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Predator “Kitty on the Prowl” Guide by Darkangel

Darkangel’s Guide to Winning the Kitty War


Base stats
Model: Predator
Race: Terran
HP: 300
Energy: 125
Damage: 15
Attack Speed: 1
Targets: Ground
Range: Melee
Move Speed: 3
Armor: 2

Table of contents:

1. Quick Guide
2. Introduction
3. Skills
4. Skill Order
5. Items
6. How to Fight
7. Gameplay
8. Conclusion

1. Quick Guide:

Skill order:
W,E,W,R,R,R,Q,W,E,E,T,T,Z,Z,Z,Z,Z,Z

Item Build:

Cocky Early Build (to be used vs squishy heroes and players who are unaware of their surroundings):
Level 3 Attack First, Protective Shield, Psi Disruptor

Conservative Early Build:
Level 2 energy, Lockdown, Protective Shield, Psi Disruptor

Final Build:
Lockdown, Defensive Matrix, Protective Shield, Psi Disruptor, Level 5 Weapons, Level 5 Armor, Level 5 Energy

2. Introduction:

This guide is aimed to be helpful to all levels of Predator players, from never played before to IH level players. Predator is one of the best heroes in the entire game when played appropriately.  It is easily the hero I have enjoyed playing the most as well since it is very versatile when considering its ability to gank and the offensive and defensive ways to use its ultimate.  I have quite a bit of experience with Predator in pubs and in-houses.

This is the hero for you if you don’t mind crittering for the first 10 minutes and also have decent APM and good decision making. Who knows, you may even break my record for number of kills with Predator in a single game (it was 66 minutes long and 53-0).

3. Skills:

Pounce (Q)
Allows the Predator Hero to pounce on a target visible location or enemy unit. If the target is an enemy then the unit will be immobilized and take 15 melee damage. The damage dealt scales with weapon and level bonuses. If pounce is used on an enemy air unit, then it brings the unit to the ground for the duration of the ability.
Costs 35 Energy
9 Second Cooldown
Level 1: 6 range, 3 second duration.
Level 2: 7 range, 4 second duration.
Level 3: 8 range, 5 second duration.

My Thoughts: This is the bread and butter of the Predator hero. The root and damage from Pounce allow Predator to be the great ganking hero that it is. This is no friendly cat pounce, this is a full on lion pounce. Land this and you have put yourself in a great position to get a kill.

Create Predator Cub (W)
Allows the Predator Hero to summon Predator Cubs. Predator Cubs benefit from Agility. The life and damage of the Predator Cubs scale with the hero’s level. Cubs have 1 life per second life regeneration.
Level 1: Maximum of 2 cubs, 80 energy cost, 20 cooldown.
Level 2: Maximum of 3 cubs, 60 energy cost, 15 cooldown.
Level 3: Maximum of 4 cubs, 40 energy cost, 10 cooldown.

My Thoughts: Predator Cubs are the reason for Predator ALWAYS crittering for the first 10 minutes. As long as you don’t let them die in the crittering process, you will be ready to go on the prowl looking for prey at 10 minutes. They also play a HUGE part in finishing off your kills. Use the cubs to completely surround the hero once you have pounced him, and he will have nowhere to go. Also, this ability is excellent for escaping opponents’ efforts to kill you.

Lightning Field (E)
Allows the Predator Hero to unleash a deadly field of electricity when it attacks. The Lightning Field deals splash damage to enemy ground units in a radius of 1 and can only be used once every 5 seconds. The damage dealt is modified by level and item bonuses.
Passive.
Level 1: Lightning Field deals 5 damage.
Level 2: Lightning Field deals 10 damage.
Level 3: Lightning Field deals 15 damage.

My Thoughts: This is how Predator stays relevant mid-late game. Since you have probably been off ganking for a good portion of the beginning of the match, you may notice yourself starting to get underleveled. Take advantage of this ability to clear some creep to make sure you are right up to par on levels and upgrades which will create fear in the enemies’ eyes for the entire game.

Agility (R)
Increases the Predator Hero’s movement speed.
Passive.
Level 1: +18% movement speed.
Level 2: +36% movement speed.
Level 3: +54% movement speed.

My Thoughts: Speed is absolutely necessary for that extra surprise factor when ganking. ‘Nuff said.

Paramagnetic attraction (T)
Allows the Predator Hero to induce a powerful magnetic field, which attracts nearby paramagnetic materials. The spell causes units within a radius of 7 to be attracted to the Predator Hero. Lasts 6 seconds.
Level 1: 80 energy cost, 48 second cooldown.
Level 2: 60 energy cost, 36 second cooldown.

