Help Support Our Growing Community

DOTAFire is a community that lives to help every Dota 2 player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support DOTAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


16 Votes

Necrophos, The Unkillable Tank (6.84c UPDATE)

February 15, 2016 by DjAirwolf
Comments: 28    |    Views: 146806    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

General Purpose Tank Build (6.85 update)

DotA2 Hero: Necrophos

Hero Skills

Death Pulse

2 4 5 7

Heartstopper Aura

1 8 10 13

Ghost Shroud

3 9 12 14

Reaper's Scythe

6 11 16



6.84(c) Update May 2015

Update Feb 2016 - I find play necro this meta more towards supporting, but apart from that generally no change.

Hi Folks

I am returning to provide some insight into how the latest patch affects Necro and his roles.

My first bold statement is... Necro is now a pretty viable support. I was never a fan of using necro as a support (as you'll see below on my original guide)
But due to to the new added support items that synergise well with necro's existing abilities and in addition the new "Intrateam Welfare" - (poorer heroes receive benefits at the expense of richer heroes in an attempt to equalize net worth within a team.)

So yes due to these 2 new changes, I honestly think Necro can be used as a viable 4 role support, ill add a build up above to show how I think item progression should go.

Apart from my thoughts on support in addition I think Necro becomes an even better tank. I think the 6.84 patch changes this builds item progression by a big difference.

First major change is now Tranquil Boots is moved to situational.
Tranquil boots should now only be bought if your having a seriously tough time in your solo lane. It will stop you being zoned out completely, extra Armour and move speed defo help.

So now typically I agree now that Arcane Boots has a bigger role to play. First off it helps with mekansm manna cost which is pretty hefty. 2nd and now my favorite, it builds into Guardian Greaves

This item should be obtained now in most cases in both tank build and supporting.
The passive Guardian Aura actually works on yourself! So at level 10 with only these boots (20% or below your HP) your health regen will be over 17hp/s IN combat plus a massive 15 Armour which at level 10 with just boots equipped you go from 46% phyiscal damage reduction (14 total armour) to 62% physical damage reduction (27 armor). Which far exceeds it's capabilities over tranquils. Not to mention the extremely great active with now no manna cost.
This scales slightly into late game too when the more health you have the higher the HP threshold for the passive to kick in. giving you a bigger boost to your effective hp. Keeping you alive longer, more jukes, more Heartstopper Aura and more Death Pulse
This boosts Necro's tanking capabilities considerably.
Not to mention the active disables silences, most slows etc.

Now I have moved Bloodstone from essential to optional based on your personal preferences and how hard your snowballing. But I would now advise against it due to Guardian Greaves and the item i'll be talking about next Octarine Core

Octarine Core Is I think ridiculously good for necro and should be obtained in most cases especially over Bloodstone.

Octarine Core

5900 Gold
+25 Int
+450 Health
+400 manna
+4hp/s regen
+100% manna inc
25% reduction on spell cooldown
(death pulse from 5 sec to 3.75)
(reapers scythe from 70 sec to 52.5)
25% lifesteal
(on ALL of your spells against heroes)


4900 gold
+0 Int
+500 health
+400 manna
+9hp/s regen
+200% manna inc
charges decrease gold lost on death
(and decreases spawn timer)
xp gained in death area

Stat wise, relatively even... ability wise, big difference. Bloodstone has a bigger focus on what happens when you die. Where as Octarine Core has a bigger focus on just not dying in the first place.
The lifesteal on spells is huge, meaning your death pulse heals you for an extra 68 per hero you hit. Hit 5 heros and you heal straight away 130 + 68*5 = 470 Health with 1 Death Pulse!! Thats just insane.
Not to mention it ALSO works with Reaper's Scythe relative to damage done.
Add on the cooldown reduction and you'll be healing for crazy amounts.
in longer team fights with extended chasing, due to the new cooldown of 52 seconds on occasion I was able to get off 2 ultimate's. Just crazy stuff. This item for Necro is a core if your going for teamfight tank build which is my recommended spec for Necrophos.

