January 4, 2013
Many players do not realize Slark's full potential as amazing semi-carry/ganking hero. When played right, Slark can be an incredible assassin and quite the escape artist. I have played Slark many times and he is one of my favorite/best heroes. Most games, I have finished with a minimum of 20 kills and a very small amount of deaths (if any). I have won almost all of the games I have played with him, and if I didn't win, it was a close game. This guide is basically to show people that Slark is not to be underestimated.
*This guide is a work in progress and details on the item and skill builds will be available soon.
For starters, you will want some basic regen items such as Tangos and a Healing Salve.
A Stout Shield is also nice in case of harassment and will build into a Poor Man's Shield later on, providing some nice agility and damage block.
If I feel the need, I get no more than 1 Iron Branch in order to save money for my early Bottle.
Bottle?? Many people might disagree on getting a bottle because of his ult. However, I highly recommend getting a bottle on this hero as it not only helps with your quickly depleting mana, but also provides even faster regen (combined with ult), as well as the use of runes. Being able to stay out around the map without having to go back to base will give you and your team an advantage since you can usually get to where you need to be faster than if you wasted time by going all the way back to base. Also, being a ganking hero, you will be travelling around the map often, so why not take advantage of the runes?
Immediately after your bottle, you will want to start working towards getting your Power Treads. This will give you speed and the extra stat boost you will need to be an effective ganker.
Now for the mid-game. For your first mid-game item, I recommend going Sange and Yasha. Start by getting Yasha for the agility (+attack speed and +damage). Finish S&Y with Sange to give you and extra HP boost to increase your survivability. The movement speed and attack speed boost will greatly increase your effectiveness as a ganker and the damage will help you secure those kills.
After you get Sange and Yasha, focus on helping your team by ganking and pushing towers for a while. Pushing towers is extremely important for not only it will open up more available map space for ganking, but it will also give you some extra gold that will get you closer to your next item, Eaglesong.
If there is any time where it is not safe to push towers and the other team is either all MIA or sticking together and nothing important seems to be happening, don't be afraid to go to the jungle for some extra gold to get you that Eaglesong. Farming it should not be too difficult as long as you keep from dying. Slark's ult makes him a very effective jungler with the movement speed and ridiculous health regen.
So you have your Bottle, Power Treads, Sange and Yasha, and Eaglesong. Now what? Go kill Roshan! You might think that this is ridiculous, but it can easily be done. Take advantage of Slark's ult! First off, check to make sure the enemy team cannot see you go into the cave -- easy since his ult is basically a free ward detector. Second, go kill the vicious cave dweller. Just start attacking him as usual, occasionally using your Dark Pact. When you get to about 20% health, USE YOUR ULT. Don't be afraid to use your ult because it has an extremely low cooldown so you won't be wasting anything. Make sure you keep attacking Rosh while you are ulting. If needed, step outside the cave for a second and use your bottle for a little extra health. You will most likely need to ult more than once while Roshing, which is perfectly okay. It is completely worth having the Aegis. Now you can go be a super-ganker and be as aggressive as you want (just don't waste it by being stupid).
Now after you have Aegis and you go on a ganking spree, you should have enough to finish your Butterfly. Some people may prefer to get Butterfly before going for solo Rosh, which is perfectly fine also. Makes getting Rosh much easier. Either way, finish off Butterfly.
Now, we get to the more situational part of the item guide. Basically at this point, I go one of 2 ways:
If the other team has a lot of stuns/magic damage (especially AOEs), and it tends to prevent you from ganking effectively, then go for BKB before my other items. It will give you some extra HP and damage, but most importantly, protect your from stuns and other magic damage that could potentially stop you from taking out their entire team.
If a BKB doesn't seem like it would be needed at the moment, I recommend going all out for the Eye of Skadi, then maybe BKB later if needed. Of course the extra health and mana is nice, and the +25 of each attribute is GLORIOUS, but what makes this item even better, is the 5 second, 30% movement speed and 20% attack speed slow on enemies. Killing enemies just got a whole lot easier and the game is now that much more fun! This item is the whole package and provides Slark with a bunch of great stat boosts that all make him an even more AMAZING killer. When you get this item, you understand why I love it so much.
At this point, you may or may not have a slot left, depending on if you decided to get BKB or if you have Aegis. But if you do have a spot and you have the money, I have one last great item I thoroughly enjoy. Abyssal Blade. Once you get this item, all bets are off for the enemy team. With the +100 damage, 25% 1.4 second bash, and 2 second active stun, this item is the ultimate late game item that is basically just to show off how easily you can kill someone. Good stuff.
Now there are also some other good viable options, but I will work on adding stuff on those later.