Qojqva's Book of the Queen Of Pain
Artist: Mang, Machinata, Mig_Dota
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Author:
Qojqva & Co.
Date: 12/2018
Tags:
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Queen Of Pain
Builds
Tactics
Analysis

Welcome

Welcome to Qojqva's Book of the Queen of Pain, a hero guide part of the Book of Dota series!

Here you will find all the information you need to learn to play QoP on a high level – from drafting and builds to the optimal playstyle in different lanes and situations. We hope you’ll enjoy this guide and find it useful!

Qojqva QoP Stats
TL;DR:

Draft: It is important for you to dominate your lane, so try to pick QoP after you know the enemy mid laner to avoid counters.

Early Game: Use your strengths to dominate your lane while getting as much farm as possible. In the late laning stage, start controlling the map – get runes and pressure the side lanes with ganks. If this is not possible for some reason control your own lane and focus on flash-farming with Scream.

Mid & Late Game: Be careful with your Blink initiations, because when your opponents start walking together you could easily get counter-ganked and killed. You don’t want this to happen, because it will stop you from snowballing. Get defensive items to prevent this from happening. You are not good at pushing and finishing the game, but you are very good at controlling the map, which should give your team a resource advantage and allow you to push together in the mid-late game. If this is not the case, you can start split-pushing in the late game to buy time.

Authors

Max "qojqva" Bröcker
Endorsement & Info

Qojqva is one of the very few old-school core players who have been able to consistently stay at the top of the game and to maintain their peak mechanical skill.

He has competed on legendary teams like MYM,  mousesports, Team Liquid, Team Tinker, Escape, NiP, and Alliance.

Nikolay "CTOMAHEH1" Kalchev
Info & Editing

CTOMAHEH1 started his pro career as a support in Basically Unknown together with Mind Control. Since then he has consistently been playing on the European T2 scene, most recently on Unchained Esports. 

His highest placement on the EU ladder is top 100 - he plays all roles (mainly support), which is untypical for high-ranking players and shows his great versatility and understanding of the game.

Kyril "MrNiceGuy" Kotashev
PM, Writing & Editing

Esports and gaming enthusiast since forever and founder of Dotahaven.

Has been playing Dota since 2005 (5.84). An Ancient I player in Dota 2.

Long live your Queen!

Queen of Pain is one of the strongest laners in Dota 2, especially in a 1v1 situation.  She is also a very potent ganker & nuker and a good split-pusher that can start roaming and applying pressure on enemies from early on. After a few successful rotations, she is a hero that can quickly snowball out of control and take over the map. She is also a fast farmer with good semi-carry potential, which means that QoP can be effective at any stage of the game.

Because of all of this, she is a great hero for climbing MMR – you can dominate your lane and snowball out of control to secure quick victories for your team. This isn’t easy to do, however – you need to find the right balance between aggression and more conservative play. A few unnecessary deaths could stop the ball from rolling.

QoP is vulnerable to disables and has no lockdown herself. Unlike most other INT heroes, she doesn’t bring utility to her team. QoP is entirely centered around dealing damage and mobility.

QoP Loadout
Stats
Level 1
Level 15
Level 25
STR
18
Low
50
Low
73
Low
AGI
22
High
52
High
74
High
INT
22
Very High
62
High
91
High
Attack
45-53
Low
85-93
Low
114-122
Low
Armor
2.52
Low
7.45
Medium
10.97
Medium
Resistance
26
Medium
28
Medium
29
Medium
HP
560
Low
1200
Low
1660
Low
MP
339
Very High
819
High
1167
High
MS
293
Medium
297
Medium
300
Medium
STRENGTHS

MAJOR

Lane Dominator: QoP is a lane dominator thanks to the harassment of Shadow Strike, Scream of Pain and her fast, high range attack. Moreover, the high nuke potential she has makes it very hard for enemies to stay near the creep wave when they are low on HP – she can quickly Blink in and burst them down, which adds kill potential to her already considerable harass and last hitting potential.

Potent Ganker: There are three factors that allow QoP to be a very strong ganker. First, she has a lot of mobility thanks to her Blink. Second, she has two very strong nukes (her ultimate and Scream of Pain) that can kill a squishy hero almost in an instant in combination with a DoT that slows and allows QoP to stick to her target. Finally, she gets a lot of resources in the early game thanks to her laning dominance. The accrued gold and level advantage make her an even stronger ganker.

Mobile & Elusive: Thanks to her Blink, QoP is a hard hero to lockdown and kill. Moreover, the mobility allows her to travel fast between lanes and makes her movement on the map quite unpredictable. This  also helps her gank heroes and then retreat safely using Blink.

Flash Farmer and Semi-Carry Potential: QoP’s mobility and the low CD on her AoE nuke Scream of Pain help her move around the map and farm very quickly. Her farming speed in combination with her skill set and fast attack animation allow her to become a semi-carry in the late game. 

MINOR

Fast Attack Animation, High Attack Range: The fast attack and high range allow QoP to be very dominant in the laning stage and transition into a strong semi-carry in the mid and late game once she gets some items.

WEAKNESSES

MAJOR

Squishy: Although QoP is very mobile, she is a low HP hero and can be burst down quickly if she gets disabled. In fights silences and stuns can cripple her presence greatly.

Positioning-Dependent: QoP depends heavily on her positioning to survive or move during engagements. If you Blink into a bad spot, you can get easily burst down. You must choose the perfect timing to Blink in without getting punished for it while your spell is on CD. 

MINOR

Level-Dependent: QoP needs a good amount of levels in the early game in order to be effective. You want to have your spells maxed-out as early as possible – enemies at low levels will be very squishy, and as a result, they will be very vulnerable to your burst potential. If you get slowed down in your level progression, however, your nuke damage will be much less impactful.

Replays

PSG.LGD vs Mineski, TI8

MATCH ID 4066760701
Replay

Maybe plays an impactful QoP in an interesting game vs Mineski who have Storm mid and a carry Spectre + a support Silencer. Because of the Spect + Storm, this is a game where LGD are playing on a timer - they need to pressure, slow down the development of the Spect and end the game before its too late.

Nonetheless, notice Maybe's early game decision making: instead of committing to too many early game rotations, he spends his time controlling his own lane. Moreover, instead of going for a very offensive item build, he invests in a relatively quick Eul's (before Orchid) to counteract Silencer's ult and a potential Orchid from Storm.

Sometimes in a QoP vs Storm matchup, the QoP will use her early-game edge to rush a faster Orchid and start ganking the Storm. Versus Spect, mid laners who can rotate usually want to do it ASAP. Maybe knows, however, that in this particular game doing this will be too risky and one or two unlucky deaths thanks to Silencer's ult or getting scouted out by BH, for example, could easily cost his team the game. He plays safely, trusts that his teammates will control the Spectre, farms up, and waits for the timing in which he knows his team has the fight advantage: the mid game. Once he has his early game levels and items and his teammates are ready as well, LGD slowly but surely start taking kills, map control and eventually - the game.

