to counterplay the Silencer by initiating on him, rather than the other way around.

TA is a devastating opponent despite Wyvern's somewhat useful ability to burn down her Refraction quickly with Arctic Burn, thanks to the superior base damage and of course bonus damage TA's kit offers. She may not be as durable against you as a Wyvern, but she'll still out-CS you by a mile unless you kill her a couple times early. Losing a lane to TA may not be the end of the game if your team can take advantage of your early farm to push before TA gets too far ahead, but either way playing Wyvern 1v1 or even potentially against the TA in general can be dangerous. Wyvern certainly doesn't have a ton of armor, so while she can save allies from TA burst thanks to Cold Embrace, some of the pure damage will still go through, and TA will most likely outlast the Cold Embrace, unless you get off a clutch Winter's Curse. Kiting her with Skadi and Aghanim's in the late-game can can still give Corevern a fighting chance at scaling.

Puck is one of the most frustrating opponents to go against because he will easily dodge your Splinter Blast harassment with Phase Shift. Despite Puck's other aggressive tendencies, his somewhat low health and 500 range means he's more of a fair fight than, say, Lina, who's not even listed in this section. Puck still has to rely on his Illusory Orb to last hit sometimes, and can't dodge an entire Arctic Burn without a misplay by the Wyvern player. Winter's Curse is also really excellent at locking down and killing the Puck during teamfights, so overall the matchup tends to even out after the Puck's power spike right after getting Blink. As a Corevern going against Puck, just make sure that if the Puck gets support in lane, you do as well.

Tinker is a dangerous hero because of his potential high magic burst before he finishes his Boots of Travel, but sometimes Tinker doesn't even go for that build. If the Tinker player goes for Laser + Missiles to finish you off during Cold Embrace, and you let yourself be in vision while you're low enough to die, you deserve it. Otherwise you can hope that Tinker goes for a March-based build and that he doesn't have the mana regen to sustain repeated Laser spam—the main way Tinker disrupts your CS. After you make it through the mid-game and find a Blink or potentially Aghanim's of your own, Corevern is excellent and hunting down and killing Tinker with Curse as a setup.

Magical Burst

Be careful when casting Cold Embrace near one of these enemies—they might have the magic burst to kill you or your teammate anyway! Since one of Wyvern's core skills Cold Embrace blocks only physical damage, you really need to pay attention to the number of magic burst and physical heroes in the draft. If you go for a Corevern but the enemy seems to counter you, it may be wise to rotate Wyvern to a support role. It's usually better to have a marginalized support than a core!

Despite a rollercoaster of nerfs and recently buffs, Lina has always been a dangerous opponent to Wyvern, owed mainly to her high-damage spell combo and longgg attack range, which give her a significant laning advantage even in matchups of equal skill. Laguna Blade goes straight through Cold Embrace—even without Lina's Aghanim's upgrade—thus you really need to watch who you heal during counter-ganks. A clever Wyvern can outmanuever the Lina during the mid-game by using Arctic Burn and to initiate from unexpected angles, but, in general, just having a Lina on the enemy team will always make your life harder as a Wyvern. In a 1v1 mid matchup, Lina's frustratingly long attack range will make your first few CS very painful, but once you get Soul Ring Lina will have to respect you more. The key is really making it that long—you might need to ask for support.

Pugna isn't a direct counter to Wyvern so much as some other heroes with high manacosts, but Pugna's ability to lay continuous magic damage into a stationary target in the form of Life Drain and Nether Blast, plus the continuous damage from Nether Ward while you're spamming Splinter Blast and Arctic Burn, means that Pugna is definitely near the top of your list for most-hated opponents. In a 1v1 lane Pugna is easy enough to handle, but his longer attack range, good damage and high speed means that he's perfectly capable of CSing against you, and may be able to abuse Nether Ward to zone you out of experience range or prevent you from fighting back when his supports gank you. Be careful and keep wards up!

When it comes to quick bursts of magic damage it doesn't get much better than Oracle, so much so that if your Wyvern gets countered by a hero like Oracle you might want a counter of your own. Oracle will save whoever you go on with Winter's Curse by False Promising them, unless you catch the Oracle in its radius, plus he can Fate's Edict you to disarm you or one of his teammates to block a fatal Splinter Blast.

Leshrac is a nasty opponent not only because he can punish you with a stun on whoever you Cold Embraced, but also simply because he's a firehose for magical damage and you won't be able to save anyone who goes near him. Leshrac can certainly be negated through careful initiations, if you can catch him out at very long range, but a Leshrac who's allowed to clean up will make a mess of you as Wyvern. Even though Wyvern wants to avoid buying BKB at all costs in favor of solutions that give more useful stats, sometimes, such as against Leshrac, she might have to.

