6.82/6.83 Relevant Changes for Huskar and This Guide
Here are the changes in the recent updates that directly affect Huskar. The list is not exhaustive as there are other minor changes to the game/metagame that indirectly affect Huskar.
Inner Vitality cooldown reduced from 25 to 25/22/19/16
Inner Vitality increased base health regen bonus from 2/4/6/8 to 10
Inner Vitality rescaled regen bonus when hurt form 30%/45%/60%/75% to 20%/40%/60%/80%
attack speed bonus increased from 8/12/16/20 to 14/16/18/20
cooldown reduced from 45/30/15 to 12
damage reduced from 50% to 35% [?]
self damage rebalanced from 40/35/30% to 35%
slow duration rebalanced from 5 to 4/5/6
slow rebalanced from 50% to 40/50/60%
All in all, a decent buff to Inner Vitality and Berserker's Blood, and a somewhat significant change to Life Break(reduced damage but reduced cooldown as well), meaning that it favors scirmishes as opposed to big teamfights where you need more burst. Additionally, it is potentially viable, depending on the situation, to keep either IV, BB or LB at level 1 early game while maxing the other skills/stats.
restore mana cost increased from 150 to 225
recipe cost reduced from 700 to 500
recipe cost increased from 600 to 700
number of charges increased from 5 to 6
max charges increased from 15 to 17
armor increased by 1 in exchange for 25 additional gold
Mekansm is still viable despite the nerf as Huskar doesn't need mana before he levels up Inner Vitality(lvl 10-13). Minor buff to Armlet and indirectly to safelane Huskar, but not enough to justify picking him as the primary carry, unless it's vs a magic based line-up/carry. Minor nerf to Maelstrom, which coupled with the nerf to the burst of Lifebreak makes the Magic DPS/Utility build less viable
. Minor buff to Drum, which coupled with the buff to Inner Vitality provides additional options for Huskar in the early game. The buff to Magic Wand is almost insignificant and I would argue that it is still not worth upgrading Stick in almost all games.
A special note should be made for Ring of Protection as the armor per cost it provides is incredible. Feel free to carry 1 or 2 casual ROP early game if you have the inventory space as we know how much Huskar needs physical resistance.
+ Ranged(albeit not very long one :))
+ BAT 1.6(one of the few heroes with BAT lower than 1.7,increases DPS by 6.25% compared to if you had BAT 1.7)
+ Good Missle Speed(helps with last hitting/denying)
- Below Average Initial Stats
- Terrible Stats Growth(among the 10 worst)
- Very Low Starting armor(among the 20 worst)
- Low Starting Damage(among the 25 worst)
- Low Range for a Ranged Hero(remedied somewhat by the ability to orb-walk)
Overall, Huskar's stats are quite poor, so he has to rely on his skillset and items.
is by far Huskar's most unique and defining ability, so to fully understand and successfully use Huskar, you MUST
make sure that you get the most out of this skill. The skill gives you 2 benefits that become more potent as you lose a bigger percentage of your health
1. Increase in IAS
2. Increase in Magic Resistance
Because the benefits increase greatly as you lose more and more HP, our main objective is to maximize the time in teamfight at low HP(i.e. 30-40% range)
. To put it in perspective, staying in the 30-40% HP range translates roughly to increase of IAS of 180-200% and increase in MR of 60-70%(that's an avg of 90-100% increase in DPS! and avg. of 200% increase in magical EHP!
). We will see how we will be able to take advantage of this with the help of our skillset and item build.
synergizes well with BB as it imbues your physical attack at the cost of 15 HP with magical damage over time. Everyone knows that the skill is very good early game but I would argue that it's not bad late game either despite enemy heroes having high hp pools and health regen. To put it in perspective, a lvl 16 huskar with some basic items and 30-40% HP will do 300 magical damage every second
(that 300 is after magic reduction and will be spread over 8 seconds)only because of this skill. This is big as many players underestimate the value of magic damage late game(when bkbs are low duration and armor values are high due to stats or armor auras). The only downside is the fact that it is damage over time.
