Sven is a very powerful hero excelling when laning with a ranged hero, or another hero with a disable and is fairly easy to last hit with, as he has a fast attack animation and high damage output. He tends to have mana issues at the beginning of the game which should fall off by the time your team supports get Arcane Boots.
Stack some buffs with a well placed Storm Hammer and you can wreak havok on the entire team. They will run in fear afraid to be near you and as your inventory grows you'll become unstoppable.
Sven is an initiator but with the correct items you'd think he were a carry. He scales well thanks to a percentage based damage bonus and an extremely powerful cleave. He loves damage, strength, and attack speed on his items.
Huge damage output, instills fear into the opposing team.
2 second AoE stun
25 mana 12% AoE speed boost
Great farming with Great Cleave, no need to buy a Battle Fury
Able to severely injure or kill entire teams with that same cleave and God's Strength
Item dependent, will be locked down or kited without Black King Bar
Low Int growth, low mana pool
Easy to escape from when he has no mana or Storm Hammer is on cooldown.
Lets talk about Sven's skills.
Storm Hammer is your initiation skill, a fairly powerful nuke (325 damage at level 4) with a 2 second AoE stun attached. It has a 600 casting range 140 mana cost, and 15 second cooldown. This skill is very mana expensive as Sven has very low Int growth per level. Use only when you're certain you will get a kill or need it to escape a gank. If absolutely necessary, and being harassed a lot, use it to kill a wave of creeps from long range. Later on when you have a larger mana pool you will find yourself using it so often, especially when you're being fed mana from your supports. Max this first!
Great Cleave is an extremely powerful passive cleave ability, granting 60% cleave damage at level 4. Max this after Storm Hammer.
Warcry gives a 12% movespeed boost and 3/6/9/12 armor to all allies within a 700 AoE. Great for chasing, running, or increasing survivability in team fights. Costs 25 mana and has a 36/30/24/18 second cooldown. I usually take this at level 4 for the static 12% movement speed boost. Max this last if the game goes on until level 25 or level 15 if your team needs the armor but this will sacrifice your +stats.
God's Strength is his amazing ultimate ability. Grants 100/140/180% additional damage. This only works with damage gained from strength, but its still a huge increase. Lasts 25 seconds, has a 100/150/200 mana cost, and an 80 second cooldown. Pick this up every time its available.
Like everyone has said before, DotA is not a rigid game, do don't follow this item build like its the only way to play. Adapt to the situation.
1 Healing Salve
1 Quelling Blade
In the early minutes of the game, focus on last hitting and avoid harassment. If you find yourself being harassed a lot, you may need to pick up a Stout Shield but avoid if not necessary. Pick up your Boots of Speed and begin working on your Armlet of Mordiggian by picking up a Helm of Iron Will. This will give you health regeneration as well as armor to allow you to stay in lane longer and continue farming and reduce incoming harassment.
After picking up Helm of Iron Will, finish your Power Treads by picking up Belt of Strength first, followed by Gloves of Haste
Finish your Armlet of Mordiggian now. The base stats are all great for him, providing 9 damage, 15 attack speed, 5 armor, and 5 hp/s regeneration but the real beauty is its active effect, which gives an additional 31 damage, 10 attack speed, and 25 strength (25 damage, 475 health!) while draining 37 health per second. Remember to turn its active effect on whenever you get in range of your target to minimize the health drain. You can also toggle the effect when low on health to get a sudden boost of health in case you need to escape. Toggle in between enemy attacks and be featured on DotaCinema.
Now is a good time to finish off your Power Treads. Toggle to Intelligence when initiating with Storm Hammer to have a smaller impact on your mana pool then switch to Strength as you run in. The 25 attack speed will help a lot.
Black King Bar is your next core item. Not only does this provide amazing magic immunity, it also gives 10 strength and 24 damage. A perfect item to enter the fray and avoid those deadly stuns and disables. Getting this early will usually ensure your mid to late game carrying capabilities so try to get some early kills and avoid dying.
Pick up Helm of the Dominator for more survivability in the form of lifesteal and the active effect to Dominate a neutral creep. You can use this neutral creep to stack ancients while you're farming or contributing to team fights and when you have a stack of 4 or 5 ancient camps, run in and clean up for a large boost of gold and experience. The dominated creep will remain under your control until it dies so you can be stacking all game while contributing on other parts of the map.
Grab Crystalys for dem crits which will cleave with Great Cleave. Take advantage of tightly packed groups of enemies for big damage.
Finish your Satanic if you are tanking for your team. With God's Strength active, you will likely heal almost completely in 1 or 2 hits when you activate Unholy Rage.