Lotus Orb situational core. To be obtain after octarine core usually. However in some cases were you're against a heavy caster/disable team I would opt for getting this before Octarine Core due to the slightly better survivability.
Have yet to test how the active works with blademail if you have any findings let me know in the comments.
works well in protecting carry's if needbe.

Pipe of Insight got a nice buff and should be considered in conjuction with lotus orb if against a heavy caster team.

Glimmer Cape situational at best. Ideally a support item meant for protecting yourself or allies.

Solar Crest situational against a melee heavy team, however I would usually always opt for siva's guard over this. Atleast in the first instance.

Summary for 6.84

Overall a good patch for Necrophos albeit he never received any direct changes, the new items works extremely well with Necro and boost his tanking capabilities whilst giving him an optional support role. This new patch encourages less farming and more killing, which in turn means more team fights and more opportunities for necro to shine.

Let me know how you get on :)

Introduction Why choose Necro?

He's a bad *** hero. Back in the start of Dota2 his pick rate was always poor. I think he got underestimated a lot... and still does but as personal witness and statistics shows hes getting picked and banned more.

In this guide I will assume a lot of common sense, there are other necro guides that go into more detail on how to play him but I'm going to assume you know that already. What I'll cover is a very specific way to play him and why I think it is THE best way to play Necro.

I'm making this guide because I see sooo many Necro Dagon builders and pubbers that insist Aghanim's Scepter is a MUST. It infuriates me. Aghanims and even Dagon is EXTREMELY situational. That of course depends if your captain/team leader picked Necro to be a ganker or a tank. Ill go into more detail later on.

Necro of course is BEST served as a tank/semi carry a kind of hybrid between the 2 if you will. getting stuck right in there spamming Death Pulse, Mekansm, Pipe of Insight, Shiva's Guard and generally making life hell for the enemy team and keeping your team alive. Just because he's a tank doesn't mean you aren't getting no kills. Oh no, there's definitely good room for kills, I typically have more kills than the carry. No Kill stealing, I promise.
fully Farmed Necro can easily take an ok farmed Juggernaut Omnislash with Aghanim's Scepter to the FACE and still have about 50% health left. Yeah Juggernaut. Suck on that.

When to pick Necro

When the enemy team has 2 or more strength heros
Your team lacks a tank
Your team lacks healing supports (but has other supports)
Your team is durable (abadon, omni, Treant, Wraith King to name a few durable heros) this adds to be even more durable team that is very hard to kill.

When to not pick Necro

Enemy team has lots of mobile high damage dealing heros.
Enemy team has 2 or more high damage ranged heros with stun or silence like Drow Ranger
Enemy team has lots of silence and team AoE Nukes like Lion Enigma Skywrath Mage Disruptor

why Tranquil Boots over Power Treads or even Arcane Boots
first of all I LOVE the 380 move speed to catch up to fleeing enemies so that your aura finishes them off.
Heal passive is a must when solo laning
early armor is a god send.

you dont really need the attack speed or attribute switching of treads as much as tranquil.
Arcane boots are a better choice than treads but since were going down the route of great manna regen these boots really aren't needed either.

Necros Potential

I can just imagine the comments about this section. Yes there is a tad bit of ego involved but the reason the pictures below are here is to show Necros potential at what I feel is the best role he can be in and how much of a big team fight influence he really is.

This is based on about 30% solo and 70% team ranked. Solo MMR averaging about 3k. Party averaging between 3-4k.

The HH stands for total healing you have done to your team. This is consistently double or more than double any of the other supports in the team which solidifies my previous point. Necro stays alive as much as possible keeping his team and himself alive.
This is the best way I believe to play Necro. Hands down.

