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32 Votes

Slam And Death - A Guide to Slardar

June 12, 2013 by Yasutsuna
Comments: 29    |    Views: 440351    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3


DotA2 Hero: Slardar

Hero Skills

Seaborn Sentinel (Innate)

Guardian Sprint

1 12 13 14

Slithereen Crush

2 3 5 7

Bash of the Deep

4 8 9 10

Corrosive Haze

6 11 16


15 17 18

Introduction to Yasutsuna

Here is Yautsuna again to present a guide based on a not-so-used hero...


Anyway, with nearly 7 years of experience, I have played all the heroes already. There are obviously heroes which I can use and can't use. And, I also have my favorites. Defense of the Ancients, or DotA, is a easy game to play, but hard to master.

So, why not LoL? Because I just find it... different. I don't really understand the logic of the games and the heroes just doesn't suit me. Probably the only one I find interesting to play is Ahri.

Anyway, sod the chit-chat and let the guide begin.

Other Guides by Yasutsuna:
- Aria's Requeim - Guide to Naga Siren
- Support-Killer - Guide to Tresdin

Introduction to the Slithereen Guard

"Once more into the fray,
Into the last good fight I'll ever know...
Live and die on this day...
Live and die on this day..."

- John Ottway, The Grey (2011)

Slardar is normally played as a tanker and initiator, along with a ganker. He have a good STR growth and is very, very tanky. However, he lacks lane-control with only Slithereen Crush as his AoE skill. His early game is pretty ****py due to his mana problems. Using two or three Slithereen Crush will drain him of all his mana. His signature move, Amplify Damage is an awesome anti-tank skill. It also gives vision on his caster, and becoming invisible will not help you to escape. His Sprint allows him to escape and chase easily, bit it should be used with caution since it increases physical damage against you.


Slardar is a Slithereen, one of the Deep Ones, guardian of the great wealth of sunken cities and the ancient riches buried there. In the lightless gulf of the great ocean abysses, the Slithereen Guard carries his lure-light with him through the secret treasure rooms. Subaqueous thieves (sent into the deeps by covetous dryland sorcerers) are drawn in by its friendly glow, never to return. He is utterly loyal, and his taciturn nature hides deep knowledge of the most secret places of the sea. He rises to the shallows in spite of the pain caused him by brightness, to commit reconnaissance, to make sure no one is conspiring against the depths, and sometimes in relentless pursuit of the rare few who manage to steal off with an item from the Sunken Treasury. Because he has spent his whole life at great pressure, under tremendous weight of the sea, Slardar the Slithereen Guard is a creature of great power.

6.78 Major Patch

Sprint now has a cooldown of 28 seconds instead of the previous 40

Nothing major about this. Only that you can use it more often in running, chasing and initiating.

Bash is now a physical effect instead of a magical one.

Very crucial. Since it is now physical, it can be amplified by Amplify Damage, making this even more of a must. Now, Maelstrom and/or Hyperstone is core for Slardar.

- Yasutsuna

Merits + Demerits

  • Reliable AoE stun.
  • Sprint is like a free Haste rune.
  • Amplify Damage makes him a damage-beast.
  • Amplify Damage provides vision on the victim.
  • Tanky.
  • Stun not spammable.
  • Early mana problems.
  • Sprint can backlash you if use wrongly.
  • Melee with no ranged skill.
  • Semi item-dependant.

The Skills



Amplify Damage
Sprint is Slardar's chasing, fleeing and initiating skill. It does enable you to run faster, potentially dodging spells like Sun Strike if you know when to use it. There is nothing much to say about this skill except that it does have a backlash where you take more damage when it is active. If you were to dive into a fray using a hit-and-run tactic, it is suggested you activate Sprint and wait for a few moments and charge in and do your buisness. If you need to escape using Sprint, it is there ready for you. As good as it is, you need to be caution when using it.

Slardar's one and only stun, Slithereen Crush. The stun is very realiable but know that the range in very limited. When using Sprint to catch up, never use Slithereen Crush when you're behind or beside the target. This is due to the 0.5 second delay of the skill and will result your target to run away, setting you at a disadvantage of having a skill under cooldown. In early game, although it might seem like a good idea, it is not advisable to spam this since you'll run out of mana pretty soon and when you need to start a gank, you have no godly slam.

