6.69 nerfed Morphling and a few other ranged Heroes slightly. Among other changes, he is no longer allowed to replicate his own illusions, discouraging the use of Manta Style. Either a buff or a nerf, simply a remake, Adaptive Strike now also deals Magical damage. This is just an update, and there are more to come.
This guide aims to provide much information through the use of little words. It's an alt-tab guide to Morphling. You can use it for reference and believe it. Morphling is highly flexible, and when the situation calls for it, you must be able to adapt. This guide does not intend to restrict your skill builds or item builds, only encourage and discourage.
The guide discusses two main item builds for Morphling, one main skill build that is independent of the item builds, a solo middle lane or a dual lane preference, and general tips on clashes and playstyles. Morphling doesn't involve much math, so this will be a quick and easy alt-tab guide.
On a personal note, for me this guide is only partly finished. Far from the alt-tab guide you expected, I want it to fully serve its purpose by being as complete as possible. I will always update this guide when a new version is released, if Morphling is changed. I assure you, replays will be posted, but in the meantime, the guide itself will suffice. Thank you.
This guide does not detail competitive play. I'm not qualified to give useful opinions on such. This is purely a pubber's point of view on Morphling, but that's not to say I'm degrading my guide.
Morphling is the kind of Hero that you pick if you want to own hard with your team. He is not the Hero to pick if you don't farm well. Although you can take advantage of a few mistakes your enemies make early, that's not enough to justify a win later on. Morphling is quite item dependent as a ranged AGI carry Hero, and learning how to get those items is a core skill when playing Morphling.
Here are a few reasons why to pick Morphling for that game:
- You want to have a good game with cooperative teammates. Morphling is not a 1v5 Hero, because nobody is. When you pick Morphling, make sure your teammates are not picking Heroes that are going to compete with his farm. Although he may farm well, all the extra burden is going to be heavy later on.
- You like playing mindgames. Waveform is an easy juke skill, and with Replicate, you can easily form mindgames with your Hero.
- You want a hard-hitter with an escape mechanism. Morphling may have two in hand, which you can also use to whack enemies with.
- You like Heroes that are useful at all stages in the game. If you farm well, you can carry the team to victory. If you focus more on player skill rather than total farm, you can use early-middle game to your advantage by being a ganker.
Morphling can carry the games he ganks on, if done correctly. In a few seconds, he can start tanking after taking out a fragile carry or supporter. It all depends on how you want to do it.
However, you can't do this all on a failing game. To be a farmer, you need to get your core as soon as possible. That involves last hitting well early so that you can get your Boots of Travel, and using Waveform to farm and avoid getting killed rather than risking a rambo kill (i.e., killing but getting killed in the process).
As a ganker, you may have to utilize Waveform by itself coupled with good teammates to reach the farm you need. Although effective early game, you'll just be useless later on if the failed ganks outnumber the successful ones. When you play ganker, make sure your teammates are likely to respond, which should be hard if you don't know the people you're playing with.
More rarely, to be a tanker, you'll have to sacrifice a few damage items. You'll be a lot more risky and you might have to initiate clashes by entering with Waveform. You'll be using a lot more mindgames with Replicate, and you'll also be using it to escape after tanking a good portion of the enemy damage, only to return as a semi-carry after Morphing a few STR points to AGI.
IV. MORPHLING'S SKILLS
Strength - 19 + 
Agility - 19 + 
Intelligence - 17 + [1.5]
Waveform - (Active, Point-Target, Affects Enemy Units)
Morphling dissolves into his components and surges forward, dealing damage to everything in his wake.
ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects1140111000280N/A100 damage.2155111000280N/A175 damage.3160111000280N/A250 damage.4165111000280N/A325 damage.
Adaptive Strike - (Active, Single-Target, Affects Enemy Units)
- Morphling becomes invulnerable while traveling using Waveform.
- You will not lose control of Morphling when he uses Waveform.
- Both as initiating nuke or as a clever escape mechanism, the damage is quite more painful compared to other spells.
- You can pass through trees and cliffs using this skill.
- This is your main damage source early on.
- Waveform's damage type is Magical.
Blasts a target with magical energy, dealing damage and disabling the target based on the Morphling's dominant attribute between Agility and Strength.
ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects110020600N/A0.25-0.750.25x - 0.75x AGI Damage dealt.210020700N/A0.25-1.50.25x - 1.5x AGI Damage dealt.310020800N/A0.25-2.250.25x - 2.25x AGI Damage dealt.410020900N/A0.25-3.00.25x - 3.0x AGI Damage dealt.
Morph (D|F) - (Active-Instant, Self-Buff, Affects Self)
- For the stun, refer to the duration. For the damage, refer to the effects.
- If you have 50% more agility than strength, it deals the maximum of the damage and the minimum of the stun.
- If you have 50% more strength than agility, it deals the maximum of the stun and the minimum of the damage.
- Knocks the target back 100 - 300 units.
- Recently changed, Adaptive Strike now deals Magical damage.
- Very early on, this is not a reliable source of damage.
- You can use this spell to interrupt channeling spells.
- Completely blocked by Linken's Sphere.
The Morphling edits his physical being to fit the
circumstances. He can, at will, lose some strength and gain agility, or vice versa. The process is reversible.
ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects1201/1N/AN/AN/A2 points every second.2201/1N/AN/AN/A4 points every second.3200.5/0.75N/AN/AN/A6 points every second.4200.25/0.5N/AN/AN/A8 points every second.
- Even if Morphling is disabled, when set on Autocast, it will continue to move the stats.
- Bonus STR or AGI from items can't be converted, remember this.
- Most people who are unfamiliar with Morphling tend to forget that they have Morph on autocast. This is very expensive for his mana and may cause some unexpected deaths or situations, so don't forget!
- There are two numbers for the cooldown. The first one is for the autocast, and the second is for the manual cast.
Replicate - (Active, Single-Target, Affects Heroes and Illusions)
The Morphling has the unique ability to replicate any target friendly or enemy hero. Although it only deals 50% damage, the hero can morph into his replication, instantly taking its position.
ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects12580700N/A30Creates an Illusion of the target unit.225801100N/A45Creates an Illusion of the target unit.335801500N/A60Creates an Illusion of the target unit.
- The Illusion receives 100% damage, which means there is no way to tell if it is real or not simply by damaging it.
- The Illusion deals 50% of the original's damage.
- When the Illusion is created, this skill is temporarily replaced by another skill (called Morph Replicate) until the illusion disappears.
- A practical way of using this is for teleporting, if you can imagine how. Replicate an ally, set aside, use a TP scroll, do whatever you have to do, and then use Morph Replicate and control the map.
- As an escape mechanism, you can use this skill to prepare for a clash you are uncertain of winning. Just use Morph Replicate when you are in danger of dying, as long as the Illusion is still there, mind you.
- For mind games, use a Replicate of an ally to fool enemies into thinking the illusion is real, wasting their skills.
- For stealing item effects, Replicate a holder of Radiance to gain its effects.
- For taking advantage of passive skills, Replicate Axe to obtain an Illusion that can tank as he uses Counter Helix.
- You cannot target yourself at all with this skill, even Manta Style illusions.
- The Illusion has all the properties of a standard Illusion, such as being destroyed by Hex or Purge.
- Completely blocked by Linken's Sphere (on enemies, of course).
V. SKILL BUILD
- Adaptive Strike/Stats
- Stats/Adaptive Strike
- Adaptive Strike
- Adaptive Strike
- Adaptive Strike
Justification: Waveform is maxed first as it is clearly his best skill. It will be his damage source from early to middle game, while still being useful as a utility spell for ganking and escaping. It costs 165 mana, so we only take Adaptive Strike as his second skill to interrupt.
His manapool is quite low, Stats offer a good fix to this. So only take Adaptive Strike early if your allies' stuns are too valuable to waste on a channeling Hero. Otherwise, head directly for Stats.
Morph costs 20 mana, and we only need 1 Level of it for now. It will be useful for manipulating your stats slightly. You then level the rest of Adaptive Strike during 12-15 because that's where it'll be likely to be effective.
Replicate is taken whenever it is available. Although it is not as important, utilize it!
If you have not yet read what I have been trying to imply earlier in my foreword, this skill build is not meant to restrict your gameplay. Flexibility is Morphling's greatest asset, and to provide only one skill build to use limits his potential. I've elaborated on the Miscellaneous portion about situations involving a change in the skill build, but so far, this is the most common build that I personally use.
Note: Adaptive Strike is taken early only when there is a need for interrupting channeling spells and that's it. Otherwise, go for Stats.