As we all know, Aghanim’s Scepter (or as I like to pronounce it, Aghanismsms) only used to upgrade your ultimate. As the newer patches came out, the upgrades have been shifted into other abilities in some heroes, for example, Earthshaker. Currently, 96 out of the 113 heroes have an Aghanim’s upgrade on one of their abilities. But how good is it really on each hero and should you buy it in the game?
The important thing to notice is how almost all the Scepter upgrades revolve around giving you more teamfight potential. And the new Scepter upgrades make some heroes change their playstyle completely. Like Chaos Knight being a support or Vengeful Spirit being a carry.
For some heroes like Earthshaker, Aghanim’s is very good. Since his Enchant Totem has a -2 second cooldown from his Level 25 talent. But until you’re level 25 you don’t have that much potential from the skill in teamfights. It might give you some kind of escape or initiation but that doesn’t help your team in teamfights, especially if you get counter-initiated. So that begs the question, does buying a scepter help your team? Or should you buy some other item with the 4200 gold so you can benefit from your other item in teamfights?
This is where the viability of Aghanim’s comes into play. Let’s suppose you’re playing Doom and the enemy has a hero with some insane passive skill that’s killing your teammates. But your teammates don’t have heroes that can buy a Silver Edge without throwing one core item away. So in situations like this, you can buy a scepter. And as long as the enemy is within 900 range of you and is doomed, their passive won’t work because Aghanim’s upgraded Doom also breaks the hero.
If you’re playing Abbadon, an Aghanim’s won’t be very effective at all. Unless the other 4 members of your team are superb kiters with high chase potential. The enemy can always choose to run or hit other members instead of hitting you. But what if the enemy has tons and tons of AoE damage and nothing else to offer? Then your Aghanim’s Scepter purchase will be very valuable to your entire team. The examples go on and on and on.
At the very core, gameplay isn’t just about the viability of an Aghanim’s scepter on your hero though. It’s basically just about itemization. As soon as the picking phase ends, you should think about what to buy and what not to buy. And also expect what the enemy is going to buy against you. That’s one of the keys to winning at Dota 2. This is probably one of the few things in Dota 2 that you can theorycraft and it will actually end up helping your game in the end. And hey, if you already do all that and still lose, you can always just blame your teammates! But seriously, itemization is really important, right after drafting and you should focus more on it if you want that sweet sweet +25!