Sunday, February 18, 2007

Guide to Lucifer - The Doom Bringer

Quick Reference Section


Skill Build:

1. Devour
2. LVL Death
3. Devour
4. LVL Death
5. Devour
6. Doom
7. LVL Death
8. LVL Death
9. Devour
10. Scorched Earth
11. Doom
12. Scorched Earth
13. Scorched Earth
14. Scorched Earth
15. Attribute Bonus
16. Doom
17 - 25. Attribute Bonus

Item Build:

IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image



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Table of contents:

A. Introduction: Doom’s Basic Information
B. Skill Build
C. Item Build
D. Strategy
D1. Skill Analysis
D2. Walkthrough by game stages:
D2a. Early game
D2b. Mid game
D2c. Late game
E. Conclusion


A. Introduction: Doom’s Basic Information

IPB Image



Initial Stats:
HP/ MP: 644 / 208
Damage: 53 -69
Armor: 3.5
Strength/ Agility/ Intelligence: 26 + 3.2/ 11+ 0.9/ 16+2.1
Range: 150
MoveSpeed: 300


Doom 's Strength:


1. High str stats growth (which translate to high hp + base damage)
2. Hero Killer
3. Great Farmer
4. Great silencing spell (12 seconds)


Doom’s Weaknesses:


1. No Disabling skill from stopping hero escaping.


B. Skill build:


1- Devour
IPB Image
Swallows an enemy unit for a short period of time, digesting it and dealing 20 damage per second. Each level decreases the cooldown and mana cost and gives bonus gold when the devoured unit is killed.

Level 1 - Gives 10 bonus gold, can only devour enemy creeps or non-ancient neutral creeps that are no higher than level 1.
Level 2 - Gives 20 bonus gold, can only devour enemy creeps or non-ancient neutral creeps that are no higher than level 2.
Level 3 - Gives 30 bonus gold, and can only devour enemy creeps or non-ancient neutral creeps that are no higher than level 4.
Level 4 - Gives 40 bonus gold, and can only devour enemy creeps or non-ancient neutral creeps that are no higher than level 6.

Mana Cost: 50/ 45/ 40/ 35
Cooldown: 30/ 25/ 20/ 15


2 – Scorched Earth
IPB Image
Blankets the ground in flames, damaging enemies and healing the Doombringer. Also increases Lucy's attack and movement speed.
Lasts 20 seconds

Level 1 - 1 damage/health a second, 10% increased speed.
Level 2 - 2 damage/health a second, 15% increased speed.
Level 3 - 3 damage/health a second, 20% increased speed.
Level 4 - 4 damage/health a second, 30% increased speed.

Mana Cost: 60
Cooldown: 10


3- LVL Death
IPB Image
Dissipates a piece of a target's soul. Deals 250 bonus damage if the target's level is a multiple of a specific number. Can only cast on enemy heroes.

Level 1 - Deals 50 damage, 6 multiplier.
Level 2 - Deals 100 damage, 5 multiplier.
Level 3 - Deals 200 damage, 4 multiplier.
Level 4 - Deals 250 damage, 3 multiplier.

Mana Cost: 85/ 105/ 125/ 145
Cooldown: 8


4- Doom
IPB Image
The target unit becomes inflicted with Doom. The afflicted unit cannot cast spells (including item spells) and will take damage per second.
Lasts 12 seconds.

Level 1 - Deals 40 damage per second.
Level 2 - Deals 60 damage per second.
Level 3 - Deals 80 damage per second.

Mana Cost: 150/ 200/ 250
Cooldown: 180/ 150/ 120


Here is the suggested skill build:

C. Skill Build

1. Devour
2. LVL Death
3. Devour
4. LVL Death
5. Devour
6. Doom
7. LVL Death
8. LVL Death
9. Devour
10. Scorched Earth
11. Doom
12. Scorched Earth
13. Scorched Earth
14. Attribute Bonus
15. Attribute Bonus
16. Doom
17 - 25. Attribute Bonus


Brief explanation to skill builds:

1. Devour for easy farming during early stages, so that you can get your early items fast.
2. LVL Death early-mid games for killing heroes.
3. Scorched Earth is only taken in mid game because in early game, we don’t need the fast move speed for chasing to kill. We kill by using spells.
4. Doom is taken whenever it is available.


Why Devour ???

Devour is a vary good farming skill. It’s a skill that everyone should get it regardless of how good you are in farming, IMHO.
Let’s say you are very good at farming at is capable of getting all last hit on all creeps, it is still a very good skill to invest in. An average creep gives you 40 gold. An additional 40 gold on top of all the 4 creeps during early game is actually a 25% increase in gold collected. Anyway, it is just my humble opinion that it is a skill way to good to be neglected. If you really feel that you don’t need it, it is still up to your personal preference. J Just some thing to take note, do not devour enemy creeps whenever you are planning to backstab. Enemy creep which is still being “digested” will give all the enemies true sight on your location.


Why LVL-Death???

LVL Death should be invested gradually together with the level growth of the opponent in your lane, thus, the reasoning of getting it at level 2/4/7/8. When Doom is at level 4, LVL Death will inflict extra damage on level 5 hero; At level 7, Doom will inflict extra damage to hero at level 8; at level 8, LVL Death will inflict extra damage on heroes at level 9. With this on mind, you should be always staying ahead of your opponent regardless of whichever situation. This is your signature skill to shine during early/mid game. There is no reason to pull back this skill to just at level 2 just because the maximum level for all heroes is level 25. What is 100+250 damage to heroes when they are at level 25? It will be just like a sniff on them.


Why no Scotched Earth in early games ???

We don’t need the moving speed in that early game. We aren’t inflicting damage thru our physical hit during this time. Furthermore, with Devour, you will be able to get your Ring Of Health around …. Say level 3, or the worse, level 5. Don’t forget that you still have a sapphire flask that you’ve brought with you before you leave your lane? That should be able to last you until you get your ring under any circumstances.



C. Item Build

Recommended Item Build:

Starting items:
1 sapphire water + 2 clarity potion + 2 mantle Of Intelligent

1. Ring Of Health + Void Stone
2. Boots
3. Orge Axe / Belt / Mitril / Claymore
4. Crystalys + Demon edge
5. Start Combining Item(Buriza/ Sange)
6. Reaver + Vitality
7. Heart of Tarrasque
9. Aegis


Brief explanation to item builds:

1. Start off with a Saphirre + 2 clarity + 2 mantle of Intelligent. Saphirre for unforeseen situation, and clarity so that you can devour and have enough mana for kills early.
2. Orge Axe / Belt / Mitril / Claymore are gotten in any order base on your own judgement on the situation. Do not combine those items, yet. Just get them.
3. Mitril / Claymore / Axe / Belt can be gotten in any sequence based on the situation. If u face spammers who gave u a really hard time, then I would go for axe/belt first for the extra strength stats. If you are doing fine, then I would suggest that you invest your gold on extra damage items. Mitril / Claymore would be it.
4. The reason why we combine our items so late is because we do not need the extra gold spent for the additional maim. We would be better of investing the gold on other items, and combine the sange when the need of additional slot arrises.
5. Buriza because your spells alone at this stage can no longer kill heroes. You need to rely on your physical damage.
6. Heart for helping in tanking.



Why Perseverence ??? Battlefury ???

Perseverence gives you the regen on hp/mana that you both need. I would suggest getting void stone first, but if you have trouble with your hp early on facing heavy nukers, then I would suggest we go for Ring first. Battlefury is that for the damage. +10 extra damage and cleave attack without even needed to spend extra on any scroll is really sweet, don't you think so? smile.gif


Why Sange??? Why not S&Y???

Sange is chosen not because of the maim. It is taken as a stepping stone before you get your Heart. That is also the reason why we do not want to combine it so early. The scroll to combine it is because that we want to save slot.

Let's see. Sange is 2050. S&Y is 5000. A difference of 3k. What does the 3k give? 10% increase move/attack speed, and a few armour. That's all. Do you think it is worth it? In my humble opinion, the 3k can be used in other more benificial items, e.g.:- Reaver / Demon Edge .


Why Buriza over MKB???

Because Doom already has a high base damage. And with battlefury, the criticle will do easy job on creep waves. We do not need to rely on the mini stun on MKB to cancel channeling spell. LVL Death will be sufficient. (Thanks alanrulez for this)


Why Heart over Satanic???

Doom's attackspeed is not very fast, so Satanic is not a very good item on him.
Heart gives 35 strength, while satanic only 25.
Satanic is orb. Sange is also Orb.


Why Aegis???

To be a ultimate tanker. With high hp and higher armour, you will do the role well.


