Getting Anti-Mage an Aghanim’s Scepter is a not so popular playstyle which was once a debate topic among Dota 2 players. Spell Block/Reflection effect he gets from Aghanim’s Scepter makes him much more durable and tremendously increase his survivability. But … not all the time.
This mechanics are generally good for Anti-Mage, however, it would not be so efficient in the following typical situations.
1. Tusk can make use of Anti-Mage’s Aghanim’s Scepter bonus effect with Snowball
It is Tusk’s Snowball that an Anti-Mage with Aghanim’s Scepter should watch out for.
Here is how things work: Tusk uses Snowball on Anti-Mage (w/ Aghanim’s Scepter), Anti-Mage instantly “reflects” the ability once the snowball touches him and starts rolling towards where Tusk is. Tusk can take advantage of this mechanics to bring Anti-Mage to where his teammates are ready to kill Anti-Mage with everything they have.
The same thing happens when Anti-Mage is targeted by Charge of Darkness of Spirit Breaker but in this case, Anti-Mage can cancel his Charge by clicking on anywhere else on map.
2. Vengeful Spirit’s Nether Swap can go through Spell Reflection Anti-Mage gets from Aghanim’s Scepter
Vengeful Spirit’s ultimate Nether Swap completely ignores the Spell Reflection of Anti-Mage. Anti-Mage can’t swap himself back while the passive he gets from Aghanim’s Scepter will be put on cooldown (12 seconds).
That is also how Terrorblade’s Sunder works when Terrorblade use it to target Anti-Mage. If you are intending to use the bonus effect from Aghanim’s Scepter to re-cast Sunder to switch back the HP, use Lotus Orb instead.
3. With a good combo, Nyx Assassin can still land a good lockdown on Anti-Mage regardless of the Aghanim’s Scepter he has on him
How? Activate Spiked Carapace, then use Mana Burn on Anti-Mage to trigger the Spell Reflection and stun Anti-Mage the first time with Spiked Carapace, then while Spell Reflection is still on cooldown, target him again with Impale to deal damage and stun. The maximum stun duration is 5.2 seconds which should be enough for Nyx’s team to finish him off.
4. Legion Commander can duel through Anti-Mage’s Aghanim’s Scepter bonus effect
Being dueled by a Blade Mail-on Legion Commander is not easy feeling to any carry. Even to an Anti-Mage who has Aghanim’s Scepter on because Legion Commander can still use Duel on him. The only difference the item can make is magic immunity effect on Anti-Mage while he is being dueled. But it has nothing to do against a Legion Commander with full of physical damage.
So get Linken instead if you are attempting to go against Legion Command as Anti-Mage.
5. The effect Anti-Mage gets from Aghanim’s Scepter would not scare off Bloodseeker anyway
Aghanim’s Scepter is not a good item for Anti-Mage to use against Bloodseeker. Because Bloodseeker can totally use Bloodrage to trigger Spell Reflection effect of Anti-Mage first before using Rupture on him. At max level of the Bloodrage, its cooldown is only 6 seconds so Anti-Mage’s Aghanim’s Scepter would go to waste indeed.
In fact, when playing as Anti-Mage you have to go against Bloodseeker, simply get +400 range Blink talent at Level 15 to quickly get away from the cast range of Rupture as soon as Spell Reflection wears off.
The following video is a great example of what we’re talking about.