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19 Votes

The Apotheosis of Nortrom (an in-depth Silencer guide)

August 27, 2012 by Sefi
Comments: 14    |    Views: 117038    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Carry Silencer

DotA2 Hero: Silencer

Purchase Order

Start Game

Healing Salve
Mantle of Intelligence

Early Game

Null Talisman
Boots of Speed
Observer Ward

Mid Game Core

Power Treads
Null Talisman
Force Staff

Late Game Core

Power Treads
Null Talisman
Force Staff
Orchid Malevolence
Scythe of Vyse


Boots of Travel
Black King Bar
Linken's Sphere
Refresher Orb
Rod of Atos
Shiva's Guard
Eul's Scepter of Divinity

Hero Skills

Arcane Curse

1 4 5 7

Glaives of Wisdom

3 8 9 10

Last Word

2 12 13 14

Global Silence

6 11 16


15 17 18


Hello there. At the risk of scaring everybody away, I wanted to mention that this is my first guide. I have put a lot of thought and time into it already, but it is always open for feedback, and if you have anything to add or anything you think should be changed, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back with you as soon as I can.

I've played Silencer in 25 rated games (consisting of solo pubs and parties) and several times in bot matches just to mess with his item options without potentially screwing over the team. He has been my favorite hero since I started playing this game and I feel like i have a lot of useful information to share on him.
I have only played pub games and whether or not any of this information is useful in a competitive environment is questionable. The closest I've gotten to a tournament setting is playing in and against other 5-mans. Obviously, there will be some disagreement on these playstyles and item builds, and as said I welcome all feedback.

According to Wikipedia, Apotheosis is: "the glorification of a subject to divine level.
In theology, the term apotheosis refers to the idea that an individual has been raised to godlike stature.

In other words, this guide is basically "How to Become Godlike with Silencer." Of my 25 rated games so far, if I've counted right, I've gone Godlike in all but 5 of them, and even those 5 my kill count was still at least 8.

You'll find that for a guy whose favorite hero is "Silencer," I certainly talk a lot. This guide is very long and very in-depth because I believe in explaning every part of my reasoning when I tell you to do something. If you just do what I say without understanding it, you'll never truly understand the capacity of the hero. So if you love the hero as much as I do or you just want to really learn what makes him tick, sit down for a minute and find out what the Silencer is all about.

If you disagree with the guide or think information is vitally wrong or misconstrued, please leave a comment so we can discuss the matter rather than leave an anonymous downvote. I spent many hours putting this guide together, and I'd rather talk to people and factor their opinions into the guide rather than have the whole thing downvoted because I don't like Dagon or something.

Nortrom the Silencer

Part of the seventh and final generation of a carefully designed pedigree, Nortrom was bred by the ancient order of the Aeol Drias to be the greatest magic user the world had ever seen. He was the prophesied one, the culmination of two-hundred years of careful pairings, a war-mage who would bring glory to the order, and destruction to their sworn enemies, The Knights of the Fold. Raised with other young mages in a hidden cantonment among the hills of the Hazhadal barrens, the order's preceptors waited for Nortroms abilities to manifest. While the other students honed their talents with fire, or ice, or incantatory spells, Nortrom sat silent and talentless, unable to cast so much as a hex. As the day of final testing approached, he still hadnt found his magic. In disgust, the preceptors berated him, while the children laughed. You are no mage, the head of the order declared. Still, Nortrom did not slink away. He entered the day of testing and faced down the young mages who had mocked him. And then his preceptors learned a valuable lesson: a lack of magic can be the greatest magic of all. Nortrom silenced the young mages one by one and defeated them in single combat, until he alone stood as champion of the Aeol Drias, in fulfillment of the prophecy.

What Role Am I?

Silencer is a hero classified as Support/Carry/Initiator. This is an unusual combination for a number of reasons. Support and Carry are generally polar opposites when it comes to hero classification, and even the descriptions provided in-game of a Support and Carry contradict each other.

Support: Can focus less on amassing gold and items and instead uses their abilities to help the team.
Carry: Becomes more helpful late game if they obtain a significant gold advantage.

Do NOT mistake Silencer for your run-of-the-mill support. This typical description of a support hero does not apply to Silencer whatsoever, and I strongly disagree with those who say it is a Silencer's job to support and never take kills. Silencer is much more of a Carry himself, being both kill and item dependent, and also requiring either smart play to self-sustain early game or a babysitter himself in order to have a good early game. This unique classification of Silencer confuses people on what role he truly is, and I don't blame them. Support/Carry is a hero classification shared by only one other Hero, Sven, although I daresay you would not call on a Sven to babysit the hard carry in lane.

That all being said, Silencer can perform almost all roles very well. He is in fact a reliable initiator by shutting down the enemy's ability to use spells (no matter where they are on the map) for up to 5 seconds. While he cannot perform as a Support in a typical sense, he is a good carrier of many team support items, and since he will almost always want to be an active participant in teamfights, he will almost always prove a valuable asset for the team no matter which role you choose to play.

And remember that Silencer is very flexible. He can easily go from being the team's supporter to the team's hard carry, and vice versa. Don't be afraid to play him differently and see which playstyle works best for you.

Based on all of this information, you can make your decision based on these facts:


Steals intelligence when near an enemy's death, making enemies weaker.
Ulti is global and affects all heros, regardless of magic immunity.
Is a Carry, but does not require a babysitter.
Good team Support even when playing Carry.
Good early game harass and first blood potential.
Item build is very straight-forward, fairly cheap and easy to attain regardless of feed.

Squishy without Armor.
Ulti has long cool-down. (160 seconds; a full two and a half minutes)
Needs kills and items to be effective mid to late game.
Often misunderstood and expected to babysit and "give" others the kill
Useless against Passive reliant heros.
No stuns, slows, debuffs, or heals.

And based on all of this, I've provided two builds. Build #1 is my standard mid ganking build, while I usually only choose Build #2 when another hero on the team wouldn't give me mid or I can't get a solo lane with the jungler, although sometimes I choose it when the enemy in my lane is simply not bothered by the harassment of Build #1. Basically, Build #1 is the Carry build, (henceforth referred to as C-Build for Carry) and Build #2 is the Support build (S-Build for Support).

The only thing I can stress is that whatever role you settle into depending on the team's needs, Nortrom is NOT, and will NEVER be a TANK. He is an Initiator, but he can never just walk right into the enemy's face like some Tidehunter and then just walk away. He is a good initiator because popping his ulti at the right moment can cripple the entire enemy team and allow your allies to roflstomp them in a teamfight. Never be the guy to walk into the enemy thinking that you won't die just because they're silenced, because even autoattacks are going to hurt.

When Does the Team Need Nortrom?

Team line-ups are almost never straight-forward. You want a good mix and match of all types of heros to make a good team, while also keeping the enemy's team in mind. In Nortrom's case, when to pick him is almost entirely up to what the enemy team has picked. No matter how much it seems like he would fit into your team, you never want to pit the Silencer against certain heroes, and no matter how much the team begs for a traditional support, sometimes it's just better to shut down the enemy.

When to Pick Silencer
When the Enemy Team has two or more intelligent reliant heros (also known as "squishy mages")
When the Enemy Team has an initiator reliant on a spell.
When the enemy has a lot of heros reliant on chaining their spells. (Riki who uses Smoke Bomb then Backstab, Phantom Assassin who uses Stifling Dagger then Blink Strike, Pudge with Hook-Rot-Dismember, etc)
When Your Team has only one carry and any of the above apply.
When Your Team has not picked a mid hero and all of the above apply.

When NOT to Pick Silencer
When Your Team already has two or more carries.
When your team needs a dedicated babysitter for the hard carry.
When the enemy has picked two or more heros reliant on passives.
When the team needs a tank or an in-your-face iniatiator.
When the team needs a hero with a stun/slow/CC.

