This guide is for players seeking to be more offensive with Storm Spirit. It focuses on rushing the Bloodstone, getting a BKB for team-fight offensive power, and mana and intelligence boosting over DPS (although Mjollnir is included in the Late Item Options).
Storm Spirit is an incredibly fun hero and, in the right hands, able to wreck utter havoc on the non-tank heroes of the opposing team. He can even solo tanks with his insane ability to slow and continually burst damage on the enemy hero with Overload. While he lacks the DPS to be a really hard carry, he has incredible offensive power through his Overload + skill usage that makes him nearly impossible to kill late game.
Storm Spirit is great in the middle and that is where most players employ him at the beginning of the game. While he doesn't have great mobility early on and relies on smart pushing to control the runes (and hopefully some wards), once he gets Lightning Ball he becomes very difficult to out-rune-control, gank, and escape from.
The laning item build is a bit different from the mid guide, but only partially, and I won't focus any discussion on it.
In the beginning, get your starting items and (1) courier if your team's supports are fools and don't purchase one (tends to happen a lot in public games) or (2) wards if your team's supports are fools and don't purchase a set (tends to happen a lot in public games) and head for position.
If you had to buy wards, get to one of the runes and prepare to drop your ward. If you didn't have to buy wards, slow your creep wave enough that you are fighting just on the edge of your cliff.
While denying is important, you getting good farm is more important, so make sure to focus on last-hitting their creeps as opposed to your own.
Rush the Bottle (hopefully you got it soon enough to use and refill with a rune, but its unlikely if you had to buy wards as well), then proceed to acquire your items: Magic Wand, Null Talisman, and Boots of Speed.
Once you either (1) get a Haste/Invisibility Rune or (2) Arcane Boots, you should start thinking seriously about your first gank. Whenever I get a Haste Rune, I nearly always force a gank. The rune-speed is phenomenal and nearly insures that you'll get at least one kill (provided your teammates aren't fools [which, unfortunately, tends to happen a lot in public games--just be sure to communicate with them so you can get in position]). That kill is necessary to speeding up your Bloodstone. You need to get a Perseverance so you can stay in lane, farming like a mad-man, and then dismantle your Arcane Boots for Bloodstone when available.
Remember, ganking is important, but not dying and farming is most important. While getting kills speeds up your acquisition of Bloodstone, any deaths prior to purchase are going to set you back and reduce the potential for accumulating charges. Your mana power isn't strong enough to give you sustained bursts with Lightning Bolt yet, so be conservative.
After Bloodstone, go for Treads. The increased attack speed is wonderful for farming, the health stat boost gives you just a bit more survivability, and they are only 950g, practically a steal.
Once Treads are acquired, BKB is the priority, especially because you should be becoming an object of concern for your opposition. With a Bloodstone gaining valuable charges you are on your way to snowballing if the enemy doesn't slow you down, so assume they will try to lure you into traps, focus you down in team-fights when you burn in like a boss, and do anything to slow you down. Hence, BKB.
If the team has no one of stunning/disabling concern, I suppose you could skip BKB and go for Orchid and Linken. It's possible, but not recommended, and here's why: In all serious games in which you are actually performing as a carry should be, the opposition will dedicate some hero/skill combination to bringing you down. They know they can't let you get out of control and they'll turn their power to bear on you. BKB insures that you can pick team-fights, blast their supports out of the water, get good disables, and deal great magic damage while presenting an impossible-to-hit target. Linken's Sphere will give you one freebie, and won't stop area silences from the likes of Drow and Death Prophet. That just isn't good enough for a serious, sustained team-fight in the early/middle game.
As Storm Spirit, your margin of error is practically zero. One mistake in initiating, disabling the wrong hero, not combo(ing) correctly, and you are either (1) dead or (2) responsible for the failure of the team to win a team fight. BKB isn't about increasing your margin of error (except in starting team-fights, which it allows you to escape from if entered foolishly), it's about allowing you to be a greater presence in the thick of the battle, and should not be skipped.
Head into battle, fire off your BKB, hit your target, Vortex (to slow your enemy and prep Overload), hit your target again, Remnant, hit your target again, then Lightning to either pursue your target to its death or escape from your battle (thank you BKB for keeping you un-stunned long enough to do that).
Having BKB means you are going to be surviving most team fights and, while you are not yet the offensive powerhouse that will be causing your enemies to quake and tremble once they leave the fountain, your offensive power is increasing.
Orchid will give you more blessed mana regeneration, even more attack speed, and that awful silence. It makes you able to solo nearly any hero at this stage of the game and shuts down the enemy's most potent threat for the first few seconds in a team battle (in which you can hopefully kill them). With BKB and Orchid in hand, the world is becoming your oyster. Gank aggressively and punish heroes who wander from the herd.
Linken's Sphere is great for the one-off spells from the likes of those rat bastards Bloodseeker and Doom and gives you even more mana regeneration. If they don't have +1 hero who Linken's will negate, skip it and proceed to the more offensive items.
If I need to be dealing out tons of damage and I have supports who are going for Scythe, I skip it and go for Mjollnir and Eye of Skadi. If we have a right-clicker, then I go for Scythe and Shiva's. All are good choices for an end-game Storm Spirit.
Remember, Lightning Ball is an escape skill at the beginning of the game and should only be used for ganking if you can secure the kills. Don't initiate big team battles with it till you have more mana regeneration.
Good luck and have fun.
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