Rule of thumb when spending your gold as Necrolyte: build to survive. Whether survival calls for HP, Armor, Magic Armor, Magic Immunity or kiting/disabling with items such as Force Staff, Ghost Scepter, Eul's Scepter of Divinity or Scythe of Vyse varies from game to game, and as such, there are a variety of paths to victory on this hero. Still, using the items I have listed as a source, I'll give you a rundown on when I think you should be getting want.
I start pretty much the same items every game on this hero; three Iron Branch
, Mantle of Intelligence
and Tangoes and/or Healing Salve
. The Iron Branch
es simply go into Magic Stick
when I get around to it, the Mantle of Intelligence
boosts Necrolyte's low base damage a bit, and the regen is...regen. Other items that might be good to start include Circlet
, Gauntlets of Strength
or even a Clarity Potion or two as Death Pulse
is costly early on.
Choice of Boots
are arguably the most well suited of all Boots to this hero. The extra mobility provided by Phasing is essential for juking and kiting common melee heroes such as Ursa
, Phantom Assassin
and so on. Although the +24 Damage may seem wasted on a caster such as Necrolyte in reality it is a huge boon thanks Necrolyte's poor damage and animation. None of his spells are channeled as well, so even if autoattacking isn't your main focus, you'll be doing it all game long anyways.
are perhaps the most reliable choice of footwear around. With proper micro of Strength/Intelligence swapping, they offer an unmatched combination of HP, Mana and physical DPS. The main issue with Power Treads
is that they don't provide much mobility, which Necrolyte already lacks and would love to have some of. I tend to pick Power Treads
if I am laned against a heroes like Storm Spirit
, Queen of Pain
, all of whom have Blink
-type skills to escape Necrolyte regardless of his choice of Boots.
Boots of Travel
are generally the most effective and certainly the most expensive Boots in the game. As a high farming hero with strong lane pushing abilities thanks to Death Pulse
and Sadist, Necrolyte can make great use of Boots of Travel
by split pushing and using the active to join team fights. Still, having to save 2000g for 0 HP can be suboptimal in many cases and is generally only recommended if you get a great start or if the game goes on very, very long. In such a case, selling Phase Boots
or Power Treads
for Boots of Travel
is an option.
are a strong choice early game, before Sadist is leveled, as they grant you much more Mana to play around with, as well as an effective Mana regeneration of 2.44 if you use the item ability everytime it's up. I recommend building Arcane Boots
if you plan on skipping Sadist and building a Bloodstone
(see Build 2). but find them to be inefficient if you level Sadist at all.
are a relatively new item to Dota and the cheapest of all Boots. This item mostly exists as a lane staying tool/fall-back item. With Necrolyte's Mana/HP sustain through Death Pulse
and Sadism, I wouldn't recommend this item. It is however, capable of being partially (350/525g) dissembled into Mekansm
, making it a viable choice early game if you feel you could do with more regen in lane.
is a comfortably overpowered item that I get almost every game on almost every hero. It's essentially an improved Bracer
with less efficient stats per gold which is more than compensated for by it's clutch active. This item is too cheap and has too good of a buildup for me to every really not recommend it.
is a key item on Necrolyte. Mekansm
offers Necrolyte passable stats before activated, but it's true strength shines in its active, with gives has strong synergy with Death Pulse
; you can burst heal yourself and everyone around you for up to 380 HP, which is a pretty big deal. The active and the item itself also grant you a combined +8 Armor, which is very effective at mitigating physical damage. Although the active costs 150 Mana, it is easily paid off thanks to Sadist, making Necrolyte one of the best holders of Mekansm
in Dota 2.
is a trending item that I would also recommend on Necrolyte. I wouldn't give Force Staff
any awards for it's inefficient stats, but the active is very versatile. My main use of Force Staff
on this hero is as a kiting/escape mechanism, but it's also very effective in saving allies, chasing enemies, getting off last second Reaper's Scythe
s on fleeing targets and even forcing unaware enemy heroes out of position. It's also very effective against heroes such as Clockwerk
who excel at pinning down a single target.
