Complete SAW Guide: CP & WP Builds + Tactics + Working With SAW + Blitz SAW (Updated for 2.9) by eman7777777

Complete SAW Guide: CP & WP Builds + Tactics + Working With SAW + Blitz SAW (Updated for 2.9)

By: eman7777777
Last Updated: Oct 29, 2017
53 Votes
Build 1 of 4

SAW

Build: Ultimate Weapon SAW

Ability Path

Spin Up
Heroic Perk
Roadie Run
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Suppressing Fire
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Mad Cannon
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Threat Meter

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Threat Hero Notes
1
Ringo Ringo is probably the easiest laner to go against as SAW. He just simply can't outgun you if you have full spinup. However, be aware that his Achilles Shot drastically slows your Roadie Run (and you!). This makes it really hard to run away if he coordinates his Achilles Shot with a gank. Stay close to your turret until you know where the enemy junglers are or have bush vision. If a jungle fight breaks out, take advantage and bully the enemy Ringo. Protips: Ringo can be very sneaky in team-fights, know where he is and light him up whenever he gets in range of your spin. Additionally, don't stay near him with low health. You are just asking for him to use his Hellfire Brew!
2
Petal AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH But really though, just kill her pets and she will be no threat. Also, always Roadie Run away from her if you have to retreat, her pets will chase you down if you try to walk away. And if she uses her ult, stay calm and shank one of the pets and roll away. Protips: Petal can be very annoying and powerful in the early game, don't give her a chance to snowball the game. Also, your turrets will not protect you from her pets.
2
Krul Krul is one of the the most annoying enemies for SAW to deal with. SAW's low mobility makes him a prime target for the lifethirsty krul. His ult makes him very unpredictable once he reaches level 6. Even if you have vision in your bushes its wise to stay close to your turret until you know where he is. Keep in mind that Krul is not afraid to chase you under your turret. With quick reflexes and good positioning you can overcome Krul. Protips: Reflexing his ult is the holy grail of reflex skill. Reflex can also block some of his stacks from giving you weakness, which can make a huge difference. A good way to assure he won't be able to use his ult on you is positioning yourself so your roam is in between you and Krul in a teamfight. Watch out for a Krul that throws his sword backward to get that long stun, you will no doubt die if he manages to land the full stun on you.
3
Fortress Fortress used to be very threatening to SAW while he was still meta, now he's kinda meh. He can still do massive damage if he tanks up and gets close. Watch out for his wolves, they can do a lot of damage if you don't get rid of them quickly. I would wait for his wolves to wear off before engaging. Protips: Watch for the power spike when he gets aftershock.
4
Ardan Ardan alone isn't much of a threat to SAW, (especially since 1.19) but an Ardan with an Atlas is. His natural tankiness allows him to dive on you and get away safely after he pops the Atlas. After you're Atlas Pouldron'd he may not even have to escape. He may just keep punching you. Don't waste time shooting him unless he's the only one in range. Protips: Reflex block makes it extremely easy to not even acknowledge his gauntlet. Don't let it intimidate you. Also, if Ardan comes up right on you expect the Atlas and get ready to reflex block it.
4
Koshka Koshka has been harassing SAW with her agility even before they both arrived at the fold. Her ult poses a huge threat to your Spinup, but it's pretty easy to counter. After seeing it a few times you can reflex it easily. Koshka no longer needs to tank up to be deadly. She can burst and retreat much more effectively now. Light her up when you can and consider a reflex when she's about to finish you. Protips: She can turret dive on you very easily, be careful.
4
Phinn Phinn can be troublesome if he plays his support role well. His Polite Company provides MASSIVE protection for his whole team if executed correctly. Smart enemy carries will take advantage of their fortified health and charge at you. The other threat that Phinn poses is, of course, his Forced Accord. The casting for this ability is rather lengthy so with practice reflexing blocking it will be easy. Have your boots + Roadie Run ready at all times in case of the event of being dragged toward him. Protips: Don't ever be close enough to Phinn to be hit by his Quibble. Also, keep vision on Phinn in teamfights, it's a lot easier to reflex his anchor if you see him tossing it. Lastly, if you fail to reflex his Forced Accord (it happens, don't feel too bad about it) be sure to use it to block his Quibble that is sure to come shortly after.
5
Joule Going against a Joule is one of the biggest headaches for any SAW player. While Joule is not so good in the meta, she is EXTREMELY good against SAW. Her natural tankiness from the front is a nightmare for the non mobile SAW. Thankfully her Rocket Leap is fairly easy to reflex (get it ASAP!). Watch out for her ult, if she is hopped up on CP and catches you stuck on full spin stacks with it you're as good as dead (even with Aegis). Protips: Prioritize getting Reflex Block so she can't shut you down with her Rocket Leap. Shield up early to stand a chance against her Big Red Button. And most importantly, don't leave yourself open to get blasted by that beam!
6
Kestrel Kestrel is easy to lane against as long as you maintain a wall of friendly minions between you and her. Her Glimmershots can't penetrate multiple minions if she goes WP and she will be forced to basic attack you if she wants to poke. Keep your distance from her if she goes CP. Be aware of her Active Camo. Don't go near where she disappears, she will nuke and stun you without a doubt. Keeping the fire on her prevents her from disappearing when she goes CP. Protips: Don't stay in enemy view range if you're low on health once she reaches level 6. Her ult will easily pick you off. And don't ever retreat in a straight line, anticipate her ult always. Once she reaches 200 bonus weapon power incoming damage won't stop her from cloaking anymore. DO NOT go in for a shank if she is building weapon power unless you are right next to her. 95% of the time she will simply cloak and leave you with nothing to stab. If you do need to stab her make sure you don't select her until the last possible moment. If she cloaks while you have her selected you will target the closest minion and most likely roll yourself right into the enemy turret.
6
Taka Taka isn't scary if you know how to deal with him, but he can still be threatening if he gets ahead in farm. Always have scout traps in BOTH lane bushes whenever possible. Its pretty funny when you can light up a visible bush Taka. You can typically kill or near kill a Taka that comes at you when you're at full spin, (with proper defense) so make sure you have your stacks when in dicey places. Protips: Shield up if he starts to build toward a Shatterglass. Successfully using Reflex Block to block the mortal wound from X-Retsu can mean life or death. Also, always assume Taka knows where you are and is on his way, ALWAYS!!!
7
Ozo Ozo can be very dangerous to SAW if he can move around well. His Aerobounce is very easy to land on a spun up SAW. His burst can nuke your health really quickly. Like Rona, he can survive your hits and heal more than you can dish out if he builds lifesteal. High defense will counter this. Luckily, his ult is comically easy to reflex. You can see/hear it from a mile away! Protips: Staying away from things Ozo can bounce on will hinder his ability to Aerobounce. Also, watch out for Ozo buff comps like Adagio, Lyra, Ardan, and Phinn.
7
Skaarf Scaarf can be really difficult to lane against if he knows what he's doing. His spitfire is hard to avoid but manageable. Stay on your toes and don't keep your stacks up if you don't have to so you can be ready to dodge his Spitfire. Save your Roadie Run for when he drops that goop on you. If you keep Scaarf busy he won't be able to farm well. Don't help him by being on top of your minions, he will be able to kill two birds with one Goop (hah, get it?). Also, don't attack him when he is casting Dragon's Breath unless you are really confident you will be able to kill him. If you choose to run away from Dragon's Breath don't retreat where your allies do, make him waste time thinking where to turn. Protips: Shield up early and watch for those Broken Myth stacks. Also, never underestimate his damage. Even with shields he can pack a punch in the late game.
8
Adagio Adagio can be very dangerous for SAW in the right hands. Him and Lyra have more range than any other hero. This makes it challenging to stutter on him. He is only threatening when he is playing a carry, ignore roam Adagio unless he builds CP. He can pack a punch regardless if he goes CP or WP (crit Adagio is scary but falls of hard in the late game). Lay down Suppressing Fire on him whenever you can. Protips: Watch for Arcane Fire, he can hurt you a lot more while you're burning. Reflex block does wonders when he tries to nuke you with his ult.
8