We will reduce this disadvantage through our item build.
Life Break and Inner Vitality
are pretty self-explanatory and synergize well with our main skills. Since the recent updates, you should be very careful when using LB early game as it will do almost the same damage to you as to the enemy, so don't use unless you are absolutely sure you have the upper hand.
Both IV and LB scale well since they are percentage based. It's important to note that when you get your Aghanims, Life Break becomes a really good reposition/escape spell that creates chaos, deals good damage, has low cooldown, and removes most of the debuffs.
+ Excellent Magical Damage (Life Break + BS)
+ Fast Attack Speed (BB)
+ Excellent Magical EHP (BB)
+ Good Synergy between Skills
+ BS Works Fully with UAMs(Deso,HOTD,Maelstrom etc.)
+ Mana Independent
- No Nuke aside from LB (either single target or AOE)
- No Stun(vulnerable to TPs)
- Needs to be Low HP for the Skillset to be Effective
- Somewhat Item and Level Dependent
Role in the Team
Here are some of the main strengths and weakness of Huskar in regard to what he contributes to the team.
+ Good solo laner and harasser due to BS (struggles only against Sylla and Razor)
+ Good ganker and hero killer due to incredibly high magical DPS and great slow
+ Strong vs magic based line-ups because of the high magical EHP
+ His item build is flexible and can easily provide utility to the team(e.g. mekansm, veil, halberd etc.)
+ Decent initiator with LB
+ Very tanky if built correctly(absorbs a lot of focus fire easily)
+ Decent in early/late game but really shines in mid-game as he becomes a tanky/utility/initiator/ with incredible DPS if he manages to get a few items
- Bottle is not optimal
- Cannot push/anti-push without items
- Cannot farm fast without items
- Weak vs physical damage line-ups due to low starting armor and low agility
- Not very good as a primary carry(see below)
- No escape mechanism
- Needs to be in the thick of things to be useful(do damage and absorb damage)
- Weak in a tri vs tri early in the game
Look at Huskar as a hero similar to Viper but slightly weaker in lane and early game, however quite a bit stronger/more useful mid/late game.
The Order of Positions Huskar is Most Effective in:
Position 2 (Solo Sidelane or Mid)
Huskar dominates or does well in almost all solo matchups(exceptions are Sylla/Razor/Viper), especially if solo sidelane. He needs to solo because this is the only way to ensure he gets quick levels and gold as he does not have a flash farming ability.
Position 3 (Utility/Offlaner/Solo vs Solo Sidelane)
Can work as a utility/offlaner, or solo vs solo in a tri-core line-up with less farm as the game progresses. Should be able to win lane or do well against most of the popular solo sidelanes (e.g. Prophet, WR, BH, Bat, Voker, Tide etc.)
Position 4 (Rich Support)
Can work in specific situations as a hybrid of utility, anti-tank, anti-carry, initiator with a few items - it needs to be in games where you can make the most of IV and LB(e.g. against high HP and physical EHP line-ups and with high primary attribute carry like Morphling, Phantom Lancer, Medusa, Riki etc. on your team). Still, very situational(you need to make sure you don't get aggressive trilaned) as Huskar does not contribute anything to the teamfight before level 6.
Position 1 (Main Carry/Main Farmer)
- most teams try to use him in this role but he is simply NOT made for it.
. Here is why:
***Does not farm fast
(especially if you go for lifesteal)
***Does very low physical damage
which means that,although lifesteal seems to synergize with his skillset, is difficult to make effective
***BKB is not an optimal item for him
because of his incredibly high magical EHP
Position 5 (Poor support)
- does not work well at all since you need some basic items to be useful(e.g. at least mekansm)
CORE - POSITION 3
Through the item build we will try to reach our main objective(maximize the time in teamfight at low HP), as well as try to work on our weaknesses, so we can more effectively contribute to the team and fulfill our role as a tanky, utility, initiator type with decent physical/magical DPS.
The objective of the starting items is to provide you with decent stats/damage/healing for low cost, so you are able to quickly rush boots/mek/wand.
