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It's now or Nevermore, A guide to Shadow Fiend

March 23, 2015 by IHateTheFogOfWar
Comments: 7    |    Views: 75521    |   


DotA2 Hero: Shadow Fiend

Purchase Order

Starting items

Iron Branch
Iron Branch

Starting items 2

Iron Branch
Iron Branch
Tango (Shared)
Tango (Shared)
Wraith Band

As soon as possible


Boots of choice

Power Treads
Phase Boots

Other early game items

Ring of Aquila

Mid game choice 1

Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Blink Dagger

Mid game choice 2

Shadow Blade

Late game build 1

Black King Bar
Eye of Skadi
Assault Cuirass

Late game build 2

Black King Bar
Eye of Skadi

Substitutes and Situational items

Manta Style
Monkey King Bar
Boots of Travel

Hero Skills


1 3 5 7


2 4 6 8

Presence of the Dark Lord

10 12 13 14

Requiem of Souls

9 11 16


15 17 18

It's now or Nevermore, A guide to Shadow Fiend

March 23, 2015


Shadow Fiend is an extremely item and level dependent hard carry who almost always takes the middle lane. He has one of the greatest farming mechanisms in the entire game which gives him the innate ability to farm huge amounts even if he had a bad early game.

Pros and Cons

-Amazing farming mechanism
-Very heavy nuker
-Can push towers very efficiently
-Has an amazing initiate
-Can comeback from a bad early game

-Extremely squishy
-Not mana efficient early game
-Extremely low damage output in the absence of souls
-Most ganks against him result in death
-No disables of any kind, only a nuker and initiator

When to pick Nevermore and when not to


-When your team needs a position 1 hero in the mid lane
-When your team already has ONE reliable initiate or when your team can use an initiate.
-If your team needs a heavy right-clicker
-If your team has aggresive ROAMING supports like Earthshaker and Bounty Hunter


-If your team doesn't have sufficient support heroes.
-If you are up against a gank-heavy line up.
-If you can't use Requiem of Souls effectively whether it be for a solo kill or in a teamfight
-If your team needs you to lane.



This ability has 3 versions, a melee ranged one, a short ranged one and a long ranged one. These individual razes don't share cooldowns which makes Nevermore a crazy nuker early on. Winning lane and harassing is extremely easy thanks to this ability. If you manage to land three razes this way on a lane opponent chances are their dead or almost dead, you know except if its Pudge or some other tank.


This ability or passive is Nevermore's main source of damage early on and REALLY helps you late game as well. For every unit you kill you absorb one soul. At level 4 this passive lets you consume a maximum of 36 souls. Each souls adds 2 damage to your attacks hence adding 72 damage early game!

Presence of the Dark Lord:

This ability reduces the armor of nearby enemy heroes. It stacks with other armor reducing items like Desolator. This skill is usually what you skill last.

Requiem of Souls:

This is Nevermore's ultimate ability and for a reason. When activated it deals damage to nearby enemy units depending on how close they are to you and how many souls you have collected. It deals damage depending on the number of 'lines' hit the opponent hence being closer to the enemy unit causes more lines to hit the enemy.


Starting items:

One set of tangoes is sufficient regen for until you get a bottle

Getting two of these is a good idea because the attributes help you lane and last hit a bit better.

Starting items 2:

If you are skilling Necromastery then you should go for this set of starting items. Keep in mind that Nevermore's last hitting is horrid in the absence of souls and you have to start at 0 souls so getting these attributes really helps.

Getting 2 iron branches, never a bad idea.

Since you obviously don't have sufficient gold remaining for any regen try to get your supports to give you atleast 2 tangoes which should last until you get a bottle.

Early game:

Essential for every mid hero. Establishing rune-control is one of the most important aspects of the mid lane. Bottling those runes lets you gank extremely effectively.

Hands down the boots of choice on Nevermore in my opinion. It allows you to manipulate your stats and raze while efficiently using your mana.

This is mostly player preference though I'm not particularly fond of it, it is viable on Shadow Fiend.

If you went with starting items 2 then its always a good idea to convert that wraith band into a ring of aquilla. You should do this early has the attributes this item offers late game becomes negligible as the game progresses.

A good pickup if you've you bought a wraith band in your starting items. Gives you some armor as well as gives you some good attributes. Probably one of the most essential items for every team. The active regen also benefits your team in a teamfight.

Mid game choice 1:

Mid game we mainly focus on items that help us land that crazy ultimate a Eul's is a good pickup since it allows you to ult next to your opponents. Be sure to time it right. Timing it will come naturally after using it a few games.

Good followup after Eul's considering how you can easily Euls a fleeing opponent, blink in and use your ult.

Mid game choice 2:

Shadow blade is a decent pickup on Nevermore. I don't usually go for this considering how any kind of detection like smoke or wards can render this item useless. Not very reliable in high level games yet a decent pickup in pubs. This item is mostly player preference.

Late game build 1:

A great item, gives you some health along with a bit of damage but mainly that active magic immunity allowing you to be more survivable in teamfights to dish out more damage.

Such an amazing item. Provides you with a great array of stats and a decent slow sllowing you to time razes somewhat more effectively. The stats are so useful as they allow you to tank more and make you more suvivable. Along with that you also gain some damage.

This build is mainly focused on attack speed hence this item is very helpful. The chain lightning stacks with Skadi, need I say more?

A great pickup boosting your attack speed significantly along with making you more survivable. The aura is also extremely helpful to your team. If someone on your team has already picked this up then substitute it for one of the situational items.