Keep in mind that these are just things to remember when picking Silencer and that some qualifications can cancel others. Say the entire enemy line-up is extremely reliant on spells and not a single other hero on your team has a silence. Even if you've already got two carries, remember that Silencer can carry himself, (I call it "self-sustaining carry,") and if you can secure mid or the long lane while your partner jungles, your team having three Carries won't be a problem.

Skills of the Silencer

Like most heros, Silencer has the standard four abilities set to his Q, W, E, and R keys.
He has one ability that can be set to autocast and one passive, making him very easy to play once you get the feel for him.

In this section, I'll single out and explain each of his abilities, what they do, and when/why you should use them. Remember that playstyle varies by person and situation, so while I've found this playstyle very effective, you might like to switch it up a bit.

Q: Curse of the Silent

Curses the target area, causing enemy units to take damage and lose mana until they cast a spell.
Damage: 20/30/40/50
Mana Loss: 10/15/20/25
Duration: 5/6/7/8
Radius: 350
Range: 800
Cooldown: 20/18/16/14
Mana Cost: 75/95/115/135
Nortrom's lack of incantations is less of a problem for him than it is for his adversaries.

Curse of the Silent (henceforth known as "Curse") is an ability that is mainly only effective early game. Thus, most players will suggest the typical "either rush or or don't get it at all" playstyle for Silencer, and each Build I suggest caters to this.

Curse is one of my favorite early game harasses for his relatively cheap mana cost and its ability to harass not one, but two heros for the entire early game. It is an AoE spell on any target location (visible or not) that has a decent enough radius that can catch two, even three heros inside to utilize it to the fullest of its ability.

This ability is exceptionally effective against a hero who took a passive ability first (and this is one of the only times Silencer is effective against these types of heros) because without a spell to cast, the hero will be forced to take a castable spell to dispell the Curse, or else be forced to take the entire damage. At level one this spell deals 20 damage for 5 seconds, forcing a total of 100 damage to a hero unlucky enough to have chosen a passive over a spell for their first level. And if you're quick at denying or managed to scare them far back enough, you should be able to squeeze in a forced 200 damage on the hero before they even hit level 2.
Even if targetting a hero with a castable spell, odds are they don't have the mana that early game to waste it. The debuff is a DoT, but it also reduces mana. The hero is going to have to choose between using a health item, preventing them from sustaining against further harass, or cast a spell, wasting valuable early game mana. Whichever option they choose they're effectively screwed, because they'll eventually be too low on mana to do much to you, or low enough on health that you can easily finish them off.

Use of Curse:

Early Game

Playing with Curse early game is the same on either build.
Start spamming this spell as soon as you get to lane, and throw some glaives while you're at it. The enemy won't be expecting such a sudden and brutal assault, and they can be down most of their hp in a few seconds if they aren't paying attention. If in a side-lane, try your best to catch both heros in this spell. They'll eventually figure out to stop getting close together, but remember that a 350 radius is fairly large, and they can be on the very edges of it and still get the debuff.
The casting range of Curse is also very long, making it possible to hide in tower while throwing it at the opponent.
In Mid, Curse is a great way to continue harassing the enemy while they hide in the Fog on high ground across the river. Curse doesn't need to be aimed, so if you just saw them last-hit a creep or deny one of yours, feel free to cast the spell right on the edge, even if you can't see.
If you are going for First Blood, (which I can usually get by level 3 most games) do NOT use this as your opener. You'll want to pop it on a fleeing enemy who has probably used all of their mana assaulting you, cannot be rid of the DoT, and will be forced to take the entirety of the damage which, if you got them low enough or caught them in tower, should be enough to finish them.

Mid Game:

Curse fully maxed by level 7 is still a great spell, especially in mid when you'll be level 7 when all the punks in side-lane will be between levels 3 thru 5 depending on how good or bad their early game was. Maintaining good map awareness and knowing when the enemy has drained their mana trying to get your lane partners will be invaluable knowledge when you go in for the kill, as they won't be able to dispell your extremely punishing debuff, which will chop off a combined total of 800 hp from both heros if you land them both in it. Along with your glaives for hard-hits and your passive stopping any resistant attempts, you'd be extremely unlucky to not at least secure one kill each time you roam to a lane. Your Curse is at its peak by late early game to early mid game, so be sure to abuse it to get your early kills!

Late Game:

Curse loses the majority of its effectiveness by Late Game, when heros have a large enough mana pool to dispell it or an HP pool large enough to where the DOT just doesn't matter. It'll mostly be a tool for catching escaping heros who try to ditch out of a teamfight gone bad, and as a chaser when you or the team just can't get quite close enough to finish off that last little bit of hp. Even if he tries to stop long enough to cast a spell to disrupt the DOT, if he's that low on HP the team will probably be able to finish him off as soon as he stops.

Things to Remember about Curse of the Silent
-Curse's mana cost is not insignificant, but it's not huge either. I find it reasonably spammable and use it almost every cool down, unless I'm waiting for the enemy to come closer so I can harass them with glaives. I do include a Clarity in the build for this, unlike most Silencer builds, but the constant duress on your enemy in mid is going to pay off in the end, usually with a First Blood.
-The ability affects invisible units you can't see, so for that Templar Assassin who just Melded right in front of you, feel free to stand there and Curse her.
-Auto-cast abilities DO NOT break Curse. They would have to click and manually target the ability in order for the spell to break Curse. So for a hero like Viper, unless he thinks to manually cast his Q, only his Ulti will break Curse.
-Its use does significantly drop after as Mid-Game starts to wrap up, but KEEP USING IT!! Especially in late game when teamfights are happening very frequently and the enemy is bunched together, keep using it at strategic moments. If nothing else it's just one more thing for the enemy to worry about, it might make them try to attack too early to dispell the DOT, or as the teamfight progresses the DOT tick might just happen at the very second the enemy is nearly dead, getting you the kill regardless whether or not you can auto-attack fast enough.

Are you sure that the builds aren't the other way around? You should max Glaives on Carry and Curse on Support.

Negative, the builds were supposed to be this way; at least for my playstyle. But everyone plays differently and I know most people think it should be the other way around, and here are my reasons why not:

I get most of my early game kills almost entirely due to my DOT, and I usually secure at least one or two kills by level 3 or 4, before you can even put serious points into anything.
At that low a level you just cannot support your Glaives and your Intelligence just is not high enough by level 7 for the extra damage from your Glaives (for the mana it costs) to justify it being your first maxed skill as roaming Carrier. Not to mention that since you have no form of CC at that low a level your enemy, is going to make a get away, and just before they get out of my range I can pop the DOT on them because the casting range is so long. Usually I get the kill just from that last second DOT.
Granted I'm not always in the radius for intelligence stealing when I secure the kills, but the kills are made, and so is the gold, and you need early gold to stack your Intellience enough to where your Glaives ARE useful. Maxing Glaives for an extra 30 damage a pop is not going to make you a Godlike Silencer.
If you're playing Carry Silencer in a lane with a babysitter, then max Glaives might be a possibility. But I play Silencer as a solo roaming hero, so I want Curse.

On the other hand, the support role is probably laning with a melee hero who the enemy will have some trouble keeping up with. Their attack speed is probably slow and their attacks aren't hitting very hard without their items. Say you're laning with Chaos Knight who wants to go for a kill with his Chaos Bolt. It'll probably be level 2 by the time you go for a kill, so the stun duration will be 1-3 seconds. If it's only 2 seconds, (and remember he probably popped the stun from a small distance away, so he has to walk up to the enemy before even hitting him) you can't waste time throwing weak auto attacks and then throwing a belated Curse on the enemy. You want to hit them as hard and fast as possible to weaken the enemy while you can, and hopefully the carry can secure the kill from the guy you weakened for him. Curse is just too slow for S-Build when assisting the Carry with an early kill.

Not to mention that a great deal of my kills in teamfights come on accident from my DOT, which I throw on all heroes some time in the middle of the fight after they've thrown away all of their spells or directly after I Globally Silence them. The DOT may just happen to tick at just the right second to give me the last hit and thus the kill, and if I'm using my DOT as my main spell early game on Support Build, I'm going to get a lot of **** for "kill-stealing" when it was actually just poor timing.

