33 Votes

FTW Slark, the Nightcrawler [6.81]

May 10, 2014 by DzikaPanda
Comments: 38    |    Views: 246763    |   


Build 1
Build 2

Personal most successful build

DotA2 Hero: Slark


Purchase Order

General item progression

Starting Items

Early Game

Core Items

Time to end this

Situational

4 carries in my team :<

I hate SNY

Denied



Hero Skills

Dark Pact

2 8 9 10

Pounce

1 3 5 7

Essence Shift

4 12 13 14

Shadow Dance

6 11 16

Talents

15 17 18

Introduction

"Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-bred are sent for crimes against their fellows. It is a razor barbed warren full of murderous slithereen, treacherous Deep Ones, sociopathic meranths. In this dim labyrinth, patrolled by eels and guarded by enormous anemones, only the vicious survive. Pitched into Dark Reef for crimes unknown, Slark spent half a lifetime without kin or kindness, trusting no one, surviving through a combination of stealth and ruthlessness, keeping his thoughts and his plans to himself. When the infamous Dark Reef Dozen plotted their ill-fated breakout, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces togetherbut somehow Slark discovered their scheme and made a place for himself in it. Ten of the Dozen died in the escape attempt, and two were captured, hauled back to Dark Reef, then executed for the entertainment of their fellow inmates. But Slark, the unsung thirteenth, used the commotion as cover and slipped away, never to be caught. Now a furtive resident of the carnivorous mangrove scrub that grips the southern reach of Shadeshore, Slark remains the only successful escapee from Dark Reef."

Hi, I'm Dzika Panda and I'm glad to present you my first FTW guide, series of guides about my most succesful heroes.
Slark is actually my best hero, so I feel confindent when it comes to say something about him. This guide will mainly cover first item/skill build, as it's the one I was using most. I hope you'll enjoy it.
Please report if you find any bugs, as english isn't my first language.

Quick How-To-Play

Don't want to read whole guide? Then read this short chapter about what you should do when using my builds:

  1. Slark can work well on both solo and dual lane, but you should try to get a solo lane
  2. Use Pounce and Dark Pact to survive first 6 levels on your lane
  3. Slark is ganker, so ganks are your main income, start doing that right after lvl 6
  4. Use Dark Pact before getting stunned, purge as many disables as you can (goes through some ultimates too)
  5. Use Pounce as offensive and defensive move, dodge projectiles, jump into fog of war to toggle Shadow Dance passive
  6. Try to make use of stacked Essence Shift before it goes down
  7. Use Shadow Dance to avoid getting stunned and detect invisible units
  8. Always carry Town Portal Scroll

You can find in-game builds here:
[Build 1]
[Build 2]

In order to use build in game you must subscribe it.

Pros / Cons

Pros:
Very good ganker
Very fast and mobile
Can turn into carry with enough farm
Hard to counter in low lvl pubs
Free ward detector
1800 night vision
Flexible item/skill build
Fun to play and listen


Cons:
Low starting attack and stat gain
Pounce may need some practice to get used to
Wards and true sight disable Shadow Dance
Squishy without items
No reliable disable

Skills

Dark Pact

Type:
Targets:


Active
No Target
After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging negative buffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 50% of the damage.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

55


50


45


40

Cooldown

9


8


7


6

AOE

325


325


325


325

Delay

1.5


1.5


1.5


1.5

Total Damage

75 (37.5*)


150 (75*)


225 (112.5*)


300 (150*)


Notes:
  • Damage is dealt by series of 10 pulses separated by 0.1 seconds
  • Each pulse also removes negative buffs from Slark (disables, slows, vision)
  • Slark can not commit suicide with this skill
  • If Slark dies, the pulses stop
  • *Damage dealt to Slark
Dark Pact is your built-in purge. Some people might say, that being able to dispel 4 sec Chaos Bolt right after it was casted is OP, and sure it is. But first you need to practice using this skill. Try to predict what enemy will do and use Dark Pact just before stun reaches you. It can also be used to remove Track or Amplify Damage, 2 abilities that Slark don't like, and most other negative buffs. This goes even through some ultimates like Dismember, which can be very annoying for your enemies.


