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[Full/Dynamic] Goo's Guide To Core Necro (With a Ton of Pictures)

April 9, 2015 by TheGooGaming
Comments: 5    |    Views: 20194    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4

Balanced Standard

DotA2 Hero: Necrophos

Purchase Order

Starting Items

Null Talisman
Gauntlets of Strength
Iron Branch

Laning Stage

Boots of Speed
Null Talisman
Magic Wand

Early Game (Burst Rush)

Boots of Speed
Dagon 1

Early Game (Sustained Core)

Power Treads
Null Talisman
Urn of Shadows
Tranquil Boots
Gloves of Haste
Phase Boots

Core & Extension (Burst Rush)

Dagon 1
Aghanim's Scepter
Blink Dagger
Shadow Blade

Core & Extension (Sustained Core)

Hood of Defiance
Aghanim's Scepter
Rod of Atos

Burst Rush Endgame Items

Blink Dagger
Boots of Travel
Dagon 1
Ethereal Blade
Aghanim's Scepter
Scythe of Vyse
Refresher Orb
Black King Bar

Sustained Core Endgame Items

Aghanim's Scepter
Boots of Travel
Pipe of Insight
Refresher Orb
Scythe of Vyse
Black King Bar
Assault Cuirass
Shiva's Guard

Hero Skills

Death Pulse

1 3 5 7

Heartstopper Aura

4 10 13 14

Ghost Shroud

2 8 9 12

Reaper's Scythe

6 11 16



0. Preface

So this is what the people wanted apparently, a position 2 carry Necrolyte guide. Great! I decided to try and please everyone with this guide and create it in a dynamic, fun to read way. You will come across multiple diagrams along picture, etc. I hope you like it. Along those lines Goo's Guide To Magnus 2.0 is on development right now and will be the next release.

As I do in most of my guides this is just a preface, where I talk about the following guide and some of my past guides, which you can see here.

I am going to say write now that this guide is aimed towards players in the medium-experience range and up, I will not go into the bare basics. We are going to talk about Necrolyte ( Necrophos if you wish), and how he fits in a position 2, Core role; including the item progression and playstyle accordingly.

If this guide gets some visibility maybe I will be seeing less of this:

1. Introduction

Unless you have any sense of empathy whatsoever, Necro is a fun hero to play. He is what I call a slow Nuker, like Pugna (Funny how they are both usually secluded to a support-y role uh?), they are very strong at nuking, but usually decay only so slightly to make other heroes more viable than them at their work, this is why we dont see that much Necro out there, when people think nukers their first thought isnt Necro or Pugna, they go with Tinker, Skywrath Mage, Lina, and other heroes along those lines, and its a shame, I hope you guys give Necro a shot after this.

One of my favorite things about Necro is that he works along two big things, sustained regeneration and sustained damage. This is thanks to how his kit synergizes with his playstyle as a Core, and why he is a rather reliable hero to play once you get up on your feet. He can feast on weak heroes like supports as any nuker would, but he can also take down fat tanky heroes thanks to his ultimate, Reaper's Scythe. This makes him a nuker with unmatched kill potential, throughout the whole game. And people tend to hate him for that.

Also Necro has the infamy of being a killstealer, as all kill under Reaper's Scythe's effect are attributed to him, even if he didnt even assist in said kill. And people tend to hate him for that too.

The point is people tend to hate Necro.

1.2. Pros & Cons

This is the section for Pros & Cons. Dont take the pros as granted but more like things the hero is capable of achieving, or excels at by default, you still have to make the best out of them. Same goes with the cons, some of them are weights the hero has, but that you can work around, anyway here is the list:


-High damage output nuking potential
-Sustains himself (With Death Pulse & Sadist)
-Can farm relatively efficiently during offtime
-Anti-carry by excelence
-Cancel Buybacks
-Sturdy Mid lane
-Heal & Nuke on low cooldown
-Annoying Aura
-Annoying Ultimate
-Hard to kill during high sadist stacks regeneration (Like kills in a teamfight will grant him absurd regeneration)
-Strong presence and threat throughout the entire game as long as he is farmed accordingly


-Low movement speed
-Lacks utility on spells (No slows, only disable is Reaper's Scythe, and its a 1.5 second stun)
-Countered by early Black King Bars
-Ultimate centric & dependent
-High Damage on single target, cannot take multiple targets at once
-His counters counter him fully (this means that if he gets counterpicked he can get completely shut down)
-Lacks mobility
-Item dependent & gold hungry

2. Spellset

Here is where it starts getting controversial. Necrophos has a very wonky spellset if you look at it hard enough, and after a while you will notice how the spells complement each other very well, except for Heartstopper Aura which has nothing to do with the other three (But its fairly good on its own, don't get me wrong).