As I've said; different playstyles warrant different skill builds. I didn't like Carry Silencer with max Glaives, so this is how I play him. Once you figure the hero out you can mess around with any of his options and see what works for you.

W: Glaives of Wisdom

Silencer enchants his glaives with his wisdom, dealing additional damage based on his Intelligence
Percent Intelligence to Damage: 30%/45%/60%/75%
CD: 0
Mana: 15

Although lacking in traditional incantations, Nortrom's pedigree of the Aeol Drias gives him uncanny wisdom, which he applies to physical combat.

A great buff for your auto-attack that can be set to auto-cast. It becomes most helpful late game after you've got lots of intelligence items and stolen intelligence from kills.
This ability is what makes Silencer an absolutely ridiculous late game Carry with even a little bit of farm. But since each cast costs mana, you need to know when to use it.

Early game:
Do NOT leave this on unless you want to become a useless Silencer. It will decimate your mana and not do much for you in return. Pop it now and then to secure a last hit or of you're going for a sure kill, usually after you've baited the enemy into tower. Because you'll be popping autocast on and off for now, it'll be easy to forget about it when you roam for a gank, but always remember to have it on! The damage bonus even at level one is significant and will make or break the difference between a narrow escape or a First Blood.

Mid Game:

You'll have some stacked int by now and should be able to have these on most every teamfight, but be mindful of your ultimate's mana cost. At 250/350/450 mana, you could easily spam Glaives TOO much and be **** out of luck when you really need to use that Global Silence.

Late Game:

You should be able to have this on at all times, more or less. You should have enough intelligence items and enough stolen intelligenc to mercilessly spam your glaivves as much as you want. to give you an idea of the damage you'll be putting out at this point, here's a brief overview of the Intelligence you can expect to have by late game:
Force Staff: 10 Intelligence
Scythe of Vyse: 35 Intelligence
Power Treads: 8 Intelligence
Orchid Malevolence: 25 Intelligence
And for the hell of it you still have a Null Talisman.
And say by late game you have 10 kills (all of them within range, so 20 Intelligence stolen) and 6 assists (in range, so 6 Intelligence stolen).

Just from items and kills, your Intelligence already has an additional 110 added. Say around late-game your base is around 70. Plus the bonus, that's 180 Intelligence.

Glaives deals 75% of your Intelligence as bonus damage. So 75% of 180is 135. Each auto-attack deals an additional 135 damage on top of whatever your base damage and attack speed is, and let's not forget that most of your items give you ridiculous damage and attack speed as well. Late game, Silencer will be throwing Glaives fast and furious, and with all the extra Intelligence they're going to hit like trucks.

Lastly, Glaives are a great buff particularly because the ability has no cooldown and thus every attack will be buffed. Because of this, Silencer is a very efficient orb walker.

What is Orb Walking?
Put simply, Orb Walking is the ability to move forward slightly during the attack's cooldown while still attacking, closing a tiny bit of distance between you and your opponent while still throwing a ****load of glaives in his face. Nortrom's attack animation can be feel tediously slow until you amass your late game attack speed items, and even then Orb walking is still useful.

But I thought Glaives had no cooldown?
It's actually BECAUSE Glaives has no cooldown that you can orbwalk with this ability.

Think of it this way. Most spells just cast instantly or at least a bit faster than your auto-attack. Nortrom has a base .68 cast time until level 15, for example, so each wind-up for an auto-attack takes slightly more than a full second to complete.

Or you can manually cast Glaives and never waste a second. Cast your glaives, immediately move towards the enemy following the cast, and cast again. This way instead of just standing there while the enemy walks away, (or moves towards you; you can use this practice to move back and kite as well) you can use the time you have to wait to slightly change your position, and then immediately cast again. This technique is good for chasing, (especially before Force Staff, Orchid Malevolence, etc) harassing without aggroing creeps, and even slightly repositioning to avoid an incoming skillshot like Powershot while you keep throwing your Glaives.

To me Orb Walking was really hard to understand until I put it into practice myself, and frankly this is one of those things I'm not so good at explaining. If I didn't give a clear enough picture, just Google "Orb Walking" and you'll pull up tons of pages that have videos on how it's really done and the mechanics of it. There's a few other heroes that benefit from this spell, most famously Viper and Drow Ranger, so it's worth checking out.

A note on Glaives of Wisdom
-The Glaives do NOT affect mechanical units, structures, or ancients, but they do affect Roshan.
-The Glaives do not affect a hero with magic immunity.
-Silence does NOT cancel Glaives! So even if the Silencer is Silenced, keep throwing your Glaives! (Silencer is in fact the only hero that can continue auto-casting an attack buff like this while Silenced. This may be a glitch or maybe Silencer just doesn't give a flip about Silence; who knows!)
-Glaives of Wisdom is an ORB effect, so don't go buying Desolator and other things like that; they don't stack.
-Manually casting Glaives is still considered a spell, not an attack, so manually cast it in mid to harass the enemy while the creeps ignore you!
- Razor's Static Link steals Damage, not Intelligence, so the Glaives will still provide the damage boost. (correct me if I'm wrong, but I've had it happen a few times and I'm almost certain that the Glaives continue working)

E: Last Word

Enemy heroes nearby will be silenced whenever they cast a spell. If an enemy hero dies while in range of Last Word, Silencer will permanently steal 1 Intelligence from that hero. If Silencer is the killer, he will steal 2 Intelligence.

Radius: 750
Duration: 0.75/1.5/2.25/3

Nortrom ensures that spells uttered by his opponents will be their last.

Your passive is what makes Silencer a dreaded sight in teamfights. Not only is the enemy silenced when casting near you, (and with no internal cooldown, the entire enemy team can silence themselves should a teamfight errupt with your Ulti on cooldown) but every time an enemy dies in your range, you automatically steal 1-2 intelligence (depending on who made the kill) and have it added to your own Intelligence Pool. The radius is a respectable 750, but that area of a lot smaller than you think, so in order to make the most of this skill you'll want to be in every teamfight you can, and as close to every dying hero you can without actually getting in the thick of it.

To give you an idea of the size of the radius of this skill, imagine that it's night and you're playing a standard hero with regular night vision, ie NOT Nightstalker or Luna, etc. Your vision at night is a puny 800 units compared to the normal 1800 at day. Last Word's radius is even less than that. During the night a good rule of thumb is that if you can see them, you're probably close enough, but during the day, don't be too cocky. Get close enough to steal that intelligence! It's what you're there for!

TL;DR for Int Steal:
If Hero Dies NOT by Silencer: steal 1 int
If Hero Dies BY Silencer: steal 2 int

In other words, it's twice as good for Silencer to be the killer than to be the assister because he gets the most out of the kill, and it hurts the enemy twice as much. Should Silencer find himself a good squishy mage to pick on, and he manages 5 kills on him, that's 10 Intelligence for Nortrom and -10 Intelligence for the enemy. They would have to pick up a Staff of Wizardry just to make up the intelligence they lost to break even. And with every kill Silence makes on a hero, killing him the next time gets easier. And for a hero with naturally low intelligence and low mana regen, stealing his Intelligence will hurt him even more.

Regardless whether or not you're getting the kills, (although kindly remind your team how much more beneficial it is for you to get them if heros who are already fed keep killstealing you) you should be in every teamfight you can from mid game on. In a teamfight, usually somebody is going to die, and hopefully it's going to be a guy on the other side. Roam with the team and push with the team, unless there's one solo hero separated completely from the rest of his team, and he's someone you can definitely 1v1. Kills or assists, you want to be with the kills so you can steal the intelligence. I cannot stress enough how bad it is for you to be roaming and or farming and missing out on team fights.
And when your level advantage and ganking/roaming potential wears off, and the enemy carry starts getting their items and doing their thing, you'll be too squishy to freely roam and solo heroes unless you got really, really fed and got an early Orchid. Stay with the team, get kills, and stay alive.