Boots are gotten relatively quickly, even before Mekansm as you want to have as much lane control as possible earlygame. They will later be upgraded to Arcane Boots/Guardian Greaves.
Very cheap and provides us with a potential burst of 255 hp, which gives us an additional means to keep ourselves in the 30-40% HP range. With the recent buff it provides decent stats and makes use of the iron wood branches(main commodity early game)
Mekansm is one of the best items for Huskar. It provides a lot of the things he lacks - armor, stats, and burst regen(another mean to keep ourselves in the 30-40% HP range), as well as utility for the team. Can be used freely as Huskar is very mana independent.
It's essential to keep a town portal scroll in your inventory at any time as you are decent counterinitiator with your ult and Mekansm. You can start being more active on the map/other lanes after level 7.
Total Cost - 3340
Extended Core Items
Maelstrom is gotten as quickly as possible after Mekansm because it allows you to farm and push/anti-push a bit better, synergizes well with your fast attack speed, and is one of the best DPS/cost item in the game. Lifesteal is not gotten because Huskar has too low physical damage to utilize HOTD/Satanic well. E.g. A level 16 Huskar with PT/HOTD/Armlet will lifesteal only 20 HP a sec when at full and 40 HP a sec when at 30-40% HP. Thus, to make lifesteal worth, you will need at least Armlet+Crit(over 8k in items without any inherent stats or utility). Plus, without Maelstrom it will be even more difficult to farm those late game damage items. The end result will likely be a relatively low DPS/low lifesteal carry/tank that survives and stays at high HP but can be largely ignored.
Veil is also one of the best items for Huskar. Similar to Mekansm it provides needed armor, stats, utility. Instead of burst regen, it provides the team with magic damage amplification. Considering the fact that about *65-90%* of Huskar's damage in this case will be magical(BS, Mael/Mjol, LB), Veil will essentially give us a *16.25-22.5%* increase in overall DPS (without considering the benefit of team). It will also help with those pesky TPs as it will increase our burst.
**Only a range approximation is provided since the actual boost in invidial magic damage from Veil will depend on the length of the game(i.e. early/mid game the boost will likely be closer to 16% as you rely more heavily on the damage over time from BS which means that in some cases you will not need the full 8 seconds of damage, late game the boost will likely be closer to 23% as you rely more heavily on burst of LB and lightning).
After the recent updates, those two items are no longer optimal since Lifebreak deals less burst damage and Maelstrom is more expensive. They have become situational choices rather than core. You can still get them against illusion heroes, high armor heroes that don't get BKB usually, or in games where you know you will have to farm a lot because it's difficult to push/end the game earlier.
Many people will disagree with the timing of the Armlet, claiming that Armlet is core on Huskar and that it should be gotten as quickly as possible. In this case I don't think so, since Huskar will not be the primary carry and getting Armlet without BKB or lifesteal is simply too risky(you need at least one of the items to make armlet effective if you plan to use it as a main damage item). In this build, Armlet is used slightly differently - mainly for the armor and burst hp that it provides i.e. you can toggle it on while pushing but don't toggle it immediately when in teamfight(wait for the 25-35% HP threshold)
Finish off Power Treads. Power Treads are gotten over the other choices because they will speed up your farming which suffers from the fact that you no longer have the Maelstrom. Additionally, the increase in IAS helps you in the beginning of the fight to decrease your HP initially, so you are able to deal more damage. The strength is also a plus considering the recent buffs to Inner Vitality. All the other boots are sub-optimal but can be gotten in certain games, i.e. where you need speed or additional armor against a mainly physical dps lineup. Note - Phase boots do not work well with Armlet as the phase ability is cancelled when you Armlet toggle.
Total Cost(Core+Extensions) - 5710
Late Game Items
After the extended core I have found that it's best to keep your options flexible. Still, here is the most common follow-up.
Scepter is gotten for the increase in burst damage and hp. You would need the extra maximum hp as it synergizes with Guardian Greaves' aura.
Finish off Guardian Greaves as it is an excellent item that synergizes well with your skillset - helps you and your team stay alive at low hp and provides you mana to cast the low cooldown heal at will. The additional item slot it frees up is always a plus later in the game.
