Slark is a great ganger with many escapes and a good potential to carry the game if his enemies failed at countering him. This guide is mainly about the way I like to play him, though it is different from those commonly recommended in guides and I personally think that it is superior to them due to many reasons which will be explained later.
+ great ganger
+ extremely mobile
+ has nice burst damage from his nukes
+ has a semi-disable
+ three of his abilities can be used as escapes
- extremely squishy without items
- poor stats
- his ultimate is relatively easily countered by gem/wards/level 3 necronomicon
- can be easily deprived of farm early-game due to his squishiness and countered this way
- no real disable
Here comes the interesting part. About half of the items I've listed isn't recommended by other guides. Why did I list them? I'll explain the unobvious items one by one:
Shadow Blade gives Slark another nuke, increasing nicely his burst damage, a way to securely land his pounce (it's hard to miss something in melee range), and a nice escape as well as a survivability boost, as only during the duration of Shadow Blade Slark can regenerate over 80 PERCENT of his health points, which is a huge ammount.
Manta Style gives Slark a nice boost to stats, a little boost of movement speed so that he moves at 522 when unseen, another purge and a situational spellblock in case his Q is cooling down or he's already silenced, which is a nice survivability boost to Slark, which in my opinion needs nothing but survivability. Also, illusions made by Manta Style keep the agility already stolen by Slark when they were made, so they can demolish towers in mere moments with hundreds of agility.
Linken's Sphere gives Slark another nice boost to stats as well as another spellblock so that he's even harder to control, allowing him to wreck mayhem.
This part is also interesting because my view on Slark's ability differs from the one commonly seen in guides on him where maxing Q is recommended because it's slightly better as a nuke. I personally think that having that small early-game DPS boost isn't as important as being able to survive in a confrontation with someone actually knowing how your abilities work.
Slark can either go middle lane if the enemy team has no strong middle lane hero which could kill Slark every time he gets anywhere near creeps (Invoker, Death Prophet, Queen of Pain, Storm Spirit, etc.) or a double lane with a support that has disables.
After Slark gets Power Threads and Orb of Venom, he can attempt his first gangs, but I don't recommend committing to them wholeheartedly until Shadow Blade is finished.
There are several nice pairings of Slark with another hero on a double lane. In example, Slark+Crystal Maiden. Most of such pairings are obvious and pretty much common sense. The pairing I personally liked the best is not as obvious, though: Slark+Storm Spirit double lane where Storm Spirit supports Slark. Both heroes have nice burst damage, some kind of a disable and outstanding mobility. The point is that Storm Spirit doesn't stop supporting Slark after the laning phase ends - they roam and gang together.
Slark played by this guide becomes almost unkillable late-game and can also deal lots of damage thanks to Essence Shift, Abyssal Blade and Manta Style.
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