A note on Last Word
-Last Word will only steal Intelligence from heroes who are in your vicinity, specifically within 750 yards of you. Even if you somehow got a kill with your DOT from a fleeing hero or the tower finishes them off and you get credit for it, unless you're within range, you will not get the Intelligence. So don't just pop the DOT and assume them dead; chase them down!
-Last Word is a passive and thus works when Silencer is himself Silenced.
-Intelligence Stolen is stolen forever, even after you die. So the more intelligence you steal, the better, because it will be a game-long disadvantage for the enemy.
-Last Word WILL proc as a channeling spell is cast, but the channel is NOT cancelled even when the hero is Silenced.

R: Global Silence

Silencer stops all sound, preventing enemy heroes and units on the map from casting spells.

Duration: 3/4/5
CD: 160
Mana: 250/350/450

With a shock to the ground, all magic and sound pauses, and Nortrom fulfills his prophecy.

One of the most crippling abilities in the game, in my humble opinion.
Stun initiators like Treant Protector and Tidehunter ultimate stuns only affect a small area for 3 seconds, (technically around 3.5 for Tide including time spent in air) but at level 3, Global Silence is a 5 second silence that affects all enemies on the map no matter where they are, and goes through magic immunity. Since you'll be picking Silencer when the enemy has heros that rely on their spells, silencing them may as well be stunning them for all the good they can do. It's a great ability to destroy the team's organization and teamfight power, its only drawback being a hefty two and a half minute cooldown.

Now, the big questsion when playing Silencer is: when do you pop Global Silence?
Too often you see Silencers forgetting basic map awareness and holding onto their ulti too long, or popping it to save themselves because they over extended and panic.
While you don't want to pop your ulti for nothing just because it's off cooldown, like an Initiator, an open ulti means your team should go looking for trouble. You want to get the most out of it that you can, and in order to do that, you want to successfullly get off a teamfight.
Let your allies know your ulti is up so that they can heal up and get ready to go looking for a team fight. Head right towards the enemy team and get your main Initiator in place to stun or slow them as needed before you pop Silence.
Am I not the Main Initiator?
While silencing the entire enemy team is great, it's just not good as an opening to a team fight. Once you silence the enemy they'll just back off and get out of the range of your team, and by the time you chase them down your Silence will have worn off and the fight will continue as normal. And if you get your entire team on top of them so that they can't run when you silence, their Initiator probably already beat you to the punch and your team is now at a disadvantage.
You want another, dedicated Initiator on the team or at least a few teammates with Disables helping you out to keep the enemy in place when you Silence them.

Circumstances to Pop Global Silence
With a two and a half minute cooldown, you want to make sure that every time you pop your ulti, it counts. Don't get caught out of position and have to use it to save yourself; that means you'll have to wait two and a half minutes before you can help in a team fight.

Do NOT pop when:
-One or two of your team was ganked by the entire enemy team and they are already almost dead
-Your team has mostly already finished off the enemy and doesn't need your help.
-You messed up and got ganked by the enemy and just want to save yourself. Granted, in the right circumstance this can become a judgment call. Are you the last player alive on your team mid to late game? Are you so late game that you not being in teamfights is more harmful than not having your ulti for two minutes? Or did you finally get just enough gold for Mystic Staff after a hard early game and you still have enough time to save yourself?
Be smart. Don't pop the ulti just because you're panicking about dying is my only point.

DO pop when:
-A team fight is just breaking out and someone has already initiated. Try to ensure that the team can't just run away after you silence them.
-If you see the teamfight starting and you aren't there. Your silence is Global, so it affects enemies on the entire map; regardless of your position. You can be safely in base and still help your team out. Ideally though, you'll want to be right there with them to collect the Intelligence.
-If you see the enemy Initiator preparing to Initiate. Some of them are obvious. Pudge walks around trying to get into just the right position to throw his hook, Tidehunter will walk up to your team alone to get within Blink Dagger range of your team so he can Blink and then Ravage, etc. Learn what other Initiators do before getting ready to engage so you know when just the right moment is to disrupt them.

MAYBE pop when:
-Your hard carry was caught soloing Roshan. Only if the main carry can solo whoever caught him, you saw the enemy heading towards your teammate but they haven't sprung in yet, (wait until the moment they enter Roshan's lair and realize he's there) or if your other teammates can counter-gank the enemy team who will flee after going for the carry and winding up Silenced.
-If your team is about to gank the enemy team while they push a lane or Rosh. Whether or not you should pop depends on how weak the enemy already is, how efficiently you can surprise them before they can react, and whether or not the gankees will be able to fight back or escape the gank. If you're ganking a solo squishy Drow Ranger who can't escape, why would you waste your ulti? If you're ganking a Queen of Pain, (who can blink out) a Naga Siren who can pop Song of the Siren and just walk away and a Treant Protector who can pop Overgrowth or Nature's Guise; you get the picture. Heroes that can fight your gank attempt and need to be silenced. Ideally you'll have Orchid Malevolence when it comes to ganking one hero and you won't need to waste the Global Silence, but when ganking multiple enemies, make a judgment call.

Gameplay, Items, and Getting Kills

After you've picked Silencer, determine where you're going to go and tentatively decide which build you're planning on running.
If you're playing C-Build, try to secure mid-lane. Remember you aren't a hero that traditionally is sent mid, and you may receive some resistence. If you have another person who resolutely wants mid and happens to be an especially good mid hero, ( Viper, Huskar, etc) then let them have it. You can still excel in side-lane.
Next, try to get the easy lane with a jungler so you can solo. You'll be able to harass and keep the enemy off of you by yourself, and you'll still get your early game farm.

If that's not an option, you'll probably have to start going S-Build. You can still transition into C-Build later game if things go well for your team, but without an early game advantage you aren't going to have an easy time of it.

Before you leave the fountain, pick up your starting items:

Total Cost: 575 g

Yes, the starting build is the exact same build that the game suggests. In my opinion this build is exactly what you want in the beginning of the game; enough health to sustain you until you get Bottle, a Clarity to help spam Curse, and the beginnings of your first Core item, a Null Talisman.
The starting build for Silencer differs from other heroes because I choose not to use iron branches at the beginning of the game. Silencer's whole purpose is to Silence the opposition, so building a Magic Wand seems pretty pointless to me. I've tried it in a few games and have always found it a waste of money. Spend the money on a Bottle instead; it'll be much more helpful.

The Tango and Healing Salve are there for harass, and Clarity is for spamming Curse. Already starting with a Mantle and Circlet means you only need about 3 creep last hits to get your Null Talisman, so you should have it in within the first two minutes of the game, and the stats will help tremendously.

In the event that nobody on your team bought an Animal Courier, instead of getting the Circlet, go ahead and grab the Courier and pick up another Clarity instead. Preferably you want to have your Null Talisman early, but it's much more inconvenient for you to not have a courier than it is for you to take four minutes getting your Null Talisman rather than two. Remember that many people only see Silencer as a Support hero who should be the one responsible for all things Support, so the team may demand it of you. Don't worry about it.

As stated, you should have your Null Talisman between the first 2 and 4 minutes of the game. The bonus stats will help in all aspects, but the bonus intelligence will really help, especially for early Glaive throws.
Some Silencer builds suggest a Bracer because he's squishier and could use the bulk, but frankly, you don't need the bulk if you don't put yourself in harm's way. Silencer is all about stacking Intelligence and you want to do it as early as possible.
If you've gotten lucky and managed to get a kill or two, consider picking up a second Null Talisman just for the raw stats. On Silencer, an extra 12 Intelligence early game is nothing to scoff at.

If you're mid, you may get lucky and have good side-lane partners who ward the rune for you. But if this is not the case, or you are side-lane with a partner, you'll be the one who wants to buy wards. Wards are an essential, mandatory part of any DoTA game and not warding the map is as crippling as not having a Courier in most games. If no one else will buy them, suck it up and do it yourself. They are simply too important.

