Hello guys and welcome to my first guide I've ever wrote.
In the first place I want to give you some informations about me. I am playing DotA since 7 years, 4 years competitive and my main hero is Shadow Fiend. I've tried out nearly every build with this hero and got to the conclusion that this one is probably the best and strongest. Shadow Fiend is a really hard hero to master, but as soon as you are able to play with him properly, he can be the strongest midgame hero with devastating late game skills.
In this guide I gonna show you how to lane properly, using his abilities and use his full potential. This guide is for midlane, the only reasonable lane for Shadow Fiend in my opinion.
Gives the Shadow Fiend the power to desecrate regions in front of him at varying distances.
Damage type: magical
When Shadow Raze is learned, three independent skills will be given to Nevermore, each one generating a Shadow Raze at a specific distance in front of him. Mana Cost (All Levels): 75 Damage (Levels 1-4 respectively): 75, 150, 225, 300 Cooldown (All Levels): 10 seconds AoE (Area of Effect): 275
Shadowraze (Q) Cast Range: 200
Shadowraze (W) Cast Range: 450
Shadowraze (E) Cast Range: 700
Shadowraze is without a doubt Nevermore's bread and butter skill. To some extent, mastering Shadowraze is essentially mastering Nevermore. It is with utmost importance the one can raze with almost pinpoint accuracy as the AoE of Shadowraze is quite smallthe red circles on the diagram are not particularly accurate and the actual AoE is slightly smaller.
Shadowraze costs very little mana compared to the amount of damage it does. The Cooldown on each Shadowraze (the first red circle being Z, second being X and third being C) are separate which means Nevermore actually has three nukes on his back. This means he can deal a maximum of 900 damage (675 if magic resistance is considered) to a single target in a very short amount of time which makes Nevermore very dangerous indeed especially in the early game, when very few heroes have more than 900 hp. The tricks-of-the-trade to mastering Shadowraze will be discussed in greater depth in another chapter.
Whenever the Shadow Fiend kills a target, he stores the unfortunate soul inside of him. For each stored soul he gains 2 bonus damage until his own death releases half of them from bondage. Ability Type: Passive Damage Cap (Levels 1-4 respectively): 16, 30, 46, 60
Heroes, denies and neutral creeps also provide Bonus damage through Necromastery.
The more souls Nevermore has, the more powerful Requiem of Souls will be.
Another one of Nevermores abilities that enables him to become a potent force in the middle game, Necromastery is directly linked to his Ultimate, Requiem of Souls and gives his massive DPS (damage-per-second, or just damage) advantage over other heroes in the middle game.
Unfortunately, Necromastery loses a lot of its effectiveness towards the late-game, as DPS-carries are mostly farmed up and the extra 60 damage become rather minuscule. It is very important, as a Nevermore user, to maintain that edge through the middle game as Nevermore tends to be most effective during the early-middle to the middle-late game.
Presence of the Dark Lord
The presence of such a horrible creature terrifies nearby enemies, reducing their armour. Ability Type: Passive Armour Reduced (Levels 1-4 Respectively): 2, 3, 4, 5
Fully stacks with other armour reduction abilities and auras.
Is not affected by magic immunity e.g. Black King Bar.
It is difficult to say when it is best to max out this ability. The problem with Presence of the Dark Lord is that it needs to be maxed out in order for it to be effective in any way.
Presence of the Dark Lord is best combined with Desolator as the armour-reduction becomes very effective against many spellcasters. In an armour-reduction team strategy (e.g. Nevermore with Vengeful Spirit, Slarder and Templar Assassin), Presence of the Dark Lord should definitely be skilled.
Requiem of Souls
Summons evil spirits around you dealing damage to units in the area. Number of spirits is related to the number of souls stored and the movement/damage reduction is related to the distance from the Shadow Fiend. Lowers movement speed and damage of nearby units. The closer the units are the greater the effect.
Ability Type: Active
Ability Hotkey: R
Damage in each line (evil spirit) from Level 1-3: 80, 120, 160
Movement speed reduction, from Level 1-3: 15%, 20%, 25%
Channelling time: 1 Second
Mana cost, from Level 1-3: 150, 175, 200
AoE, from Level 1-3: 1300, 1325, 1350
Duration of slow on all Levels: 5 seconds
Damage type: magical
The amount of damage dealt is related to the number of souls captured with Necromastery.
Requiem of Souls generates damaging lines around Nevermore, 1 per 2 souls stored, for a maximum of 15 lines.
