Hi, I am ULTIMATE_KILLER and I want to present my Slark guide. It's a guide that shows the very early deadly potential of slark and allows you to have an immense early advantage.
My build does not need a lot of farm because we roam and gank most of the midgame. If you go stats like 0-2, 0-3 or even 0-6 you MUST stop ganking in order to farm a little bit.
The guide is not really pretty and not colorful at all but it contains a lot of useful information that I wanted to share with you.
+ Awesome ganker
+ Very mobile
+ Wonderful regeneration
+ Ward detection
- Easy to counter
- Needs timing and a bit of knowledge about other heroes' skills
I'll just justify my skill picks
1. Maxing Pounce first gives you a low cooldown, DPS, chase and escape spell
2. You need to max dark pact before essence shift because Pounce-Dark Pact combo will drain squishies hp to almost 0 really fast and it takes off all negative debuffs(stun, silence, slow, the annoying cold snap, track or even DUST).
3. You need early essence shift because it drains a lot of health and it helps us in short fights(lane ganks).
Before 6 you need a proper regen not to be harrassed off the lane so we need a tango and a salve. Shield is important to block the physical damage from creeps, as well from heroes during the very early battles. Branches give you cheap stats and can be switched to the wand later game.
We don't want to come back to base each time we ganks someone. That's why we need Ring of Basilus to keep our mana at a higher point. It sometimes decides if we are alive or dead. Boots of Speed is a must for each hero and Orb of Venom will slow fleeing enemies cause Pounce+Pact is not always enough(especially if we didn't max pact yet). Magic wand is mostly for mana troubles.
Core is simply the improvement of Earlygame items because most of the damage comes from Pounce and Dark Pact(we get the core at +/- 10 level).
Yasha gives you 522 speed while unseen. It is the max speed in the game and more damage. What ever do you need? Sange gives you more survivability and you buy this after yasha.
Instead of SnY you can buy MoM+Basher but it makes you very vurnelable to damage and I don't really like it. On this stage of the game you buy whatever you want. You can even kill most of the game with only the core extension. BKB if your dark pact skills are too low to dispel everything or if there is too much of these skills.
Why not Vanguard? If we are stunned, we are dead anyway. If we are not, we die mostly to nukes and if we drop to low health, we just need to jump into the jungle.
Firstly, we need to choose a lane:
a) Long lane - this lane is best for the slark beginners, it gives the hideout near the tower, you can go there solo or make a combo with an ally.
b) Mid Lane - this lane lets you own your enemies the best because It lets you level up faster and it's kinda easy for a experienced player to draw FB. Needs rune control and does not forgive mistakes.
c) Short lane - this one is for advanced players who want to give mid/long for other heroes who cannot hold the short lane better(f.e. Pudge). You can go solo or with an ally. This lane will give you less farm and you need to be focused all the time. Does not forgive mistakes too.
Level 1 - you try mostly to have some last hits and survive to level 2. If you have a good coordinated ally, you may try to make FB.
Level 2 - we can start harrassing enemies because Essence Shift is a great harrassing tool. We pounce if we are sure we will kill somebody or to run away, if the enemy runs away with half health, we do not chase - we take more last hits.
Level 3 - Same as 2
Level 4 - You got the dark pact now. You can dispel now all stuns and disables with a proper timing. You can get a bit more aggressive. You use pounce for a sure kill or to escape.
Level 5 - Pounce has now a bit low CD, and a fair nice damage. You simply need to feel if you are or you aren't ready for the attack. Remember: Missing Pounce on enemy may equal in your death.
Level 6 - We got our ult but that does not mean we should spam it whenever possible. It drains your mana pool really fast. We use it in 3 situations:
a) If your enemy has spells that may kill you really fast(but sometimes it's better not to attack then); in teamfights, better to hide from ogre's fireblast rather than dispel this due to the multicast.
b) If we lost about 3/5 hp during the fight(If enemy has AoE spells, even earlier)
c) If we know we will not runaway with only Pounce + Pact
Level 7 - Now we have so low cooldown on pounce that we will be able to use it even twice in 1 gank if lucky. We can attack and then run away or attack and score a kill or even a double one.
The most crucial levels I described in detail.
The mid game is about killing the dangerous squishy heroes of the enemy(srsly, we can kill almost all the heroes at this time), we roam all around the map and help our allies getting kills. If the enemy is invis, buy dust because you are faster than your allies and you will know better when to use it. Additionally, you don't need much money and by this time you should have scored about 2-4 kills.
The late game is the time when you can switch to the carry role but your role did not change very much.. You pounce most dangerous/squishy hero in the teamfights from the back(Lion for example). If you lose too much hp, don't get back to base - pounce or runaway through the trees, heal and get back to the fight.
Try to use Dark Pact to dispel skills rather than harrass because if they stun you, silence or disable, you are dead in most cases. It drains your health much slower than enemies if you are successfully stunned.
The thing you should never do is fighting near towers, especially alone. You are fragile and your ult does **** there. Only do it if you are on full health after level 6 and if you are sure that you will score a kill and WILL NOT die.
You can gank even earlier but with a nice help of allies and a haste/dd rune
Good idea may be attacking tanks in order to have a lot of stat boost.
Try to pounce through cliffs, trees, etc. when running away.
The most dangerous counter to Slark is Bloodseeker. If he ruptures you, you can't jump, you need to fight in a place or waste your ulti. Dark pact does not work on it. Additionally, you can't go invis on low and you can't hide from him(no heal out of battle). If you see blood in enemy team, you'd better repick Slark.
The others are the heroes with indispellable skills:
Naga - Ensnare
Dazzle - Poison Touch
Sniper - Assassinate(you can dodge it by pouncing in the right moment but still hard enemy)
Mana drainers and massive disables may do problems but not as much as the mentioned heroes.
Special Mention: Gem, Tower, Sentry Ward, Necronomicon Level 3
If you know enemies have these, you need to play really carefully.
This guide will let you own pubs even solo and make you enemies' life terrible. You will be useful so the carriers will have enough farm and will be able to carry the game.
If the enemies will be the teamplay masters or you play CWs or something, it will be harder to catch up a kill. Then you need more team play too and ensure your carry a good farm.
You can see my dotabuff account, where you can check my slark games. Most of the lost matches are these when I tried MoM+Basher combo. It's not good at all IMO but may fit to some players.
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