Why no Guinsoo??? Doom needs mana !!!

I acknowledge the fact that Doom needs mana, but Guinsoo/Eul is really overkill for him. We really do not need that additional mana if we are capable of managing the mana pool properly. Get 2 Mantle if you really need the addition mana.


Why no Refresher???

A refresher can never stand alone. It needs some mana boosting item to be coupled with in order for a Double-Doom. If you were to do that, you won't be able to tank so well for you teams. I personally still do believe that with the insane strength stat growth of doom, he should be able to serve his team as a great tanker, but well, if you prefer to play it as a caster type hero, then this is not a bad choice wink.gif




D1. Skill Analysis


1. How to use Devour
Whenever a creep wave arrives, just devour one of the melee creep, as it gives more gold compared to the range creep.
Just keep in mind that, when you are planning to backstab/ambush, do not devour enemy creeps, as devour will reveal your location to the enemies.


2. How to use LVL Death
a. This is the skill that let you kill heroes during early/mid stage. Using this skill requires a little bit of your planning as well as timing.

b. If you play well, you should be able to get kills by only using this skill during early/mid game. A spell that deals 250+250 damage isn’t some joke.

c. This spell has a mini-stun. Use this to cancel channeling spell. e.g:- Sand King's Epicenter, CM's Ultimate, etc ...


3. How to use Scotched Earth

When you have level 4 of this skill, just use it whenever you are in a battle, and whenever the cooldown is down.

More details on how to use it from [http://www.dotaportal.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=7877]


4. Doom

a. Use it as a finisher during early / mid games.

b. During team clashes in mid/later stage, do not use it as a finisher. Instead, you should use it to silence spell caster from the opposite team so as to wear down their team disabling power. Examples of heroes that you should be targeting are lion/rhasta/Death Prophet/etc.

c. If it is a wind walker, use doom to silence him first from escaping, then finish him off with LVL-Death.



D2. Walkthrough by game stages:

D2a. Early game:


Pick a side lane. If you can have a solo, it would be best. But if you couldn’t you can still live with it.

At level 4, you should have already got your LVL Death 2nd level. Wait patiently for your opponent to reach his level 5. Once he is at level 5, immediately cast LVL Death on him. Just do it once enough.

Keep leveling up. Just right before you were to reach your level 6, consume your clarity potion.

Once you hit level 6, if the enemy still lingers around, immediately cast DOOM, then LVL Death. This should pocket you a kill.

If you are not confident in the above mention method, you may want to cast twice LVL Death when the enemy is at his level 5, and then cast DOOM as your finisher when you reach your level 6.


D2b. Mid game:


Once you have your perseverance, you should be able to semi-spam your LVL-Death. This is the stage where you shine most. A nuke with 500 damage is really painful.

You should plan well ahead for your mana usage. If you see a hero which matches the level with your LVL Death spell, you should be running towards him. Normally, a LVL Death + DOOM would be suffice for most agility/intelligent heroes.

Carry clarity potions with you at all times so that when the opportunity arises, you will be able to take it (have efficient mana for a LVL-Death + DOOM)

Once you have your Scotched Earth level 4 together with your Battle Fury, there is no need for you to spam Devour any longer. You should be conserving your mana for Scotched Earth + Doom + LVL Death in team clashes.


D2c. Late game:


Your role right now is to tank for your team. You should be able to do the job well with your great strength stats growth coupled with your Hearts. Just silence the disabler from the opposite team, cast Scotched Earth in front of you, and march in. The rest should be handled by your team mates.

Once you doom(silenced) the opposite team's disabler, and cast Scortched Earth, you should march in and target on the highest DPS(damage per second) damage dealer of the opposing team, e.g.:- PA, Razor, Troll, etc.




E. Conclusion


Doom Bringer is a fun hero to use. With good farming skills to get great items, and wonderful nuke that does insane damage, everyone will be able to enjoy playing him with a little bit of practice, and timing too. wink.gif

Comments and feedback are most welcome. wink.gif

Anyway, here's how a fully equipped Doom looks like:-
IPB Image

Ghost Rider (2007) - Reviewed

I first encountered Ghost Rider back in the early 90’s at, oh, age 8 or 9. What drew me to the character was pretty much what draws everyone to the character, at least at first. Ghost Rider looks really, really cool. Flaming motorcycles, blazing skulls, black leather, chains…visually, Ghost Rider is like an awesomeness overload. So, of course, Ghost Rider on the big screen, in live action, is a sight to behold. Visually-speaking, that is. As we all know, a movie can’t survive on visuals alone, and while I still enjoyed the heck out of this flick, I won’t deny it had some troubles.

At a young age, stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) sold his soul to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) to save the life of his ailing father. Mephistopheles betrayed him and vowed to one day return to take what is his. Years later, Johnny Blaze has become America’s top stunt cyclist, yet he feels something is missing. His old flame, Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendez), walks back into his life and Johnny suddenly believes he has gotten his second chance. Not quite. Someone else has come back into his life, Mephistopheles, who forces Johnny to fulfill his end of the bargain. Johnny is suddenly and painfully transformed into the skull-faced Spirit of Vengeance: Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider is charged with the task of hunting down and destroying Mephistopheles’ rebel son, Blackheart, and his trio of elemental demons. At stake are the souls of a thousand evil men, enough to tip the balance of power. Johnny is joined by the Caretaker (Sam Elliot), a mysterious guide who knows more than he lets on.

Hannibal Rising - Reviewed

To me, I find that Hannibal Lecter is a character best used sparingly. Of the three films within the original “Hannibal Trilogy” (though I’m loathed to call it that), “Red Dragon” and “Silence of the Lambs” are my two favorite installments, both of which only feature Hannibal as a supporting player with limited screen time. I found the third installment, aptly named “Hannibal”, to be the least appealing. Well, “Hannibal Rising” is a prequel to that series, focusing completely on the title character. While that didn’t exactly appeal to my pallet, those of you who want Hannibal, Hannibal and more Hannibal will most likely enjoy this offering.

The story begins in Germany, 1941, at Castle Lecter. Young Hannibal (Aaron Thomas) and his family are forced to flee to a secluded shack in the wilderness to hide from bombarding Nazi forces. Hannibal’s parents are killed by enemy fire and he and his infant sister, Mischa (Helena Lia Tachovska) are left alone in a horrible blizzard. They are soon taken prisoner by a group of Nazi war profiteers, who go mad with hunger and eat Mischa. Fast forward 8 years, and Hannibal (Gaspard Ulliel) is now a disturbed young orphan who goes to live with his Aunt, Lady Murasaki (Li Gong). She trains him in the ways of the Samurai and Hannibal uses these skills to hunt down the men who killed his sister, gradually losing his grip on reality in the process.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Top 10 classic decklist - Magic the Gathering




10. Big Beef Land Destruction


Artifacts
1x Black Lotus
2x Jayemdae Tome
4x Juggernaut
5 Moxen
1x Sol Ring

Black
4x Dark Ritual
2x Demonic Hordes
1x Demonic Tutor
2x Drain Life
4x Hypnotic Specter
4x Juzam Djinn
4x Sinkhole
2x Terror

Green
1x Berserk
4x Ice Storm
2x Instill Energy
1x Regrowth

Land
4x Bayou
4x Forest
1x Library of Alexandria
7x Swamp

9. ProsBloom

4 x Infernal Contract
2 x Vampiric Tutor
1 x Drain Life
4 x Natural Balance
4 x Squandered Resources
4 x Cadaverous Bloom
3 x Abeyance
3 x Prosperity
4 x Memory Lapse
4 x Impulse
4 x Meditate
4 x City of Brass
4 x Gemstone Mine
5 x Swamp
4 x Forest
1 x Plains
5 x Island


8. Bazaar Reanimator

Black
4x Animate Dead
4x Ashen Ghoul
4x Dark Ritual
1x Demonic Consulation
4x Krovikan Horror
4x Nether Shadow
4x Shallow Grave
4x Vampiric Tutor

Blue
4x Deep Spawn

Gold
4x Nicol Bolas

Red
2x Crimson Hellkite

Land
4x Bazaar of Baghdad
4x Badlands
1x Diamond Valley
8x Swamp
4x Underground Sea

7. Vise Age

Artifacts
4x Black Vise
4x Howling Mine

Gold
3x Stormbind

Green
4x Ernham Djinn
4x Tinder Wall

Red
2x Fireball
4x Incinerate
2x Jokulhaups
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Orcish Lumberjack
2x Orgg
1x Shatter

Land
8x Forest
4x Karplusan Forest
8x Mountain
4x Strip Mine


6. The Rack / Balance Deck

Artifacts
1x Black Lotus
1x Candelabra of Tawnos
1x Chaos Orb
3x Library of Leng
1x Mox Emerald
1x Mox Pearl
1x Mox Ruby
2x Relic Barrier
4x The Rack

Green
1x Regrowth
3x Sylvan Library

Red
4x Chain Lightning
3x Fireball
4x Lightning Bolt

White
4x Balance
2x Consecrate Land
3x Disenchant

Land
4x Bazaar of Baghdad
1x Maze of Ith
4x Mishra’s Factory
4x Plateau
4x Savannah
4x Taiga


5. Erhnamgeddon

Artifacts
1x Feldon’s Cane
2x Fellwar Stone
1x Zuran Orb

Green
1x Autumn Willow
4x Ernham Djinn
1x Hurrican
4x Llanowar Elf
2x Sylvan Library
2x Whirling Dervish

White
3x Armageddon
1x Balance
3x Disenchant
2x Land Tax
2x Order of Leitbur
2x Serra Angel
4x Swords to Plowshares
2x Wrath of God

Lands
4x Brushland
8x Forest
7x Plains
4x Strip Mine


4. Kird Ape / Channelball

Artifacts
1x Black Lotus
1x Mox Ruby
1x Mox Sapphire
1x Mox Emerald
1x Sol Ring

Blue
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Counterspell
1x Time Walk
1x Timetwister

Green
1x Berserk
1x Channel
4x Elvish Archers
4x Giant Growth
4x Llanowar Elves
1x Regrowth

Red
4x Disintegrate
4x Fireball
4x Kird Ape
4x Lightning Bolt

Land
2x Forest
1x Library of Alexandria
1x Mountain
4x Strip Mine
4x Taiga
4x Tropical Island
4x Volcanic Island

3. Titania / Balance Deck

Artifacts
1x Black Lotus
1x Chaos Orb
4x Fellwar Stone
3x Howling Mine
4x Icy Manipulator
1x Ivory Tower
2x Jade Statue
5 Moxen
4x Relic Barrier
3x Winter Orb

Green
1x Regrowth
3x Titania’s Song

White
4x Balance
4x Disenchant
4x Swords to Plowshares

Lands
1x Forest
4x Mishra’s Factory
1x Mishra’s Workshop
2x Plains
4x Savannah
4x Strip Mine


2. The Deck

Artifacts
1 Black Lotus
2 Disrupting Scepter
1 Jayemdae Tome
1 Mirror Universe
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

Sorceries
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Amnesia
1 Braingeyser
1 Timetwister
1 Time Walk
1 Recall
1 Regrowth

Instants
1 Ancestral Recall
2 Counterspell
4 Mana Drain
2 Red Elemental Blast
4 Disenchant
4 Swords to Plowshares Enchantments
2 Moat

Creatures
2 Serra Angel

Lands
4 City of Brass
4 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
3 Plains
3 Strip Mine
4 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island

Sideboard
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Dust to Dust
1 Zuran Orb
1 Balance
2 Blood Moon
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Mana Short
1 Amnesia
1 Feldon's Cane



1. The Necrodeck

Artifacts
2x Icy Manipulator
1x Ivory Tower
2x Nevinyrral’s Disk
1x Zuran Orb

Black
4x Black Knight
4x Dark Ritual
3x Drain life
4x Hymn to Tourach
4x Hypnotic Specter
2x Icequake
1x Ihsan’s Shade
4x Necropotence
4x Order of the Ebon Hand
2x Sengir Vampire

Land
4x Strip Mine
18x Swamp

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Guide to King Leoric - The Skeleton King

BACKGROUND STORY

Legend has it Leoric was a King of a kingdom of a forgotten past. He is valiant and noble in life only to die suddenly of a illness at his prime. As part of the Lich King’s evil plans to booster the Scourge forces, he had studied and looked for the tomes of ancient warriors in hope that the evil necromancer magics might bring them back to “life” again. Lying dead and with flesh long turned into dust in his crypt till the evil necromancers of Scourge revived him.

During the revival process, the necromancers discovered that this is no ordinary zombie they had created but one of extraordinary powers as suspected by Lich King. The process has granted Leoric the powers of life leech, without normal methods of nourishment, he is able to regain his energies by feasting on the living’s flesh and inhaling their souls. Such was the aura of the great warrior, fellow allies in his vicinity also gains this benefit. Being a great warrior, he can kill the most powerful of Sentinel warriors in a few blows, the ability to inflict horrendous and critical damage to his enemies when opportunity arises. Slung to his waist, are war-hammers, which he hurls with great effect that could stun even the largest foes. The most surprise discovery after he was revived was that of reincarnation. With a burning desire to survive, he is able to reincarnate himself when he has enough mana energies.

He is in constant pain, he fights bitterly and can only gain a brief respite from his agonies each time he maims or kills. With sheer determination for his master hoping that one day he might be granted eternal rest.

CONTENTS
1. General Hero Analysis (Pros / Cons)
2. Skills / Abilities Analysis
3. Skill Build
- Classic Build
- Survival Build
- Kamikaze Build
3. Item Build
- Start Game Items
- Core Items
- Bonus Items
- Recommended Items Packages
- Classic Items Package
- Survival Items Package
- Kamikaze Items Package
- Andoy's Ownage Package
4. Classic Tactics Guide
- Lane
- Items
- Creeping
- Combat
5. Allies / Opponents Analysis
- Good Allies
- Bad Allies
- Good Enemies
- Bad Enemies


1. GENERAL HERO ANALYSIS - (Pros / Cons)

Skeleton King / SK offers a lot with his skills package. He has a Stormbolt / Vampiric aura / Critical Strike / Reincarnation all in one neat package. There’s disable, aura, high damage output and revival! His skills all work well with one and another and gives good synergy and is good teamwork hero to allies.

He isn’t the fastest runner or mad speed attack but he has good damage and good health. He is great against most heroes-matchup except if opponent team has one or more of guys like Silencer/Death Prophet/Drow/Mana burners who has the abilites to destroy his low mana pool and Reincarnation skill.


2. SKILLS / ABILITIES ANALYSIS

Stormbolt – Any form of disable is great and it is of good duration at all levels, i.e. 2 seconds. Its damage isn’t fantastic to be used as a regular nuke but it will serve decent damage at enemies when early games especially. It is also a great tool to finish off a running opponent and kill-steal.

Vampirc Aura – A form of life leech that benefits all allies and spawns in a decent AOE range. This skill gives SK long lasting power in the battlefield and also gives him to possibility to creep at neutral creeps. This skill will benefit you greatly through all stages of the game. It allows you to stay in lane longer in early game, creep neutrals at mid games and become a healing monster when the criticals kicks in at late games.

Critical Strike – The percentage of chance activating it is at relatively low constant of 15% and it is structured in a way at various level that the amount of critical damage only become significant at higher levels. 1.25 and 1.75 times damage at level 1 and 2 of the skill especially when SK still deals only lowish base damage and IAS and likelihood of not having good items yet is pretty useless. This skill shines at high levels when SK has decent IAS and good damage.

Reincarnation – When you are able to get this ability at level 6, it is time to watch especially closely to mana reserves. You would need it to revive yourself. Of course, if the skill is cooling down (you are killed recently), you may spam the last droplets of mana for your Stormbolt. This skill gives a negative psychological effect upon your enemies, some players tend to ignore SK because they might be able to kill SK but he could revive again. Also this will save you from sneak attacks by one or two enemies, as the likelihood of one or two players killing you two times in a row is low. With this skill, you will only be truly killed in massive battles or gangbangs.


3. SKILLS BUILD

Classic Skills Build

Hero lvl 1 - Stormbolt lvl 1,
Hero lvl 2 - Vampiric Aura lvl 1
Hero lvl 3 - Stormbolt lvl 2
Hero lvl 4 - Vampiric Aura lvl 2
Hero lvl 5 - Stormbolt lvl 3
Hero lvl 6 - Reincarnation lvl 1
Hero lvl 7 - Stormbolt lvl 4
Hero lvl 8 – Vampiric Aura lvl 3
Hero lvl 9 – Critical Damage lvl 1
Hero lvl 10 – Vampiric Aura lvl 4
Hero lvl 11 – Reincarnation lvl 2
Hero lvl 12 – Critical Damage lvl 2
Hero lvl 13 – Critical Damage lvl 3
Hero lvl 14 - Stats
Hero lvl 15 – Critical Damage lvl 4
Hero lvl 16 – Reincarnation lvl 3
Hero lvl 17 - Stats
Hero lvl 18 - Stats
Hero lvl 19 - Stats
Hero lvl 20 - Stats
Hero lvl 21 - Stats
Hero lvl 22 - Stats
Hero lvl 23 - Stats
Hero lvl 24 - Stats
Hero lvl 25 - Stats

This skill builds places emphasis on Stormbolt as a disable and killing tool from early game and Vampiric aura to help with staying power in early and creeping neutral potential in mid game. Critical Strike is only max out at mid game when the SK can finally deal decent damage. And of course, Reincarnation skill is taken up whenever possible.