Early Game (most important phase)

Necrophos is very weak early game and really only shines mid game on-wards. This is a very true statement but doesn't mean he can't pack a few surprises.
I find being a tank necro is very level and item dependent. For this I insist on a solo lane. Only dual lane if there are no other hard carries. Definitely don't trilane (pretty much all of my losses are for when I am in a tri or playing as a support)
I stress that early game is THE most important time of the game for Necro. Kills or gank help from other team mates is a must if you cant get some yourself. If you fall behind enough early game it becomes VERY difficult to pull yourself back.

Playing necro against a strong mid, or a tri or even a dual lane and getting kills is a fine art I tend to find. First of all I insist on magic wand, tango and 3 gg branches as first buy.
Tango for the lane harassment. Magic Stick to collect charges from spell harassment and Iron Branch gg branches for that extra bit of health and right clicking power (of which necro's is terrible)
You buy those Boots of Speed next so you can juke effectively and when you have them plus 10 wand charges your good for you first kill. Then you upgrade to Magic Wand so you can start building your Tranquil Boots
So to get your first kill after 10 wand charges (or close to) you can usually do this 2 ways.
Assuming your about lvl 4-6.
If the enemy lane is passive and doesn't seem to be interested in harassing you, it's time to bait. So zone him out, lots of right clicks (avoid using death pulse unless he's right on top of you) don't worry about aggro from creeps hitting you and don't even tango up (unless your stupidly low health) so the passive enemy will do one of 2 things. Attack you as you are low health (30-50% is ideal) or run away and heal up. If they do run away and heal up make sure you stay at about the same health level if possible. Stay slightly close to your tower in case he returns with a friend, then rinse and repeat the harassment. Your aim is to get them to attack you. The moment they do that's it they are dead. Preferably with your tower helping you (this is how trilanes die to me). Its hard to pull off a kill when you chase because of the lack of necros slows/stuns. That is why you have to get them to come to you.

You need to time your spells just right, fire everything at once and u might scare them off. Too late and you die.

So the fight would go like this. At the start, enemies health should be between 50-75% (this is due to a few right clicks plus heart stopper)

You would have about 50% yourself. Enemy decides to take his chances and go for you. First thing you lead with is a Death Pulse putting enemy below 50% and 1 right click to bring about 45%. Assuming his nuke is 200 ish you'll drop to about 100 health and your death pulse will heal for 90-110. So you'll be at about 32% health left and the enemy has 45% he's still winning right?
Watch the cooldown on your Death Pulse (6 seconds for lvl 3), watch for animation of the enemy and manna to see if they are preparing another nuke, when and if they do. Pop your magic wand to give you an extra 150 health and manna boosting you up to 50% health, pop death pulse bringing the enemy to 10% health, couple right clicks and Heartstopper Aura finishes him off.

This is happens in 90% of my games. Doesn't matter if they are solo, dual or tri lane. This same strategy (with some minor adjustments depending on the enemy hero) would still work. Yes I have gotten a triple kill against a trilane, yes I did juke like I was being chased by Michael Jackson.

This works because they underestimate you, Death Pulse, Magic Wand and Heartstopper Aura. Don't under estimate them. There are some dual or trilanes that there would be no chance you could get away without dying if you are not playing passive. Those are typically lanes with 2 or more disables and or a juggernauts Blade Fury ;) (Damn you Crystal Maiden, Juggernaut combo)
So don't risk being caught out of position. Let them make the mistakes by over extending then wand and death pulse away!

When against a really aggressive trilane (or even dual) Stay back, soak up the XP and let your Heartstopper Aura do the harass. Ask your mid to be awesome and come gank the lane. With your ultimate Reaper's Scythe ready and the trilane under leveled this will be relatively easy.

by min 10 you should have most if not all of your Mekansm as well as your tranquil boots. If not get some ganks in. Your ulti should not be off cooldown for long.
Bloodstone should be obtained around 16 mins early 20 mins average 26 mins late

Why Not to get Dagon or Aghanims as a core. Pro's and Cons

Assuming you have a balanced team comp with other gankers or nukers. Getting Dagon Aghanims is a stupid idea.

