Andromeda‘s specialty is roaming between lanes to initiate ganks and quickly place the other team at a disadvantage. She also deals tremendous single-target damage using her basic attack, establishing her as a valuable early game hero. Andromeda‘s high damage output, combined with her excellent stun and unique ultimate, make her an extremely powerful ganker/initiator and a capable carry.
Being disabled for 1.75 seconds is a long time, especially early game. The damage on this skill also scales incredibly well. No one except for Hammerstorm and a lucky Blacksmith can top the duration and damage of this stun. Comet is the reason I always carry mana potions with me when playing Andromeda – it is too good an ability not to use it at every opportunity, and the cooldown of only ten seconds often makes it usable more than once in a single engagement.
Because of the way that armor values are calculated in HoN, negative armor debuffs translate into tremendous damage increases. For more information on the mechanics of armor and armor debuffs, check out Hondb’s article: Armor Mechanics.
Use this skill every single time you or an ally are attacking an enemy.
Aside from the standard “hit enemy heroes with it for the debuffs” use, this skill has a number of creative applications:
- Notice that this spell gives you clear vision as it moves away from you – it momentarily eliminates fog of war. Use it to scout ahead when heading up a ramp to gank in the enemy forest to make sure they aren’t about to jump your team, or throw it over the patch of trees that the enemy is trying to juke through to make sure he doesn’t get away.
- It’s easy to forget that this spell does damage. It doesn’t do a lot, but just the fact that it is hero-based damage is very useful. Whenever I see an enemy hero in my lane use a potion or their bottle – anything that is dispelled upon taking damage – I cast this at them. Easy way to dispel their heal or mana regen without having to get too close. Similarly, if your team is chasing a hero with a Portal Key and no one is in range to hit him yet, cast this to give your team a few more seconds to catch him before he can blink away.
- You can cast this on creep waves to reduce their armor and make last-hitting easier. Of course, this will also push the lane, and it makes it easier for the other guys to last-hit, too. This spell also makes farming in the jungle more realistic for Andromeda.
Get this after the first two spells are maxed out and you have a decent number of points put into stats. It isn’t really effective until later when your base damage is high enough for the percentage buff to make a difference. Stats are important for you early game – Andromeda is a softie. The stats give her more hp, higher base damage, higher armor, and an increased mana pool to spam Aurora and Comet.
Void Rip (Ultimate)
An awesome way to initiate a team fight, gank, or pick off an enemy hero that has wandered too far away from their team. Possibly my favorite ult in the game. Seriously. Even though it doesn’t do any damage, slow, heal, stun, provide you with the ability to one-hit KS, or do anything else except instantly switch positions with another hero. The reason I like it so much is because it screws with positioning, and positioning is a crucial concept in the game of HoN. If you don’t understand this, check out the Guide to Positioning in HoN. Because Void Rip is never used in isolation, I’ll go into details about its use in the gameplay section.
Andromeda Gameplay, ie, “What You Can Do With Her.”
Laning with Andromeda:
Andromeda should be really annoying to lane against. Harass enemy heroes to keep them back from last-hit range, and use your stun whenever you see an opportunity to deal a lot of damage. Because your stun is so powerful, you should almost certainly get first blood if you are laning with another stunner. Abuse the many uses of Aurora described above.
A joyous moment in every Andromeda player’s game is when they first hit level 6. Hover near your tower and wait for the enemy hero to get close enough that you can swap him into its attack range. Immediately stun him, use Aurora, and begin attacking. I consider this my one free kill a game and it’s usually good for more than one. Also, since many players haven’t played against an Andromeda player that is actually good, they won’t expect you to do this.
Andromeda is far too good of a ganker to stay in the lane too long, however. You should start looking around for a gank as soon as you have some boots. Earlier if your allies are really getting hammered.
The best Andromeda players tend not to pick a specific lane, choosing instead to constantly move from Bot to Mid to Top, ganking at every stop. This style of early game play is called roaming and Andromeda is particularly suited for such a role. As discussed above, she has both a minus armor AOE (Aurora) plus one of the longest early game stuns (Comet).
Roaming is not easy and should only be done by players that are able to stay properly leveled throughout the game. If you always find yourself 2-5 levels below the rest of your team / the enemy team, then roaming Andromeda is probably not a great idea. The main reason for this is that when you roam, you keep yourself out of a lane and tend to miss out on that valuable early game experience. A player that decides to roam Andromeda must be able to balance this loss of experience with successful ganks and a focus on gaining as much experience in lane when he can.
Deciding to roam Andromeda also somewhat changes the order of your item build. You’re definitely going to want to pick up boots as soon as possible, perhaps even as your first item. This (arguably) odd item decision is to help offset the time you are traveling and are out of a lane (again, missing out on experience). You’re also going to need mana potions, as ganks will cost you precious mana and you won’t have time to regen it on your own before your next gank.
Ganking with Andromeda:
When you gank a hero, the success or failure of the gank does not ultimately depend on what items you have, or what skills you got at what level (well, sometimes it does. But we’re assuming that you’re reasonably competent and didn’t get the first ten levels of stats instead of Pyromancer’s stun, nuke, and ult). What it comes down to is whether or not you can kill the other guy before they reach safety (because you shouldn’t be ganking them at all if they can kill you and whoever you brought with in a head to head fight). If they are too close to a tower, an allied hero, their base, or a good juke spot, your gank will probably fail. If you can get between them and safety, or cut off their escape route, chances are you’ll get a kill.
