Luna is a carry hero that rides a ferocious feline mount called Nova. She relies on a combination of magic and physical damage to send her enemies into oblivion. Watching her Moon Glaives bounce around is particularly satisfying. Before getting strong late-game items, Luna relies on the ultimate ability called Eclipse to exact Moon’s punishment upon her foes.
In this Luna Dota Guide, we will take a deeper look at the hero, her abilities, strength, and weaknesses.
Key Info Up Front
Luna is an agility hero with short-ranged attacks. She has a really strong team presence and combines magical and physical damage.
- Health: 620 Damage: 50 – 56 Movement speed: 325 Strength: 21 + 2.2
- Mana: 351 Armor: 6 Attack speed: 0.73 attacks per second Agility: 24 + 3.4
- Intelligence: 23 + 1.9
- Spells and abilities: Lucent Beam, Moon Glaives, Lunar Blessing, Eclipse
- Special abilities: N/A
- Strengths: Fast movement speed, great in mid-game teamfights, can push bases really fast
- Weaknesses: No escape mechanism, lackluster against single-target carries, often feels weak against Black King Bar
The great thing about Luna’s kit is that she doesn’t need a farming item. Her Moon Glaives combined with Lunar Blessing damage allow her to quickly destroy jungle camps. As such, she has always been one of the fastest farmers in the game.
While the hero is very item dependent and needs to be ahead of the enemy carry to make an impact, she can bring punishment during the early and mid-game. Eclipse, together with Lucent Beams, can demolish several enemies at once. Ideally, you should cast the spell when there are no enemy creeps around you.
Lucent Beam Lucent Beam is a spammable ability that does descent magic damage (300 on 4th level) and stuns opponents for 0.8 seconds. While the spell is not that strong, there are numerous talents that can make it better. This ability is very important if you decide to play support or mid-Luna, both of which are considered a novelty.
This spell affects the hero’s ultimate, Eclipse. Luna’s ultimate creates numerous beams that are cast on random opponents. The strength of each beam is predicated on the Lucent Beam level. In other words, if you haven’t invested any points in the spell, your ultimate won’t do anything.
Although Lucent Beam can be really nice due to its solid damage and short cooldown of 9/8/7/6 seconds, most players will put just a level or two into the skill during the early stages of the game.
The reason for this is that Moon Glaives and Lunar Blessing are much more important for farming. If you were to maximize Lucent Beam, this would force you to fight and, if you don’t win these early engagements, the hero will quickly fall off.
At the same time, not researching the spell would make you somewhat useless in the early portions of the game, allowing the enemies to pressure your towers and take favorable teamfights.
Moon Glaives might seem lackluster on paper, but they are a very important part of the hero’s kit. This ability allows Luna’s glaives to bounce around multiple targets, reducing attack damage with every next bounce.
The ability does 3/4/5/6 bounces, and each subsequent bounce is reduced by 56%/50%/44%/38%. For example, if you put one level in Moon Glaives, with a 56% reduction per bounce, your initial attack will deal 100% damage, the next one will do 44%, and the third one will do approximately 18% base damage (44% reduced by 56%).
Moon Glaives are especially good for jungle creeps and pushing. The bounces are not as effective against enemies, even when you get more items. However, they can put Blink Daggers on cooldown and cause some other effects.
The Moon Glaive bounces are affected by damage block, and they don’t trigger procs. However, you cannot evade them. Ideally, you should try to get items with high base damage to increase the bounces. Perhaps the best item for increasing Luna’s bounce damage is Daedalus because damage from critical strikes is calculated as the base value for bounces.
Lunar Blessing is a pretty straightforward ability. It increases the hero’s night vision up to 1,000 units, and it also provides extra damage to Luna and nearby allies. With Lunar Blessing, you get additional 5/15/25/35 damage in 1,200 units around the hero. If you get an appropriate talent, it becomes a global ability.
The aura scales well with Moon Glaives. Any increase to base damage can have a major impact on bounces. Furthermore, getting just one point at level 1 can significantly improve your ability to kill creeps. The aura is pretty nice even if you’re not playing carry Luna. In fact, Lunar Blessing is one of the reasons why people sometimes go mid or support with this character.
Eclipse is a devastating spell that can destroy a single target or do moderate damage on several of them. When you activate the ability, Luna will summon a barrage of Lucent Beams. In many ways, the spell is similar to Juggernaut’s Omnislash, with Eclipse causing magic damage and Omnislash causing physical.
The ability lasts for a few seconds, during which day will be turned into night. Among others, this will provide an increased vision. Beams will be cast around Luna, and while the Eclipse lasts, you can do other stuff such as dishing physical attacks and casting Lucent Beams.
Eclipse can be very strong during the early and mid-game. The only problem is that most Luna’s don’t prioritize Lucent Beam, which also affects the damage output of the ultimate. So, depending on your build, the spell might feel lackluster in the first 15 minutes of the game.
