Hello, my name in game is Eclipse. I'm tom4349 on Steam. I have made many effective custom builds in-game, although I have yet to publish any. I decided to jump in to writing a full guide after seeing several others here. Some were good, some bad, some in between. Hopefully this one is good!
Comments and feedback are very welcome!
Here are the conditions that usually have to be true in order for me to pick Faceless Void:
1) There are no other real hard carries on your team. There may not be enough farm for you to reach your potential.
2) Your team has strong damage over time abilities. Chronosphere makes them impossible to escape!
3) You enjoy bashing the faces of helpless enemy heroes with a mace.
4) You have a lane partner that is not at all item dependant.
- Good synergy of skills
- An ultimate ( Chronosphere ) that can really turn the tide of a fight
- Huge damage potential
- Absolutely team-wrecking once he gets the items he requires
- Relatively low hp
- Needs items (ie, lots of farm) to reach ridiculous face-bashing status
Faceless Void is a hard carry. This means he needs items to reach anything close to his potential. With the right items, he is absolutely devastating. Without them, he is mediocre besides his ultimate, Chronosphere. That is what defines a carry- they are very item dependant.
Your number one priority is gold. After that, it is more gold, then getting gold. In that order. Don't forget the order. It's gold, gold, and more gold.
What this means for game play with Faceless Void is that you need to farm. A lot. But you also need to be there to help your team when they need you. That last phrase is key: when they need you.
Here is how I play Faceless Void:
During the laning phase, you need to get every possible last hit. All of them. Let your lane partner harass the enemy heroes and deny your own creeps to manage creep equilibrium while you last hit everything in sight, all the time.
The rest of the game, you need to stay alive and keep farming. To do this while being available when your team needs you, you must carry a Town Portal Scroll at all times. Do not follow your team around waiting for something to happen. You either need to be farming a lane or jungle farming until the team needs you. Then you teleport in and dish out as much hurt as possible. You then immediately go back to farming. Push to a side lane shop and buy another Town Portal Scroll, then keep farming gold. Rinse and repeat.
The importance of gold also means you should be spending it ASAP. When you have enough for the next item on your list, buy it immediately. You do not want to lose a chunk of that gold if you get killed. Spending gold frequently keeps your unreliable gold pool smaller, which means you lose less gold if you die, maybe even no gold at all. I will even go as far as quickly buying a recipe for my next item just before death (using the quick buy menu so any remaining components are displayed already) if I don't quite have enough for an actual item that is a component. The recipe is useless until I buy the other remaining component(s), but I will have used up my unreliable gold, so I won't lose any from dying. Not losing gold is helpful.
And lastly, do not overestimate your power. Go for sure kills, but play carefully. And of course, DON'T FEED!!
Engaging the Enemy
Generally, chase with Time Walk when you know you can get the kill. No tower diving! Otherwise it's probably best, especially early, to save Time Walk for escaping. Later when it is leveled and the cool down is low, chase away, but do so carefully and with good map awareness!
When using Chronosphere, try to trap as many enemy heroes as possible. If you have to choose, make very sure that you hit every hero that can hurt you while you are inside Chronosphere bashing their helpless teammates. Even if this means you can't get the enemy hero that would normally be the highest priority target, Chronosphere those that are a threat to you while you are inside it. A dead Void bashes no faces.
Try not to trap your own teammates inside your Chronosphere so they can damage the enemy. If you have strong melee teammates, try to position Chronosphere so they can attack from the edge without getting trapped themselves. Also, communicate with your team so you don't waste their skills or ultimates with a poorly timed Chronosphere. Having teammates use strong damage over time abilities or hitting the enemy with a stun as soon as Chronosphere ends makes it even more deadly.
When you do use Chronosphere, or even just before you do, activate the Mask of Madness. The huge attack speed boost increases your damage by a large margin, plus it gives you more chances for Time Lock to process. And Time Lock deals double the bonus damage inside a Chronosphere!
When chasing an enemy, and you are very sure you are safe, activate the Mask of Madness for the movement speed boost if needed.
