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






Or

6 Votes

Slark, the Nightcrawler

November 23, 2012 by Xenogenesis
Comments: 7    |    Views: 12072    |   


Hero Build

DotA2 Hero: Slark




Hero Skills

Dark Pact

3 4 7 9

Pounce

1 5 8 10

Essence Shift

2 12 13 14

Shadow Dance

6 11 16

Talents

15 17 18


Slark, the Nightcrawler

Xenogenesis
November 23, 2012


Introduction


Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-bred 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.

I am Xenogenesis and this is my first Dota 2 Guide. Any constructive criticism/feedback is welcomed as I think there is more I could do to perfect my gameplay and my guide. The primary reason I made this guide is that there is only 1 high rated guide on Dotafire right now that plays a little bit differently than I like to.

Slark is a melee agility hero with pretty good escape, great ganking ability and the ability to hard carry shorter games (under ~35min) with that dropping to a Semi-Carry the longer games go. I have only played as Slark for about a week but I feel like I've figured out how to play him pretty effectively. I often to get 20+ kills less than 5 deaths and plenty of assists. I feel as though he is mostly level dependent and only has a few "core items" that he absolutely can't do without.

Pros / Cons

Pros:
Amazing gank potential
Can carry/semi-carry
Still useful late game with pounce leash to kill heroes that overextend
Not very item dependent
Good counter to tanks/carries with massive damage and shadow dance to stay alive
Is a freakin' Murloc



Cons:
Very Squishy
Sucks if prevented from ganking early
Can be a little bit of a kill stealer late game
Gem/Wards can get you messed up pretty bad
Gets outcarried big time late game
Low stat gain

Skills

Since my build is a bit different than those I've seen on here before I'll go over a little bit of it and why I make the decisions I do level by level.

Dark Pact Q


Damage:
Targets:


Magical
No Target
After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging negative debuffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 50% of the damage.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

55


50


45


40

Cooldown

9


8


7


6

Radius

325


325


325


325

Delay

1.5sec


1.5sec


1.5sec


1.5sec

Damage

70 damage


150 damage


225 damage


300 damage


Notes:
  • 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.
  • If Slark Dies the pulses stop.
  • Don't forget that this will remove debuffs like Track, Amplify Damage, and Dust of Appearance.
  • It's a good idea to use this when retreating if you are slowed or about to be stunned.
  • Black King Bar and effects like it will prevent the damage from this skill so pay attention and don't use it if someone pops their magic immunity.

Leveling:
  • 3-4, 7, 9: Sometimes I will grab this at 3-5 and at 7 just to get the damage up more quickly but I've recently found that the added damage and reduced cooldown of Pounce at higher levels of the skill really help in ganks and you lose little damage taking Pounce over this.

Pounce W


Damage:
Targets:


Magical
No Target
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.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

75


75


75


75

Cooldown

20sec


16sec


12sec


8sec

Distance

700


700


700


700

Leash Duration/Radius

3.5sec/325


3.5sec/325


3.5sec/325


3.5sec/325

Damage

70 damage


140 damage


210 damage


280 damage


Notes:
  • On cast, Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933, stopping when he latches onto an enemy unit in a 95 radius, or has traveled 700 distance
  • Blinking or teleporting away will break the leash.
  • Use this to jump over cliffs or other impassable terrain when retreating. Will generally get you out of line of sight which will activate your ultimate passive.
  • Black King Bar and effects like it will prevent the damage from this skill so pay attention and don't use it if someone pops their magic immunity.

Leveling:
  • 1, 5, 8, 10: Getting this at level one gives you a great escape tool. Use this to open up ganks as it gives a good amount of damage and prevents the enemy from fleeing. If your lane partner has a disable that prevents or slows movement have them use theirs before or after this so you can finish them off.

Essence Shift E


Ability:


Passive

Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility.

Level

1


2


3


4

Agility Gained

3


3


3


3

Cooldown

.4sec


.35sec


.3sec


.25sec

Enemy Attribute Loss

1


1


1


1

Duration

15sec


30sec


60sec


120sec


Notes:
  • 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.
  • Helps make up for Slarks poor agility gain
  • Stacks have their own timer so if you hit someone at 2 minutes and then someone else 2 minutes later at max level you will have 2 stacks for 1 minute and then 1 stack for another minute after that.

Leveling:
  • 2, 12-14: I get this at level 2 because the added damage helps out with ganks but you generally aren't hitting people enough until a little later in the game for this to really matter. Later in the game when you max this out it lasts a long time which is perfect because there will be a lot of teamfights. The fact that the stacks have their own timer means that time between ganks this will be wasted at early levels.

Shadow Dance R


Ability:


No Target and Passive

When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming invisible (attacking, casting spells, and using items do not reveal Slark). Additionally, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration.

Level

1


2


3

Mana

120


120


120

Duration

5.5sec


5.5sec


5.5sec

Cooldown

25sec


25sec


25sec

Bonus Movement Speed

30%


35%


40%

Health Gained Per Second

3%


5%


7%


Notes:
  • If you show up on the enemy mini map you lose the passive bonus. This means that you can somewhat scout for invisible heroes and wards using this skill.
  • As long as the enemy doesn't have true sight of you the passive portion of the skill is active when you activate the skill in sight of enemies. This makes it a good chase and escape tool as you gain the movement speed while the enemy is looking at you. Remember to use Dark Pact to get rid of slows/ Dust of Appearance/ Track/etc. when you are trying to use the active for speed gain or to regenerate health and stay in the fight.
  • Allows for amazing gank potential because of how quickly you can make your way across the map and looking for the passive buff in your buff area lets you know that the enemy has no idea of your location.