Glaive This bruiser needs no introduction. Glaive is no joke being a staple in the meta of many patches. Sporting the highest HP of any carry and having natural lifesteal, he can be really tough to take down. On top of this, his Afterburn is one of the scariest abilities in the game (reflex!!!!!). Bonesaw helps tear through any armor he might have to cut away at that health. Protips: Reflex that Afterburn, you just gotta. Avoid jungle confrontations, he is much less dangerous out in the open.
8
Lance Lance's natural tankiness and high weapon damage can make him nearly untouchable in lane (especially in the first several minutes of the game). The best way to deal with him is deal damage when you can or ignore him to take out squishy carries. If you can dodge his Impale effectively it will go a long way. He is the tankiest hero in the game, Mad Cannon can melt him better than it can melt any other hero. Protips: Reflexing Impale may not seem important, but it can help a lot. Try to stay at the top of the lane at all times so he can't impale you from the bushes.
8
Reim Reim is an old man, and he plays like one. He does have slow attacks, but he can be really threatening if he isn't afraid to engage you. His fortified health lets him soak up your shots. He can out-sustain you in a fight if he is on you. Keep your distance and rain hell on him when he doesn't have fortified health. The major threat is his ult, it can put you in a bad situation easily. Hang back and let more mobile members of your team get the aggro. Protips: Watch out for when he sprints with boots. That can put you in a bad situation really fast. Also, keep an eye out for Reim buff comps like Ardan, Fortress, and Phinn. Bonesaw and T2+ boots are a really good counter to Reim (so is Aegis, of course). Make it a priority to get those items after Sorrowblade.
9
Alpha Alpha can be very difficult to deal with if she tanks up and sticks to you. Thankfully, she is easy to melt with full spin stacks. Be careful when firing on her when she is up close. You do not want to be near her when she self destructs. Try not to focus her if there is another high damage carry on her team. Protips: A smart Alpha will Atlas you whenever she can. When she comes up on you expect her to use it. Don't run away from Alpha in a straight line, anticipate her Prime Directive.
9
Blackfeather Blackfeather can be annoying to lane against. His barrier from On Point basically gives him immunity from your shots. Time your pokes to hit when he doesn't have his barrier or it will be a wasted effort. Additionally, drop Suppressing Fire from a distance so he can't hit you with On Point and get that barrier. Getting a health advantage over Blackfeather will cause him to settle down if he is constantly poking you. Protips: Blackfeather will typically build an Atlas and dive on you to use it, anticipate this. Punish him when he can't get his barrier as much as possible.
9
Catherine Catherine can be a very annoying (and deadly) threat to SAW if she's played right. Her stun can shut you down, luckily you see it coming from a distance most of the time. Roadie Run or a reflex block can stop her stun fairly easily. Her Stormguard bubble makes shooting her a very bad idea and she's basically untouchable while it's activated. Don't waste your time lighting her up unless you need to build stacks. Her ult can be a huge problem if she lands it before you are about to activate Roadie Run. That Blast Tremor will silence your Roadie Run and make your a sitting duck! The best thing to do if you get hit with it is try to build stacks quickly or fall back until the silence is over. Protips: DO NOT try to shank her with your Roadie Run when she has Stormguard activated!!! All that damage will be knocked right back to you and she will be basically untouched. Also, every time you shoot her bubble it's lifespan gets shorter.
9
SAW Going against another SAW can be somewhat problematic with the crit build. If you see the enemy SAW building towards a Serpent Mask, (gross) start building armor. Additionally, if it see him building towards a Tornado Trigger, start laughing. A lifesteal SAW will be able to outgun you if they start spamming weapon power and lifesteal when you're in the early stages of building crits after Sorrowblade. This brash build style won't hold up once you have established those crits and armor shred (and your own armor). When duking it out in lane don't be aggressive. Set him up for a gank by freezing the lane and let him push. Begin pinging once he gets close. If the enemy SAW started out with the Book of Eulogies (wussy) he will have an advantage over you in lane. Don't feel you have to assert your dominance over that default skin SAW. Just let your team deal with him until you can outgun him. Good luck my friend, this is what you have been training for! Protips: Consuming a potion right at the start of the SAWUDDEN DEATH (both SAWS firing at each other until one or both die) will greatly increase your chances of survival. Make sure you know if the enemy SAW is going CP or not or you'll be in the big surprise when he activates Suppressing Fire or shanks. An infusion is a great way to surprise the enemy SAW with much more damage and fire rate. Not building boots early is a viable option since he will be just as slow as you in lane.
9
Celeste Celeste can be very problematic if she is good at poking you with her Heliogenesis. Avoid where she plants her stars, they are deadly. Don't be a fool and drop your Suppressing Fire standing near one of her stars. Be aware that she has a stun up her sleeve as well. Since Celeste is a mage and relies heavily on her abilities for her attacks/pokes. Using Roadie Run to poke her is a reasonable tactic, but be aware that you will be without that escape if you don't land the stab. I would recommend having boots on the ready if you use this tactic. Boots also work well to catch her off guard and light he up a little bit. Protips: Celeste needs to anticipate movements to be successful, making unusual movements will throw her off. Also, always assume she is waiting for the right time to use her ult, because she is, never retreat from her in a straight line.
9
Rona Rona is the queen of sustain and getting all up in your face. Rona is difficult for SAW to deal with. Once she's on you its hard to get her off (even with Roadie Run). The best way to deal with her is to armor up to T3 so you can shut down her lifesteal. Keep your distance at all costs. She is a really good SAW counter, be careful when facing her. Protips: Anticipate her jumping on you and use it to trap her in a gank. A well timed shank can nuke right through her sustain and finish her off.
10
Lyra Lyra can be a monster in lane and there is little that can be done about it. She can do massive damage with her auto attacks that can be casted even when you're out of her range (not OP at all!!). I suggest you get as many shots on her instead of running when she targets you (you're gonna take both shots anyway). Run out of her Sigel when she drops it on you ASAP. Protips: She is very difficult to lane against starting off, but if you keep on the farm and shield up early she will become less of a threat as the game goes on. The only way she can compete with your damage later on is if she doesn't buy armor. Even with armor she can still be melted really quickly. Even if she roams your should still target her, she's just that good. Once you have those Akimbo Monocles and decent defense, punish her for all that hell she gave you in the early game. Lastly, don't keep her on the border of your range, stay close to her, (but not bulwark radius close!) the less she can kite you the better. Due to Lyra's ability to keep tanky carries alive for much longer, it is worth it to build sustain items like Breaking Point and Bonesaw.
10
Skye Skye is probably the biggest counter to SAW in the game. Her mobility makes it nearly impossible for her to be trapped in your line of fire. Watch out for a WP Skye, she can build Breaking point stacks on you very quickly and will become more deadly as the fight goes on. Skye is fairly simple to lane against, just stay behind your minions and her Foward Barrage won't be able to hit you. Watch where she is locking her targets and anticipate that Suri Strike. If she gets a good position with Suri Strike she will light you up like a firecracker with that Foward Barrage shortly after. Protips: Make sure you hold your ground and stutter when she tries to kite away from your range. Shield or armor up early to shut her down in the early/mid game. Watch for sneaky uses of Foward Barrage. Don't pick SAW in draft if the enemy has picked Skye.
10
Vox Unlike laners like Skye and Kestrel, being near minions when against Vox is deadly. He can farm and light you up at the same time if you get in resonance range (aka minions or heroes that have resonance). Vox will become more deadly with that *cough* OP *cough* resonance as the game goes on. Keep your distance and hold your ground (not near resonance!) and hit him with suppressing fire when safe. Build defense early to keep yourself alive. Protips: Do not ever be near your teammates in a teamfight against a cp Vox, EVER. Sneak up on him and give him the heat when he least expects it. Also, don't chase him in a pack. Anticipate a power spike from both CP and WP Vox in late game.