If in a side-lane, ward the inside of the jungle and the River enough to give sight of one of the wards. If in mid lane, just ward both runes. There's lots of guides for where to place wards on Youtube, so I strongly suggest you check them out for smart locations.

Your next big buy should be Boots of Speed, especially if you're C-Build in Mid and you're roaming. Standard buy on every hero. From there you want to immediately work on upgrading them to Power Treads set on Intelligence. The bonus 8 Intelligence and attack speed will make your Glaives hurt even early game, and the larger mana pool will keep you spamming Curse.
What about other boots?

I don't think a single other pair of boots in the game exists that can override Power Treads on Silencer, especially early game. As I said earlier, a Silencer with even a little stacked Intelligence is nothing to scoff at, and these will be partially responsible for almost all of your early game kills. Even Phase Boots that provide damage and a small speed boost don't compare to that early game advantage to extra intelligence.

Besides, getting Treads allows you to practice Tread Swapping, a technique that can give you just enough extra health to survive an encounter by switching to Strength, and includes abusing your Bottle by changing to Agility before activating it.
As you know, placing Treads on Str gives more Str, and on Agi gives more Agi and on Int gives more Int. Str raises HP and Int raises mana, so having Treads on Agility puts your HP/Mana at the lowest it can possibly be while still maintaining its original percentage.
So while with Treads on Int it might take all three swigs of the Bottle to return your Int to 100%, if you have it on Agi and your mana is lower, it might only take 2 swigs to reach 100%, and when you swap back to Int the mana will remain at 100%, leaving you with an extra serving of Bottle left.

I usually find Bottle more helpful around the end of early game/mid game, because I'll be using my Glaives more and on top of Curse spam, my mana will be running lower the more I start Roaming. So I'll pick up a Bottle after Power Treads in most games. However, if you're roaming constantly and you're up against another mid fighting for Rune control with a Bottle, or you just find yourself getting harassed a lot, you might want to grab it earlier to put them at a disadvantage. In that case, instead of finishing your Treads, pick up the Wards and a Bottle. I will also pick up a Bottle instead of an additional Null Talisman if I managed to get a kill or two.

Important Note: Some people try to start with a Bottle. DO NOT DO THIS. You're putting yourself at a huge disadvantage by not having any stat items and you could hurt your team by not being able to afford a Courier.
If you Randomed Silencer and have the extra 250 gold, I would understand if you consider buying Bottle and Mantle a possibly viable option, but you need those stats early game. They're essential, and Bottle is not; just convenient.

By the end of early game, provided you didn't die and you got a kill or two, this should roughly be your inventory:

Which is almost your entire core. If you weren't lucky enough to secure a kill, at least make sure you nearly have Power Treads.


By mid game you're probably roaming a lot and getting a lot of use out of that Bottle. You're extremely mobile, so keep using those wards when they run out. The enemy's mid tower should be down between 10-15 minutes into the game, provided they didn't turtle and harass you hardcore.
You might have noticed by now that besides not having a stun or a slow, Silencer has no escape mechanism, and this makes him extremely vulnerable to ganking (another reason to buy wards!) this is where your next core comes in.
Force Staff is a perfectly mid-game item for you. It's everything you could ever want: Damage, Attack Speed, more Intelligence, and a fairly reliable escape; not to mention it's easy to build. Suddenly ganked? Force away and escape before they know what happens. Remember you can force anywhere; into trees where they can't reach you; off of cliffs; into the river from the bank. Be smart about making your escape and the enemy will find you impossible to catch.
Aside from being an escape, it's also a good chaser. Got the enemy down to nothing and he's getting away? Just force staff right up to him and finish him off.
Did your team mate overextend and you need to save his life? Does a melee carry need to get in closer but he's taking too long? Anticipating a team fight and nobody is making the first move? Remember Force Staff, unlike Blink Dagger, affects other heros too. Move your allies and reposition them as needed and initiate by forcing an unsuspecting enemy right into your team.
I think that Force Staff is absolutely necessary for Nortrom and you should always pick it up.

Once you complete Force Staff, your core is pretty much complete. You'll be very successful with just these four basic items. Join your teammates in teamfights and other skirmishes when you can, and maintain good map awareness at all times; this is when you can be the hero by being clear across the map and still save your team's life with a well-timed Global Silence.

Mid-Game is the time of mass pushing, so be sure to find someone to go with since you have no real pushing power yourself. You have no good creep-killing AoEs and your Glaives are wasted on Creeps at this point in the game. Roaming also becomes less profitable as heroes are less likely to be by themselves, unless they're still jungling, in which case once again wards will come in handy.
Remember that you are a team player, whether playing C-Build or S-Build. Your time of roaming and ganking is over: time to play with the other kids.

Core Extension: Mid/Late gameA possible extension to your C-Build Core and the last core item on S-Build, Mekansm is an amazing item that every team should have. Lacking a heal and being armor deficient, Silencer makes great use of this item on either build, either to support himself on C-Build or to support the team in S-Build. Many Carry Silencers grab the Mek just to help for 1v1, but if you aren't having trouble 1v1 and you've got farm, skip this and take a luxury instead.
In the event that you have another hero who is already working on or already has a Mek, skip it on C-Build and get a luxury instead, or start working on Pipe of Insight for S-Build.
Assuming you picked Silencer because the enemy has a lot of spell/Intelligence reliant heroes, they probably also have a lot of Nukers. Pipe of Insight makes teamfights even easier by making it nigh possible for the enemy to get a successful nuke on you. By the time your Silence wears off, everyone on your team will be shielded from up to 400 spell damage a piece. It also gives you a bit of bulkiness with the HP regen and passive spell resistence.
This is a S-Build item that you will probably want to get before moving onto your luxuries, but again, if someone already has it or the enemy team does not have a lot of nuking spells, skip it and work on a luxury.

Depending on how your mid-game is going, you'll want to start working on one of your luxuries. The matter is just which.
I usually pick up Void Stone after completing Force Staff before I even make a decision, mostly just because the mana regen is so darn helpful and the item is pretty cheap. It can build into Scythe of Vyse or Eul's Scepter of Divinity, so it's not a wasted item since it'll build into one of two luxuries you'll probably be getting anyway.

But which luxuries should I get?

For S-build, you'll probably want to stick with Vyse or Eul's since your team probably needs the CC and you have no CC or disable naturally. Vyse is easily the superior option, but is also far more expensive and not easily obtainable if you aren't getting farm.
For me, I usually get Scythe of Vyse on C-Build (more farm/feed, more money=easier to obtain, not to mention the stats are better for a carry and 25 extra intelligence over Eul's is huge on Carry Silencer) and on S-Build, I get Eul's Scepter of Divinity. Eul's is cheaper and easier to obtain on a S-Build, although its stats aren't quite as good, (though playing team support that's not always the issue) and to me, the different scepters compliment each build separately.

Vyse is better for the Carry to get a kill, especially on a 1v1. It hexes the enemy for 3.5 seconds, which is more than enough time for you to Glaive them to death. Eternally regretting the lack of a stun, it significantly helps Silencer's ability to solo heroes, while still providing that team support every team needs in the form of a cheap, reliable CC.

Eul's is better for the Support to support the team by still providing a CC that eliminates an enemy from the fight for 2.5 seconds. Like Force Staff, Cyclone affects allies, and makes them immune to attacks for 2.5 seconds. It's sort of a pseudo Shallow Grave for Silencer, with the difference being that they can't attack, although it can still save your ally's life and disorient the enemy attacking them. And should you need to save a teammate from death, Force Staff them out of harm's way, Cyclone the chaser and then make your escape.
On the other hand, your first choice for a luxury might be Orchid Malevolence. Expensive but easier to build than Vyse, it gives you all of your favorite stats (20 Intelligence, tons of damage and attack speed) and gives you an on command Silence that DOESN'T have a massive two and a half minute cooldown, not to mention a 25% damage amplification. Orchid Malevolence makes Silencer a 1v1 solo champion, and is extremely useful on C-Build especially. In team fights, it also allows you to further prevent the enemy from fighting back by silencing a key member of their team for bonus time. Global Silence for 5 seconds, and then make one lucky enemy rip their hair out by Silencing them for another 5 seconds.
When to use OM?
-Use during a 1v1 fight
-Use when about to gank to prevent escapers
-Use on an enemy about to kill you before you Force Staff to escape
In a team fight, silence:
-The Initiator (he couldn't get his Initiate spell off before; now he definitely can't)
-The Disabler ( Shadow Shaman, anyone?)
-The Annoying Support (Don't let Omniknight turn the tide by casting Guardian Angel! keep him out of the fight so he can't prevent your roflstomping!)
-The Hard to Kill Carry ( Brewmaster popping Primal Spirit right before you kill him? Nope! SILENCE.)
-The Escaper (Got one of those enemys who just bails when the teamfight goes bad? Stop that Clinkz or Queen of Pain's escape with a double dose of Silence!