This skill build also places emphasis on the very useful all around skills of SK, maxing them as early as possible.

Survival Skills Build

Hero lvl 1 - Stormbolt lvl 1,
Hero lvl 2 - Stats
Hero lvl 3 – Vampiric Aura lvl 1
Hero lvl 4 - Stats
Hero lvl 5 – Vampiric Aura lvl 2
Hero lvl 6 - Reincarnation lvl 1
Hero lvl 7 - Stats
Hero lvl 8 – Vampiric Aura lvl 3
Hero lvl 9 – Stats
Hero lvl 10 – Vampiric Aura lvl 4
Hero lvl 11 – Reincarnation lvl 2
Hero lvl 12 – Stats
Hero lvl 13 – Stats
Hero lvl 14 – Critical Damage lvl 1
Hero lvl 15 – Stats
Hero lvl 16 – Reincarnation lvl 3
Hero lvl 17 – Critical Damage lvl 2
Hero lvl 18 - Stats
Hero lvl 19 – Critical Damage lvl 3
Hero lvl 20 - Stats
Hero lvl 21 – Critical Damage lvl 4
Hero lvl 22 - Stats
Hero lvl 23 - Stormbolt
Hero lvl 24 - Stormbolt
Hero lvl 25 - Stormbolt

Strange and unusual build isn’t it? Before you start screaming, let me explain the rationale of this build. A single point in Stormbolt gives you survivability in using your bolt to escape and the other 3 points are not awarded till much later at lvl 23 to 25. Also, the single point of Stormbolt is mainly for defensive purposes. However, offensive-wise it is useful too and you only use it to stun enemies in hope of bringing other skills in to kill.

Stats are incorporated often to boost survivability, strength for hp, agility for armor, intelligence for more escaping Stormbolts and Reincarnation.Vampiric Aura gives good staying power and heals yourself especially during creeping. Critical Strike is added earlier than completing Stormbolt as it gives you better creeping capabilities than Stormbolt.

Finally, choosing this build means you aren’t a confident SK player and / or believes in tanking and a good defense is the best weapon. This build also works well when the enemies have extremely potent nukers / harassers and the stats bonus will go a long way in helping especially survival in early game.


Kamikaze Skills Build

Hero lvl 1 - Stormbolt lvl 1,
Hero lvl 2 – Critical Strike lvl 1
Hero lvl 3 – Stormbolt lvl 2
Hero lvl 4 - Critical Strike lvl 2
Hero lvl 5 – Stormbolt lvl 3
Hero lvl 6 - Reincarnation lvl 1
Hero lvl 7 – Critical Strike lvl 3
Hero lvl 8 – Stormbolt lvl 4
Hero lvl 9 – Critical Strike lvl 4
Hero lvl 10 – Vampiric Aura lvl 1
Hero lvl 11 – Reincarnation lvl 2
Hero lvl 12 – Vampiric Aura lvl 2
Hero lvl 13 – Vampiric Aura lvl 3
Hero lvl 14 – Vampiric Aura lvl 4
Hero lvl 15 – Stats
Hero lvl 16 – Reincarnation lvl 3
Hero lvl 17 to lvl 25 – Stats

Without a care in the world, this build places hope on earliest possible killing. Stormbolt is maxed ASAP as both a disable and damager skill while Vampiric Aura and Stats are sacrificed for earliest possible Critical Strike. Build is recommended for very advanced players, low skilled opponents, facing favorable enemies early in your lane, i.e Weaver/PA/SA, etc.


4. ITEM BUILD

Start Game Items

You may choose one of the following
1) 1 x Ring of Regeneration, 1 x Flask of Sapphire Water and 1 x Lesser Clarity Potion.
2) A mix of Flasks of Sapphire Water and Lesser Clarity potions for starting gold.
3) 1 x Bracer / Null Talisman
4) Boots of Speed
5) Nothing

The packages (1) and (2) are often used, with respect to opponent standards and it is the most common too. When things aren’t too heated, (1) is good, it gives you a little of everything, slow hp regeneration, emergency rapid 400hp regeneration and a single mana boost for a single bolt and reincarnation in early game. (2) is for use when you know your opponents are of the nukers variety and you would need hp regeneration in a hurry.

A single bracer and null talisman gives you a little boost in stats and thus a bit of everything nice and sweet. However this is not really needed in the long scheme of things unless you are relatively new and like to boost yourself up since SK is a melee hero weak in early stages of the game. This also meant you will run back to fountain soon.

Boots of Speed is generally a bad investment considering what the other packages can do for you in the start but there are arguments here since SK is very slow and the speed boost might help to avoid deaths and get the last hit easier.

Buying nothing at early stages in not advisable though early Ring of Health and Void Stone, etc is nice. You are leaving things to the in-competency of the opponents and generally this will be a disaster. Low on health and the need to run back to fountain early and experience and gold is denied.


Core Items

Here are some items that you should strive for in most circumstances, they are mostly survival & “multi-beneficial” items:

1) Bracer / Null talisman(s)
2) Boots of Speed / Power Threads
3) Perseverance
4) Battlefury
5) Helm of Dominator
6) Satanic
7) Sange & Yasha
8) Heart of Tarrasque
9) Black King Bar
10) Hyperstone
11) Consumables - Scroll of Town Portal / Clarity / Flasks of Sapphire / Wards / Gems

As said earlier, Bracer / Null talisman both gives you the benefit of more hp and more mana depending on selection. Choose according to your need i.e. do you need more hitpoints to counter nukers or do you need more mana because of heavy Stormbolt usage and manaburned by enemy?

Boots of Speed is a no brainer. The +50 movement speed is essential for SK since he is so slow. However, the decision to upgrade it for all heroes’ Boots of Speed to Power Threads is open to debate. In my opinion for SK, you are doing most of your damage via melee combat and it gives you a wee bit of movement speed. This is a great item for SK so grab it.

Perseverance gives the ability to transform it to Battlefury and it gives +4 hp and mana regeneration for one slot. This item is required for extended combat without returning to the fountain, the mana regeneration is good enough through the game for your Stormbolt and Reincarnation. I aim for completion of this item around the same time as my Power Threads depending on circumstances.

Cleaving attack helps farming, Battlefury is awesome for melee heroes like SK. He is slow no matter how good your last hit is, consider this Battlefury helps a lot in creeping against spawns (mainly less stress) and neutral spawns in mid and end games. Also it is awesome when you get a lot more enemy spawns as the game goes on. It also saves you a slot (Perseverance). This is a great item, I always aim to complete this ASAP after I had my Power Threads and Perseverance under most circumstances.

Satanic, this awesome item goes a long way to you give abilities like +hp, +damage, life steal stacking with your Vampiric Aura, self-healing and helps greatly in farming at neutrals especially the big spawns like Dragons, Golems etc. Helm of Iron Will gives +2hp regeneration and +2 armor, which is rather nice, but at similar price and cash for only one I would purchase it after I gotten my Mask of Madness. Life-steal owns all! Hp bonus is significant at 465 hp.

I often regarded Sange & Yasha as a survival or “game isn’t going so well” item. Its bonus helps a lot of in surviving and its components are cheapish (400 to 1000) making it easy to purchase. Often I would get this if I am sharing a lane, gold is hard to come by or I am making frequent fountain trips. I prefer getting Sange first for obvious reason that is a strength component of this item. And sometimes I just purchase this instead of completing the whole thing. The orb effect of Maim, is nice when it HAPPENS but for a slowish hitter like SK, don’t bet on it happening often. Remember Maim is overridden by life steal of Satanic so you are warned.

Heart of Tarraque is popular and gives plenty of hp boost and regeneration. Always good with heroes that needed a hitpoint boost and gives SK a lot more tanking ability. However this is recommended only after you gotten Satanic first, even though this is cheaper. It gives 965 hp which is alot, effectively turning user into a tank.

There is something that a lot of intelligence hero dread and that is Black King Bar. This is a strength based item and gives plenty of stuffs a SK would dream of. If money is a consideration, try buying Ogre Axe followed by Broadsword then recipe for simple fact that Ogre Axe gives you strength. A thing to note is that of mana cost. 150 mana cost is a big deal for SK so watch out to see if you have enough for Stormbolt and most importantly the 100 / 140 mana for Reincarnation. Lastly 10 seconds of immunity is plenty of time to kill the pesky Lion/Rhasta/Zeus/etc.

