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Slark - Slippery When Wet

March 4, 2013 by lancer611
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Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

Build : Hit and Run

DotA2 Hero: Slark

Offense

Damage 48-56

Defense

Armor 1.1

Other

Movement Speed 305

Attributes

Strength 66
Agility 63.5
Intelligence 63.5

Basic Stats

Health 1746
Mana 1053

Purchase Order

Spawn

Early/Mid Game

Core

Luxury

Situational

Rejected



Hero Skills

Dark Pact

3 8 9 10

Pounce

1 4 5 7

Essence Shift

2 12 13 14

Shadow Dance

6 11 16

Stats

15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25


Slark - Slippery When Wet

lancer611
March 4, 2013


Introduction

______________________________________________________________________________________________
In the deepest, blackest pits of the ocean a fearsome and terrifying creature lurks. Bending the shadows to his will, few have seen his true form and none have lived to speak of it. For the shadows are his sanctuary, a place of empowerment and revitalisation. Bathed in this inpenetrable darkness he strikes unseen, every attack making him swifter and more powerful whilst weakening his enemy. An unbreakable leash awaits all who try to escape, leaving them at mercy of this horrifying phantom. By sacrificing a fraction of his soul, his pact with darkness allows him break even the most powerful bonds and curses. With echoes of the Great War reaching every corner of the earth, this creature, known only as Slark, has emerged from the depths to search for an ancient relic...
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Slark is the ultimate hit and run hero. He has 2 forms of initiate and escape, he can outrun almost any hero, and he never has to go back to the fountain for health.

This guide focuses on the first build. The other builds are more flexible and mostly self-explanatory.

Skills

It seems a lot of people like to max Dark Pact (DP) first, but I find that Pounce is more effective (fully maxed) for level 6-12 ganking. Certainly get one level of DP early for getting rid of dust or Track, otherwise the aoe damage isn't fully utilized until you are strong enough to gank more than one player at a time.

Dark Pact

In early game DP should be saved for defensive purposes. Dispelling disables and reveal debufs makes the difference between dying and getting a kill. Mid game and later DP is effective for quickly killing creeps/neuts when there is no enemy to gank. Add Maelstrom, and coupled with your move speed, you can take out creeps/neuts faster than most heros.

Pounce

I max pounce first due to its utility: initiate, disable, and escape. Reducing the cooldown on this skill is important (20 secs, down to 8), and it also adds a reasonable amount of damage.
Tips:
  • To improve the chances of landing Pounce on an enemy, right click directly in front of the hero (ie between you and him) and immediately Pounce.
  • If the hero is moving lateral to you, make sure to lead a sufficient amount.
  • If you are chasing a hero, he will likely be trying to anticipate dodge by moving back and forth. Wait until right after he dodges to the side, then immediately pounce on him.
  • To maximize escape ability, jump over trees and cliffs. Make sure to right click directly in front of the obstacle to ensure you are facing the right direction.

Essence Shift (ES)

Pretty simple, the more you hit them, the weaker they are and the stronger you are. Also, it is pretty amusing to jump on a hero with *just* enough mana for a skill, and then he flames/rages about the skill not going off before you reduce his mana. I'm quite sure many keyboards have met their demise in the process.

Shadow Dance (SD)

This is what makes Slark a ganker. Insane movement speed and health regeneration while not in enemy sight. It also has good utility, watch the icon, and if it disappears you are visible to the enemy. This can help alert you of invis heros or wards.
Tips:
  • The icon goes away when you are attacked by neuts. (which is one small reason Slark shouldn't jungle too much if the enemy has an invis hero)
  • For best effect while being chased, cut a sharp corner and pounce (or pounce over a cliff). If it takes you out of their line of sight, you'll get away almost every time.
  • Cast this skill if you are taking too much heat in a fight, or right after certain ultimates, like Huskars and Lunas. Make sure to be ready to cast Dark Pact in case of dust.
  • Against heroes with heavy single target nukes, you'll want to cast this skill almost immediately. No sense soaking up all that damage right away, when its possible that they might not have enough mana for their skills when SD ends (due to ES).

Items

Early Game
Ring of Aquila packs a lot into a single slot, for an early game item. Stats are always good, and the mana regen boost allows you to use your skills more often w/o relying on fountain or bottle/runes (especially if someone else is rune whoring).

Power Treads (Strength) - Hands down the best boots for Slark. Health and attack speed are two of the most important things to make Slark viable.

The additional Ogre Club and Gloves of Haste are both cheap, and both build into core items. And again, add very important stats for Slark.