Anyway, here is the spellset and how to use it.

Death Pulse is Necro's first spell and its a sort of AoE nuke/heal. Necrophos releases a wave of death around him, dealing damage to enemy units and healing allied units. The damage isnt really out of control at a mere 270 (before reductions) and the heal is a sad 130. And even worse because it has to actually travel and hit the target first, and Death Pulse's projectile isnt the fastest either at 400 units per second. And on top of that is a mana hungry spell at a whopping 185.

What a **** spell you might me thinking... Well, it isnt the best nuke around but it's cooldown is really short, at 5. With this low of a cooldown you can literally spam it all the time to farm the lane, and especially the jungle during offtime, it is not a spell with kill potential, you have to use it as a farming tool, heals you up, lasts hits multiple creeps at the same time and grants you easy sadist stacks. Necro is a hero with a lot of mana pool, and so he has this really high mana cost spells that come with it. For necro 185 mana for Death Pulse is not high enough for him to not be able to spam it, same goes with the 500 mana cost Reaper's Scythe gets on level 3, Necro can work with it.

The projectile cannot be disjointed. Hits invis units and units on fog of war. Can heal spell immune units.

Heartstopper Aura is a really special spell. It used to be HP removal damage, after the simplification update they had to change it to negative regeneration (and currently it is the only spell tagged as so). Anyway... you put levels in it and people get percentile damage per second, cool aye?.

Necrophos stills the hearts of his opponents, causing nearby enemy units to lose a percentage of their max health over time.

It has a fair 1200 radius of effect. At max level, enemies lose 1.5% of their Hp per second, which is not a small amount, and stays as relevant as it was during early game in the late game. Said percentile damage translates to: From 100% to dead in 67 seconds, just from Heartstopper Aura. Of course that will never happen in an actual match, but I like my numbers.

There is a lot of weird stuff regarding Heartstopper Aura, like for instance, the effect lingers for half a second when you get out of effect range (no idea why, balance reasons op).

Ok so, since it is negative regeneration, technically, on paper, is not actual damage. For the same reason it does not cause response for effects that usually respond to damage; that means the following spells/items do not interact with Heartstopper Aura at all.

- Aphotic Shield
- Blade Mail
- Blink Dagger
- Bottle
- Bristleback
- Clarity
- Cold Snap
- Corrosive Skin
- Echo Stomp
- Fatal Bonds
- Healing Salve
- Heart of Tarrasque
- Kraken Shell
- Living Armor
- Mana Shield
- Mjollnir
- Nightmare
- Open Wounds
- Orchid Malevolence
- Recall
- Refraction
- Return (That is the spirit bear's spell)
- Soul Assumption
- Spiked Carapace
- Spin Web
- Urn of Shadows

The effect is not blocked by spell immunity. Does not affect Warlock's golem, ancient creeps or Roshan, illusions, or Primal Split pandas.


This is one of the things that makes Necrophos the hero he is. If you dont know what sadist does, basically is give you extra HP and Mana regen on top of the Hp and Mana regen you already have, every time you deal a killing blow to something. Last hitting creeps, denying creeps, etc.

1 Kill = 1 Stack.
1 Hero Kill = 10 Stacks.

1 Stack = 4 Hp, 10 Mana per Second

Stack Duration is 6 seconds. And each one has independent duration, its not refreshed by gaining a new stack.

The only units that do not give Necrophos sadist stacks are Illusions & Power Cogs.

-land mines
- Stasis Traps
- Remote Mines
- Observer Wards & Sentry Wards
- Mass Serpent Wards
- Plague Wards
- Psionic Traps

All of the above activate sadist no problemo.

Stuns the target enemy hero, then deals damage based on how much life it is missing. Heroes killed by Reaper's Scythe will have 30 seconds added to their respawn timer. Any kill under this effect will be credited to Necrophos.

Pretty big ult if I may. Ok, so this is what the Burst build is about, you get level advantage and burst damage, ult someone, burst them down and have Reaper's Scythe finish the job.

It has a short cast animation of 0.5 seconds, and the cast range isnt that long, at 600 units. When casted, the targetted unit will be stunned for 1.5 seconds, then, after that 1.5 seconds, the Scythe will deal the health the target hero is missing as damage (with a multiplier).


So you must be thinking, thats so broken at level 16 you can kill anyone with just a little less than half Hp!!

Well... not really.

