Shadow Fiend: The ultimate death machine
May 20, 2014
Shadow Fiend is a great hero. He is very easy to use, once you get the hang of his shadow raise, and fun to play. Shadow Fiend should always go mid, he is best played as a mid hero. His shadow raise is easy to use but you have to be able to judge where people are. Shadow Fiends necromastery is the ultimate damage increaser and his presence of the dark lord ability makes it easier to kill those pesky high armour durable heroes. I'll go into more detail later in the guide but the power treads, ring of aquila and blink dagger (shadow blade is also usable instead of blink dagger) are core items, then the others are just there to fill in the gaps.
Shadow Fiends Abilities
This ability will probably take half an hour or so to master but once you do it's handy to have around encase a low level riki sneaks up on you. The problem with shadow raze is it's pretty useless until it's upgraded a bit. Once it's full, it can do some serious damage, but I wouldn't recommend wasting your time with it on durable heroes. Early game it's great for harassing heroes and scaring them off. To sum this up, Shadow Raze takes a bit to master, needs a couple of upgrades to be useful and is never good on durable heroes.
Necromastery is really, really good. +2 damage per creep kill! So if you got 30 souls that would be +60 damage. This is what makes Shadow Fiend a nuker and it's a passive! The downsides to it are that you lose souls when you die and there is a limit to the amount of souls you can have but that's what you upgrade it for, upgrading this ability raises your soul capacity. To summarise this, Necromastery is just a really good nuking ability that has some downsides but it is still, in my opinion, shadow fiends best ability.
Presence of the dark Lord
This ability is best in team fights, helping your team take down those highly durable heroes. This ability can reduce enemy heroes armour by up to 6 points, that will almost halve even some of the most durable of heroes armour. This is possibly shadow fiends most simple ability but the doesn't mean its not good because it is still a very handy ability to have around and a well thought out one at that.
Requiem of souls
This ability works with your second ability, Necromastery, to Do some serious damage and initiate a team fight. This uses all your captured souls to do some serious damage making sure your team stops struggling and starts chasing down the heroes that are retreating. This is used in conjunction with the blink dagger and I will further explain this strategy in the gameplay techniques chapter.
The item build that I have created is fairly simple and most likely similar to many of the other item builds for shadow fiend. The Power Treads
are there as boots because every hero needs boots and shadow fiend doesn't really need any of the buffs boots give other than the potential agility buff from power treads. The Ring of Aquila
is there for mana regen early game and because it raises your agility like the power treads (this is good because Shadow Fiend is an agility hero). The Blink Dagger
( Shadow Blade
is also good but I prefer Blink Dagger because shadow blade can be easily countered by dust or wards) is for escaping potentially bad situations, chasing after runaways and initiating team fights in conjunction with your ultimate.
The last three items that I recommend you get are most definitely not core (the Black King Bar
could potentially be a core item but I don't see it that way). The BKB ( Black King Bar
) is there to stop you from getting stunned or silenced when you try to initiate team fights. The Eye of Skadi
is, like the Blink Dagger
, a good item for stopping those pesky runaways and it gives a health and mana bonus along with a stat bonus. The butterfly will make you harder to kill and it will make your damage and attack speed even higher than it already would be.
Items You Shouldn't Get
You shouldn't get the Divine Rapier
or the Gem of True Sight
because Shadow Fiend isn't durable so he's not one of the heroes with a likely hood of surviving a team fight. If Shadow Fiend was to get one of these there'd be a chance he would lose them to the enemy and then they will either use it or keep it in their base where you can't lay a finger on it. Some people may argue that it's a good idea to get the rapier but I would recommend that you get the Abyssal Blade
and use it to replace the Eye of Skadi
To sum this up: Power Treads
are just there as good boots; the Ring of Aquila
is a good item for mana regen and agility gain; the Biink Dagger is for escaping, chasing and initiating; Black King Bar
is for initiating; the Eye of Skadi
is another item for runaways; and the Butterfly
is there to make you invincible and to raise your damage and attack speed. In the last paragraph I also stated that the Divine Rapier
and Gem of True Sight
are items you shouldn't get because they drop upon death.
Detailed Explanation to items
The Ring of Aquila grants higher agility and a collection of other buffs. It also has a mana regen and capacity aura.
The Power Treads grant you movement speed and attack speed, along with a buff that can apply to agility, strength or intelligence.