Pounce

Type:
Targets:


Active
No Target
Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with. That unit takes damage and is leashed to Slark, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark's landing position.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

75


75


75


75

Cooldown

20


16


12


8

Range

700


700


700


700

Leash Radius

325


325


325


325

Leash Duration

3.5


3.5


3.5


3.5

Damage

60


120


180


240


Notes:
  • On cast, Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933.33, stopping when he latches onto an enemy hero in a 95 radius, or has traveled 700 distance.
  • Magic immune units cannot be leashed.
  • Trees are destroyed in a 200x200 square around Slark's landing area.
  • Blinking, teleporting or purging will break the leash.
Pounce is your second nuke and first escape mechanism and first chase mechanism (yes, you got more). With being able to jump over obstacles like hills or trees and pin enemies down for 3.5 sec, Slark makes enemies life much harder. It can also be used to dodge projectiles like tower's attack, which can save you from dying from tower after aggresive dive, when you can't activate Shadow Dance. To avoid projectile, jump before it reach you.
When using it to initiate or chase, try to land in front of your enemy to ensure, that you'll hit. Pounce + Dark Pact combo can easily take 1/2 of enemy hp in early/mid game (if using build 1). When using it to get away from enemy, try to jump into high ground or unreachable places, so enemies won't be able to shut down your ultimate.
Pounce also latches to invisible heroes, so when nasty Bounty Hunter uses his invisibility at 10% hp, Pounce to catch him and finish with Dark Pact. Very fun when succeed.
Pounce is maxed first to lower it's cooldown to 8 sec (which is OP) and maximize it's nuking potential early game.


Essence Shift

Type:
Targets:


Passive
Enemy Heroes
Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility.

Level

1


2


3


4

Cooldown

0.4


0.35


0.3


0.25

Duration

15


30


60


120

Str, Agi, Int Lost

1


1


1


1

Agility Gain

3


3


3


3


Notes:
  • When an enemy hero dies under the effect of Essence Shift, the hero will revive with their stats restored but Slark will not immediately lose them.
  • The cooldown on Essence Shift is a holdover from the way the skill was coded in DotA, and has no practical impact in Dota 2.
Essence Shift is the ability, that makes your enemies cry in mid and late game, when your attack speed is fast enough to stack your agi to 200+ in a while. Nothing much to say about this ability, adds like 19 dmg to your attacks, because of 1 str drain, and can make enemies unable to cast spells if they had "enough mana just to cast that stun".


Shadow Dance

Affects:
Type:


Self
Active/
Passive
When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming invisible (attacking, casting spells, and using items do not reveal Slark). Passively, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration.

Level

1


2


3

Mana

120


120


120

Cooldown

60


60


60

Duration

4


4


4

Movement gain

30%


35%


40%

HPS Gain

3%


5%


7%


Notes:
  • Slark loses bonus movement speed and health regeneration if he becomes visible.
  • Has a 0.5 second delay on activation and deactivation.
  • The passives of Shadow Dance do not work if Slark is under the effect of Doom.
  • If Slark is damaged by a neutral unit, the passive effect is removed for 2 seconds.
Shadow Dance is the ability, that let Slark reach maximum movement speed (522) without haste rune, regen health like fountain and detect evil Bounty Hunter and wards. It's also your second escape and chase mechanism. You can't catch that low hp Spirit Breaker and your Pounce is on cd? Just pop ulti. Running away from 5 enemies? Pop ulti and Pounce into fog of war.
Shadow Dance is also strong ganking ability. If you know that enemies have too much disables to dispel by Dark Pact, pop ulti just after initiation and make use of 4 seconds of "invulnerability". Remember that you can act freely even under enemy towers, sentries, Bounty Hunter, Slardar and gems.
Another use of Shadow Dance passive is detecting invisible units. If you run near rune and see, that your passive wear off, then call support with dust/counter wards and destroy enemy vision. Same happens when enemy team have invis-based heroes.
Shadow Dance is taken whenever possible.