I moved Orb of Venom from situational to early core because I have been using it more often lately and find it to be very effective (for the price). Other than the obvious, it is very useful for when you cast Shadow Dance, as most heroes tend to start running. It also makes it easier to land your Pounce when an enemy hero is trying to juke.

You could also decide to get Mithril Hammer instead, if you are doing well. The neat thing about this is that you have the flexibility to build it into Maelstrom or BKB.

Also, if you are having trouble taking too much physical damage while trying to last hit, consider getting Stout Shield or Chainmail, which can be built into situational items. Grab Cloak if you are struggling with nukes.

An important thing to note is that all of these items are in the side shop (except Mithril Hammer).

Core
Black King Bar - I strongly recommend getting it in every game except those that you are easily winning, or if the other team has very few disables. In this case, I would recommend getting some cheap hp instead, like a Bracer. In addition to the obvious benefits, BKB can allow you to win 1v2+ fights, whereas w/o it killing 2 players alone might be a stretch (assuming an even game). It also further increases escape ability.

Maelstrom/ Mjollnir (M/M) - This is actually the only reason I'm making this guide. None of the other guides headline M/M as a core item for Slark, but I believe it gives him more damage output than any other item. Looking at only damage per cost, M/M are both right up there with Daedalus, MKB, and Desolator. Add in the fact that Mjollnir has the most sustained attack speed for a single item, which greatly enhances your ES, and M/M seems a no brainer to me. Another benefit is the added aoe. Add lightening and static charge to DP, and you are putting the hurtin on everyone around you.

Hyperstone - Honestly, I often get this item before even finishing Maelstrom or BKB. Attack speed is just that important for Slark.

Luxury
These are obvious, stuns and damage are always good.

Situational
Helm of the Dominator or Vladmir's Offering - I generally don't get lifesteal with Slark, as he is not intended to stand toe to toe against a typical lifestealling hero. However, if there is no better carry on your team, and you are struggling against an enemy carry, it might be necessary.

Diffusal Blade - I only get this against certain heroes: Omniknight and any hero with very strong dispellable bufs (ie Ursa, Troll Warlord, etc).

Gem of True Sight - The best counter against an invis hero, is an invis hero with a gem. Also good for finding wards and mines.

Heaven's Halberd - Very useful against other glass cannon heroes, hp heavy carries, and passive stunners. More health, evasion, and four free seconds of damage and stat stealing and you should no longer have a problem.

The rest are for utility and/or survivability.

Rejected
Heart of Tarrasque - Your ultimate gives better regen than heart, don't get it.

Hand of Midas - Slarks natural role is a ganker, so Hand would largely go wasted. You will get more gold and xp from proper ganking than farming.

Mask of Madness (MoM) - I can't tell you how many times Ive seen a Slark with MoM get ravaged by a nuker. Sure it works if you have the stronger team, but in an even game you will find yourself dying more than you should.

Desolator - While I am a big fan of Deso, it doesn't synergize with ES nearly as well as the other dps/luxury items I've listed.

Build 2

Go this build if you are facing Omniknight, or if you have another carry on your team that you know is going to do well. You might also go this build if you are still learning Pounce, and are having a little trouble with enemies getting away from you.

Build 3

This is a good build if you are new to Slark, or new to Dota. It is well rounded, offering decent damage and good survivability. All of the pieces except Eaglesong are relatively cheap and buyable in the base. Throw in a Black King Bar if you are facing multiple disables. If you feel you have too much health, just switch your boots to agility later in the game.

Laning and Team Fights

Laning

I'm sure there are people that can solo a lane with Slark, but I wouldn't suggest it. With a lane partner you are more likely to get more creep kills, less likely to die, and more likely to get hero kills. Slark is honestly pretty weak for the first 5 levels. I generally prefer the jungle lane, so you can jump on a neut node (after you are level 6) if you expect some down time.

As for good partners, any hero with disables or an attack speed buf can greatly improve Slarks early game. The more ES that Slark can get in, the more likely you will get a kill. In the early game, 10-20 damage (3-6 hits) can make a very big difference in a lane fight.

Another good partner are typical Vlads users. Though I don't think its worth my gold to buy lifesteal, it can certainly be useful in team fights.

A couple of heros you don't work well with are Anti-Mage and Necrolyte, because your ES lessens the damage of their ults.

Heroes that that you should be afraid of are those with heavy nukes ( Lion, Lina, Lich, etc), or stun/holding spells ( Earthshaker, Shadow Shaman, etc). You should also be wary of heroes that can keep up with you ( Bloodseeker, Spirit Breaker, blink heros, etc) and keep you from getting your ult passive. Beastmaster's hawk is also very annoying and even debilitating if used correctly.

One hero I always have trouble with is a good Tiny. If he has the mana, he can one hit you (even when you are invisible) unless you really build up your hp or get spell resist. Also, being stunned just for hitting him is always annoying. Honestly its best just to avoid him unless its a team gank and you don't initiate.

One game I had against a Tiny, he and another hero came to gank me. I immediately Pounced and casted DP(to cancel tinys dust) and SD and ran. My DP canceled the dust, so I got a pretty good distance away, but Tiny had tossed the other hero (an insane distance), who then immediately dusted and stunned me. Tiny blinked in and I was soon dead.

Timbersaw can also be a pain. He has the mobility to keep up with you, and all of his skills can pretty easily hit you even while invis. A good Timbersaw will have the mana to spam his skills, and you won't stand up to them for very long. He can also be pretty tanky, so you usually can't take him down as quickly as other heros.

Team Fights
I'm usually very wary of team fights because by that time I often have many kills and the other team will focus me. If this is the case, I will move parallel with my team, but out of sight (like in the jungle or on the other side of a cliff). Once the fighting has started (all their main skills are on cd), I try to go in behind the enemy and take out the supports first. If I draw too much attention I either cast SD, cast BKB, or get out of the fight and come back in once they start focusing on someone else again. Also, make sure to cast Static Charge on an ally that is taking some heat.

Summary

I know I didn't cover everything, but I feel that the rest of the guides do a sufficient job covering everything else.

Slark shines at getting in fast, killing fast, and getting out fast. He does best when the enemy doesn't know where he is, and don't see him coming. Later in the game the ideal strategy is to catch one or two enemies alone, build up ES, take several seconds to regenerate, then hurry to the next fight before a minute is up. In this manner Slark can sustain an extremely high amount of damage without a reliance on mana or strong items.

Let me emphasize that the main thing Slark needs are health and attack speed. Any items with these stats will work, but I am proposing that this build maximizes his potential. The main idea is to get the most out of your gold and item slots. With this build (+/- some situational items) I have averaged 18-5-10 in 10 games.

Guide Discussion
<< 1 2
Quote | PM | +Rep by lancer611 » March 6, 2013 6:31pm | Report
I actually still play dota1 with a friend who owns a Mac lol. But I rarely watch replays, I'm not a serious enough player for that. I just posted this because I'm tired of seeing MoM on Slark, and I never see a Slark with M/M.

Yeah, Skadi is very expensive for a slow, and stats you don't really need. Basher is much better once you have Mjollnir, and of course goes very well with Essence Shift.

lancer611


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Posts: 22
Quote | PM | +Rep by xCO2 » March 6, 2013 6:33pm | Report
lancer611 wrote:

I actually still play dota1 with a friend who owns a Mac lol. But I rarely watch replays, I'm not a serious enough player for that. I just posted this because I'm tired of seeing MoM on Slark, and I never see a Slark with M/M.

Yeah, Skadi is very expensive for a slow, and stats you don't really need. Basher is much better once you have Mjollnir, and of course goes very well with Essence Shift.


I hear you, it does annoy me to see MoM on Nightcrawler, especially when they Dark Pact at the same time...oh god, make it stop.

I wouldn't bother after a Mjollnir, I would just go MKB at that point, if you were to pick up a Basher it would have to be after Maelstrom. Plus, I just find Mjollnir also kind of lack luster, you're better off sticking with Maelstrom and buy the Mjollnir as a luxury after a big purchase.

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Quote | PM | +Rep by lancer611 » March 7, 2013 4:23am | Report
I was just comparing the Basher to Skadi, better to get Basher instead. Most games are over by the time I have Mjollnir and BKB, but if its still going on I usually choose between MKB and Basher, depending on the enemy heros.

The whole point of Mjollnir is the attack speed, which means you build up Essence Shift faster. The potential damage from ES greatly outweighs the damage you will get from any single item (except maybe Rapier). A slark with 300 agility and BKB is basically unstoppable.

lancer611


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Posts: 22
Quote | PM | +Rep by TangoNCash » March 9, 2013 9:14am | Report
Hi there,

Like this skill build quite a bit.

Also you are right that Maelstrom is a great dps item on any agility carry, especially one who tends to gain a lot of attack speed the way Slark does. When combined with Dark Pact it actually gives you a lot of ability to farm.

All the items are good IMO except maybe three minor gripes:

1) Not enough starting regen. Having just a set of tangoes is not going to be enough if you are playing against a challenging lane-- any lane with magic nukes or good ranged harass. And if you are looking to be agressive (which you definitely should be against certain lineups) you definitely need a salve.

2) I'm not all that crazy about the ring of aquila. The %-based mana regen gain is not going to do much work for you early game. If you're looking for early survivability I am all for building a Poor Man's Shield and/or a Bracer. You can build the Bracer into a Drum of Endurance.

3) I'm not totally sold on a Black King Bar as an always-buy item. I usually only buy this item if 1) I'm forced to be an ititiator, which is never ideal 2) I'm forced to be the major damage-dealer on the team, or 3) I am up against a lineup with a lot of magic damage.

If you are set on the Maelstrom route, I have been most successful buying a cheap early-game item to address your squishiness issues ( Drum of Endurance, a Medallion of Courage, or a naked Point Booster will do the trick), and then building the Maelstrom. This is a fantastic, cheap build for the midgame.

TangoNCash


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Quote | PM | +Rep by Catman » March 14, 2013 2:25pm | Report
TangoNCash wrote:

2) I'm not all that crazy about the ring of aquila. The %-based mana regen gain is not going to do much work for you early game. If you're looking for early survivability I am all for building a Poor Man's Shield and/or a Bracer. You can build the Bracer into a Drum of Endurance.


Ring of aquila dosnt have %-based mana regen it got a 0,6 mana per second.
And as he says i think bracer into a drums is better. But still having a basi.
And then going your mjolnir build.

If u doing a guied i think u should more option to starting items. like
Stout sheld, salv, tango, and then 3 GG branches(like this starting item build more). And u make a fast poor man shield.
And i dont like that build 3 is just more items. Not explaning anything just trowing them in there.

Catman


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Quote | PM | +Rep by lancer611 » March 15, 2013 6:41am | Report
@TangoNCash
You can always buy extra regen with a courier if you need it.

Ring of Aq/Bas actually nearly double your mana regen early game. And as Catman mentioned, its a flat boost, not %.

I only list BKB as core because it is understated. Half of the time I don't get it, which I mentioned in the BKB explanation section.

Maelstrom/Mjollnir is the whole point of this guide. As I said in the guide, I believe that it offers Slark more damage output than any other single item.

@Catman
IMO drums aren't really worth the extra cost. You have plenty of AS and MS from your other items and skills, and most times another player will buy it anyway.

Yes sorry, I updated the guide with explanations on builds 2 and 3.

@both
Bracer, PMS, and Wand are all listed in the Situational section.

lancer611


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Quote | PM | +Rep by Mirror » March 15, 2013 3:14pm | Report
Ever since I got the Ripper I have played a little bit more of slark. This is not really a suggestion of feedback just my experience and success with the hero. I use your skill build and get a poor man shield fairly fast. After that I get soul ring. It scales the entire game and lets you practically spam pounce and later push with dark pact. After that I get Skull Basher base damage strength better chasing power farm jungle easer it is all in one. After those items I just get what the situation needs. I also found that a Slark Treant lane is CRAZY. My highest kills ever was with that lane, I went 30-2-18 as slark.

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Quote | PM | +Rep by Catman » March 19, 2013 12:46am | Report
lancer611 wrote:
IMO drums aren't really worth the extra cost. You have plenty of AS and MS from your other items and skills, and most times another player will buy it anyway.


And i agree with you. Some more thinking about it and it feelt kinad wasted. if u want hp u got your treads and u can just make a bracer.

Catman


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Quote | PM | +Rep by TangoNCash » March 19, 2013 2:39am | Report
@lancer611 @Catman

Strongly disagree about the Drum of Endurance. If you are building a bracer for survivability it is incredibly cost-efficient to build it into a Drum. Even if other players are planning on building one (which is by no means certain), you are a roaming ganker during the midgame – you cannot be sure they are going to be around when you could benefit from the aura.

TangoNCash


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Quote | PM | +Rep by lancer611 » March 19, 2013 5:14am | Report
TangoNCash wrote:

@lancer611 @Catman

Strongly disagree about the Drum of Endurance. If you are building a bracer for survivability it is incredibly cost-efficient to build it into a Drum. Even if other players are planning on building one (which is by no means certain), you are a roaming ganker during the midgame � you cannot be sure they are going to be around when you could benefit from the aura.

1200 gold for 5% ias and 5% movespeed, 4 charges, and some stats is not efficient. Thats more than half the cost of Yasha, which gives you (constant) 3x the ias and 2x the move speed, PLUS 16 agility. And you don't even need the movespeed, Slark is one of the fastest heroes in the game.

lancer611


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