Master of Illusion, Samuro by SMOrc

Master of Illusion, Samuro

By: SMOrc
Last Updated: Jan 7, 2019
12 Votes
Build 1 of 2


Build: Single Target Build

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Teamfight Build

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

The Illusion Master Playstyle Top

This guide was created by MemeKingNick on twitch with some help of Munky (onepricktony) for his twitch channel MunkyS . If you are a more advanced Samuro player looking for a deep explaination on matchups, maps, things you should be doing early/mid/late game, or just a different perspective check out Derenash's guide here .

These builds are focused entirely on the benefits of Illusion Master, your damage will come from your auto attacks and Illusion Master will allow you to go deep into an enemy team's backline and swapping back to safety with a clone you control away from the team fight. Illusion Master will allow you to mindgame your opponent convincing them an clone is you and allowing you to sneak a few hits in, mitigate damage and burn enemy abilities in fights.

It is important to know that swapping will negate most negative conditions on you and refresh the health of clones to (half) that of Samuro.

Illusion Master will also grant you an extremely efficient macro playstyle, cutting down on most if not all travel time. Allowing you to clear a wave and swap to another lane and dual soak, or swap to a camp, scout areas of the map, and confuse your location.
For example, you can take a camp while a clone stays in a lane, making it less obvious that you are taking the camp. Another use is to disguise the numbers in a fight, an enemy will be less likely to engage in a 3v2 because they see Samuro with your teammates, when in fact it would be a 2v2.

Illusion Master's utility is only limited by your imagination and raises the skill cap of Samuro to viable in Grand Master rank.

Dead Talents Top

First things first to better understand the effectiveness of your talent choices it's important to understand why some talents are NOT useful. The following talents for this style of play (and any style of play in higher ranks) are considered useless and even detrimental to your ability to play Samuro. Do not pick these talents.*
Spoiler: Click to view

The Talents Top

With the most crucial information out of the way we can start to analyse build options. There are 2 primary builds that affect your playstyle with a few varied options. The most critical option begins at level 1 as it will affect your entire early game and can easily mean the difference between winning or losing a lane.

Level 1 Talent

Way of the Wind will give you a movement speed increase that is extremely helpful for chasing and escaping. You'll want to pick this talent when the enemy heroes have high mobility and are difficult to pin down, on large maps for faster rotations and macro use, or against ganks that would otherwise kill you without it's mobility benefit. However, in a large majority of games you will need Way of Illusion to have a presence in fights. If you're solo laning against Zagara you will need this.

Way of Illusion. The new go to option, at the cost of mobility you can greatly increase your damage output and power spike early on in the game. Take this talent if you do not need the mobility from Way of the Wind to finish off enemies or to escape. This option is sometimes necessary depending on your lane matchup, for example, without this talent you have no chance competing against sonya in lane. Consider this talent a frontline buster or an increased burst option for backline heroes in situations were your staying power in a team fight is not optimal. If the enemy team has an abundance of tough targets, or against a tank matchup where you can build stacks very quickly, take this talent. The value of this talent is greatly increased by how quickly you can complete it. With this talent you can go for a more assassin style of play later on.

As a general rule: If you can hit your enemies take Way of Illusion , if cannot hit your enemies take Way of the Wind .
Depending on which level 1 talent you pick the rest of the build will usually follow suit of the goal you have in mind.

Level 4 Talent

Mirage. Nine times out of ten you'll want this talent, it greatly increases you and your clones survivability against spell damage which will be the majority of damage you would take. Since the stacks last until used, you can reset them with your Mirror Image ability to reduce spell damage 4 times in a row. Take this option unless the enemy composition is extremely auto attack reliant.

Deflection is a situational option that you will unlikely need, if a majority of the damage you will be taking is from auto attacks the entire game you'll need this talent. It is important to remember that Advancing Strikes needs to be active to gain the physical armor benefit. Otherwise take Mirage .

Level 7 Talent

Burning Blade gives you great waveclear, increases your crit damage greatly and more reliably than Phantom Pain and grants you a damage spike that will allow you to start harrassing the enemy and make optimal trades with your lane opponent. Burning Blade is a solid talent choice and a safer one for newer players, you should always take this talent if your team is lacking waveclear.

