Just before I start detailing the guide i'd like to say that at a high skill level you probably wont get as far with this build as you would normally, but its still very effective.
This build is centered on doing what sky does best, Dealing crazy amounts of damage to one target. This makes him more than great as a mid hero, sadly he does not have a push/counter-push ability and also lacks a flash-farming ability. Luckily with good warding he can get a lot of kills which makes for quite a good income.
Skywrath Mage is a very high DPS hero, also allowing you to shut down a person in the early/mid game (before BKBs). Although very gankable he can turn fights very easily mainly because he has slows and silences and he deals very high damage with few casts.
Some people cast him as a support, which isnt bad actually, considering he does depend heavily on his abilities and only has one major item that he needs to buy to be effective. On the other hand, I think hes better in the mid. Not because he does well with XP and farm, which he does, but because he can shut the enemy mid down really hard. His constant damage and harass forces the enemy mid to stay back and give up on farm while skywrath mage farms.
After hitting level 7-8 I start roaming around the map looking for kills. At this point its less effective to shut down the enemy mid and more effective to gank lanes. Skywraths skills paired with any stun or slow or even magic damage just make such a combo that if they dont see you coming thats a kill for sure.
With good warding he can kill anyone in the mid game, sometimes even huskar. Especially if you already have your Rod of Atos which you should have by now. I continue to roam and get kills all around the map, focusing on high priority targets.
In the late game he still, suprisingly, has the ability to kill anyone in the game, at this point however if the enemy is decent they will have already bought a Pipe of Insight which does reduce your damage quite a bit. This is where the Scythe of Vyse comes in to nullify base magic resistance. In the end he is much more effective in the mid game than in the late game, try to finish early. Just because you dominate mid game doesnt mean you should drag the game on
Arcane Bolt Probably one of the best nukes in the game, deals really good damage and also has a low mana cost and cooldown. Provides vision for 3 seconds upon hitting the target and also while flying, allowing for further spell use (especially Concussive Shot). Scales well into the late game, especially if you are building for intelligence (of course we'll be building intelligence). Scales well into the lategame but also incredibly useful in the early in the mid lane.
Concussive Shot Sky's weakest spell in my opinion, still amazing (just goes to show hes got amazing abilities). hits the closest target in a 1600 Radius, deals damage, and slows them. Also gives vision for 3 seconds upon flying and hitting a target. Flies pretty quickly, this or Ancient Seal is the first spell cast upon engaging (depending on the hero and his items). Disables blink dagger and can also be used to do a little counter push in the late game.
Ancient Seal This is really the ability that allows Skywrath Mage to go absolute bonkers on anything that breathes. Its a 6 second silence for ****s sake, thats just ********. On top of that it also reduces magic resistance, if a hero has no sources of magic resist it makes magic resistance -8.75% which is crazy considering you only deal magic damage.
Mystic Flare Just another crazy ability, deals a ton of damage in a small AOE. Sadly it does have a huge mana cost which makes its use in the early game pretty ineffective, especially if you dont have Rod of Atos to keep them in place. Has a really low cooldown, especially at level 3. Aghanims Scepter makes it have no cooldown which is great in itself but then again, it does cost 800 mana a pop.
Null Talisman Just because you are in desperate need of stats in the early game, also buffs up your Arcane Bolt a little bit. Gives you some more damage which can be used to harass and last hit.
Tango You're gonna need regen and a few shared tangoes ain't gonna cut it. You have 0 armor and the enemy mid knows that, he will attempt to hit you, and it will hurt.
By 5-10 Minutes:
Power Treads Many people get Mana Boots but I think getting that extra 9 intelligence is more important. Allows you to tread switch when getting ganked, skywrath has no escape/defense mechanism.
Bottle Pretty self-explanatory, gives skywrath the mana he needs to stay in lane and harass, he also makes great use out of all the runes except for bounty when ganking.
Rod of Atos ABSOLUTELY NECCESARY. All of its aspects just benefit skywrath so much. 350 health - which you're gonna need because youre really squishy. 30 intelligence - now this is crazy, not only because he needs intelligence really bad but also because it grants 30 for 3100 gold, insane. And the movement slow - now this is the true catch of this item, with Concussive Shot and Rod of Atos you can slow your enemy down to 100 movement speed, this means that if you place your Mystic Flare on top of him, he will take full damage.
After getting this item you really start to kick off, and since this is your first major item, you'll get it quite quickly. Afterwards you are able to gank pretty much any hero except for maybe a Huskar
Must-Haves for the late game:
Bloodstone Grants you a **** ton of HP and mana, also gives you mana regen which you need really bad. Reduces respawn time, which is never bad and also gives you more mana regen depending on how many heroes you killed. Its like an item that was made for Skywrath Mage to use. (also allows you to suicide yourself just in case you're about to lose that killstreak and give out gold)
Octarine Core For a Hero all about spells, this is crucial and incredibly useful. Also gives you a ton of intelligence, HP and mana. Cooldown reduction is amazing, especially on your Ancient Seal which gets 3.5 seconds deducted from the cooldown.
Scythe of Vyse Absolutely necessary in the late game, dont get it otherwise. Grants you another slow but its actually used to stop enemies from popping Black King Bar on you. You basically need it in the late game but otherwise its just another slow.
You start out, have a normal team composition. You buy your Starting Items and immediately start moving towards the rune for your team. You want to get that rune, and you also have a lot of first blood potential with Arcane Bolt or with Concussive Shot.
After you secured (or didn't secure) the rune you want to go into your lane, and because of your speed you are able to block your creeps just a bit. When you first get into lane you want to establish dominance, but dont spam your Arcane Bolt too much because it gets better at level 3. The most important thing is not to let your enemy regen, you want to keep them low at all times (Use a burst of spells rather than a continous amount). Avoid using Concussive Shot because of its high mana cost and low damage althought cancelling a Healing Salve with it is quite useful.
After level 7-8 you want to start ganking lanes, with your long silence, slow and damage you are great for killing heroes. Ask your teammates, or assess which lane is having more trouble, and go there first. With runes, you can start this earlier. This is pretty much what you'll be doing all game, youre good at not much else, but really good at this. When you feel dominant enough you should 5 man end the game.
If by the end of the game the enemy has BKBs I sometimes get a Eul's Scepter of Divinity to cut down on the amount of time they hack away at you while you cant do anything. It also gives a fair amount of mana regen, still very useful in the late game.
Well, That ought to be it guys. The rest of it depends on you, hes not hard to play but you have to get a feel for him. Hes one of the best mids in the game, especially if no one ganks you. If youre playing 1v1 mid dont forget to abuse this :D.
Also try to pick him last or close to last because hes easy to counter with specific heroes. His worst enemy is probably a Quas Invoker just because he can regen really hard,
Thanks for reading guys, feel free to leave comments if you see a mistake or two!
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