Sand King is a very good early game hero that gets better throughout the game. Sand King is a strong initiator who can heavily damage the opposing team with his Nuker skills which split,stun and slow enemy heroes. He can be a helpful disabler that can get or assist in first blood and can take down most hero's with the help of a friendly hero. He can also be a back-up support if your team has none or the support isn't being the support. This a guide of how I have found successful to play Sand King. Hope you enjoy:-).
Starter Items -
2Healing Salves - will help you survive after initiating attacks on enemy players on the lane early game.
Magic Stick - Is very helpful in healing health and regaining mana especially when laned with a heavy skill using friend or foe which gives you multiple charges for mana and health.
3 Iron Branches - should provide the necessary attributes to help in the beginning of the game and make it cheap and easy to buy magic wand a couple minutes into game.
Early/Mid game Items -
Magic Wand - Provides a upgrade of the bonuses of the Magic Stick + more attribute stats for a short time per charge.
Arcane Boots - The arcane boots is a core early game item that helps with the almost constant need for mana with Sand King to initiate fights.
Urn of Shadows - since Sand King initiates battles he is often getting kills or assisting kills which gives many charges and Sand King to heal friends and himself.
Core Items -
Aghanim's Scepter - The Scepter will add 2 more pulses and less cooldown to Epicenter which is very important for constant help for fights against stronger enemies.
Shadow Blade - Will help with Sand King's Ganking and Initiations and he will be able to escape situations blink dagger couldn't help with like(for example a Pudge's rot)the speed boost may still get you away even if the enemy has gem, Sentry Wards or Dust of Appearance and the extra damage and attack speed is pretty nice.
Blink Dagger Will help Sand King blink away when running and will allow him to channel Epicenter with no problems and blink into battle.
Veil of Discord - Veil of discord's active ability is very helpful by giving you a big boost in Magic Damage and since all Sand King's skills are magical it will give you much more burst damage from all your skills. The stat bonuses are pretty good for survivability as well.
Vladmir's Offerings - is a decent item for Sand King by giving him some lifesteal, extra armour, some Hp regeneration and 15% boost to damage. This item would be better bought right after Shadow Blade because of the attack speed boost given will make more use of the lifesteal.
Black King Bar - If Sand King is getting stun locked or he's dying from heaps of burst damage before he can do any damage or pull off a successful Epicenter. Then this item should be gotten and used right before you launch into battle and it should help your survivability during the fight and because of this it is a very good initiating item that immensely helps your initiation of a team fight.
Assault Cuirass - This item will greatly improve Sand King's slow attack speed and the armour is a good boost of survivability. Also with the Armour reduction it will make it even easier to auto attack heroes and make your auto attacks much more useful.
Shiva's Guard - Shiva's guard is very good item that will slow and do some burst damage on heroes if your burrowstrike is on cooldown and when chasing a hero this could slow and damage them enough until for you to get the kill. The passive will also prove useful by slowing down heroes and creeps to Sand King's attack speed or less if he has some attack speed items. The stat bonus is nice with some armour and some intelligents for mana it will help him a lot.
Vanguard - It is just a defence item that should be gotten only at early to mid game if your laning with a heavy hitting hero and will improve your length farming in lane.
Burrowstrike - Will be the first skill you should max out and will serve as the initiating move for the team by stunning enemy heroes. It will also be a good way of escape for Sand King by burrowing to areas where the enemy has to walk around to get you.
Sand Storm - When in a lane with ranged hero enemies this will make you invisible but will allow you to still farm and can escape attacks. This will also harass the enemy a lot with the constant damage and ability to use Burrowstrike in the radius of the Sandstorm. Now with the new updates it's radius is always at its max of 525 and will only increase in attack and duration which has made it even better early game. This is easily countered with wards however.
Caustic Finale - Is awesome passive that greatly increase your farming and gold with creeps and will hurt nearby enemy heroes if close enough to the killed creep.
Epicenter - is a terrific skill that should follow up a Burrowstrike initiation early to mid game and will slow and kill a few heroes and becomes bigger and more pulses the more levels. Once you have a Blink Dagger you will be able to channel Epicenter in peace and destroy enemy heroes with a good blink(blink should be practiced for the best outcomes of your ultimate). It will increase it's pulses by 2 and lower cooldown when you have gotten a Aghanim's Scepter. When using your ultimate on 2 or more heroes it's better to block the heroes so they can't run back to their towers without running straight into you and with a quick Burrowstrike you've got a couple of kills from the stun and a final auto attack.
High skill damage
very good throughout game
can be used as support if team is lacking one
no mana or health regen without item
Bad attack speed
very Item dependent
Sand King can creep extremely well with Caustic Finale without even needing last hits for gold because of the damage to all nearby enemies you will get you a couple of last hits on other creeps even if you missed one but still hit the creep before it died. His slow speed also rather helps with last hitting creeps and heroes letting them take a bit more damage for more chance of a last hit.
His jungling is better when he has some mana regeneration and a bigger mana pool by using Burrowstrike then finish the lower health/defence neutral creeps to get damage on the stronger ones. Although he is not good at jungling the magic immune creeps(Example: golem camp, large golem camps, Thunderhide camp and Dragon camps) because all he'll be able to do is auto attack them with his slow Attack speed which will take quite a bit of time and they could kill you during early until late game unless you have some attack speed items on you.
Sand King is a very good counter that counters many heroes early, mid and late game with his stun and ultimate.Sand King is a very good at making the opposing lane carry's early game extremely bad if played right in pub games. The following heroes can be heavily countered by Sand King:
Bloodseeker- Sand King can make his early game terrible on the off lane with his stun killing him, Sand Storm severely harassing his lane and once Sand King has Epicenter you will probably already be very fed and he will be a easy kill. Once he gets BS gets his ultimate it will do only a small amount of damage and you can still stun or even use Epicenter to repel him from messing with you while you wait for Rupture to ware off.
Huskar - Your stun will render him useless at low health and your burst damage is ok when fight him but you will need a hero with a burst damage physical damage like Nyx Assassin's Vendetta to finish him off with that ridiculously high magic resistance in low health.
Broodmother - Is easily countered by starting a Sandstorm right at the core of a web that you presume Broodmother is in. She won't be able to see you and in order to get last hits she'll be damaged by Sandstorm and then reveal herself by getting the creep. Then you will be able to do a quick burst damage Burrowstrike to finish her off.You will also be able to waste her ulti by stunning her.
Terrorblade - His early game low magic resistance makes him very vulnerable to even level 1 sandstorm, Burrowstrike or Caustic Finale which can shutdown his early game. When using Epicenter around Terrorblade you should be careful and try to stun him before to low health so that he can't switch with you and murder you and you can finish him off with Epicenter in time.
Stunners- coming soon
With Sand King's high gold intake and jungling abilities he can buy the teams wards, courier and other support items when your team is lacking a support and your supports not playing support. Also he can protect the carry and help level the carry with his Sandstorm which will repel enemy heroes while also hurting the creeps for the last hits and with his stun he can assist the carry with a early kill or first blood.
Sand King is a great offensive hero and can be played in many roles such as Nuker, Support, Disabler, Semi-Carry and my favourite Initiator, which is how I have found extremely successful from using this build and way to play him. Thanks for reading my first everyone and leave a vote for more information to be added.
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