During Eclipse, Luna will summon 6/9/12 Lucent Beams. One of the things worth noting is that you cannot nuke the same hero more than five times (unless you have Aghanim’s Scepter, which can increase max beams per unit to 6/12/18).
The usefulness of this spell is very dependent on RNG and hero positioning. Ideally, you should eliminate all surrounding creeps before casting it. Luna is often countered by heroes such as Furion and others who can summon minions into battle. All these units can mitigate Eclipse damage but will also reduce the Moon Glaives’ potential.
Like many carries, Luna should let the initiator start the fight. When the two teams clash, she will run into the fray and activate Eclipse. Using the spell at just the right time will exponentially increase its efficiency. Again, you should use it similarly to Omnislash, when there are no creeps around you.
After that, all you need to do is auto-attack and occasionally cast Lucent Beam. Often, Luna players get Mask of Madness in the early game. So, after using Eclipse at the very start of the battle, they will activate its Berserk effect and just auto-attack without casting Lucent Beam.
Due to Luna’s fast farming ability, her laning phase is not as important as for some other carries. She just needs to get levels and a few basic items that would allow her to transition into woods at around the 8 to 10-minute mark.
At level one, you will either get a Lucent Beam or Lunar Blessing. The first ability is much better if you wish to harass enemies in the lane. However, keep in mind that level 1 Lucent Beam does only 75 damage making it one of the weaker spells. Lunar Blessing is an aura that has been nerfed a few times, and now it only provides five damage to Luna and lane support. Greedier players prefer going with this ability.
Laning with Luna can be a bit tricky. You want to get points in Moon Glaives as soon as possible. Unfortunately, by doing so, you will start pushing the wave. Given that the hero doesn’t have an escape mechanism and that her nuke is relatively weak on early levels, this will put you in a precarious situation. So, putting points in the right abilities can be crucial for your early but also mid-game.
During this phase, you want to get Power Treads and Mask of Madness/Dragon Lance. You will need as much agility as possible to transition into jungle farming. Lifesteal is especially beneficial as it would allow you to regenerate on the fly.
There are a few things that will make Luna come online. First, she needs at least Manta Style and Black King Bar. While the hero is rather fast, you are still pretty much vulnerable. Manta Style can help with certain debuffs, and Black King Bar will make you totally invulnerable.
Besides these two items, you need to upgrade Lucent Beam. Going in without maxed Eclipse can stifle your team fight ability.
Unlike some other heroes who can take small skirmishes, Luna is not meant to be active until later moments. If you wish to kill someone, you need to use Eclipse. Not only does this force you to level up Lucent Beam, but you will have to use Eclipse, which has a long cooldown. So, it’s not as if you can go around ganking enemies.
Luna is best when taking team engagements. Once you get a few items and maximize Lucent Beam, try smoking with allies to get a few pickoffs. Even if you don’t kill anyone, the hero is really good at sieging towers. If you managed to accrue an item and level advantage over enemies, you could start pushing the lanes with your team.
No matter what, you should never go alone during this period of the game as the hero is prone to ganks.
Luna has a small window when she is super dangerous. This is usually when she gets her fourth item (if you had a good game, that would be around the 30 to 35-minute mark). At this moment, she should have the third level of Eclipse.
Given that she is particularly elusive, she should always go with the team. Although Luna players build into stat-heavy items, you don’t want to be within reach of enemy initiators. So, the hero should move somewhere in between the allied tanks and supports.
The great thing about the hero is that she has enormous pushing potential. In that sense, Luna is very similar to Lone Druid. High base damage coupled with Moon Glaives will allow you to attack ranged and melee barracks at the same time. If the enemy cores don’t have buybacks, one lost teamfight can signal the end of the game for the opponents.
Despite many team fight advantages, Luna will drop off at one point. She struggles going toe for toe with single-target enemy carries like Phantom Assassin, Anti-Mage, and Slark. So, try to end the game when you reach your peak.
Itemization (Core Items)
Luna benefits from stat-heavy items. Like with all ranged carries, Dragon Lance is a great pickup for her. The item provides extra strength, agility, and increased range. If necessary, you can turn it into Hurricane Pike later on to gain extra mobility.
Mask of Madness
As mentioned, this is another item that can be categorized as a core. With Mask of Madness, you can run through the woods and kill all its denizens. Later on, you can use its parts to build into Satanic and Butterfly, both of which are common purchases for the hero.
Manta Style is the first, bigger item that you’ll build on the hero. While most players choose between Mask of Madness and Dragon Lance, Manta Style is purchased in 99% of situations. Start by building Yasha, which will further increase movement and farming speed. By completing the item, you will get extra stats and the ability to purge various debuffs. Illusions also help you push faster after winning a team fight.