SAW

Build: Ultimate CP SAW

Ability Path

Spin Up
Heroic Perk
Roadie Run
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Suppressing Fire
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
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12
Mad Cannon
1
2
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4
5
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12

SAW

Build: How to Help SAW Help You

Ability Path

Spin Up
Heroic Perk
Roadie Run
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Suppressing Fire
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Mad Cannon
1
2
3
4
5
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7
8
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12

Item Choices

Threat Meter

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Threat Hero Notes
1
Alpha Alpha meshes really well with SAW. She is really good at distracting the enemy. If you're a decent Alpha you probably tank up well. This allows you to soak up hits and do your thing while SAW is off the radar. Always engage ahead of SAW with the roam. If the enemies target SAW, get the aggro back with your ult if you can. Additionally, when you're in reboot you will be the center of attention, try to explode near SAW so he can mow down enemies when they try to stop your reboot. Also, your gap closers can be a huge help in lane when SAW can't finish off an enemy.
1
Rona Rona is one of the best teammates SAW can match with. Her berserker playstyle matches well with the trebuchet style of SAW. Her presence draws tons of aggro while SAW sets up. I would just play the berserker role well and draw in the aggro in teamfights. Pounce on enemies that attack SAW to distract them while he lights them up.
1
Taka Taka has many attributes that SAW lacks. The two can be a very good duo together. When you have a SAW on your team while playing as Taka I suggest you stay aware of the lane. If a hero is giving SAW a hard time in lane or you suspect a gank, lend a hand whenever possible. Heroes laning against SAW typically are busy making sure SAW doesn't push turret. This is perfect for the cloakable Taka. Making your presence known in lane will also draw the attention of the enemy junglers. You could use this distraction that you cause to sneak away and steal their farm or ambush them when they attempt to steal yours. This can be achieved by doing your thing in lane and getting out quickly.
2
Koshka Despite being rivals, Koshka and SAW form a really good team. Her ult and turret diving abilities mesh well with the non-mobile SAW. Use your ult to lock down heroes that are within SAW's range so he can rain hell on them. Use your Bouncy Fun to finish off enemies that try to hide from SAW under their turret.
2
Phinn I think it's pretty obvious how strong a Phinn and SAW combo can be. All of Phinn's abilities can bring/keep the enemy towards SAW. Use your Quibble to pushish melee heroes that attempt to get close to SAW. Try to get the fortified health effect from Polite Company over the drag to keep SAW and the other carry healthy. Use your Forced Accord only when SAW is fully spun up and in range of where they will be dragged. Follow up your Forced Accord with a Quibble to further keep your foes in SAW's range. Try to pull in slippery heroes that are good at staying out of SAW's range over melee heroes.
3
Ardan Ardan is an excellent roam to match with SAW. His Vanguard offers a boost and barrier for the non-mobile SAW. I would give him Vanguard when enemies try to move away from SAW or start to light him up. Ardan's Gauntlet is extremely useful to keep the enemies where SAW wants them. Use Gauntlet to form a wall between SAW and melee heroes and to stop enemies from leaving SAW's range.
3
Petal Petal and SAW have pretty good synergy in the early game. They both perform the best in the early game and can snowball a game with some teamwork. Petal and her pets are very good at chasing down enemies that try to move away from SAW. Let the pets take the hits while SAW hammers out damage on the enemies. Petal instills fear into her foes once they realize they can't kill her, put a full spin SAW behind her and the two can easily dominate. The best way Petal can help out SAW is by picking fights in the jungle so SAW knows he can push turret without the danger of a gank.
3
Skye Skye's mobility meshes very well with SAW's lack of mobility. Having Skye kiting around will keep the enemies on their toes. Be careful not to take the fight away from SAW. Use your ult to keep enemies close to SAW. Firing a Foward Barrage from a lane bush can finish off a laner hiding under their turret. Your Foward Barrage can stop an enemy from kiting or melee rushing SAW. You can assume melee heroes like Krul will rush SAW, plan your Suri Strikes accordingly. All your moves can influence where the enemy moves, use that to your advantage and SAW's advantage.
3
Samuel Since both SAW and Samuel are predominantly laners, they don't see too much action together. However, if the two pair up together, they actually have some synergy. Use your Drifting Dark to keep the enemy at bay when they try to rush SAW. Samuel's Malice and Verdict can also force enemies to stay back. (especially when you are in your cloud) Your ult is extremely useful when the fight begins to move away from SAW, use it when SAW needs to catch up to the fight. I would ping the enemies while casting to give SAW a heads up.
4
Glaive Due to SAW and Glaive typically using weapon power, the two don't see much action together. But the double WP carry teams have been becoming more of a thing lately due to teamfights becoming longer. (which has, in turn, been making Bonesaw a more viable option) A double WP combo for these two will work as long as both heroes pick up Bonesaw. Glaive's afterburn can place an enemy right where SAW needs them to be if executed correctly. Do this whenever possible in lane. (from the enemy's lane bush whenever possible) Glaive is also good at being tanky and taking the aggro. Make sure SAW is within shooting range and spun up before you engage in teamfights so you don't just get nuked without support.
4
Lyra Lyra can be a good asset to SAW with some advanced strats. Her heal can really assit in a lane push. I would drop in on lane when SAW is low for a heal. A smart SAW will take advantage of the boost from the burst heal and get a good stutter burst on the enemy laner. I suggest you drop a ping on the enemy before the Sigel depletes. Using your Bulwark on melee heroes will hinder their pursuit toward SAW and allow him to light them up more. The best way Lyra can assist SAW is by using Arcane Passage right in front of him when the fight begins to move away from him. That will definitely catch your foes by surprise and bring SAW right where he needs to be. Ping the portal when you do it in case your SAW doesn't catch on.