Morphling can be absolutely terrifying if he snowballs hard enough to just one-shot you or another teammate with his Shotgun (EBlade+Adaptive+Waveform) combo, but even then Wyvern has so much counter-play potential. Wyvern can punish an over-farmed Morphling by making him delete one of his teammates, and save whoever Morphling goes on, both relying on whether Morphling does any physical damage. Just using the Winter's Curse to catch out the Morphling and prevent him from Replicating out can be worth it, sometimes, so long as you have a guaranteed catch for him afterwards.

Lion can be frustratingly random at times because he often just tosses Finger out to kill secure before he dies himself, but in games where a Lion player is smartly targeting their ults onto the Cold Embraced target, you might just find yourself wishing you weren't a Wyvern. Don't fret, though! If the crux of your teamfight truly is the Wyvern's ability to save people with Cold Embrace, then you as the Wyvern player can always go one step further, even as a core, to buy either Glimmer Cape or Force Staff to help save them. Even a Lotus or Linken's could theoretically add to your Embrace. Lion is a particularly good example because all four options would work pretty well against him.

Skywrath's silence as a lockdown can really ruin your day, but luckily there are good ways to itemize to counter it. The real problem here is actually his ult, Mystic Flare, which nearly guarantees him a kill on whoever you Cold Embrace, unless someone physically dives in to divide up the damage, or you Force Staff or Glimmer the target. Whether or not it's your job to buy the support items, making your kit functional is always a good idea, so regardless of role these support items have a place.

Invoker's Sun Strike especially makes Cold Embrace a risky proposition on low health, but even if Invoker went Quas-Wex or Sun Strike is on cooldown, Invoker has plenty of options to punish you for being stationary. Ice Wall, Cold Snap, EMP, Meteor, and even the Melting Strikes from Forge Spirits can make your life miserable against an Invoker 1v1 or in teamfights, so avoid playing the Core Wyvern into it unless your team has a strong plan to win the laning stage, like roaming supports and/or Drow aura.

Standing still against a good Storm can be as good as a death sentence, and for that reason Cold Embrace will often turn dangerous when you use it while Storm's around. As soon as Storm knows you're going to be standing still, he can jump to you and deal all of his magical burst, as well as chain his Electric Vortex into the self-disable of Cold Embrace. Pre level 6 you'll find the lane is way more manageable, since Storm has a rather short attack range and nuke range, so use this time to get ahead on CS and harass him through his high armor with Splinter Blast.

Mirana is both elusive, so you won't ever likely get a finishing blow on the Mirana unless she misplays, AND after she gets levels in Starstorm she can punish you for Cold Embracing anywhere near her. Arrow on its own can be a severe punish for Cold Embrace and lead to you getting killed, but the fact that with Aghanim's she can even deal heavy magic damage through Embrace, means that throughout the game Mirana has a chance to scale well against you.

• Picking Wyvern early can sometimes be useful to draw out specific bans, like Dark Seer, due to her strong synergy with certain heroes, BUT she also has an innate weakness to burst magic damage which can be exploited by a smart opponent.
• Wyvern especially excels against BKB carries and physical damage dealers thanks to Winter's Curse and Cold Embrace respectively.
• As a mid laner, she's suited to pushing lineups that take advantage of her sustain and wave clearing to take towers early and eventually high ground around the 35:00 minute mark. Going past this point, into the late game with Wyvern isn't terrible, but without damage items there's always the risk that Wyvern just misses an ult and gets run over by a team with shorter cooldowns!

Skilling

Levels of Aggression

All these builds are a variant of 4-4-2-2. In general, max Splinter Blast first and Arctic Burn second, always a point in Cold Embrace by level 4, and sometimes you might take a second point in Cold Embrace early because it's such a value point (more than doubles the sustain). Skipping your ultimate is always acceptable if you aren't leaving lane to gank or counter-gank (which might not be a good thing—playing with your team is key to making Corevern work)!

Standard

This build just attempts to skate by with one point in Cold Embrace until level 12, which is actually pretty risky these days with the amount of magic burst some heroes have. At level 7 1-4-1-1 is the standard, but in the following builds I discuss going 2-4-1-0 or 1-4-2-0 as well:

There are some cases when Splinter Blast may be preferable at level 1, to get guaranteed CS in lane if you're saving for a Bottle or straight rushing Soul Ring without a Null Talisman, and RARELY you might need Cold Embrace to save your own life or an ally's, but generally if you're trying to establish lane dominance 1v1 Arctic Burn is your scariest skill. The instant you see your lane opponent, say hello by taking 34% of their health—plus as many souped-up right-clicks as you can—and get that Burn on cooldown.