Say you ult someone with 2000 Hp pool, but that at the moment had 1000 Hp, with your level 16 Reaper's Scythe they would take 675 damage, that is 900 after reductions, not even considering the posibility of extra resistance from something like Flesh Heap, Hood of Defiance, Pipe of Insight, null field; or if you are targetting a Meepo. You have to keep in mind the variables or you are going to be seeing yourself waste your ult more than once.

With Aghanim's Scepter though... Increases damage per HP missing, decreases mana cost for Level 1, and decreases cooldown for levels 1 and 2 (To 70 seconds). Disables buyback for killed heroes.

Aghanim's Scepter gives you a really significative damage up, as the multiplier is changed to 1.2x per missing Hp, it becomes exponentionally more potent. This is why Aghs is bought in Core necro just as in other roles, it is a really big upgrade.

And as always there is weird interactions with it:

-When you ult someone under the effects of Ancient Apparition's Ice Blast and they die during the stun of Reaper's Scythe before it hits, Ancient Apparition will get the kill.
-If you target a Meepo clone with Reaper's Scythe and the Meepo prime denies itself using a Bloodstone, it will not attribute the kill to Necrophos.

3. Item Progression

So into items, here is how we are going to do it. In this section I will go over the items that you can see up there in the build, and explain them individually, when you should buy them, what do they offer and such. In the next section I will go into how you go about buying them and building up.

Tangoes, when going the burst build you often go for a null tallisman and a set of Tangoes to sustain yourself until you get your Bottle. If you expect an easy mid you can ask for pooled tangoes to get the Bottle a bit faster, but please dont go ham on rushing the Bottle, stats are important.

The null tallisman is a must starting item for the burst rush build. Its last hitting power, more mana pool and its a part of the dagon you are attempting to farm. Just remember to drop it when using your Bottle.

Iron Branches work as fillers for most heroes, but I encourage you to not purchase them if you are going burst rush build. Mainly because the burst rush build aims for the fastest item progression possible, with no loose ends, that is why null tallisman is the way to go. However, buying them for different builds works, get three if you plan getting a Magic Wand and get 2 if you plan on getting Mekansm.

Gauntlets of Strength are not my favorite pickup for starting items, but getting two gets you closer to Urn of Shadows and will make you really tanky. It wont give you any intelligence or last hitting power by the same reason, so really think through if you
want to get that Urn of Shadows so early on.

Bottle. Ok. So its going to be your first purchase after those starting items, at least a solid 80% of the time, and 100% of the time for the burst rush build. With it you can control runes, recover any hp or mana you didnt recover with sadist (because you cant last hit), etc; basic Bottle stuff. Remember dropping stats.

Boots of Speed, even in the burst rush build, you need to get these before getting the first dagon, it is important, dont be dumb and get your boots, you dont want to be that guy that rushes something past Boots of Speed and gets reported.

Dagon is an early game item in the burst build, here you attempt to get it as quick as possible, preferable under the 10 minute mark. You must now be looking at the guide and saying "wow he really means the dagon thing"", but hear me out. So, Necrophos has an ultimate that punishes low health, and the direct synergy with that is something that quickly takes someone to low health. Necrophos spells don't help him out much in this situation, Death Pulse doesnt do the trick, Heartstopper Aura is like cooking with a magnifying glass, and sadist is a regen passive. Hence, dagon. Dagon is a reliable nuke that will provide you the dps enough to take down heroes during the early game with the help of Reaper's Scythe. ooooh but dagon is such pubscrub ****, this doesnt work unless you are in the **** tier. Wrong. In no bracket having a 400 nuke at the 10 minute mark on top of Reaper's Scythe is a joke. You can also just ult someone in the fight to finish them off and keep your dagon for another hero. Check this out:

Urn of Shadows is a really specific pickup, really depends on the player, if you are an aggresive ganker that is going to be sitting taking fights and pushing towers, and you think you or your team could use the Urn of Shadows, then grab it. But it is situational, depends on more than just how the match is going, but on what items your teammates have, the enemy lineup, etc.

Ok so Necrophos can go for all kinds of boots. Personally I like Power Treads because they give me a little bit of stats to mess around with, and attack speed. On necro the attack speed is more valuable than raw damage in terms of increasing dps, as you tend to get big int items that will add up to your damage in the long run.

Then there is Phase Boots, also a popular pick on Necrophos due to his low movement speed and the fact he does not have any way of slowing or getting closer to people. Extra last hitting power, and phase effect that sometimes makes a difference if you remember to use it when you need it.