4
Vox Vox is a good teammate for SAW. But he can't really do much to gank the enemy laner. Their synergy comes later in the game. Vox is the king of late game teamfights. This helps make up for SAW's difficulty with teamfights. A good Vox will force the enemies to stay near SAW with his resonance placements, punishing them by closing off choke points where they can escape. Try to make teamfights happen in the jungle when possible.
5
Adagio Adagio has become less synergetic with SAW ever since his Agent of Wrath has been nerfed, but they can still be a deadly carry combo. I would keep an eye on lane and come up and drop a heal if SAW starts to get low. You can also ping the enemy laner if you want to hit SAW with your b so he can light up them up. Just make sure he is going to do it so you don't waste your energy. Try to keep your heal until an enemy is close to SAW so you can light them on Arcane Fire while healing, dropping your b on SAW right after will allow both of you to do more damage. That strat works well in teamfights if there is a melee carry on the enemy team.
5
Fortress Fortress can greatly help with SAW's lack of mobility. His Truth of the Tooth is a great way to keep SAW in teamfights. Use it on a retreating enemy so SAW can chase them down with a shank or full spin. Be aware that your ult will sometimes cause the enemy team to retreat. I would use it prior to a teamfight instead of during a teamfight so the fight doesn't move away from SAW.
5
Joule Joule is a decent teammate for SAW. She's not in the meta nowadays because of how easy it is to overwhelm her, but that flaw can actually be used to assist an allied SAW. Joule can be a big problem if she is ignored, so she typically isn't. Now, I'm not suggesting that you play like Rona and just get in everyone's face, just try to keep the heat on and right in front of you. This will allow SAW to swoop in with stacks ready and mow away the enemies while you take the hits. Rocket Leaping in front of an enemy trying to escape will help keep them within SAW's range. Additionally, the best way to get aggro with Joule is with her ult.
6
Kestrel Kestrel can work decentally with SAW if both heroes tank up. Her Active Camo can be used to stun and distract the enemies for SAW. Make sure you retreat toward SAW so he can ward off or kill your attackers. Setting up obvious camo traps at choke points can keep melee heroes at bay while you and SAW pick them off. Also, keep an eye on lane and drop your ult if the enemy laner is giving SAW a hard time or is at low health.
6
Krul Krul is a decent matchup with SAW. If he tanks up well he can help make up for SAW's squishyness. You can keep one carry distracted and weakened while SAW deals with the other carry while off the radar. Krul's ult can be very useful in shutting down enemies so SAW can blow them away without them running. I would use it when SAW is near the target and on full stacks.
6
Ringo SAW and Ringo are the OG laners of the Fold, and they actually work fairly well together. Having a jungle Ringo paired with a lane SAW will make the enemies have to decide who to attack first. I suggest you kite your foes to SAW then blast them alongside SAW. Having two rangers with guns in lane will make the enemies think twice about a gank, so be sure to drop by the lane every now and then. Additionally, your Achilles Shot has a slow, use it to bring down enemies to SAW's speed when they try to get out of his range.
7
Catherine Like most roams, Catherine has a kit that works well with SAW. The primary tool on her kit that helps SAW is her Merciless Pursuit. The stun can prove useful when enemies try to leave SAW's range. I would use it to keep enemies near SAW so he can do his damage. Its not wise to use it when SAW isn't spun up and near the target. A well placed blast tremor can stop ability dependent heroes from overwhelming SAW. Try to make yourself look vulnerable by not using your Stormguard while SAW is positioning or hammering out damage.
7
Reim Reim is a decent teammate for SAW if there are enemy melee heroes to deal with. The CC built into his kit can help keep melee heroes from rushing SAW. I would plant your spires between SAW and enemy melee heroes to discourage their rush or punish them for it. Try to land roots in SAW's range so he can light up the stuck enemies. Use your ult to stop a rushing melee hero in their tracks. Sticking to an enemy carry can draw aggro from the enemy team. Do this when possible so SAW can get busy setting up and lighting up enemies.
8
Blackfeather Blackfeather is an ok carry to match with SAW. He can chase down enemies efficiently when SAW can't. Watch for easy assassinations in lane and try to make your presence known when needed. Your rose trails can greatly help make SAW more mobile in a teamfight if you place it well. I would ping the trail so he knows to utilize it.
9
Lance Lance doesn't mesh that well with SAW. They are both low-mobility heroes. They could easily be countered by slippery/fast heroes. The only things Lance could do to help SAW are root an enemy for him or push enemies toward him. It will prove useful if you can push and stun an enemy into SAW's range. Since Lance is the tankiness hero in the fold it makes sense to draw the aggro as much as you can and use CC will SAW hammers away damage at the enemy. I would be a regular visitor to lane and instigate when apporoiate when teamed with a SAW.
9
Ozo Ozo has little synergy with SAW. Both heroes require some setting up to be effective. The best thing you can do to help SAW is distract with your Aerobounces. Try to draw the aggro as you steal life and hop from head to head while SAW gets his shots. A good way to instantly aggro yourself is with your ult.
10
Celeste Like Scaarf, Celeste doesn't really see much action with SAW. However, jungle Celeste is more common/viable than Scaarf. Again like Scaarf, Celeste is a backline hero. She doesn't work well with heroes like SAW that don't have natural tackiness. Despite this, Celeste can still keep enemies from both SAW and herself. Her stun is a good way to delay melee heroes from potentially dropping an Atlas or getting close to the non-mobile SAW.
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Skaarf A team with Scaarf and SAW is very rare since they both aren't that flexible with other roles. (especially Scaarf) They don't really go well together either. Scaarf is a backline hero that works well with tanky heroes. Saw can't take the hits for him. If you do get paired with a jungle SAW or vice versa use your pokes and Goop to keep the enemy at a distance if you can. You can also use your ult to draw the aggro or finish off enemies that run away from SAW. Goop also can keep enemies near SAW.

IMPORTANT INFO Top

The third build contains detailed information on the threat meter about how each hero can work with SAW

NEW BLITZ BUILD FOR SAW IN FOURTH BUILD

Table of Contents Top

1. Introduction

2. Goal of this guide

3. SAW, the Trebuchet

4. Roadie Run

5. Suppressing Fire

6. Mad Cannon

7. The Ultimate Weapon SAW Build

8. Spending Ability Points with Weapon SAW

9. The Ultimate CP SAW Build

10. SAWpporting the Team

11. Conclusion

Introduction Top

SAW is one of the hardest heroes to play, and one of the hardest heroes to play with. This makes him a very controversial hero. Even if you don't play SAW I recommend giving this guide a read so you can work with him better. I have played hundreds of games with both CP and WP SAW. So I'm kind of an expert, or I guess you could say a SAWspert (hah, get it?). This guide contains everything you should know about SAW (even if you don't play him). Additionally, this guide is very extensive and detailed (get ready to read a lot of stuff).

Goal of this Guide Top

SAW is commonly referred to as a problem hero, or a bad hero choice. Many people have hostile feelings toward SAW because they do not know how to work with him or simply refuse to. It does not help that he is one of the most difficult heroes to play. His high difficulty level causes inexperienced players to not perform well until they get the hang of SAW.

The goal of this guide is twofold. Firstly, I want to give fellow SAW players a guide that will help them improve their skills and give them good builds to follow. Secondly, I want to inform non-SAW players on how they can work with SAW and understand his limitations. By doing these things, I hope to reduce the controversy and salt that surrounds SAW.

SAW, the Trebuchet Top

The best way to think of SAW is like a trebuchet. If you don't know what a trebuchet is, look below. To properly use SAW you must set him up much like trebuchet needs to be set up. They both also have the function of sieging certain locations.

Now, don't think that SAW should just stand in one place. He can be a mobile hero if played correctly. He is the only hero with an ability that gives him a sprint after all!

Roadie Run Top

Speaking of that sprint ability, I will start off talking about Roadie Run. This ability can be a powerful escape tool or a powerful finisher. It also can be used for some tactical movements. To simplify things, I'm going to give each function of this ability its own name and section.

Spawn Sprint: Whenever you spawn you should Roadie Run right off the bat. There is no reason not to. The spawn gives you most of the energy back that you lose from using it. Once you reach mid game it basically gives it all back. The only possible setback is that you may not be able to use it right away when you get to your destination. But you shouldn't be using it right away 95% of the time. So use Roadie Run when you spawn, always!

The Escape: Roadie Run is one of the best escape tools in the game. Its a backup sprint that is always there. To ensure its always there make sure you don't use it unless you have to (especially in lane!). And don't ever make the mistake of spending your second point on Suppressing Fire to try to do extra damage. You will have no way to drop your stacks and run until level 3. I know its so tempting to try to kill that Celeste or Skaarf when they just won't stop with the pokes (#SAWproblems) but you gotta buy the Roadie Run because the rest of the enemy team will squash you if they decide to come up to lane. You'll be a sitting duck with or without the spin stacks. Also, be aware that you move really fast with Roadie Run with a CP build. This gives CP SAW one of the fastest movement abilities in the game.

The Shank Escape: On top of the sprint, Roadie Run also gives you a tactical roll when your stab something during the sprint. This allows you to light someone up and get a good distance away right after. But be careful with this tactic. Getting that close to the enemies leaves you very vulnerable. They can also still hurt you during the roll. There are some situations where you can get most of the sprint + roll for an even better escape. The gif below shows a good situation to do this.