The Blink Dagger lets you 'blink' or teleport a certain distance from your current postition. It has a 13 second cool-down and you'll need to wait three seconds if you take damage from a enemy hero, or you (if it's magic damage). Forgive me if I got anything wrong, it's very complicated and hard to remember.
The Black King Bar or it's more common name, the BKB, is an item that grants magic immunity. This means that any ability that does magic damage or is a magical stun, does not affect you. It is useful for initiators so the enemy team can't stun them and get a kill. The item is also used by hard carrys like terror blade when they 'storm the castle' or just invade the enemy base, soloing their entire team.
The Eye of Skadi is an item that grants more health and mana. It also grants a passive ability that stuns enemies you attack.
The Butterfly is an item that grants more agility, a higher attack speed, more damage and evasion.
Build 2 is what I've seen other people put on guides or just do in-game. I know a lot of people like to use shadow blade and in one of the other guides on Shadow Fiend had phase boots. I'm unable to support these items like I did with 'what works for me' because they are simply not what I think is good for Shadow Fiend but just what other people use. If you have anything more you wish me too say about these items: leave a comment.
In the early game your objective is to last hit creeps and harass the other hero in mid lane. Just farm yourself up by not just farming at mid but also ganking other lanes. Do this until your at least level 10, by this time your team should be ready for some sort of team fight (in public matches this may not be the case and the team fights I'm talking about are 3v3 sort of team fights) giving you a chance to give your ultimate a shine of light. The person your laning with must get as little farm as possible. If they don't get decent farm the will have trouble late game and, being the mid hero, will have let their team down big time (this also gives your team a hero to get levels from because they're underfed).
By this time your team should be starting to have some small 3v3 sort of fights, so if you haven't got your ring, boots and blink dagger your underfed (if your underfed see the chapter: I've failed what do I do?). Once you have a couple of small team fights then the big ones will start happening (5v5) and this is when you need to blink in amongst the enemies and cast your ultimate giving your team an advantage right from the start. If their team ends up attacking the hell out of you then their pretty silly because who can survive a double shadow fiend ultimate and if they can survive it then their gonna lose the team fight to your allies who will be trying to finish them off.
It's hard to say what to do here. The winning team is usually determined but remember a match can go in the completely other direction at any point in the match. One big team fight where someone makes a mistake or one false move by the winning team then it could all go downhill for them.
If you have been collecting runes (which you should have been doing) use the rune in your bottle when your about to gank, unless it's something like a regeneration rune which you would obviously use if the gank went wrong. When ganking with Shadow Fiend it's best to be with another hero who has good stuns (e.g. Tiny). Shadow Fiend is a nuker with high auto-attack damage and an initiator with his ultimate but these are not things that are good for ganking. Shadow Fiend is not someone that you should gank with because while he has high damage he can't stun and so he won't be able to secure the kill.
Initiating Team Fights
Shadow Fiend is good at initiating team fights and he is also good at finishing them. His ability Requiem of Souls uses his captured souls and does some serious damage with them. . The actual strategy you need to use is to use your BKB (black king bar) then blink in among the enemy team and cast your ultimate taking out every team members health, after this they will either retreat or keep fighting and in either case you need to get out of there quick smart or you probably won't survive for very long.
You should rarely have to do this unless you are underfed in which case you will probably do it a lot. If have the blink dagger you can escape any potentially bad situation but you have to do it before something starts, before you get attacked. The blink dagger cannot be used when 5 heroes are trying to take you down all at once. This means you need to be able to recognise a situation as bad before you get into trouble, this can be hard and takes a fair amount of skill. If you jump out of a situation that wasn't bad and you could've gotten a hero kill but instead your team-mate died then that's gonna be on you. You need to only use the blink dagger to run away when your sure that it's a bad situation.
I've Failed, What do I do?
With every hero, including shadow fiend, you can do badly. With Shadow Fiend it's most likely going to be the farm. You mite have been overly harassed at the beginning of the match and so now your underfed. What you need to start doing is focusing on surviving. Get something like The Helm of the dominator or Mask of Madness, just something with life steal. Then go for items that boost your health but not things like the bloodstone because that's to expensive and we're not wanting to suicide, we're wanting to stay alive. You also need to be there for team fights just for Xp not for attack power, just so you can get levels. If you are finding it really hard to not feed than just jungle for levels.