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2 Votes

A Guide to Slark- Hit and Run

April 9, 2013 by minji1997
Comments: 7    |    Views: 9851    |   

The Early Fish, Late Leviathan

DotA2 Hero: Slark

Hero Skills

Dark Pact

2 5 8 12


1 3 7 10

Essence Shift

4 9 13 14

Shadow Dance

6 11 16


15 17 18


So this is my first ever Dota 2 guide, so I apologize if it proves to be terrible or unhelpful. Still, I will try my best to help you achieve success in your Dota 2 pub matches using the hero, Slark. So that is basically my introduction, but here is an intro duction to Slark himself.

Bio: "Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-bred are sent for crimes against their fellows. It is a razor barbed warren full of murderous slithereen, treacherous Deep Ones, sociopathic meranths. In this dim labyrinth, patrolled by eels and guarded by enormous anemones, only the vicious survive. Pitched into Dark Reef for crimes unknown, Slark spent half a lifetime without kin or kindness, trusting no one, surviving through a combination of stealth and ruthlessness, keeping his thoughts and his plans to himself. When the infamous Dark Reef Dozen plotted their ill-fated breakout, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces together--but somehow Slark discovered their scheme and made a place for himself in it. Ten of the Dozen died in the escape attempt, and two were captured, hauled back to Dark Reef, then executed for the entertainment of their fellow inmates. But Slark, the unsung thirteenth, used the commotion as cover and slipped away, never to be caught. Now a furtive resident of the carnivorous mangrove scrub that grips the southern reach of Shadeshore, Slark remains the only successful escapee from Dark Reef."


Starting items -- So essentially, the starting items is self-explanatory. Most builds start off with a tango, healing salve, and iron branches. The shield serves not only to help you block, but also as a material for the much important item Vanguard later.

Early Game -- The magic stick and boots of speed are also standard in most builds as they serve as materials for a greater purpose later in builds.

Ring of Health - The ring of health is pretty important early on. Slark's main perk is the ability to attack, and escape. When he escapes, his health regeneration is key. Getting this early allows you to recover health quickly even before you reach level 6, when you really bust out that health regeneration. This will speed up your ultimate's healing process as well. Overall, this should be a staple in your Slark build.

Sage's Mask - This is a little different from what many guides recommend. The Sage's mask provides 50% mana regeneration. For this particular playstyle, mana is just as essential as health in some situations. Once you have reach level 6, mana will become more of a hassle to deal with than health. This sage's mask will also serve as a material for the Soul Ring, which is a Core item in my guide.

Orb of Venom - This item is extremely cheap. That is why I put it in with the early game items. If you visit the secret shop when you purchase your Ring of health, and you have some leftover gold, pick this up on your way out. It provides 12% melee slow, and also does a little damage over time. The slow makes sure that your target doesn't get away, while the damage helps if your target does manage to get away. The poison may finish the hero off.

Core Items -- Again, power treads are a staple to many builds, or any kind of boots at that. Power treads provide necessary movement speed, and also gives +8 to any attribute of your choice. It can be toggled, so just remember to switch it to whichever attribute you pursue. I recommend agility. The Magic wand is self-explanatory. It is an easy buy if you still have the iron branches and magic stick. It should cost about 200 gold only.
It gives instant Health and mana when used if you gain charges from enemy skills, and also provides +3 to all attributes.

Soul Ring - This item is what saves me from going back all the way to base for mana. In this hit and run build, mana is precious as you will be expending it quite a bit. This item allows you to cut a bit of your Health to give it back to you as mana. This item is practically built for Slark. By the time you purchase this item, you should have your ultimate at at least level 1. When Slark is low on mana, go hide in a nearby area to use your soul ring. Once you use it, not only will you have gained back a beautiful amount of mana, but your health should regenerate what it lost in about 2 seconds. Not to mention the +3 Hp/per second and the 50% mana regeneration bonuses tacked on there. Yay for this item!

Vanguard - This item is also amazing. It provides +250 health and +6 Hp/per second. Great for survival, and you shouldn't die as much if not at all the rest of the game. It also provides damage block, triggering 70% at a time, and blocking 40 melee damage and 20 ranged damage. Once again, a necessary Slark item.

Situational/Luxury Items -- I tend to group my situational and luxury items together. This is because these items should not be bought before any of the core/early game items. Therefore, they are luxury items. These items are not necessary though, and only if the situation where they can be used arise. That is why it is situational. Some of these items just serve as mega boosts to stats to basically make Slark practically invincible.

Eye of Skadi - I believe this item to basically be the game finisher. Over all the other luxury items, I pick this one up. It gives Slark such a massive advantage that unless your team is seriously getting owned, would gurantee a win. With a great +25 all stats, 200 HP and 150 mana. Also has the attack modifier Cold Attack, slowing movement by 30% and attack speed by 20%. This lasts 5 seconds, enough time by now to finish the enemy off. But, by the time you get enough cash to grab this baby, the game will be about over.

