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Medusa minimap icon Medusa is a hard carry who can easily turn teamfights around in her favor with Stone Gaze icon Stone Gaze. Mana Shield icon 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 icon 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.
  • Her 0 Strength and gain make her is the most lowest HP hero in the game.
  • Extremely item dependent.
  • Mana Shield icon Mana Shield makes her exceptionally vulnerable to Mana Burn.


  • 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 Anti-Mage and Invoker minimap icon 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 Eye of Skadi, you should build Satanic icon Satanic. A popular build is Manta Style icon Manta Style/Sange and Yasha icon Sange and Yasha into Black King Bar icon Black King Bar or Hurricane Pike icon Hurricane Pike into Divine Rapier icon 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 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 Satanic, pressure the enemy out of the map and end with the next Rosh.
  • The damage reduction from Mana Shield icon 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 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 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 icon Mystic Snake and 1/2 level of Split Shot icon 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 iconMana Shield iconMystic Snake iconSplit Shot iconMystic Snake iconStone Gaze iconMystic Snake iconSplit Shot iconSplit Shot iconTalent iconSplit Shot iconMana Shield iconMana Shield iconMana Shield iconTalent iconStone Gaze iconUnknown iconStone Gaze iconTalent iconTalent icon
Carry Medusa (Farm Heavy)
Mystic Snake iconSplit Shot iconMystic Snake iconSplit Shot iconMystic Snake iconSplit Shot iconMystic Snake iconSplit Shot iconMana Shield iconTalent iconStone Gaze iconMana Shield iconMana Shield iconMana Shield iconTalent iconStone Gaze iconUnknown iconStone Gaze iconTalent iconTalent icon


Hero Talents
Split Shot icon Split Shot Uses Modifiers25+1.7 Mana Shield icon Mana Shield Damage per Mana
+1.5s Stone Gaze icon Stone Gaze Duration20+3 Mystic Snake icon Mystic Snake Bounces
-3s Mystic Snake icon Mystic Snake Cooldown15-10% Split Shot icon Split Shot Damage Penalty
+8% Stone Gaze icon Stone Gaze Bonus Physical Damage10+15% Mystic Snake icon Mystic Snake Turn and Movement Speed Slow

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 icon 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 Maelstrom and Mjollnir icon Mjollnir the chance is: 0.25 + 0.75*0.25 + 0.75^2*0.25 + 0.75^3*0.25 + 0.75^4*0.25 ≈ 76%
  • 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 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 icon 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 425/650/875/1100 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 95/77/69/64 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 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 icon Mana Shield[]

  • One point in Mana Shield gives you the full 98% damage reduction, it does not block full damage so that any on-hit effect item (e.g clarity, blink,..) will be cancelled upon taking damage. 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 icon 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 Anti-Mage with his Mana Break icon Mana Break and Manta Style icon Manta Style illusions.
  • 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).
  • 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 icon 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 Puck who used Phase Shift icon 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 icon Will-O-Wisp and Berserker's Call icon Berserker's Call help with this.


Starting items:

  • Ring of Basilius icon Ring of Basilius is the most important item for Medusa during laning phase, since your mana is also your health. Considering buying Sage's Mask in the beginning of the game and then upgrage it later on.
  • Arcane Boots is a logical upgrade from Ring of Basilius icon Ring of Basilius, it gives you a stable mana regen to help you with spamming your Mystic Snake and during teamfight without much attention on your mana.
  • Iron Branch icon Iron Branches provides early attributes needed for last-hitting creeps and a small boost in your hit points and mana.
  • Enchanted Mango icon Enchanted Mango gives passive health regeneration and burst mana.

Early game:

  • Power Treads icon Power Treads is an alternative to give Medusa additional attack speed to compensate for her low mobility and a boost to attributes.
  • Wraith Band icon 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 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:

  • Butterfly icon Butterfly offers bonus damage, attack speed, and armor, and its evasion is the only attributes that scale with your Mana Shield icon Mana Shield gives you even more survivability.
  • Manta Style icon Manta Style bolsters Medusa's attributes all around and can dispel troublesome debuffs. The illusions also benefit from Split Shot and Mana Shield.
  • Hurricane Pike icon Hurricane Pike gives cheap attributes, attack range and a useful active ability - a very cost-effective item for Medusa.

Late game:

  • Daedalus icon Daedalus combine with your lvl25 talent can give you a tons of damage to destroy the whole enemy's line up.
  • Eye of Skadi icon Eye of Skadi gives both killing power via slowing enemies and survivability because of attributes and mana for Mana Shield.

Situational items:

  • Mask of Madness icon 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 using Stone Gaze.
  • Drum of Endurance icon 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 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 Mjollnir can be bought to deal with summons or illusions.
  • Monkey King Bar icon Monkey King Bar can be needed if the enemies have evasion items or heroes.
  • Black King Bar icon Black King Bar is considered if the enemies are keeping you locked down before you can get Stone Gaze off.
  • Bloodthorn icon Bloodthorn gives intelligence and mana regeneration to make you even tankier, and it effectively gives you a Crystalys icon Crystalys and Monkey King Bar icon Monkey King Bar in one slot.
  • Swift Blink icon Swift Blink allows Medusa to chase faster especially during Stone Gaze while effectively granting her bonus attack damage and attack speed.
  • Moon Shard icon 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 Scythe of Vyse for an extra disable, attributes, and mana regeneration which may help Mana Shield.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter allows Mystic Snake icon 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.
  • Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard gives Medusa access to Cold Blooded icon Cold Blooded ability, which allows her to passively launch a single Mystic Snake icon Mystic Snake at any enemy hero who tries to damage Medusa using a single-targeted ability. When combined with Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter upgraded Mystic Snake icon Mystic Snake, it will almost completely discourage enemies from trying to use powerful single-targeted abilites that can hurt Medusa even if she is spell immune.
  • Divine Rapier icon Divine Rapier is the best damage item on Medusa. She's tanky enough that, even with Mask of Madness icon 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 Satanic should be picked up when building Divine Rapier icon 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.