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Simple Guide to Shadow Fiend (Crash Course)

December 28, 2014 by morfy
Comments: 6    |    Views: 9470    |   


DotA2 Hero: Shadow Fiend

Purchase Order

Blink or Shadow blade. Not both. MKB only if needed against dodge

Power Treads
Black King Bar
Blink Dagger
Shadow Blade
Monkey King Bar
Eye of Skadi
Ethereal Blade


Divine Rapier
Linken's Sphere
Manta Style
Sange and Yasha

Starting items 1

Iron Branch
Iron Branch
Iron Branch

Starting items 2

Wraith Band

Only if mid.


If needed

Boots of Travel
Assault Cuirass
Scythe of Vyse


Mask of Madness
Hand of Midas

Hero Skills


2 3 5 7


1 4 6 8

Presence of the Dark Lord

10 12 13 14

Requiem of Souls

9 11 16


15 17 18

When to pick

Pick SF if:

You need a high physical damage output hero
You want a position 1 type of carry in the middle lane
You're teamed with strong roaming position 4 and 5 support players
Running a minus armor strat, aura strats or deathball strats
At least one good initiator like Centaur Warrunner
Fighting against a 4 protect 1 strat, less enemy support rotations

Do not pick Sf if:

Lacking proper support players especially against aggressive team lineups
Too many core heroes are picked already
In a 4 protect 1 strat but you're not that 1
You have poor map awareness and positioning skills
Against an aggressive ganking lineup (unless you farmed BKB and didn't feed)

Pros / Cons


One of the best flash farmers
Very high damage output
Incredible snowball potential
Good Mid-Lane Presence
Not that item dependant


Pretty Squishy
Reliant on Souls
High Skill Cap
Needs decent momentum
Big early game weakness
One of the lowest strength gains

The arsenal


Shadowraze nukes in front of Shadow Fiend, meaning you need to be facing where you want to target. There is a .67 second cast time and a .04 animation delay when casting a Shadowraze so you also need to properly time your shots too


Take as first skill so you can stack souls earlier when you land last hits. When you die you will lose half the souls you have so that makes dying a more punishing threat. That means if you had 36, you're going to have to farm about 4 waves of minions. Should be no problem farming souls back with Shadowraze but do keep death to a minimum. You also take the souls of your friendly minions and heroes when you deny them. Killing a hero grants 12 souls instead of 1 so getting a kill when you're low on souls will greatly pick you back up in terms of damage. Having more souls correlates with how much physical damage you'll deal and how much your ultimate will hurt.

Presence of the dark lord

Reduces armor.

Requiem of souls

Does a lot of damage, more souls more damage GG.

Blink dagger or Shadow blade?

Get Shadow Blade over the blink if you do not need an instant initiation and if your team has a good amount of stuns//slows to keep the enemy team near your ult.

On the other hand if you need fast and easy initiation get a blink dagger to position yourself in the middle of the enemy team to release a game changing ult.\

Do not forget that shadow blade will also give you better stats during the early game.

Alternative skill build

Perhaps the alternative skill build I've suggested between Levels 1-7 is more or less quite unusual, compared to the conventional Necromastery, Raze, Raze, Necromastery, Raze skill build. However, the alternative skill build can be useful if you are soloing well (e.g. versus a weak solo such as Vengeful Spirit) so that you can build on those souls in Necromastery and literally out-last-hit your opponent. In any case, Shadowraze being Nevermore�s main nuke should be maxed out by Level 7 as it is his main farming and ganking skill.

The reason why that Shadowraze is taken at both Level 2 and 3 is because it gives you a decent nuke (75 damage at Level 1 is really just for some desperate last-hits) and gives you the ability to score last hits when you are facing a nasty dual-lane or annoying heroes such as Tinker or Viper. You can basically spam your razes till you reach Level 4/5, fill up your souls in Necromastery, rune-***** (god do I hate this phrase) once in a while and farm up the core items you need in the middle game.

It is hard to say when it is best to max out Presence of the Dark Lord, but I tend to max it out when:

1. My team is playing aggressively and is winning in terms of towers/hero kills.

2. I've decided to buy Desolator for my first DPS item (BKB does not really count) and the -armor can really help.


Shadow Fiend is easily paired up with heroes that have a lot of crowd control abilities like Earthshaker or Lion. Anything that can keep the enemy team near SF's ult is a good teammate to have.


Any high burst damage hero can take a **** on SF an example can be Zeus or Phantom Assassin. Early game he is extremely squishy, therefore he can get ganked and shut down during the first minutes of the game. Luckily he can recover with all his farming capabilities .

AOE damage

Unfortunately, Nevermore is not a DPS hero, unlike what most people think of Nevermore. He is an AoE carry, his advantage over other carry heroes (such as Phantom Assassin) being his insane farming speed and the +damage thanks to Necromastery. Load Nevermore up with Satanic, Treads, Butterfly and all those flashy items and give Phantom Assassin the same items. Nine times out of ten, Phantom Assassin will win, assuming, of course, Nevermore does not use his Ultimate, but any carries these days will likely farm a Black King Bar as one of their main items.

Now I am not saying that you leave the middle lane after you turn Level 7 and spend the whole game trying to raze the hell out of your opponents. You should combine gank with farm (from my experiences, around 25 % gank with 75 % farm) and try farm your vital items before the 30th minute mark so that you have the necessary means to unleash your fury in team battles. Once again, one must remember Nevermore is all about his AoE damage, not his DPS.


Get 50 last hits every 10 minutes minimum. Use shadowrazes to farm and never buy a midas after the 8 minute mark. Not worth it.


Haste - Provides a 100% bonus movement speed for 30 seconds. Maximum movement speed is 522. Believe it or not haste helps land your Shadowraze easier because you have a faster time to adjust your positioning. Also gets you as close to the enemy as quickly as possible especially if an enemy player happens to escape.
Invisibility - Grants invisibility for 45 seconds. This rune competes with haste for rank 1 in runes but after invisibility is gone, you can't chase if an enemy happens to get away. Provides an excellent setup for ganking! Tip: As soon as you pop invisibility, immediately use 1 charge of Bottle and it will not break invisibility. The bottle charge is being used during the fade time and you're not considered invisible yet.
Regeneration - Regenerates 100hp/67mp per second for a total of 30 seconds. If you do take damage the regeneration buff will dispel. When I play Shadow Fiend I rarely go back to base so having the regeneration rune gives me a huge advantage throughout the game. I personally like to waste all my mana by clearing creep waves before I use Regeneration. Regeneration will not break unless you take damage so if you get stunned by Shackle Shot or another ability that does not have damage, Regeneration will not stop until finished.
Double Damage- Buffs your hero and any illusions within 500 range 100% damage for 45 seconds. This only increases your base attack damage so bonus attack damage items like Monkey King Bar will not get the increase. Items like Butterfly that has +30 AGILITY will double with Shadow Fiend attack since AGILITY bonuses increase BASE damage. I rank this 4th because Shadow Fiend has a weak base damage and most of the time you're casting Shadowraze so in terms of overall usefulness it does not compare to Haste or Invisibility.
Illusions - Creates two replicas with the current condition of yourself. So let's say you have 50% health, the illusions will also have the same amount. Each illusion takes 400% damage and deals 50% of the total damage you deal. The least useful out of the five runes. Does provide scouting information or get enemies to waste mana on it. Sometimes get the opposition to waste ultimates but that's a small chance. Also good when you want to push a lane and helps to last hit.


I hope you enjoyed this crash course for Shadow Fiend. This should bring you a better understanding of the hero and how to play him in PUBS.

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