Now some necro players like Tranquil Boots for two reasons, the first one being the extra movement speed it gives you when you are not in fights or farming, and the extra passive regen. So basically the logic behind it is that you can walk faster into nearby fights, and get sadist regen when farming and Tranquil Boots regen when not, having hp regen 24/7. Personally I do not recommend Tranquil Boots for a core necro, but they can be solid on some matches and work pretty well for position 3 and 4 Necrophos.

I have said before that a lot of nukers benefit from Boots of Travel as a first item. Not only Tinker, but Skywrath Mage, Lina, etc. Because they can join every fight with that, help tower pushes and defenses from very early on, and stuff of that nature. This is not the case for Necrophos, he will not benefit from an early Boots of Travel pickup, in fact it will slow down your farming a lot, and you wont be able to help out with the situations you regularly could, since Necrophos is a rather item dependent hero, unlike something like Skywrath Mage.

Blink Dagger is a gap closer and a tool for farming the jungle faster and more effectively. With it you can jump on heroes and ult them instantly, following with Death Pulse and dagon, for instant kills. If the other team is going with 5 man strategies, you might want to consider skipping this item, as you will not be able to pick people off as easily, and you could invest your gold in something with more impact for the situation. You can also use it to disjoint spells, which is a key ability sometimes.

Shadow Blade on the other hand acts differently, its less of a jump in and more of an aggresive stealth initiation tool, for you can get a high priority hero down before the teamfight starts. You can also use it to roam around looking for lone farmers, break your invis throwing an auto attack at close range, then cast Reaper's Scythe and Death Pulse + dagon. This way you will get the maximum extra damage from the invisibility breaking attack. Overall really situational, but still, have it in mind.

Hood of Defiance is just a passive pickup for you to survive longer in teamfights that have a lot of magic damage output, later you turn it into Pipe of Insight and help your buds. Also more regen you dont need.

Ok now, Mekansm is an item you see really commonly on Necrophos for one main reason: It is on the recommended item page. But anyway, it makes you tanky, and gives you that burst heal+armor to you and your teammates. It is a good item, but it is NOT core, do not get it every single game as people expect you to. If you see your team is getting wiped out repeatedly, you can consider buying one. It is not that expensive, but very cost effective if you ask me.

Maelstrom is a really situational pickup. Just because I put it up on the item progression doesnt mean you gotta buy it, or need it. But I put it up because that brings the item into a possibility field, and that is exactly what it is. The main pro about it is that if you have attack speed, from Assault Cuirass for example, you will be dealing some extra damage to whoever you are hitting and the other people in the teamfight. The main con however is that is a quite expensive item compared to what it offers to a hero like Necrophos, and you could be using your gold more effectively on another pickup. Anyway, remember what I said at first.

Aghanim's Scepter is the ****, I wouldnt say its the core big item of Necro, but it probably is. As of normally you are a fairly ult dependent hero, this makes it a so much bearable experience, with it you can guarantee a kill over magic resistance, with the 1.2x Multiplier that makes a massive difference. You are going to see yourself purchasing Aghanim's Scepter on pretty much any build you do for Necrophos, even as a late game pickup for position 4. It is universally known that the upgrade kicks ***. Also stats, getting Aghs as second item is a viable (but sort of greedy) strategy, but I personally delay it to a third, for reasons I will go into the next section.

Rod of Atos is a really underrated item, and I must say is really cost efficient, the cost is not too out of the picture, gives a ton of int and makes you tanky in return, and a really powerful slow active in a low cooldown. Why dont people buy this more often? Well, it is not a Mekansm that will help the team, it is not a Eul's Scepter of Divinity that creates gaps and stops chanelling abilities, it is not a disable, it is not a silence, it is not damage, not a summon. Pretty much seems underwhelming compared to other items with actives alike, but that is because you havent got the feel of it yet. It is a very powerful slow, and all you need to follow it up is to have some damage output, gives you a much bigger window for that.

Ethereal Blade does one thing and does it great. It keeps you relevant. Its an important part of burst rush build, specifically during the late game, it will amplify the damage your dagon deals, and the damage Reaper's Scythe gives. If you ult someone, then Ethereal Blade then Death Pulse, dagon, then just leave them, you know they already died. It also deals some damage from just the impact, Necro racks up a lot of int in the later game. It ALSO can be used to ghost yourself from a right click carry, or to help your teammate getting Omnislashed. And on a separate note, it provides you just enough damage to be able to take down weak heroes without having to use Reaper's Scythe on them, e.g. supports during late game. And some attack speed if you are into that.