I'll put up a picture of what I was talking about in the next update.

His third skill, Bash, stuns the target upon use. However, it is not as reliable as Jinanda so treat this skill as it doesn't exist in fights. If it procs, then count yourself lucky and just put the stun into good use. Never rely on this skill to help you in fights due to its uncertainty of triggering. It is pretty self-explainable apart from this

One of the best debuffs in the game. Amplify Damage reduces your armor by 20 at level 3. This will cause even one single hit to be very painful. Coupled with Desolator, it will be even worse. NEVER PUT THIS ON AUTOCAST. I don't know why, but it seem to only proc on creeps and not heroes. In a teamfight, always target heroes that are reliant on Shadow Blade or heroes that can go invisible like Riki and Bounty Hunter. Even if you become invisible, the debuff will still remain on you.

Items + Their Builds

Variation I: Gank

Phase Boots is good for Slardar since when you're surrounded, you need some way to cut through them and using Sprint is not much of an idea since the extra physical damage taken will definitely wipe you out.

Armlet of Mordiggian is one of the most core item on Slardar thanks to the active. Unholy Strength will give you an extra boost of STR which provides you with damage and hit points. Knowing when to on it and off it will give you a surefire way to run back to base without getting kill, unless someone with Divine Rapier or a Coup de Grace hits you. REMEMBER TO TURN OFF WHEN NOT IN USE!

Vladmir's Offering is quite important to Slardar. Although his attack damage is very high, especially if your enemy is hit by Amplify Damage, he hits slow, this results is much chasing and tower-diving. Thanks to the lifesteal based on the damage, you can up the lifesteal by hitting our enemy harder so you won't die accidentally.

Daedalus, the item that provides critical and damage. It is important to deal as much damage as possible to minimize the chasing. Although he have a Bash, it should be pretended it never exist. You up it, but don't take it for granted because Bash doesn't seem to proc when you need it to.

Desolator is a good orb-effect. It cuts your targets armor by 7, which also means that you can reduce a targets armor all the way up to 37. It also gives +60 damage. If you don't like this item, you can always get a Helm of the Dominator and a Satanic and replace Vladmir's Offering with something else.

Variation II: Initiator

Personally, I don't really like Vanguard. Although it looks good with good stats, it will delay the core of any hero too much. However, for this case, it is crucial for you to get Vanguard to soak up the damage before you accidentally get yourself killed. It also allows you to dive level 1 towers without the fear of being raped.

For me, my sequence of buying Vanguard for Slardar is:

-> ->

The health boost will make you tankier as you're suppose to.

Black King Bar is pretty much crucial to every initiator. It blocks most spells off you so chances of you getting bound down and providing them a free kill is lower. It also gives STR and damage which can be used by Slardar.

Instead of using Vladmir's Offering like in my previous build, as an initiator I would prefer to use Helm of the Dominator simply because it gives your armor. As as initiator, you need to soak up the damage so having a thing that can give you armor is quite good. When upgraded into Satanic, you can grantee you can't die during initiating.

Blink Dagger is explained below.

Special Mention: Rod of Atos

In my opinion, Rod of Atos is a good situational item. It slows your enemy, easily allowing you to catch up with a deadly Slithereen Crush, potentially sending him to his grave. The intelligence provided can help cover his lack of mana, to a certain extend.

An early Vitality Booster will also give you more health to soak in the damage. Although it might seem a little expensive, it is actually a worthwhile investment especially units who can run very fast such as Dark Seer and Night Stalker.

Blink Dagger vs. Shadow Blade


Blink Dagger

Reasons for Blink Dagger:
  • Cheaper by 850 gold.
  • Cannot be countered by wards and gem and ****, but countered by Radiance.
  • Terrain won't be a problem.
  • In a way, it's hard to guess where you go.

Shadow Blade

Reasons for Shadow Blade:
  • 150 backstab damage!
  • Can be used to dodge certain projectiles like Homing Missile.
  • Can be used even under fire.
  • Two separate components.
  • Have better stats.
  • Doesn't require much training to use.

Normally, if you're not the Initiator, you don't need both, since Sprint will do the job. Problem is, if Phantom Assassin really hates you and starts bashing you up, you are pretty much dead with Sprint on.