Qojqva on QoP, Team Alliance

MATCH ID 4051066293
Replay

Qojqva plays a very impressive safe lane QoP with a stat of 18-2-8 and the highest hero damage in the game.

Draft: QoP is a good hero against the enemy core Weaver and Naix because both heroes rely on their spells to stay alive. A fast Orchid could help him hunt and nuke them down in the mid game, slowing down their resource development greatly. Moreover, the enemy team has very little lockdown, which means QoP can reliably disengage with Blink - the only dangerous disable for QoP is Kunkka's X-Marks the Spot.

Laning: The enemy team has a mid lane Clinkz which is a hard matchup for QoP - Clinkz can dodge the Shadow Strike projectile with Strafe and can harass with Searing Arrows. Because of this, Qojqva starts the game in the safe lane against the enemy Weaver and with the help of his roaming Tiny manages to get a kill. The Weaver is not an easy matchup as well, but with 3 levels invested in Shadow Strike and some lane swaps Qojqva manages to push him back and get the farm he needs.

After the good start, Qojqva gets his offensive item (Orchid) followed by a defensive item (Linkens' to block X-Marks the Spot). This combined with the enemy team's lack of disables allows him to play very aggressively, to find a lot of kills and to snowball, securing his team a very fast victory.

Team Liquid vs OG, ESL One Katowice 2018 powered by Intel

MATCH ID 3747006714
Replay

An extremely dominant performance by Miracle on QoP with 29 KDA. Notice his skill build – he gets a fast Orchid to increase his kill potential and afterward prioritizes Linken’s in order to counter the initiation from Batrider (and Storm). Nonetheless, after his DPS choices, he goes back to BKB in the late game in order to counter other sources of disables. This approach has a big benefit – his BKB is with very long duration in the late game, which allows him to freely deal right-click damage in fights.

Drafting

Generally, heroes that complement her ganking, aggressive play style work quite well with Queen of Pain. In addition, partners that have AoE damage and control will supplement her team fight potential. The hero excels against a squishy line-up but can’t do much against tanky heroes and enemies with a lot of disables to control her.

There are usually two reasons to pick QoP in a team strategy. First, QoP is a lane dominator that will win most 1v1 matchups and shut down the enemy laner to a great extent. Second, QoP fits an aggressive lineup that revolves around ganking and fighting early on. Moreover, QoP is not a one-dimensional hero – even if your aggressive strategy doesn’t work out in the early-mid game, you can always rely on her semi-carry and split-push potential in the later stages.

Solo Mid QoP

In the mid lane, QoP will get a lot of levels and farm that she needs in order to start applying pressure on the map. In a 1v1, she can dominate most lanes with the help of Shadow Strike and her fast, long-range attack animation. With a good start, the hero can snowball out of control – she will be able to constantly rotate and get successful pickoffs around the map.  Being very mobile, Qop can also control and use runes quite well. Moreover, the escape mechanism she has allows her to be very elusive and hard to gank. Even if enemies have very potent ganking supports, getting kills on QoP can be a difficult task. 

Substitutes:

Puck Portrait

Puck is a similar hero to QoP in the sense that he can start ganking and applying pressure on enemies very early on. He also fits aggressive lineups that constantly force fights and look for pick-offs. Like QoP, Puck also has very good team fight presence. The hero is a slightly weaker laner than QoP but still does quite well in most matchups. While QoP has decent carry potential, Puck is more of a utility hero. Unlike QoP, however, Puck provides very good fight control and is a great initiator.

Synergy

Frontline heroes: Alch, WK, Centaur, DK, Bristle, Luna, Troll

Alchemist hero icon
Wraith King
Centaur
Dragon knight
Bristle Portrait
Luna
Troll Warlord
QoP, like most quishy raged damage dealers, loves to have a frontline hero on her team.

QoP is a hero who loves to stay at the backlines of the fight and to choose the perfect moment to commit. Having a frontline hero to take the attention of the enemy makes this playstyle much easier to execute. Moreover, if the enemy team collapse on your frontline hero in an attempt to kill him, you can always counter-initiate with a multi-hero Sonic Wave.

Gankers: Bounty Hunter, Lifestealer, Clockwerk, Nyx Assassin, Nature’s Prophet, Slark, Ursa

Bounty Hunter
Lifestealer Portrait
Clockwerk
Nyx
Nature's Prophet Portrait
Slark Portrait
Ursa Portrait
Picking QoP complements other gankers in your team and fits perfectly an aggressive ganking mid game strategy.

Being a great ganker herself, QoP works quite well with other gankers. Together, they can snipe targets and apply constant pressure all over the map. A special mention goes to Lifestealer – QoP is one of the best heroes that Naix can infest into. The high mobility of QoP helps Lifestealer not only to initiate on targets from a long range (aka Naix Bomb) but also move very fast around the map to find gank opportunities.

Heroes with good AoE presence: Dark Seer, Tidehunter, Kunkka, Gyrocopter, Enigma, Magnus, Void

Dark Seer
Tidehunter Portrait
Kunkka
Gyro
Enigma Portrait
Magnus Portrait
Faceless Void Portrait
It is a good idea to combine QoP with other AoE nukes/disables to complement the team fight potential that she has.

Heroes that provide more AoE damage and/or more importantly - AoE control, can work very well with her and create a wombo-combo which gives your team a big team fight advantage.

Counters

Strong Against:

Low HP pool heroes: KotL, Slark, Morph, PL, Wind, WW, Willow, AA

Keeper of the Light
Slark Portrait
Morph
Phantom Lancer
Windranger
Winter Wyvern Portrait
Dark Willow Portrait
Ancient Apparition Portrait
If the enemy team has a squishy line-up, picking QoP will allow you to gank and burst opponent’s heroes in fights.

QoP is a huge threat to low HP squishy heroes because they can get burst by her nuke combo even from full HP. Moreover, unlike some other nukers, QoP is very mobile, making it very hard for enemy squishy heroes to stay out of danger (very relevant for squishy back-line supports like AA, etc.). Such enemies will have a hard time staying alive in fights and will be forced to play very defensively when they don’t see the position of QoP on the map, lowering their impact in the game.

She also works great against low HP but high armor AGI carries who want to farm for the first half stage the game. Slark and PL are prime examples - she will rotate after the laning stage and pressure them. Her AoE damage is also great against PL's illusions and Slark's ultimate.

Weak Against:

Tanks: Medusa, Huskar, DK, Abaddon, Viper, WK, Treant, Underlord, Bristle, Tide, Sven

Medusa
Huskar Portrait
Dragon knight
Abbadon
Viper
Wraith King
Treant Protector
Underlord Portrait
Bristle Portrait
Tidehunter Portrait
Sven
Against enemies that have high HP, QoP’s nuke damage isn’t very useful.

QoP is heavily centered on her nuke damage and because of this isn’t strong against tanky heroes. She won’t be able to gank and solo kill them or burst them down quickly in fights, which will lower her impact in the game.