Detailed Build 1

Why this build?


Pros:
Early nuking power
Easy ganks
You can still kill enemy with Dark Pact if you miss with Pounce
Low mana cost of Dark Pact


Cons:
Countered by magic immunity ( Lifestealer)
Very mana dependent
Not so effective against high hp enemies

This build is mainly based on high magic damage nukes early game (~580 damage before reductions), that let you kill some enemies and farm your core items. Then you can make use of them by stacking high amounts of agility and continue carrying game with strong right clicks.

Items


Starting Items




As a small defenseless fish (not counting Pounce ofc) you need some early survivability. Stout Shield with 3 "GG" Iron Branches are good pickup, giving some early stats and block, and all can be transformed into better items ( Poor Man's Shield and Magic Wand). Tango and Healing Salve are needed to regen until you have your ult. If you have problem with last hits you MAY change shield to Quelling Blade, but it will only delay your Poor Man's Shield.

Early Game




Magic Wand is picked up on nearly all heroes as main hp/mana regen item, and Slark isn't exception. Even if you have guaranted high hp regeneration, still you need mana to use your other skills and gank effectively. Also makes some space in your inventory.
Poor Man's Shield gives you some killing potential in early game due to it's 6 agi gain, and you don't have to sell your 20 block!
Boots of Speed are standard pickup on every hero, Slark benefit even more, cause ulti increase your movement speed by % not by fixed amount.
Orb of Venom is the item that let you chase more easily thanks to it's 12% movement slow and build into Eye of Skadi.
Town Portal Scroll ALWAYS CARRY ONE, THIS ITEM SAVE LIFES AND WIN GAMES.
All these items can be bought in side shop, so there is no need to use courier.

Core Items




These are your game winning items.
Power Treads give you early survivability and attack speed, also stat switching is useful if you know how to use it. You should have them switched to str until you have more than 1k hp to ensure, that you won't die too fast.
Sange and Yasha is your first big pickup, that let's you start killing your enemies like machine. With movement speed bonus you will reach max speed, agi and str gives you both some needed survivability and damage, and we can't forget about passive maim, that will guarantee some kills and make chases very easy.
Skull Basher so at start I mentioned that Slark don't have any reliable disable. Now you can change senseless chases that ended with Town Portal Scroll being used into ruthless kills, sometimes there won't be any chase, cause enemy will be locked down in place. With fast stacking passive and stun you can take even 2 or 3 vs 1 fights (talking about pubs).
Mjollnir is well known for it's attack speed bonus and lightnings. Slark also know Mjollnir for giving him possibility to stack godlike amounts of agility with Essence Shift.

The game should be ended now, but if not...

Time to end this




So now you became true demon, with 3k hp, unimaginable fast attacks and tons of slows. Eye of Skadi is rare pickup, cause most games should end at the moment you bought Mjollnir, but if enemies were fool enough to let you buy this, I guess that's the moment to finish the game. With 25 lvl and Eye of Skadi you can feel like true str tank with carry-like attacks.

Situational




Sometimes enemy carries will get Butterfly, so you need to let them taste your blade and hit even harder.



Gives you 10/9/8/7/6/5/4 seconds of "free" attacking, where you don't have to care about most stuns. Remember that most ultimates goes through this.



Adds truly reliable stun to your skillset as well as some nice damage.



Overall nice ganking and disabling item, allows you to be more bossy and take off stronger targets.



Makes your Pounce much easier to land and gives you another possibility of activating your passive during fights.



Makes killing carries so much easier for your team, take if you don't plan to carry so much.



Talking about invis detection, allows you to take out wards and helps during ganks on invis heroes.