Maxed Splinter Blast is the greedy build for core Wyverns. Even as a support it can be wise to max your nuke first for kill potential in lane, but as a core it's vital to ramping up your farm. Only spam level 1 Blast 1-2 times in lane—you'll need to stretch a single manapool out until you get Soul Ring.

Level 2 Splinter Blast deals 180 damage—it definitely hurts but not really enough to push most heroes out of lane. Time your Splinter Blasts primarily to maximize CS, but secondarily attempt to hit your opponent as many times as possible. Make sure and place the initial projectile—the one that deals no damage—on a full health creep if possible, so that you push out the lane as little as possible.

In some games you may have to level Cold Embrace earlier to sustain yourself in lane. Level 4 just happens to be the ideal time, since you'll usually be getting it right before your Soul Ring arrives. The combo of Soul Ring→Splinter Blast→Cold Embrace will keep you healed up, give you 2 free CS and set you up for 1-2 more easily, plus your opponent hopefully loses health. Save Arctic Burn for escapes if your opponent's supports are playing actively, otherwise harass away!

At levels 5-7 you are at the peak of your laning power relative to most heroes. While Leshrac, Lina, and Shadow Fiend pack a similar punch at these levels, you excel in teamfight potential with a heal, two slows, BKB-piercing stun, and a top-tier nuke. Hardly anyone has that much utility without items, so make use of that heavy nuke damage by responding to enemy ganks with a teleport scroll.

Level 1 Winter's Curse is short enough in duration—only 3.25 seconds—that you should not expect to burst anyone down from full during it. Not unless you brought a Lina with you. Use it to catch enemies in a clump, out of position, or to keep them from escaping. If you manage to get an early enough Orchid, then that maybe enables you to solo kill. If you go the standard Maelstrom build you'll be nowhere near that point for several levels, so unly respond with TPs to situations that look like sure kills. With Maelstrom you should be able to nearly kill enemy squishy supports from full, but only with two Splinter Blasts generally. Enemies who run past their own creeps as they escape are free kills.

If you find yourself farming up the lane at this point, level 4 Splinter Blast should single-handedly be enough to spam your opponent out of lane. If you find yourself needing more mana to sustain the barrage, make sure to grab extra Sage's Masks rather than disposable items—Wyvern is very much a thrifty hero when it comes to being a core, much like Batrider or Broodmother—a hero that makes exceptional use of cheap utility items.

The only reason to max Cold Embrace rather than Arctic Burn would be as a support Wyvern, so after maxing Splinter our next goal is to max out Arctic Burn usually. The benefit this gives to your ganking is tremendous, and so at levels 9-11 you should be roaming when possible to get ganks off with your newly lowered Arctic Burn cooldown.

By this point you should have enough damage to catch someone out. Buy a smoke if that's what it will take to get a kill here, but once you hit your Boots of Travel timing especially you're free to start applying pressure to the enemy and group up with your team to push towers.

Level 10 presents a conundrum for most heroes now because at level 10 you get your first choice of talents. For Wyvern specifically, neither of her level 10 Talents is particularly strong enough to warrant picking up before maxing out Arctic Burn.

Plus Strength talents like these on non-Strength heroes are primarily for when you're behind and need to avoid feeding. If this is happening to you as a Corever, something has gone horribly wrong.

+8 Intelligence isn't much, but it's +8 damage, +0.5% spell amplification and +96 mana so it's certainly the more aggressive choice. Putting it off until level 14 may not be the worst idea in some games, but I think the upside of getting Cold Embrace points a little sooner is fairly low.

Level 2 Winter's Curse provides you with 4 seconds of disable, and at this point your enemies should probably know not to get caught out by you. Consider a pickup like Blink Dagger to catch your enemies off guard even further. Curse may not be your single biggest contribution in a fight like it used to be, but if you're not getting free kills with it it's definitely worth leveling up.

Leveling up Cold Embrace increases your chances of surviving if things go South and you need to Embrace yourself. It's okay—it happens to the best of us sometimes. Just remember that the first point is the biggest value, since it DOUBLES in effect. Further points double again, but at a 50% and 33% incremental increase respectively, so there's no good argument for taking more than one additional point in Embrace before maxing Q and W.

Movement Speed on Wyvern makes much more sense as a support, where you're expecting to be run down. This talent choice reflects that.

As far as offensive power level 15 is your biggest single spike, with +50 damage being the obvious choice any time you're also planning to build damage items. Wyvern may be a painfully slow hero, but you can learn to live without movement speed—being underfarmed and becoming irrelevant as a Corevern is death and will certainly lose your team the game, so damage has to come first.

