DEFYED's Carry Lifestealer
March 30, 2020
I’m DEFYED but my parents named me Blake. I run a small YouTube channel with currently a little over 2000 subscribers which is currently dedicated to creating DotA 2 content including guides as well as some other random funny videos.
I started playing DotA in the Warcraft 3 days before transitioning to HoN when that came out and then DotA 2 when that was released shortly after.
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Abilities & Talents
Rage - This is your free, 6 second Black King Bar at ability level 4. You can use it offensively or defensively but it is probably best used defensively as an escape tool since it also grants a 15% movement speed buff for the duration. When using it offensively you want to try to ensure that you bring down an enemy in that time so that they can’t disable you and run away after Rage wears off.
If you think that you might not be able to escape from the enemy if you popped Rage, you can always use Rage and then Teleport Scroll away if they don’t have any bash or other abilities which go through magic immunity. Alternatively, you can Rage and then manfight them to steal enough life to get you back up to a point where hopefully your team can come and assist.
This is a great defensive tool for laning as well as an early level in this can help you dodge and escape most kill attempts. Just make sure you have enough mana as Lifestealer can easily run out due to his low mana pool.
Feast - Lifestealer's bread and butter is… well lifesteal duh and that is what this ability is all about. Feast is a passive ability which heals Lifestealer a significant amount through attacks, especially if the enemy hero is quite tanky as it steals a percentage of the target's maximum health.
In game, you’ll usually want to try to focus down enemy support heroes wherever possible but if you need health, change targets to a tanky hero. Lifestealer's main weakness is getting kited by enemy heroes as he has a hard time staying on one target so try not to venture off on your own too much. If you do and you need to lifesteal health to heal up, you are likely going to get kited and disabled until they kill you off so be sure to have your teammates support you and disable the tank so you can lifesteal as much as possible.
Taking this at level 1 is usually great as it improves your survivability in lane and allows you to trade hits more effectively with the enemy. You can also use it to heal up by attacking creeps but be careful as you can easily push the lane by doing this.
This ability also increases your attack speed passively which can make Maelstrom a great item on Lifestealer, although I’d consider this to be more of a farming rather than damage item since the chain lightning proc range was recently nerfed.
Open Wounds - This skill works in two ways. First of all, it acts as a slow for Lifestealer to help catch, chase down and kill off enemies that may try to escape. Second, it amplifies your lifesteal for up to 8 seconds, adding 35% lifesteal when you, or any of your teammates, attack the target.
This ability grants a very high lifesteal percentage, second only to Satanic. You usually want to use this as part of your initiation, applying it to the target and bursting them down with your team as quickly as possible. The slow, although it lasts 8 seconds, starts to taper off quite quickly so the first ~4 seconds are usually the most important if you want to kill a target.
I find that just leveling up this ability last is fine if you have another teammate with an initiation ability since the only thing that changes in higher levels is the cast range.
Your level 20 talent, +50% open wounds, buffs this ability to 85% lifesteal which is truly amazing and one of the secrets to making you an almost unkillable tanky carry.
Infest - The secret to initiation is your ultimate ability. Usually, Lifestealer doesn’t have a way to get close to the enemy except by running directly at them which kind of ruins the element of surprise. With a teammate initiating for you, you can Infest into them, hiding your presence from the enemy, and surprise them when you jump out.
You’ll want to infest your teammate (who hopefully has a Blink Dagger) before you head towards the enemy, and preferably without the enemy seeing you. Also, ensure you activate your Armlet of Mordiggian before Infesting as you won’t lose life from it while inside your teammate. This works amazing with heroes like Storm Spirit, Queen of Pain, Puck and other teammates that often purchase Blink Dagger. Once they blink onto the enemy, you can jump out, dealing reasonable damage to all enemies and then initiate with your Open Wounds ability on the target. If you can bring them down, pop Rage as well to prevent yourself being disabled and then finish them off.