is also an option for Necrolyte, bringing to the table decent HP and snowballing ability. Building a Bloodstone
is best done early game and although it's buildup is fantastic, it's expensive enough to prevent you from making use of items such as Mekansm
, which are distinctly more effective the earlier you acquire them. If you choose to go Bloodstone
on Necrolyte, remember to skill Stats over Sadist for the additional bulk, you won't be needing the Mana of Sadist unless you fall behind.
is a supplemental source of Armor and a nice fallback item versus squishy, high DPS heroes such as Riki
, Bounty Hunter
, Phantom Assassin
and similar heroes with telegraphed periods of attack.
Black King Bar
can be taken as a counter measure to mass disables ( Lion
and Shadow Shaman
) or high Magic damage if your team isn't being blown up as well ( Pipe of Insight
). Ignoring spells such as Epicenter
and the like feels great, at the very least.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
is a versatile item that mostly serves as a fallback to Scythe of Vyse
. The disable can be worthless offensively (unless you are catching someone out of position and allowing your team to act) but it shines defensively as a 2.5s "you can't kill me" button with self use. The +30 movement speed ia also a major draw for this item, and cements this as a decent purchase versus melee carries.
Gem of True Sight
is an all-purpose counter to wards or invisibility of all sorts, but is, well, dropped and usually taken by the other team if you screw up and die. Since a correctly built Necrolyte is a tanky hero and the backbone of any team, he's a natural Gem of True Sight
is a cheap and dirty counter to physical damage. It's obscenely effective against poor lineups that are lined with carry heroes, but can get you blown up if the enemy team has ample Magic damage and only a few carries. Regardless, I highly recommend this item against heroes like Ursa
is a rare yet great item for dismantling enemy carries. With +20 Strength and +25% Evasion that you aren't going to practically ( Butterfly
) acquire anywhere else on Necrolyte, this is a strong item even without
it's great active. Another strong buy versus carry heroes that can counter ranged carries ( Drow Ranger
) as well.
is a truly situational item with below average stats for its cost, best put to use against problematic spells such as Doom
, Viper Strike
and Nether Swap
. When considering a Linken's Sphere
, pay close attention to what spells the enemy is capable of throwing around; if they have easy solutions to your Linken's Sphere
such as Arc Lightning
, Stifling Dagger
or Mana Drain
, avoid this item.
Pipe of Insight
is a potentially game breaking item that goes well with Necrolyte's survivability focus and Mana overflow. You or an ally should almost always pick up a Pipe of Insight
when against high profile heroes with big AoE ultimates such as Earthshaker
, Sand King
Rod of Atos
is a new(ish) item with a strong buildup, fair stats, and good utility. It's a nice fallback item from Heart of Tarrasque
as it also uses a Vitality Booster
. Necrolyte can put this item's active slow to good use as he lacks any CC beyond the lowly single second stun of Reaper's Scythe
Veil of Discord
is another new item that is rather rare. Statistically, it offers a rare combination of Health regen, Armor and Intelligence which is decent on Necrolyte. The active gives you the ability to amplify Magic damage inflicted to enemies by 25% (effectively nulls base Magic resistance on heroes) in a fair AoE for 20 seconds. This has great synergy with Death Pulse
, Reaper's Scythe
and allies like Sand King
. Can also be used for slightly faster farming of lanes/stacks. Ultimately, Veil of Discord
is a strong follow up item to Bloodstone
that doesn't get enough use in general.
is a fair option on Necrolyte, as it buffs his Reaper's Scythe
and offers reasonable stats. Minor Mana cost and cooldown buffs to Rank 1/Rank 2 aside, the main draw of Aghanim's Scepter
is the stronger Reaper's Scythe
, which is very effective against heroes with high HP.
is a decent choice on Necrolyte that I generally wouldn't recommend unless no one else on your team is getting one. If that is the case, however, Assault Cuirass
is a serviceable pickup that is strong for resisting physical damage, buffing your team and pushing towers.