Formerly the level where you got level 3 ultimate, you now get to finish off maxing your last spell, Cold Embrace, at level 16. By this point you should be cresting the peak of your power and hopefully have starting making progress to taking map control and have a shot at breaching high-ground in the near future. If Wyvern is behind when she gets her level 20 GPM talent it's hard to imagine her coming from behind to beat a more traditional carry.

Finally your ultimate reaches peak power, but really max Winter's Curse is now ways near as big of a deal as it used to be. The long 4.75s duration makes it easy to kill enemies in games where Curse is working for you already, but no amount of bonus Curse duration will turn around a game where Wyvern simply hasn't been effective already.

Respawn time is a support talent for the most part, something you take when you expect to die a lot. Don't die a lot. Your other level 20 talent is perhaps the best talent you have.

120 Gold per Minute is exactly as good as it sounds on a hero like Wyvern: despite the fact that you farm pretty well with this build already, it makes you have enough extra money that you'll find damage items like nothing any time you're doing remotely well. If you're already losing the game it probably won't save you, but 120 GPM should make a difference within 5-10 minutes if you can use Splinter Blast to hold on.

+15% Arctic Burn slow is strong, but even moreso in the right situation and when combined with Eye of Skadi. Without a good reason to need more slow, I tend to go for the increased damage output and pushing from Splinter Blast cooldown instead.

Level 25 is definitely the hardest choice, because both options are so good, but in general the damage potential of more Splinter Blast outweighs the Arctic Burn slow unless you're dealing with kitable melee enemies like Ursa, Wraith King, etc. The -3s Splinter Blast cooldown has applications against creeps as well as against heroes, meaning you'll be able to draw out the game longer if that's something you're interested in. Just be aware that if you don't have the mana regen to support the reduced cooldown, you might as well go for the Arctic Burn slow talent.

Aggressive/Extended Laning

When it comes to skill builds for Core Wyvern, they've become more flexible over time as I realized that Winter's Curse is no longer the centerpiece of Wyvern's kit. Despite it being your ultimate, and a BKB-piercing stun, sometimes you might want to skip Winter's Curse until as late as level 11! This would be mainly in 1v1 lanes where farming, zoning your enemy and sustain are your priority, in that order—not because you're bad at using Curse! If you end up rotating to gank or counter-gank, you usually take a point in Winter's Curse:

Taking an additional point in Arctic Burn at level 6 is the most aggressive possible option, but it only really gets you an advantage over Winter's Curse when you're planning to use the spell off cooldown (and have the mana regen to support it along with Splinter Blast) or when you just won't be using Winter's Curse anyway. Winter's Curse may not be useful to you if your opponents are too tanky, won't clump up or don't have enough damage to kill with. But sometimes Winter's Curse has a purpose as a set-up—while as a Corevern you generally want to use Curse to get kills when you can, the complicated nature of this level 6 decision means that it mostly determines your pacing for the rest of the mid-game.

More Sustain = Stay in Lane

Besides the more aggressive adjustments you can make, taking an additional point in Cold Embrace early can make a huge difference in whether you get to stay in lane and hit that crucial level 9 faster, or whether you're forced back to base for mana and health. Level 2 Cold embrace offers the biggest single point improvement in amount of healing: from level 1 to level 2 is a 33% improvement, while level 3 and 4 are 25% and 20% increase respectively. Interestingly, IceFrog has balanced the skill so that the healing per second increase from level 1 through level 4 Cold Embrace is constant (roughly 38% per level):

Taking another point in Cold Embrace early seems defensive at first, but being able to stay healed up that much higher also means you can afford to play more aggressively and soak up that much more harass. Especially as a safelane or crossover support Wyvern this type of build might make sense. Same as with leveling Arctic Burn at level 6, however, you need to be sure that you won't need Winter's Curse before going for this greedy option. If you anticipate that the laning stage will last longer than usual because neither team can effectively find ganks, for example.

Building

Starting

Solo Lane

The combination of three things Wyvern desperately needs to win a 1v1 matchup—armor, mana regen, and damage—makes Ring of Basilius a surprisingly good starting item on Wyvern. While I used to recommend Null Talisman here instead, now that 7.00 has given us Shrines you may not even want to build a Soul Ring at all (plus Bottle is way more useful). Having the +.65 static mana regen from minute 0 has a nearly guaranteed payoff over the length of most games.

or
Soul Ring Rush

With the buffs to Mango in 7.00 you could actually buy one more Mango here to start! But I don't necessarily think you need it if you're able to get a Bounty Rune, which nearly guarantees you'll finish Soul Ring before your level 3 arrives and you get Level 2 Splinter Blast. Rushing Soul Ring is mainly reserved for dangerous solo offlanes or dual offlanes, where in both cases you'll be threatened from minute 0 and won't last hit much before you have the mana regen to spam Splinter.

Early Game Priorities:

• Mana Regen

• Movement Speed

• Enough Damage

Support

Urn is a convenient item for roaming and ganking heroes, so if you start the game as a roaming support this item may appeal to you much more than a Drum, especially since unlike most Wyverns I wouldn't go Tranquils even as a support usually.

Medallion is the perfect item for a support whose mind is on Roshan, and/or whose teammates do mostly physical damage. If you know you'll be transitioning to a core Wyvern later on in the game, Medallion is perhaps the best single support item for you since it transitions into a somewhat cost and slot efficient damage item in Solar Crest.

Force Staff probably won't be used to initiate much, but it can certainly be used to save allies whom you've Cold Embraced. This makes it more of a support item than a Corevern item, but because it builds into a semi-useful item in Hurricane Pike, Force Staff can be used to help you transition from a support to a core role. +10 damage from the intelligence is more than most of your other options give.

Core

Brown boots are usually sufficient on their own, though as you'll see in the alternate items to the right there are occasions that call for Treads or Phase Boots.

This strategy relies on your lane pressure to hobble your opponent's farm in lane—without enough mana regen this simply isn't possible, and Sage's Masks are the single best item in this regard because they're both cost effective and !!!re-usable!!!, which is very important. Items like Null Talisman and Phase Boots are great early game items, but since they don't build into anything you'll use in your 6-slot you really can't afford those items during your crucial early game unless absolutely necessary. Hold on to your Sage's Masks until it's time for an Orchid, or if you're a support you can always use them for Urn/Medallion and even Eul's or Drum.

Prior to 7.00 I would usually make do with just the Sage's Masks as early-game regen, but especially now that there's so much pressure to keep the pace up in the early game, never going back to base if possible, Void Stone makes about as much sense as any other item unless you'd rather start your Maelstrom early. While an earlier Maelstrom can be more beneficial than the mana regen from Void Stone, Void Stone is a reliable choice for you as Wyvern because it allows you to get more free farm with Splinter Blast spam. If you don't have a safe lane to farm in, skip this Void Stone entirely.

Maelstrom accelerates Wyvern's farm like no other item, allowing her to flash farm waves and camps by using Maelstrom to mop up the slivers of health remaining on groups of creeps after Splinter Blast. It remains an efficient damage item all game long and adds tons of AoE damage to your teamfight contribution. Maelstrom is more than just the best choice—it's Corevern's signature item.

Wyvern is a slow hero—not to mention she needs to be at every fight she can if you're bothering to make her a core. For these reasons alone Boots of Travel are game changers on Winter Wyvern, but especially in light of her abilities as a flash-farmer and split-pusher. The 70-second cooldown on Teleport Scroll just won't cut it if you're going to put heavy pressure on the enemy as a Corevern.

Situational

With Soul Ring plus Cold Embrace, Wyvern can farm and sustain herself in lane indefinitely. At levels 5-7 Wyvern is at her peak, with best-in-class spam—enough to force all but the most resilient heroes out of lane—so your goal is to have Soul Ring before then.

With the larger number of runes and thus Bottle charges available in 7.00, Bottle became a stronger item for most heroes, especially roamers. If you'll be moving around at all as a support or offlaner then Bottle might be better for you than Soul Ring.

Raindrops are the most slot efficient mana regen you can get your hands on this early, before your intelligence rises and percent-based regen increases in value, so always pick one up early if you have a spare item slot. Even without the magic block effect, Raindrop is an exceptional item for casters like Wyvern.

Wand is an item I forego whenever possible, but in certain games against heroes like Zeus, Batrider, etc it can be a reliable source of mana regen (and health) that neither Corevern or a support Wyvern can ignore. Use your judgement here, but Wand is only worth the diversion when you know you'll save your life with it.

The similiarities between item builds for Corevern and Invoker made this item come to mind for me. I don't really buy into Aquila on non-Agility heroes, but if you're the type of person who likes Aquila on your mid Invoker then you'll definitely like it on your mid Wyvern.

Are you in a tightly contested lane? Phase boots guarantee you'll get plenty of CS—plus they help with your mobility—but you should only purchase them when the 840 gold investment is going to pay for itself. If you aren't getting these immediately after Soul Ring, then don't bother.

Dying a bit too much and still sitting on brown boots? Treads are a convenient way to add some survivability, not to mention efficiency, without using up a whole item slot. Get these boots when you're behind.

For a while after 7.00 I considered Drum good enough to be a core/every-game item on Corevern, but after testing it repeatedly I just found that having to sell your ~1,800 gold movement speed item in the mid-to-late game was too much of a deterrent to say that Drum is always a good idea. If you have an extra Sage's Mask and a Wind Lace just laying around, or if you're having a slow game but are required to do a lot of fighting, then I'd say that Drum is likely to pay for itself.

Dragon Lance is a convenient item for Wyvern because it synergizes with your attack range from Arctic Burn and makes you as little safer while farming/pushing/fighting, but in reality the lack of actual damage from this ~1,800 gold item means that you can't really justify it as an every game item unless you plan to somehow get a lot of value from its upgrade, Hurricane Pike. While some heroes like OD make excellent use of an early Pike, Wyvern just isn't like that, so this item makes less sense for her as an early damage item.

I personally never get Hand of Midas on Wyvern because I think Maelstrom does the same job much better. Besides accelerating your farm Maelstrom gives straight damage too. If you really think that you'll fall behind in levels without it, I think a Midas makes more sense on a roaming support Wyvern who's trying to transition to a core role rather than on a Core Wyvern herself, who can just build damage and then go farm enemy heroes to accelerate her farm. The introduction of Wyvern's level 20 GPM talent further reinforces this.

6,700

Extension

Target Timing: 15:00‑20:00

Orchid is the best intelligence and damage-dealing item Wyvern can get, plus the silence effectively doubles her lockdown. Threaten a gank with Orchid, then Winter's Curse everyone when their friends show up to counter-initiate! Use Orchid to force out an enemy BKB/Eul's/Manta, then lock them down with Curse! The applications are endless. Especially good against any hero with an escape.

This item fills a unique niche for Wyvern since her playstyle after getting Aghanim's relies so heavily on escaping across trees. No other item gives you the security that Linken's does against targeted spells from your opponents—PLUS it has the perfect stats for you and a decent buildup. I've tested many other items as the secondary mana item to accompany Orchid/Bloodthorn (such as Bloodstone, Scythe) but of them all Linken's fits the slot best. You can pick up a Void Stone early on and complete Linken's either right before or right after Aghanim's, and complete Orchid vice versa. If the fights go well enough lategame, you may be able to hang back and use your Linken's supportively on your team's frontliners.

Saving

Like all the other support items listed here, Glimmer Cape falls into the category of "items Wyvern would prefer not to buy". While she can make better use of it than perhaps any other hero, it doesn't do much for her damage output—the side of the hero we're interested in with this build. Get Glimmer if your team needs it, not as a default choice.

While not absolutely core on Wyvern, Solar Crest is the only option she has for evasion, helps burst down enemies during Winter's Curse, and further increases your ability to frustrate physical damage carries. If you get behind especially Medallion of Courage is a good early survivability item, so consider turning one of those extra Sage's Masks you grabbed into a Medallion and eventually a Crest if you fall short of farm for an Orchid, for example.

Just like with Linken's Sphere Wyvern makes an excellent Lotus carrier because she intends to stay out of the fight, and will thus be positioned to cast it on allies. The ability to dispel debuffs is highly underrated and can be seriously fight-winning on its own. The fact that it can't reactively save your life, unlike Linken's, however, means that it's much less effective on a Core Wyvern.

Teamfight

By far the most potent disable you can get from an item, Scythe aka Sheepstick is the gold-standard for teamfight control. If you end up needing more disable than Refresher+Curse alone can throw down, this is your next stop, but the high cost of Sheepstick's components means it's not an easy item to rush.

While BKB may not be a particularly fun item, it's particularly gratifying to use on Wyvern because Wyvern can exert so much control while being immune to magic herself. If the enemy has particularly nasty silences or otherwise BKB-removable disables, then BKB is the only way to power through and keep your team going.

Refresher used to be the single best item on Wyvern. Double Winter's Curse was once a nearly guaranteed to win a teamfight on its own, especially in games with farmed enemy physical damage cores. You should default to Refresher AND turn to it when all else fails, especially because it combos so well with other beneficial active items like Blink, Sheepstick, BKB, etc. The huge amount of mana regen it provides is yet another reason why Refresher is an attractive early pickup on Wyvern—moreso than perhaps nearly any hero in the game.

Before Wyvern's Aghanim's Scepter was added it was hard to say she was a good carry, but now that your steroid is available all the time (at the cost of 40 mana per second) you can do all kinds of exciting things—like fly over trees to escape! Wyvern's unique play-style once she gets Aghanim's is like Batrider, but since she doesn't destroy trees until she lands you can easily escape. Aghanim's also increases your damage output by applying another stack of Arctic Burn damage over time each time you attack, rather than simply refreshing the effect's duration. The effect adds up more on tankier targets, so it's still beneficial to get the DOT on all of the enemies first before focusing one down.

Luxury

Bloodthorn is an excellent damage upgrade, but it doesn't really amount to more than a Luxury item unless you're absolutely positively not getting focused in fights and can skip Linken's for an early Bloodthorn instead. In reality Bloodthorn still suffers the same flaws as Orchid, and thus can be removed by BKB, Eul's, and Manta on enemy heroes (among other things). The biggest upside is its shorter cooldown.

Mjollnir would be a great Wyvern item—if she were a hero that tries to get hit. While she does make good use of the attack speed, the active ability is usually wasted without a teammate like Axe to throw the static charge on, and thus Mjollnir is not usually the most cost effective item choice until you're nearly six-slotted.

Despite the fact that Wyvern is a great life-saving hero who can make good use of BoTs II early, they're just too expensive of an investment to get any earlier than dead last—most of the time. If you feel otherwise I'd say go for it, but be careful with teleporting into your death.

Night vision is already a Wyvern specialty thanks to the bonus night vision from Arctic Burn, but by adding Moon Shard she can initiate from an even longer distance at night. Moon Shard also provides the highest attack speed in a single slot with none of the downsides of Mask of Madness—making it by far the best option for affordable damage on a Carry Wyvern after Daedalus, or as an option after Necrobook/Orchid if going for more of a utility build.

Damage

Most heroes only purchase MKB to counter evasion heroes, but Wyvern is a rare hero who has good reason to purchase it otherwise. Being able to stun enemies with the MKB mini-bash 1000 units away is a very valuable ability, especially against lineups with channeling abilities and to cancel TPs if your team didn't draft enough stuns.

In games where killing structures quickly is going to be a priority, Wyvern can offer more to the team by itemizing tanky and participating more aggressively in pushes. While Wyvern may have a sick strength gain, even a platemail-based item like Cuirass won't make her strong enough to truly "tank". Make sure you walk ~100 units towards your target to get the Cuirass aura (900 range) on them when you attack with Arctic Burn.

In games where killing structures quickly is going to be a priority, Wyvern can offer more to the team by itemizing tanky and participating more aggressively in pushes. While Wyvern may have a sick strength gain, even a platemail-based item like Cuirass won't make her strong enough to truly "tank". Make sure you walk ~100 units towards your target to get the Cuirass aura (900 range) on them when you attack with Arctic Burn.

Survivability

Far from being the key item that makes you a threat, Hurricane Pike on Wyvern is a weird item because it may keep you alive in some situation, but even as an escape it's somewhat undesirable. You would like to fly OVER the trees to escape with Arctic Burn, but since Force Staff knocks them over you may want to avoid Force Staffing into the trees. Pike doesn't provide enough damage, attack speed or mana/mana regen to make it worthwhile on its own, so for these reasons it's really only useful to Wyvern when she needs a second (or third) escape and Blink/Arctic Burn/Linken's won't cut it.

If playing Wyvern as a carry and you need stats, there's really no other item Wyvern would want—plus the Skadi effect is extremely effective at kiting enemies. Wyvern already excels against physical damage dealers, but with Skadi's additional 35% movespeed slow, Wyvern becomes perhaps the best kiting hero in the game.

In games where killing structures quickly is going to be a priority, Wyvern can offer more to the team by itemizing tanky and participating more aggressively in pushes. While Wyvern may have a sick strength gain, even a platemail-based item like Cuirass won't make her strong enough to truly "tank". Make sure you walk ~100 units towards your target to get the Cuirass aura (900 range) on them when you attack with Arctic Burn.

Example Builds

Key: Starting Items Six-Slot Items

The following examples show just a few ways to build Wyvern according to the priorities laid out above. You will most certainly want to customize these builds on the fly to suit whatever challenges you face:

Solo Lane Farming Corevern

In 1v1 mid or sidelanes where you get solo experience and farm, Wyvern can build aggressively to capitalize on her strong spells to start snowballing, while building more damage than survivability.

Snowballing Mid
x2 →

• As much mana regen as you can fit

• As little waste as possible

• Boots of Travel early so you can participate in as many fights as you want

Defensive Mid
x2 →

• Earlier Soul Ring is better than more damage to win a tight lane

• Phase Boots help you scale in lane against heroes with damage steroids, e.g. Shadow Fiend

• You can itemize defensively later in the game with BKB, Pike, etc.

Sidelane/Hard Carry
x2 →

• Give up one slot of mobility for damage

• Stick an MKB in there unless you really have enough lockdown and prefer Daedalus for the raw power

Corevern with Dual Lane/Limited Farm

In situations where you're sharing experience and even farm with an ally in lane, or when you're being actively zoned out as sidelaner, Wyvern can focus on more survivability than damage early on—able to weather the harshest lanes and still come out on top.

