The victim of a longevity spell that backfired, the Skeleton King Ostarion has built an empire from the bones of his enemies. He lives only to extend his reach, for as long as he is perpetually building and adding to his domain he cannot die. The walls of his palace are formed of fired bone; the streets are paved with bones of every sort of creature and every enemy; and even the wood and other natural features of his land have been swept away and replaced with replicas formed of bone. From the Ivory Forest to Ostarion's towering Throne of Bone, nothing happens in the Empire of Bones without the full knowledge of its Skeleton King.
This is my first guide on DotaFire. I hope you enjoy
Skeleton King <SK hereafter> is a powerful Strength carry with a fairly good presence throughout the game. Early game, his <mana costly> stun can be used to set up and score kills. His Lifesteal Aura greatly helps in pushes and teamfights. Critical strikes don't need much explanation, and his newly added Mortal Strike Can make killing even easier, but it is his ultimate, especially late game, which makes him such a good hero. Reincarnation means the enemy team will need to take down a high DPS Tank Carry with a stun twice, when doing it even once can be difficult enough.
While reading this, keep in mind that there are other ways to play Skeleton King, but I have found my playstyle to be particularly rewarding. I've focused more on the perspective of the game as an average pub player
Not very difficult to learn, with only one active (and one pseudo active skill)
Difficult to kill
Can slaughter enemies with ease
All skills work well with each other
Can fit many roles
Mana dependent, especially early game
If caught off guard, ultimate can be wasted and it's long cooldown, even at level three, can be a hindrance
Requires proper farming and good items to truly shine
For details, please check the hero page
Your initiating tool. Stun 'em and kill 'em. Take care when casting early game though, as Skeleton doesn't have good mana regen, and this really exhausts your supply, maybe not leaving enough for your ultimate, so take care. Also, if an enemy is fleeing and you're sure to get a kill as well as sure that there are no more enemies that miht need stunning in the vicinity, you can nuke them with this. Strictly not for Harassing.
Straightforward lifesteal aura with great return percentage that fully stacks with other orb effects (though I don't recommend getting more lifesteal items)
The passive is a critical strike. What has been added is quite interesting. It drains 20% of the the target hero's max HP and gives it to you for seven seconds. This helps you get kills. You and your opponent are hacking and slashing away at each other, cast this when he is below half his health, his remaining health will drop and yours will increase, giving you an edge for 7 seconds. However, at the end of it, it is transferred back to him. Even if the opponent is dead, you will still loose that extra HP. Gives you survivability in quick skirmishes. And in late game, cast it on the enemy tank and get a large chunk of HP for yourself
Doesn't need explaining. Make sure you have enough mana on you though, otherwise you won't respawn. Though I haven't mentioned it, some players take a soul ring so that when push comes to shove they have enough mana for Reincarnation
You can opt to take a couple of stat points instead of Mortal Strike early on, though the added HP Removal from Mortal Strike may help you net kills
Do NOT take Lifesteal aura early game as it will push your lane, making farming harder
Max Hellfire first, as it is your stun
A level of Lifesteal aroun 7-8 will help you survive longer in the lane, and by that time, you will be in the 'destroy their first tower' phase. It will also make NCing a lot easier, especially after getting your Armlet. Ult is taken whenever possible
You're a strength hero who's got relatively good health and regen, so a Stout Shield isn't necessary. The QB is for last hitting, as you HAVE to farm well. The ironwoods give you some more stats that slightly increase mana, health and attack speed. The first item you should buy is Boots of Speed. A little extra speed goes a long way, especially when escaping or chasing to get that one last hit to kill. Then buy Gloves of Haste and Finally Belt of Strength.
Remember to Tread Switch
If your lane is a caster's playground, you may buy a magic Wand as well.
The first item to get for your armlet is the Helm, followed by Gloves, then Blades, then Recipe. You have decent enough damage, and want to increase your attack speed so you proc Mortal Strike more often and Lifesteal at a quicker rate.
Now, I have suggested Deso because if coupled with Assault, you sinificantly redce an opponent's armour, making them easy prey for your mighty blows. You Are The King. They Must Die. Sure, you can get other orbs, but like I said in the beginning, I have found this to be very beneficial.
Next, farm your Reaver, then Booster and complete your heart. Now, you can leave Armlet on permanently and not have to worry about turning it on and off for fights. You'll regenerate at a much faster rate.
When getting your assault, get the Hyperstone first. The Attack Speed boost works wonders with your 2nd and 3rd skills, and with your armour reduction from Deso, you'll be killing in no time. After finishing your assault, you become even tankier, And should not fear wading into battle and laying waste to your opponents.
With an already high attack speed, You can get a Basher to make killing even easier. The Relic comes thereafter, making you even more dangerous.
Aegis will make opponents run away in fear. Killing you once is a nightmare. Killing you twice is nigh impossible. Killing you thrice is <insert similar, but more severe words here>. PROVIDED there isn't a hardcore mana burner in the other team. Anti Mage isn't too much of a problem, as he is quite fragile, and a couple of good whacks will teach him not to screw around with the King. An Army of Lancers, each with a diffusal however, can pose to be a problem.
Since you need to be killed twice or even thrice, you may carry le Divine Rapier. Divine + Critical + Lifesteal = Next to onstant full health even in 5v5 killfests.
MKB is useful if there are Evasive heroes or Butterfly carriers. You get to teach them Up Close and Personal that Nobody messes with the King
And all this is possible Only if you farm well (a bit more on that later)
Early game, you have one thing to do, and one thing only:
Take the safe lane with a good babysitter. Only go for the kill if you are sure you will emerge victorious. Farm. Farm. Farm. Oh, and before I forget , Farm some more. Once you get your Lifesteal aura around 8, Jungling should be fairly easy. Always be on the lookout for gankers. Make sure a courier is available and the area you are in is well warded. You basically keep farming, dropping by close gank to offer your stun and lifesteal. Your team should allow you to get the kills, unless there is a harder carry. Make sure your babysitter babysits you. Your killing potential increases once you get your Armlet. Be more aggressive, but don't enter YOLO mode yet. Once your Deso is done, you're even more lethal. After Heart is done, the only hindrance is probably attack speed and annoying escapees who blink or windwalk. Get your allies to buy a gem or to silence. You can carry the gem of you have item slots and if you have started actively hunting. You are good at pushing, but even better at killling. You are not a jungler. You are not a ganker. You are a carry. You become imba, tipping the scales of the game in favour of your team. You lay waste to all those who dare oppose The King.
Mana regen heroes like Crystal Maiden, KotL
Great support heroes like Io, Dazzle
Babysitters in General
Disablers - They bring the peasants down to their knees and allow you to decapitate them
Stunners do pretty much the same.
Mana Burners - No Stun. No Ult. No Nothing. Lancer can be an especially niggling Pain in the ***
Disablers - Leave you unable to do what you do best while they lay on the damage on you
Slowers - You can't reach them, they keep kiting you, especially early game and people like Viper.
Lane Dominators/Expert Gankers - You'll have a Very bad time farming, rendering you a weak bag of bones.
Comments and Constructive Criticism would be greatly appreciated.
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