This is what makes Andromeda such an incredible ganker – with a stun and a swap at her disposal, she is nearly impossible to get away from. There are numerous ways to set up a gank with her:
- Pop out of the trees and throw a stun.
- Swap an enemy hero out of the lane and into the woods where your allies are waiting.
- Let an ally initiate a tough gank, and when the target starts to get away, swap them back into the kill zone and stun them.
- You can even gank two heroes at once if you have enough dps support; stun the first one, kill them with your ally, then swap the other before they can run away and attack them with your ally as they are forced to run past you to safety.
Remember to use your Aurora to gain vision over an area if the target starts juking, or if you suspect a counter gank might be on its way through the woods.
Initiating with Andromeda:
Andromeda‘s ult can be a powerful intiator, especially when it comes to attacking or defending the ramps leading up to each team’s base. Try to swap the most threatening enemy hero – their carry, or an annoying disabler – into the midst of your allies. Sometimes just swapping any hero you can grab will bring the whole enemy team rushing down the ramp to “save” their friend. Remember to use aurora to gain vision of the top of a ramp if need be.
When initiating this way, try to have an escape plan. If you don’t, you’re basically trading kill for kill. And you are a much needed ally in any teamfight.If there is only one enemy stunner or disabler nearby, swap that hero. That way you’ll be able to get away from the enemy team after the swap. It’s actually better if they chase you as you run to the safety of your allies. By the time you get there, they will have finished off the hero that you swapped, and now you have a 4v5 situation, plus the enemy has left the safety of their tower .
Assassin’s Shroud is not a bad item for Andromeda if you are going to play this way. Swap the enemy hero and immediately go invis. Just bear in mind that towers can see you. Shroud also gives you damage, which is always nice. Portal Key can serve a similar function and is perhaps superior, assuming you are able to use queuing. HoN allows you to queue actions. So what will happen is you swap and then instantly blink back.
Sometimes it is worth swapping the enemy carry even if you know you will get killed in the process, especially if it means your teammates will be able to get a genocide and/or take down a rax. If you decide this play is strategically best, make sure your teammates understand what is going to go down. There’s nothing worse than swapping the enemy carry, having your team kill him, and then retreat. When they don’t take advantage of situations like that, it’s better that you don’t sacrifice yourself .
One more very important use for Void Rip – disrupting channeling heroes. Channeling abilities are an important part of HoN – Tempest ult, Voodoo Jester ult, Glacius ult, Electrician grab, etc etc. If your team doesn’t have a lot of stuns, Andromeda’s ult is a great way to cancel these powerful abilities.
Never forget that you can swap with allies. Reasons you might do so:
- You are chasing an enemy hero. Your ally is closer to him than you, but has no means of slowing or stunning, or they are out of mana. Swap with your ally and immediately throw a stun. Proceed to beat the enemy hero to death along with your ally.
- Your ally is being chased by enemy heroes and is almost dead, but you have plenty of health. Swap him to safety and then stun whichever enemy hero is most threatening to you. Run to safety. Air-high-five yourself.
- You are bored or high and it looks funny.
Here’s a great example of a pro Andro player swapping his allies for both of the above reasons:
Thoughts on Andromeda Item Builds
Contrary to popular opinion, winning HoN does not come down to having the “right” item build. Any item that helps Andromeda do what she does best – deal high damage with her attack or initiate ganks – is a good purchase. The most important consideration is that you balance attack damage with attack speed.
That said, here are some thoughts on various items to make with Andromeda.
- Boots: Andromeda can go either way on boots. Which ones you get depends on how your early game is going. If you feel you need the extra HP from Steamboots, get them. If you’re rolling over the opposition, get Ghost Marchers for the extra damage and a nice speed boost – though it is by no means necessary with her. A lot of players advocate buying Post Haste, but we think that this is a waste of money. With the release of patch 1.90 and Striders, Andromeda becomes a much more OP hero. These boots give a hero +100 movespeed after 6 seconds of not using a spell, having attacked, or been attacked. This buff can basically allow Andromeda to catch and swap any hero to initiate a fight and are the boots that we would recommend that you buy (especially at only 800 gold total!).
- Shieldbreaker: Despite what I said earlier, I actually always build one of these on Andromeda. Stacking this with Aurora gives you -11 armor on every hero you attack, which adds up to tremendous damage output. It’s almost like having Pestilence’s ult built into your character. This allows you to shred through enemy tanks late game who could shrug off other attacks due to their high armor.
- Thunderclaw/Charged Hammer: This can be very helpful to round out Andromeda’s huge damage with some serious attack speed. It is an excellent complement to a straight damage item like Shieldbreaker.
- Assassin’s Shroud: This item has a unique usefulness on Andromeda. It enables you to swap and immediately go invisible to avoid the “my team kills you, your team kills me” situation. It also, of course, allows you to set up swaps or stuns without the other team seeing it coming. Don’t forget that you deal an extra 125 bonus “Backstab” damage when attacking from invisibility.
- Ult Stick (Staff of the Master): Personally, I’ve never built this on Andromeda, nor have I seen anyone else do so. By the time you’ve built it the game has probably moved into the team fights stage, and it’s only in ganking and chasing that I can picture using her ult every ten seconds. Still, I would be impressed by anyone who was able to use this effectively on Andromeda.
- 4.3.11 – First published
Match ID: 3800720
Teams: MSI vs KDe
Andro player: [KDe]Mag1X
Match ID: 2911119
Teams: MSI, KDe, vegA, xFin, DrDz, tXL
Andro player: [vegA]Weobaby