Thrifty Offlaner
x2 →

• Soul Ring rush to guarantee you won't be completely zoned out even in a 1v2/1v3 lane (take Cold Embrace at level 2)

• Phase + Drums is the best early fighting build

• Lots of cheap components = THRIFTY

Teamfight Controller

• Early Bottle for dual laning

• Skip Orchid in favor of Sheep because it's better with Refresher

• Refresher and Sheep cover your mana needs and give you serious teamfight power that doesn't rely on Curse

Designated Split Pusher

• Don't even fight heroes, just run away if they show up

• With just Blink and Deso you should be able to rat pretty effectively

• If mana regen is even a question I would skip Aghanim's here and go Pike

Crossover Support into Late-Game Corevern

Wyvern should still go damage in most games, even as a support, now that she undisputedly scales well thanks to her new level 20 +Gold/Min talent that guarantees you'll find items if you can draw out the game long enough—something Wyvern excels at. When the situation calls for "standard" Wyvern support items, mix them in.

Greedy Crossover Support
x2 →

• Starting boots is awesome but your other support will hate you, probably

• Some people like Arcane Boots here (especially if you're going Lotus) but Soul Ring is still great as well

• The goal is for your items to look supportive until it's too late MUAHAHAHA

Selfless Crossover Support
x2 →

• Wyvern pretty much always needs movement speed first, even as a support

• Stacking two small items like Medallion and Glimmer is the selfless part

• Once you have enough utility just go damage

Laning

Don't be a Statistic

• Since I started tracking it, Wyvern has shifted more and more towards the 5-position in professional play. This is a step backwards from what I pointed out as the trend when I first wrote this guide—that Wyverns who got a higher percentage of their team's net worth tended to win more often.
• There is no recent data to support this trend, as you can see below from this "Winrate Bar" graph I've assembled from the results of pro Wyvern players at the two most recent Majors.
• As more 7.00 data comes in from pub and amateur/online tournament results there may be a chance to support this guide with winrate data—but even in my own play I still find that the biggest obstacle to core Wyvern is your team's acceptance. You need them to accept that your gameplan will be pushing.

The Pocket Strat: Versatility

• At this point running Corevern is a pocket strat. You need your teammates to coordinate with you in picks and in gameplan. Without it you might embarass yourself, and me. Don't embarass me. Don't forego your support duties if your team needs a support after some dumbass last picks Anti-Mage, and likewise as a support Wyvern don't turn your brain off and completely skip damage when your team could use some.

Pick Rate by Role


• As players start to realize just how versatile Wyvern can be, I predict she will see play on every role, from offlane to carry. She remains a strong 5-position, but with her combination of reliable early farming into late-game damage, many former greedy support-Wyvern players will transition into playing her as a Corevern.

Midlane (2)

Whether or not Wyvern can win mid depends on the matchup and both teams' supports—against a smart enough opponent you always run the risk of being countered by an aggressive support camping mid, for instance. The biggest adversary of mid Wyvern in a pub setting, however, is usually your own team tilting. Don't insta-lock Wyvern mid unless you're a 5-stack looking to cheese it up with Drow Ranger, but being forceful and expressing to your team that you have a plan is usually the only way to make it work in a pub.

Offlane (3)

While dual offlane Wyvern as a support is not uncommon, as a Corevern you'll find both solo offlane and dual with a tanky brawler can work. You should only go for this kind of lane setup when it would benefit your draft to do so: make sure you have a hard carry and a mid getting farm, focus on shutting down the enemy safelaner especially if you're in a dual lane of your own, and focus on building damage so you can semi-carry. Making it to level 20 for the GPM talent is all you really need in some cases.

Roaming (4)

If you want to make the quickest transition from a "support" position Wyvern to a Corevern, roaming is the quickest way to get rich and probably the most profitable—but also the least reliable. With practice, or if you're Sonneiko, roaming Wyvern can be very deadly. Some roaming Wyverns especially like to max Arctic Burn over Splinter Blast if they get going snowballing hard enough. No matter how badly the roaming turns out, so long as you start with Boots and a ward and make it to level 20 the game will work out alright for Wyvern.

Safelane (1 or 5)

Hard carry Wyvern is a risky prospect because her steroid just isn't as good as some other carries. For this reason you don't want your opponent to know that Wyvern is your carry in a draft, or else they can take advantage of it. Putting aside this risk, the safelane is still a perfectly reasonable place to start out as a Corevern. Even before talents I've played Wyvern games where I ended up the most farmed without stealing farm carries. It all comes down to your ability to draw out the game and clear creepwaves better than most heroes. Hard Carry Wyvern is probably the "ideal" build 0.001% of the time, but if you want to chase that game AND have fun, be serious about it and be sure to pick some cheese with your Corevern.