Analyze the enemy team, see who you've already got down and who would make the biggest impact on preventing your team from wiping the enemy, and make a judgment call. Whatever you do, USE IT.

Luxury Items

Usually a game will end by the time you get most of your core and "luxury core," but there are other item options you can try.

Boots of Travel are a luxury item I sometimes get in the very, very late game after I've already obtained an Orchid Malevolence and/or a Scythe/Eul's, or if I think it would be beneficial. As I keep saying, Nortrom wants to be in every team fight he can if possible, but he'll also be doing mundane things like clearing creep waves from getting down your tower or pushing a tower that's also down deep in enemy territory, or you just respawned from a gank and you need to hurry to a teamfight or you got caught by yourself and need a better escape than Force Staff. And with the highest movement speed of any boot, they solve most of Silencer's chasing problems. Boots of Travel are a great investment for any hero, and while they are not core and not necessary on Silencer until very very late game, if you find yourself looking for more mobility and you're tired of buying tp scrolls, consider BoT as an option.

Linken's Sphere is a valid option for most Silencers since you will probably be picking him to counter a team full of intelligence heroes, likely with a few nukes, and this is just one more method of denying them. Even late game Silencer can be squishy and a few good nukes will take him out of the fight, espceially when the enemy starts focusing you. A Linken's Sphere will help you stay alive during teamfights after your Silence wears off, and it provides some useful stats for survival.

An unusual item not usually seen in pubs, Necronomicon is a very helpful item to Caster classes that provides a number of perks. It's more Intelligence, (Nortrom loves that) some Strength (you are still kind of squishy, so good) two creeps to help you push, dps in a team fight, block enemy movement, etc, and as an added bonus, one of those creeps also provides True Sight. Rather than bother with Gem of True Sight and other unreliable methods of finding invisible foes, consider a Necronomicon.

Shiva's Guard is a great substitute for what you don't have: a slow and a nuke. It also provides you a method of becoming a proper Initiator by Forcing into the enemy, silencing, popping Shiva's, and proceeding to roflstomp the enemy. It can also double as an additional escape mechanism if someone on your tail isn't deterred by Force Staff. Lastly, it gives you tons of Intelligence and Mana regen, (do you ever NOT need that?) not to mention a bunch of armor (surprise the enemy by suddenly walking around with an armored mage!) and makes for a great late-game pick-up when teamfights are constant.

Any hero could use a Vanguard to improve their survivability during the late game, and Silencer is no exception. Vanguard remedies his well-known squishiness a little and gives him more dependable HP regen, allowing him to stay out there longer. You might pick up a Vanguard over a Linken's Sphere when you find yourself getting heavily focused by the enemy team and they're more physical than spell focused.

A fabulous, little used item for some reason, Rod of Atos gives you 25 Intelligence (Yum!) along with 250 HP, (extra survival, sure) and a great active: Cripple. It slows the enemy by 50% for 4 seconds with a 20 second cd. This item is useful for escaping, for chasing, for kiting, for stalling while your allies arrive, etc. 50% is a massive slow, and with a mere 20 second cooldown you'll find yourself using it very frequently. It's a great pick up if the enemy just won't stay where you want them to, and a good counter against heroes with high movement speed like Windrunner or Spirit Breaker.

Refresher Orb sounds pretty amazing in theory. Stunning the entire enemy team globally for 10 seconds can render teamfights complete steamrolls on your team's side, and the orb's cooldown is the same as your Ultimate's, so you can use it pretty much every time. It also resets cooldowns from Scythe of Vyse and Shiva's Guard, and it provides some great stats.
However, I don't think that Silencer is the best hero for this item. It sounds ridiculously OP to have a hero with the potential to silence the entire enemy team for 10 seconds every two and a half minutes, but for how expensive the item is, I personally don't think it's worth it. By the time Global Silence wears off the first time you've probably got at least one hero down, and with Scythe or Eul's or Orchid Malevolence you can knock one or two other guys out of the fight, not to mention the other types of CC's and Disables your team probably has around this time.
So me, personally, I wouldn't take it unless I was just gathering ridiculous farm very late game and had nothing better to buy.

A standard item on most Carries, Nortrom doesn't find himself picking up Black King Bar very much. But it's a dead useful item on any hero, so there's no reason to NOT get it, although the stats aren't really up his alley.

And the most important luxury of all:


Make sure that late game you always have enough gold for a Buyback in case things go wrong. With some enemy comps, all it takes is for them to wipe your team ONE time for them to stormtrooper through your base and destroy your Ancient, and the last thing you want is to fight a close game for over an hour, only to be steamrolled last minute because you guys ****ed up and nobody thought it would be important enough to keep Gold on hand for Buyback. You should have more than enough farm late game to hold onto a bit of Gold for Buyback while still occasionally picking up pieces for luxuries.

Do Not Want!

Weird Item Choices For Messing Around

Some of these are pretty good items. Some of these are even great items. I just don't want them on my Silencer.

I would only buy them in a BOT game for the lulz or if we were roflstomping the enemy team so hard my item set could be six Bracers and we'd still be winning.

This item upgrades from your early game Null Talisman, and it's deceptively good. It's got some intelligence and extra damage, plus a boost all around for your stats. Why is Dagon bad?
I have a vendetta against Dagon mostly because people tend to use it for kill-stealing. On one hand, Dagon gives you something you don't have: a nuke. On the other hand, WHO CARES? Silencer doesn't even want a stupid old nuke anyway. Stupid.

My hatred for Dagon aside, the fact is that Silencer needs his core before you even think about a novelty/gimmick item like Dagon, and by the time you have your late game core the game is probably over, and by that time Dagon's usefulness wears off because everyone probably has huge HP now. You shouldn't rush it for early game; Orchid and Vyse are much more important than this item. Force Staff is way more important than this item. Null Talisman is way more important than this item.
Okay, it has stats that are good on Silencer and it's a nuke. You COULD viably use it. As a Carry you'd be expectd to get kills anyway, so I guess it's not really like you're stealing kills. If you like utilizing a playstyle that involves a Dagon, then try it out. Me, I don't want it.

Your roaming/ganking capability diminishes significantly after mid game starts, but as I've said Silencer can still very viably 1v1, especially with an Orchid and Vyse. I just feel like you can alrady viably 1v1 most heroes that spending all this extra money to catch them off guard is completely pointless. And Shadow Blade is for nubpubs anyway.
Granted, it does give you some cool stuff like Damage and Attack Speed, but that much gold just for the chance to maybe catch a roamer that you can maybe kill off items are much better!

I'm sure some playstyles would find this useful, but I'd find this a constant headache! Either lose 150 HP and cast my spell and probably die or know I COULD cast my spell at the risk of dying. Silencer just has so little health to spare! Maybe on a Mek set this would work, but you should have a pretty much endless mana pool by the time you get your first luxury, so why even bother? I'd much rather buy my Void Stone.

The game has occasionally come to a point where I had money to spare and I just thought it would be hilarious if all of a sudden, the squishy mage of the team had a bunch of extra armor.
The attack speed was nice. The armor didn't matter much. The enemy was slightly taken aback by the fact that they couldn't 3v1 me anymore; too much armor, too many Glaives being thrown everywhere. But they could still sure as hell 5v1 me.