Normally once I gotten a damage item after my usual Battlefury + Satanic core item I would like to look at this, a Hyperstone. I am split between placing this in core or bonus item category. My rationale is SK is a slow melee hitter and he has innate Critical Strike ability, this investment will make the time when you get up close and personal counts. Good for destroying waves of spawns too if I may add. Lastly one is enough, two is not advisable due to gold, space, giving up other items consideration.

Scroll of Town Portal are mentioned here specially because it grants you the power to rush back saving a base, rapid tactical movement around the battlefield to hunt heros or kill creeps. Could be used to escape gangbangs too. Other consumables like Flasks of Sapphire Water and Clarity are good to have especially Clarity to prevent mana from dropping too low resulting in Reincarnation not kicking in. Wards and Gems are to be purchased whenever possible to counter stealthy enemies and preventing ambushes / backstabs.

Bonus Items

Nice to have but some of which aren't too affordable. All of them depending on unique circumstances, etc:

1) Aegis Shield of Immortal
2) Divine Rapier
3) Boots of Travel
4) Diffusal Blade & Manta Style
6) Monkey King Bar
7) Cranium Bashers
8) Butterfly
9) Linken Sphere
10) Eul & Guinsoo
11) Mekansm
12) Ring of Basilius
13) Helm of Rejuvenation
14) Radiance
15) Refresher Orb
16) Blink Dagger
17) Lothar Edge
18) Blademail
19) Hand of Midas
20) Mask of Madness
21) Stygian Desolator
22) Chicken

Aegis Shield of Immortal and Divine Rapier are often seen in a pair and hopefully you still have Aegis charges prior to purchasing a Rapier. Aegis is a unique item to SK as it gives Reincarnation too. Having this means you can die 4 times in a row. Its secondary bonus of reduced spell damage and chance to block 60 damage is nice but nothing spectacular. For reduced spell damage, it is justifiable if you have massive nukers like Lina or Lion for example and the 30% chance to block 60 damage is quite laughable at late game when things are especially fast and furious. If there is a Phantom Assasin will laugh at you with her 1000 critical damage.

Rapier gives you the highest constant damage for its cost. Best bang for the buck. And I have seen a brave SK attempting this as his core item after his threads and some low level items. I asked him what is his rationale? He said there are no mana burners or silencing in enemy team and he felt very confident that he is able to escaped unscathed even in gangbangs. He didn’t die and he raped hard that game but in second game even in absence of natural SK nemesis he died when heavily ganged. So this tactic is interesting but really risky. I would recommend this as a game-ending item only paired with Aegis charges of course.

Boots of Travel are especially good if your team is being outnumbered, outpushed or a low number of players game with plenty of spawns to get rid off. Works brilliantly with Battlefury. Only consideration is its high cost. The added speed is great for a couple of more hits and chasing too. It’s nice but not critical in most circumstances. Remember the Scrolls of Town Portal are cheap and movement speed aside, you need to use this boots for 20 times to justify its cost.

Very uncommon are the Diffusal Blade and Manta Style. Diffusal gives nothing of damage and strength to SK though the manaburn is nice mini bonus but the purge is great if you have problem killing. Most of the time, Manta Style is my choice if my team is outnumbered and if enemy team comprises mostly of melee heroes. Manta Style teamed with Blademail is ownage. Consider this, 20% damage returned from the 300% damage they inflicted on your images. Once again, this item(s) depend a lot on circumstances and for the gold there is, this is only a bonus. More often than not, this is a late game item.

Monkey King bar isn’t bad and isn’t too expensive. It is not a orb, it gives constant damage, attack speed and the ability to spot enemy heroes channeling and stunning them for a while. Good usage against channellers like CM/Sniper/etc. You might consider this after you have satisfied other needs like hp and lifesteal.

Cranium Bashers are excellent if your hadn’t invested in orbs like life steal and have good attack speed with hyperstone. Well, bash is always good but if you want to play a bash based hero SK isn’t tailored for it. There are better choices of heroes out there.

I actually love this item, Butterfly but for its high cost I hadn’t been able to buy one often. In a ideal SK build, butterfly would be 1 of my 6 items. Evasion and IAS is awesome in a package. However once again due to its cost it is often a bonus item for late game. You might like to get it after Power Threads, Battlefury, Satanic, any damage item then butterfly.

I have bad experiences with this item, frost arrows set off Linken Sphere! However in the absence of such spells, this item may be considered in early game though the agility and intelligence game isn’t that important. I would prefer the BKB over this as a matter of choice and BKB I say once again is tailored made for heroes like SK.

EUL and Guinsoo are awesome items for all intelligent heroes and some agility heroes. SK is a strength based hero I repeat myself again and the intelligence and mana regeneration boost isn’t required that much. Used sparingly EUL will save you a maximum of 10 times (you have 2 escaping mechanisms already in Stormbolt and Reincarnation) and it can prepare your team for a gangbang. There have been instances of team strategies of mass disabling and Guinsoo plays an important part but these instances are few. Yes there is a combo using the hex effects of Guinsoo to kill but i would only buy this once in a blue moon only. Conclusion, this is a very tactical item(s).

Mekansm, Ring of Basilius and Helm of Rejuvenation are classified by me as AOE or Aura or teamwork items. They are awesome if your team has plenty of such assets but sacrificing gold and slots on a SK is rarely done.

Radiance is almost never seen now. Awkward blend of abilities and high cost make this prohibitive. This is almost a final slot item if any. However you might like to consider this since SK is a melee hero and it isn’t too bad for a tanking build.

Reincarnation refreshed? Quite nice but the cost is terrible. Gold is limited. And you might like to use your 1 Perseverance for a Battlefury instead. Lastly, if you are able to plan your Reincarnation @ level 3 especially, you do not need this item. Also, this investment might backfire badly when your Reincarnation is often stopped by mana-burn or silence.

Blink dagger for SK isn’t important as compared to other melee heroes Centaur / Slardar due to their close range stun. Though blink in to attack and using it to escape can be nice but there are better considerations out there.

Very ridiculous some might say, Lothar Edge for SK, its almost never seen. Only in certain very unique circumstances like your entire team do not have invisible abilities that this item is viable. Also there is not much point in buying this for escaping (Stormbolt and Reincarnation). Chances are the enemies would not buy a gem or wards to counter you unless you are absolutely raping them. A major surprise for the enemy I might say if this is used but do make other considerations too.

Blademail are especially good in a slugfest with melee heroes with PA / Naix dealing rapid and insane damage. Works great with Manta Style’s images as said earlier. Only problem is the slots restrictions. Never get this if they are ranged or nukers. Consider this when they have 3 or more melee heroes.

Lastly, Hand of Midas is crap when you get Battlefury as strongly recommended by me. IAS is nice but transmuting creeps require mana and you might not have enough to spam it due to Stormbolt and Reincarnation.

Mask of Madness adds plenty of IAS but gives the possibility of increased damage. I often overlooked this item due to my fondness for Satanic. This item is for a aggressive player and isn’t tailored made for SK in mind. Sven is a much better candidate for this.

Stygian Desolator was nerfed in recent versions but it is still a viable item against opponents of low armor and it need not have high IAS to be effective. Works alright with SK as he already has innate Critical Strike abilities.

Chicken is best purchased by a friendly teammate and shared with you. Due to possibility of heavy damage and low mana, there are often fountain visits. Good chicken allies are KOTL/Lich/etc for their extreme long staying power if they are equipped with Flasks of Sapphire Water.


Recommended Item Packages

Here are some basic packages I used and they each work properly, feel free to tweak them to suit your needs. However they are well tested and it should serve the newbie SK users especially well. Feel free to subsitute any items depending on circumstances. Lastly, feel free to purchase sentry/observer wards, gem, scrolls of town portal and any consumables when needed.

Classic Items Package

1. Flask of Sapphire Water
2. Ring of Regeneration
3. Lesser Clarity Potion
4. Ring of Health
5. Void Stone = Perseverance
6. Boots of Speed
7. Claymore
8. Gloves of Haste
9. Power Threads Recipe = Power Threads
10. Mitril Hammer
11. Battlefury Recipe = Battlefury
12. Mask of Death
13. Helm of Iron Will = Helm of Dominator
14, M. Reaver
15. Satanic Recipe = Satanic
16. Hyperstone
17. Plate Mail
18. Planewalker’s Cloak
19. Stout Shield
20. Aegis of the Immortal Recipe = Aegis of the Immortal
21. Claymore + Sacred Relic + Demon Edge = Divine Rapier

The build I uses 70% of the time. Take note items purchase may be in different order subjected to circumstances. You aren’t capable of dealing good damage till purchase of hyperstone (with level 4 criticals) but everything is downhill from there. You should be the King of the Battlefield from then on and when the Aegis + Rapier combo is done, its GG.