Silences and strong disables: Puck, Meepo, Void, Legion, Drow,  Riki, Silencer, Kunkka

Puck Portrait
Meepo
Faceless Void Portrait
Legion commander
Drow Ranger
Riki
Silencer
Kunkka
Playing QoP against heroes with strong disables is hard, similarly to any squishy and mobile hero.

One of QoP’s weaknesses is that she is squishy. If she gets disabled in fights, she wouldn’t have access to her escape mechanism and she would get burst down very quickly. Linkens, BKB and her lvl25 talent help in this regard, but if there are multiple disables on the enemy team things could become unmanageable. It's worth mentioning that Roots are also strong against her because they disable her Blink.

Skills

Queen Shadow Strike
Queen Blink
Queen Scream of Pain
Queen Sonic Wave

Hurls a poisoned dagger which deals large initial damage, and then deals damage over time. The poisoned unit has its movement speed slowed for 15 seconds. An instance of damage is dealt every 3 seconds.

STATS

Cast Animation: 0.4+0.67

Cast Range: 450/500/550/600

Initial Damage: 50/75/100/125

Number of Instances: 5

Damage per Instance: 30/50/70/90

Move Speed Slow: 20%/30%/40%/50%

Duration: 15

CD: 16/12/8/4

Mana: 110

Shadow Strike

Mechanics:

Shadow Strike is QoP’s primary harassing tool during the laning stage and the only disable she has that helps her gank targets. In terms of mechanics, the spell is quite straightforward – it applies direct damage and also damage over time that lasts for the 15sec duration and damages the target hero every 3 seconds. Keep in mind that units afflicted by Shadow Strike can be denied by their allies – sometimes it will be better not to use Shadow Strike if it is very likely to get the kill without it to prevent enemies from denying the hero. Furthermore, Shadow Strike slows the target’s movement speed. Nevertheless, the slow is not constant. Rather, it is gradually decreasing, i.e. the affected target slowly regains their original movement speed (works similarly to Lifestealer’s Open Wounds).

Strategic Use:

In terms of strategic use, there are three things to keep in mind – the range, the casting animation and the cooldown.

First, the range allows you to cast it on a target without getting too close to it. Ideally, you would wait for an enemy to go in for the last hit in the lane and then cast the spell. Alternatively, if the enemy stays too far away, you can Blink in to use Shadow Strike. This, however, is a risky move, especially when you don’t see where other enemies are, and if your opponent can actually turn on you and even kill you. This would be the case, for example, if you Blink close to Invoker (Exort with Forged spirits) or Templar Assassin – they have very high output and can kill you while your escape mechanism is on CD.

Second, the casting animation of the spell is not instant – this means that enemies can dodge the projectile by Blinking away or turning invisible/invulnerable. The closer you are to the target, the harder it will be for the enemy to dodge it because the projectile of Shadow Strike will travel only a very small distance. For example, if you play against Templar Assassin, she can use Meld to dodge the Shadow Strike. In case you are very close to her, however, it will be harder for her to react in time to dodge it.

Third, the cooldown decreases with levels. Therefore, it is sometimes a good idea to get a second level in Shadow Strike to apply the damage over time constantly (the duration of the spell is 15 seconds, and at level 2 the CD will be 12).

Short distance teleportation that allows Queen of Pain to move in and out of combat.

STATS

Cast Animation: 0.33+0.07

Cast Range: Global

Max Blink Distance: 1300

CD: 15/12/9/6

Mana: 60

Blink

Mechanics:

In terms of mechanics, the most important thing to take into consideration is that the CD of Blink decrease by a lot with levels – from 15 to 6. The lower CD makes you much more mobile in fights and allows you to move much faster around the map to split-push, gank or flash farm.

Strategic Use:

When it comes to the strategic use of Blink, the spell is both your escape mechanism and your initiation spell.

When you initiate with Blink to get in range to cast your spells/items, you should choose your positioning carefully. With Blink on CD, you are an easy target to kill. If you don’t know where enemies are, you should not blink in aggressively to initiate, chase or nuke down heroes. You need to make sure that you won’t get disabled or burst down once you blink to a location.

Your Blink can serve as a surprise factor. Enemies won’t expect you to initiate on them and will take time to react. This gives you a small opening to burst heroes using your spells or to disable them with an item like Orchid or Scythe of Vyse. You can even shift-queue Blink and another spell– for example, queue Blink and Scream of Pain (Scream has instant cast time and will be cast right after you Blink) to make sure that enemies won’t react in time and that you won’t mess up your initiation (by using your spells before blinking in).

By using Blink you can dodge (disjoint) the projectiles of spells and attacks. Keep in mind, however, that Blink has a 0.33 seconds teleportation delay. Consequently, you have to quickly blink right away once you see enemies initiating on you – don’t wait for the last moment to blink out, or you might get caught.

The Queen of Pain lets loose a piercing scream around her, damaging nearby enemies.

STATS

Cast Animation: 0+0.63

Search Radius: 475

Damage: 75/150/225/300

CD:

Mana: 80/100/120/140

Scream of Pain

Mechanics:

 Mechanically speaking Scream of Pain is a very straightforward AoE nuke – it deals magical damage in 475 radius around QoP. A thing to consider is that the casting time of the spell is instant, unlike all other spells of Queen of Pain. Moreover, Scream of Pain hits invisible units and enemies inside the fog of war – you can use it to snipe invisible targets or opponents juking in between trees.

Strategic Use:

Overall, the ability has a low CD and is fairly spammable. You can use it to push out the wave, farm faster (flash farm) and split-push. In the laning stage, you can use it to both last hit creeps and harass the enemy hero. For example, wait for the enemy to get close to last hit and then use Scream of Pain to last hit some creeps and damage the opponent.

In fights, the spell can be used multiple times due to the low CD. Try to damage as many heroes as you can and don’t save it for a special moment – it has the same cooldown as your Blink and the more you use it the more overall DPS you will deal in the fight. After the spell is on CD, you can go back for a bit and then use your Blink to get into the fight once again and cast the spell for a second time.

Creates a gigantic wave of sound in front of Queen of Pain, dealing heavy damage to all and knocking back enemy units in its wake.

STATS

Cast Animation: 0.452+0.9

Cast Range: 700

Starting Radius: 100

Travel Distance: 900

End Radius: 450

Damage: 320/410/500

Knockback Distance: 350

Knockback Duration: 1.4 sec

CD: 135

Aghanim's Scepter

Increases damage and decreases cooldown.

Sonic Wave

Mechanics:

Mechanically speaking, Sonic Wave is a simple AoE magic nuke in the shape of a cone starting from your hero. The use of the spell is quite straightforward – it is your primary source of nuke damage and you need to use it to score kills and damage enemy heroes in fights.

It is important to note that the spell goes through magic immunity AND deals pure damage. This means that it is unaffected by magic resistance items and even more importantly – BKB.

It provides a slight knockback, so it could be used as a source of soft CC.