It's...I don't want to say a VIABLE item on's really expensive and again you just aren't a tank, and no amount of armor will make you one! As funny as it is having armor on a mage and watching the enemies scratch their heads, a whopping 5350 gold make this such a ridiculously expensive buy that I don't know how you can justify it unless you really are just sitting on mounds of Gold late game.

So expensive and so unnecessary! The benefits are really nice though, so if you ever die the charges help you out. You just really don't need the mana regen if you've got your core and you aren't the type of hero that benefits from this that much.

Other Heroes: Friend and Foe

Lacking a stun, slow, immobilize, or anything else that would help most heros secure a kill, Silencer might need some help getting those early game kills until he builds momentum. So if the team permits it or you're playing Silencer side-lane with a friend, here are some great heroes that'll help you get the best out of Silencer.

Chaos Knight and Vengeful Spirit deserve a special mention for each build for being able to both stun and reposition the enemy. When laning with Vengeful Spirit, let her support you and act as a carry while you two dominate your lane with her short, effective stun and armor debuff in C-Build.
When laning with Chaos Knight, since you both need your feed you can act in more of a support role, since Chaos Knight doesn't exactly need a babysitter; just someone to help him get kills. You can help each other while you harass the enemy to keep them off of your buddy in S-Build.

C-Build Partners
Crystal Maiden has an aoe slow and an immobilize to help you secure kills, and passive mana regen that keeps you spamming Curse and perhaps your Glaives earlier than normal.

Dazzle is one of my favorite babysitters, and if the hard carry is jungling instead of laning, Silencer appreciates him very much. His slow and armor reduction will help secure the kill whilst keeping the otherwise squishy Silencer alive with Shadow Wave and Shallow Grave.

Enchantress is a good hero to have in the jungle while you solo the easy lane. You'll both gain more exp than if you'd laned together, and now and then she can gank the lane with her great slow and help ensure a kill, then afterwards heal you with Nature's Attendants before she prances back into the forest.

Likewise, Chen, though rarely played, is a nice hero to have in the jungle as well for similar reasons. His Penitence will help you make swift work of the enemies in your lane and should you get too low on health, just have him use Holy Persuasion to send you back to base for a quick heal up, buy a TP scroll and go right back into lane.

Since we're talking about teleporters, Io is another interesting option for Silencer, giving him bonus attack speed with Overcharge active (always appreciated, especially at higher levels when those Glaives become Truck-like) and teleporting him back for heals; not to mention doubling as an early escape until you get Focus Staff. Wisp is also a good hero for roamers due to the bonus movement speed from Tether. You'll just need good communication, more so with Wisp than any other hero, because a broken Tether can leave you stranded.

Omniknight is a nice durable lane partner that keeps you healthy and prevents the enemy from assaulting you with a spell to dispell Curse with Repel. His aura will also prove useful when it comes to chasing down the kill.

Clockwerk is a surprisingly useful lane partner for being able to trap the enemy in his Power Cogs. Holding the enemy still is just what you need to pop curse and spam glaives, and a good Clockwerk will be durable enough to take the abuse for a few seconds while the kill is made. And if things go bad, he can help both of you escape with this same spell. He's also a more traditional initiator than Silencer, providing the team another option for getting the teammfights started late game.

Shadow Shaman will turn a 2v2 into a 2v1 with his Hex and just about guarantee a kill with his Shackles. He also has the pushing power you don't with Ether Shock and Mass Serpent Ward, and with your lane down you can roam and gank as a team with amazing results. Rhasta pairs well with anyone who needs CC to get the job done, and it pays off very well for Nortrom.

Lion has everything that compliments you in a one lane partner. He's got a stun that affects more than one hero when cast right, a Hex that helps you focus down a hero, and Mana Drain which will force the enemy to take the entire duration of Curse by being unable to cast a spell.

Anti-Mage is a surprisingly decent S-Build partner. With his auto-attacks draining the enemy's mana and your Curse slowly depleting it, the enemy will almost never have a chance to go for a kill since they will never have mana. Anti-mage is a harder carry than you, so he'll be expecting most of the last hits and kills, so while the combination makes for a dominating lane you won't be expecting any feed unless your ranged attack can hit a creep that he, as melee, can't. You're both also squishy early game and neither of you has a nuke for burst damage until Magina gets his Ulti, so you'll want help from mid to ensure ganks go well. Once Anti-mage starts roaming and possibly jungling, you can finish up the lane solo and then roam yourself.

Kunkka and Tidehunter are so similar that I'll describe them both together. S-build can support them fairly well assuming that, like with Antimage, you're giving them most of the last-hits and kills. When Tide pops Gush or Kunkka pops Torrent just throw your glaives like crazy and then back off at the last second so that they can secure the kill and the gold. They will be great partners in teamfights later by being the proper initiator you just aren't; being able to get up in the enemy's face and temporarily disable before the rest of the team closes in and you Global Silence to give them no chance of survival. Having a durable lane partner compliments the squishy Silencer well, and his ranged glaives will harass the enemy when they can't.

Dragon Knight usually wants a babysitter, but you two pair up well due to his great stun and your ability to harass the enemy to keep them off of him, plus with his Dragon Blood he can keep himself healthy even though you can't. Both of you will hit hard and kills will be easy in your lane if the enemy doesn't have their guard up. Then later game, he once again acts as the main initiator, and your Global Silence as he rushes into a team fight lets him focus on getting Satanic before worrying about Black King Bar.

You can make a good early lane partner for Night Stalker while he gets his first items and waits for the first night to come bfeore he starts ganking. For the first day of the game, just act like a normal support. Let Nightstalker get the last hits, harass the enemy off of him if they go for harass, and put up your wards to keep safe from ganks. Then when night comes, Balanar will leave to kill everything, and you'll be left solo lane. One problem Night stalker has is that he either chooses a lane with a support who will have trouble soloing the lane while he ganks, or he'll have to share the lane with a carry (or someone else who just wants gold) and risk giving up most of his early game farm. This is where Silencer being very flexible comes in handy. Even in S-Build (or starting as S-Build) you can efficiently hold down your lane while solo, especially with the knowledge that any moment now the Night stalker you ensured had a good early game will come dashing through the forest and kill off the opposition.

This concept applies for most any hero that goes ganking immediately upon reaching a certain level or after attaining a certain amount of farm; Riki, Bounty Hunter , Clinkz, Spirit Breaker, etc. The trouble is that all of those heroes except Spirit Breaker lack some kind of stun, so kills might not be as easy.

Ogre Magi and you make an interesting combination. Since Aggron is melee, you being ranged keeps the enemy ranged off of him, and since he is also very durable, he compliments your weak early game. He has an okay stun in Fireblast and a DOT of his own to ensure that chasers always die. His Arcane Boots will let you spam Glaives a little easier early game, and as a lot of Ogre Magi are Mekansm carriers, you can skip Mek and focus on Pipe, then move straight onto luxuries. Remember that you could both use a bit of farm, and two of his commonly built items are very expensive right off the bat, ( Bloodstone and Aghanim's Scepter) so make sure he gets a decent amount of last hits.


These are heros that you definitely don't want to be up against on the enemy team. If the enemy team has some of these heros on their side, consider picking another hero.

Lycanthrope is a typical pubstomp pick. If he's already performed a Shapeshift and he already has his wolves out, there's nothing stopping him from stomping all over your face; silence or not. He is also too bulky for you to damage on your own, and you're too squishy to be up against him anyway. He doesn't care about Curse because he can just pop Howl, which costs little mana and will only make him stronger, and his BKB will stop your Glaives from hurting at all. Remember that when Shapeshifed, he is unaffected by slows like Rod of Atos and Shiva's Guard.