Survival Items Package

1. Flask of Sapphire Water x 2
2. Ring of Regeneration
3. Ring of Health
4. Bracers (one or two or even three)
4. Belt of Giant Strength
6. Boot of Speed
7. Ogre Axe
8. Sange Recipe = Sange
9. Glove of Haste
10. Power Threads Recipe = Power Threads
11. Ogre Axe
12. Broad Sword
13. Black King Bar Recipe = Black King Bar
14. Elvish Boots
15. Blade of Alacrity
16. Yasha Recipe = Yasha
17. Sange & Yasha Recipe = Sange & Yasha
18. and beyond. Heart of Tarrasque / Satanic / Linken Sphere / Blink Dagger / Lothar Edge / Aegis of Immortal / Divine Rapier

This build as the name suggests maximum survivability and ease of farming for the items. Idea is to buff the SK up slowly but gradually despite the possibility of heavy pressure, bad farming and gold lost from deaths. Bracer(s) will pump the SK very significantly if Survival Skill / Ability build is used. The purchase of Black King Bar may be swap with Sange & Yasha depending on the presence of nukers. Also the Black King Bar allows the SK to engage an disable / nuker hero.

Sange & Yasha is selected to be the primary damage orb effect item due to its low cost and easy to purchase components with the bonus of adding much needed strength and armor to SK. For item(s) 17 and beyond, the items listed above are subject to various tactical requirements. However a Heart of Tarrasque is one of the more popular choices here. Linken Sphere adds further invulnerability to SK.


Kamikaze Items Package

1. Flask of Sapphire Water x 1
2. Lesser Potion of Clarity
3. Ring of Regeneration
4. Boots of Speed
5. Glove of Haste
6. Power Threads Recipe = Power Threads
7. Mask of Death
8. Mask of Madness Recipe = Mask of Madness
9. Quarterstaff
10. Demon Edge
11. Monkey King Bar Recipe = Monkey King Bar
12. Hyperstone
13. Plate Mail
14. Planewalker’s Cloak
15. Stout Shield
16. Aegis of the Immortal Recipe = Aegis of the Immortal
17. Claymore + Sacred Relic + Demon Edge = Divine Rapier

This is a totally offensive build, for users who believe in offense > defense. Power Threads and Mask of Madness provide early killing capabilities. MKB is rather affortable and it gives good constant damage, alittle attack speed and even a tiny stun. Hyperstone to increase the IAS especially for the Critical Strike ability and Aegis of the Immortal + Divine Rapier combo later for obvious reasons.

Andoy's Ownage Items Package

1. Flask of Sapphire Water
2. Ring of Regeneration
3. Lesser Clarity Potion
4. Ring of Health
5. Void Stone = Perseverance
6. Boots of Speed
7. Claymore
8. Gloves of Haste
9. Power Threads Recipe = Power Threads
10. Mitril Hammer
11. Battlefury Recipe = Battlefury
12. Belt of Giant Strength
13. Ogre Axe
14. Sange Recipe = Sange
15. Elvish Boots
16. Blade of Alacrity
17. Yasha Recipe = Yasha
18. Sange & Yasha Recipe = Sange & Yasha
19. Vitality Booster
20. M. Reaver
21. Heart of Tarrasque Recipe = Heart of Tarrasque
22. Plate Mail
23. Planewalker’s Cloak
24. Stout Shield
25. Aegis of the Immortal Recipe = Aegis of the Immortal
26. Claymore + Sacred Relic + Demon Edge = Divine Rapier

This is a build similar to Classic Items Package but with a twist. The battlefury rationale stays the same but Sange&Yasha is purchased to give a orb effect and damager item with nice stats boost of course. Heart of Tarrasque is chosen to make SK a better tanker thus he can participate or stay in the battlefield longer for allies to enjoy especially the Vampiric Aura. Aegis + Rapier is self-explanatory. Full credit given to a fellow DP mod, Andoy for this contribution.


4. CLASSIC TACTIC GUIDE
(Sentinel side PPV)

Lane

1) Top lane is best for a SK to avoid pesky stunners who are often in mid-lane and minimize walking distance and increase ambush danger at the bottom lane.

2) Aim for solo if possible, if not a ally like a nuker is cool too. Avoid sharing lanes with allies that have no disables or possessing very good creeping capabilities like Sniper/Clinz/etc.

Items

1) Purchase your items whenever you could afford it with or without a chicken. For instance when you could afford your first purchase after start game shopping like a Ring of Health, buy it immediately. You will need it and you do not want to risk losing gold from dying.

2) As a general rule regarding items, you are doing OK if you are able to purchase a Battlefury at level 11/12. Things are especially bright if Satanic can be completed at level 15/16.

3) Flasks of Sapphire Water are especially good for SK when his hitpoints is 1200 and below and the absence of life leech items, a emergency boost of 400 is always welcomed.
Potions of Clarity are great to boost your mana to prevent it dropping below 100 / 140. Scrolls of Town Portal saves your base / life / farm a big wave of creeps for such a low cost.

Creeping

1) Last hits are your best bet before Battlefury. This skill greatly determines who is going to win. XP denying is hard to master and it should not take priority before Last Hits and Harassment.

2) Learn placement on which creeps to attack to maximise the cleaving effect when possessing Battlefury to get the most out of it. Normally, now we do not attack the usual ranged spawn first, instead start with the melee spawns.

3) Mask of Madness / Helm of Dominator / Satanic allows creeping of neutrals very effectively. Go for spawns in the forest instead of pushing too deep into enemies territories. Satanic means the possibility of farming at big neutral creeps, the dragons and golems, etc. Very good money.

Combat

1) Single Enemy Combat
- Check SK's hp / mana
- Check Enemy's hp / mana
- Situation awareness of friendly / enemy creeps, friendly / enemy towers and minimap of enemy heros

Charge in and land a couple of hits first. If enemy stays, stun him if he has a disable if not hack at him more. If he runs, stun him and hit him and chase with your Stormbolt again. Generally 3 Stormbolts are more than enough and if it isn’t, the ambush had failed. Activation of BKB should be done during the charging in to save precious seconds and you might like to drink a single clarity potion at the same time to replenish mana for Stormbolt and Reincarnation.

2) In group battles, chances are you are one of the couple of tankers in your team. Stay at the forefront. Start your engagement by moving forward and not stunning first. Only stun when enemy runs.

3. Plan your death. Reincarnation gives a special tactical possibility. You are revived with full hp and mana. Bear this in mind. You are generally safe when you are dead and surrounded by 1 or 2 enemy heroes only. And sometimes getting killed allows you to kill when revived.

4. You need 100/150/200 mana depending on your Reincarnation cool-down and level. Try not to go below it when possible. This is your most special skill and not having enough mana for it is a great sin.


5. ALLIES / OPPONENTS ANALYSIS

Good Allies

1.Any disables / stunners type of heroes of course. Double tagging with Crystal Maiden / Sven / Rhasta / etc is always deadly and a assured death for any enemy with no escaping mechanism.
2. Vengeful Spirit is one of your best friends ever with her stun / command aura / swap abilities.
3. Ogre Magi/Magnataur / etc are able to cast spells that great increases your damage output. While Treant/Sven gives you toughness in form of additional armor.

Bad Allies

1. Sniper/Clinz/Drow etc. These guys are to be avoided sharing lane with as they farm much better than you and have not much to offer when things are dicey. Chances are they will windwalk in times of danger leaving you to certain death even if they could have made a difference. And yes Sniper is a great Kser too.
2. Drow has the insane ability even to silence a friendly SK from Reincarnation. This strange occurance had happened to me twice in a recent game. Subject to further confirmation.