Hex! Scythe of Vyse is a defensive item in this scenario, you use it to be 100% sure that that carry cannot pop his BKB before you ult them down. It gives you another way to disable people (and cancel chanelling spells) than Reaper's Scythe, which is great. Its also a ton of int and stats in general, plus regen that you dont really need. Its situational, but that doesnt mean you cant buy it every match.

Refresher Orb is very, very powerful on Necrophos, mainly because of the aghanim's upgrade disabling buybacks, being able to take out two heroes of the game for quite some time with no way for them to come back in time is just game-wrecking, in some important late game teamfight this could actually mean the game is over. Refresher Orb can also be casted twice in the same hero if you think its needed, for example if they survived the first one by just a bit, and you want them to have the death effect (and a kill for the count, teehee). Have this item very present in your games, will help out a lot, and you will be feared again even in the latest of games.


BKB & DYNAMITE! Black King Bar is a situational on pretty much any hero that has any fighting relevance, mainly because one disable can really screw you over and cost you the fight, or at least your life. This is not less true on Necrophos, if you are hesitant about it, wait for a teamfight; if you get flipped out and gibbed from a permastun, grab it. Or you know, you can look at their heroes and items and build it with time so you have it before its too late. You can go a little risky and try to save it to take away a powerful debuff they may have, but generally you dont want to risk getting disabled hard before that happens. In the late game something like a simple Shackles will get you killed.

Pipe of Insight is pretty self explanatory, get it if you had a Hood of Defiance, otherwise really think twice if you need this for the current match, Necrophos can carry many other items that would fit him better than pipe, but still, it is an option.

If you had a Maelstrom game (which is not often) you can finish it into Mjollnir after getting your Aghanim's Scepter done. Its just dps.

Daedalus is really freaking specific, do not buy this just because I put it up in the guide. Really think about it, generally you want to get it if you had a Maelstrom game and you see yourself buying an Assault Cuirass in the near future, and have a considerable advantage, then get it. It just dps as well, but its an expensive dps item, on random chance. Sure you are an intelligence core hero, but you are not Windranger.

Bloodstone is a weird item pickup for necro in the sense that is one that is better fit for heroes that can buy it early, and store charges up; but Necrophos needs some items first to get online. Get Bloodstone if the game seems kind of stuck and nobody is attempting pushes, if not-game-ending teamfights happen you will be getting charges, and you are going to have the option to deny yourself too. Gives you more regen and makes you more tanky aswell.

Assault Cuirass is an item not often bought by Necrophos. Overall he tends to carry auras, he is very rarely the first one to be killed in a teamfight, AC works under that logic, if your team needs it you can buy it, it will give you even more armor to work with and attack speed. But really situational.

Shiva's Guard is your alternative to Scythe of Vyse. You need the int but you dont need the disable, and you think the aura and active will help out more in your situation, then go for it. Popping the active in a teamfight where people have their BKBs on cooldown can mean a lot.

4. Middin'

In this section I will go into how to tackle the laning stage and early game as a Necro mid. Text section by the way.

So everything starts in the decision, do you want to block or get the bounty rune. Ok the way to sort it out is by looking at the heroes, what heroes are in your team and what heroes you are against. If your team has better level 1 spells and overall stats (like movement, etc), ask a pair of your allies to come with you and get the rune, get Death Pulse just in case you get a chance of a kill or if you or an ally is close to death (even if the heal isnt that great), easy Bottle. If your team is not fit for it or you have a hero that could benefit from said rune more than you, like a Tidehunter offlane or something of that nature, if that is the case get Heartstopper Aura and block your creeps.

When in lane you have to focus on two things, getting a lot of last hits (to get your items, and the first dagon as soon as possible), and zoning the enemy mid, which becomes really easy once you get a couple of levels, you have permanent damage from Heartstopper Aura, got sadist to keep you healed from harass trades, and Death Pulse serves that same purpose but also damages them even more, overall you have a powerful set for laning one on one. Try getting the top rune every chance you have, and if possible have your support take the bot rune, this forces the opposing mid to bottlecrow, and gives you an opening to freefarm, remember you need two things to get rolling early game, dagon 1 and level 6.

After that things get really simple, who should you kill, and who can you kill. Basically, have in mind you can kill any hero in the game every 100 seconds, you just have to choose a reliable target, so no magic resisting heroes, no escape heroes; be sure that whoever you ult, dies, otherwise you will be very sad, have an ult on cooldown and being unable to gank for 100 secs is not good. Enemies will fear you as long as they know reapers scythe is not on cooldown.

If you think it is best, kill the opposing mid, especially if its something like a Shadow Fiend, sure, kill them, dont think it twice, that should set them back a bunch. But if its something like a Pudge you can consider other options, maybe killing their natures prophet in the jungle, or their Troll Warlord in the lane.

