Skywrath mage is an intelligence hard nuker hero and is kinda overpowered in early stages of the game.His nature is #2 but he can be used as #4 too.
Low Cooldown+manacost Nuke
Free Orchid Malevolance (Ancient Seal)
Tons of damage in ultimate skill
High Range nukes
Very strong mid laner
Can be countered by BKB
Vunerable to Silence
Low hit damage
Cant carry a game (even though u can get MANY kills by ur skills u cant carry)
Who cares about allies at all ?You are a very strong mid laner and you usually manage to kill solo the enemy hero.You could still combine with some skills which will allow you to land a perfect ultimate for example Fiend's Grip or Sprout.So generally fellow nukers and disablers will make you melt your enemies
Lion,Lina,Nyx Assassin,Treant protector,Shadow Demon
Special mention to #1 Nature's Prophet as mentioned above with Spourt allows you to land a perfect ultimate which will deal 600/900/1200 damage in levels 6/11/16.It will prolly be enough by itself but otherwise use a couple of arcane bolts and the enemy is dead (unless he has bkb).Not to mention he can gank early and sprout only level 1 would sufice in helping you kill the enemy mid hero.
Special mention #2 Magnus. Mag with a good RP will allow you
to land a good ultimate on multiple enemies (or just one) depending on how many people he catches but combined with his 2 aoe skills you will deal a significant damage to enemy team which will lead you to teamwipe.
All kinds of silences and disables are bad for you.In a 1v1 matchup usually they arent a problem for you since you have a great silencer from a quite far range but if u get caught in teamfight they make short work of you.
Drow Ranger,Death Prophet,Doom Bringer,Orchid malevolance,Scythe of Vyse,Black King Bar,Silencer,Many Consumables hero
Special Mention #1 to Obisidian Destroyer (Outworld devourer as it is mentioned now) this hero is an exception in middle lane since he wont be easy to outlane. With a couple of consumables to make him withstand your early arcane bolts and some imprisonments to reduce your manapool he can easily snowball you by outdamaging>outlasthiting>Outleveling you and then u will become slowly useless.
Special mention #2 to Nyx Assassin .Nyx wont be much of a problem laning against you but he will be after the tier 1 towers are down and when he can use his vendetta around the map.
He will burst you down like no problem.
Special mention #3 to Puck.Puck may be one of the interesting matchups in a 1v1 lane vs Skywrath. Skywrath can kill puck using his silence but also puck can proved to be a powerful enemy due to his phase shift ability which will help him dodge a couple of arcane bolts.
Not to mention that if he initiates on you on a teamfight with silence you will be focused and die.
Special mention #4 to Templar Assassin. TA can be one of your worst enemies in middle lane.
Even though refraction isnt much of a problem when u get to level 6 because your ultimate will melt away both refraction and TA, the road to level 6 can be difficult versus a good templar player abusing his refraction damage to deny everything you could possibly last hit and make you fall behind in XP. Not to mention that Refraction will block many arcane bolts.
Pickup middle lane for yourself,most people will allow you to, since you picked Skywrath and most people realise this hero has overpowered early game presence.
Then try to get your levels as fast as possible and chase the runes.If you dont manage to find them before your enemies, do a bit of bottle crow to keep your mana and hp high.Generally you aim to get your level 7 (for a max arcane bolt and ultimate).If you think its risky to throw away ur cooldowns on enemy middle.Grab the first rune (or even without rune by using tp on sidelanes) and GANK GANK GANK.
Dont spam your arcane bolt before your level 5 its fine to use a couple of bolts just for intimidation but keep your mana at least in 60% of it.
Also dont hesitate to use arcane bolt for few last hits you desperately need (for example you have 550 gold and you need ur bottle go ahead and last hit with your arcane bolt).
After level 7 all you have to do is to find weak targets and solo kill them.As simple as that,
wards are crucial for your job and map awarness will be a catalyst on this job.Ask wards from the supports to be placed on jungle and even buy them yourself if supports are too poor.Normally at this point you should ve got drums which will allow you to run fast and combined with concusive shot will allow you to outrun your enemy .
At this point you should ve picked drums+your choice of boots and will be going for a third item.Depending on how rich you are and on if you need escape or initiation good possible item pickups are Force Staff/Scythe of Vyse/Rod of Atos/Shivas.
Best choice in my humble opinion is sheepstick since its the best item of dota and will allow you to melt a hero in those 3.5 seconds.But Rod of atos as well as force staff are great in hero chases.Shivas is a more defencive option.
in Mid game you can still solo kill a hero but its harder to get away .So preferably stick with the pack or have a plan B on how to get out of difficult situations (for example force out tp on highground).
At this point your power is fading slowly (unless you raped the enemy and you are 2 items ahead and at least 3 levels ahead).Your killing potential is still formidable but you have higher chances of dying because carries will melt you like butter.So there is no other option than stick with the team.Your objective is to find weak heroes for pickup without exposing yourself too much. Thats not too hard due to your high range nukes and low cooldowns your level 16 ultimate is still too much for enemy heroes to handle (1200 damage if not split and full duration).Also your stronger skill at this point is your silence not because of silence itself but more because of the amplify damage.
Also to help your team further in a teamfight you should wait until enemy's carry BKB duration is over then IMMEDIATELY silence him and use concussive shot. Basicly with those 2 skills you are making him prey. Of course if you have managed to farm a sheepstick thats even better than using silence and concussive shot.
Step 1:Use a couple of arcane bolts to weaken your target so you will increase the chances of him dying
Step 2:Make sure he has no other heroes around him
Use Concussive shot
Step 3:Before Concussive shot hits use silence and start running towards the enemy
Step 4:Get 1 arcane bolt flying while the enemy is silenced
Step 5:Try to Predict where the enemy moves and use your Mystic Flare on him.Usually 1.5 second is enough to bring him down.
Note:Its easier to land a better Mystic Flare with your concussive shot slow on.
Note:If the silence is higher level the damage will be more due to amplify
Furthermore in a teamfight you should be far from enemy initiation and try sniping.
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