The closer the targeted unit is, the bigger the amount of lines affecting him.
Reduces both movement speed and attack damage of units in a 700 AoE.
This skill breaks invisibility a short time before it's released.
This skill has a 1 second cast time
Perhaps a difficult-to-explain ability to some, but the mechanism is simplethe closer Nevermore is to the target whilst he casts Requiem of Souls, the greater damage he unleashes upon that target. If correctly used, Requiem of Souls will create devastating damage in a team fight, especially when combined with items such as Blink Dagger (Shadow Blade, in my opinion, is a valid but easily countered optionwill be discussed in much greater depth later)
If Nevermores character model completely overlaps with the target (achievable with items such as Phase boot or Shadow Blade), the target will receive 100% of the damage from Requiem of Souls, which amounts of 15 spirits, each dealing 160 damage: the target receives 2400 damage, 1800 damage if magic resistance is considered as well. This is more than enough to kill off literally any heroes in the middle game, though it is quite rare that you will actually have the chance to deal the full amount of damage. Nonetheless, Requiem of Souls is a potent skill that can unleash total chaos and devastation, though it should not be skilled until Necromastery is maxed out first.
Level 1: Necromastery
Level 2: Shadowraze
Level 3: Shadowraze/Necromastery
Level 4: Necromastery/Shadowraze
Level 5: Shadowraze/Necromastery
Level 6: Necromastery/Shadowraze
Level 7: Shadowraze
Level 8: Necromastery
Level 9: Requiem of Souls/Stats
Level 10: Stats/Requiem of Souls
Level 11: Requiem of Souls
Level 12: Presence of the Dark Lord
Level 13: Presence of the Dark Lord
Level 14: Presence of the Dark Lord
Level 15: Presence of the Dark Lord
Level 16: Requiem of Souls
Level 17-25: Stats
(Or max out Presence of the Dark Lord should Stats be taken between Level 12 and 15, Bold/colored font denotes my preferred build for Nevermore. The skillset after the / indicates an interesting alternative build.)
Perhaps the alternative skill build Ive suggested between Levels 1-7 is more or less quite unusual, compared to the conventional Necromastery, Raze, Raze, Necromastery, Raze skill build. However, the alternative skill build can be useful if you are soloing well (e.g. versus a weak solo such as Vengeful Spirit) so that you can build on those souls in Necromastery and literally out-last-hit your opponent. In any case, Shadowraze being Nevermores main nuke should be maxed out by Level 7 as it is his main farming and ganking skill.
The reason why that Shadowraze is taken at both Level 2 and 3 is because it gives you a decent nuke (75 damage at Level 1 is really just for some desperate last-hits) and gives you the ability to score last hits when you are facing a nasty dual-lane or annoying heroes such as Tinker or Viper. You can basically spam your razes till you reach Level 4/5, fill up your souls in Necromastery, rune-***** (god do I hate this phrase) once in a while and farm up the core items you need in the middle game.
You can see all items needed in the top of this page. In this chapter I gonna explain every item, how it is used and why you should use it.
Starting Items: Explanation: Shadow Fiend is a really squishy hero with low dmg and attack speed in the early. His ability necromastery grants him attack damage with every creep or hero kill he does. This fact makes me to buy 2 Slippers of Agility to cure this lack of AS and DMG in the early. The ironwood branches are giving him some HP, Mana, DMG, AS. Everything what is really important for SF in early and that for cheap 159 gold. The healing salve is to give him some survivabilty vs nukers or general harrassing.
Early Game: Explanation: This items should be able to get in about 10 minutes. I think that boots of speed are self-explaining. You need some movement speed to keep up with your opponent, hit your razes and be able to gank if needed. The bottle is a really important item for shadow fiend. A full bottle can recover your whole hp and mana. Shadow Fiend is a nice hero to nuke and play offensive. Thus you will need an often regeneration source and bottle can be refilled by runes. Since you are taking midlane you should be able to get some runes. Also you can use the bottle for ganks. You are able to store the runes and use them if needed.
Midgame: Explanation: After you got your boots and bottle you should upgrade your slippers of agility to 2 wraith bands. This give you some bonus dmg, as and hp. Now you should try to farm your dagger. If you are a good farmer you can get the dagger at minute 15. The blink dagger is probably the most important item for you. You are able to hit your razes easily if you can get close to your enemy. Also you can jump into teamfights, activate your ulti and PWN THE **** OUT OF YOUR ENEMIES! I think you can get 100 more of reasons why dagger is a good choice. Some people say that Shadow Blade is a good alternative to dagger. I would suggest you to take this item, if you want to have an easier way to engage and an escape ability. But do not forget, that dust easily counters that item. Blink Dagger can not be countered if you use it correctly.
