Necrolyte is a Dire Intelligence hero who thrives as a mid-game/early late-game carry but can fulfill various roles including support. He is known for being built very tanky and needs quite a lot of farm to be effective throughout.
In this guide I'll show you my way of snowballing hard and achieve some awesome streaks. Remember this is a subjective guide based on my experience with Necro so if you have any alternative builds or playstyles they are welcome as well.
-Best counter to beefy tank heroes
-If he gets enough farm and a few kills early on he will become a BEAST
-Hard to take down
-Strong teamfight presence
-Heartstopper Aura will harass the hell out of everyone
-Can be played in any lane (preferably mid or dual safe lane)
-Can fulfill various roles
-Very vulnerable early on
-Weak right clicks
-Easily countered by actual hard carries and heroes with high magic resistance
Mana cost: 125/145/165/185
This is Necro's main spell. In teamfights, 1v1 confrontations and any other situations, this is your main weapon. It will heal you and your teammates as well as nuke the enemies around you and the fact that is spammable will help you do it quite often. Early on it's not quite as effective and it will burn your mana fast so don't over-do it. Also good for clearing creep waves.
Max health lost per second: 0.6%/0.9%/1.2%/1.5%
A very underrated aura effect that doesn't get leveled up enough in most guides. In the late-game it's quite ineffective but during the laning phase and mid-game teamfights, it's a formidable weapon. It will harass everyone who dares to stand too close (which is pretty far).
Mana regen per second: 2/4/6/10
Health regen per second: 1/2/3/4
Hero kills: x10 current bonus
This is the main reason why Necro is built tanky. You can endure a serious amount of damage and yet replenish it all through a couple of kills. It's your main source of mana to spam Death pulse in teamfights.
Stun duration: 1.5
Damage per missing hit point: 0.4/0.6/0.9(0.6/0.9/1.2*)
Mana cost: 175/340/500(150/340/500*)
Necro's ultimate is the best anti-tank spell in the game. No matter how tanky a hero might be, if he dares to drop a little below half HP he will die. Can be countered by BKB or bonus magic resistance items but it's generally hard to completely nullify it (with BKB the stun is still on). With Aghanim's Scepter it can be game breaking. Aside from the obvious buffs (listed above) it disables buyback for the victim. What that means is that you can target a key opponent and rule him out for quite a lot of time (especially in the late game) allowing your team to gain advantage.
P.S.: If the target dies before the scythe hits him, the kill still goes to Necro. Essentially that means that it's a KS machine at times and that other people can hardly KS from you.
Picking up 3 Iron Branch will give you some decent stats for the beginning as well as a good starting point for your Magic Wand.
Getting Tango is pretty much self explanatory.
Mantle of Intelligence will give you slightly more mana pool and last-hitting power which comes in handy and you might want to build a Null Talisman later out of it.
Finally, Gauntlets of Strength will make you a little bit more durable and you can build your Bracer with it.
Getting Boots of Speed first is the best option as Necro is pretty slow (290 base movement speed).
Magic Wand is a must for almost any hero early on as it is a decent stats provider and it can replenish mana and HP quite often.
Bracer and Null Talisman are mainly stat providers as well but can serve as a starting point for some crucial items.
Power Treads are probably the best possible boots for Necro. The movement speed bonus and attack speed bonus is great and you can put 8 valuable points in any of your stats (preferably Strength to get tankier).
Mekansm is probably the most important item you have to pick. Even though other proper supports on your team can pick it up for you, it's still the best addition you can have. It heals you greatly, has great aura and decent stat bonuses.
Drum of Endurance is often overlooked but is one of the most valuable extensions for Necro. It's a classic tanky item with great stats and a great aura effect that will make you even faster. And you get to have charges for your whole team.
Ring of Basilius is a good item that it's often picked up but again it depends if a teammate of yours has already picked it up. If you pick it up, it's recommended to upgrade it into Ring of Aquila. It's cheap and although not necessary, it's a nice bonus.
Urn of Shadows can be picked when your team needs some healing or when you don't get much healing from Sadist youself. It's good tanky bonuses (Strength and HP regen) as well as some decent mana regen make it worth farming. If a teammate picks it up you can skip it.
Aghanim's Scepter used to be a pretty poor item on Necro but as I've said, the new feature about buyback makes it an awesome addition. It can make the difference at times and it's nice to pick it up if you feel there's nothing else crucial to buy.
Bloodstone used to be a must on Necro, now it's more of a situational thing. It's always useful in teamfights which is Necro's specialty but it's too expensive for its merits (suicide charges are a little risky).
Heart of Tarrasque is the trademark tanky item and it's probably the icing of the cake for any Necro late-game inventory. Essentially, after you pick it up you just can't die. Period.
