Slardar is an all-rounded hero that can be played in many ways. He is an extremely good chaser because of Sprint, which synergizes with his other skills (Bash and Slithereen Crush). With his final skill, it can be used as a anti-juke (Amplify Damage). He is also a good tank, and initiator, while significantly helps his team dish out damage.
Although Slardar is a very strong hero, he will not often be played as the main carry of a team unless he has been heavily dominating. He will not usually be able to out-carry some of the harder simply because they are better suited to do so.
As a major chaser, Slardar will be taking a lot of damage throughout the game.
Slardar increases his movement speed dramatically, but takes 10% bonus damage. Lasts 25 seconds.
Level 1 - Increases speed by 10%.
Level 2 - Increases speed by 20%.
Level 3 - Increases speed by 30%.
Level 4 - Increases speed by 40%.
Mana Cost: 50
Amplified damage is the same type of damage dealt.
Activating this skill doesn't cancel channeling spells. Meaning you can use Boots of Travel and then use this skill without canceling the teleportation.
Damage over time spells (DoT) get amplified when you activate Sprint.
Armlet's degeneration isn't amplified.
Frenzy doesn't stack with Sprint: one will overwrite the other.
It can't be purged, nor it can be dispelled by Black King Bar and Repel.
Vanguard's and Stout Shield's block is applied before the amplification.
Slithereen Crush (W)
Slams the ground, stunning and damaging enemy land units 350 AoE around Slardar. Slows enemy units by 20% for 2 seconds afterwards.
Level 1 - 50 damage, 1 second stun.
Level 2 - 100 damage, 1.5 second stun.
Level 3 - 150 damage, 2 second stun.
Level 4 - 200 damage, 2.5 second stun.
Mana Cost: 80/ 95/ 105/ 115
Damage type: physical.
Gives a chance that an attack will do bonus damage and stun an opponent for 1 second.
Level 1 - 10% chance per attack, 40 bonus damage.
Level 2 - 15% chance per attack, 50 bonus damage.
Level 3 - 20% chance per attack, 60 bonus damage.
Level 4 - 25% chance per attack, 70 bonus damage.
The bonus damage is magical, so it doesn't synergize with Amplify Damage. It's reduced by magic reduction, so at lvl 4 it deals 52.5 damage, unless the enemy has more magic resistance.
Stun works on magic immune units.
Doesn't stack with Cranium Basher.
Note: Sometimes it is a good idea to get a level or two of this instead of sprint early to assist with ganking, but if you have a good supporting teammate: it won't always be needed.
Amplifies physical damage against enemy units by reducing their armor. Lasts 120 seconds on creeps and 30 secondes on heroes. Can track invisible units.
Level 1 - 5 armor penalty.
Level 2 - 10 armor penalty.
Level 3 - 15 armor penalty.
Mana Cost: 25
Provides True Sight on enemy unit.
Goes through Repel and Avatar, but is also dispelled by it.
Cleave's damage aren't amplified.
Usually you will go Power Treads as Slardar. He doesn't need and a few bracers to be tankier than most.
Phase Boots is also a possible choice. However, this is usually taken only if they're a lot of fights in narrow paths.
Generally, you will use Power Treads for the bonus to attack speed and bonus HP.
Tier 2 items
Armlet: If you know how to use it, and paired with Power Treads, Slardar has a good attack speed, a ton of extra damage, and a large bonus of hp.
You should build this after you build power treads, in order to help chasing enemies.
Black King Bar: Works very well versus coordinated nukes and disables, Black King Bar is mandatory for a melee initiator because for obvious reasons.
Blink Dagger: More often then not, you will be buying this item for matches. It helps you initiate and it helps you escape. And synergizes quite well with Slithereen Crush.
There are two builds you can do. A Life Steal build and a Negative Armor Build, depending on the game at hand.
Life Steal: Build a Helm of the Dominator after armlet, then build to BKB. After BKB, finish up a satanic. Unholy Strength mixed with Unholy Rage will allow you to regen over 1000 HP.
AC: One of the best items for Slardar, increases attack speed, increases your armor, and decreases your enemies, perfectly fits with Slardar.
Desolator: Can be a good move depending on the situation. Gives bonus damage and a hefty armor debuff, to help you clear through enemies.
Heart of Terrasque: Helps pretty much any hero. Helps you get more HP, and regen to keep around the fights late game.
Items to consider
Hood of Defiance can help you out if you need more defense vs. nukes before and after BKB.
Blink Dagger: Like I said, this item will be bought in a majority of games, because it just works well. Not always used, but don't be afraid to buy it.
Vanguard: Same deal as hood of defiance, except for melee. If there's someone who has a lot of physical damage. It's a great idea to pick it up. Bonus HP regen is good as well. If you're going to get it, get it early.
Early to Mid Game
It is important to gain control of your lane, threaten them with your good early stats, and hit them whenever they come in for a last-hit.
Try to gain lane dominance by laning with a character with a good stun or slow, and threatening with slithereen crush to keep them back. It can help you get a kill even. Watch for missing mid because you'll be an easy gank if your chain stunned.
Mid to Late
You will get more and more items as the game goes on. More attack speed will mean more bash, which means a almost permastunned enemy. Focus on enemy's carry to prevent him from eating your team.
Don't waste time: when there isn't a threat of a team fight, you should be last hitting and working towards your items. Realize when you should be with your team and when you should be farming. Coordination is key.
Note: remember to use amplify damage on neutral creeps since it is cheap and will help your clear times.
The art of chasing
The following advices are extremely common but are also, in most cases, ignored. However they are extremely important and effective for Slardar. He needs, in order to chase effectively, to control a lot of things in the same time. As a consequence the art of chasing is completely under the sign of the control.
Control enemy's cooldown and mana (Early to Late game)
It's important to know enemy's spell status (cooldown/mana pool) before engaging in a potentially dangerous situation. You must not chase, for example, a red HP Sven which has his Bolt almost ready when you are mid HP. A good chaser must know every single hero and must be able to evaluate the state of their mana pool and of their cooldowns before and especially during each fight.
Control Slardar's positioning and attack animation (Early to Mid game)
Physical attacks are like a spell: they have a cooldown, and it's length is relative to the IAS. An enemy that is stunned by Slithereen Crush while fleeing is going in a precise direction. It is important go ahead in this direction while the physical attack is on cooldown, in order to be ahead rather than behind him when the stun's effect end up. Slardar's extremely good attack animation allows him to attack quickly each time the physical attack is ready during the ride.
Control the minimap and the fog of war (Early to Late game)
It is extremely important to check the minimap as often as possible while chasing. If too many enemies disappeared in the fog of war near the location your target is bringing you to, stopping the chase is the best thing to do. You must be able to evaluate how much time each hero needs to reach (and help) your target.
Control Slardar's trajectory (Early to Late game)
Don't get blocked by any creep. Never, ever. It is an offence to Sprint's greatness and a waste of time. And do not hesitate to abuse your superior MS to block the enemy, like you do for creeps in early game.
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