Hello all you Night Stalkers out there. This is my guide to playing Night Stalker (My Favorite Hero) mid lane and coming out with a win.
For Starting Items you're gonna wanna pick up a stout shield to block some damage early especially since you are a melee hero. If you can for certain that another melee hero will be fighting you mid then you can try and take your chances with an orb of venom for extra movement slow harassing them quite efficiently. In either case see to it that your supports give you at least one tango to help out until you get bottle.
That being said we are gonna move onto Early Game.You're gonna need that bottle asap, and if you don't have it before night you are screwed. It allows you to keep your mana up which you're gonna need with your low cooldown nuke. Then acquiring brown boots before night is also very advantageous as it allows you to increase your already fast night time movement making you a more efficient hunter and chaser at night. As for the magic wand it's rather situational in my opinion. For instance I would get it against a Storm Spirit but not a Pudge. But, moving on, I choose Phase Boots over Treads every time, you start out already pretty tanky with the amount of armour you get and the extra movement Phase Boots gives along with moving through creeps allows for excellent chasing ability and just as excellent escapes along with the damage it brings.
Next is core. With your additional attack speed at night and assumption that you'll be going mid a helm of the dominator's extra armour and lifesteal give you exceptional fighting potential with your attack speed and also helps jungle farming if necessary in the day time. A Hyperstone stacked on top of that is simply a deadly flurry of attacks. With these items acquired it is no problem for Night Stalker to take on someone like Troll Warlord at night with the help of his silence (which gives a miss chance to the enemy for the ungodly amount of time it lasts at night). And once you get that Skullbasher oh man nobody is getting away from you or even has a chance of winning one on one at night.
Next is the Situational/Late Game. To Start off we will talk about ***ualt Curi***. If you've followed the build so far you might as well get it, not only do you already have the hyperstone but It'll also give you additional armour to you're already tanky self. Next, Heart of Tarrasque is one of my favorite items on Night Stalker. At lvl 25 he comes close to 4000 health and his regen is astounding, couple this with his speed and he becomes incredibly hard to kill.
Abyssal Blade is a good choice as well since you already have the Skullbasher and the two second stun it carries along with its bash chance is terrifying for prey and makes him more useful at initiating fights.
Aghanim's Scepter is also a great situational item especially if the enemy team is spending a lot of time jungling or trying to maneuver through your jungle to get the jump on your team. The unrestricted vision makes for the perfect hunter and the additional attributes give Nightstlaker a good buff to damage and health.Black King Bar obviously is for fighting magic heavy teams and the Crimson Guard I usually only take when I'm far ahead and i just want to fill a slot, it's extra armour and health really start to make NS a pain to even 5 man.
Many people view Nightstalker as a weak hero since his true strength is at night, but he is more effective than he leads on once the first night hits thanks to his skills. His nuke void is good for daytime farming until lvl 4 and to get your bottle earlier. after lvl 1 it also begins to do heavy damage to the enemy mid hero and can be used to keep them at bay. Once night hits if the skill is lvl 3 voids increased slow usually makes for some frusturated and scared if not dead enemy heroes. Void should be the first skill maxed out.
At lvl 2 NS should level crippling fear, but this is the only lvl he should put into it until void and hunter in the night are maxed out but not because the ability is weak, in fact the skill is quite amazing, at night time it gives the victim a 50% miss chance on attacks making it easy for NS to fight enemy carries 1v1 while hunting or even in a team fight however its second strength lies in that at max lvl the silence it causes lasts 8 seconds. The reason this skill should be last is simply because Nightstalker needs the other two first in order to function at full fighting capacity.
At lvl 4 Night still should not have hit yet (if NS is mid) and hunter in the night should be lvled. This skill is crazy great, the extra buffs it gives NS, attack damage, attack speed, movement speed, and never underestimate superior vision in the night when other heroes see less. this ability makes NS one of the best gankers in my opinion especially once he acquires phase boots. But remember this is only at night time, which brings us to Darkness
Darkness gives Nightstalker and his team great lvls of control and you should lvl it every chance you get. It's activation puts NS right back into the realm where he is strongest and at max lvl once the ability wears off the cooldown has only 30 seconds remaining. The ability can be used effectively early game in order to gank opponents when they don't suspect it and feel safe at day. The ability also greatly deprives the enemy of vision whilst you can still see them. They won't see you coming and as fast as you are most times you can say kill secured.
Usually when it comes to fighting, there are heroes whom clearly you silence before fighting, such as anyone with an invis, however in most cases I like to nuke before silencing, the slowed move speed makes it harder for them to escape and gives you more time to punch then it sets the nuke to cooldown sooner for a possible second use.
-Incredible Ganking Potential
-Nuke can make for an early win mid once 4 minutes hits,
-haste like speed
-tank is built right
-capable of fighting a multitude of heroes
-speed makes for great escape
-good starting Armor
-Slow action before 4 minute mark
-weak and slow during day
Night Stalker can be an extremely deadly and effective carry if you play your cards right.
As mid you should try to go for a kill against the opposing mid player during the first night once you're lvl 5. If the kill is a success or the opportunity is never presented now is the time to start ganking and shutting down their hard carries. However do not do this if
you still lack boots, even with Hunter in the Night (which is probably only lvl 1 at this point) you wont be able to catch most enemies once they start to run especially if they stun you and they themselves have boots.
BE VERY CAREFUL during day, for it is when you're slowest and if you are caught out of position you'll likely die if it's early game. However the sense of safety the enemy gets can also be abused during the day once you get darkness, a sudden darkness ultimate use strikes fear into the side lanes, especially if they've wandered too far from their tower.
Late and mid game don't be afraid to take on hard hitting enemy heroes at night, especially once you silence them and gain that miss chance.
Don't spend too long hunting, you still need to pay attention to lane and return their every so often for some easy farm and to push out towards the enemy tower.
Don't be afraid to try and deny enemy heroes in mid during first day, you pack quite a punch early.
And above all, Stalk From the Shadows ;)... no seriously take advantage of the fact you'll see the enemy before they see you.
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