Now in this scenario you are by your turret minding his own business when an enemy Glaive pops out of your bush and afterburns you right into his turret's range (typical Glaive tactic). Him and Fortress seem to have you and are going in for the kill. But don't worry, there is still hope! The first thing you do is activate Roadie Run and make a beeline to the closest of the two gankers, in this case, Fortress. Get to a point where you are to closer to your turret than Fortress is, turn around so your back is directly facing the turret then SHANK that Fortress and roll into safety. The defeated gankers will probably sulk back into the bushes. Don't be afraid to give them a parting Suppressing Fire if its safe enough :^) (this tactic works with minions too, just be sure you are facing the right direction when you plant that knife).

The Wall Roll: Be aware that this is an advanced SAW tactic. Even I have only used it a handful of times. Any pro knows that many abilities allow for clipping through walls on the map if the destination is past the wall. It can be done with the roll from Roadie Run. Don't try to make situations where this can happen. It is not really worth it. Just keep in mind that it is possible.

In the scenario below, SAW is getting hammered by Krul and has too many weakness stacks to do anything. Luckily for SAW, he is right next to a wall that he can roll through. SAW calmly plants the knife into Krul and rolls through the wall into safety.




You can also use the Wall Roll to backdoor into the enemy base. If you take a look at the screenshots and gifs below you can see where you have to be to get it to work. You have to be facing the right direction and have the right angle for it to happen. Make sure you attack the bottom minion and step back carefully.



Note that this wall roll is VERY difficult to pull off and will take alot of practice. This tactic could prove useful if you need to sneak into the enemy base to finish off their crystal. Use at your own risk.

Minion Rolling/Gap Closing Roll: This is a semi-advanced SAW custom maneuver that has many opportunities to be used tactically. However, I honestly don't think I've seen a SAW on the fold that utilized this tactic effectively (smh).

Basically, this tactic involves shanking minions or jungle monsters to get somewhere right away. A good example is a situation where a jungle 3v3 has broken out and the fight is starting to move away from you. Depending on where you are, it might be a good idea to shank a jungle monster to get within range of an enemy hero instantly and get off a few shots to finish them off. This same concept can be used in lane on a minion to surprise an enemy and potentially finish them off, or at least send them packing. Minion Rolling is also extremely useful when you have to clear enemy or friendly jungle monsters quickly.

The Finisher: The shank from Roadie Run does increased damage based on enemy missing health. A good rule of thumb is that a shank will probably kill an enemy hero if they have 20% or less health remaining until it is overdriven (be aware that a crystal build allows SAW to do much more damage with the shank). Running up to an enemy and finishing them off with a shank is a very common SAW tactic. One may think that enemies may become used to seeing it and prepare for it, but I've found that they mostly don't, even in higher ranked games! Even I forget that an enemy SAW has that up their sleeve sometimes.

Any good SAW knows the potential of the shank to surprise a melee enemy and finish them before they finish you. A good example is a Krul that is slapping his stacks on you and is getting ready for the Spectral Smite but has low health like you do. If you time it right you can shank him before he can drop that Spectral Smite and get the kill. The timing for this tactic is difficult to master, but the more you attempt it the more you'll get used to the expected damage.

Protips for Roadie Run:

Always have it as a escape. As stated earlier, you can't afford to not have it on the ready. Never allow yourself to be a sitting duck.

Don't try to finish off a ranged hero with Roadie Run as a last resort if you're far away, especially if you're 1v1ing them. You will most likely die before getting to them.

Don't use Roadie Run to run down to the jungle shop from lane unless your allies are near the shop themselves. If you get ganked in the jungle and don't have Roadie Run, you have no escape. Doing this also drains ALOT of energy.

Combine Roadie Run with your boots. Using one after the other will give you a huge lead on your foes in a retreat.

Don't attempt to turret dive with Roadie Run for a kill unless you are very healthy and are sure you can do it. You look really dumb when you Roadie Run under a turret and don't stab anything. You will also look very dead in a few moments :^)

Suppressing Fire Top

As I mentioned earlier, SAW has to set himself up much like a trebuchet does. The best and fastest way to get your stacks is by activating Suppressing Fire. After activating Suppressing Fire you are completely immobile for two seconds. I don't think I have to tell you how much can go down in two seconds. When using this ability, positioning is key. Where and when you activate Suppressing Fire can mean life or death. (especially in a team fight) Anyway, let's get into the tactics/moves for this ability.

The Suppressing Poke/Snipe: Suppressing Fire has a big, but narrow, damage range. Dropping it on the enemy Laner not only damages them, but slows them as well. If you anticipate their movement you can trap them deep in your Suppressing Zone and get a health advantage. Be aware that they can still attack when in the Zone. It is best to land this ability when the enemy is just on the border of the circle. Note that the Zone extends somewhat out of the selection circle. Don't anticipate this though, it leaves a margin for error. Try to land the Suppressing Fire thinking the damage will only stay in the circle.

The Roadblock: This is a personal favorite of mine. I will explain this tactic with an example. The screenshot and gif below shows a retreating Catherine trying to reach the safety of her turret. From the way its looking your team won't be able to catch up enough to finish her in time. Being the smart tactical SAW you are, you drop the Suppressing Fire through the wall so it's placed right in front of Catherine for some extra damage, and the more important slowdown, so your teammates can finish her off. That's the Roadblock in a nutshell.

The Suppressing Suppressing Fire: This tactic actually holds true to the ability's name. There may be a scenario where your team has to fall back or retreat and the enemy is out of vision range. It may prove useful to drop a Suppressing Fire at your team's back to give the enemies a warning of what lies ahead. After all, you do get full spin afterwards, and nobody likes a full spin SAW. You may even land some damage on the enemies. Just be careful when doing this as you do leave yourself vulnerable. This tactic is best used when you're healthy in case they call your bluff and charge at you.

The Iniating Suppressing Fire: If you're feeling lucky or just want to catch the enemies off guard you could start a team-fight off with a Suppressing Fire. Be aware this is VERY risky and I don't recommend doing it if you're new to SAW. There are pros and cons to this tactic:

Pros:

The enemies will have to choose to react or not react to your Suppressing Fire. Whether or not they choose to attack they will no doubt have a slower reaction time to you. This buys you and your team a little time.