Although it has a big AoE, successfully hitting Sonic Wave can sometimes be a bit tricky:

Aiming:

There are two things to keep in mind about hitting your Sonic Wave – the range/radius and the casting animation.

 First, the cast time of the spell is not instant (QoP’s cast time is 0.452 seconds), which means that Sonic Wave is sometimes hard to land, especially if the target is very mobile. You need to predict the movement of the hero. In case he is running in a straight line, you can simply click either on the hero or on the ground in a direction to the hero to hit him. If the hero is moving sideways you should predict where he is going to be in the next 0.452 seconds (your casting time) and use the spell in that direction. 

Second, the radius of the spell is 100 at the very start of the spell animation and increases to 450. In case you are very close to your enemies, you might not hit everyone with Sonic Wave. Therefore, it might be better to step back and then use your ultimate to hit all heroes in the 450 radius. All in all, the cone shape of the ability and the big range (up to 1350) means that aiming it is far easier at the wider, further part of the cone. One way to abuse this is to cast your Sonic Wave first and to Blink-in to finish heroes with Scream, Shadow Strike, and attacks afterward.

It is also very important to note that Sonic Wave actually hits units up to 1350 range. This means that you don’t have to be within the 700 cast range to hit an enemy with Sonic Wave. Abuse this by targeting the ground when you want to hit enemies outside of your cast range.

When to use it:

 You should almost always use Sonic Wave whenever you have the opportunity to score a kill. Your ultimate is your primary nuke, and it will usually be needed in order to get kills. What this means is that you should be ganking whenever your ult is off CD.

If you go for an Aghanim’s the CD of the spell will fall drastically (to 40 seconds). This means that you can start using your ultimate even to farm big waves or stacks (if you are fairly certain that you will not fight immediately after). Don’t over-do this, though. Not having your ult in a fight might lose it for you and at the same time spamming Scream is usually enough to take care of big creep waves anyway.

Skill Builds

Queen of Pain doesn’t have many options when it comes to skill builds. Usually, you want to get 1 point in Blink in order to be more survivable and mobile and 1 in Shadow Strike to harass the enemy from the start (you might want to get 2 points in SS in case you can bully your opponent). Then, you want to max out Scream of Pain and level up your ultimate whenever possible in order to maximize QoP’s nuke potential. After that, you max up Blink since higher levels reduce the CD of the spell and increase the range of Blink. This allows you to be much more mobile, move around the map faster, gank and fight more effectively.

Standard Skill Build
Shadow Strike Build:
Queen Shadow Strike
1
Queen Blink
2
Queen Scream of Pain
3
Queen Scream of Pain
4
Queen Scream of Pain
5
Queen Sonic Wave
6
Queen Scream of Pain
7
Queen Blink
8
Queen Blink
9
Talent Icon
10
Queen Blink
11
Queen Sonic Wave
12
Queen Shadow Strike
13
Queen Shadow Strike
14
Talent Icon
15
Queen Shadow Strike
16
Queen Sonic Wave
18
Talent Icon
20
Talent Icon
25
Pros: highest possible burst potential; high mobility;
Cons: lower harassment in the lane (with only level 1 Shadow Strike);

If you don’t see where enemy supports are at the start of the game, it might be better to not skill up anything until you see where they are. In case they are ganking you, you can skill up Blink and escape. Most likely, however, enemies won’t attempt ganks so early on, and you will skill Shadow Strike from the start in order to harass the enemy right away.  Next, you want to get your Blink in order to be more survivable when you get ganked or initiated upon. Afterward, you want to max out Scream of Pain and get your ult in order to increase your nuke damage and kill potential.

Queen Shadow Strike
1
Queen Blink
2
Queen Shadow Strike
3
Queen Scream of Pain
4
Queen Scream of Pain
5
Queen Scream of Pain
6
Queen Scream of Pain
7
Queen Sonic Wave
8
Queen Blink
9
Talent Icon
10
Queen Blink
11
Queen Sonic Wave
12
Queen Blink
13
Queen Shadow Strike
14
Talent Icon
15
Queen Shadow Strike
16
Queen Sonic Wave
18
Talent Icon
20
Talent Icon
25
Pros: higher harassment in the lane; less mana intensive early on;
Cons: lower burst potential;

The difference between this build and the standard one is that you get two points in Shadow Strike instead of 1 in order to harass the enemy better. This could be devastating especially against e.g. melee opponents. You also skip your ultimate at level 6 and instead max out Scream of Pain. There are two reasons for this:

First, if you go for the 2/1/2/1 build at level 6, Scream of Pain will deal only 150 damage which is quite low – because it is the most spammable nuke that you have, you want it maxed out as quickly as possible. Bear in mind that it is your main farming skill.

Second, if you don’t have enough mana to support both your ultimate and Scream of pain, it’d be better to skip Sonic Wave and level up Scream of Pain instead. In prolonged engagements, casting multiple Screams will deal more damage than casting Sonic Wave plus Scream of Pain only once.

Nonetheless, you want to get your ultimate before you rotate for kills on the enemy cores. This means that it is possible to get the skill e.g. on or 7 if you feel you have a good opportunity to gank.

Talents

15s Spell Block

25

Scream of Pain 1.5s Fear

650 AoE Shadow Strike
20

30% Spell Lifesteal

+40 Attack Speed
15
12% CD reduction

+10 STR

10
+25 Damage

Lvl10: You are a squishy hero - an HP boost is always good for you. Only take the damage when you're certain you will not get nuked down in the early game.

Lvl15: If you plan to go for the Octarine build in the late game, you should take the CD reduction, but if you want a Mjollnir-Assault build you should take the AS.

Lvl20: It doesn't matter what build you opt to go for, Spell Lifesteal is always great.

Lvl25: Depends on the game you play. Let's say for example you play against Doom, BM or  Bat – spell block will help a lot against their ultimates. In most other cases you want the Scream of Pain fear, as it gives you a source of AoE control and it makes jumping aggressively with Scream less risky.

Item Builds

QoP’s builds are quite versatile because she is both an intelligence ganker hero with a strong presence early on and a semi-carry in the mid and late game. Consequently, the items that she goes for should accommodate both aspects.

Orchid Build

This is perhaps the most standard build for QoP. It starts with you buying a second Null Talisman to dominate the lane even more. Converting it into Veil is possible, but often you want to skip this in order to get to your Orchid faster. You usually want to go for Eul's for the cost-efficient stats and most importantly - the defensive mechanism (most useful against silences). If you are feeling certain you're not in danger, however, you can rush Orchid right away and start ganking heroes on the map.

Ultimately, your goal will be to get Orchid as quickly as possible and then start seeking pick-offs on your own or together with allies. After the Orchid, you usually go for BKB in order to stay safe in team fights.

In the late game, you go for Assault + Bloodthorn + Mjollnir to increase your physical DPS. Moreover, Mjollnir and Bloodthorn synergize very well with your spell lifesteal talent.

