Intro To Slark
Slark is an agility hero, who best fits the roles of carry or ganker. Also, he happens to be the best escape hero of the game. His skillset is extremely strong and has both offensive and defensive purposes. He might not be the hardest of carries, but he can easily snowball into an out of control late game threat and single handely close out games. This guide will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the hero and make you a formidable force of nature in your games with him. This guide is not a meme-fest like most guides on this site. It might seem like a wall of text, but it actually has something to offer. Enjoy your reading.
Pros and Cons
- Best escape hero of the game.
- Useful at all stages of the game.
- One of the best 1v1 heroes.
- Can become an unstoppable killing machine with enought essence shift stacks.
- Can't be revealed by true sight during his ultimate.
- He is great against squishy and tanky heroes.
- Can purge stuns, slows and silences with good reflexes.
- Squishy early game, but always builds tanky items.
- Straight up garbage stat gain.
- Vulnerable to un-purgeable disables, such as Duel.
- Farm dependant
- Very hard to play correctly.
- Vulnerable to mana break.
- A 300 damaging AOE nuke that also works as a purge. With this you can dispell slows and most debuffs, and if you are quick on the trigger even stuns, hexes and silences. Any good Slark player should time this correctly to nullify enemy spells. With this you become a ganking and escaping nightmare.
- An escape or initiation tool. You will need some practise to land this correctly. Never initiate with this unless you are sure you will kill your target and have enought HP to escape after it comes off cooldown to use again.
- This is what makes Slark a carry, and also a momentum hero. With enought hits on enemies you will gain damage, attack speed and armor, making you not only tankier to physical damage but also a right click machine. After 50 stacks you will melt the hardest of carries very easily, while the attacks will be nullified due to your high armor.
- The active gives you a 4 second of free hitting and spell casting. No for you to be revieled. Only ground targeted spells can work against you, like lighting strike array. The passive give you extreme movement speed as well as a ton of regen, while not being visible to the enemy team. This means with enough juking you can turn around and slay your hunters with full health.
While my early game build with Slark is always the same, my late game brances to extreme levels. Slark can benefit from a lot of items and his build should NEVER be specific. Start with a set of tangos, a Quelling Blade and a stout sheild and head to the safe lane. There start farming your boots, which without any doubt should always be Power Treads. From there you can either go Ring of Aquila or Oblivion Staff depending if you wish to build Echo Sabre or not. You need the mana regen, so you should build either in any game. Now it starts branching out a bit:
- Blink Dagger/ Shadow Blade: Both are great on Slark. For me Shadow Blade is the winner, because it gives additional stats, and upgrades into a late game item. Blink give higher mobility and can be used to dive tower easily. Choice is yours.
- Echo Sabre: A free Essence Shift stack every 5 seconds as well as a 100% slow. Mana regen to last for days without heading back to base. Core item for Slark benefits from everything this item offers.
- Eye of Skadi: The words Slark and Eye of Skadi are connected for every person who plays Dota. +25 all attributes to neglect his garbage stat gain, as well as a BKB peircing slow to lock down targets and stack Essence Shift. Core for every game.
- Abyssal Blade: This item might has lost his damaging power, but it is still useful on the hands of Slark. Damage Block to compliment your high armor as well as extreme lockdown.
- Butterfly: Heavy right clickers on the enemy team? Buy this and start destroying them. Also gives extreme DPS in the form of attack speed and +60 damage.
- Black King Bar: Every carry's best friend. While Slark can purge debuffs with Q, during a teamfight the enemies with throw a tone of stuff into your face. Buy this if you think your Q is not enough. Not core by any means.
- Sange & Yasha: I don't really like this item on Slark, but to many pros build it, so I have to include it hero. Good stats overall.
- Moon Shard: Maximum attack speed for maximum stacks. Buy it as a 5th of 6th slot and consume it when full slotted.
- Linken's Sphere: This is the item to buy against most Slark counter pick heroes. Namely Legion Commander, Bloodseeker,anti mage and ofcourse Doom.
- Monkey King Bar: Good as a damage item, but only recommended to counter evasion.
- Bloodthorn: This item is great and synergies well with Slark's ganking abilities, but most games he won't have the slot to buy it.
As every carry of the game, you will need to go to the safe lane and farm with the help of supports. You are a very weak laner against ranged, but like Ursa, very strong against melee heroes. If you happen to have melee heroes in your lane, trade some hits with them during last hits. You will stack Essence Shift, which means more damage and less health for them. When they understand that they need to back, use Pounce and finish them off. Never use Pounce if your enemies are willing to trade with you!!! You will need it to escape, if things start going south or keep them in place for the opposite.
Slark comes online after Shadow Blade, so don't leave the lane until you get it and ask for help if you have trouble with enemy ganks. Always carry a Town Portal Scroll with you, to escape enemy ganks using Shadow Dance and tping out, or punish tower divers in other lanes. Generally don't join teamfights until you have your Shadow Blade and 1-2 survivabilty items.
Late Game- Teamfights
At this stage of the game you should have some of your core items aquired. There is not much you can do if you fall behind. If you followed everything I said until now, you should be fine.
Slark is weak at the start of teamfights, all he can do is right click a hero and try to bring him down. Other carries like Spectre or Sven have skills that can destroy the whole enemy team at once. With Slark you will be able to do it, after some Essence Shift stacks. At the start of the fight jump the enemy carry and start right clicking him with your Black King Bar activated. This way you are going to gain stacks, while the enemy carry lose attributes. Activate Shadow Dance whenever necessery. If you get too low during the teamfight, activate Dark Pact and use shadowblade to run away and regen. After 10-16 seconds you will be ready to re engage, this time with 90 extra damage and attack speed, ready to kill everything in your path. This is a very important aspect of Slark:
Engage-Re engage Mentality
This hero is not ment to blink inside a teamfight and start right clicking to create havoc like most carries. Your job is more complicated at this stage and this is why Slark
is not good for new players. You need to have a good sense of when to back from the fight and when to go back in. Since you will be a 3-4k HP beast this makes you some short of a tank. Go in absorbe as much damage as possible, gain some stacks, back from the fight then re engage. Since the second time you will only have your ultimate once per teamfight, you need to be very cautious about when
to activate it. Activating at the wrong time might be a total waste, while not activating at the right moment will only cause your death.
After the teamfight has ended, you can push tower very easily with your aquired stacks. Even alone, you can rush to the enemy buildings are destroy a lane or two before they respawn.
Slark's Weakness and Greatest Counter Picks
This guy is a real pain in the *** for every Slark
player. He can get away from you every time you catch him, or bait your Shadow Dance
and then blink away. Althought he can't kill you in a direct 1v1 fight, his mana burn only means bad news for you. When he is about to die he will blink away, and you will be a defenceless fish out of water with zero mana.
Duel is the best anti Slark
spell of the game. Can't be purged, leaves you vulnerable to the enemy team for 5 seconds, enough to destroy your squishy ***.
You all knew this ****er was coming. If you are against Slark
don't pick this hero only for the sake of countering him. Reason? He is pure garbage. Rupture might be a good spell and thirst might reveal him, but Slark
will always destroy Bloodseeker
after a couple of items.
Another AOE silence that you can't purge. Also, Disruptor
players tend to know what they are doing and will always keep their ulti only for you. After his Aghanim's Scepter
even your Black King Bar
will be useless.
Another AOE spell that will leave you stanionary and denenceless. Void is not exactly carry material this patch, but his team can also hit you from outside the chrono.
Same deal with antimage you can't catch this handsome devil, and he always carries an Orchid Malevolence
. He will jump you silence you and with the help of his friends kill you. You get Black King Bar
? He gets scythe of vyce.
Zero cast time and animation, huge range. The only way you will purge this off is by luck or GREAT game sense.
Slark's Biggest Weakness
Everything I mentioned above can be countered by some items like Linken's Sphere or Black King Bar or some tanky items. Counter picking Slark and building your items around him are not enough to guarentee a win. Slark's biggest weakness was and always will be:
Simple as that. Don't start flamming your teammates, because they die to Slark
. Play with them and try to protect them. Carry tower portal scrolls with you and tp to anywhere Slark
is ganking. Watch when he uses Dark Pact
and use your spells after it ended. Slark
players like me, always try to create desonance to the enemy team. We gank the carries, we snowball and take advantage of poor cooporetion. Then watch as the players start flamming each other. This is where you know you won the game as Slark
. No single hero can stop you, but a team full of people who are willing to forgive their teammates and only want to shut you down, can and will do it.
Outro - Slark as a pick in high MMR and PRO games
Slark is very popular in the current meta. He is a great pick and offers a lot. Don't need tons of farm to come online, can win lanes easily vs most offlaners and he has a pretty good late game. Since Shadow Blade is easily countered in Pro games, it is rarely picked up over blink daggger. EternalEnvy, BSJ and Miracle and all great slark players, and you can watch some of their games on youtube to learn a couple of things. He might seem like a great hero, but he is never first pick material. The enemy team can draft hero with unpurgable spells from the start and only ruin his life.
So, this was the guide for Slark the Nightcrawler. I hope you learned something you didn't know from this and you understood the concept of this hero. As a teammate once said to me after winning a unwinnable game "today you proved to me, that anyone can lose to good slark". This is the type of player that you will be after practicing everything we talked about in this guide. Any request for further explanation or any suggestions for new chapters are more than welcome. Again Thanks for Reading.