From there is even simpler, get any kill you can, get your items built and go for objectives with your team.

4.1. Ganking & Occupation

When you see the opportunity you are going to want to go for a gank, this opportunity could be a window when you know the enemy team doesn�t have wards up, or the lane is pushed, or someone on your side drew the attention of enemy supports or the opposing mid.
If have played any patient ganker before from mid lane, like Pudge or Tusk you know what I am talking about, you are not something like a Queen of Pain or a Tinker that can just go in guns blazing, you need to wait for your chance or the gank could backfire on you, and you cant be waiting there all the time either, wasting your time, ganking is an art of patience.

And no guide by Goo would be complete without picture graphs:

When playing radiant side: This is a first option for ganking openings, the orange line represents the creepwave, the blue one represents their safe zone, if they cross that line you can initiate with your teammates. Red crosses are possible enemy encounters, and red lines are possible enemy movements. Green lines on the other hand represent your movement options/your ally's.

This one is similar, but more aggresive. In this situation you can get your teammates to safely dive the tower with you wrapping around, your team focuses the high priority target (like a carry) and take them down with Reaper's Scythe, then take the other targets or back out. A maxed out Death Pulse helps a lot with this kind of moves.

For dire just a single example:

You can get creative with your ganks, these are just some examples. You have to be able to see in before if a gank is safe to perform and to know when you are overextending and putting your allies in danger.

Occupation is very similar, usually you can perform it like a quad lane line, if you have a trilane (defensive or offensive), and you go like ganking but stay there for a prolonged period of time that will force rotations, is like a regular gank, but instead of taking down heroes to break their lineup, you just unbalance the field in order to bait the rotations, basically it is a much slower but more significative way of creating space.

This is what I explained about quads in another guide:

What the hell? Four heroes, thats a bit much, dont you think? No no, the quad lanes are not about running a lane with four heroes as if it were a trilane, it is just a pressure point strategy. It starts as a variation of a trilane or aggressive trilane, adding the mid or offlaner.

The big thing of a quad is to make the opposing team really feel helpless, as you are totally nullifying their main lane. Same concept as of an aggressive trilane, but way more risky and way more rewarding, you have to measure yourself if you think you can pull this off without losing momentum, as you are throwing 4 heroes together for an objective.

You want to perform this only if you have a mid that is available from early on, so leave out farmers, maybe Outworld Devourer and Phantom Assassin could work even if they are farmers, but works best with stuff like Pudge, Clockwerk mid, Queen of Pain, etc. What you do is, first, call supports mid and kill the opposing mid, this should give you enough time, if they had the advantage, go ahead and kill them twice or more times, if in this process supports from their safe lane come in and help him, you are already leaving their carry alone, and he should be your next objective for ganks. If they dont rotate, go ahead and with your midder, move up to their safe lane, and stay there, be as aggressive as you can, its like summoning a constant 4 man gank, and try to divide them into smaller groups you can take down without losing teammates, etc.

After harvesting any kills you come across take down the tower and move on with your strategy, as if you stay as a quad for too long you are losing exp per second and missing out a lot of last hits. Very greedy team move, but very effective if done correctly.

In this patch, I love doing quad movements with Tinker. With a max nuking spell build (building him as QWQWQWQWR) you will be as scary as you can be as a member of a quad, and you can take down anyone you come across by yourself, get a fast Blink Dagger with it, and go refill mana with your Boots of Travel. Also refilling other people´s Bottles or sharing charges.

A great item for quads is Urn of Shadows, if you have any support that could go for an urn there is going to get a lot of charges if they contest the tower, and if they dont, then you could sell it or use it later on. Its damage over time, big heal to sustain your allies and some stats for the support.

4.2. Taking Down Targets (And Who To Focus)

This is something that Dagonphos excels at. As long as you are in for the game, and stay relevant you should be able to solo any hero, Necrophos has unmatched single target damage potential; there are a few exceptions to the rule, for example Anti-Mage who can survive your output and turn the fight around.

Necrophos is an intelligence carry, and just as the rest of intelligence carries he usually peaks at some point between the 30-45 minute mark. From there their kill potential starts to fall off and they have to pass the wheel to a better fit position 1 carry. In the time you are still in the game you have to make the best out of it and not spend your time farming for the later game, farm is important, but using it is even more important. You take opportunities and farm in any time is left (unless it is you are playing from behind, see that section in a bit).