Phantom Pain is a pick while lacking in waveclear, offers a different playstyle path that can deal a tremendous amount of single target damage, especially if you chose Way of Illusion at Level 1. Take this talent if you need to blow up squishy targets quickly, beat down tough enemies, and other fights where you need to quickly deal damage and not stay for long. You will also be able to clear camps faster than with Burning Blade as it is easy to keep clones alive while clearing camps. Remember that as soon as one clone dies your crit damage will be a little less then Burning Blade and if 2 die, it will be a lot less. If you're more experienced and able to reliably keep your clones alive then you should take this talent.

This level is where you get your power spike, especially if you took and completed Way of Illusion at Level 1. Start dealing effective damage with your double crit combo. (save your natural crit, hit an enemy and use Critical Strike to instantly crit again without waiting for your auto attack timer.)

Finally Illusion Master!
Do not even glance at Bladestorm, be extremely cautious as to not misclick and bring great dishonor to your name. This is the second half of Samuro and this is where you really shine.

The first thing that will greatly improve your effectiveness is your ability to have self sustain, by this I mean with Illusion Master you can make a clone hearthstone back to base, swap to that clone, heal to full, and swap back to a clone before they expire. You should practice this tactic as you will only have a 2 second window before the clones expire. (2 swaps, 8 second cooldown, and 18 seconds before clones expire.) It's very important to know that picking Illusion Master will not reduce Image Transmission's current cooldown.

Now that you have control of your clones you can begin to greatly expand your macro effectiveness, mindgame enemies and win fights you otherwise would not be able to. Keep in mind that picking Illusion Master also increases your basic attack damage by 10%. Refer to the beginning of this guide for a more in depth explanation of what you can do with Illusion Master.

Level 13 Talent

This talent option is more often then not strongly tied to your option at level 16.

Mirrored Steel This talent greatly improves your staying power in a team fight, by allowing you to use your Mirror Image ability more often, you can have more uptime on your clones if they die quickly, have more mini-teleports with the directional clone spawning. Allowing you to chase more, or disengage/juke. Solid talent option but offers a small bit less mobility than Shukuchi gives as you can use Mirror Image and Shukuchi in the same instant where Mirrored Steel mobility is more over time.

Shukuchi. If you did not take Way of the Wind at Level 1, and are lacking quick decisive mobility you should take this talent. This talent is great for closing distance quickly, it is useful for finishing off an escaping enemy or to escape yourself. However you can use this as a hard engage with a Mirror Image mini-teleport and Shukuchi teleport combo to cover a great distance, usually into the enemy team's backline, deal damage with a double crit instantly and have your clones back where you originally used Mirror Image ready to swap to. Keep in mind that this combo will expend your two most important abilities and you will have to wait for your cooldowns to reset before you can reliably fight again, this combo works way better if you have Harsh Winds . If you need to stay in a fight longer than an instant you should refrain from using this combo.

Shukuchi is a great talent when paired with the level 16 talent Harsh Winds , and on the other side Mirrored Steel is a great talent when paired with the level 16 talent Press the Attack .

Kawarimi EXTREMELY NICHE An interestingly unique talent choice that will dramatically change your playstyle, secretly amazing ONLY under the right circumstance. Taking Kawarimi lets you spawn a clone on a seperate cooldown than Mirror Image , this lets you replace a lost clone and stagger your clone timers. Because you can swap to refresh your clone health and now replace a lost clone, you can solo push both towers and the fort without any minions and without taking any damage. Keep in mind the new clone will replace a clone if you already have 2, this adds another layer of complexity to clone control and should ONLY BE TAKEN FOR PURE SPLIT PUSH USE. The clones that are replaced alternate between your 2nd and 3rd unit, the first unit that gets replaced is always the 2nd, then the next is 3rd, then back to 2nd and so on. Above you should only take this when you can't trust your team to win team fights with or without you and decide to purely split push, do not expect to be valuable in team fights as much as you would be if you took Shukuchi or Mirrored Steel intead. Overall this talent is very rarely useful in high level play as your enemies won't let you get away with this, and you can just push with the minions anyways. You will hardly ever realistically take this talent.