If you aren't having too much trouble surviving or you are dealing the biggest damage on your team at this point then upgrade your Crystalys into Daedalus. With God's Strength you will start to see giant crits, and in groups of enemies, you may get those double or triple kills. Really, this item is what prompted me to make this build after taking out an entire team on my own because of back to back 2k damage crits on their pudge that cleaved to the rest of their team. It was absurd.
As far as situational items go:
Force Staff if you want a bigger mana pool as well as a chasing or escaping ability.
Blade Mail gives armor and intelligence. Two great bonuses for a Strength carry like Sven. The active effect will also scare off many attackers for fear of reflected damage, leaving you free to dish out damage. If they do attack you, it will take less of your own attacks to kill them. Few will be able to trade hits with a Blade Mail'd Sven.
Skull Basher if you want to simply lock down single targets while you beat on them. Upgrade to Abyssal Blade to shut down an enemy Black King Bar using carry as the active effect goes through BKB.
Assault Cuirass gives 15 armor and 55 attack speed to you, 5 armor and 20 attack speed to your team, and -5 armor to enemies near you. Great for physical damage heavy teams, especially with teams that are stacking negative armor.
Heaven's Halberd gives 25% evasion and the active prevents an opposing carry from right click attacking for 3 whole seconds for melee attackers or 4 whole seconds for ranged attackers. Amazing for shutting down the opposition.
Do not play a carry Sven build if your team already has a melee carry, instead try the roaming build.
Crystal Maiden would be an ideal lane partner in my eyes as she provides a slow, a disable, passive mana regeneration (so good on a hero like Sven who lacks in the brains department) and a long range attack to harass your possible harassers allowing you easier farm.
Sven also pairs well with heroes that have strong but unreliable stuns like Leshrac and Lina. Your stun sets them up for theirs and will usually result in at least a few kills early game.
Any strong disabler like Shadow Shaman or Lion is also very welcome to lane with a carry Sven.
Enigma's multiple stuns with Malefice is also great if he pops in from the jungle for a gank, but he really shines as a great teammate with Sven mid to late game because his ultimate will help bunch up all of the enemies, allowing your Great Cleave to hit the entire team
Earthshaker can make an excellent roamer on your team, preventing your opponent's escape (one of Sven's weaknesses) with a well placed Fissure.
Vengeful Spirit can also secure kills on escaping enemies by suicide diving with Nether Swap
Avoid laning with any other carry (should be obvious) but we've all been in 5 carry teams at some point.
So as you can see, Sven can be a dangerous combo with many lane partners which can make him an excellent choice in many situations.
This build focuses strictly on your capabilities to make your way across the map with little effort, always full on health and mana to initiate ganks. It ignores the Great Cleave ability and only takes 1 point in Warcry for the movement speed.
With Tranquil Boots and a Soul Ring, you will always have mana to spare. Tranquil boots also give 80 movement speed in addition to the heal effect as long as you can avoid being hit by enemies. Not as fast as phase boots but its always on. If you find yourself sitting on a large sum of gold, disassemble your boots and buy the Boots of Travel, you can sell the Ring of Protection and Ring of Regen or turn them into Vladmir's Offering
Start with Boots of Speed as your first item.
After that, begin building your Soul Ring, starting with Ring of Regen, then the Sage's Mask followed by the recipe. Do not spam it too much yet, but you can use it to get that extra stun off if needed.
Complete your Tranquil Boots by buying either the Ring of Protection, then another Ring of Regen. Now you can have a constant harass by using your Soul Ring to gain 150 bonus mana at the cost of 150 health, and use 140 of it to stun, and the remaining 10 plus 15 more to heal the 150 health damage with your Tranquil Boots. Its near infinite mana meaning that if your stun is off cooldown, you won't have to wait for mana to use it.
Pick up a Bracer and upgrade into Drums of Endurance to further improve your movement speed as well as give some stats and increase your teams output. Any gold you're not spending on wards and other supportive items can be used to recharge your drums.
Grab a Bottle if you find yourself coming across runes often while roaming.
Orb of Venom is a cheap Unique Attack Modifier that you can use to prevent people from escaping after you initiate on them while your team finishes them off. It has a 12% slow which will almost completely negate their additional movement speed from boots and a minor 3 damage per second during the effect.
Warding will be important with this build, especially for ganking an invisible hero and avoiding counter-ganks. With this build you are a walking stun. You will not do much damage otherwise so coordinate with your team.
If you've got gold to spare and your team needs it, try to buy a Mekansm or Pipe of Insight
I have now played 1 game with this new build and I want to call it a success.
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