During fights try staying a little bit out of the middle, avoid stuns and any damage over time and wait for a clean opening. This opportunity can come with a teammate’s initiation, a timely stun, an incoming (but predictable) enemy initiation or if your carry goes in and makes it look like overextension when you got his back. Cue reaper’s scythe.

Let me set an example, so a teamfight breaks out during the mid game, one of those dumb fights that just happen because someone crossed a line, not roshan, not a tower, just a dumb fight. And as always those dumbfights can end in a trade 3 for 3 and even worse, because people have to walk and end up unorganized and arriving at different times not being able to end a proper combination of spells (You are on radiant side):

Your team’s Techies is setting mines in the bot rune for some reason, and he is spotted by a ward, so the enemy Vengeful Spirit comes and stuns him to make some time for his buddy Disruptor to get there, Thunder Strike is casted, suicide squad attack is on cooldown, he runs up the hill and enters the radiant jungle, he is glimpsed back. At that moment your team’s Anti-Mage who was jungling blinks in to try pick up the kills on their supports. Kinetic Field is casted and catches both Techies and Anti-Mage, Vengeful Spirit and Disruptor start backing out and go uphill and head to dire’s ancients. At this point you teleported to the bottom tower and walked through the jungle up to the bot rune. Anti-Mage blinks to the uphill and out of the Kinetic Field with no vision. Up there is Phantom Assassin and he gets stunned by Vengeful Spirit. There is your opening, Phantom Assassin phantom strike’s Anti-Mage, you blink in and reaper’s scythe Phantom Assassin and dagon; Death Pulse, Anti-Mage blinks out, you walk off and Phantom Assassin dies afterwards.

If fights don’t happen you can still use the offtime to your advantage, with the help of a few aggressively positioned observer wards you can go blink+ult+dagon any unsuspicious enemy, take down carries in the jungle and rotating supports instantly, pickup your kills, set them back on gold, go upgrading your items.Simple. If you feel the game is getting sluggish because the enemy over-warded or stopped playing normally and is now set more defensively, then go push a lane or farm the jungle, Necrophos can do all those things with ease. Necrophos' flash ganks can only be countered by defensive items like Black King Bar or Linken's Sphere; usually the second one is the most problematic, as you can pop Reaper's Scythe fast enough for the disable to take care of the BKB situation.

5. Pushing Your Advantage (And Setting Back Enemies)

As with many other intelligence nuking focused heroes the main way to push your advantage is by skipping items and going for bigger impact more expensive items, greedy purchases. This can be for example skipping BKB to get a Scythe of Vyse faster and shut down their BKB, or even greedier, skipping both and getting straight Dagon 5. Of course these are extreme examples at most, the usual skip you do in Necrophos (and sometimes Tinker) is the Ethereal Blade. Basically goes like this:

You are having an already good game, and you are saving gold for whatever item you plan of purchasing next (for example getting a level 2 dagon) and you have something like 1000 gold. Then someone goes out of position and a teamfight happens, and in that fight you kill 3 people for example, and now you get skewed to 1900 gold. Now you get to choose you either decide if you keep your momentum and buy that dagon 2, and keep going from there, or you get a Ghost Scepter and go straight for Ethereal Blade just along dagon 1. That is pushing your advantage. Now keep in mind this is always a risky play, a.k.a throw. But if you pull it off you will keep your upper hand with a really big item on your team while they are still trying to get up on their feet. Same deal with [color=#00ffff]scythe of vyse[/color]

This goes along what I am about to explain in the next section.

5.1. Relevance & Decay

Relevance & Decay is crucial part of any core role, and it comes with the hero you are playing. For example Axe is the most relevant during the early game, and starts to decay, until he isn’t that important at the 25 minute mark (unless fed of course, there are always exceptions), but the difference between an Axe and Necrophos is the itemization, and by said itemization they have different peak points and relevance intervals.

Think of Dota as an arms race, items come and heroes come online; and your item choices and the enemy lineup dictate your expiration date as an intelligence carry. And there is the problem with Necrophos as a carry, he cannot end a game, he needs a position 1 to come and fight to siege and end; Necro takes the wheel but only to a point, what happens beyond that becomes a slippery slope and you start depending on your carry, you stop being able to frag down heroes and only be useful for that sick double reaper’s scythe.

So this is how you keep yourself relevant:

During early game your friend is the early dagon, you must stay as a big magic damage output for as long as you can, and that starts with a pre-min 8 dagon. People must look at you and be scared that you will insta-kill them with your nukes. As the game scales you got to see, if they start getting tanky you can pause whatever item you are building and get another dagon level, just to keep yourself afloat.

