Slark is an amazing early and midgame hero, with huge map presence, game-changing gank potential, and abilities that have both offensive and defensive capabilities.
Dark Pact is useful as a decent AoE nuke, but more importantly, it dispels debuffs such as Dust. This has a huge amount of potential in the midgame as it makes Slark that much harder to kill.
Pounce is a decent ganking tool, but also a great escape tool, allowing Slark to jump over trees (or into them) and cliffs.
Essence Shift is a good passive, ensuring that anything Slark has been hitting for a while is eventually going to die.
Shadow Dance is what makes Slark such a unique hero. The movespeed buff allows Slark to cover large distances in a short amount of time as well as tell when the enemy team has wards up. The regen allows Slark to recover extremely quickly from any sort of damage. The invis is a very powerful sustaining, chasing, and escape tool when combined with his other skills.
The purpose of this build is to accelerate Slark's earlygame so he can build up his core much, much faster. Dark Pact is an amazing jungling tool once you have Shadow Dance as you can just step aside, heal up, and get right back at it immediately. Slark has early game mana problems, but Soul Ring solves this with virtually no downsides as the HP lost is recovered in seconds. This allows very quick flash farming, which leads into a quicker core.
Your core is Armlet, OoV, Treads, and Basher. This is quite an expensive core, but with good jungling skills it can be obtained relatively quickly. OoV allows you to secure more early game ganks with the slow and is very cheap for what it does - definitely a worthwhile pickup. Treads should go without saying - the 30 IAS it gives Slark is essential to Essence Shift (haha) as well as the survivability it grants him with tread toggling. Armlet makes Slark almost unkillable, as it makes him much more tankier and increases his DPS with no downside since he can regen faster than Armlet can take away health. Basher is the final piece and definitely necessary as enemies can tp when pounced. Basher and Armlet can be gotten in any order, and Armlet is totally optional. Armlet is good if you're getting nuked very fast and/or if they don't have blinkers/tpers that are ruining your ganks. Basher will secure you more ganks.
Lategame is simple. Gankers, especially Slark, fall off in usefulness lategame and you want to make yourself as useful as possible. Skadi is a great anti-carry and post-teamfight chase item due to the attackspeed and movespeed slow, as well as giving Slark a lot more HP and mana to play with. Heaven's Halberd is a great tool to nullify the dps of a right-clicking hero that isn't carrying a BKB or has already popped his, as well as making Slark harder to kill (evasion). Your own BKB should ensure that you have some sustain and you can steal a lot of stats with Essence Shift from the enemy carry. Satanic also gives Slark more sustain as he can stay in teamfights longer.
The objective of this build is for Slark to starting roaming very early and gank lanes/jungle/mid often and hard. This build is better vs squishy junglers like earlygame Lycan and Furion and squishy mids that check rune often without blink like Invoker and OD.
You should be aiming to snowball hard. Without getting ganks off, you're underleveled and very squishy. You're skipping the Armlet detailed in build #1 so you're much easier to kill. However, in return, you're acquiring a much, much faster Basher which will turn into more successful ganks as your opponents cannot tp out nor disable you when stunned. Basher combined with Dark Pact and Pounce should secure Slark many kills.
If you do not secure good ganks with this build and you are roaming, not laning, you will be very behind. If you do get kills, you will come out very much ahead and can build Slark like a good lategame carry without having to worry that he is much weaker than most lategame carries. Abyssal, Heart, Manta, Skadi, and Mjollnir all can secure your advantage and turn you into a killing machine that your opponents will be hard pressed to stop.
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