Late game build 2:

A great item, gives you some health along with a bit of damage but mainly that active magic immunity allowing you to be more survivable in teamfights to dish out more damage.

Such an amazing item. Provides you with a great array of stats and a decent slow sllowing you to time razes somewhat more effectively. The stats are so useful as they allow you to tank more and make you more suvivable. Along with that you also gain some damage.

Good item. Allows you be more survivable in teamfights and provides you with some attack speed and damage. Definitely a great pickup.

An amazing pickup! The lifesteal makes you more survivable and stacks with Skadi! Making you a crazy killing machine. Also the active lifesteal that help you easily destroy the enemy tank during a teamfight.

Substitutes/ Situational items

A decent substitute for a Skadi if you need more pushing power. Gives you some good damage as well and the armor reduction helps if you are up against a line-up with a lot of armor. I usually don't go for this but it is good in some situations.

Great pickup. The critical hits help a bunch which adds to your dps. Gives you some damage also.

A great pickup if you need more pushing power. A manta style and a desolator allow you to take down towers easily. If you are going for this kind of a build then that will be your job. The attributes provided are also really nice.

A hell of an item if you are up against a Phantom Assassin or if your enemy carry has a Butterfly or some kind of evasion. Aside from that it gives you a TON of damage to deal.

Gives you a huge amount of map control. Also allows you to split push like a boss if you are going Manta-Deso build. Aside from that the movement speed is very beneficial.

Counters and more

Pudge can really mess up your lane. Even a potential hook early game in the absence of a dismember follow up can be a problem considering how squishy you are.

Viper can seriously throw you off. His poison and corrosive skin can make you burn through your regen and he can really give you a hard time in lane.

Of course, Outworld Devourer. The king of mid lane. This guy can steal all your intel and make you cry in lane. He's worse than the high school bully. Without your razes your chances for getting last hits are much lower and if you don't have too many last hits... you're useless.

Remember, you're extremely squishy. If Lina manages to get her stun on you and she is level 6 you're probably seconds away from dying. She can nuke you down with that ult of hers.

Same thing implies for Lion. Don't let him get his ultimate on you or else you are ****ed.

Since Riki is almost always behind you landing your razes is quite the task. His pesky smoke is also annyoing.


Easy pick to kill if you can manage to land 3 consecutive razes on her. Considering how squishy Drow Ranger is, you can easily nuke her down.

Tinker is the best nuker in the game so you must think he counters Nevermore but in lane Shadow fiend can give Tinker a hard time. He doesnt have enough firepower to take you down and plus he is also quite squishy, 3 consecutive razes should do the trick.

Even though Skywrath Mage's first spell can give you a hard time if you're bottling those runes then you can limit his mana regen and with that aside you can easily nuke this guy down.



Early game is where it all begins. You're gonna wanna secure some last hits in lane( presumably mid) and use your shadowrazes often to harass and to farm. You need to establish rune control as a mid-player so bottle those runes. This allows you to gank enemies and to regen mana sufficiently so you can keep those shadowrazes coming. Early game only try to get souls and harass. Try to apply pressure on your lane opponent by razing and so on. It is extremely crucial to last hit with this hero as you do not only require gold from it but also souls.
(If you've gone with the Starting items 1 then you should be good following the skill build given although if you want to skill Necromastery first then you should opt for 'Starting items 2')


As soon as you get your ultimate at level 9 you should gank a lane if possible. Your ultimate is a great ganking tool but aside from it your shadowrazes are also very helpful. After your first gank you should proceed to take their mid tower if possible as it helps apply pressure on the opponents and grants your team the map advantage.


Right now your team should have the map advantage if not then push towers and try to get that map advantage. At this point Nevermore is amazingly strong. If you notice an enemy hero split pushing a lane or isolated then Euls-Blink and follow with your ultimate for a guaranteed kill (as long as you timed it) or shadow blade, whatever you're using. Remember never hesitate to use your ultimate in a team fight even if you aren't right next to an enemy but a small distance away. Its a great teamfight ultimate that deserves to be used in them. Even if they are not close enough to get insta-killed (or almost) use it and win that ******* team fight.


At this point your team should be pushing lanes and should have atleast one tier 3 taken. In that case follow the instructions given for the mid-late game and you should be fine just be sure to only use your ultimate if you have atleast about 32 souls. Remember to farm up your souls before going to accompany your team incase you just died although you don't need to always rely on the jungle for this. You can also obtain souls from lane creeps and with a farming mechanism as efficient as razes whats stopping you?
Accompany your team and make sure you are always present for a team fight. Be aware that you might die during the teamfight as you are an iniator but chances are the team fight will go your way. Nevermore can right click enormous amounts of spdamage late game so try to land as many right clicks as possible. Even if your enemies have magic immunity or a Black King Bar you can still annihilate them with your crazy right-click damage. You aren't a tank or a disabler but what you can do is push. Try to split push if your team needs it but always carry a tp (most basic rule of dota that you probably know) incase they sniff you out. Else, just go with your team. Follow up like this while keeping in mind the Mid-late game instructions and you should have yourself a win.


Shadow Fiend is an extremely overpowered hero mid-late game if you've farmed adequately. He has one of the best farming mechanism's in the entire game which allows him to come back from a bad early game. He can also render Black King Bar's useless late game with his heavy physical damage output. He can also snowball out of control if he gets insane levels of farm early game.


Thanks for taking the time to look through this guide. It would be great if you could leave a rating and a comment. Perhaps mention anything I got wrong and of course, if the guide did help, please leave a comment.
Thanks again guys.
P.S: This is my first actusl guide considering how I made the others mainly as a joke and very lazily.

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