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Medusa minimap icon.png Medusa is a hard carry who can easily turn teamfights around in her favor with Stone Gaze. Mana Shield makes her one of the tankiest carries in the game, but her extreme item dependence requires her to farm for much of the game before she can be effective in teamfights. Split Shot allows her to farm really fast in the jungle and deal considerable damage to multiple heroes in fights. However, her early game is filled with problems, such as having the lowest base HP in the game, little mana, and slow movement speed.
Pros Cons
  • Powerful in the late game.
  • Effective against multiple opponents.
  • Great crowd control.
  • Gets effective HP from mana, thus she benefits from attributes the most of any other hero.
  • Is greatly teamfight oriented.
  • Has decent attack range.
  • Slow movement speed.
  • Fragile in the early game.
  • Extremely item dependent.


  • This build gives Medusa great sustain and harassment in the early game, while enabling quick farm mid-game with Split Shot. Mana Shield and Stone Gaze only get one level early on as that's all you'll need for farming, fighting, and escaping ganks. However, you may consider adding extra levels in Mana Shield if there are enemy heroes who can eat through your mana.
  • Against heroes like Anti-Mage minimap icon.png Anti-Mage and Invoker minimap icon.png Invoker who can eat away huge chunks of your mana without any problem, the best way to face them is to not rely on your mana and build around your splitshots. Instead of going for items like Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi, you should build Satanic icon.png Satanic. A popular build is Manta Style icon.png Manta Style/Sange and Yasha icon.png Sange and Yasha into Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar or Hurricane Pike icon.png Hurricane Pike into Divine Rapier icon.png Divine Rapier. One of Medusa's issues is that she starts really late into the game to deal significant damage and can be ignored in team fights, and by that time some of her counters like Anti-Mage minimap icon.png Anti-Mage are already online and shutting her down. In this build, she hits her power spike earlier than them in the game. To round this fast paced build, up you go into the Rosh Pit straight after the the Rapier purchase to not lose it and push into their base. If you manage to not end by that point it is suggested to get a Satanic icon.png Satanic, pressure the enemy out of the map and end with the next Rosh.
  • The damage reduction from Mana Shield comes before any other reduction, so evasion goes a really long way to increase you survivability besides getting more mana. As Medusa is an agility hero, Butterfly icon.png Butterfly is a great pick up as it increases your DPS and helps your survivability.
  • Farming efficiently goes a huge way on this hero as both her survivability and DPS scales enormously with items and both her level 25 talents give her huge spikes in damage and/or survivability and most of her talents are really good even later into the game, so getting a lot of levels fast is really desirable on this hero. So it is viable to get Hand of Midas icon.png Hand of Midas, as the hero scales well with attack speed which can come in handy in early tower defenses, depending on how viable the item is the the patch. In addition, all Medusa needs to farm the jungle is level 3/4 on her Mystic Snake and 1/2 level of Split Shot. That is why you will see often this hero be played solo in the mid lane.

Ability Builds[]

Carry Medusa (Early Fights)
Mystic Snake icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngMystic Snake icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngMystic Snake icon.pngStone Gaze icon.pngMystic Snake icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngTalent icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngTalent icon.pngStone Gaze icon.pngUnknown icon.pngStone Gaze icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png
Carry Medusa (Farm Heavy)
Mystic Snake icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngMystic Snake icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngMystic Snake icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngMystic Snake icon.pngSplit Shot icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngTalent icon.pngStone Gaze icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngMana Shield icon.pngTalent icon.pngStone Gaze icon.pngUnknown icon.pngStone Gaze icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png


Hero Talents
Split Shot Uses Modifiers25+75 Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
+2s Stone Gaze Duration20+2 Mystic Snake Bounces
-1.5s Mystic Snake Cooldown15-12% Split Shot Damage Penalty
+0.5 Mana Shield Damage per Mana10+20 Attack Speed

Tips & Tactics[]


  • Medusa has one of the lowest base health in the game, making her quite vulnerable in the early game.
  • Medusa is arguably the hardest carry in the game, but also the most item dependent. Knowing how to farm well is the most important aspect of playing her.
  • Early on, Medusa should just focus on farming and surviving. Once you get Mana Shield, you'll have a lot more survivability in lane, but always keep an eye on the minimap for incoming ganks and your health and mana pools to see how much damage the enemies are doing.
  • In the late game, Mana Shield and Stone Gaze allows Medusa to withstand much more punishment than most carries.
    • Enemy teams who cannot kill Medusa quickly enough will often lose the teamfight.
    • Because of this, a well farmed late game Medusa can often turn a losing match around.