The Quelling Blade Makes last hitting much easier for a melee hero. Combined with Faceless Void's good base damage, last hitting is very reliable.
The Tango and Healing Salve provide early hit point regen while farming.
The three iron branches provide increased stats, translating into more hp and attack damage. As you buy items, sell the iron branches off to make room.
The Boots of Speed give you better chasing and escaping ability, often making the difference between getting an early kill or being able to escape and stay in lane, gaining experience and gold.
The rushed Mask of Madness, combined with your Chronosphere, all but guarantees early kills. The increased damage output during Chronosphere, or other appropriate times, outweighs other uses of the gold investment at this point in the game. This makes Faceless Void more dangerous sooner. Also, the passive lifesteal will regen your hitpoints while farming.
Lastly, the Void Stone, which later builds into the Battle Fury, will guarantee you have enough mana to use Chronosphere any time it is off cooldown.
I always upgrade to Power Treads on Faceless Void for the increased attack speed and a +8 to agility for even more attack speed and damage, since Faceless Void's primary attribute is agility.
I then complete a Maelstrom for an attack speed and damage increase that does not require saving a large amount of gold, which helps Faceless scale and deal increased damage as the game progresses and the enemy is leveling up. The increased attack speed is key, as it gives you a higher likelihood of hitting the enemy with Time Lock, which deals extra damage, and double the extra damage while inside Chronosphere. The passive chance to deal damage to nearby enemies (such as other heroes trapped in your Chronosphere is a nice bonus.
After I get my core items, I pretty much always go after a Battle Fury. Not only does it help you farm even faster than you are already, which will be helpful as you will subsequently be needing to save larger amounts of gold for more expensive components, but it also adds a tremendous amount of damage potential. Trapping multiple enemy heroes in Chronosphere and positioning yourself to allow the cleave damage from Battle Fury to damage heroes other than your primary target allows you to start carrying your team earlier than going for some other item that only increases single target damage. And of course the Battle Fury adds some damage to your attacks.
My last definite go-to item is the Mjollnir. Much increased attack speed and a handy active ability to return some damage that is dealt to a shielded target make this item great for Faceless Void. As above, the increased attack speed means more damage output and Time Lock processes. At this point, Faceless Void is getting scary, especially with the Mask of Madness activated! Since the Mjollnir is an upgrade of the Maelstrom, you still have enough inventory space for the all-important Town Portal Scroll and still another item!
Very Late Game and Situational Items
Usually by now Faceless Void is utterly destroying anything in his way. I usually just pile on the hurt with a Butterfly. Big increase to attack speed and damage, and more evasion! The only reason I don't build the Butterfly sooner is because of the hefty investment for an Eaglesong. Attempting to save up that much gold early really hurts your midgame potential.
Other viable options are:
Aghanim's Scepter: A boost to all stats, including hp, plus a slightly longer Chronosphere duration. The big driver for this item though is a greatly reduced Chronosphere cool down, all the way down to 60 seconds! If there are frequent team fights happening, the Aghanim's Scepter shines!
Refresher Orb: Back to back Chronosphere anyone?
Assault Cuirass: great if you need Faceless Void's relatively low hp to go a little further, while giving your team a boost and also reducing enemy armor.
Black King Bar: The active ability for magic immunity is great if you are being focused and your Chronosphere isn't quite long enough to get the job done. Depending on the makeup of the enemy team, I may go for this item much sooner.
Boots of Travel: By this point, the agility boost of the Power Treads is probably negligible. Why not sell them and buy Boots of Travel? In a tight game where being somewhere quickly to defend or push is very frequently essential, the Boots of Travel help immensely. And no Town Portal Scroll or nearby building required!
As a general rule, I try to stay as aggressive and dangerous as possible, while making sure I can survive. I take one level in Backtrack first to shrug off some early harassment damage. Second, I take one level in Time Walk for a reliable escaping or chasing mechanism. From there out, I try to max Time Lock for the stun and extra damage, while taking a level of Chronosphere any time it is available. As I am maxing out Time Lock I will take additional levels in backtrack if I feel I need to evade more attacks to stay in lane.