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A guide to Treant Protector

by Dennis Gonzales Apr 16
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Treant Protector received a massive rework in 7.00 and was simultaneously removed from Captain's Mode. Though IceFrog may have gone a bit overboard with his rework — the hero has received a total of 11 nerfs and one buff since — he finally returned to Captain's Mode in patch 7.05.

Treant Protector has been picked up a handful of times in pro play since his return to Captain's Mode, but he has been doing damage in pubs throughout his competitive hiatus. In games with 5K MMR or higher over the past month (dating back from April 13), he holds a 55.6 percent win rate, the third highest out of all heroes in that MMR bracket.

Despite his strengths, Treant protector has always been considered a somewhat specialist pickup, but he could be an important hero to add to your support stable.

Here's our guide to playing Rooftrellen, the Treant Protector.

Playstyle

Treant Protector has a diverse kit that allows you to play the hero either aggressively or defensively and has a game-changing Aghanim's Scepter that effectively negates the need for wards.

He's also one of the few support heroes that has invisibility built into his kit, making him a very capable roamer. Nature's Guise was turned into a passive invisibility similar to Riki's (so long as you remain beside trees) with an added bash when you break invisibility with an attack. This passive invisibility is also not broken by abilities, including blink, meaning you can traverse large gaps of trees while remaining invisible.

Nature's Guise, coupled with his heal and slowing ability Leech Seed, also allows Treant Protector to be an incredibly disruptive skirmisher as well. Living Armor adds to his skirmishing ability as well, but is primarily a defensive tool, giving a heal and damage block that can also be used to heal buildings. Used in tandem with a defensive composition, this ability allows your high ground holds to last much longer.

His ultimate, Overgrowth, is a large AoE disarm, interrupt and root. It cannot be understated how much the root mechanic was buffed in 7.00, as it disables a slew of movement abilities.

Finally, his Aghanim's Scepter upgrade, Eyes in the Forest, allows Treant Protector to enchant a tree, which gives you vision. It's vision radius is 800 units, which is half the size of a normal observer ward, but gives completely unobstructed flying vision. And whenever Overgrowth is cast, the spell is also propagated by every single enchanted tree with an added 175 damage per second component to boot. That's 787.5 raw magic damage at max level.

Needless to say, Treant Protector's kit can be pretty insane and given its diversity, he naturally has a number of different builds. We'll look at how xy- builds the hero, as well as how community figure and guide builder Torte De Lini builds him.

Skill Build

xy-'s skill build for Treant Protector is pretty defensive, as he takes an early value point in Leech Seed (W) and Nature's Guise (Q), but maxing Living Armor (E) first and taking Overgrowth (R) whenever possible. This maximizes his global presence which in turn allows him to support his allies regardless of where he os in the map. With that said, this hurts his early game aggression.

Torte De Lini's build follows a more offensive philosophy, taking early value points in all abilities, but maxing Nature's Guise first.

Both builds also max Leech Seed last, but given how well its damage and heal scales per level, it's definitely not a bad skill to max first, especially if your lane plans on being aggressive.

Itemization

Like most hard supports in the game, the variability of their item builds is most limited by gold gain and a support Treant Protector is no different. Your lean build means you've got to squeeze as much utility out of your gold as possible and build to your strengths. For Treant Protector, that means building off of a core set that consists of Medallion of Courage and Blink Dagger.

Early Game

xy- uses a very consistent opening set of items, with a Smoke of Deceit, Tangos, Orb of Venom and a very early Town Portal Scroll. From there he picks up his Boots of Speed and Wind Lace, building towards Tranquil Boots.

Torte De Lini's build is pretty similar, opening with a Tango, Observer Ward, Clarity and Orb of Venom, but prefers building Arcane Boots over Tranquils, since Treant Protector has some pretty high mana cost skills.

Mid Game

Medallion of Courage will be the first core item for both xy-'s and Torte De Lini's build. Like Treant Protector's kit, it gives both offensive and defensive options. It's also one of the most important tools (minus armor) in effectively taking Roshan and a bonus that your Nature's Guise invisibility is not cancelled when the active ability is used.

Torte De Lini's builds immediately lead into a Blink Dagger, allowing you to be a strong initiator with Overgrowth. However xy- prefers to skip the Blink Dagger in favor of rushing an upgrade of the Medallion of Courage, Solar Crest, playing to a more back-line Treant Protector, while Torte De Lini is more likely at the tip of the spear.

xy- almost never strays from this build, though he'll add in a Magic Stick when necessary as well as Tome of Knowledge when possible. Meanwhile Torte De Lini mixes in an Urn of Shadows or Iron Talon when needed, and finishes the Solar Crest after Blink.

Late Game

At this point you're largely building for what your team needs, or something to counter the enemy team.

In the few competitive games that have gone late for xy-, he's built towards a typical Blink Dagger after his Solar Crest, but has also built a Eul's Scepter or a Lotus Orb. Meanwhile Torte De Lini suggests a slew of items, from a Pipe of Insight, Shiva's Guard, to an Octarine Core.

All suggestions fill their own niche, but one to really consider is Aghanim's Scepter, which gives you the Eyes in the Forest ability. The earlier you can get the item the better given the active ability's 35 second cooldown, which isn't very long, but it'll feel like ages as you'll want to begin saturating your jungle, and the enemy's.

Not only is the vision incredibly useful, but each extra enchanted tree gives you that many more options for an initiation. And because of the added damage per second component, you can actually farm up the jungle if you place them near jungle camps. Definitely a nice bonus and it also forces the enemy to invest into detection items, if they haven't already.

Skill Tree

Level 10 Level 15 Level 20 Level 25
+2 Mana Regen +25 Movement Speed 15% Cooldown Reduction +5 Living Armor Block Instances
+30 Attack Speed +90 Gold/Min +90 Damage -50s Respawn Time

For most heroes there's a pretty clear variation of talent builds you can go with, offering different advantages depending on what you want to achieve or what you want to counter. However, Treant Protector is one of the few heroes that has a way of building out his talent tree in a way that can be optimal in almost all circumstances.

At Level 10, take the extra mana regen since you really won't be making much use of the attack speed. At Level 15, take the extra gold per minute, since it's a godsend for hard supports. At Level 20, take the cooldown reduction, because your role is not to right-click. And finally, at Level 25, take the extra Living Armor block instances since generally speaking all the respawn time reduction talents are trash.

There's maybe extra consideration to be taken for the attack speed, movement speed and damage talents in the off chance that you're playing a clowny core Treant Protector, which is definitely fun, but maybe not fun for the rest of your team when they think you're playing support.

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oraclea P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

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