Split Shot[]

  • Split Shot makes you a really good farmer and pusher, especially once you get more levels in it. Use it to quickly farm jungle camps or push lanes to try to take early towers
    • When pushing towers with Split Shot, keep the tower as your main target, and the other arrows will hit creeps or nearby enemies. If you target creeps while trying to push, the extra arrows won't hit towers.
  • Split Shot also gives you immense damage during fights. While Medusa's single target damage isn't much for a lot of the game, with Split Shot you can easily deal decent damage to each enemy in a fight.
    • While you hit 5 targets with split shot, the damage you deal spreaded onto all targets is 250%/300%/350/400% of your attack damage.
  • Split Shots works on Medusa's illusions when toggled on before spawning of the illusions.
  • With the level 25 talent, the chance to proc a modifier with a cooldown is calculated by taking into consideration if another of the spiltshot attacks is proccing the modifier. When x is the chance for proccing the modifier, the formular is: x + (1-x)*x + (1-x)^2*x + (1-x)^3*x + (1-x)^4*x
    • For Example for Maelstrom icon.png Maelstrom and Mjollnir icon.png Mjollnir the chance is: 0.3 + 0.7*0.3 + 0.7^2*0.3 + 0.7^3*0.3 + 0.7^4*0.3 ≈ 83%
  • With the level 25 talent, the chance to proc a modifier without cooldowns is calculated for every attack separately. When x is the chance for proccing the modifier, the formula for proccing at least once is: 1 - (1-x)^5. For proccing more than once on one performed attack, it is: 1 - ((1-x)^5) + 5*(x*(1-x)^4).
    • For example, for Daedalus icon.png Daedalus, the chance to proc at least once per performed attack is: 1 - 0.7^5 ≈ 83%. More than once per performed attack is: 1 - (0.7^5 + 5*(0.3*0.7^4)) ≈ 47%.
  • The secondary instant attacks are considered spell damage and can be spell lifestealed off, but the damage is not affected by spell amplification.
    • With the level 25 talent by having lifesteal and spell lifesteal, you will heal the damage lifesteal percetage*9 while attacking 5 targets.

Mystic Snake[]

  • Mystic Snake is potent throughout the game. It lets you harass enemies and keep your mana nearly full while posing minimum risk to yourself.
  • For maximum damage against enemies in lane, try to bounce the snake off a few creeps into the enemy hero.
  • The mana steal works against heroes and creeps to the full extent. Use this in the jungle to keep mana from dropping too low so you can tank hits from creeps with Mana Shield. Medium Satyr and Mud Golem camps work the best for this.
  • Mystic Snake can be maxed first as it is Medusa's only nuke and can be used to push lanes.
  • Level 2 Mystic Snake with 3 bounces and 1 Attack or 2 bounces and 2 attacks can kill a ranged creep. Level 3 Mystic Snake only needs 3 bounces to kill the ranged creep, so the 5th bounce should be timed on the enemy hero.
  • Mystic Snake's damage increases per jump, so you best cast so that it would hit enemy heroes at last, to make them take the most damage. If used for farming, casting it so that it hits the creeps with more health can prevent overkill damage on lower health creeps, making it more effective and faster to farm.
  • Since Medusa does not have much mana and the ability has a high mana cost, make sure that it hits at least 2 enemies who have mana (e.g. ranged lane creeps), to get some mana restored back. It does not matter if targets with mana are hit first or last, since the mana drain is static and does not increase per jump like the damage.
  • Ranged lane creeps have a mana pool of 500, so Mystic Snake can drain 55/70/85/100 mana from them. So in order to get its full mana cost basically refunded, it has to hit at least 3/3/2/2 ranged lane creeps. This means it is also important to hit enemies with the spell in order to not run out of mana during the laning phase.
  • In order to refund the full mana cost, Mystic Snake must hit units with a sum of 1273 total mana.
  • Use Mystic Snake on a nearby creep to have it bounce and hit an enemy that's out of range.
  • With Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, Mystic Snake will petrify all enemies it hits, improving Mystic Snake's utility by giving Medusa a disable.
    • Enemies petrified through Mystic Snake take on the same properties as if they were hit by Stone Gaze.
    • Mystic Snake does the damage and mana steal first before applying the petrification debuff.
    • Unlike Stone Gaze, an Aghanim's Scepter Mystic Snake does not bypass spell immunity and will not apply the petrification debuff should an enemy turn spell immune before the snake reaches its intended target.

