Silencer has gotten some revamps in 6.76, and they slightly change his role in the game. Previously, his offensive aura (Last Word) would be used for breaking combos in teamfights by simply staying alive in range of enemy heroes, making him a big target. Now, he has to be selective about combo breaking and manage his mana with his passive skill gone.
- Item builds at the top are not inflexible and are discussed below.
- This isn't supposed to be a full guide on learning Silencer, but for the sake of completeness I'll fill out some details. Gameplay and skill mechanics in particular will be glossed over.
A quick reminder of the 6.76 changes that affect Silencer:
- Global Silence cooldown decreased from 160 to 140
- Global Silence duration decreased from 3/4.5/6 to 4/5/6
- Base Intelligence increased by 6
- Base Damage reduced by 6
- Curse of the Silent duration rescaled from 5/6/7/8 to 6
- Curse of the Silent hp drain rescaled from 20/30/40/50 to 20/35/50/65
- Curse of the Silent mana drain rescaled from 10/15/20/25 to 8/16/24/32
- Int Steal moved from Last Word back to Glaives of Wisdom
- Glaives of Wisdom now steals Intelligence from outside of the AOE if Silencer gets the kill
* Int Steal aoe increased from 850 to the standard 900 aoe range
- Last Word replaced with new active skill
- Force Staff: Recipe reworked
- Rod of Atos: Cast range increased from 800 to 1200
- Rod of Atos: Slow increased from 50 to 60%
Curse of the Silent
It forces your opponents to cast, or they lose health and mana. It's usually not worth leveling this until after the laning phase if you are facing opponents with spammable, low-cost spells in your lane. Casting this on heroes like Tiny or Juggernaut (small mana pool, high-cost spells) will frustrate them to no end. Used well, this skill can keep an opponent's mana hovering around empty.
You can definitely skill this spell first in mid lane if your lane opponent is weak to it. Likewise, there is no need to take it if your lane opponents in a dual can dispel it easily.
Note that the new Last Word synergizes well with this skill. Your are able to drain an opponent's mana with CotS, then cast Last Word, leaving them with no mana to dispel the debuff. You can also do this in reverse - cast Last Word, and follow up with CotS once the silence has been applied.
Glaives of Wisdom
This skill is largely what allows Silencer to play a carry role. Taking one point of it early game lets you steal intelligence with the added passive. Although it's a scaling skill that's more effective late game, you can skill it early if your opponents can easily avoid/dispel your other spells.
The new Last Word serves as a nuke, silence, and even a disarm if used successfully. It also forces casting (like CotS) because of the disarm potential. Note that the maximum-level silence is 6 seconds (old Last Word maxed at 4).
Uses of this skill include locking down gank targets (preferably along with allied stuns/slows), silencing potent casters (especially chain casters) at the start of a teamfight, securing kills on fleeing targets, and more.
You might run into a few mana problems with this and CotS in use. This is largely solved by a Void Stone, but there will be a tough stretch while you farm your core.
Largely unchanged, it's still an amazing way to swing teamfights, ganks/counter-ganks, etc in your favor.
Take either the mantle or courier. Courier is especially appropriate if you're playing support.
You have the option of taking Wand components over Null Talisman components if you're laning mid. It may just be utilized less.
Building a Wand is even more beneficial than normal if you're forcing the enemy to cast. Null Talisman is the stat booster of choice for Silencer.
If you're mid, picking up a Bottle helps your early game a fair amount.
Treads give you much needed attack speed and flexibility with HP. mana, and attack speed (if you need it).
For Silencer, Mekansm is usually recommended because it is a reliable form of HP regen that also benefits the team and allows you to dip into the support role before you carry. However, Force Staff has been changed - damage and attack speed are replaced with HP regen. Force Staff and Urn can serve as an interesting Mek replacement - you get strength, minor mana regen, minor HP regen, and flexible heal/DoT. Although the missing attack speed is a disappointment for Silencer (who needs it fairly badly when relying on Glaives), Force Staff is still viable.
Note that you can opt for Tranquil Boots over Treads as they grant higher than normal MS and give decent HP regen. However, you will suffer the loss of Treads' attack speed, which will hamper your DPS.
You can also pick up a Void Stone as the first component of Scythe (if you are farming well) or Eul's (if you doubt your chances of completing Scythe in a timely fashion).
Mekansm will do the most for your team, and pick up Force Staff if you find yourself needing the active.
As far as boots, you can still get Power Treads as Silencer can transition from support to carry with relative ease. If you find yourself being placed into a harder support role, then you may want to weigh the pros and cons of Arcane Boots. These aren't too great if you plan on switching to carrying, but they can keep a low-mana team afloat and are somewhat acceptable because of Silencer's new Last Word.
You should almost always aim for Scythe if you're bringing in a decent amount of gold. In addition to the stats/regen, the disable synergizes well with Last Word, as well as allowing you to chase better and disable important targets. If the item doesn't fit at all, skip it for something more useful, but you likely won't do this often.
BKB helps you solidify your carry role by letting you walk through fights with more impunity and take down targets that attempt to disable you. Orchid will let you shut down all but the toughest targets from full HP to death when coordinated with Last Word. Shiva's grants you additional right-click survivability and increased teamfight/chasing potential. Rod of Atos is a good poor-man's choice, granting HP, intelligence, and a slow, all of which Silencer can make use of.
Silencer's changes are very interesting and hopefully will make him a slightly less situational hero. Constructive comments, feedback, etc are appreciated.
Thanks for reading.