Leveling:
  • 6, 11, 16: Get this every level you can. Once you have it don't be afraid to retreat past the sight of the enemy to heal up and go back in right after healing. Also when you get this make sure you keep good awareness of the map as you can get some good ganks by cutting through jungles to get in between an enemy and their tower for easy kills. Use this when you know they don't have Gem of True Sight or Sentry Ward and you aren't near a tower to gain speed and health regeneration in order to stay in a fight and chase an enemy or even run away.

Items

The items I kinda figured out a little bit going off what the game suggested and other Slark guides along with what has worked in game for me.

Starting:

Tango - Use these sparingly, you shouldn't be extending too much until level 5 or 6. Try and make them last until level 6 as you can start healing yourself after that.

Healing Salve - Great for ganks gone wrong or gank attempts against you. Try and save for when the full amount will heal and use tangoes otherwise.

Iron Branch - Slark has pretty ****py base stats and these also build into a magic wand.

Stout Shield - More survivability and builds into a poor mans shield

Early Game:

Poor Man's Shield - First thing I build after leaving base. It gives you a ton of survivability and stats. Stays good for quite a while

Magic Wand - Tend to get this second because you want to get some charges going. Once you start ganking you may have some mana issues and this really helps out.

Ring of Basilius/ Boots of Speed - My 3rd and 4th purchases. Usually go Ring to get some mana regen and the armor doesn't hurt either. Sometimes go boots if I'm not getting a lot of ganking opportunities. Whatever way it goes I get the opposite next.

Orb of Venom - Should be able to start ganking by the time you get this and the added slow/damage helps secure some ganks.

Mid Game/Core:

Power Treads - Treads are great on most heroes and Slark is no exception. I normally keep them strength before dark pact and then switch to agi for the gank. Intelligence is good for running around between ganks to get some mana back. If you have a hard time remembering to switch them I'd say strength until a little higher level so you get more health.

Sange and Yasha - The main item for Slark in my opinion. I go for Yasha first for the movement speed and then Sange but the movement speed and maim on SnY is great for getting people in ganks. The other stats and stuff are pretty good too.

Late Game/Luxury/Situational:

Butterfly - This is great on any hero and especially any agility hero. If I get this I normally replace poor mans shield as I normally have a pretty full up inventory.

Orchid Malevolence - I actually freaked out an Anti-Mage one time when I got this. The other team had Anti-Mage eating my mana, then a couple spellcast gankers including Lion. The mana regeneration means you'll never have to go back to base and the silence/armor reduction set up amazing kills. Usually go for this over most of the other stuff because there are usually 1 or 2 spellcast gankers that could use a silence. Also works great to silence Drow before she can silence you. Spellcast gankers are pretty bad for anyone and especially squishy melee Slark.

Eye of Skadi - You already have Orb to build into this. Slow, stats, mana, and HP make this actually a pretty sweet item. I normally don't build into this but it's pretty good when you do get it.

Drums of Endurance- Increase ias damage and stats. I've seen others run this and it's suggested in game but I feel it's better on a lot of other people. With SnY and Power Treads you will move at 522 speed which I think is the max anyways so the extra movement speed won't help other than in fights when your ulti passive isn't active.

Vladmir's Offering - The HP on damage helps keep you in instead of having to run out all the time to get healed by your ulti. Also really helpful when they have stuff to see through your stealth to screw you out of using shadow dance to heal mid-gank. Added Mana regen isn't bad either. I think it works better on some other heroes so let them get it, otherwise you might want to carry one as it helps anyone who's melee.

Black King Bar - Good on any hero when there are a lot of spells to be worried about. I think it's less useful on Slark especially with Orchid. Orchid lets you silence the hard hitters and a lot of the other stuff you want to avoid can be purged with Dark Pact.

Monkey King Bar - Good if there are evasion heroes or enemies running butterfly. Added damage doesn't hurt either.

Diffusal Blade - Good for slowing enemies. I personally feel like SnY and max level pounce do this things job for me though.

Gameplay

Early Game:

Stay safe and last hit when it's not going to overextend you too much. Use pounce to retreat from gank attempts.

I generally avoid gank attempts until level 5 or 6. The added damage with pounce and dark pact will make the gank more likely to work and once you hit 6 you can retreat and heal yourself.

At 6 you should roam the map and go for any good ganks you can get. If the enemy team has a jungler go eat him to prevent him from getting to big. Use Dark Pact right before you pounce so it'll go off right after you land, then shadow dance to heal that back and get some movement speed when the pounce leash ends and repounce/dark pact as necessary.

Move towards getting your items built up, you want Power Treads and a Yasha ASAP and once you have that you should be pretty unstoppable on your way to your Sange.

Mid Game:

Continue Ganking and help your team push towers. If necessary tank a little damage on the tower between creep waves and retreat to heal with ulti passive whenever the new wave comes in.

Don't forget that you can jump cliffs to get to or get away from enemies as necessary. Try and stay alive as it's easy to feed with Slark. Tactical retreats to heal are pretty necessary if the other team is close to you in level/farm.

Late Game:

Hopefully the game didn't get to a "late game" stage. If you can push to a finish before 35 minutes you won't have to worry about falling off. If you do get there start playing a little safer especially if the other team is equal or higher level than you. Try and take out enemy carries or squishy nukers so that they are less dangerous to your team.

Summary

All in all I feel like Slark is a really good hero that fills his roll well. He can gank with the best of them and carry pretty well if he gets fed and the game doesn't go on too well.

Sorry for the long-windedness of this guide. Any comments/feedback/constructive criticism are welcomed as I'm sure I can always improve. I will eventually be adding a friends/foes but I want to get a list together before I add it. I will also be fixing up the format eventually.

Quick Comment (7) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (7) 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