As mentioned earlier using Suppressing Fire gives you a huge amount of aggro. While the enemies target you, your teammates can get busy hammering away damage on the enemy team.

Cons:

You will be late in helping take out the enemy team if combat starts quickly. Since you are going to be the biggest damage dealer for your team this can be a really big disadvantage.

You might die! Even with armor/shields you are still very squishy. By the time you actually get to fire it might be too late!

The fight might not start right away. Its very possible that you will use Suppressing Fire and lose your stacks before the fight starts.

(Why did I make a pros and cons section for this tactic????)

Protips for Suppressing Fire:

There may be a situation where you are hidden and an unsuspecting enemy is coming your way. It may be a good idea to activate Suppressing Fire in the opposite direction so they don't see it and you can gank them with full spin stacks.

Any hero that doesn't tank up in the late game can still take a big amount of damage from Suppressing Fire on a WP SAW.

Mad Cannon Top

AS OF 1.23 MAD CANNON NO LONGER CAN NUKE THE VAIN CRYSTAL. IT DOES NEXT TO NO DAMAGE TO IT WITHOUT CP. YOU WILL DO SIGNIFICANTLY LESS DAMAGE THAN YOUR BASIC ATTACK WITH MAD CANNON SHELLS. DO NOT ACTIVATE IT WHEN ATTACKING THE VAIN CRYSTAL! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

SAW's ult is probably the most unique ult in the game. The reason I say this is because it really isn't an ult in the traditional sense. It just modifies your next few basic attacks. The only two things this ability offers is increased damage at lower enemy health and splash damage. It also makes you shoot slower. On the outside this ability may not seem like much, but it can be useful regardless of what build your have.

The Finisher Cannon: Like Roadie Run's shank, the damage of Mad Cannon scales with enemy missing health. This makes Mad Cannon a very good way to finish off enemies. It works especially well in taking down tanks with loads of health.

The Shell Stack: This is a crystal build custom tactic. When you load those explosive shells the timer for Mad Cannon's cooldown starts ticking. When you get into late game and are preparing for the inevitable teamfight load the shells really early. Think about it this way, if you have 9 rounds to fire and a fully cooled Mad Cannon, thats 18 shots of doom on the ready!

Protips For Mad Cannon:

When firing on an enemy, activate Mad Cannon when they drop below half health, you will kill them faster (especially when they're tanky).

Don't activate Mad Cannon unless you have to. Carelessly using it will leave you with reduced attack speed until you get rid of them. It also takes a hefty portion of your energy bar when activated.

Stutter stepping greatly reduces the time in between Mad Cannon shots.

The missing health damage from Mad Cannon is constant and is not changed by the items you buy. Keep this in mind in the rare event you have to roam SAW.

The Ultimate Weapon SAW Build Top

Now like any build, this build can change depending on the game, but no matter what happens you need to build that Sorrowblade ASAP. The only other thing you should have when you get Sorrowblade is Sprint Boots and Book of Eulogies. To simplify things, I'm going to go into detail on each individual item in this build and explain how it helps you dominate.

Book of Eulogies: This is a very useful item to heal back some of those early game pokes. It will be built into a Serpent's Mask later on (or Poisoned Shiv depending on the situation). Start with this always. If you are going for an early turret kill, I suggest upgrading this to at least a Barbed Needle early on to help with the sustain.

The Sorrowblade: This is the most important item in the build. It gives you the power SAW needs to rip apart enemies, and it gives you a good damage base to build crits on. If you buy the Sorrowblade in a timely manner. You will have the highest DPS in the match, no question. Grab the Sorrowblade as soon as you can.

Sprint Boots: I would recommend buying Sprint Boots during the first shop visit. Having them makes you much more mobile while you have stacks.

The time to pick up Travel Boots can vary greatly depending on the match. However you should usually have it after getting the first Tyrant's Monocle when you start building up defense. Never buy Journey Boots unless you really feel that you need to (or you have maxed everything else and are infused). Halcyon Chargers are also a good option to have extra energy in the late game.

The Akimbo Monocles: Once the Sorrowblade is built you need to continue to build more DPS to maintain your damage domination. Making the first Tyrant's Monocle is the best way to do this. You won't have as much consistent damage as you would with a second sorrowblade right away, but that's not what's important about the Tyrant's Monocle This wonderful item has a 35% crit chance with +15% crit damage. Since the default crit damage is +50% damage, the Tyrant's Monocle gives you a +65% boost to your normal damage every time you get a crit (which you get 35% of the time) Having another Tyrant's Monocle brings you up to 80% more damage for 70% of your shots. Not to mention that each Tyrant's Monocle gives you 60 weapon power each.

On top of the boost in damage the crits provide, they also have psychological effects on the enemy. If you come back into a battle with crits it takes the enemies off guard.


(Leaving this here in case the Tyrant's Monocle makes a comeback. Also because I want to keep the picture that goes along with it.)

Defense: After you build the first damage item you need to think about defense. I suggest begin building an Aegis, if the situation allows for it, so you can get that EXTREMELY USEFUL Reflex Block. Get Aegis if there are stun heroes like Joule, Catherine, Ozo, Glaive, etc. Any pro knows the power of the Reflex Block.

Second Damage Item: At this point in the build your should have a Sorrowblade, level 1 or 2 boots, at least Book of Eulogies, and a defense item. Now would be a good time to finish whichever lifesteal item you chose. Around the same time, you should have your first defense item finished.

Breaking Point: Breaking Point should be the third damage item to be built. Always go with the Heavy Steel component first since the attack speed is useless. Once it is finished, you will have to change your playstyle in teamfights to build those important stacks.

Second Defense or Bonesaw: The last item is based on the situation and will only be completed in very long games. If the enemy has at least one Metal Jacket and some armor pierce, I would go with the Bonesaw. If the enemy is light on armor, I would go with the second defense item.

Infusions: Utilizing a Weapon Infusion in the late mid/late game is very useful. Using several infusions in a game is encouraged. But don't buy one every time you go back to shop. If you know a team fight is going to break out, definitely pick one up.


