Drow Ranger guide
The Drow Ranger is a ranged attack hero with Dexterity as her main characteristic (20 + 2.9). She has one of the longest-ranged attacks among all heroes and good farming potential. With intelligent early farming she can deal a lot of damage by midgame, and her ultimate attack has a chance to always hit and deal additional damage that ignores the enemy’s base armor.
The Drow Ranger starts out with very low health and is very vulnerable to being ganked at the start of the game. Her attacks are also slow and she has no special escape abilities. She is very dependent on starting out with the right equipment and attributes. The ultimate ability, Marksmanship, stops working in the vicinity of enemy heroes.
With some of the longest-range attacks available, the Drow Ranger can deal a lot of damage to solitary targets from a safe distance. She is good against buildings early on, and Marksmanship gives bonuses to ranged-attack heroes, whereas Frost Arrows can keep enemies at bay and slow them considerably. Add smart farming and gear selection, and the Drow Ranger becomes deadly to stand-alone targets and can play a decisive role at any stage of the game by taking out a key enemy player.
The Drow Ranger’s skills should prioritize farming. Focus on Multishot and Marksmanship. Ganking is very dangerous to the Drow Ranger early on, so she should select an easy lane with a support hero. It is enough to learn Frost Arrows once. Given calm laning and proper ally support, the 1-1-4-1 skill build will increase damage the most.
With her relatively slow base attacks and movement, Power Treads are the best choice for boots. They will add 40 to movement, 25 to attack speed and 10 to a chosen attribute. The Drow Ranger’s abilities depend on improving dexterity, so buying two Wraith Bands early on will augment damage nicely in the early game. All speed-boosting items are a good idea for the Drow Ranger. In midgame she should try to get Yasha and Dragon Lance, which will improve dexterity, movement speed and attack distance. In late game get Manta Style, Hurricane Pike and Butterfly, which significantly increase dexterity, attack speed, damage and overall survivability.
Drow Ranger’s talents
Given the Drow Ranger’s damage’s dependence on attributes, a 10th level left talent with +5 to all attributes is the best choice. For the 15th level take a right +10 dexterity talent for extra physical damage. The choice of the 20th level talent should reflect the game situation: if the Drow Ranger has been well-farmed and carries gear that already lets her actively partake in party fights, a left +2.5 sec to Gust silence talent will give her a noticeable edge. To increase damage, choose a right +28% to Multishot talent, which will mesh particularly well with a right +12% to Marksmanship chance talent on the 25th level.
The Drow Ranger easily takes care of heroes with low health or those whose ability to survive depends on their powers, e.g. Sniper, Ember Spirit, Anti Mage, Mirana or Crystal Maiden. Drow Rangers are also capable against melee heroes, slowing them with Frost Arrows. With Aghanim's Scepter she becomes an effective counter to heroes who use illusions and summons, such as the Phantom Lancer or the Visage.
Heroes who can get near enough to the Drow Ranger to cancel her ultimate ability, Marksmanship, are her worst foils: Anti Mage, Phantom Assassin, Tusk, Clockwerk, Spirit Breaker. If the enemy buys a Blink Dagger, they will also be able to get close to the Drow Ranger. With a Blade Mail enemy heroes will receive much less damage and route it back to the Drow Ranger, whose health leaves a lot to be desired. Heroes able to blind and increase miss chances will bring down the Drow Ranger's damage: Arc Warden, Riki, Tinker are a few examples.
The Drow Ranger is a hero with great farming potential who, given basic artifacts, can do good damage in midgame. The passive ultimate ability sometimes lets her do extra damage to solo players and bypass basic armor, it also boosts ranged-attack allies’ damage, helps ally creeps and catapults, which makes the Drow Ranger a very strong choice against buildings early on. Positional play is the most appropriate for this hero: keep your distance, because Marksmanship’s bonuses fade in close combat.