Starting items
Null talisman
Faerie Fire
Pulled Tango
Pulled Tango
Early game
Bottle
Null talisman
Magic wand
Power Treads intelligence
Mid game
Euls
Orchid
Black King Bar
Late game
Assault_Cuirass_icon
Bloodthorn_icon
Mjollnir_icon
Boots_of_Travel_1_icon
Null talisman

Null Talisman: If you get Null talisman on QoP, you will be able to dominate the lane even further. The high range and fast attack speed of QoP, in combination with the higher damage from Null, will help her to outlast-hit and severely harass almost any opponent.

Faerie Fire
Pulled Tango
Pulled Tango
Bottle

Bottle: gives QoP a needed sustain not only in the lane but also at later stages when she is farming/split-pushing. Bottle helps her to sustain her mana, and so, use her spells more often to farm faster and/or harass enemies in the lane. Just like other mobile gankers, QoP can control and use the runes for rotations. 

Null talisman

Null Talisman: a second Null increases further your mana pool and damage in the early game, which helps you a lot at dominating the lane.

Magic wand

Magic Wand: QoP has Mana problems and the item can help her to regain a portion of her Mana in fights. Moreover, the life boost is quite helpful, especially if she gets disabled – the heal burst of Magic Wand can give you enough time to Blink away after the CC ends. 

Power Treads intelligence

Power Treads:  If switched to STR, the item makes her more survivable and on INT – more damage and mana pool.

Euls

Eul’s Sceptre of Divinity: Eul’s can help you deal with silences and physical damage dealers. It will also give you a lot of Mana regen which can help you farm faster.

Orchid

Orchid Malevolence: this is the primary ganking item for QoP in the mid game. The nuke damage that QoP has synergizes quite well with the Orchid effect – the 5 seconds of damage amplification is more than enough for QoP to deal the majority of her damage. Furthermore, the item gives QoP a needed disable (silence) to gank and kill targets. Without it, she has no way of locking down mobile heroes that have escape mechanisms. Finally, the item gives QoP both extra mana and mana regen that she needs to cast her spells often in addition to good damage and attack speed that allow her to transition into a semi-carry later on. A downside of the item is that you have high burst/kill potential but at the cost of survivability – you will be very squishy with Orchid and you might not be able to team fight before getting BKB.

Black King Bar

Black King Bar: Even though QoP has a good escape mechanism, she can easily be stunned/silenced and thus, killed in fights, especially when her Blink is on CD. Having BKB, you don’t have to constantly be wary of enemy heroes that have disables. BKB makes you much more survivable, and you can start playing more aggressively. You can split-push on your own because you are even a harder gank target, initiate in fights, even jump on heroes by yourself to snipe them and then retreat by using BKB and Blink.

In the late game, BKB is very valuable because it buys you time to freely right-click targets for longer and deal physical DPS.

Assault_Cuirass_icon

Assault Cuirass: If you intend to become a physical damage semi-carry you need AS besides damage, and since AGI items don’t benefit you a lot one of the best options is AC. The armor buff and debuff is very helpful for the whole team. Because of this Assault Cuirass is a very common late-game choice for QoP, especially when paired with Bloodthorn’s attack damage.

Bloodthorn_icon

Bloodthorn: increases your physical damage output by a lot, but since the item is quite expensive you usually want to upgrade Orchid only after you have taken care of your survivability.

Mjollnir_icon

Mjollnir: Split-pushing/farming item for QoP. Furthermore, it can help her deal with heroes that have illusions. Mjollnir gives you a good amount of right-click damage, and because QoP is a semi-carry, the item suits her well. Synergizes very well with her Spell Lifesteal Talent (Lifestealing from every proc).

Boots_of_Travel_1_icon

Boots of Travel: The item helps QoP to split-push more effectively or punish split-pushers (you can constantly teleport to a lane creep/tower to gank the enemy split-pusher).

Aghanim's Build

Starting with double Null is even better when you intend to go for Veil. The increase in your magic burst can allow you to go for ganks a bit faster. Then, in order to further increase your nuke damage potential, you go for Agh's. In the late game you invest in a BKB for survivabilty and afterward, you get an Octarine Core + Shiva’s to further increase your nuke damage potential and your ability to spam spells.

Starting items
Null talisman
Faerie Fire
Iron branch
Pulled Tango
Pulled Tango
Early game
Null talisman
Bottle
Magic wand
Power Treads intelligence
Mid game
Veil of Discord
Aghanim's_Scepter_icon
Late game
Black King Bar
Shiva's_Guard_icon
Octarine_Core_icon
Null talisman

Null Talisman: If you get Null talisman on QoP, you will be able to dominate the lane even further. The high range and fast attack speed of QoP, in combination with the higher damage from Null, will help her to outlast-hit and severely harass almost any opponent.

Faerie Fire
Iron branch
Pulled Tango
Pulled Tango
Null talisman

Null Talisman: a second Null increases further your mana pool and damage in the early game, which helps you a lot at dominating the lane.

Bottle

Bottle gives QoP a needed sustain not only in the lane but also at later stages when she is farming/split-pushing. Just like other mobile gankers, QoP can control and use the runes for rotations.

Magic wand

Magic Wand: QoP has Mana problems and the item can help her to regain a portion of her Mana in fights. Moreover, the life boost is quite helpful, especially if she gets disabled – the heal burst of Magic Wand can give you enough time to Blink away after the CC ends. 

Power Treads intelligence

Power Treads:  If switched to STR, the item makes her more survivable and on INT – more damage and mana pool.

Veil of Discord

Veil of Discord: Veil gives very cost efficient stats for QoP and, in addition, increases her high magic damage output further thanks to the active.

Aghanim's_Scepter_icon

Aghanim’s Scepter: The advantages of getting the item are that the CD of your ultimate will be decreased by a lot as well as its damage. The lower CD and higher damage can be useful to split-push and flash farm since you will be able to clear out waves much faster - you will be able to one-shot a creep wave using your ultimate. It will also allow you to gank at full efficiency much more often – useful to have against lineups that tend to split up and farm/split-push. The extra damage is great in team fights in case you are able to hit a multi-hero Sonic Wave. The item grants extra HP and mana and might be a good choice if you feel that you need extra survivability.

It's downside is that it provides less single target DPS compared to items like Orchid and doesn't help QoP's carry potential a lot.

Black King Bar

Black King Bar: Even though QoP has a good escape mechanism, she can easily be stunned/silenced and thus, killed in fights, especially when her Blink is on CD. Having BKB, you don’t have to constantly be wary of enemy heroes that have disables. BKB makes you much more survivable, and you can start playing more aggressively. You can split-push on your own because you are even a harder gank target, initiate in fights, even jump on heroes by yourself to snipe them and then retreat by using BKB and Blink.

In the late game, BKB is very valuable because it buys you time to freely right-click targets for longer and deal physical DPS.

Shiva's_Guard_icon

Shiva’s Guard:  The item grants QoP additional disable (slow) and nuke damage, especially in team fights. In addition, the AoE damage of Shiva’s helps her split-push faster.

QoP also has relatively low base armor. Therefore, the extra armor of Shiva’s helps her survive against physical damage.

Octarine_Core_icon

Octarine Core: Getting Octarine on Queen has very few drawbacks – she uses very well both the CD reduction (on all 4 spells) and spell lifesteal, which stacks with the one from her talent.

Other Items

Mid game
Ghost Scepter
Dagon5
Force staff
Linken's Sphere
Late game
Scythe of Vyse
Ethereal Blade
Refresher orb
Monkey_King_Bar_icon
Daedalus
Manta_Style_icon
Desolator Icon
Skadi
Ghost Scepter

Ghost Scepter: A defensive choice for QoP used to deal with physical damage nukers like Ursa, Phantom Assassin, Clinkz, etc.

Against Orchid gankers like Puck or Storm Spirit, getting Eul's or BKB instead of Ghost is the better choice - QoP wants to transition into a physical damage dealer later on and in Ghost Form, you won’t be able to attack.

It is worth considering that you can use the Ghost Scepter to build an Ethereal Blade that will increase your nuking potential and will help you save your allies versus said physical damage nukers.

Dagon5

Dagon: the item could be an alright choice if you’ve managed to snowball out of control by ganking and winning fights early on – with level and gold advantage and with a Dagon you will likely be able to solo kill any hero on the enemy team. It is, however, a very risky option as it offers nothing defensively and while it's great in ganks, it's not ideal in team fights. If you have it, combine it with E-Blade.

Force staff

Force Staff: Force is bought almost exclusively as a counter to Riki's Smoke Screen. Nonetheless, this will give you the opportunity to upgrade it to Hurricane Pike later on. It is quite decent on QoP as it can help you disengage after a too-aggressive Blink and it helps you deal a bit more right-click damage with the increased range.

Linken's Sphere

Linken’s Sphere: The item is usually purchased to counter strong single target initiators like Bat Rider, Beastmaster, Doom etc.  In addition, Linken's will give QoP both survivability in terms of extra HP and the mana sustain that she needs to use her spells frequently. Also, it is very good combined with your spell block talent.

Scythe of Vyse

Scythe of Vyse: The item gives QoP a very needed disable. Moreover, in combination with her Blink ability, QoP becomes a very good initiator.   The item also gives some survivability in the form of extra HP and helps her solve her mana problems by providing a lot of INT and decent mana regen.

Ethereal Blade

Ethereal Blade: E-Blade synergizes with QoPs’s nuking potential and possibly Dagon. It can help you burst down targets very quickly, and also allows you to save allies in team fights (by using Ethereal on them). It is a natural item choice after you have gone for Ghost Scepter to save yourself from physical DPS burst from heroes like PA, TA or Ursa, but in other situations it is a very rare choice.

Refresher orb

Refresher Orb: The main benefit of Refresher is that you can use two ultimates, which could be totally devastating in a team fight if you hit multiple targets. Nonetheless, because of the bad stats and the price of the item, it is usually bought as a super late game luxury. It is the best late game choice if the match is rich in 5v5 engagements and if your opponents have mass units and illusions.

Monkey_King_Bar_icon

Monkey King Bar: a good DPS item when you are dealing with evasion and are not building Bloodthorn.

Daedalus

Daedalus: Daedalus is a great physical DPS item especially when combined with AS items like Assault and Mjollnir. You can go for it if you don't have Orchid in your build, otherwise the usual choice is Bloodthorn.

Manta_Style_icon

Manta Style: The Manta could be used as a luxury substitute for Euls - it gives better stats and can be used to dispell silences. The illusions, however, are preatty weak offensively.

Desolator Icon

Desolator: Desolator is a situational choice for QoP usually picked up in the late game. The item allows her to both split-push faster (since it reduces the armor of buildings) and to deal more physical damage in fights. It synergizes well with other heroes that have sources of armor reduction. In terms of raw DPS output, however, Desolator is inferior to Bloodthorn, which she usually gets becuase of the Orchid.

Skadi

Eye of Skadi: The item makes her more survivable. Moreover, Skadi grants QoP slow to stick to her targets while she is right-clicking them. Rushing Skadi, however, is a bad idea – it gives neither lots of damage nor lots of survivability (without BKB you are still vulnerable to disables and silences). You want to build Skadi in the late game at least as your third big item.

Early Game

QoP 350px

Queen of Pain is usually played in a solo position because she needs a lot of levels. She also excels at 1v1 matchups.

 

Your focus in the laning stage will be out-last-hitting the enemy but also harassing & zoning-out to stop his/her development. Hopefully, with a good start in the lane you will out-level your opponent and will be able to start attempting kills even in other lanes.

Dominate the lane –deny/harass/out-last-hit the enemy
Get to lvl 6-7 as fast as possible
Rotate for kills, use your mobility and nuke damage
Farming:

Getting last hits and out-last-hitting the enemy in addition to denying as much as possible should be your primary tasks in the lane. You have high attack range, fast attack animation and good base damage. All of this combined helps you get last hits/denies relatively easy. You can also use your Scream of Pain to secure creep kills. For example, you can damage several units until they are low on HP (but out of deny range) and then cast the spell to get all the last hits. Ideally, you would want to also damage the enemy hero while doing so.

Push-out the wave and control the rune:

When it comes to rune control, you have a big advantage because you are mobile and you have a spammable AoE ability (Scream of Pain) that allows you to push out the wave before the rune spawns. You should use that advantage and try to get all runes. Be careful, however, how you use Blink when you go for a rune. Whenever the spell is on CD, an enemy support waiting near the rune can disable you and kill you together with the mid laner. If you don’t have a ward near the rune spot, and you don’t see the enemy supports, blinking towards the rune is risky. It is better and safer to just run towards the rune (you can use the Blink on your way back to save time).

Last but not least, runes increase your ganking and solo kill potential or at least help you dominate your lane even more – as a potent ganker, QoP uses runes better than most mid laners.

Harassing & Zoning out:

Queen of Pain is one of the best harassers in the lane in Dota. You should be most of the time close to the creep wave, ready to harass the enemy hero against you. You do so by using auto-attacks and two of your spells – Shadow Strike and Scream of Pain.

Shadow Strike Harass

Shadow Strike applies a DoT on the enemy hero, prevents him from using Bottle and Salves to regenerate efficiently and slows their movement speed, which makes them even more vulnerable to your harassment/nuke potential. The more often you use Shadow Strike, the better – if possible spam it on CD. Against melee heroes, this would be very easy because you will be able to cast it when they come in range to last hit. Against ranged heroes it could be a bit trickier – Shadow Strike has only 450 range and if a ranged hero plays cautiously you might not get an easy opportunity to cast the spell. You might need to use Blink to get close enough before casting it. Be careful when you do this, however. With your escape mechanism on CD and being positioned aggressively, you could be vulnerable to kill attempts.

Some heroes against you could have abilities that allow them to dodge your spell. You can fake-cast the ability and stop the casting animation to force a reaction from the enemy. For example, Puck will likely use his Phase Shift once he sees the start of the casting animation of Shadow Strike. If you manage to trick him into using his ability too early, you will be able to hit him with the spell after that. Another thing to keep in mind is that the closer you are to the enemy, the harder it will be for him to dodge your Shadow Strike. The reason for this is that the projectile will travel only a small distance to hit.

Scream of Pain Harass

As you get more levels in Scream of Pain, you can use it to whittle down the HP of the enemy hero. Keep in mind that using it when you are close to the creep wave will push the wave - this is great for applying pressure and controlling the rune, but it could be dangerous if the enemy supports rotate.

If you want to commit, you can blink close to the enemy hero, use Shadow Strike and Scream of Pain and start right-clicking. Nevertheless, some enemies can turn on you if you do such a move. Therefore, such a move is a good idea under two conditions: first, you see enemy supports on the map, and you are not afraid of getting counter-ganked. Second, the enemy hero can’t turn on you and potentially even kill you while Blink is on CD – this could be either because he doesn’t have the abilities to do so or is too low on HP and can’t stand his ground. Whenever any of these conditions aren’t met, you should save your Blink to escape and instead, walk to the hero and use your harassing spells that way.

Zoning Out

Being a high-range hero with an escape mechanism, QoP can be aggressively positioned (between the creep waves and the enemy hero) to zone the opponent out of the lane. If you are winning the harass exchanges and you are not pushing-out the wave, this is the posture you need to take to dominate the lane. Blink should keep you safe from rotations and kill attempts.
Kill Potential:

QoP has high kill potential, especially once she hits level 6. You have a lot of spammable spells in the lane, which means that your opponent will be below full HP most of the time when you attempt to get a kill. Your usual combo is to Blink in and use Scream of Pain into Shadow Strike. The first spell provides instant nuke damage and the second good slow that allows you to continue attacking for longer. It has, however, moderate casting animation and also 450 range at level 1. In case you don’t use it right away, the target might get out of range. Proceed to right-click your target and one it's out of attack range, finish the kill with your ult - this will maximize your damage output becuase Sonic Wave has more range than your attacks and it's a bit easier to hit on long range because of its cone shape.  

A thing to keep in mind is that you will usually need your full Mana capacity in order to cast your full combo. Therefore, before you attempt a kill, make sure that you have close to full Mana.

The problem with this “blink in - nuke the enemy” tactic is that the enemy hero will expect it once you get to level 6 and will either rotate or try to stay at full HP so that you won’t be able to burst them even using your full combo.  You can use the following trick to get a kill early on: if you are very close to level 6, you can engage on the enemy, use Shadow Strike and get a last hit on 1-2 creeps with Scream of Pain, while also damaging the opponent. This should give you enough experience to get to level 6 and skill your ult and nuke him down with Sonic Wave. The enemy will not be expecting the extra nuke from the ultimate and will be likely thinking that he is in a relatively safe position. The surprising leveling-up factor can help you score a solo kill. This is a situation which leads to solo kills even in pro games.

Staying alive:

Queen of Pain has a very good escape mechanism (Blink) that helps her escape ganks. You have to be mindful, however, of two things regarding your survivability. First, your Blink has a casting animation. Even if you see enemy heroes ganking you, you might not be able to Blink away in time, especially if they have instant disables.  Second, Blink at early levels has a longer CD. This means that even provided enemies don’t have a hard lockdown for you (stun/silence), you can still be killed. You are most vulnerable when you blink in aggressively - don’t do this when you don’t see the positioning of supports that can kill you.

Whenever you spot enemies coming to gank you, you should immediately use Blink to get into a safer position. A split-second of hesitation can make the difference between successfully blinking away and getting disabled mid cast animation.

Timings & Rotations:

Rotating to the side lanes to gank as well as staying in the mid lane to control it and farm up are both viable options during the laning stage for QoP.

Generally speaking, you would want to rotate to use your nuke potential while it is at its peak (late laning and early-mid game stages) and stop the development of your opponents as well as create space for your teammates. If there are no good opportunities to do this, however, you should simply stay put and farm up – you are a fast farmer and getting your core items faster will allow you to be a considerable threat in the mid and late game.

QoP has a very high gank potential early on, especially around level 7 or 8 when she usually gets her Scream of Pain maxed out.

The key to the success of your rotations is to use your mobility and vision to surprise your targets. Push out the wave before rotating, use smoke if needed to enter the enemy jungle undetected, etc.

Although the hero has a lot of burst, QoP lacks control. Ideally, you want to follow up a disable from an ally with your nukes. Casting your spells after a setup will make sure that you hit all your targets with them. You can use Sonic Wave from afar (remember the spell can hit units up to 1350 range), while you are still out of vision, then Blink in and use Scream of Pain right away. Both nukes will hit enemies almost at the same time – opponents will be caught completely off guard.


Video Example:

The matchup against DK is favorable for QoP (as it is against most melee heroes), but it is very hard to dominate simply because DK can stay in the lane thanks to his regen and secure last hits with his nuke.

This is likely the main reason QoP decides not to invest an additional point in Shadow Strike – harassing and zoning out the DK is an uphill battle, so it is logical to focus on your burst damage to increase your kill potential and to be able to push out the wave and secure last hits easier.

Notice how he controls the runes with Blink and his Bottle. When he finds an invis rune after lvl6 he decides it’s time to attempt a rotation – he was likely to go to the bot lane, but he noticed that the enemy roaming Tusk has overextended and decided to secure the easy kill and get back to mid ASAP (leaving the DK on his own for long will likely result in a lost mid tower).

On 09.45 the enemy team attempt to gank QoP, but using her nuke potential she manages to get a counter kill and escapes with Blink. Notice that in this situation the extra stats from the two Nulls, the PTs and the Wand are key to let her survive the long disables and Blink away afterward.

Mid & Late Game

QoP Immortal

QoP is a strong hero both in the mid and late game because of her semi-carry potential. It could be argued that she is at her strongest when most enemies don’t have their defensive items to deal with her magic nuke – that is usually during the early-mid game. Your goal is to dictate the pace of the game with your aggressive playstyle during this timing and ideally take away map control from your opponents. This should help you and your team out-farm them and secure the victory in the mid-late game when you have all of your core items.

Priorities

Being a very mobile hero with a lot of burst potential, QoP usually focuses on seeking pick-offs around the map. With Orchid, you can even get solo kills on most targets.

You can also look for team fights – QoP is a very strong hero in the mid game since enemies will be vulnerable to her AoE nukes before they have enough survivability items. Try to avoid fights, however, once your Sonic Wave is on CD. It is one of the most important AoE sources of damage and without it, your fighting potential is much weaker.

Since QoP is a strong semi-carry and she farms very fast, you should farm up whenever your ultimate is on CD or/and there aren’t good gank or fight opportunities. Finally, QoP is a good split-pusher – if you don’t want to force engagements you can use your AoE damage and mobility to out-push the waves and force reactions from your opponents while dodging ganks with Blink and TPs.

Gank & team-fight when ultimate is up;
Farm and out-push the waves when it isn't;
Timings:

The first timing for you to start to roam and gank should be around level 7-8 when you have your max nuke potential for early game (max lvl Scream + Wave).

Your second timing would be once you get your first core item – usually Orchid. It helps you to gank more effectively and to get solo kills even on elusive enemies. You should start looking for kill opportunities much more active once you get the item.

The third important timing is usually BKB - it is the key item for team-fights and wihtout it you are vulnerable, so you should try to get it before 5v5 fights start.

Comeback Potential:

If your laning stage goes poorly, you have decent catch-up potential, unlike most snowball heroes. You can farm quite fast thanks to your AoE, spammable abilities and even split-push. After a bad laning stage, you will most likely get BKB earlier than usual in order to fight back enemies that will be trying to push your towers. Nonetheless, in case opponents are not in position to start grouping up and forcing 5 on 5 fights, it will be better to go for other items that will both help you farm faster and increase your gank/nuke potential. If you're committed to split-pushing, you can get a fast Maelstrom. If you think you can get kills, buy Orchid and try to gank the enemy cores with your teammates to slow down the game and regain map control.

Team Fights:

At the start of team fights:

You have two choices: to initiate or to follow up an initiation from an ally. Whether you can initiate or not depends a lot on your items. If you have Scythe of Vyse or Orchid and BKB, you can Blink in aggressively and use your items and spells on your target with the goal to burst it down before it has an impact in the fights. If you don’t have BKB, however, Blinking in will be too dangerous – you can get disabled and killed. Moreover, without any control items, there isn’t a good way to initiate and lock enemies down. Therefore, in such a case you need to follow-up an ally’s initiation.

Who to focus during fights:

You have the choice between focusing the core enemy heroes or squishy supports on the back line.

Provided a squishy target is away from his teammates and can’t escape (i.e. has no escape mechanism), you can Blink on him and nuke him down before he contributes to the fight. Focusing squishy targets is also a good choice when you can’t bring down enemy cores – usually the case if they are too tanky for your nukes.

In case you have enough damage to burst a core target, most likely with the help of your allies, you can use your spells to focus them down. It is even a good choice to use all your abilities, including your ultimate, to bring down an important target (usually the enemy carry) before he/she can use BKB or spells (although you can cast your ult even after the target activates BKB). Killing a core before they have an impact will instantly swing the engagement in your favor and blowing all your spells will be completely worth it.

Generally, you want to save your ultimate to damage as many targets as you can with it. Usually, you would want to wait for enemies to group up a bit and then use the spell. To hit the most people with Sonic Wave it is a good idea to make use of the widest part of the cone (which is further away from your hero). Because of this, if enemies are relatively close to each other it is a great idea to use your ult at them and then Blink in to finish targets off with Scream and attacks - the most common way to team fight with QoP.

Movement during fights:

You will most likely play the “kiting” role in engagements, especially if enemies can burst you down quickly. The CD of your Blink and BKB will determine your playstyle. Without BKB, you want to save your blink for disengaging - poke with spells and attacks but be ready to blink away. With BKB, you can afford to bling aggressively and right-click at least for a while.

QoP is a great clean-up hero because of her mobility. If enemies are running away on low HP it is your job to chase them down with the help of Blink and secure the kills.

After Miracle sees the position of the enemy team he uses the time he has to quickly push-out the top wave and get his BKB. Once he gets the item he knows it’s a good idea to force a fight.

He initiates on the enemy Chen with his Shadow Blade (he doesn’t use Blink because he wants to have the spell available to escape) and tries to nuke him down. Logically, the enemy team tries to counter-initiate and kill him, but with Linken’s, BKB, Blink and Oracle on his team he knows he will be able to disengage. Once the enemy team has used all of their spells on him without securing a kill, his team is able to easily win the fight.

This kind of play on QoP is unusual and risky – normally, you don’t want to be the first one in the fight. Nonetheless, if you know the limits of your hero perfectly and you have the needed survivability items, such baits are definitely possible because of the mobility that Blink gives you.

Pushing:

QoP is a very good split-pusher.  Whenever you are not ganking or team fighting, you should be farming and split-pushing. QoP has a spammable AoE nuke that helps her to clear waves fast. Furthermore, the low CD of Blink allows her to move very fast around the map and push out waves in different lanes.  Her Blink ability also helps her escape ganks, and it makes it very hard for enemies to kill her when she is split-pushing. Her only drawback is building damage, but in the late game items like AC help in this regard.

During 5-man pushes, you should stay on the backlines. You don’t want to be initiated upon because you are squishy and will die. Moreover, your team relies on your damage to win a fight should such an engagement start. Staying at a safe distance will usually present you with a great Sonic Wave opportunity when the enemy team jumps on your frontline pusher.

Ganking:

Queen of Pain is a very good ganker thanks to her mobility and burst damage. How and who you can gank, however, depends a lot on the items you have and on the situation. If you have Orchid, you can get solo kills on most targets that are not very tanky. To execute a gank you Blink in, silence a target and nuke it down with your spells. Without Orchid, you usually need to gank together with an ally that will provide extra disables and damage (unless you are ganking a very squishy support). When you are ganking, try to move/Blink around enemy Observer wards so that opponents don’t track your movement (avoid common Observer ward locations). The low CD of Blink and the ability to jump over obstacles allows you to do this.

Map Control:

With QoP you create map control through ganking and team fighting. The more pressure you apply on the enemy team the more free space there will be on the map for your carries to farm up and the less there will be for the enemy team to get resources (safely). You are also a decent Gem carrier - Gem helps you maintain the map control you've acquired and totally blind your enemies. In addition, you have a good escape mechanism – it is hard for enemies to kill you to get the Gem.

Farming:

Farming with QoP is quite straightforward - use Blink to move around faster, use Scream of Pain and attacks to clear-out creep waves and camps. Usually, you want to push out the waves fast and then get out of vision so that your opponents are not aware of your location. Ideally, you want to search for successful skirmishes and then farm the location that you just ganked. This is best done with allies on the enemy safe lane, to take control of the enemy jungle. This will leave the safer farming spots to your more passive farmers.

You have spammable AoE spells and mobility – both things help you to flash farm. Combine your mana regen items (Eul's, Orchid) with Clarities and you might not need to go back to base at all after the early game.

When farming in the lanes, you can attack each of the creeps in a wave a few times and finish them off with a Scream of Pain. By doing this you will ensure that you will get all last hits. When farming in the jungle, you can use Shadow Strike on a big creep and then use Scream of Pain. Doing so will help you bring down a camp faster. In addition, as with every hero that has AoE potential, stacking jungle camps can increase your farming speed a bit. You could use your ult for very big stacks.

Finally, keep in mind that you need a lot of mana to use your spells. If a team fight starts, and you are low on mana because you have been farming, you cannot contribute a lot. As a result, do not constantly spam your spells if you expect a team fight to start (unless you have a lot of mana regen or/and high mana pool).