Hero breakdowns: How Yapzor plays Rubick in patch 7.26

posted by Liightsdota,
When it comes to iconic player - hero combinations, none springs to mind more than Yazied 'YapzOr' Jaradat's legendary Rubick. Today we’ll examine what sets Yapzor apart on his signature hero in order for you to replicate it in your pubs. Yapzor’s Rubick holds the 7th highest number of professional appearances on any single hero, and he boasts the best winrate of all Rubick players. Receiving first phase bans in most of Team Secret’s games, opposing pros usually choose to prevent Yapzor getting his hands on it whenever possible. In this patch however, summon heroes are incredibly strong, and luckily Yapzor’s team-mates Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen and Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov are among the world’s best at playing that style. This need for summon bans in the first phase has allowed Rubick to sometimes slip through, which Secret have happily snap-picked recently. Let's take a closer look on how YapzOr played Rubick in those recent matches.

Drafting Considerations

While some people have found success running Rubick as a 5 position, Team Secret correctly identifies that this hero is better played as an offlane support, where he can get a little more farm in order to purchase his core items. In terms of laning partners, Rubick is quite flexible He fits in well with almost any of the tanky offlaners which we’ve been seeing lately, such as Centaur Warrunner or Mars. Rubick is a fine hero to draft early, as no matter what he will always have some reasonable spells for him to steal, as well as a solid laning presence. The hero is notably one of the hardest counters to Earthshaker. Rubick benefits from all stolen abilities, especially from Fissure as his instant cast time makes that spell even more incredible.

Laning Phase

While YapzOr sometimes chooses to start with Boots, more frequently he goes with the above items in order to maximize his regeneration when trading in lane. Purchasing a Sentry as starting item allows him to block the opponent's easy camp to prevent pulls without wasting one of their starting Observer Wards. When playing the lane, YapzOr ensures to quickly cast his first Fade Bolt to secure a Ranged Creep, but then becomes very conservative with his mana. Most of his time is spent autoattacking his opponents from the treeline on the side of the lane, and he only casts one more Fade Bolt before hitting level three. After getting level two Fade Bolt he becomes much more willing to expend his mana, given the skill doubles in damage after investing that second point. From there when trading with the opposing support, YapzOr ensures to open the exchange with Fade Bolt so that the autoattacks he receives throughout the trade have reduced damage.

Just before six minutes YapzOr’s playstyle changes drastically, with him moving to check the Rune for his midlaner, and leaving for a minute to try to execute a gank on the most susceptible target. This allows his offlaner to acquire some solo experience, ensuring that he reached that crucial level six before their safelane opponents. YapzOr timed his rotation back to the lane with his offlaner’s Ultimate powerspike and they were able to secure an easy kill. While he did show up to some engagements prior to his level six, it’s important to note the priority that YapzOr places on acquiring his own Ultimate as early as possible. He helped achieve that by taking midlane farm while his core was jungling and ensuring that he picked up the Tome of Knowledge at ten minutes.


After the laning phase breaks down, YapzOr pushes out sidelanes with Fade Bolt before grouping up with his team and starting to get active. His first major item is Arcane Boots, which get broken down for his Aether Lens as soon as possible. This extra castrange allows Rubick to play along the outskirts of the fights and largely keeps him out of harm's way. Here YapzOr plays the role of Secondary Initiator, following up his offlaner’s blinks, but never starting the fights himself. The only times YapzOr died were due to moving up extra aggressively while a fight progressed, in order to land a stolen stun which allowed his team-mates to clean up afterwards.

When playing any active support it is important to play off map and stay hidden from your opponents as much as possible, and for Rubick this is more true than ever. By not revealing his position, YapzOr is able to secure stuns and significant burst damage on opponents initiating on his team-mates, who weren’t expecting his backup to be so close at hand. This strategy is additionally impactful while pushing side lanes, as Fade Bolts from the tree line are much safer than showing on map to right click the creeps.


After some solid kill involvement and blowing up sidelane waves from safety with two Fade Bolts each, YapzOr was able to accumulate enough gold for a Blink Dagger, which enables his playstyle to adapt yet again. After picking up a Blink of his own and acquiring more levels in Telekinesis and Arcane Supremacy, YapzOr feels confident to now be the primary initiator. Telekinesis’ absurd duration and instant cast time make it one of the best tools in the game to start a fight, and YapzOr is unafraid to jump in and grab anybody that extends slightly too far. While his luxury items varied from game to game, his two favourites were certainly Boots of Travel and Aghanim’s Scepter, depending upon the availability of opponent's skills which he could upgrade.

At this stage of the game it’s crucial for you to play close by your cores, as Rubick almost never wants to be attempting a kill on his own. By properly utilizing his amazing lockdown, YapzOr is able to serve up kill after kill for his grateful cores. In order to get the maximum damage out of his hero, YapzOr will often use a spell he had already stolen prior to the start of the fight, before then stealing the most impactful spell that gets used around him. In certain games there will be incredibly impactful ultimates like Ravage or Black Hole, in which case exercising additional patience before showing on the map will allow you to have the best chance of stealing it and swinging the fight for your team. While I’ve tried to pass along how the man does it, nobody steals spells at crucial moments quite like YapzOr.

Photo credit: Valve