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Heroes of Newerth Bubbles Guide

By kbart - 8th September 2010 - 23:45 PM

At first glance Bubbles is just a grumpy old turtle, but if played right he can be one of the most effective gankers and initiators in the game. For those who are familiar with Defense of the Ancients he is a direct port of the hero Puck, a hero that was popular in the DotA professional scene. He hasn't lost any of his effectiveness in Heroes of Newerth and this guide will teach you exactly how to utilize him best.


1. Skills Descriptions

Shell Surf

Description: Bubbles uses his shell as the focus for a teleport spell. Bubble's shell slides toward his opponents, damaging anyone it strikes. Bubbles may choose to teleport to his shell at any point in its journey.
  • Type: Magic
  • Range: 1,800
  • Radius: 225
  • Mana Cost: 150
  • Cooldown: 15.0 Seconds
Throws the shell in the target direction, damaging all enemies in the radius for 70 / 140 / 210 / 280 Magic damage.

Using this ability again while the shell is in mid-flight will teleport self to the shell's current location.

Usage: Shell Surf is the skill that really sets Bubbles apart from other heroes, mostly due to its versatility. First is the damage aspect of the spell. Shell Surf is an effective harass early on and can be used as a farming tool. Also there is the teleporting aspect. At any time during the spell duration you may warp to the location of the spell. This has many implications. It can be used as an escape mechanism, as a chasing mechanism, for surprise ganks, or to initiate group fights. In the late group fight phase it can be used to position yourself to drop an effective ultimate or simply to scare the enemy team into dispersing from fear of being initiated on.

Song of the Sea

Description: Bubbles plays a resounding note on his conch, damaging and silencing any foes unlucky enough to be near.
  • Type: Magic
  • Cast Time: 0.6 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 100/110/120/130
  • Cooldown: 20.0 Seconds
Deals 60 / 120 / 180 / 240 Magic damage to all enemy units in the radius and applies Muted for .1 / 1 / 2 / 3 seconds.

Muted Effects

Usage: Song of the Sea does damage and silences all heroes in an area around Bubbles. There is no documentation on exactly how wide the areas is, but imagine it slightly larger than Pestilence's stun, or about a 400 unit range. This spell has three main uses. It can be used in conjunction with Shell Surf to take out creep waves; it can be used as extra damage during a gank, or after initiating it can be used as both damage and a silence to the enemy team.

Take Cover

Description:Bubbles retreats into his enchanted shell, becoming impervious to all forms of attack, whether magical or mundane.
  • Type: Magic
  • Cast Time: 0.5 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 50/40/30/20
  • Cooldown: 6.0 Seconds
Grants invulnerability to all damage for duration of channel.

Can be toggled to auto-cast by right clicking. When set to auto-cast, this skill will automatically be used when Bubbles takes non-DOT damage, preventing that damage from being dealt.

The automatic use will not trigger if Bubbles becomes stunned or silenced.

Usage: Take Cover negates all incoming damage for a short amount of time and has an option to be right clicked to be auto activated. If on, auto-cast stuns will still land, for this reason it is more advantageous to simply cast it yourself at the most opportune times. If you can manage to react quickly enough you can negate Pyromancer or Witch Slayer ultimates or incoming stuns. You will especially want to cast this shortly after initiating a group fight because the enemy team will most likely turn and start focusing you. Take Cover has a very short cooldown, at 6 seconds, so don't be shy about using it early, as it will be up again quickly.

Kelp Field

Description:Arcane seaweed vines sprout from the ground, latching onto enemy heroes. Trying to escape the vines is futile - running causes them to snap, stunning and damaging their captive.
  • Type: SuperiorMagic
  • Range: 750
  • Radius: 400
  • Cast Time: 0.6 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 100/150/200
  • Cooldown: 85.0 Seconds
All enemy heroes in the radius take 100 / 150 / 200 Magic damage and are stunned for .5 seconds instantly.

If they move more than 600 units away from the center of the effect, they are stunned for 1.5 / 2.25 / 3 seconds and take an additional 100 / 150 / 200 Magic damage.

Usage: Kelp Field is especially useful because it is considered a superior magic. It does a moderate amount of damage in a 400 radius as well as performing a small stun. Also it stuns and damages anyone who moves too far away from its center, effectively tethering anyone caught inside it. Your main goal with this spell is to catch as many of the enemy as possible out of position, trapping them there. The cooldown is also relatively short so don't be afraid to use it on an escaping hero if it will get you the kill. Usually though this spell is used for initiation in the later stages of the game.

2. Skill Build and Usage

  1. Shell Surf
  2. Take Cover
  3. Shell Surf
  4. Song of the Sea
  5. Shell Surf
  6. Kelp Field
  7. Shell Surf
  8. Song of the Sea
  9. Song of the Sea
  10. Song of the Sea
  11. Kelp Field
  12. Take Cover
  13. Take Cover
  14. Take Cover
  15. Stats
  16. Kelp Field
The above skill build is considered the "standard" build, but Bubbles' skill build has a considerable amount of wiggle room. The first three levels are where the situational changes mostly take place. You should always get Take Cover by level 3, as it will save your life many times if used at the correct moments. Song of the Sea may be taken at level 2 if the interrupt is needed in your lane; for example to stop channeling spells against a Pollywog Priest or Electrician. The skill build above can be fallen back on in almost any situation if you are in doubt. It gives you one level in Take Cover for defensive purposes but also levels both of your offensive skills quickly for stronger ganking potential. It should be noted though that in some rare cases take cover can be leveled over Song of the Sea. Only do this if you are falling behind to a team that is very heavy on nukes and need the extra damage reduction to help survive fights. Even with this build at least one level of Song of the Sea should be gotten to be used as an interrupt.

3. Item build

3.1 To start with:

2x Minor Totem
1x Health potion
3x Runes of Blight
2x Mana Potion
1x Pretenders Crown or 2x Wards of Sight

All stats are very important for Bubbles early on, so start with 2 Minor Totems and a Pretender's Crown along with your regeneration items. Nothing is as important as wards though, so if your team needs you to get them or a courier, drop the Pretender's Crown and pick them up. If you end up soloing mid, lose some of the regeneration items and go for an early Bottle.

3.2 Then..


After your starting items you should pick up marchers then a bottle. Marchers are a natural quick pickup, and Bottle is a very strong item on any ganking hero, which Bubbles should be played as. A bottle will allow you to restore a lot of your lost mana and health by picking up runes as you move around the map.

3.3 Mid-late Game Items

Portal Key
Null Stone

Next you should be going for Steamboots and a Portal Key. If you are farming enough to warrant getting the Portal Key first, go for it. If you are having trouble, Steamboots first is probably your best bet. You may be asking, "I already have a blink in Shell Surf, why Portal Key?" Well besides from the obvious two is better than one, Shell Surf is fairly slow and sometimes can be spotted by better players. Also if you use Shell Surf to initiate you are left with no escape or chasing mechanism while Shell Surf is on cooldown. With Portal Key you can instantly and definitely land your initiation while still having a lot of options open to you with Shell Surf. Finally pick up a Null Stone, this item is just good in general right now, but it has a lot of synergy coming out of Take Cover. It will make you much more tanky and give you the mana regeneration you need down the stretch.

3.4 Luxury/Situational Items

Frostfield Plate
Kuldra's Sheepstick

All of these items should be considered either luxury items after Null Stone, or situational replacements. Pickup Frostfield if they have a lot of physical damage especially melee, grab a Puzzlebox if they have some nasty stealth heroes, or get a Kuldra's Sheepstick if they have one carry that is getting too strong. Null Stone is great in most any case, but sometimes you can help your team more with something else.

4. Hero Specific Strategies and Techniques

4.1 When to Pick

The best time to pick Bubbles is when you are looking for someone to gank early and initiate team fights later in the game. Although he can do decent in a support role, it is not where he shines most. Also he is very good to pick with any team that is heavy on area of effect damage. This is because his ultimate is very easy to land and along with its short stun, will allow other heroes to more easily land their area of effect spells. Some heroes he is good to pick with are; Magmus, Behemoth, Engineer, Soulstealer, Forsaken Archer, etc.

4.2 Initiating

Bubbles' main role down the stretch is initiating onto the enemy team to start off group fights. This is because his ultimate tethers the enemy team to their current position for a long time allowing other heroes to effectively land any of their skills. The best way to do this is with a Portal Key. You should first blink in and cast your ultimate on as many of their team as quickly as possible. Getting stunned early here could be very deadly so be careful. Hopefully you hit them all and have blinked into the center of them because you should next follow up with your silence as soon as possible, getting as many enemies as you can get. If you hit most of them you got a little bit of time to evaluate, if not just Take Cover immediately. You should now look around, whether the enemy is silenced or you're in your shell, to determine whether to run away with Shell Surf or chase someone down. In summary; Portal Key in, drop Kelp Field, cast Song of the Sea, Take Cover, Shell Surf away or forward.

4.3 Escaping

Bubbles is a hero that is capable of escaping from most any situation if your skills are used properly. One thing to remember is that whenever you cast Shell Surf, it will be a few seconds before it is actually worth blinking away. This is where Take Cover can come in handy. You simply cast Shell Surf then Take Cover and you will be fine until you can teleport a safe distance away. Also one cool thing about Take Cover is that the cooldown placed on Portal Key from hero damage is exactly as long as level 4 Take Cover (both 3 seconds.) This means, if you time it correctly, you can take your Portal Key off cooldown when being chased because you won't take any hero damage while hiding in your shell.

4.4 Ganking

One of Bubbles' important roles early in the game is to gank often. He has a lot of burst damage potential and with his ultimate since enemy heroes are unable to escape. It is very easy to pull off, just blink towards an enemy hero with Shell Surf and immediately silence. If you have your ultimate, throw it down on them. One important thing to note is to always try and Shell Surf right down the enemies line of escape. This accomplishes a few things. If they do try to juke, it will be back towards you and your ganking partners. If they run away, you hit them, but whether it hits them or not, you will be standing between them and their escape allowing you to both block them physically and land more attacks on them as they run for it.

5. Replays and Videos

6. Changelog

09/08/10 First release