Help Support Our Growing Community

DOTAFire is a community that lives to help every Dota 2 player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support DOTAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


5 Votes

Slark n' Chips

February 5, 2014 by LeGentleman
Comments: 4    |    Views: 23373    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4

Beyond Godlike - How2Gank

DotA2 Hero: Slark

Hero Skills

Dark Pact

2 4 5 7


1 8 9 10

Essence Shift

3 12 13 14

Shadow Dance

6 11 16


15 17 18

Slark - An Introduction

Slark is a melee semi-carry that is INCREDIBLY effective at almost all stages of the game.
He can KO early, dominate mid game, and is one the the best gankers, imo the best, around.

This Guide will contain three builds.
Build 1, My personal favorite, and what I find to be most effective is to be used in lane.
Build 2, A Mid alternative is good as well, but is intended for Mid use only.
Build 3, A volatile "glass cannon" build, but worth including because some do enjoy playing Slark this way
Build 4 is a copy of build 1, but pounce is prioritized over Dark Pact

Please, if you find any discrepencies or items ive missed, or have a suggestion for another build, leave a comment below!


Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-breed are sent for crimes against their fellows. It is a razor barbed warren full of murderous slithereen, treacherous Deep Ones, sociopathic meranths. In this dim labyrinth, patrolled by eels and guarded by enormous anemones, only the vicious survive. Pitched into Dark Reef for crimes unknown, Slark spent half a lifetime without kin or kindness, trusting no one, surviving through a combination of stealth and ruthlessness, keeping his thoughts and his plans to himself. When the infamous Dark Reef Dozen plotted their ill-fated breakout, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces together--but somehow Slark discovered their scheme and made a place for himself in it. Ten of the Dozen died in the escape attempt, and two were captured, hauled back to Dark Reef, then executed for the entertainment of their fellow inmates. But Slark, the unsung thirteenth, used the commotion as cover and slipped away, never to be caught. Now a furtive resident of the carnivorous mangrove scrub that grips the southern reach of Shadeshore, Slark remains the only successful escapee from Dark Reef.

Pros N' Cons

Mobile due to Pounce and his Ultimate's Passive Speed increase
Highly Effective Ganker
Great Chasing ability
Amazing passive Health regeneration
Great Ultimate
Can snowball harder than even the hardest carries
Right Clicks Hit Somewhat Hard
Is a Semi-Carry so your teammates cant blame you for picking an edgy carry :D:D

Low Mana Pool
Silence really shuts down Slark
Prone to being ganked early game easily

Buddies N' Haters

Keeper Of The Light
Treant Protector
Crystal Maiden

People With stuns/slows in general

Keeper Of The Light
Nyx Assassin

People with any sort of mana drain/burn and nukers in general

Early Game

You are one of the best gankers early.
If your teamate/lane partner can harass an opponent down to around 2/3-1/2 HP, you can almost guarenteed get a gank. Thanks to your Pounce and Dark Pact for Burst damage and rooting capability your formidable in the laning phase.

As soon as you hit the big 6, early game should be about over.

Mid Game

Slark's Golden Age.
You are the most formidable opponent out there. You can take down nearly any enemy hero with ease, and you should do so. Hop out of lane and immediately start ganking if using build 1, although if your taking mid, you might want to stay a while longer and farm while occasionally killing off out of position enemies Top/Bot.

Late Game

One thing about Slark.
His damage really doesnt fall off very hard.
You are still able to contribute tons to fights and gank solo heroes and grouped hero's efficiently. One of the most common things you will find yourself doing is running into a pack of 2-3 people, immediatley killing 1, ulti-ing and wiping up the other 2. Its just that simple! You can still put out truckloads of damage, and by this time, essence shift should be gaining you 100+ agility, and right clicks are a huge nuke. Pouncing can also really help your team in catching normally pesky runners.

Smoke Of Deceit

Yes. An entire chapter is dedicated to this item.
I think its one of the most core things on Slark.
Smoke is basically a free regeneration period during fights. A lot of the time, your ultimate will be on cooldown when you need to get out of something. Smoke of deceit is a real help to Slark, because it fills that big gap that was left when his ulti was nerfed by almost 40 seconds of cooldown duration. This also fills a great role at sneaking up on opponents and getting a free hit or two and a basically guarenteed pounce. Think of it as a Shadowblade with 30 charges that splits into 30 extremely cheap parts.