Mana Shield[]

  • One point in Mana Shield gives you the full 70% damage reduction. Subsequent levels just lower the mana lost per damage.
  • Level Mana Shield based on what the enemy has. If enemies have items such as Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade, grabbing more points may not be a bad idea to lower the overall mana lost from it.
  • Even if you do level Mana Shield up early, be wary of enemies who tend to build illusions with mana burn, such as Anti-Mage minimap icon.png Anti-Mage with his Mana Break and Manta Style icon.png Manta Style illusions.
  • Medusa is 250% more durable with Mana Shield than her HP alone as long as she has mana.
  • Medusa's mana pool needs to equal at least 93.75%/78.95%/68.18%/60% of her current health to maximize the damage reduction of Mana Shield, assuming she does not lose mana in any different way than by the absorption of Mana Shield.
    • This means every consecutive skill point in Mana Shield becomes less cost efficient; consider grabbing a point in your other abilities over another point in Mana Shield if you already have the ideal mana/health ratio (any more points basically mean wasted mana; do not forget about Stone Gaze and Mystic Snake costs).
  • Be wary about leaving Mana Shield active in the early game without a high mana pool or some mana regenerating items. Heavy damage may leave you unable to cast Stone Gaze, which can turn the tides of a gank or teamfight when used correctly.
  • With careful and strategic use of Mystic Snake in the heat of battle, you may be able to replenish and keep your mana pool up even if you are taking a heavy beating.

Stone Gaze[]

  • Leveling Stone Gaze only increases the duration by 0.5 seconds each level. As such, one value point early on should be enough for both escaping ganks and turning the tides in team fights.
  • Stone Gaze goes through spell immunity, meaning the only way to escape it is to turn away from Medusa. It'll even freeze a Puck minimap icon.png Puck who used Phase Shift and take them out of the Phase, so use that to your advantage.
  • With the Stone Gaze Duration talent at maximum level of Stone Gaze (8 second duration), it is possible for enemies to be petrified twice in one cast. Abilities such as Will-O-Wisp and Berserker's Call help with this.


Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango for a bit of regeneration in lane.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve's flat heal will go a long way to keep Medusa healthy, considering her abysmal starting health.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branches provides early attributes needed for last-hitting creeps and a small boost in your hit points and mana. On top of that, planted Iron Branches increase the total healing from Tango.
  • Enchanted Mango icon.png Enchanted Mango gives passive health regeneration and burst mana.

Early game:

  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads give Medusa additional movement speed to compensate for her low mobility and a boost to attributes.
  • Wraith Band icon.png Wraith Band gives a cheap boost to Medusa's attributes, and can be picked up in multiples to pad out her inventory slots early on.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand is one of the most cost-effective survivability items on Medusa early on. The instantly restored health and mana you get from charges is doubly effective on her thanks to Mana Shield.

Mid game:

  • Hurricane Pike icon.png Hurricane Pike gives cheap attributes, attack range and a useful active ability - a very cost-effective item for Medusa.
  • Mask of Madness icon.png Mask of Madness is good for increasing your farming speed and being slightly active in the mid game. Her Mana Shield pretty much negates the increase in damage taken from it, it gives her the movement speed and attack speed she needs for both farming and team fights, and it lets her be active early on. However, be careful with the active ability as the silence will prevent you from toggling Mana Shield.

Late game:

  • Manta Style icon.png Manta Style bolsters Medusa's attributes all around and can dispel troublesome debuffs. The illusions also benefit from Split Shot.
  • Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi gives both killing power via slowing enemies and survivability because of attributes and mana for Mana Shield.
  • Butterfly icon.png Butterfly offers bonus damage, attack speed, and armor, and its evasion gives you even more survivability.

Situational items:

  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance is a great cost-effective attributes item on Medusa. It gives her both intelligence and strength which is needed on her, and the slight movement and attack speed it gives are great for farming or pushing.
  • Linken's Sphere icon.png Linken's Sphere gives decent attributes and protection against disables, and can be prioritized if your farm is being disrupted or you are being locked down in fights.
  • Mjollnir icon.png Mjollnir can be bought to deal with summons or illusions.
  • Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar can be needed if the enemies have evasion items or heroes.
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar is considered if the enemies are keeping you locked down before you can get Stone Gaze off.
  • Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn gives intelligence and mana regeneration to make you even tankier, and it effectively gives you a Crystalys icon.png Crystalys and Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar in one slot.
  • Swift Blink icon.png Swift Blink allows Medusa to chase faster especially during Stone Gaze while effectively granting her bonus attack damage and attack speed.
  • Moon Shard icon.png Moon Shard boosts her attack speed further, a handy item in the late game as you can consume it to save a slot for reduced bonuses.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse for an extra disable, attributes, and mana regeneration which may help Mana Shield.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter allows Mystic Snake to petrify any enemies it hits, giving the ability a hard-disable utility that allows for more strategic employment. It also provides attributes in all departments, as well as adding a respectable amount of health and mana to Medusa.
  • Divine Rapier icon.png Divine Rapier is the best damage item on Medusa. She's tanky enough that, even with Mask of Madness icon.png Mask of Madness, the odds of her dropping this are extremely slim, and it'll help you take on the enemy team with Split Shot. That being said, if you are against heroes that can burn through your Mana Shield, it may be too risky.
  • Satanic icon.png Satanic should be picked up when building Divine Rapier icon.png Divine Rapier. Due to the extremely high damage provided by Divine Rapier, Satanic's passive lifesteal and its active skill become effective in terms of healing yourself, decreasing the chances of dropping the Rapier.