Good Opponents

1. Sniper/Drow/etc, generally enemies with no disables or escaping mechanism. Which is common sense actually.

Bad Opponents / Counter

1. Basic Counters = Manaburn / Silence / Blademail
2. Silencer gives a bad time especially earlier on when SK has insufficient mana to cast Stormbolt to break his curse often. Yes he silence his Reincarnation too. Very evil.
3. Drow / Death Prophet have them silencing abilities that work against his Reincarnation but they will need allies help to bring him down first.
4. Regarding manaburners, Antimage can kill, Nerubian Assassin sometimes may kill, KOTL can harass badly (manaleak = 1 Stormbolt and little mana left).
5. A especially nasty enemy is AntiMage with his ability as mentioned above to manaburn and most Antimage are perma bashers type and this is also very effective.
6. Tiny by virtue of his stun armour ability coupled with chainmail is a major threat.
7. Hex (Lion) prevents Reincarnation if SK dies while being hexed.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Guide to Balanar - The Night Stalker

Table of Contents

- Introduction
- Abilities
- Skill order
- Item build
- Strategies
- Replays
- FAQ


Introduction

The Night Stalker. Feared at night, ignored during the day. This hero will let you own without too much effort, at the same time as he's not to be regarded as a newbie hero. You must be proficent with the many aspects of DotA to be an expert Balanar player, not to mention you must have studied this guide thoroughly!

A short breakdown on Balanars pros and cons.

(All his pros are during night)
+ One of the fastest movement speeds in the game. (Outrun by Banehallow in wolfform, Nerubian Weaver Windwalking, Bloodseeker using Strygwyr's Thirst and Bone Clinkz Windwalking)
+ Attack speed is supreme.
+ One of the best nukes in the game.
+ Can silence enemies, and make them miss on 40% of their attacks for 8 seconds!
+ Very good vision.
+ Awesome HP regeneration rate. (3.68 at level 1)
- Only crazy good during night.
- Lousy farmer.
- Very itemdependant

Balanar got normal regeneration rate during day. (About 30% of his regen rate during night) I've seen posts claiming he doesn't get any regeneration rate during day at all, but this is not true. He got the same regeneration rate as any hero would, based on his strength. This gives him 0.81 HP/second at level 1. (Daytime)

All in all, I think its great fun to play this hero. He�s not one of those insanely imbalanced heroes, at the same time as he's a killer machine. He's one of those who make a living out of heroes instead of creeps.


Balanar, the Night Stalker

IPB Image
Biography and stats
Balanar was one of the elite Dreadlords before the Burning Legion fell. Now with the Burning Legion gone, he lives his new life attacking villages and ambushing his most hated enemy - the Night Elves. He draws upon his power from the moon, thus he is much stronger at night. Balanar can also use his control over time to change the time to night that further strengthens his power. His presence inspires fear into the heart of many.

Range: 100 (Melee)
Hit points: 549 (+53/level)
Mana: 182 (+18.2/level)
Armor: 3 (+0.32/level)

Strength (primary): 21 (+2.8/level)
Agility: 18 (+2.25/level)
Intelligence: 14 (+1.25/level)

Note: Increase is in average numbers.


Skill Overview

IPB Image
Void (V)
Creates a damaging void. If cast at night, slows the target for 4 seconds.

Level 1: Deals 90 damage. (67,5)
Level 2: Deals 160 damage. (120)
Level 3: Deals 255 damage. (191,25)
Level 4: Deals 335 damage. (251,25)

Numbers in ( ) are the actual damage you will do to a hero. (25% spell resistance included)

IPB Image
Crippling Fear (F)
In the night, the Night Stalker can cause intense fear in enemy units, causing them to miss attacks and be unable to cast spells. 125 mana cost at all levels.

Level 1: Miss on 10% of attacks. Last 5 seconds.
Level 2: Miss on 20% of attacks. Last 6 seconds.
Level 3: Miss on 30% of attacks. Last 7 seconds.
Level 4: Miss on 40% of attacks. Last 8 seconds.

This is an excellent spell which should always be cast at enemies as you approach them. 8 seconds of silence and major miss will greatly increase your chances of killing heroes such as Centaur and Sven 1on1 late game.

IPB Image
Hunter in the Night
The Night Stalker is at home at night. He attacks and moves more swiftly.

Level 1: 15% movement speed, 20% attack speed.
Level 2: 20% movement speed, 35% attack speed.
Level 3: 30% movement speed, 55% attack speed.
Level 4: 35% movement speed, 75% attack speed.

Few notes on the speed:
Balanars speed at day without boots is 295
Balanars speed at day with Power Treads is 355
Balanars speed at night with Power Treads is 479,25 (Level 4)
Balanars movement speed at night with Mask of Madness is MAXED



IPB Image
Darkness (R )
Creates a period of darkness for the Night Stalker to thrive in.

Level 1: Turns day into a 25 second night.
Level 2: Turns day into a 50 second night.
Level 3: Turns day into an 80 second night.

Important to note about Darkness! Your ultimate FREEZE the time cycle. This means you can use Darkness at night to extend the night. You should use it whenever it's ready. I believe you can use it 3 times at level 3 each day and night. This means 240 seconds extension of every night if used correctly.

Skill Order
Level 1: Void
Level 2: Hunter in the Night
Level 3: Void
Level 4: Hunter in the Night
Level 5: Void
Level 6: Hunter in the Night
Level 7: Void
Level 8: Hunter in the Night
Level 9: Darkness (Ultimate)
Level 10: Crippling Fear
Level 11: Darkness (Ultimate)
Level 12: Crippling Fear
Level 13: Crippling Fear
Level 14: Crippling Fear
Level 15: Stats
Level 16: Darkness (Ultimate)
Level 17: Stats
Level 18: Stats
Level 19: Stats
Level 20: Stats
Level 21: Stats
Level 22: Stats
Level 23: Stats
Level 24: Stats
Level 25: Stats

OBS! This build is the most effective build for a solo lane / or if you to get enough hero kills during the night, to reach level 9 short time after the first night. If you level up slowly, maybe because you are being heavily harassed or are just having a bad time, get level 1 of your ultimate as soon as possible after the first night!

Also, if you feel you need the silence from the Crippling Fear spell earlier, don't hesitate to switch 1 point of it with Void.


Item Builds

When you start out; always buy item 1 and 2. It doesn't matter if it's pick or random, you WILL get enough cash to buy both without losing out on much XP. (In a 5on5 pick/-allpick situation you will have 554 gold when the creeps spawn)

Item 1: Ring of Regeneration (375) (+2 HP regen/sec)
Item 2: Gauntlets of Strength (150) (+3 strength)

Right before the first day turns into night, return to base and purchase AT LEAST Boots of Speed. If you want, pick up a few Clarity Potions (45 gold each charge). They help a lot the first night of hunting.

Item 3: Boots of Speed (500) (+50 movement speed)
Item 4: Gloves of Haste (610) (+15% attack speed)
Item 5: Forming Power Treads (420) (+60 movement speed, +30% attack speed)

Item 6: Voidstone (900) (+100% mana regeneration)
Item 7: Ring of Health [Optional] (900) (+4 hp regen/sec)
Free: Forming Perseverance [Optional] (+100% mana regen, +4 hp regen/sec, +7 damage)

Item 8: Mithril Hammer (1610) (+24 damage)
Item 9: Forming Cranium Basher (1460) (+30 damage, +3 strength, 10% chance to bash for 25 extra damage and 1.1 sec stun)

Total item cost so far: 6,925 gold

Alright, now the basic "must-have" build for Balanar is completed. However, as the game proceeds, you will be in need of more damage to be able to continue your domination. I know a lot of players usually go for Satanic or even worse; Heart, but I find this to be way too defensive. What you need is powers of DESTRUCTION, not some damn healing. My suggestion;

Item 10: Blades of Attack (650) (+9 damage)
Item 11: Broadsword (1200) (+18 damage)
Item 12: Forming Crystalys (1000) (+35 damage, 10% 1.75x critical strike)
Item 13: Demon Edge (2600) (+36 damage)
Item 14: Forming Burize do-Kyanon (750)(+75 damage, 20% 2.20x critical strike)

Total item cost: 13,125 gold

Why go Burize instead of Monkey King Bar? Well, one of the best reasons would be that MKB will cancel the stun effect from the Cranium Basher. (Because MKB has a 30% chance to stun target for 0.1 seconds, something which will override any existing stun). Another reason is the fact that the path to Burize gives you many small buffs for a small amount of gold, (also easier to save up to) while MKB consists of few expencive items, and therefore takes some time before you get any buff at all!

Alternate "after-basic" build #2
Item 10: Ogre Axe (1000) (+10 strength)
Item 11: Broad Sword (1200) (+18 damage)
Item 12: Forming Black King Bar (1600) (+10 strength, 18 damage, 10 sec Avatar)
Item 13: Blades of Attack (650) (+9 damage)
Item 14: Broadsword (1200) (+18 damage)
Item 15: Forming Crystalys (1000) (+35 damage, 10% 1.75x critical strike)
Item 16: Demon Edge (2600) (+36 damage)
Item 17: Forming Burize do-Kyanon (750) (+75 damage, 20% 2.20x critical strike)

Total item cost: 16,825 gold

A powerful build which will make the Night Stalker even more lethal and unstoppable. Use this build only if it's going well for you and you manage to get the BKB before it's too late in game. Remember, if the other heroes get way better items than you, you just won't be able to kill them, avatar or no avatar.

Alternate "after-basic" build #3
Item 10: Claymore (1400) (+21 damage)
Item 11: Blade of Alacrity (1000) (+10 agility)
Item 12: Forming Lothar's Edge (1400) (+21 damage, 10 agility, 9 sec windwalk)
Item 13: Blades of Attack (650) (+9 damage)
Item 14: Broadsword (1200) (+18 damage)
Item 15: Forming Crystalys (1000)(+35 damage, 10% 1.75x critical strike)
Item 16: Demon Edge (2600) (+36 damage)
Item 17: Forming Burize do-Kyanon (750) (+75 damage, 20% 2.25x critical strike)

Total item cost: 16,925 gold

I've got the same notes here as on build #2. However, this one gives a completely different style of play. The Windwalk will greatly increase your abilities to ambush, as well as it can more easily get you out of troubles than what BKB can. (BKB only protects you from disables and other spells, but lategame the normal attack is often more lethal). Of course windwalk can be countered by gem or wards, so consider the gamesituation before choosing between build #2 and #3. (If you got Bone Clinkz, Stealth Assassin or Bounty Hunter on your team, the opposing team will most likely have invisibillity counter-measures ready)


Strategy

The Early Game (1-9)

Ok, I'm just going to guide you through the first day/night cycle.

When you have bought both the RoR and Gauntlet of Strength, go to a lane. I suggest trying to get a lane for you only or go middle (Middle is a good lane to launch ambushes from, both to the right and left lane). Farming with the Night Stalker is no different from farming with any other strength melee character. Play safe. If you play vs. heavy harassers just stay back and leach XP the entire first day, just make sure you kill a few creeps to afford Boots of Speed by nightfall.

When there's no points left on the timewheel (right before nightfall) use up your mana and return to base. Purchase Boots of Speed and a few Clarity Potions. If you have extra cash buy Gloves of Haste and the recipe for Treads as well.

Now it�s time to choose your first victim. You are looking for agility and intelligence heroes, preferably with no stun/disable. You are also capable of killing wounded Strength heroes so these will do as well. Use the forests to your advantage, and surprise your victim. You have time, so don't rush it. Wait for the best moment to strike, and then execute the attack. Read further down for the basic hero killing tactic.

After you've got the kill, search for a new one. Use your clarity potions to regain mana and repeat the process. Keep on doing this the entire first night. Go back to fountain to heal / regain mana / purchase additional Clarity Potions whenever necessary (As I said; you have plenty of time for it). If you get 4-5 kills the first night (without dying) you�ve done well, and can probably purchase your Power Treads (And Perseverance) at dawn.

Watch Replay #1 to see this in action.

Middle Game (10-16)

Play as during Late Game.

Late Game (17-25)

Alright, no need to break this further down. The Night Stalker plays pretty much the same during the entire game. What's important to note is that your success in the early game stage is crucial for continued domination later on. When playing the Night Stalker it's easy to overvalue your abilities and run to the certain death. This is the beginning of Balanars downfall. Without items he just won�t be even a decent hunter later in the game. The Cranium Basher is a must to get during midgame, and the Burize is as important to have acquired during the later stages of the game.

Also, use your Darkness skill whenever it�s ready. At Level 2 and 3 it�s especially good as you can usually do more than one attack before the duration runs out. Use only level 1 when you are certain to get 1 kill (or more), or to get away from death.


Hero killing basics, tips and tricks

The basics
Killing with the Night Stalker is easy, and takes very little practice to become proficient with it. You strike during night, hit, hunt and then escape. The best way to do this is to hide, and get between the hero and his/her base. When your target is far enough away from safety (like a tower) attack (from behind) and hit the hero normally until he/she starts running. Cast Void and continue attacking the hero. That�s it. Finish the hero with another Void if necessary. Later in the game include Crippling Fear if you must. This should always be cast on heroes with disablers, or heroes who will otherwise defeat you 1on1.

DO NOT charge heroes 1v2.
DO NOT chase a hero into your certain death, even if you are confident to get the kill. (You need gold)
DO NOT attack a hero if you don't have enough mana to cast Void. Preferably 2 Voids.
DO NOT waste Darkness during the day. Use it only when you have located your target and are ready to strike.

Tips and tricks
- Farm during the day, hunt during the night. (Don�t use Darkness to farm better though)
- Use the forests to your advantage. You do best when you surprise your enemies.
- Keep in mind that Balanar got excellent nightvision. (Better than during the day?) This is important when you move about at night. You can see the enemies long before they spot you, which allows you to hide and wait for them. However, don�t push it; always keep safe margins from them, to avoid being accidentially seen because of miscalculation.
- Seek out heroes whom farm alone. Find a good spot to launch an ambush from, and strike when you judge the time to be right. Be careful to not be spotted on your way. Stay clear of enemy creeps! Most heroes DO run when they see the Night Stalker approaches.
- If you did not read the skills section, I will repeat it here. During night, use Darkness whenever it�s ready. It will extend the night. (To get maximum effect out of your ultimate)


How to counter Night Stalker? (And maybe counter the counters?)

IPB Image
Strength heroes
Balanar gets in troubles when he faces heroes with large amounts of hit points. Not necessarily because he won�t be able to defeat them, but because it takes long time to kill them if they flee. This will usually end up with them receiving backup or getting into safety. The best way to counter this is to only attack/ambush them when they are low on HP.

IPB Image
Magina, the Anti-Mage
What a pain in the ass. This guy will deplete Balanars mana pool in seconds, not to mention the health pool. I would avoid him in games, unless you got ideal conditions for defeating him. (Night, he got low HP and he doesn�t know where you are) If he blinks in to kill you on the other hand, the best thing you can do is either flee, or if its night cast Crippling Fear and immediately follow up with Void. If you got Cranium Basher as well, you should be able to kill him fairly easy. During day, just flee.

Replays
Alright, here I will post replays as I get them. There's currently none, as all of my previous replays were for v1.17 of TFT.


Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
How do u kill medusa in de lategame when she got her mana shield up? me friend got dis sick obsession wif her n kept pwning all de games...need sum real strats...

Answer:
The key here is to catch her alone and far away from safety (taking out 2000hp and 1000 mana may take some time:))

Also it's important she does not outlevel you too much or have way better items than you (That shouldn't be a problem if you pick on her alot during early game as well). You should at least have basher, and preferably Crystalys as well. Here's what you do:

Attack her from behind, and do it right after a wave of creeps have passed (So they won't help her) Attack her normally, you should outdamage her as you have the occasional stun from the Basher and hopefully criticals from Crystalys. Your attackspeed is way better than hers. If she tries to run away, just hunt her as usual. (Void when ready and attack normally)

Anyway, I'm not saying you are guaranteed a kill, as she might get away. However she should in no way kill you in a 1on1 situation.

Tips:
- Attack her when she's low on health and has the Mana Shield off. Surprise her from behind and throw Crippling Fear. Now she won't be able to use her manashield before you kill her.
- If she use Purge, follow it up with Void. This will neutralize the effect.
- If she doesn't flee (but attack you) cast Crippling Fear. She'll miss on 40% of her attacks and wont be able to use Lightning or Purge on you.
- If she recieve backup during the fight, or manage to overpower you, cast Crippling Fear on her and run away. She won't be able to purge you, and you'll get away easily.

Question:
Lets say if my cousin used Rhasta's ultimate(That Serpent Ward thingy) At lvl 3 of his ultimate he can cast out a chunk of 8 Wards. What if he casts that spell directly on me? Wouldnt that trap me and it would ensure certain death. Need your idea to counter that trap if i was the night stalker. Thx.

Answer:
In fact, Rhasta can trap any hero at all 3 levels of his ultimate. The trick is to stand close to you and then target you directly with the wards. Usually, to make this work, he has to hex you first, to be able to get close enough, and then throw the wards. To counter this, you should never let him get that close to you. If you got silence, silence him and go for the kill / flee. Lategame you will have 8 seconds of silence, and that's usually enough to kill him.

Also, if you use Alternative Item Build #1 with Black King Bar, activate it when he approaches and he won't be able to hex you or trap you in his wards.

If he DO manage to trap you, you're in an awful mess. The only thing you can do to avoid heavy damage/being killed, is:
1) Try to kill enough wards to be able to escape from the prison. (very hard)
2) Use the Item Build alternative #2 (With Lothar's Edge) This will give you 9 seconds of invisibillity which gives you allies 9 seconds more to save you.