This is a great way to use Smoke of Deceit ganks as well. You can smoke up before jumping into your teammate and really surprise the enemy when you’re on top of them.
If you’re low on health and need to heal up, you can also cast this ability on creeps, neutrals or allied heroes to heal 5% HP per second meaning you can have full health in 20 seconds. Though, with your lifesteal abilities, you can usually heal a lot faster than using Infest so it’s kinda pointless unless you are maybe level 6 and might take more damage than you can lifesteal during early game.
+30 Attack Speed
- At level 10, the +30 attack speed just helps with your damage output which is very useful since you generally want to be able to take down an opponent within your 6s Rage
duration. The alternative here is +200 health which can also be useful but since we rely on your damage output, take the +30 attack speed talent.
+25 Movement Speed
- Moving to level 15, you’ve the option between +30 damage and +25 movement speed and I’d recommend the +25 movement speed. Though before I said we rely on you bursting down your enemies fast and so we want extra damage, extra movement speed is important for moving and farming the map as well as reducing the impact of the enemies kiting Lifestealer
, which is one of his biggest weaknesses.
+50% Open Wounds Heal
- I see most people actually take the +20% evasion but quite often, at level 20, one of the enemy carries will have built an Monkey King Bar
and then this talent is wasted. Because of this, I recommend taking the +50% Open Wounds
lifesteal which gives you and your team 85% lifesteal on the target which will help to keep you in the fight much longer and even turn around a fight if you are on low health. Alternatively, you can take the 20% evasion if the enemy has a lot of physical damage but have heroes that don’t have and are unlikely to build into an Monkey King Bar
+2s Rage Duration
- For the big boy level 25 talent we want to pick up the extra +2s Rage
duration simply because it gives you an extra 33% time to take down an enemy, basically making it a free 8 second Black King Bar
, which will likely be needed later in the game. If the enemy hasn’t got a lot of lockdown, then take the +1.5% Feast
lifesteal but chances are they will have built hexes and things at this point so it is not as valuable as the extra Rage
You’re the safelane carry so you’re going to need some early regen to help withstand enemy harass in the lane as well as some damage for last hitting creeps. We only need 1 set of Tango
s here since the lifesteal from Feast
will help with your regen and the healing salve will heal you back up should you fall low. The Quelling Blade
is great for last hitting creeps and cutting trees for pulling the hard camp (especially on Radiant). The two Iron Branch
es are to give you some increase to your stats since you have quite a small mana pool to begin with and the Ring of Protection
is great since you can get an early Buckler
(later upgrades into Assault Cuirass
) and be a bit more aggressive with your teammate.
isn’t the strongest carry late game versus some of the harder carries so we try to up the tempo and take advantage of his strength early game by building Phase Boots
for chasing enemies hard and fast. An early Blight Stone
will help increase your damage slightly and is nice and cheap. The Magic Wand
helps in lane with replenishing some of your mana and the Armlet of Mordiggian
is just an amazing item which helps you dish out some decent damage (activating it gives you an extra 56 damage) for super cheap, as well as boosting your survivability with the toggle. Also, the downside of the Armlet of Mordiggian
(constant health loss) is offset by your constant lifesteal so it is very useful for you.
gives a really huge boost to your physical damage and if you are quite far ahead, you can usually chomp up a squishy support in 3-4 hits with this item. It is a mid priced item which is good to help us get online fast and start moving around the map, taking objectives and initiating fights. The Skull Basher
is important here too to help keep the enemies locked down while you shred them apart and is useful given your relatively high attack speed.
At the end of the game, you basically want to be a hard to kill beast who also has insane physical burst potential. We are going to sell off our beloved Armlet of Mordiggian
as it is no longer going to be so useful. The Sange and Yasha
is a great item as it again improves our movement speed (getting kited is our biggest weakness) and gives us some status resistance which is nice to reduce lockdown durations. The Abyssal Blade
is a natural upgrade to the Skull Basher
, giving us some nice health and a way to ensure an enemy is locked down. The Assault Cuirass
will help with tanking us up as well as reducing enemy armor further so we can shred them apart, not to mention it will also help with taking towers and structures faster too. Finally we have the heaven’s halberd which further increases status resistance and can prevent the enemy carry from fighting us for 4 seconds.
- Can be a good pickup early game instead of Armlet of Mordiggian
. It gives us some decent stats and mana regen which is great if you are having mana issues when fighting the enemies. It is good when the enemy has damage over time abilities which could reduce our ability to armlet toggle.
Black King Bar
- If the enemy has insane lockdown and you can’t burst the enemy through 6s of rage and die as soon as rage ends, Black King Bar
might be the solution.
Monkey King Bar
- You are versing a Phantom Assassin
or heroes with evasion talents/items, then Monkey King Bar
is likely required. You don’t want to get this item if you can avoid it because it doesn’t quite align with our tanky build but sometimes you need it.
- This is actually an insane item for helping burst down an enemy late game and will almost guarantee a kill.
- A popular item on Lifestealer
given his fast attack speed however I’d consider this more of a farming item instead of fighting item. I prefer Armlet of Mordiggian
as you can kill enemies and towers much faster.
Eye of Skadi
- A great item to pick up which helps you stick on top of your enemies while giving you some decent boosts to your stats and health/mana pools.
- Can be handy if there is a strong spell that you want to avoid but can also help to dodge a heaven’s halberd from an enemy later in the game.
You are actually quite strong and can be a threatening lane in combination with an ally with a stun. It’s best to save your Rage
for escaping in the lane unless you are sure it will secure a kill. Keep your farm up and try to build your Armlet of Mordiggian
nice and quick.
As soon as you get your Armlet of Mordiggian
, you want to try to Infest
bomb an enemy since this is your first real power spike. Let your teammates know that you are coming up on this item and to gather to push a tower or smoke up to gank an enemy. Try to focus finding one of the enemy cores, rather than taking a support, to slow down their game and increase your lead.
Since you are building into a Desolator
which will be not too far away, you want to try to take 5v5 fights near objectives so that you can transition into a tower kill or Roshan kill after winning the fight. As Lifestealer
, you are not too threatened when split pushing since you can Rage
and Teleport Scroll out however you must be careful the enemy doesn’t have an ability or item that can stop this. Once you’ve got your Desolator
, you really want to stick with your team and Infest
gank the enemy often while taking objectives since now is your time to really shine.
In teamfights, focus down the supports first with the help of your teammates since you can eat them up super fast and they will disable you as soon as your Rage
wears off. After they’re dead then you can easily transition into manfighting the cores since your lifesteal will give you a great benefit against them with little threat of being completely disabled.
Alright so you’ve made it to 45-50 minutes plus and nearing level 25-30. Unfortunately, if you’re not far ahead of the enemy carries and especially if they’re a super hard carry, it might be a bit more difficult for you now. The supports are more likely to survive your burst initiation and will have more items to lock you down and kite you around which is Lifestealer
Try to finish the game before this if you can! If not, make sure you are with your team and try to gank the enemy to swing fights in your favour before taking full fights. You are not the best split pushing hero since you don’t really have much in the way of waveclear unless you’ve purchased a Mjollnir
so best to stick with the team. Again, in fights, try to focus down the supports first with your team as they are the biggest threat to your survival once your Rage
You should be taking advantage of your negative armor items to destroy towers and buildings or securing Roshan as soon as you have gotten a pickoff or won a teamfight as these will help you to do all of this much faster.
Thank you for reading this guide on Lifestealer. He is a great hero to pickup and, although not quite in the 7.25 meta due to recent nerfs, he can still be a huge threat in early/midgame lineups with the right items. Good luck in your upcoming Lifestealer matches!
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