Here are the pro's/cons for Dagon/Aghanims

Pros +

  • Can almost insta kill any hero in the game.
  • No buy Back

Cons -

You get the point right? This is after all a team game. Not a nuke 1 player so hard he cant walk straight for a week... Prison style.

Why not just aghanims plus tanky item of your choice? Well again it falls into that category of focusing on one player.
Yes you get a bit of health and manna
Yes you stop their buy back (1/5)
Yes it does a LITTLE extra damage, but when the whole team are focusing targets. 9 times out of ten the Reaper's Scythe overkill's the target by the time it connects.
It's also 4200 gold better spent.

When to get Aghanim's Scepter
The enemy team has 3 or more tanky heros.
Their team has a LOT of healing power.
Your underfarmed, you missed out on an early bloodstone and one of their carry's is pretty fed already needs to die fast and have no buy back.

These are good reasons for Agh's but, unless the game calls for the situation above don't bother getting agh's. 4200 gold could be better spent keeping you and your team alive.

missed bloodstone anyway and there is still a fair bit of magical damage in the enemy team? Instead why not have Pipe + Mekansm. combined with tranquil your armor rating is a tad below 50% damage reduction and magical damage reduction is over 50%
that is already a pretty tanky necro and your only into mid game.

why Aghanim's Scepter over Bloodstone

lets look at the pros for Aghanim's Scepter

[*] increases Necro's health by 390
[*]increases necros manna by 279.5
[*]adds 0.3 damage per health missing to his ultimate (from 0.9 to 1.2)
[*]prevents a buy back

Now lets look at the advantages of Bloodstone


[*]Increases Necro's health by 500
[*]Increases Necros manna by 400
[*]Increases Necro's health regen by 9hp/s
[*]Increases necros manna regen by 17 manna per second (with 8 charges)
[*]Reduces gold lost at death by 250 (at 10 charges)
[*]Reduces respawn time by 40 seconds (10 charges)
[*]Quicker respawn means you rarely miss team fights which means bigger support and help to your team.
[*]If Necro dies then restores all alies health by 800 within a large radius of 1675 (10 charges) This can completely turn round a team fight.
[*]Necro gains experience in the area of death and does so until he respawns. So if you are the first to die you wont be missing out on xp!

if you weren't convinced (then you need a slap) otherwise see here dotabuff statistic of a clear win rate advantage when using bloodstone compared to aghanims.

Remember that if you think you'll finish getting bloodstone after 26 mins. Don't bother its a snowballing item, if you dont have it by 26 mins then chances are your game isnt going to well and you need cheaper items to help boost your team mates (like pipe, aghanims, mekansm etc.)

How much damage does a tank Necro really do?

Average health is about 1600 across enemy team at lvl 17
Average health regeneration including aura's per hero is about 4 health per second.

Heartstopper Aura -1.5% of 1600 health is -24 health per second Gross.
Net after taking into account enemies own health regeneration is -20 health per second.

average team fight lasts about 20 seconds.

Your aura will do 400 damage on average to every team member, 2000 damage to the team overall just by being near them.

This is even worse if the enemy has a tank or 2 like Centaur Warrunner Axe. Typical tank at lvl 17 has about 2500 health with about 10 hp/s regen.
Gross damage you will do to the tank is 35.5 damage per second. After regen taken into account is 28 damage per second (rounded). Which is 560 damage over 20 seconds.
This obviously gets higher the more health the tank has or the longer team fights (including chasing or running away). In short, Necro melts tanks. He is the tank and anti tank. So it is a good idea he stays alive as long as possible. That being said when coming into late game heart stopper takes an unexpected turn where it does almost nothing on tanks, which ill go more into this later.

So looking at a general tank necros damage out put at mid game.

His overall damage output to the whole team over 20 seconds looks something like this
[*] Heartstopper Aura 2000 damage
[*] Death Pulse - 1120 damage
[*] Right clicks - 500 (based on about 6 right clicks)
[*] Reaper's Scythe - 700 damage. (based on 40% of average health)

Overall damage out put in a typical team fight is about 4320. Which is a lot. What makes necro go un-noticed and typically un-focused is this damage output is slow and gradual. Rather than nuking the enemy and bringing attention to yourself. Once your ultimate is used and on CD Necro doesn't often get focused. This is good news for necro because this is where he is the strongest.

There is no WAY a dagon Aghanim's Scepter necro would do this much damage whilst simultaneously providing auras, heals and more damage.

Having a Dagon and an Aghanim's Scepter just brings attention to yourself and if you do get focused even remotely your lack of armour and magic resistance will see you dead very quickly giving minimal support to your team and minimal damage to the enemy team.

In what situation does Necro do even MORE damage overall than a typical team fight described above?
Answer is in a chase and hunt situation (5v1 or 5v2)

If necro is caught of position with our without a team mate, then your best bet is to run and spam death pulse, maknsm, wand etc. This only gets you so far and most likely you''ll die if the enemy team has some serious slows or plenty of disables queue Viper Chaos Knight Warlock Kunkka. But if they don't and you know how to juke well and use map awareness well. You could end up killing the entire team. I've had a fair few rampages doing this and its an awesome feeling. Because the moment you kill one team mate your sadist kicks in healing you up a decent amount and replenishing a big chunk of your manna. Plus your item damage reductions and health regen still contribute to your overall tankiness making you snowball more and more. Chases that last 25 seconds or more will have your heart stopper deal over 2500 damage to the whole team. So always leave enough manna to pop your ultimate on an unsuspecting hero chasing you.

Even if a right clicker like Phantom Assassin or Troll Warlord is on you. Just juke round in circles, spam Death Pulse (run round tower etc.) then when they give up or they hit 40% health. Pop that ulti baby and laugh as you can feel the players rage shining through your computer screen. Don't be stupid and enter a right clicking spam death pulse match with a carry, because they will kill you. Just juke and only right click them when they run away our are out of range for their own attacks. Having Tranquil boots helps a ton here.
Death Pulse does not disable Tranquil Boots on yourself or the enemy.
However death pulse does disable Heart of Tarrasque active regen. just something to note.

Heartstopper Aura what you didn't realize

So as explained in the last section Heartstopper Aura does a lot of damage to the team based on mid game levels.

But what happens late game?

well instead of necro being the anti tank he now becomes the anti carry.
The reason this is because by the time late game hits, a typical tanks regen is 35+ health per second. This almost mitigates the impact of your heart stopper aura.

On a carry however your lucky if their regen gets higher than 4 health a second. Unless of course they have battlefury or Linken's Sphere then it will be slightly higher, but no where near that of a tank.
More health but not as much regen? Your Heartstopper Aura starts to melt carries. so now time to switch your focus from their tanks to their carries. Mainly because their tanks right clicks and spells barely scratch necro with his huge damage reductions, high health and high regen. The biggest threats are now the carries. Shift your focus.

Here are some pictures of a 6 slotted Juggernaut being melted by my aura. pay attention to the time stamps.

over 1000 damage done to juggernaut in 30 seconds.

he dies in less than 1 min 15 seconds just from Heartstopper Aura

Special Thanks

This is my first guide and I am willing to keep it updated and current, so any constructive criticism is appreciated.

Thanks to Sykes in helping me run some team fight scenarios under test conditions and health regen rates.

Thanks to Element aka Ahmed for encouraging me to do the guide.

Troll Build

The after credits delight.

Fancy some trolling, I'll admit it... I've done this once. and it's hilarious. More fun than Dagon Necro anyway.

50 damage per second plus 30 damage per second from heart stopper...

  1. Get a Radiance
  2. Get a Shadow Blade
  3. Follow People
  4. Laugh hysterically

The end.

Quick Comment (28) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides


Find Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (28) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved