The former Sorcerer Supreme and mentor of Dr. Strange protected earth from mystical threats for centuries using her absolute mastery of the Mystic Arts. Her presence alone is enough to keep the multi-dimensional beings at bay. Ancient One is a fighter and energy type hero with Hard Difficulty.
Ancient One Skills
Passive: Once Ancient One uses both Tao Mandala and Illusion Shift, her mandalas create a formation around her that explodes after 1 second(s), dealing 20(+65%Energy Attack) (+10*Level) energy damage to nearby enemies. Ancient One gains 1 stack of energy when her ability hits an enemy hero and enters Peak State once she has 5 stacks. During Peak State, Ancient One enhances Tao Mandala and Illusion Shift. Each successful hit against an enemy hero while using the abilities adds 0.5 second(s) to Peak State duration. When Ancient One enters Peak State, Tao Mandala and Illusion Shift cooldowns are refreshed.
Ancient One throws a Tao Mandala in the specified direction, dealing 120(+70%Energy Attack) energy damage to enemies in the path of its arc. Peak State: Ancient One's Tao Mandala splits into two, each dealing 120(+70%Energy Attack) energy damage. Ancient One also gains a shield that absorbs 100(+65%Energy Attack) damage. If the mandala hits an enemy hero and returns to her, she gains another shield that absorbs 100 damage. If a Tao Mandala hits the same enemy multiple times, subsequent damage will be reduced by 0.5.
Ancient One blinks in the specified direction and enhances her next basic attack performed within 6 second(s), recovering 100(+65%Energy Attack) HP when the attack hits an enemy hero. She recovers 20(+20%Energy Attack) HP instead if the attack hits a non-hero target. Peak State: Reduces cooldown by an additional Illusion Shift.
Ancient One separates her astral form from her body and shifts control to her astral form. Her body remains in place with 60% damage reduction and control immunity while her astral form gains 75% acceleration for 3 seconds. Her astral form deals 80(+40%Energy Attack) energy damage when passing through enemies and slows them by 65% for 0.75 second(s). The ability lasts up to 3 seconds. Using the ability again while it's still active returns her astral form to her body early.
Ancient One immediately gains vision of all heroes who haven't been KO'd for 5 seconds. When used a second time within 5 seconds, Ancient One shoots a mandala in the specified direction until it reaches its max distance, where it opens one portal at the max distance and one below Ancient One. Ancient One then teleports to the distant portal after 0.2 seconds. If the mandala hits enemy heroes, it will mark the enemy hero who is struck first and create a portal below Ancient One and the target. Ancient One then switches locations with the target after 0.2 seconds.
Ancient One Skills Analysis
Natural Passive: Sorcerer Supreme
- Every time Ancient One casts her Tao Mandala and Illusion Shift, a Mandala Formation appears around her dealing energy damage after a short period of time.
- The mechanics for activating her Peak State was recently changed (see June 24, 2020 patch notes). Her Peak State can now be activated by hitting her enemies with her abilities for 5 times.
- Casting Tao Mandala or Illusion Shift while a Mandala Formation is present will immediately burst it while creating another Mandala Formation.
- Once in Peak State, her Tao Mandala and Illusion Shift becomes Enhanced. Both the skill’s cooldown will also reset upon activation of the Peak State.
- While in Peak State, hitting enemies with her abilities will extend the Peak State by 0.5 seconds for each enemy hit.
Skill 1: Tao Mandala
- Tao Mandala is Ancient One’s main source of damage. Use it to clear lanes and poke enemies. You can slowly but safely charge your peak state by poking your enemy with your Mandalas.
- If you are the jungler, you can use Tao Mandala to pull the opposite jungle creep in order to kill two creeps in one go.
- Remember to aim your Tao Mandala. It is easy to forget to aim and just button mash because of how fast the cooldowns are. But practice aiming multiple enemies every cast.
- Enhanced Tao Mandala makes Ancient One throw two Madalas every cast. The second Mandala that would hit an enemy would deal only 50% damage of the original one. Unfortunately, you can only hit an enemy once with each Mandala. No go behind the enemy tricks/shenanigans.
- Enhanced Tao Mandala has additional 10% cooldown reduction which stacks with item cooldown reduction meaning you can go over the 40% limit.
- Enhanced Tao Mandala gives an initial shield upon casting. Although the in-game tooltip states that the enhanced Tao Mandala should give another shield upon returning when it hits an enemy hero. Upon testing, it doesn’t seem to work.
- Enhanced Tao Mandalas converge at two points, in front of Ancient One and at its maximum distance. These two points are where you can surely hit enemies with both Mandalas.
Skill 2: Illusion Shift
- Illusion shift is your main engage and escape tool. It is also your main source of sustain as the next basic attack after casting this skill will heal Ancient One.
- The enhanced basic attack heals less when dealt against a minion or a jungle creep.
- In Peak State, Illusion shift’s cooldown is substantially reduced. The cooldown at max level and cooldown reduction is just 1.2 seconds.
Skill 3: Astral Projection
- Astral Projection is your main defensive skill. You gain control immunity and substantial damage reduction while the skill is active. Time it well to absorb strong skills from the enemy.
- You gain one charge for your Peak State for every enemy hit by your spirit form. In Peak State, every enemy hit by your spirit form extends the duration of the state by 0.5 seconds.
- Your Mandala Formation will follow your spirit form. Use as an additional poke and Peak State charging mechanic.
Ultra-Skill: Inter-Dimensional Travel
Inter-Dimensional Travel has two phases. The first phase reveals all enemies in the map. Even those under bushes or even those with the invisibility status.
The second phase launches a Mandala in the specified direction where she teleports at the end of the distance traveled or she switch places with the first enemy hero hit.
After teleportation, she appears under the Peak State.
Think twice before activating phase two because you can end up in the middle of your enemies without backup. You can play it safe and activate your second phase after your allies initiated the fight. This also increases your chance of hitting an enemy and making the fight 5v4 in your favor.
Did you know? “Nobody knows the exact age of the Ancient One. She taps into the Dark Dimension to extend her life in her efforts to protect the realm. Although, in the comics, it is cited that she is over 500 years old.”
Shining Ether is your go to energy jungling item. Its cheap and it deals 8% of the target’s current HP. Antimatter Cannon and Megingjord helps with Ancient One’s sustain because she needs to be in the middle of team fights to make most of her impact. Virus Cannon enhances her basic attack with more energy damage. And Eye of Agamotto’s active can save her when she is in danger while all of her skills are on cooldown. And the Sorceress Supreme should be wielding the Time Stone, right?
Pick Darkhold instead of Shining Etheras your first item if you are your team’s Top laner.
- Cosmic Vortex – Helps Ancient one with clearing lanes and killing jungle creeps. This Power Core is also effective at dealing damage to enemy tanks.
- Strike Particle – Provides bonus damage when Ancient One’s HP drops below 70% which will happen often because she fights up close and personal.
- Restoration Module – Provides additional sustain during the laning phase increasing Ancient One’s sustain advantage.
- Spellcast Boost – Cooldown reduction augments Ancient One’s capability to spam her abilities. Furthermore, cooldown reduction which surpasses the 40% cap is converted to bonus energy damage.
Blink provides another escaping tool which makes Ancient One even tougher to catch.
Leech is a must if you will play as a jungler. You can use the upgraded leech to slow down your prey for the kill but don’t use it if you are planning to take the Leviathan (Black Panther Spirit) or Surtur afterwards.
Teleport is a must if you are a top lane Ancient One. The Teleport tactic allows you to go back into your lane faster after returning back to base or after a team fight near the bot lane.
Some Ancient One players prefer the Wound tactic for a more aggressive play. The tactic allows you to execute low HP enemies for a surprising kill shot.
Did you know?: Ancient one is a man in the comics. He was changed into a she as part of Marvel’s attempt to diversify the characters.
Early Game Strategy
- In the top lane: Poke your enemies with your Tao Mandala and with the combination of Illusion Shift and Astral Projection. Once you gain 4/5 charges you can play aggressively to burn your Peak State and your enemy’s hp in the process.
- In the jungle: Ask your teammates to help clear the red buff first. Killing the red buff will help you clear the jungle faster. Use the Tao Mandala to pull the jungle creep opposite to the buff creep then stand in the middle to clear both creeps simultaneously. Support other lanes by ganking enemies who are too far out. Attempt a kill when you have 4/5 charges ready.
Late Game Strategy
- Ancient One can initiate a clash in her team’s favor by teleporting an enemy to her team. It is quite risky as it puts Ancient One in a dangerous position.
- Another option is to join the clash later using her Inter-Dimensional Travel casted from far away both teams. This will force the enemy team to fight yours while they are outnumbered.
- Always try to hit as many enemies as you can with your Tao Mandalas. Grouped up enemies presents an opportunity to extend your Peak State indefinitely.
- Position yourself with your Illusion shift towards the enemy’s cores. Do not blink into the same direction over and over again to disrupt enemy formation and blink into bushes to hide yourself even for that split-second advantage.
- Always remember to time your Astral Projection to avoid game breaking crowd controls such as Iceman’s Absolute Zero or Scarlet Witch’s Chaos Magic.
Dr. Strange’s Time Manipulation can pull Ancient One back after casting her Inter-Dimensional Travel erasing virtually all the risk associated with the skill. While Ancient One’s ultra-skill is on cooldown, she can travel through Dr. Strange’s own Inter-Dimensional Portal to quickly close down on low HP enemies. No other hero pairs perfectly with the Sorceress Supreme but the Sorcerer Supreme himself.
Because Ancient One can position herself inside the enemy lines quickly, Ebony Maw could be a potentially strong ally to either assassinate enemy cores or to control multiple enemy heroes.
Namor’s Deep Sea
Barrier ehem vortex is an arena where Ancient One can easily keep her Peak State up because enemies would be grouped up inside.
Ancient One’s strongest ally can also be her strongest enemy as Dr. Strange’s Time Manipulation can return his teleported ally back to its original position leaving Ancient One in a 1v5 nightmare. Time Manipulation could also pull Ancient One if she extends forward too much, denying any escape attempt.
Cloak & Dagger’s Darkforce Dimension could also save her ally caught in the Inter-Dimensional Portal. Furthermore,when Ancient One appears where she have teleported, she will immediately be silenced then immobilized if she fails to get out of its range through Dark Fear.
Mantis can use Force Control on a recently teleported Ancient One or when she overextends. A controlled Ancient One is as fragile as your usual mage.
Heimdall Sword and Winter Casket are natural item counters to Ancient One because these items inhibit her sustain capabilities.
The Sorceress Supreme still reigns at the top of the ranks at s-tier as she remains as one of the most game-breaking heroes capable of carrying her team and even fighting all of her enemies by herself. Practice her until you get her rhythm and watch yourself reach the realms of the high ranks in no time!