4 Carries in my team :<




Nice aura items that can boost your hard carry, take only if you have one and you rely on him (makes Slark weaker late game).

I hate SNY




Actually I suggest buying them with the other, right click maxing build, to have best effect. However, you can buy them if you don't like Sange and Yasha on Slark.

Denied




Manta Style - the only reason I would get this item is to upgrade Yasha to other item than Sange and Yasha, or if my illusions would have any useful benefits from my passives, but they don't have.
Mask of Madness - I know that you don't need that item to own games and leaving you vulnerable to nukes and stuns is too much risk.
Satanic - I bought this item couple of times on Slark and tbh I never used it. Slark don't need such strong lifesteals, when he can just run away and come back with full hp after a while.
Heart of Tarrasque - I've seen once some1 buying this item on Slark. Actually you don't need regen effect, because your ulti act like fountain (even better). Also if you wan't some hp, buy Eye of Skadi.

Detailed Build 2

Why this build?


Pros:
Long-lasting agi buff
High right click damage early game
Allows you to play more "hard carry style"
Not so mana dependent


Cons:
Low nuking power
May need stuns to kill early

This build is mainly based on high right click damage early game and high stacks of agi buff. You want to hit enemies as many times as you can, gaining stacks for full 2 minutes. This allows you to get so much agility as Drow Ranger with her ultimate.
Also, this build focus more on true carry items than ganker ones, so it's nice for you if you like to play carry role.

Items


Starting Items




As a small defenseless fish (not counting Pounce ofc) you need some early survivability. Stout Shield with 3 "GG" Iron Branches are good pickup, giving some early stats and block, and all can be transformed into better items ( Poor Man's Shield and Magic Wand). Tango and Healing Salve are needed to regen until you have your ult. If you have problem with last hits you MAY change shield to Quelling Blade, but it will only delay your Poor Man's Shield.

Early Game




Magic Wand is picked up on nearly all heroes as main hp/mana regen item, and Slark isn't exception. Even if you have guaranted high hp regeneration, still you need mana to use your other skills and gank effectively. Also makes some space in your inventory.
Poor Man's Shield gives you some killing potential in early game due to it's 6 agi gain, and you don't have to sell your 20 block!
Boots of Speed are standard pickup on every hero, Slark benefit even more, cause ulti increase your movement speed by % not by fixed amount.
Orb of Venom is the item that let you chase more easily thanks to it's 12% movement slow and build into Eye of Skadi.
Town Portal Scroll ALWAYS CARRY ONE, THIS ITEM SAVE LIFES AND WIN GAMES.
All these items can be bought in side shop, so there is no need to use courier.

Core Items




These are your game winning items.
Power Treads give you early survivability and attack speed, also stat switching is useful if you know how to use it. You should have them switched to str until you have more than 1k hp to ensure, that you won't die too fast.
Diffusal Blade is your first true damaging item, that make you hit hard like truck thanks to high agility gain and mana burn. Also it's purge will ensure, that no1 can escape you.
Yasha is part of Manta Style that you want to get when using this build, also it give you movement speed boost, that let you reach 522 movement speed without haste rune, which is amazing.
Skull Basher so at start I mentioned that Slark don't have any reliable disable. Now you can change senseless chases that ended with Town Portal Scroll being used into ruthless kills, sometimes there won't be any chase, cause enemy will be locked down in place. With fast stacking passive and stun you can take even 2 or 3 vs 1 fights (talking about pubs). It also works very well with Diffusal Blade purge effect, allowing you to hit your target more times and get more opportunities to stun it.

Going Late




Manta Style gives you some nice stats, high movement speed boost, but what's most important is it's synergy with Diffusal Blade mana burn. Illusions from Manta have exact amount of agility as you when you summon them, so if you steal high amounts of stats from enemies and use Manta Style, your illusions will hit even harder. This item also allows you to dodge skills if timed correctly.
Mjollnir is well known for it's attack speed bonus and lightnings. Slark also know Mjollnir for giving him possibility to stack godlike amounts of agility with Essence Shift.