The choosing the boots isn't that easy. Some people take Phase Boots with sf, some take Travels and some, like me, take Power Treads. Let's compare these 3 items:
+Nice Speed boost
+easy to build and cheap Boots of Travel:
+Extreme fast movement
+free tp Power Treads:
You can easily see that every boots got their advantages. First of all to the phase boots. Yes, the movement speed is nice, but why would you need it? You got a dagger, can easily catch up enemies with that item. The DPS is unnecessary since neveremore got a huge damage output even without these boots. Boots of Travel are way too expensive and delay your core build. The free tp and the movement speed isn't the as and hp worthie the PT gives. PT gives you everything you need on nevermore. More attack speed for increasing your DPS greatly and HP to solve your squishyness. In a nutshell PT is in my opinion the best choice for Shadow Fiend.
Laning: Laning is the most important stage for Shadow Fiend. If he fails this stage, it'll be very hard to get back in to the match. It is a fact, that Shadow Fiend doesn't stand much harrass and he will die in every coordinated unexpect gank. Thus it is really important for you to have a look on the minimap and be aware of the opponent heroes. You need to stay defensive in the first 5-6 minutes of the game and try to get every creep kill. If you have trouble getting lasthits due to your low starting dmg I would suggest you to get some with your razes. They do not cost much mana, and you can clear a whole creepwave with your combo. I added a video for you:
In minute 10 you should try to have your bottle and boots. Also try to get the firstblood on lvl 5 with a raze combo! An example for this is here:
Your fog is your friend. Always try to use the fog to get some unexpected kills. Do not forget to press the keys instantly after the casting animation is over. Another example is here:
You can see that see razes are pretty strong. These are easy free kills. I will show you later some special examples. As soon as you got your dagger you should start roaming a bit. Going from lane to lane, daggering into the opponents hitting your razes and the kills are safe! Do not overdo this, otherwise you will be outfarmed and you won't get in to the late. If you are losing the midlane, ask a stunner/roamer for a gank. You should get your BKB now, to evade stuns and strong CC's in the teamfight. Also start getting your crystalys for your DPS Boost.
Checklist for minute 20: -Boots, Dagger and PT ready?
-CS over 70?
-Over 2 Kills?
-Below 5 deaths?
-Your team is winning?
If you can answer every question with yes, Congratz! you are doing it right. If not, you should try to:
-Farm more! Farming is REALLY important for Shadow Fiend. Low farm is bad for your build, bad for your ultimate and bad for your team
Now it comes to the most important stage of the game. The Lategame!
This is probably the most difficult stage of the match because you have to find a balance between farming and helping your team. You should have your BKB, PT, Dagger, Bottle, Crystalis/Daedelus now. Try to stay out of the range from the nukers and CC's. You need to wait for your initiator to engage and use that moment to jump in and do your ultimate! Then hit your razes and hit the rest out of your enemies. Do not forget that your ulti does devastating damage, when you hit it nicely.
Now it is getting interesting. You will probably see some new and cool informations you didn't knew before. We are getting more detailed to the raze and Soul of Requiem part.
We will start with the Razes. As already mentioned Shadow Raze is the strongest Nuke ingame. It deals Magic Damage and has a nice AoE. Cons? Skillshot. You need to play alot to get used to the AoE, Range and Damage of the Razes. But as soon as you mastered it you gonna deal HUGE dmg and can easily get the firstblood and kill the casters in a teamfight.
Hint: You probably didn't know but you can hit all razes without moving! I show you a little video to prove this:
Now we get to the more experienced razes. Known asBlind Razes. These razes are more difficult to hit, but can get you a huge self-confidence boost! Here is an example for a blind raze.
This is luck, prediction and some skill. This scene isn't a real one it is just for showing purposes. I saw riki farming there with low hp, decided to get in range for some razes, did 2 and HIT him.
Thank you for reading this guide, it is not finished, but I want to release it and do some improvements by time. I am looking forward for some feedback and hope you enjoyed reading. There are still many things which has to be added.
Thanks to DAVID H***ELHOFF for helping me creating these videos.
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