Skeleton King is a STR based melee hero which relies on his high right clicking power and overall tankiness to take down enemies.
THIS GUIDE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, IF YOU DISLIKE IT AT THE MOMENT PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AND DON'T LEAVE A VOTE YET! SOME CONTENT IS NOT YET IN THE GUIDE THANKS!
THE TAB FOR MY ITEM SELECTIOSN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO PLAY SKELETON KING. THESE ITEMS ARE GOOD FOR MY PERSONAL PLAY-STYLE AND POSSIBLY NOT YOURS! IF YOU WANT TO TAKE A MORE SAFE APPROACH TO SKELETON KING, I SUGGEST THE OTHER CORE ITEMS!
(THIS APPLIES TO BOTH!) Get your Midas by 5-10min, if you don't have it by 10min and cannot afford it by then, don't get it. Don't even buy boots before you get your midas, it will slow down your midas by a bit buying boots before. It's not illegal to buy boots before, but it's highly situatioan to do so.
LANE Early game you want to last hit as much as possible. ALWAYS go in a dual/tri lane with support, if you are forced to compete for the last hits with another carry, or you're getting heavily denied because your support doesn't support you, get a quelling blade.
JUNGLE I highly recommend not jungling with Skeleton King from LV1, since he is not very viable to do so without constantly pulling creeps and killing the easy camp until you reach lv4. It's possible and this is a good explanation on how to do it, all credits go to the creator of the video! (Ignore everything except the jungling part, which is 0:32 -> 1:10.
Farm, that's about what you do in this stage of the game. Most likely you will be farming in the jungle if it's not (SOLO)freefarm in your lane. Use your midas as soon as the cooldown ends on the creep with the highest level in a big/hard camp for the extra EXP.
Try to be in all teamfights if your team is winning already, or having early/mid game advantage with big AOE spells and nukes. If your team is losing (some lane fed one of their carries, but you crushed your lane, so it's not over yet) just keep farming in hope of winning the game with your amazing farm. If you rush radiance, don't risk dying, get your ******** radiance before 20min or don't get it, if you can get it before 20 or possibly 20-25min min BUT NOT ONE SECOND LATER THEN 25MIN! then farm up that item before you go into teamfights if not you have big AOES and nukes etc.....
Do I even need a chapter for this on a right click hero?!
Run into teamfights, get all the enemies nukes on you (at the same time your team is going in, getting nothing on themselves as enemy already used everything on you!) and when you reincarnate start killing people, CLEAVE THEIR SKULLS! This strat won't work in higher tier games as people will obviously know that you're just baiting, but on pubs, go ahead and do this and win the game.
Hellfire Blast - The only reason I don't skill this more then once is that it doesn't scale better then your other skills, and taking on stats is better because you get more HP/MANA/AS/ARMOR... Count on it, less then 100 extra dmg per level on this spell, that's about ONE attack or not even a half attack if you crit on attack. Not worth to skill more then once if you're not going a very situational build.
Vampiric Aura - this makes you incredibly tanky, it makes you be able to solo roshan with an armlet, it makes you jungle... It scales VERY well per level, 15% LS increase per level. DO NOT skill this in the early game if you're laning, since it pushes the lane too much to be worth skilling it.
Critical Strike - This stacks very well with your lifesteal aura and is the reason why you buy attackspeed items.
Reincarnation - This is what makes Skeleton King who he is, it's like a free aegis! If you kill roshan, this spell will trigger before the aegis does. When you got your armlet up you should try to smoke and solo roshan for AEGIS/EXP/GOLD!
This is the best farm item in the entire game, it boosts your farm by an extreme amount and not to talk about the 30 extra attack speed! When you have your treads and some other attack speed item, you attack speed is extremly high! DON*T GET IT AFTER 10MIN!
Why treads? Because the increased attackspeed benefits your crit, if you got low mana and want to cast another stun, switch them to int - cast stun - switch back to str. +8 STR also gives you HP/DMG of course. It is possible to choose phase boots, if your team got Beastmaster, someone is rushing Assault Cuirass and drums (not you) or maybe some other situation where you could argue for phase boots.
This is an exeptionally godly item on Skeleton King, it reduces enemy armor, increses yours, gives you ALOT of attackspeed (which benefits your critical strike) and also, it's an aura, so it benefits your entire team!
The Skull Basher is a very good and cheap item which makes your extreme attackspeed even better! Get the upgrade (Abyssal Blade) if you're fed and want alot of DMG, or if a certain enemy got a bkb and you want to disable them, or maybe just wants another active stun. USE THIS TO PERMABASH SOME SKULLS!
Gives attack speed, ****loads of str, armor, and basically everything you would want from an item! It drains HP, so without a Heart of Tarrsque you will probably get to 1HP by this, but that's why you have lots of lifesteal! If you're about to die, turn this on and off to get about 500HP!
This item actually goes against the thing to run into alot of nukes and disables, but it's highly recommended against heroes that will rape your *** such as Axe, Anti Mage, Nyx Asassin, Tidehunter, Drow Ranger and many more... It's a game braking item which is almost always on the carry.
If you need to purge yourself or the enemy, or maybe need some mana burn, get this item. Examples of when you could get this is when the enemy team got a Sven that haven't gotten BKB yet. You could argue for that a support or agility hero should get this in your team, but I don't see why you shouldn't be able to get it. Slow is also useful since you're a melee hero.
For armor reduction and damage. Good against agility heroes with high AGI gain, or tanky heroes with lots of armor items.
Want to beat a right click hero like Ursa or Phantom Asassin? Get this item! It gives you some STR which gives you HP/DMG, it gives you Evasion which is always handy. And it gives you the ability to disarm a target for some seconds!
Gives you extreme amounts of STR,HP,HP regen! This works exceptionally well with Armlet since you never have to turn the armlet off when you have this item.
Get this item to be able to be more resistant against spells, BKB also works, but BKB is at most 10s long and this might be a good extension to counter a team full of nukers.
Attackspeed! And the active and passive of Mjollnir is also very useful.
If the enemy got evasion (Phantom Asassin, Butterfly, Halberd) get this item, YOU CANNOT MISS! Alot of DMG too...
One of my favorite items to get, if gotten early, this kan litteraly turn the tide of your team! Get this before 25min or don't get it. The DMG works well with your lifesteal and crit, and the AOE burn dmg is alot of DMG in a long teamfight. It can also kill people whom you are chasing with low hp.
Very many people dislike Radiance on Skeleton King, I do like this item on him but it's my personal preferance, I agree that an armlet will benefit him greater then Radiance, I get both but if so I get radiance first. Never get this later then 25min, preferably before 20min.
This item is another highly situational item, but it gives you some DMG and attack speed, so it's not that bad! (The mana regen is also useful, but since you've taken alot of points into stats you shouldn't be that mana hungry) Get this to silence someone, and amplify the damage! Examples of when you could need this is against heroes such as; Enigma, Tidehunter, Magnus...
Since you are a melee carry which can crush your enemies skulls with your auto attaks, anyone with a disable/slow is very useful to Skeleton King! Other friends include heroes with benefit from your Vampiric Aura such as Ursa and Phantom Asassin.
Foes Anyone with a mana burn will own your bony little ***! Heroes with diffusal blade as a core/situational item is also going to counter you.
Axe and Lifestealer should also be mentioned, Axe for his Berserkers Call + Blademail combo, and his overall tankiness and Lifestealer because... He is the nightmare of a STR based hero, he feeds on your life!