Situational




Sometimes enemy carries will get Butterfly, so you need to let them taste your blade and hit even harder.



Gives you 10/9/8/7/6/5/4 seconds of "free" attacking, where you don't have to care about most stuns. Remember that most ultimates goes through this.



Adds truly reliable stun to your skillset as well as some nice damage.



Gives you high amount of agility, damage, evasion and attack speed. Slark approves!



This item is kinda overkill when using this build, but it's always an nice option you could go for. Gives you survivability, damage, mana, and helps even more with chases (do you even need it now?).



Talking about invis detection, allows you to take out wards and helps during ganks on invis heroes.

Denied




Mask of Madness - I know that you don't need that item to own games and leaving you vulnerable to nukes and stuns is too much risk.
Satanic - I bought this item couple of times on Slark and tbh I never used it. Slark don't need such strong lifesteals, when he can just run away and come back with full hp after a while.
Heart of Tarrasque - I've seen once some1 buying this item on Slark. Actually you don't need regen effect, because your ulti act like fountain (even better). Also if you wan't some hp, buy Eye of Skadi.

Playing as Slark

Early Game


*IMPORTANT* You really want to head into solo lane, to have fast lvl 6 and start ganking as fast as you can. But most likely you will have to play on dual lane. If you are on standard 2v2 lane with strong disabler ( Crystal Maiden, Shadow Shaman), you can try to get a first blood. Find one of enemies out of position, for example in side shop, then jump in with Pounce followed with stun/slow from support and score FB. It's even easier on 2v1 lane.

Early game is in my opinion the most painful game stage for Slark. Squishy without items, you need to avoid harass, last hits are hard to get when playing against ranged heroes, everything seem to be against you. Avoid ganks with Pounce and just try to get some exp and early items. Sometimes it's possible to dominate lane and get Power Treads + Yasha even in early game, but don't try to be too aggresive when playing for first time, cause one failed Pounce could mean your death.
First aggresive attempts should start at lvl 4, when you got all your skills.

Mid Game


*IMPORTANT* Don't be too greedy. If you fight 2v1 and you're not able to take one of your enemies in 5.5 seconds ( Shadow Dance), it can basically mean your death, especially if enemy got long disables.

If everything went OK, you can start ganking stage. You should have all early game items to make your ganks much easier and succesful. Start with wiping your own lane if possible, regen mana in base and start ganking all lanes with Town Portal Scroll's help. Try to get your first core item as soon as possible.
After getting Yasha you can gank without need of Town Portal Scroll (but always carry one!), your dmg is high enough to kill 1v1 most enemies on the map, if not all. That's the moment where you should change Power Treads from str to agi.
If you couldn't win 2v1 fights, getting Skull Basher means that you are now prepared to do so. Run around map, try to find easy targets and kill them for more gold. Don't be afraid to defend 2 or even 3 man tower pushes, cause they can eventually turn into double or triple kills.
If you did everything alright, your enemies should be running away when they see you.

Late Game


*IMPORTANT* If the game last too long, there is possibility that you will get "outcarried" by enemy carry, so you got to play safe. It's always better to fill semi-carry role and have another true carry in your team.

If your team don't have any hard carry, then you must take this place and lead your team to victory. Start pushing as group, don't initiate stupid 1v2 or 1v3 fights (unless you are really farmed monster), play safely.
Try to get Aegis of the Immortal, cause it let you jump into enemies base like fearless monster and kill them all without carrying about true sight disabling your ulti (you got 2 lives, right?).

Favorite/hated abilities

Slark's favorite abilities are:


Slark's hated abilities are:

Thanks for reading guide

As in chapter title. Please rate my guide and steam build if you like it. Please leave a comment saying what you think about my first guide. Please suggest any ideas how to improve my guide. Please report bugs if you find any. Please don't hate in comments.
I'm going to sleep, peace.

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