Level 16 Talent

Harsh Winds. You should only take this talent if you took Shukuchi at level 13, otherwise it is too risky as it costs you your escape ability Wind Walk . This talent will greatly improve the Mirror Image and Shukuchi combo explained in Shukuchi's talent explaination. This combo paired with Phantom Pain can deal massive amounts of damage very quickly and makes it a more viable engage. Again, you should not do this if you cannot afford to burn your two abilities' cooldowns instantly in a fight.

Press the Attack is the more reliable and consistant talent option, increasing your ability to deal damage, and maintain Advancing Strikes , and triggering the effect of Mirrored Steel faster makes this talent a very good pick.

Merciless Strikes is a niche pick that is rarely useful, in some situations where you have good communication with your team you can deal a lot of damage with, but as this relies on your teammates to apply stuns, roots, or slows, it is far more often then not a better option to pick Harsh Winds or Press the Attack as it keeps your potential tied to your hero and not potentially weakening your solo power.

If you took Kawarimi at level 13, then you should take Press the Attack always, unless you absolutely need to join team fights and can benefit from your teammates giving you Merciless Strikes value.

Level 20 Talent

Three Blade Style is going to be the final piece of the Illusion Master build, only in extremely rare instances will you not take this talent. This talent allows you to greatly increase your clones' value, you can stay in team fights a lot longer. Your enemies can no longer tell the difference between clones and you by their health. You can tank tower shots effectively with clones, and by refreshing their health with swapping you can deal considerable siege damage. You can swap 4 times instead of 2 before the clones expire, allowing you to greatly increase your macro effectiveness.

Some tips to be aware of... Top

Mirror Image spawns Samuro in the direction of your mouse cursor, you can use this as a mini-teleport to escape or chase.

Clones will follow current attack move commands when you use Mirror Image, you can use this to move clones into bushes, jungle, or even other lanes as long as they don't spawn near minions or heroes.

If you took Way of Illusion a more reliable way to get clones to attack a hero is to hover you cursor over the hero within vision range when you use your Mirror Image, this will make the clones act as if they used attack move on that hero, clones can still lose aggro if they are behind minions or dip outside your sight radius, if you hit the hero with the real samuro immediately the clones will attack them.

After getting Illusion Master keep a clone in a safe area to swap to in case things get dicey where you are.

Clones can body block your enemies, you can use this to pin people down or help allies escape or tank skillshots for your team.

After immediately using Mirror Image there is a very short timeframe where you cannot control the clones even if they are visable (very short period, .1th a second maybe), if this happens to you often, double press 4 or select by dragging a box over the units.

After using Wind Walk you can swap immediately without losing your stealth to give the illusion that you became unrevealed as a getaway tactic. The time frame for swapping is considerably short.

You can also use Mirror Image immediately after using Wind Walk and you will remain invisible for the unrevealable duration but will become invisible again after, you can use this to conceal your directional spawn position from Mirror Image and quickly hide in a bush.

You can use Mirror Image to teleport over a gate and kill someone by their fort and swap out, some walls are too thick to teleport but you can angle a clone to appear on the other side and swap to it.

When fighting camps or solo bossing, you can micro clones to tank damage for you, swapping to refresh their health and not take any damage yourself.

With Illusion Master you can make one clone hearthstone back to spawn, swap to that clone, and swap back to your clone. Letting you heal while only being gone for 16 seconds.

Swapping and using Mirror Image negates most negative conditons such as blinds, roots, and slows. This includeds poison and DoT effects, effectively healing you for damage you would have taken. Be careful because you cannot use these when you are stunned or silenced, if you're against a hero that can do these things be quick to swap as a second too late can mean death.

You can also remove things like Tracer's Pulse Bomb, Chromie's Temporal Loop, Xul's Bone Prison and Butcher's Mark, but not things like Malthael's Last Rites, Illidan's Hunt, or Kael Thas' Pyroblast. (You can swap to core and Illidan will follow you.)

There is a frame of invulnerablity when you use Q or swap, it's very difficult to pull off but with the right timing you can iframe Malthael's Last Rites, Kael Thas' Pyroblast, DVa's Self Destruct, Azmodan's Globe of Annihilation and any other similar things.

Staggering your clone timers with Kawarimi allows you to push two lanes non-stop without having to walk a clone between lanes, by spawning a clone with E before teleporting to another lane the new clone will allow you to get your Image Transmission's back before it expires.

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