Itching to play some Carry Pudge? We’ve broken down how LGD’s Ame plays it for you here!
LGD's Ame Brings Carry Pudge To The Pro Scene
What’s the only thing better than playing Pudge? Easy: playing Pudge Pos 1. You get to hit creep AND hook heroes. It’s the best of both worlds. Recently we’ve seen LGD’s Ame bring carry Pudge to the competitive scene with admittedly mixed results. But, it's enough of an excuse for me to try it in my pubs - so I thought you might want to too. Here’s a quick little guide on how Ame plays carry Pudge.
Pudge Isn’t An AWFUL Carry To Begin With...
Playing Pudge as a carry can seem kind of counter-intuitive at first glance. He’s absolutely not a hard carry and if you’re busy farming, you aren’t building up Flesh Heap stacks. But, Pudge actually does have a few strengths that make him somewhat suited to the safelane.
He has incredibly high base damage, so last hitting is a breeze. Additionally, if you skill Meat Hook level 1 - it’s very easy to contest the minute 0 bounty runes and even grab first blood!
Furthermore, he has certain power spikes which allow him to go for kills in lane. Level 2 gives you access to Hook and Rot which in combination with your support is often enough to snag a kill. Next is Lvl 6 when you get Dismember. This is another ideal time to go for kills.
Once you complete your Hood of Defiance - Rot becomes a surprisingly effective farming tool. Allowing you to shove out waves and burn through jungle camps at a decent rate. This is important, because as carry Pudge - it’s all about item timings!
Lastly, many of Pudge’s weaknesses as a hero can be mitigated by having a decent amount of farm. Low armour? No worries - buy a Platemail! No mobility? Easy, Blink Dagger.
The Power of The Blink, Aghs, Black King Bar Combo
The real reason that carry Pudge works is the items Ame chooses to build, namely Blink Dagger, Aghanim’s Scepter and Black King Bar. These 3 items allow Pudge to consistently have a massive impact in teamfights. Here’s why:
With Blink Dagger, Pudge is no longer a “hit or miss” type of hero, instead he becomes a true tanky initiator. Simply Blink on someone and bite them, no need for risky hooks. This is complemented by the fact that Blink Dagger and lvl 3 Dismember have similar cooldowns which is very nice.
With Aghanim’s Scepter, the spell lifesteal talent and Pudge’s in-built tankiness, he does not mind being on the front lines. In fact, the more heroes Rot his, the more you lifesteal. Simply put, with this build - you get REAL tanky.
Less importantly, but also worth noting is that the Agh’s Scepter gives Rot a healing reduction component. This can be coupled with a Shiva's later on to really crush heroes that depend heavily on healing.
Finally, the Black King Bar allows Pudge to actually use Dismember effectively and not get immediately silenced or stunned. It also allows Pudge to truly maximise the power of Agh’s Rot by making him immune to any other spells which may be used to kite him.
How Ame Farms Up These Items
Ame plays carry Pudge in basically the same way you’d play any carry. He focuses more on farming to hit his item timings rather than looking for pick off or attending teamfights. The only real thing of note is that Pudge cannot effectively clear ancients early on - so Ame tends to play more in his safelane (allowing him access to his jungle) opposed to his offlane.
Ame always goes for 3 points in Meat Hook, 2 points in Rot and takes Dismember whenever available. However, you can prioritise Rot over Hook if you want to focus more on farm. Similarly, in lanes where you are facing tons of magic damage - a single point in Flesh Heap could be worth considering.
The Rot Slow and Spell Lifesteal talents are great with the Aghs. While the 2 Dismember talents go well with the Blink + Dismember combo that this build revolves around.
How Ame Plays Teamfights As Carry Pudge
The key idea behind LGD’s Pudge strategy is to eliminate one of the enemy heroes as fast as possible, turning the fight into a 5v4. LGD’s entire drafts including how Ame plays his Pudge is based around this idea.
Ame won’t jump in straight away - instead waiting to see if there is an easy hook target who might be out of position. If there is, he will throw out a hook potentially deleting a weaker hero straight away.
If no easy hook target prevents themselves - Ame will essentially play an initiating role (similar to that of an Axe or Legion Commander). Ame will look for the most out of position hero - blink on them and Dismember them. This allows his team to quickly follow up and secure the kill.
If the Dismember target is a high priority target - Ame will commit his BKB to ensure that the Dismember is not interrupted. If it’s a less important kill, he will save his BKB for the next jump.
Ame will then repeat this process of blinking in and Dismembering heroes if possible.
Finally, if the fight is looking like it's won or it's too chaotic to just target down one hero, Ame will simply blink right into the middle of the enemy team and start using Rot. Popping BKB if necessary.
With the aforementioned Aghanim’s Scepter Rot, Spell Lifesteal Talent and BKB - Ame’s Pudge becomes extremely tanky and deals out an insane amount of AOE magic damage.
The rest is standard Pudge stuff - hook heroes when possible, try to hit as many people as possible with Rot and use Dismember when it's off cooldown.
How To Build Carry Pudge Like Ame
Ame’s starting items differ slightly depending on the lane he is up against. If it looks like there will be lots of spells cast in lane he will start with the very standard Quelling Blade, Magic Wand, Tangos + Branches + Faerie Fire build.
Otherwise he goes for Quelling Blade, 2 Gauntlets of Strength, Tangos and Branches. This provides more HP and damage for last hitting.
Next, Ame will work towards Phase Boots and a Hood of Defiance. But the order in which he builds up to this also changes depending on the game.
In lanes where he is being harassed he will get the Ring of Health first - then go back for Phase Boots. And in lanes with lots of magic damage he will go Ring -> Brown Boots -> Hood of Defiance -> finish Phase Boots.
Early Game Items
The build order changes, but his early game items always end up like this: Phase Boots -> Magic Stick -> Hood -> Quelling -> Infused Raindrop.
Next, if Ame feels like he can (or is needed to) participate in teamfights - he will go straight for the Blink Dagger. Followed by a Black King Bar then finally the Aghanim’s Scepter.
However, in pubs Ame does occasionally go for the more farm-orientated Aghs first build. This allows you to farm faster but reduces your ability to get involved in fights.
Mid and Late Game Items
The 3 items Ame always builds are: Blink Dagger, Black King Bar and Aghanim’s Scepter. (Again, you will have to decide for yourself which order you build them in!).
Finally, in the late game Ame picks up a Platemail (which he builds into Shiva’s Guard or Assault Cuirass depending on the game), upgrades his Blink to an Overwhelming Blink and finally swaps out his Phase Boots for Boots of Travel.
Other optional items we recommend trying out are Heaven’s Halberd, Heart and Agh’s Shard.
Go Forth and Butcher Ya Pubs!
While LGD has had some success with position 1 Pudge, it is by no means a top tier pick. Many popular heroes can counter Pudge in lane and out carry him in the late game. But if you, like me, are dead set on playing some carry Pudge - the least you can do is follow this guide, and have as big an impact as possible. Good luck landing hooks and dodging reports!
Stay tuned to esports.gg for more guides for all your favourite heroes.