My Thoughts: This ability can make or break a teamfight. Use it at the correct time, and you are guaranteed an easy victory. Use it at the wrong time, you just might cost your team the game. Also a great tool for farming double waves in tandem with Lightning Field.  Can also be used to save a stunlocked hero by activating the ult and dragging it back from your opponents.  Try not to pull enemy heroes as well.  Familiarizing yourself with the ultimate and its effect range will help greatly.

4. Skill order:

Level 1: W-Create Predator Cub
Level 2: E-Lightning Field
Level 3: W-Create Predator Cub
Level 4: R-Agility
Level 5: R-Agility
Level 6: R-Agility
Level 7: Q-Pounce
Level 8: W-Create Predator Cub
Level 9: Q-Pounce
Level 10: Q-Pounce
Level 11: E-Lightning Field
Level 12: E-Lightning Field
Level 13: T-Paramagnetic Attraction
Level 14: T-Paramagnetic Attraction
Levels 15-20: Stats

Explanation:
This build order will work for any map you will critter on. First and foremost, you want to be able to clear critters yourself. This is why we go summons first. A level of Lightning Field will assist greatly when time is crucial in clearing multiple critter spots. Pounce is left until level 7 because you are expecting to be just about level 7 by the time you are done crittering. Paramagnetic Attraction is left for last because you want your early money going into Attack upgrades and any energy you have will be used for Cub summons, Lockdown and Pounce.  However if on an enclosed map like Crypt, getting paramagnetic attraction at level 10/14 provides a better source of creep clear earlier.  I highly suggest this since ganking options on crypt are usually quite limited.

5. Items:

Core:

Cocky Early Build: (to be used vs squishy heroes and players who are unaware of their surroundings)
Level 3 Attack First, Protective Shield, Psi Disruptor, Level 1 Energy

Conservative Early Build:
Level 2 energy, Lockdown, Protective Shield, Psi Disruptor, Level 1 attack

Note: You should have about 1300 minerals after crittering (maybe closer to 1100 in which case you can exclude Psi Disruptor or Protective Shield) which will allow you to start out with one of the Early Game Builds provided above.

End game Build:

Lockdown, Defensive Matrix, Protective Shield, Psi Disruptor, Level 5 Weapons, Level 5 Armor, Level 5 Energy

6. How to fight:

This is your chance to excel. How you fight, makes or breaks your predator gameplay. Yes, items and crittering are a nice fancy feast, but it’s how you use those advantages that will dictate your level of play with Predator.

General Open Field 1v1:

Predator excels at taking down almost any unit 1v1. Be on the hunt for these 1v1 scenarios. Optimally, you want to approach from the shadows, then send out a lockdown (this helps substantially when hunting a fast hero), then pounce, then surround the opponent with your cubs.

Open Field 1v1 vs someone with blink

Approach the enemy and try to land pounce first. He will most likely blink as soon as possible, however he is still rooted and cannot move. Knowing this, get over close to the hero while he is still rooted. Once the root is about to wear off, let your lockdown loose. You may proceed to do additional damage. Knowing that he will probably try to blink again after lockdown wears off, start moving your predator in the general direction that you think he will blink. Once lockdown wears off and he inevitably blinks again, be prepared to use pounce on him (should be off cooldown or in a second or two will be). This is the best way to approach the scenario and has the best chance of getting the kill.

Open Field 1v1 vs a Flier

If the hero is flying, then you really only have 1 option. Pounce your prey and if you can’t kill it in one go, wait about 1-2 seconds after you hit him last. Then use Lockdown to prevent him from porting. The purpose of this is to stall until Pounce is off of cooldown. If all goes well, you will be able to Pounce for a second time before the opponent ports.

However if the hero is on the ground for one reason or another (Viking tends to do this quite a bit), you want to lead in with lockdown. Get to him and get as many hits on him as you can. He will then most likely lift off and try to start running. Now use pounce and bring him back down to earth because only Snoop Dogg should be that high. Try to wait as long as you can on using pounce in case you can’t kill it in one pounce and you can then turn the situation into the one stated above in which the hero starts out flying.

Teamfights:

Wait until the teamfight has started then dive in and focus the stuns first (DT/Preserver/DA/Lurker/Medic etc.). You do not want to be the first hero to dive in headfirst because you will get obliterated since you are not tanky enough to do this in a teamfight.

Using Paramagnetic Attraction (Predator’s Ultimate):

You must be EXTREMELY cautious when using this ultimate. This does NOT guarantee that you will kill all that are pulled into it. In fact, this is the most common mistake of Predators at all levels. Choose ults wisely. You really should only save this for heroes that are extremely fast (hellion only really) when initiating. This is more of a cleanup tool if you didn’t get the kill with the first couple combos.

If you are arriving late to a teamfight, and your team appears to have lost, your efforts may be better spent on trying to save a friendly hero.  Using your ultimate, you can try to drag the friendly hero away from the enemy heroes.  This is a great way to still be effective in a teamfight, even if you cannot dive in to the fray to get a kill.

Using Paramagnetic Attraction vs a Defiler who just layed down a Dark Swarm can be a great idea to move him out of from the cloud. However if he is even slightly more fed than you, do not attempt this. Between plague/poison sting and his ultimate, he will kill you.

Heroes to NEVER use your ult on: Ultralisk/Firebat/Archon

Escaping:

If you realize at any point that you are going to die in whatever sort of fight you are engaged in, then use pounce to run away. Use your cubs to try to block the hero if they chase you. Leaving them a little extra feed is worth saving your Hero’s life. Once back at base, use Recall Cubs immediately if you left your cubs behind. They did their job and helped you escape, no need to sacrifice them if they are still alive.

7. Gameplay:

Early game

This will always consist of crittering. Here are some general crittering tips:

1. At level 1, build a cub and use it to pull the second patch (pull both at the same time).
2. After those 2 patches are cleared, port back with hero and leave the cub near a patch in hold position (not close enough to draw the critters attention when they spawn again).
3. Build a cub while back at base
4. Wait a few seconds for energy to recharge
5. Use dropship to get back to your other cub you left in hold position (he gives you vision to get closer to the critter with dropship).
6. Recall cubs to get the cub from base.
7. Proceed to clear critters while microing cubs to make sure you don’t lose one.
8. When you have 475 minerals, port back and get domination.
9. Dom the critters (you can get 2 every 30 seconds and it costs 25 energy).
10. At 10 minutes, sell dom and go attack your former critter army.

Mid game

Time to gank. Use one of the item builds provided above and start roaming the map looking for prey. The best way to approach is to get behind the enemy if you can or at least from the side. Once a lane has been pushed well into your opponents half of the map, you want to get an orbital command and use scans to scout the area closer to their base. This is because if you are going for a gank in that area, you want to be able to see where their other heroes are and prevent yourself from diving to your death. This ganking phase will probably last from 10 minutes to 20 minutes (rough estimates).

Late game

Assuming you have done your job and have got some good ganks in, a few of your lanes are pushed. Now is the time to start making sure you do not fall behind in levels or start getting further ahead. You should always be looking for the hero that is pushing alone that is easy to pick off. Otherwise, you should have your ultimate ready with level 3 energy and begin to clear double waves (middle on desert, where the lanes converge on forest/island/river). Be sure to ALWAYS use a scan from orbital command BEFORE using your ult. This is because if you use your ultimate and other heroes are around, you are more often than not going to get yourself killed. Other strategies to staying fed include getting domination and farming a few spots. Taking the ursa spots on the sides of river will be extremely helpful to your teammate farmers (so you don’t take theirs) and can easily be done with 1 air hero if you position it between the ursa and the ramp so it is within range of attacking, but sends the ursa into the corner. DO NOT put the dominated air unit on hold position since it will need to follow the ursa into the corner.

Around 20-25 minutes, your weapon/armor/energy upgrades should be between 5/4/3 and 4/2/2. This is the time to start getting a couple stat ups. If you are on par with levels, you will be fine getting up to 5/4/3. Once at 5/4/3 though, try to get about 15-20 stat ups, then you can finish off your build of 5/5/5 and add Defensive Matrix to your arsenal to help with backdoors and staying alive in general.

8. Conclusion:

You will most likely find that this guide is easy to follow and do well with up until 15 minutes. After that, you will need to find a good balance in farming/ganking. An underleveled predator is useless, but you can’t just completely write off ganking. Proceed with caution when jumping into team fights, you are not the initiator. Last words of advice, BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR ULTIMATE. It is used at the wrong time more often than not.

Comments

Consilience 29-12-2014, 14:39

nice guide, good work

Lic 24-12-2014, 14:27

It really is one of the best heroes in the game.

honey 24-12-2014, 12:25

Thanks for this guide, you are the best kitty I know. :) very thorough and high quality guide, the fact you included videos was very helpful! ♥

Gifted 24-12-2014, 11:02

wow nice! so detailed

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