Get this as a substitute to Scepter if you are dealing with heroes that have bash/crit without having either MKB/BKB. (OPTIONAL)
Total Cost(Core+Extensions+Late Game) - Around 12460, the extra money should be saved for buyback.
In terms of laning, you should get either a solo vs solo sidelane(preferable option)
(meaning that either your team or theirs would need to go aggressive trilane) or get a solo or dual offlane depending on their safelane. Huskar can actually do ok as a solo offlane, especially if he manages to get 1 or 2 easy levels. If their safelane has a lot of killing potential, it's important to put some pressure on their mid in order to force rotations from their supports as Huskar can very easily handle and even get a kill on the offlane if some of the support(s) is missing.
In terms of playstyle, here are a few tips:
1. If you end up as a solo offlane, be patient with your first skill point as it is safer to level Berserker's Blood.
2. Unless you are expected to win your lane, don't be overly aggressive before getting your Mekansm.
3. After completing your Mekansm, be sure to always be available to join your team, you can farm your next time between the long Mekansm cooldowns.
4. After getting your Armlet and some part of Scepter, be sure to help with initiation (either directly or indirectly by being initiated on) since you will be quite tanky and difficult to burst down.
CORE - POSITION 2
Here is a different build/playstyle which works just as well and can be used depending on what your team needs. Our main objective is to good magical and physical DPS without sacrificing too much survivability.
Gotten as quickly as possible to help you in the laning stage. With the help of a level in Inner Vitality, it helps you play aggressive and out-trade your lane opponent. You can also opt for
depending on how your lane is going since it is a quite good and cheap source of strength, providing damage/hp/synnergy with IV.
Same reason as in the previous case - it helps you maximize your time at low hp.
Very important item since you would be expected to contribute a significant amount to the overall DPS of the team. If you are playing position 2, you should not be waiting to hit 25/35% of your hp before turning Armlet on
, you should use it a lot more aggressively and toggling frequently when needed to maximize your DPS. However, being aggressive with Armlet doesn't mean being reckless overall - you should be a lot more cautious than your position 3 counterpart as you would likely be a lot less tanky, at least in the first 25 minutes.
Total Cost - 3960
Extended Core + Mid-Game Items
This is gotten as a cheap way to increase the team's physical DPS and help out with an early and quick Rosh attempt. See below for explanation why you are building something that is considered a support item.
After Medallion you need to make a decision as to whether you need further DPS in the form of minus armor
(i.e. you have synergies on your team and/or the other team has mainly strength/intel cores) or whether you need survivability
(i.e. they have a lot of physical DPS and disables).
In the first case
you opt for
, which will help you burst down enemy cores as well as push. In 6.84, Medallion/Deso combo is extremely powerful because it's high DPS per cost, so it helps you end the game rather quickly. After you complete Desolator you can finish off
In the second case
you get "a casual"
for the cheap extra hp and proceed to finish off
. As you can see Solar Crest is "the key" item in both cases
. Here are some thoughts on why Solar Crest is essential for Huskar and is preferred in almost 95% of the cases ahead of something like Heaven's Halberd:
1. Evasion is not very cost efficient way to increase your physical resistance if you don't already have a significant amount of armor. This means that Solar Crest is extremely slot efficient in providing all the things Huskar wants(armor+evasion).
2. Its active Shine is more flexible than Disarm since you can use it on i.e. an ally that is out of position and needs it rather than just on an enemy.
3. It inherently synergizes with Huskar's skillset. You can get a double effect of the active by using it and dispelling the debuff on yourself through Lifebreak. This means that either you and a teammate will have 30% evasion + 10 armor or you will have 30% evasion + 10 armor and an enemy will get the debuff of -10 armor and 30% miss. This is significant, especially early in the game and especially considering the fact that both Solar Crest and Lifebreak have a low cooldown.
