Of all purchasable items in Dota 2, Heaven’s Halberd is one of the most ignored in the game’s history, particularly in the lower ranks of matchmaking. According to Dotabuff’s item statistics, it has only ever appeared in 1.2 percent of Dota 2 games ever, putting in the lower half of the table.
This is a rather discouraging figure, showing that the item’s impact is sorely underrated. An unfortunate truth, since Heaven’s Halberd actually solves quite a few problems going up against right click carries in particular. First off, the active ability Disarm does exactly what it says on the tin, preventing the target from attacking normally. Melee heroes are disarmed for three seconds, while ranged heroes are disarmed for five.
On paper, it may not seem like much, especially after considering the rather high cost of the item. After all, there are more popular items out there that cost somewhat less. But the utility that the disarm alone provides should not be underestimated, especially against pub stomping carries like Phantom Assassin or Clinkz. Three (or five, in the case of ranged heroes) seconds of being unable to dish out the DPS that such heroes are infamous for is more than enough for your team to reposition and reengage, or for your own carry to out-damage the target.
Image via Valve
It also has a nice bonus in the form of passive evasion, which makes it even more potent against carries than it already is. This also means that it is a viable pickup for carries themselves, who already appreciate having evasion as it is. Simply put, Halberd allows a lesser carry to go toe-to-toe against a more farmed one or a “harder” carry.
Sadly, Halberd does suffer from the same problem as most midrange, cost-effective items: its inventory slot efficiency isn’t the best. In deep late game situations, its relevance begins to fall off, especially once the heroes that it’s supposed to counter get their hands on Black King Bars and Linken’s Spheres. While it is true that BKB doesn’t purge the Halberd debuff anymore (since Patch 7.06), players that can react quickly can activate BKB before they are hit by the disarm. And of course, Linken’s Sphere takes the reaction part out entirely, blocking the debuff automatically without any need for user input.
It also doesn’t do that well against heroes that can mass illusions, since you will typically have to guess which hero is the real one or clear out the illusions in order to be sure. Taking the latter route takes time—time that the hero in question can use to DPS you down before you figure out which one is real.
Thus, it becomes important to note that Halberd is mostly a means to an end, rather than an item to be kept around until the game ends. That said, though, it is definitely worth at least considering against carries with no methods of dealing damage other than their regular attacks. At the very least, Halberd can help you survive long enough for your team to support you, which can prove valuable even in a five-on-five engagement.
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