Black King Bar
Due to her inherent defensive weaknesses and low attack range, Black King Bar is a must-have item. In fact, her attack range is so short that you can almost consider Luna as a melee carry.
Although Luna will always be weak in one-on-one combat, this item should help a bit with the deficiency. Butterfly gives her a lot of evasion, damage, attack speed, and agility. Evasion, in particular, can be crucial in late-game situations where every hit (or miss) matters.
Eye of Skadi
Another item with lots of stats, Eye of Skadi, will improve both your offensive and defensive capabilities. Due to the fact that the hero lacks mobility spells, Eye of Skadi will help you chase down fleeing targets. Its regeneration/lifesteal debuff can also make a difference when you’re jumped by the enemy carry.
Itemization (Optional Items)
Satanic is an item you can build by disassembling Mask of Madness and using its Morbid Mask component. It is usually one of the last items that you’ll build on the hero. Besides the health and damage, the main reason why people buy Satanic is so they would have access to Unholy Rage ability. With it, you can quickly heal up in teamfights and avoid certain death.
Daedalus has become very popular in the last few patches. Previously, most Luna players would just focus on stats, and the only serious damage item you’d pick was Butterfly. As mentioned, Daedalus crits work really well with your Moon Glaives. Given the hero’s high base damage, it would allow Luna to destroy most enemies in mid-game.
Blink Dagger and Swift Blink
You will sometimes see Blink Dagger on carries with limited mobility. The item has become especially popular since the introduction of Swift Blink. Not only does Swift Blink allows you to upgrade regular Blink Dagger and add stats to it, but the item also has the ability of the same name.
When Luna jumps into the fray using the object, she will get a 40% phased movement speed increase, 45 attack speed, and 45 damage for 6 seconds.
Sange and Yasha
Sange and Yasha is a very unusual purchase for this hero. However, it doesn’t make sense in many ways. You get extra strength, agility, movement speed, attack speed, and most importantly, status resistance. Buying Sange and Yasha is much more common during patches when the item is buffed compared to Manta Style.
Although you will rarely see this item on carry Luna, you might notice it on some other roles. For example, Aghanim’s Scepter is a killer purchase on mid-Luna. It provides several buffs to her ultimate, increasing the number of beams, their cast speed, and how many beams can hit a single target.
Level 10 (+0.4 Seconds Lucent Beam Mini Stun OR -8% Moon Glaive Damage Reduction)
Both of these talents have their merits. Due to the fact that Lucent Beam has such a low cooldown, you can continuously harass enemies with a 1.2-second stun (after upgrade) to a point where they will have to get Black King Bars. Moon Glaives talent works on every bounce.
According to the final calculation, if the glaives bounce off of 6 enemies, one auto-attack would cause a total of 150% damage. With talent, the damage goes to 205%.
Level 15 (-20 Seconds Eclipse Cooldown OR -3.5 Seconds Lucent Beam Cooldown)
Most people take the second talent. It reduces the Lucent Beam cooldown from 6 seconds to 2.5 seconds. If you also took mini stun talent on level 10, you can lock a target in place until they die. The Eclipse cooldown is also nice, but it isn’t a game-changer. It does work well with Aghanim’s Scepter, though.
Level 20 (+100 Lucent Beam Damage OR Global Lunar Blessing)
If you took previous Lucent Beam talents, it makes sense to take +100 damage. It is worth noting that this damage increase also works with Eclipse making it even more destructive. The talent shines with Aghanim’s Scepter.
However, in some rare cases, you might also wish to consider Global Lunar Blessing. The second talent is much better for support or mid-Lunas as it can boost carry’s damage. It is also very nice if you have several right-clickers on your team.
Level 25 (+0.2 Eclipse Lucent Beam Mini Stun OR +35 Lunar Blessing Damage)
Again, the first talent is much better for players who opted for Aghanim’s Scepter. Given that the item increases Lucent Beam frequency from 0.6 seconds to 0.3 seconds, you can basically stun-lock individual targets with +0.2 Eclipse mini stun.
Lunar Blessing can be solid if you need additional physical damage on the team. It is a much better pick-up if you’re going against a team of summoners or if most enemies have Black King Bars.
Question: What is Luna’s Role?
Answer: Luna is an agility carry. Her primary role is to accrue as much gold as possible, which she would use to buy items. At one point, Luna should become the most powerful hero on her team, helping allies achieve victory.
Question: How Strong is Luna?
Answer: Luna’s strength can vary from patch to patch. During certain versions of Dota, she was the most powerful character. In other patches, she felt very lackluster. It all depends on the current meta but also how well she compares to other trending carries.
Question: How to Use Eclipse?
Answer: Although a very strong spell, Eclipse’s can also feel lackluster depending on how you use it. Before casting the spell, you need to eliminate all the surrounding creeps and summons. Moon Glaives and other team spells can help you with that. When there are no extra units around, you can cast Eclipse ensuring that the beams only hit enemy heroes.