Heart of Tarrasque - This item is mainly if you decided to become a strength based Slark. A massive 300 HP bonus and a +40 strength boost. Faster killing, less dying.

Sange and Yasha - this item is very versatile. If you want a little bit of everything, this is your situational item. With boosts in damage, strength, agility, movement, and a possible slow, this bad boy can pack quite a punch if you think you need a boost in everything.

Vladmir's Offering - This guy is for the poor man. If your in a desperate situation with little gold to spare, pick this guy up. This helps your teammates with the aura, annd helps you with extra HP regen and lifesteal. Handy tool if you're in a losing situation and quite short on gold.

Abyssal Blade - If you are a strength ***** slark, who likes to bore through enemy lines, heres your weapon. This is the main item you want as a strength based Slark.

Butterfly - On the other hand, if you are an agility based Slark, this will come in handy. +30 on agility, damage, and attack speed, with a 35% evasion chance. This is handy for the "Assassin" Slark type of player. Kill them quickly, escape, and do it again.

Pros / Cons

Pros- Amazing escape
- Monstrous if you get a good early farm
- After level 6, there won't ever be much need to return to base.
- Good counter for ranged heroes
- Great at trapping enemies
- fast movement after level 6

- Can be a bad hero without a good early farm
- until you unlock your ult, you can't do much.
- can be squishy early game
- Not much else if you follow my guide =)


Dark Pact
After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging negative debuffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 50% of the damage.

Ok, this bad boy can be VERY lethal to the enemy. This comboed with pounce, can deal pretty massive damage. Oh, you read that it takes some of your HP too? No fear, Slark is here! Once you get his ult, this will be nothing to worry about. I hardly even notice it. There's a short delay too? Well that's why you combo it with your Pounce skill. Pounce puts a leash on your targetted enemy, which keeps them there for a good 2-3 seconds. This gives more than enough time for the full blow of the dark pact to hit them.

Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with. That unit takes damage and is leashed to Slark, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark's landing position.

So to say, this is Slark's killer move. He leaps forward and grabs the enemy hero, dealing some pretty good damage. After that, the enemy hero is caught on a leash. This gives you time to: 1. Combo with Dark Pact 2. Just wail ono him like crazy. 3. Time to escape 4. Catch a hero who is escaping, allowing your teammates to take them down. It's just that great.

Essence Shift
Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility.

So what this does is basically convert their attributes to agility for a period of time. So while you're whacking at his health, you're whacking at his attributes too. Not only that, you get to keep it as agility for a bit. That means they're weaker, and you're stronger. What's not to like?

Shadow Dance

When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming invisible (attacking, casting spells, and using items do not reveal Slark). Passively, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration

I like to call this the GOD MODE of Slark. This is the key to succeeding with Slark. Basically, if you aren't in enemy lines of sight, you will recover your health at an astounding rate. At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. Really, if I was near death, I would sit in the jungle for a few seconds, and jump right into action at full health. This catches the hero that beat you up by surprise, and also saves you the time of returning to base and coming back. That isn't all. In the case that you're in trouble, or you just want to chase someone, the active part of Shadow Dance is also amazing. When activated, you hide in a cloud of smoke, and you become invisible. Even if you attack or use items, your invisibility will not be broken, +Bonus movement speed for faster getaways. Not only that, when this is active the enemy can't see you right? So the passive part of Shadow Dance comes into play. So if you're in trouble, hit this skill and run away. By the time you're gone, your health will be back to normal, and you can get right back to doing what you were doing before.

So...This is how you play the Hit and Run tactic.

Early game, you probably want to grab a lane with a ranged hero. This will provide you support as you try to last hit the creeps while not getting completely harassed by the enemy heroes, who usually also have a ranged hero with them(if not you're lucky). Once you hit level 6, this should be a piece of cake. As long as you don't tower dive, you should now have the capability to gank effectively and get out of there safely. And by level 6, those ranged hero harasses that you hate will no longer be a real problem. Just slink into the jungle, recover a bit, and get back at it.

Mid Game, I usually like to act as hero. Ganking should now be done pretty easily, and if your farmed well enough, those extra items should be flowing into your pockets. If your team is still laning at this point, keep doing what you did early game. If your team calls for a push, or they are in trouble, it's your job to rush to give them a hand. That extra movement speed from your ultimate should get you to your objective in no time.

Late Game, at this point, I'm going to assume two points of view. Losing late game, and winning late game.

Well, by this time you should be able to grab your luxury items, and basically lead the team to victory. You don't need to be looking at this section anymore.

Ok, I acutally don't have much advice for you here either. Ok, if you just were not able to pull off a good game, then you should basically play defense with Slark, Slark can still prove fatal as long you're not TOO underleveled. His skills are designed to hit and run, so just do the damage you can to the enemy team, and hightail back to base/Jungle. Repeat this process over and over again untl the enemy is pushed back. Then, good luck to you.

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