During mid game the heroes spread out (unless it’s a five man), they go farm the jungle, be in solo lanes, push towers in pairs, etc. There are two items that help you out, the first is Blink Dagger. Mobility is a big thing on Necro, especially since with your low movement speed coming in range for reaper’s scythe can become kind of difficult, mainly because they see you coming. Blink solves this problem. Blink also opens the possibility for safely farming lanes, getting a TP and pushing down, then blinking to the trees and tping out, for long term farming if it is really needed. And it gives you a jump in to kill people jungling, etc, as I said before.

The second item is of course, aghanim’s scepter. Basically if you aren’t level 16 this will give you the push and the advantage, having a level 3 ult at level 12 is just game swaying, this means the damage to keep your relevant as always, but also the reduced cooldown for you to be up online all the time if possible, Necrophos needs his ult out of cooldown all the time, so he can do stuff, take part in fights and gank.

Later on you have two ways to go, you can get a little defensive and get items such as BKB, Bloodstone, an aura, etc. Or you can go for more casting power, like Scythe of Vyse, Ethereal Blade, finish your dagon, whatever you need. The biggest up side to having the Scythe of Vyse is that, with a jump in like your Blink Dagger you can hex a BKB carry before they pop it, then use reaper’s scythe and dagon and have them dead as you initiate the fight without them being able to pop the BKB. Ethereal Blade does a similar thing, but it doesn’t silence items, it will amplify your dagon damage and your reaper’s scythe as well, so it is really the definition of keeping yourself relevant, DMG+. It can also come in handy to use defensively for yourself and on your allies.

If you fail at keeping yourself relevant to the match or the circumstances are overwhelming you are going to start to lose and playing from behind, see the next section.

5.2. Playing From Behind

Playing from behind is always a little annoying, but you can live through it and make it kind of painless actually, as long as the other team isn’t all over your side of the map and trying to push high ground 24/7, you can work around it.

First point, Necrophos is a rather decent farming hero, in terms that with his sustain he can keep on farming uninterrupted, that be the lane or the jungle. The technique is 1+1 simple, you go to a jungle camp and attack all creeps and leave them around 200 health, do not kill them off, then use Death Pulse and the heal of that on top of the sadist stacks you will get your mana back instantly and any health you lost by tanking the camp itself, you can do this if you have a level 3 sadist and Death Pulse but level 4 is more self-sustaining with more sadist regen and more damage and heal from Death Pulse. If nothing is going on in the map go do this, you can also take stacks with this same technique, even using Death Pulse twice to keep yourself healed up.

Second point, Necrophos excels on landing finishing blows, as he can last hit you as soon as you hit a health threshold, with this, and in a teamfight he can take down the enemy pos1 carry with only his ultimate and help of some teammates for softening them up. You get the kill and the gold gets balanced out, become relevant again. On top of that you got rubber-banding to help your team out, as that carry gets killed everyone gets a ton of gold and the supports get three level ups.

Third point goes along the second one, you know how people say if you want to win just pick Omniknight because as long as your idiots are alive and they are hitting something you have a shot at winning? Or Tidehunter because your team cannot lose to a bunch of stunned guys? Basically the same thing with Necrophos if you kill their carry with an aghanim’s scepter upgraded reaper’s scythe. If they don’t have a carry for 100 seconds your idiots can just hit their buildings and game is over, does not matter how much gpm you had for the last 40 minutes, if you get killed by this **** and you cannot buyback, game is over for you. A good Necrophos can climb MMR quite independently from their teammates, as long as you don’t get a Pudge saying “me mid” you can do your thing.

6. Update Section

Nothing here, yet.

Any changes I do to the guide in the future will be documented here.

The upcoming update will be deeper explanation in the item progression, the reason I didnt include that in this first edition is because it will be a lengthy section and this guide is sort of delayed, hope you dont mind.

7. End Note

So that's it. I really did my best to make this guide appealing, easy to digest, all that stuff; as counterpart for my last Magnus guide that was really dense and not-so-high quality, so I apologize.

Anyway I really hope this guide was a good read, and helpful whatsoever.

Mandatory link here to /r/learndota2 the best sub in the world because there you can actually talk about the game. Im active there too, if you put a question that I could answer, so like questions regarding Mid heroes, etc; I may answer it.

Also if you are into streams you should check out SKaihigh's Stream. He does coaching on stream with the people in chat, its fun; I also lurk around there when its online.

Next guide is gonna be something like Pudge or Queen of Pain, but I am sort of busy right now so may take a little bit longer than usual.

As always all questions, feedback, critism is welcome; Ill be reading any comments that come up.

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