Boots of Travel
was mentioned before, even in this capacity, but it still pays to remember that if the game is going very late, trading in your Phase Boots
or Power Treads
for Boots of Travels can have significant returns.
is an optional extension if you picked up a Ghost Scepter
mid-game. While the +40 Agility on this item isn't going to provide much (other than +5.7 Armor), this item's active is still a great tool versus physical heroes; you kite them around with Death Pulse
and when they close the distance, you simply Ethereal Blade
-> Death Pulse
-> Reaper's Scythe
them for a satisfying finish.
Eye of Skadi
is my favorite luxury on Necrolyte, and a superb choice on almost any hero late game so long as you have a gold advantage. The stats on this item are un-focused but high and the orb effect provides a strong slow that pierces Black King Bar
, Blade Fury
. A great choice for pressing your advantage or kiting melee carries late into the game.
Heart of Tarrasque
is one of the most straightforward items in the game, providing unmatched +HP and regeneration. It's a strong pickup against any lineup without an answer tailored against tanky heroes [Malediction, Life Break
, for example).
is an unusual choice for Necrolyte that I haven't got around to testing yet. The item offers decent Strength and Intelligence as well as versatile minions that can be strong for pushing, fighting or Roshan'ing. The main two problems with this item on Necrolyte are the required micro and his lack of slows/stuns (unlike strong Necronomicon
carries such as Bane
), but you could do much worse.
is an item that offers no defensive stats but instead comes loaded with a face-melting aura that has great synergy with Death Pulse
and Heartstopper Aura
. It's a cute choice that is recommended if you have strong farm and/or are backed by heroes such as Omniknight
or Treant Protector
who can help you stay alive. Be careful not to get this if an ally is saving for one (common carriers include Spectre
, Syllabear, Alchemist
, Phantom Lancer
Scythe of Vyse
is an anti-anything item with one of the best actives in the game. This is best acquired as an answer to squishy, immensely threatening heroes such as Anti-Mage
, Faceless Void
, Phantom Assassin
and the like, but can also be put to use in disabling and killing damn well near anything on the enemy team. The only drawback to this item is it's lack of strong defensive stats, lackluster buildup and very high cost.
is my preferred Armor item on Necrolyte. I highly recommend this item against heroes such as Riki
for its stats, active and
aura, all of which are great against melee carries. The extra relatively low cooldown (30s) AoE nuke can be of use in farming and pushing as well.
Considering his aforementioned farm/level dependency, Necrolyte really must be laned either solo or with a babysitter such as Crystal Maiden
. Since finding a babysitter in publics can be hard amongst legions of Sniper
and Bounty Hunter
pickers, I find myself going solo middle with this hero much more often than not.
So you've picked Necrolyte and decided to go mid. First step is to communicate this; just say "mid plz", "mid", or the timeless "mid or feed". Let's say you get lucky and nobody on your team counter picks you with a big last second Shadow Fiend
pick and you get the position. Great! Now all you have to do is win your lane.
Well, sadly I can't teach you exactly
how to do this every game, every time, but I can certainly offer some tips. For starters, consider Necrolyte's base stats/animation; with a low starting Damage and a lengthier than average frontswing, chances are that unless you play Lina
every game, you'll need to adjust to a later last hit timing on this hero than what you are likely to be used to. Although you are mostly mid to farm rather than to gank, rune control should never be neglected and you'll probably want to get a Bottle
as well. Despite his slow movement speed, Necrolyte can control runes effectively by pushing the lane out via auto-attacks and Death Pulse
on the wave or two before a rune is about to come up (remember, runes spawn every two minutes, starting at 0:00).