Shiva's Guard will give you amazing bonuses (especially armor) and gives a great aura effect. The active feature also comes in handy at times. It's particularly good at pushing since it can decimate enemy creep waves.
Scythe of Vyse (or sheep stick) is an endless mana regen factory that will allow you to spam death pulse non-stop. Once again, the stats are great and you can now hex your target. That way you deal easily more damage to land your scythe more effectively.
Blade Mail is rare to be seen but great if the enemy is smart enough to focus on you. If they try to constantly kill you first and can endure enough to do so, blade mail can dish out some good punishement.
Dagon is a generally useless pick. It's more about "show-off" by getting more kills with its burst damage. The stats aren't the best and its extensions are needlessly expensive. Get it only when you feel comfortable and assured in a match.
Orchid Malevolence is just plain awesome. Both its stats and active feature are extremely useful (especially in conjustion with your scythe). The only problem is that is purely luxurious. It hardly benefits the unit as a whole and it's quite expensive. Farm this last.
Force Staff is a bargain. It's relatively cheap with some respectable bonuses and and a great escape mechanism as an active feature. It's more situational depending on how much mobility you need (e.g. against "blinkers").
Necrolyte is generally known as a solo mid-laner but since the vast changes that have come in he has lost a lot of his power there where he is safer but less powerful since he can't gank. He can play great dual lanes both safe and off-lane (especially with a good hard support along or a disabler). It's better for him to take a safe lane as he will get easier farm and be safer hugging the tower. In the safe lane it's also much easier for him to get kills (with some help by his teammates of course) and out-harass his opponents. He's not a good option for solo off-lane or trilane though as he doesn't have the survivability for the first (and sacrifices LOTS of farm) neither the proper support or aggresiveness for the latter
Three words: farm-deny-farm. Okay that's two words :P. Anyway, that's your main goal at the beginning. If have problem both getting lots of LH and denying, ask for your less farm intensive partner to assist you in denying. Remember, denying is equally important as last-hitting because you must never EVER push your lane. Staying back close to the tower will give you safer farm, keep you safer from ganks and make harassing easier for you. Focus on that and grab any chance to grab a kill or two. You can easily do so with a good solo mid ganker in your team.
It's about this time when you should snowball really hard. Necro's shift in style and roles has made him weaker as a carry but also set him free from the tag of hard carry. That means you snowball hard far earlier with slightly less consistent farm and you can pretty much tank the game instead. Be careful though. This is where the game should head to an end. Any proper hard carry on the other team can take advantage of a game's longetivity and snowball harder than you. Don't stray away from your teammates and always prompt teammfights. You thrive in them and with your items you can hardly be stomped. Make your tanky carry build matter.
If the game has lasted this long, Necro will have some serious issues. Although he remains a beast and can be valuable in teamfights, he will lose his carry power and get less effective in getting kills and catching the spotlight. Around this time, start farming even tankier items or protection items to make you resilient to strong right clicks and allow your more impactful teammate space to thrive. Also, consider Roshing more often but unlike mid game, it's better to allow someone else the Aegis of the Immortal (you can hardly die anyway).
HEROES NECRO CAN BEAT EASILY:
Any durable really and especially tanks with no escape mechanisms or 1v1 combat spells. In teamfights initiators like Axe or Bristleback will have a nightmare against you.
HEROES NECRO COOPERATES WELL:
Hard supports and good disablers with support mechanisms (e.g. Sven with his stun and Warcry) are your best bet to thrive but generally don't rely on direct synergy too much. Necro doesn't have natural "friends" and doesn't compliment with the majority of heroes so focus on more practical combinations.
P.S.: Necro's ultimate though can be used in combination with several spells such as Huskar ultimate Lifebreak which almost always ends up in a kill.
HEROES THAT PWN NECRO ANYTIME:
Good gankers are your main threat and during early game you are an easy prey without enough help from your team. By mid game you should just tank your way through them. By late game your #1 reason for despair should likely be opponent hard carries who will likely kill you with a few right clicks. In addition, heroes with good magic resistance and better spellcasters ( Invoker maybe?) will also cause you major issues.
Necrolyte is a really strong hero that can be useful in dread situations simply because he does so many things well. Don't be deceived though as his skill in any of those departments individually is lower than more "devoted" heroes. If something can be said about him is that he is a predominantly mid game hero who can settle teamfights and trigger pushes. Take advantage of this and finish games early.
Also, if you have any thoughts (mainly negative ones I assume :P) about my guide let me know in the comments below and I hope you enjoy playing with Necro as much as I do :)
Here are some pictures from my best matches as Necro. You can send me your own if you like and I will post the best :)
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