This item also greatly helps in the bloodseeker matchup as mentioned later in this guide


Slark is now very close to hard-countered since the Thirst Buff.
If you are basically anywhere on the map below 50% HP, bloodseeker can see you. This wouldnt be a problem, except that your ultimates passive regeneration will NOT kick in because it only works when you are not seen. Also, its means that 70% of the time you need regen, your going to be going to fountain, or popping ult simply to make use of one of your core abilities.
There are however, ways around this. A little known but very effective choice is Smoke Of Deceit. For only 100 gold, you are re-granted your regeneration and granted a 40 second period of invisibilty, which is also extremely convenient in allowing you to set up ganks on the aforementioned bloodseeker, or another of his pesky teammates. Shadowblade is always an option, but with shadowblade, your using a fairly substantial amount of mana, and if you are below 25% HP, bloodseeker will gain True Sight of you because of Thirsts ability, therefore disabling the regen and allowing him to chase you down.

Dark Pact and Its Many Uses

Dark Pact is seen by some players and a skill to be leveled will low priority.
I personally think it is one of the greatest tools in Slark's arsenal.

With this skill you can purge off all but the most powerful of debuffs. The only important unpurgable one to worry about is Doom, which comes from, well, Doom. Here is the list of ****ing amazingly helpful stuff you can purge with it that synergize with all of his needs:

Dust Of Appearance
Bounty Hunter's Ultimate
Slardar's Ultimate

Ya cant stop him ulting :) or Smoke o' Deceit'n. Broken :D
Also removes all forms of stun, soo if you see a projectile stun incoming, this is very helpful if timed well.

Other Notes:
Dark Pact Deals damage over a period of 1 second, ticking for damage 10 times every .1 seconds.
This means it will remove effects like Treant Protector's Living Armour and Visage's Gravekeeper's Cloak instantly.


Dark Pact

After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging negative buffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 50% of the damage.
Radius: 325
Delay: 1.5
Total Damage: 60/120/180/240
Cooldown 9/8/7/6 Mana 55/50/45/40

1.5 seconds after cast, a series of 10 pulses separated by 0.1 seconds deals 75/150/225/300 total magic damage to enemies within a 325 radius, and half that damage to Slark.
Each pulse also removes buffs from Slark.
Some spells don't get removed, such as Doom Bringer's Doom skill icon.png Doom, Ancient Apparition's Ice Blast icon.png Ice Blast, Bloodseeker's Rupture icon.png Rupture, Bane's Enfeeble icon.png Enfeeble, Witch Doctor's Maledict icon.png Maledict, Axe's Berserkers Call icon.png Berserker's Call and Orb of Venom's slow.
You can't kill yourself with this skill.
The pulses stop if Slark dies.


Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with. That unit takes damage and is leashed to Slark, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark's landing position.
Range: 700
Leash Radius: 325
Leash Duration: 3.5
Damage: 60/120/180/240
Cooldown 20/16/12/8 Mana 75

On cast, Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933.33, stopping when he latches onto an enemy hero or has traveled 700 distance.
Magic immune units cannot be leashed.
Trees are destroyed in a 200x200 square around Slark's landing area.
Blinking or teleporting can break the leash.

Essence Shift

Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility.
Duration: 15/30/60/120
Strength, Agility, and Intelligence Lost: 1
Agility Gained: 3
Cooldown 0.4/0.35/0.3/0.25

When an enemy hero dies under the effect of Essence Shift, the hero will revive with their stats restored but Slark will not immediately lose them.
The cooldown on Essence Shift is a holdover from the way the skill was coded in DotA, and has no practical impact in Dota 2.

Shadow Dance

When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming invisible (attacking, casting spells, and using items do not reveal Slark). Passively, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration.
Duration: 4
Bonus Movement Speed: 30%/35%/40%
Health Gained per Second: 3%/5%/7%
Cooldown 60 Mana 120

Slark loses bonus movement speed and health regeneration if he becomes visible.
Has a 0.5 second delay on activation and deactivation.
The passives of Shadow Dance do not work if Slark is under the effect of Doom.
If Slark is damaged by a neutral unit, the passive effect is removed for 2 seconds.
While Shadow Dance is active enemy players can still see his location but cannot target him, and he is not revealed by Truesight.

Closing Remarks

Overall, Slark is an extremely good, versatile, and helpful hero to have on your team.

Remember, this guide isnt finished! It is, and always will be, a Work in Progress!
Please, suggest anything you would like added, or say anything youd like to say below!

Quick Comment (4) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (4) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved