Skeleton King: How to Kill All the Peasants
April 29, 2012
Before you downvote me to hell, allow me to explain.
Q. WHY? WHY MAX E AND W OVER Q?
A. I have designed this build to be a hard carry Skeleton King. The bonuses from maxing E first are great for farming, and has very comparable damage to maxing q first if you land a crit during a fight. The reason why Q isn't as important is the simple fact that the slow, and stun do not change. Hellfire Blast will stun for 2 seconds and slow for 15% at all ranks. Only the damage increases. While Hellfire Blast is not bad maxed first in any way, I would like to present this guide to Skeleton King, generally used if you are freefarming in a lane, or do not have much kill potential.
Q. WHATS WITH THE RANDOM STAT POINT AT LEVEL 2
A. Critical Strike at level one is pitiful. Seriously. It's horrible. you can make far more use of stats than a point in W or E at level 2. The int is also great for using Hellfire Blast early on. By leveling E, it is a waste until about level 3 of the skill. Once you have 3 points in it, your crit will hurt a ton, as well as help you cleave through jungle creeps. Although at levels 1 and 2 of the skill, it really isn't worth it.
Q. WHOA. RAPIER IS A GOOD LATEGAME ITEM? DO YOU WANT TO LOSE THE GAME?
A. Rapier is amazing on Skeleton King. SK and Void are the best carries that can actually hold a rapier very well, SK with his ultimate, and void with this. These 2 can get rapiers, and kill your entire team before you can kill them. I would only get it if the enemy team is behind you, and you are not dying in fights. 90% of the time you will NEED BKB if you grab Rapier. With BKB, you can't be touched while you 2 shot each and every one of the enemy team's heroes.
Pros / Cons
Hard to kill
A great carry
Has more utility than most carries early on
Very easy to play
Scales very well due to having the highest crit modifier in the game at 275%
Skeleton King and Ursa can do a level one Rosh fairly easily
Kited fairly easily
Needs farm to be effective, although less so than most carries
Easily countered by heroes with mana drain, such as Bane and Anti-Mage
Skeleton King is very interesting for Items, there are a lot of builds that are effective on him.
Take the Starting Items depending on how you would like to play Skeleton King. Skeleton King can be played with Armlet/Force Staff/BKB if you don't need another hard carry, or if you Do need a carry you could take build one, the core items being Armlet/Deso/AC.
Choose which build you expect to use, and pick starting items accordingly. Branches are a must in any situation, as well as Tangos and a Salve. The variance between the build is that Q is much more powerful in the standard build. With a stronger Q skill, you can use it for damage, as well as the stun. In the hard carry build you only use it for the stun and slow. Because of the spammability need in Build 2, some Clarities, as well as a gauntlet to start on your urn.
Early on in the game, you will want to complete some cheap stat boosting type items, which will help Skeleton king get early kills, as well as farm up his Armlet. As a hard carry, you will be hoping for strong crits, so physical damage stats are great. Hands of Midas are probably the best item to take on Skeleton King if possible. You want to farm this up from 6-8 minutes, anything past that is getting risky. Consider taking either a Drum or Medallion of Courage can give you decent utility, as well as stats to help you carry and farm. Drum is great against strong nukers such as Lina or Lion, the Bracer can be great early and the Damage and Stats that Drum gives you is amazing. Medallion can be a great investment as the Armor reduction is that of Desolator, and can be spammed on jungle creeps for faster farming. The mana regeneration is also great as Skeleton King is starving for mana early on.
In the Standard Style SK build, You will want to focus on Mana Regen to use your Hellfire Blast often to set up kills. Because of your strength early on in the game, an Urn can be very useful, giving Mana regen, some health, and the utility from the healing, as well as providing a damage over time effect to finish off anything that may escape. A Soul Ring is a great pickup to ensure you can spam Hellfire Blast in fights, and still have mana to use your ultimate.
Power Treads are generally the choice for both builds, however Phase boots can be great if you need the speed to not be kited. I personally prefer Treads for the attackspeed Skeleton King needs, as well as the stats they provide. Notably Strength treads for the bonus damage and health, but they can be switched to Int Treads when you are about to use Hellfire Blast, as well as to get just enough mana to use a TP or ult.
If you decide you want a lot of Utility on Build 2, you can go for a Force Staff. Most often used to Force Staff into a Hellfire Blast, or using Hellfire Blast, and then Force Staffing behind the target, to block them and get more hits off on them. Just skip this on the Hard Carry build. You will be farming more
The core item for Both Builds is Armlet. Armlet gives Skeleton King a lot of health upon activation, a good attackspeed to increase his crits, as well as overall wonderful stats. Always pick this up.
In the hard carry build, follow this up with a Desolator. The damage and armor reduction will make your crits hit for about 800-900. Everything past this point is Luxury. If you get lucky crits you can one or two shot supports with ease.
A great item to follow up both builds is Assault Cuirass. AC gives wonderful attackspeed, as well as giving you a lot of armor to tank the enemy, so you don't have your ultimate pop immediately in fights.
A BKB is also a great item to grab. BKB allows you to kill everything in fights, without being interrupted. One thing that people need to understand is that BKB gives you so little damage in comparison to something like an Assault Cuirass or Desolator. It is bought for the magic immunity, not for the damage. Oh yeah, and use BKB on your second life, because as Skeleton King, you should usually die first, being extremely aggressive. Once you rez, pop BKB, stun someone with Hellfire Blast and chop the enemy team up.
A Heart of Terrasque is not the best item on Skeleton King. If you have so much health, why would they want to kill you? They will not stun you or focus you. You want them to focus you because once you ressurect it's a complete waste. With a heart, you can never die though. That's certainly not bad, but you are already extremely hard to kill, why not just build more damage and kill them all?
Rapier is fun. Your crits will be around 1500 or so, and you will hit extremely often. Because of his Ultimate, Skeleton King can hold a rapier very well, as well as kill everything before he dies. Only take this in a game you are winning, or if it is extremely close, and if you are not dying in teamfights. It's a high risk, high reward type item, but with Skeleton King's skillset, it is less of a risk than most heroes.
Oh and a pretty funny choice on Skeleton King is Refresher Orb. Once you die once, you can resurrect again, and ult before you die again, refreshing your ultimate. With an Aegis you can have 4 lives. Not the best item, but funny as hell for sure.
http://imgur.com/xtvOI <-- my friend tried it out, to great success. I'm the Windrunner in this game. Didn't buy rapier with his lead though.... Dissapointment...
(While the screenshots aren't working, you can see them in these 2 links.)
Why aren't these working? Does anyone know?
Thanks for reading my Skeleton King guide. He's a great carry that can really take over a game. Despite being one of the easiest heroes in the game, he is a lot of fun, especially when luck shines on you and you get those crits. Go and test the build out before you downvote me, it really works well. I've had a lot of success with it and I hope you will too.
GG's Thanks for reading.