Doom Bringer's ridiculous ultimate Doom shuts you down completely. It not only prevents you from using your spells, but prevents your passive from working, (no free Silence for you!) and stops you from using your items, which is crippling on S-Build or a C-Build with a Mek. Silencer is also way too squishy to handle that DOT with any dignity, and heaven help you if you're the right level for LVL? Death. He's also too bulky to take down on your own, and he tends to build Radiance on top of his Scorched Earth, meaning that even if you're lucky enough to Silence him he will still hurt like crazy. Yeah, Silencer does not like a good Doombringer.

Weaver is an annoying ranged counter who can escape harass by going invisible, then walking through you for free damage. Another Radiance carrier, he'll still be hurting you regardless of being Silenced, and once he unleashes The Swarm, get ready for a lot of hurt.

Treant Protector can be a difficult hero to take down. Being melee he won't be able to harass you much, but he's so bulky that even constant harass won't bother him much, and his Leech Seed can be cast from a distance to heal him and put a hurting on you. And if you are ever about to kill him, he can just Nature's Guise next to a tree and escape. Luckily, Roofie isn't very often picked to go mid, but he is a very viable mid hero, and should be kept in mind.

Lifestealer has Rage to ignore your Curse and Glaives. His Feast and natural bulkiness make him nearly impossible to 1v1 and his Open Wounds will make even a Force Staff escape a hard sell. It is possible to kite him for a time, but he's simply too bulky to guarantee a kill unless you're very fed.

Skeleton King laughs at your Silence with his ability line-up consisting of three passives, and his only spell a stun on a fairly short cooldown. Having three Passives, Curse will irritate him early game, but after that he gives no ****s. Besides his bulk, he deals massive damage to squishy little you, and in the event that you CAN kill him, he just comes right back.

A good Riki may or may not be your downfall. Unlike most heroes, (who you at least delay from killing you if they go invisible in your presence) his invisibility is constant, and unless you invest in gem or dust you'll never see him coming. And late game if he's fed, this guy will two-shot you.
Whether or not he'll get you depends almost entirely on whether he stopped to pop Smoke Screen.
Being a spell, if he pops it within your Last Word Radius, he's going to get Silenced, and he'll be unable to chain cast his Smoke and Backstab. As soon as his smoke is popped, Force Staff in the most immediately convenient direction, (ideally off of a cliff or into the Fog where he can't see you) and make a quick escape. Riki will usually cast Smoke from a slight distance and without Backstab he will have to walk up to you, allowing you time for this escape before he just decides to risk autoattacking you.
If Riki DOESN'T open with Smoke, he'll open with Backstab. Keep in mind he won't be able to Smoke you afterwards because he'll be silenced, so pop Curse and Glaives and Scythe of Vyse or whatever you have to get this bastard down. Riki IS pretty squishy, especially if he chose not to get some form of defense, so if he's already on you, you might as well try to kill him. A lot of Rikis will back off when they get someone who fights back and hurts a lot, and you hurt a lot, so fight back.

Drow and Viper
Drow Ranger and Viper have their own special section because they are unusual heros that Silencer both hates and stops in their tracks. Their claim to fame is their incredibly annoying, slowing auto-attacks, which are disabled when silenced. So if affected by Last Word, Global Silence, or Orchid Malevolence, they lose their only asset, and Silencer can easily dispatch them. However, unless Viper casts his ulti on you before going for the kill or Drow silences you, they will not be affected by Last Word (since they mostly only rely on passives) and unless you have Global Silence or OM up, their auto-attacks will pulverize you.
If you find yourself in a game with these two, it's imperative that you pick up an Orchid Malevolence as soon as possible to counter these guys and their ridiculous auto-attacks.

Okay, so I'm mid. How effective am I against ___?

Invoker is a nightmare against you in mid. He shrugs off Curse with Alacrity and other cheap spells while he harasses you with Cold Snap and by level 3, will probably have very good health regen. By level 6 his auto-attacks will be much faster than yours and you'll be lucky to get last-hits or denies anymore, and early game your Last Word won't bother him too much since he'll only be able to cast one spell at a time anyway.
Later game your Last Word and Global Silence will stop him from chaining his ridiculous abilities together in teamfights, but you'll have such a rotten early game against him that you'll want to go sidelane and avoid him. If you do stay in lane, max Glaives over Curse and roam frequently since, unless the Invoker doesn't know his hero, you'll be hard-pressed to achieve lane domination.

Venomancer is a fairly common mid who scoffs at your attempts to harass him with Curse. He'll be spamming his cheap, versatile wards anyway. Your Glaives will hurt him if you hit him, but he'll probably just stand nice and far back and pop his wards when needed, and then go ganking.
Instead of maxing Curse, max Glaives, and hit him as much as you can while also taking down his wards. Remember to last hit them, because they provide a small bounty.
You'll be fighting him for rune control if he went Bottle, so your best bet to mess him up is to keep the runes warded and scout them constantly. Later game he'll be hard to chase down since he'll have his own force staff/blink dagger to escape you with, but he's pretty squishy early game, so try to surprise him as he returns from a gank and get him when he leasts expects it.

Pudge feels pretty ****ty up against you in mid. Although he has lots of bulk, unlike Skeleton King he doesn't have a built-in Lifesteal to counteract harass, and his only way of getting rid of your DOT is to either pop Dismember, which requires you to be fairly near him, or to throw his Meat Hook, which if you're not being completely careless he will not catch you in. Rot does not dispell Curse. With Pudge's only options being to waste his Hook and his mana or take the full Curse damage, it'll build up quickly. Worst case scenario the Pudge won't know what to do and he'll waste his hook regardless, and a Hookless Pudge is a Safe Pudge.
Mid as you normally would, harassing with Curse and staying out of his range. Instead of taking the level in Glaives at lvl 3, you may want to take a second point in Curse at lvl 3, then take a point in Glaives at 4, and and still finish Curse by 7, in order to deal a little more early damage to Pudge since you won't be hitting him with your Glaives as much as you will Curse. Even if Pudge is lucky enough to hook you, he won't be able to chain his spells on you due to Last Word.
If Pudge is roaming to avoid you, (as many Pudges will, and as you'll notice on your wards) then either choose to finish pushing the lane and get the tower or just continuously roam for kills.

Nukers like Zeus, Lina, Tinker, etc:
These guys are pretty squishy early game, but they deal a LOT of damage, and that's bad for you. They have no problem with dispelling your Curse with a nuke that takes a lot out of you, and they also have fairly cheap, spammable spells that they can use to focus creeps if you choose to stay out of harm's way.
They typically grab a Bottle to sustain their nuking power, so your best bet to hurt these guys is to take rune control early and vigorously. I still like maxing Curse over Glaives for these guys, only because if you time the Curse AFTER they use their Nuke, they can't dispell it, and they can't use a Clarity to recover mana while they're taking damage. And if you have good timing and you catch them recovering, you can throw an unexpected Curse on them and interrupt their potion. If nothing else it slows them down to be taking damage until they can pop a Clarity, and if they get careless enough to try and chase you into tower, pop your Glaives and punish them. If they start roaming, come after them and punish them. Silencer eats squishy mages, so feed.

Carry mids like Riki, Faceless Void, Bloodseeker, etc

Every now and then the enemy's carry (or one of them) will go mid so they can level quicker and attempt to get more last hits than if they were in lane with a partner. The problem is that these heroes are usually melee, are usually completely useless early game, and basically are begging for you to kill them early game. Harass the hell out of them with your auto attack, deny them creep kills, (if you have to choose between getting a last hit yourself or denying them one, deny!) and pop Curse whenever possible. Unless they're staying very far back in tower and missing out on exp, you'll probably draw First Blood on them by level 2, 3 at most.

Last Word

This concludes the lengthy Apotheosis of Nortrom, or at least everything I can think of right now.

If you can think of any items or heroes I left out or have a addition or correction about how something was described, please feel free to leave a comment. I'll respond to all thoughtful feedback and will make adjustments and updates to the guide as necessary.

I hope to see more people become successful with this amazing hero, and if nothing else I hope you'll at least be inspired to give him a shot. He's well worth the effort and a very rewarding hero to learn.

Thank you for reading :D

There is Purity in Silence

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