Generally Necrolyte mid must be played defensively, especially if you are against dominant mid heroes such as Queen of Pain
. Be sure to watch your minimap as well, too much tunnelvision on lane control leaves you exposed to early ganks from roaming supports, gankers or junglers. While I'm not going to offer a comprehensive list of matchups for every hero that you will ever see mid, here are some of the more common ones explained.
is the most common hero in the game (http://stats.dota2.be/herostats
) and a staple mid hero. Beating Pudge
requires you to adapt to his game, which is unlike any other hero really; you must constantly position yourself so that creeps are in between you and Pudge
to block Meat Hook
while not letting him last hit/deny without going harassed. Since Pudge
lacks any real lane control beyond kill attempts, this matchup can be very uncomfortable for newer players, since you can go from winning this lane to losing this lane in a single Meat Hook
The best way to play with this matchup is to farm/deny while avoiding Meat Hook
as I described pre-6. If he gets on you with Rot
, you can Death Pulse
him while backing off and throwing auto-attacks at his soft body. In more desperate situations where a single close range Meat Hook
will kill, you may be able to kite him around your creep line to block the hook/overpower him with Death Pulse
. After Level 6, you'll want to courier an Observer Ward
to yourself and place it on Pudge
's hill so that you can farm without fear of being pulled into his tower. If you avoid getting hooked and communicate properly with your team so that they don't get smashed by Pudge
ganks, you may actually end up rather farmed come mid game. Reaper's Scythe
is also a nice answer to Pudge
in spite of Flesh Heap
, as Pudge
not only has a massive HP cont but also weakens himself for your pleasure with Rot
as well. Do note that the majority of replays I posted below are against Pudge
, so if this matchup scares you do check those out.
is another common mid hero; if you see an Invoker
on the other team, there is a very high chance you will be facing him mid. A well-played Invoker
is the complete package, and comes in either Exort
variety. What these builds entail for you is slightly different, with Exort
ultimately being much more threatening. If you see a Quas
+ Wex Invoker
, you should just try to farm against him as he will most likely be leveling Quas
first, giving him incredible regen.
Invoker significantly outsustains you and farms harder as well with a stronger animation/damage thanks to Exort
. Cold Snap
provides him lane control as well, as he can poke you with it and a few autoattacks for a small (100) Mana cost every now and then to wear you down, the combo Cold Snap
into Sun Strike
when you are around 1/2 HP for a kill. While this lane is certainly in Invoker
's favor, it's important to not give up anything for free; unless he uses Cold Snap
, you should meet his autoattacks with your autoattacks if you can. Use Death Pulse
for trading as well. For all his strength as a mid hero, Invoker
struggles to control runes as he lacks a convenient way to push lanes bar Forge Spirit
which never seems to get used early game anyways. Phase Boots
are a must to combat his absurd last hit/deny with Exort
is a pretty unique but rather common mid hero. His game plan is to free farm until Level 6 (with Blood Bath to ignore harass) and then kill you with Rupture
. If he really gets off to a good start, you'll find yourself being frustrated left and right by denying, as he loves doing that too thanks to Blood Bath.
's Blood Bath arguably exceeds the level of harass Necrolyte is really capable of putting out. Your best bet is to abuse Bottle
+ rune control + Flying Courier
while autoattacking and spamming Death Pulse
at him every time he comes near the creep line. With enough pressure he will break. If you can't dominate him mid, don't despair; keep a Town Portal Scroll
on you as soon as he is Level 6 to counter Rupture
and try to stay healthy. If he attempts to dive you with Bloodrage
and you aren't very injured beforehand, you should be able to survive six seconds than Death Pulse
+ Reaper's Scythe
for an easy kill. Keep in mind that since he must farm in aggressive positions and lacks an escape mechanism, he's a very easy target for ganks if your team has anyone capable of providing them. Lastly, don't use Force Staff
on yourself if Bloodseeker Rupture
s you as you will take 120/240/360 damage for your troubles, potentially killing you or activating his Thirst