Hero difficulty - Easy
So, by luck or pro internet navigation, you've stumbled upon my Stella guide. A lot of the people who have watched my livestream or played with me ingame claim I'm one of the best Stella players. I don't know about all that, but I have picked up some tips and learned her pretty thoroughly and I'm more than happy to share what I've learned.
Firstly, it's important to note that Stella is not a very powerful character in terms of comparison to the others. Most of competitive LOCO's players place her in the "B" tier - the 2nd lowest of the tiers, consisting of S (and sometimes S+), A, B, C. She can win games, of course, but she is a late game "carry" character that lacks the farming ability to reach that level and gold required to carry. Stella has a poor early game (although we can somewhat avoid that pitfall through a trick that I will teach you later in the guide) and if she falls behind she will lose her ability to carry or accomplish much in the game.
For this reason, I don't reccomend Stella to new players. She is difficult to play, farm reliant, and requires a lot of gear (the kind that carries over between games) to really function at higher ranked games.
[+] Great ganker
[+] Good late game
[+] Very fun to play
[+] Good challenge
[+] AMAZING slow, best slow of the game hands own
[+] Scales well with equipment upgrades thanks to dual swords
[+] Good moving attack animation, fast with wide sweeps
[-] Poor laning phase
[-] Hard to recover a bad early game
[-] Outclassed by other carries (Fox + Randy)
[-] Very item dependant
[-] Gear dependant in higher skill matches
[-] Long cooldowns
[-] Hard time fighting tanks
[-] Easily countered by reflect damage
[-] Default outfit looks like Tinkerbell
So, with that in mind, is Stella a character you're still interested in learning? If so, read on. ==- Items - ==
Stella has an attack speed and attack damage selfbuff, and all of her lategame are based on her auto attacking ability gained from them. With this in mind, we will focus on attack damage and critical rate.
Before I get started, note that this is just an outline. Always build to counter your enemy.
Greater Healing Potion
Mid Game Items:
Bloody Reaper Claw
Vital Iron Water Bracelet (if feeling squishy)
Late Game Items:
Bloody Reaper Shawl
Crown of Giant
Bloody Flame Perl
For skills, take poison at level 1, then use the following priorities.
2) Asura Dance
5) Flex slot (take Holy against lots of disables, otherwise your attack speed)
If the game drags on and on, you should just build to counter the problems you're having. If a VMB's clones are chewing you up, magic defense. If a Randy keeps ult comboing you, make a blue pearl (for the ranged damage reduction) and so on.
- Early Game -Edit
Stella's early game really sucks. We are both squishy, and melee, which means that we have a hell of a time making any money from the creeps in our lane. Essentially we run up, hit them to apply poison, and hope it kills them while we run away potting off the shots that we just got from the enemy Randy/Minity/VMB/Laair. If they let you freefarm, great, you'll make a ton of money. But they probably won't.
The #1 rule for early game is to level your slow as soon as possible. Pass up your stun, pass up your ult, you want your slow to be level 3 when your Stella hits 6. This skill at max level is the best slow in the game - it lasts longer than it's cooldown, it slows by a beastly 150 MS, and the damage is pretty damned good. Oh, and it only takes 3 skill points. So skill it. If you establish lane dominance (the enemy is scared of you) then you can start slowing them, applying poison, running up and slapping them a couple times so the poison procs and then running away.
However, for the most part, we have a horrible early game. That's why I came up with this technique for level 1 on FoC games. You can do it on Crimson too, but you have to do it on the mineral point with the bridge and you will need another player in the lane to cover for you.
A couple things I forgot to note in the video: You obviously do not want to do this in a lane alone, if there is NOBODY in the lane then your enemy will definitely get curious and check the neutrals. The best thing to do is to warn an ally that you're doing this, and for them NOT to help you, and just pretend they're solo to fool the enemy in that lane so that you can come barreling out of the minerals at level 3, smack them with a slow and stun and get first blood.
Once you've reached 4/5, you should just be roaming, ganking players as often as possible. You probably won't outlevel them unless you just sit in the jungle and farm neutrals (something Stella does very well, by the way, but it's not as fun IMO and it doesn't shut down enemy carries in the way that constant ganking does) but you will be able to keep pushing them out of lane and/or killing them, and while your level will be lower because of it, so will all of theirs. This is better for your team in the long run.
A good practice is to gank a player, kill them (or make them Z) and then sit in their lane and freefarm a creepwave or 2 before they get back. This keeps your levels and gold up reasonably well.
Always keep an eye on the minimap - both to protect yourself from ganks, and to know who's vulnerable. Communicate with your teammates, if they're having trouble in their lane (such as 2v1) then go gank for them. It'll help them and probably net you a kill, since dual lanes level slower than singles.
- Mid game -Edit
Stella's mid-game is where she starts getting screwed. Your boost from the level 1 trick will be wearing off and people will be catching you in levels or passing you. However, you're past the lane phase, everyone should be roaming now, so if you ever see an empty lane take advantage of it and farm up. Kill neutrals as you pass them by (it won't take long) and help your team gank, your stun and slow are amazing for ganking even if it's not a one man show.
Mid game becomes much more about farming. How well you get your money up at this point dictates how effective you will be endgame. Use Asura to kill towers if people leave them unprotected (don't forget to activate your vamp brooch) and hunt the boss that spawns every 5 minutes if you're on FoC.
Be careful killing the gryphons, they are surprisingly powerful when they crit, and can take you by surprise by taking huge chunks of your HP when not expected. Do not forget to activate your Bloody Reaper Claws, as the 200 damage to the three gryphons will help substantially.
- Late game -Edit
Ah, finally Stella shines. Although we're outclassed by a couple of heroes, the vast majority turn into free kills for Stella, who should be cutting through them like butter with 350-600x2 endcombo crits. Hunt the squishies, frustrate them, and if they leave their base... punish them by rushing it and taking down a base point with asura. You should be boxing them into their base at this point, allowing your team to farm and picking off base points whenever you can. Two things will happen if you shut them in their base properly.
1) They will repeatedly die to you, letting you get farmed even more, eventually allowing you to completely annihilate their base.
2) Your team will continue to get stacked from their global freefarm and end it naturally within the next 15 minutes.
Don't worry too much if you die a few times - it's going to happen. You're frail and damage at this point is high. The best thing you can do is monitor your buffs (be sure to bracelet whenever your pot gets scrolled off) and eat anyone you catch alone, then take down parts of their base as you feel confident or your ult is up. And use your ult often, I have a bad habit of saving it up but never using it.
- Conclusion -Edit
And that's Stella in a nutshell, really. You're an early/mid game ganker, and a late game carry. You're obviously not the most powerful hero but you're a blast to play. If you're looking for some videos of a good Stella, there are some athttp://www.LOCOElite.net/streamthat you can find by clicking on the Stella folder at the bottom.
Other Stella players worthy of mention are blkchaos and Leader. Both are up and coming and have great potential.
Lastly, remember, even if your character is B tier, your rack is DD.
Not even close to a decent Stella,nice try.