Some general tips to use Solar Crest, ranked by priority of targets within certain scenarios:
1. If an ally is out of position and being focused by more than 2 enemy heroes, use the buff on him.
2. If the enemy team has 1 or more cores that are based mainly on physical DPS and this core(s) do not have BKB/MKB yet, use the debuff on them.
3. In almost all other "general" cases, it is better to use it on a core ally that is most important to keep alive because it is unlikely that the enemy team will have more than 1 MKB.
After you finish Solar Crest, the second case
continues by using your
. It may seem risky since most will say that you are begging the other team to counter the evasion stack, however it is not as easy as it seems. Since the change in 6.84, it is quite difficult to counter this particular evasion stack, especially on this particular hero(it is very close to being broken considering Lifebreak's dispel of Shine), considering the explanation in this chapter and in the first chapter. To highlight the major issues:
1. There is no "team" way of countering evasion anymore since one Hex doesn't counter the evasion stack for the whole team.
2. MKB, the only way to counter the evasion stack, is a relatively weak DPS/farming item compared to others (Daedalus/Mjolnir) with limited, even in this case, utility compared to e.g. Abyssal/Scythe of Vyse
3. Because of reason 1, you will likely need, not one, but at least 2 MKB on already mid-high physical DPS heroes to deal effectively with the evasion stack since you would need to compensate for the reduction in "team" DPS. This creates issues since in the current meta you don't see more than one typical carrier of an MKB in a team. And even if the opponent team invests in MKBs you will still have high armor and Inner Vitality to manage to stay alive a decent amount. And I won't even go in-depth to discuss what the opponent team would often need to sacrifice to get those MKBs(e.g. BKBs, Stats, Auras, Disables etc)
Total Cost - varies between 10460 and 10810
In terms of laning
, it is important that you get either a solo vs solo sidelane(preferred) or safelane dual/tri(without being contested with an aggressive trilane).
In terms of team composition
, I have found that a strong aggressive trilane incorporating the heroes of position 3-5 is the best (e.g. Visage/Bane/Mirana, Shadow Demon/Lesh/Mirana etc.)along with a position 1 in the middle lane (e.g. Shadow Fiend). Actually, a Huskar played with Solar Crest and/or Deso synergizes very well with Shadow Fiend in terms of:
1. Lane distribution and roles since SF is most effective in mid lane where he can farm/use bottle/take stacks from jungle.
2. Minus armor stack (Aura/Deso/Medallion)
3. SF's ult may not deal much damage when you are far away but it still applies the damage reduction debuff and I don't think I need to explain how much a Huskar appreciates that.
CORE/SUPPORT - POSITION 1 and 4
I would advise against playing Huskar in those positions as there are better alternatives almost always but it can work conditional on your/opponents' picks.
Some conditions for playing Huskar in position 1. At least 2 of the 3 must be satisfied:
1. >80% of their damage mid-game is magical (e.g. Leshrac/Zeus/Gyro/Cent cores)
2. Opponent's team doesn't have many disables
3. Opponent's team doesn't have hard hero counters (e.g. Ancient Apparition, Illusion cores, etc.)
If the requirement is satisfied, you can see Banana Slam Jamma Huskar Guide for more details.
Some conditions for playing Huskar in position 4. At least 1 and 2 must be satisfied:
1. You don't need more hard disables/teamfight control
2. You are certain that they would safelane trilane (Huskar is terrible in trilanes since he has no burst/disable before level 6)
3. You have stat-based cores that would greatly benefit from Inner Vitality and there is no AA on the opposing team (e.g. Morph/Medusa/Terrorblade/Phantom Lancer etc.)
If the requirement is satisfied, you can vary your item build depending on what your team needs while incorporating some of the ideas in this guide (e.g. mekansm or force staff, armlet or solar crest, etc.)
Provides excellent stats, nice HP boost, and good slow that goes through magic immunity. Stacks fully with BS and Maelstrom/Mjolnir. Quite expensive, but in some cases can be gotten over Aghanims or in place of Armlet in the really late game.
Self-explanatory, you need BOT very late in game when you don't have slots to carry TPs and there are no towers to TP to defend/split push/help.
The section on the situational/luxury items is to be continued...