Serpent Mask and Tornado Trigger: Don't buy this, ever! I will explain why:


Serpent Mask: A lot of SAWS tend to use this item to stay healthy, but potions do the same thing and they do it ON DEMAND. The lifesteal does not work fast enough to survive burst heroes, and that is SAW'S biggest threat. Serpent Mask should only be bought against sustain comps or going into another weapon SAW.

Tornado Trigger: This is probably the worst thing you can buy when playing SAW. When SAW is at full spin stacks he is at 316% attack speed. Adding an extra 70% to the 316% is not worth the high price of the Tornado Trigger. It works on other heroes because they have low attack speed and it almost doubles it, this in not the case for SAW. If you are looking to build up those stacks faster, choose Bonesaw.

Spending Ability Points with Weapon SAW Top

I'm just going to put the ability point spending below so you don't have to scroll up (the graphic at the top might not be correct because I've been having problems with it).

Level 1 - Suppressing Fire
Level 2 - Roadie Run
Level 3 - Suppressing Fire
Level 4 - Suppressing Fire
Level 5 - Roadie Run
Level 6 - Mad Cannon
Level 7 - Suppressing Fire
Level 8 - Suppressing Fire
Level 9 - Roadie Run
Level 10 - Roadie Run
Level 11 - Roadie Run
Level 12 - Mad Cannon

The choices for when and where I recommend to spend ability points for WP SAW has raised some eyebrows, so I will explain.

The controversy comes from overdriving Suppressing Fire instead of Mad Cannon. Suppressing Fire gets a huge power spike when overdriven. It goes from having 600 total damage to having 960 total damage. That's more than a 50% increase in damage, THAT IS HUGE. It also adds .5 seconds to the slow duration.

The only benefits Mad Cannon gets from overdriving are a 20 second shorten on the cooldown and 20 extra crystal damage. Those benefits are negligible for WP SAW. It also gets an increase in energy cost the more you level it up. That's why I recommend spending the second point on it at level 12, or not at all.

The Ultimate CP SAW Build Top

When playing SAW with a CP base, you become a different hero in many ways. Your Suppressing Fire becomes a HUGE threat, definitely max it out first. You can tear away large portions of the enemy health right away if they get caught in it. Your Roadie Run benefits from a huge damage boost in the early-mid game. Also, Mad Cannon becomes a primary damage source so make sure you use it carefully.

Crystal SAW is best when used as a cleaner. What I mean by that is that you shouldn't be using your abilities at the beginning of the fight. Let your team do most of the damage and engage when you can maximize the missing health percentages that Roadie Run and Mad Cannon provide.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your basic attack gets more useless as the game goes on. This makes it really hard to help the team take objectives like the Kraken.


Let's get into the item breakdowns:

Eve of Harvest: This wonderful item lets you get life back from damage you deal to enemies. You can get so much health back from laying down Suppressing Fire with Eve of Harvest. Having that lifesteal can turn the tide of a fight. On top of the lifesteal, this item also builds from Void Battery and gives substantial energy conservation. I always build this item first for the extra energy and sustain early on. Not having to worry about energy makes poking with Suppressing Fire much easier. Even though you are building Eve of Harvest first you should still start with double Crystal Bits. A single Crystal Bit gives you 20 CP. Having this extra CP with Eve of Harvest early on gives you a substantial amount of extra CP to work with.

Broken Myth: Aegis can severely reduce your damage output, Broken Myth helps with that. Since you're trying to deal your damage later in the fight, you have plenty of time to build up those Myth stacks. Although Broken Myth has seen a substantial several patches ago, it is still essential to CP SAW's kit. It is still the only item that can counter Aegis. Make sure you make Broken Myth your second damage item.

Defense: After you have Eve of Harvest and Broken Myth you should start building (or finish) either Aegis or Metal Jacket. In many situations it can be good to build both of these items. Having that lifesteal and CP amp will be worthless if you get melted easily. Being able to tank several extra blows will give you plenty of time to sustain and build Myth stacks. Additionally, since Broken Myth now takes longer to build its amplification, double defense is now more viable than ever.

Shatterglass: It is a bit unusual to make Shatterglass a third damage item, but it is viable for CP SAW. It gives you a HUGE power spike when you need the extra CP later in the match. A Shatterglass will add 150 CP to your abilities. This more than doubles your total built CP since Eve of Harvest + Broken Myth gives you 125 CP. The amp from Broken Myth will also see a huge ramp up once you finish the Shatterglass.

Clockwork: This is a situational third or fourth damage item. Clockwork is good on CP SAW because of SAW's full dependence on abilities when building CP. When you have all your abilities on cooldown you can literally do nothing to enemy heroes, Clockwork helps with that. The 30% crystal amp also gives you a huge power spike in those late game teamfights.

Slumbering Husk: This is a good pick if you are up against a burst comp. You can easily get ruined when going in for a stab if the enemies have high burst, Slumbering Husk fixes that.

Boots: I suggest getting Travel Boots early on since you need to be more mobile with CP SAW. Getting T3 boots after T3 defense is a very good idea. You have to have as much movement speed as possible to be able to land long range shanks.

SAWpporting the Team Top

Now while people need to do more to help SAW out, SAW needs to do things to help out his teammates. SAW's presence alone can help out. If you see an ally in trouble let the enemies know they're going to have to deal with you to get to them. Your kit has lots of support potential in it. For example, if you see an ally being chased down, set up a Suppression Zone to slow down the enemies and make them aware of the presence of a full spin SAW. That's just one example of things you can do to help out. If Taka can help his team, SAW most certainly can.

Conclusion Top

Well, this is the end of the guide. If you read all of it, you have my special thanks. I hope that I kept you mildly entertained while reading. I also hope that this guide reaches alot of people so SAW isn't looked at as such a bad guy anymore. If you're in a guild, I highly suggest you link it to your guildmates so they too can have a better understanding of SAW as well.

This guide probably has some grammar/factual errors. (I had to make the whole thing on my phone please be nice :c) Feel free to point out anything you see that is wrong with it and I will do my best to fix it in a timely manner.

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you out there on the Fold rocking your new SAW skills!

Shout-out to my guildmates ChaoticAngel and julianneeleanor for help with the visual examples. You guys were great!

Lastly, shout-out to my guild: Time for Rolling

If you want to join "Time for Rolling" apply in our Discord server: discord.me/abc

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