Back to the topic, I would prefer using Shadow Blade in pub matches since invisibility with Sprint lets you sprint all over the place without a problem. Pub matches seldom buy wards so it won't be much of a problem and you can easily kill any gem-carrying hero since you're tanky and very painful. However, in competitive matches, it is better you use a Blink Dagger because people play their roles very seriously, so wards will be flying all over the place.

Thanks to GGnet.Ace for the Blink Dagger and Radiance issue.
In a nutshell, depending on what type of game and how your enemies are, you can pick Blink Dagger or Shadow Blade.

Friends + Foes


As Slardar player knows, he is quite easily harrassed during the early stages of the game. This is where harrassers like Viper and Zeus comes in and help ol. Slardar. Those who have buffs or passives that provides additional damage are also good. Such examples are Luna and Magnus.

Those who reduces the armor of enemies are also Slardar friends since they will allow him to kill his targets faster. Such are Shadow Fiend and Naga Siren. At early game, mana-givers are good for him, allowing him to use Slithereen Crush more often. The main mana givers are Crystal Maiden and Keeper of the Light.

That aside, Slardar has also make a lot of enemies over the years. His major ones are those can can easily harrass him in someway like Viper and Zeus. In a sense, his worst enemies are also right-clickers. If he use Sprint at the wrong time, right-clickers will no doubt take this chance to slaughter him, such as Phantom Assassin.

In early game, those that can drain mana are also his enemies. He is already mana-starved as he is. Draining away his mana will make him in an even worst condition. These characters are Keeper of the Light and Anti-Mage.



Haste: Early game, this is defitnetly your rune. Because you are still a tad squishy, you can't use Sprint to effectively initiate without killing yourself.

Illusion: Don't touch this. Illusions doesn't benefit you at all and only procs a fake bash.

Invisibility: This is you rune. It allows you to land a good Slithereen Crush, especially when Blink Dagger and Shadow Blade is not yet available.

Double Damage: Definitely take this. You can hit your enemy harder and more painful.

Regeneration: Grab it when you need to.

Jungling + Roshan


There's not much reason for Slardar to even enter the jungle. So, I would avoid the jungle and leave it to junglers like Lifestealer and Axe.

It might be possble for Slardar to creep-pull if needed if his lane-mate is doing well. The video below show how to creep-pull. (Credits go to the owner and I will find a DotA 2 version as fast as possible)

Roshan-ing or Ro3-ing

I don't think Slardar should have anything to do with Roshan, really. He isn't made for early-Roshaning like Ursa. If the team ends up going for Roshan, Slardar should be there to soak the damage and if possble, claim the Aegis of the Immortal since you are more prone to dying as an initiator.

Oh, and grabbing Cheese is kinda good for Slardar. It is nutricious and gives him hit points and mana for whatever reason you need it for.

Team Fights + Solo Fights

In a 1 v 1 Situation...

1. Amplify Damage him!
2. Slam him!
3. Smash his face to smithereens!
4. If he runs, activate Sprint and chase him down!
5. Slam if required!
6. The deed id done. I apologize for your death.

In a Teamfight... (GANKER BUILD)

1. Amplify Damage these targets:
  • Shadow Blade reliant heroes.
  • Heroes who can go invisible.
  • Extra-tanky heroes.
2. Slam the ground! (Can be done first if required)
3. Smash anybody you want!
4. Chase only if there is no one to do the job.
5. Enemies are reported to be KIA.

In a Teamfight... (INITIATOR BUILD)

1. Blink / Sprint / Shadow Blade in!
2. Slam the ground! BOOYAH!
3. Amplify Damage those targets as mentioned above!
4. Punch them up!
5. We have completed the mission.

Final Words

Well, this concludes my guide, codenamed, "Slam And Death - A Guide to Slardar".

All comments and upvotes/downvotes are welcomed. This is never a one-man show and everybody's effort to make this guide better is accepted! Thanks in advance!

A special thanks to:
- Myself! (For thinking of this guide.)
- Dr. D for his formatting guide.
- Nubtrain for his guide-writing tips.


31.5.2013 - Guide published!
01.6.2013 - Added AC and typo.
03.6.2013 - Added Build: Solo Side Lane

To-Do List

1. Add the Section: All the Items.
2. Add the Section: Heroes You Will Meet...
3. Add some replays! O_o
4. Add more builds!
5. Get a soundtrack for Slardar.

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