Updated to 6.67c
Torment around me. Torment in me. Torment be with me. And let us conquer our foes. They do not understand our pain. Do you? No. Not a soul can. And for that, We shall make them feel the torment... The torment that inhabits my soul.
Leshrac is someone whose AoE damage potential is not to be underestimated. He has an AoE stun that deals nice damage by itself, an AoE spell that has huge damage potential in the absence of creeps, an AoE spell that deals decent damage at a potentially long range, and yet another AoE spell that has very powerful damage potential all-around (yet mana-taxing).
I hope that with this guide, we both learn from the experiences that I will relay to you, and try playing Leshrac a few times. Wishing you all the best.
[+] Above-average movement speed
[+] Good non-ultimate spells
[+] Huge AoE damage potential; provided that he survives long enough and has enough mana
[-] Item-dependent because of extreme survivability, mana and regeneration needs
[-] Slow casting point of 0.7 seconds (coupled with 3 spells needed to cast)
[-] Split Earth can be hard to aim for newer players
For complete information, click here: Tormented Soul - DotA Hero Details
Splits the earth under your enemies' feet. Deals damage and stuns for a short duration.
Level 1 - 70 damage, 1.25 seconds stun, 150 AOE
Level 2 - 140 damage, 1.5 seconds stun, 175 AOE
Level 3 - 210 damage, 1.75 seconds stun, 200 AOE
Level 4 - 280 damage, 2 seconds stun, 225 AOE
Cooldown: 9 seconds
Description: Standard AoE stun that deals decent damage. Has 750 casting range.
Saturates the area around Leshrac with magic, causing random explosions to enemies. Lasts 8 seconds.
Level 1 - 32 explosions of 12.5 damage each (total of 400 damage)
Level 2 - 32 explosions of 25 damage each (total of 800 damage)
Level 3 - 32 explosions of 37.5 damage each (total of 1200 damage)
Level 4 - 32 explosions of 50 damage each (total of 1600 damage)
Description: Main tower pushing spell. Also a great way to kill isolated heroes. As of 6.67, Diabolic Edict no longer affects invulnerable units and structures. Has 500 AOE.
Calls a lightning storm that hits nearby enemies.
Level 1 - Deals 80 damage. Jumps 4 times
Level 2 - Deals 145 damage. Jumps 6 times
Level 3 - Deals 205 damage. Jumps 7 times
Level 4 - Deals 265 damage. Jumps 8 times
Description: Basic lane controlling spell that deals nice damage at a potentially longer range than most spells. Has a casting range of 700 and a bouncing AOE of 650, meaning that it can hit units up to 1350 range away.
Summons a Pulse Nova every second to damage nearby enemies.
Level 1 - 66 (88*) damage per nova, 300 AOE
Level 2 - 100 (133*) damage per nova, 350 AOE
Level 3 - 144 (177*) damage per nova, 400 AOE
Manacost: 110 to activate + 20/40/60 per second activated
Description: Leshrac's AoE ultimate that has very big damage potential. Mana-taxing, though.
Level 1 - Split Earth
Level 2 - Lightning Storm
Level 3 - Lightning Storm
Level 4 - Split Earth
Level 5 - Lightning Storm
Level 6 - Split Earth
Level 7 - Lightning Storm
Level 8 - Split Earth
Level 9 - Diabolic Edict
Level 10 - Diabolic Edict
Level 11 - Diabolic Edict
Level 12 - Diabolic Edict
Level 13 - Pulse Nova
Level 14 - Pulse Nova
Level 15 - Attribute Bonus
Level 16 - Pulse Nova
Level 17+ - Attribute Bonus
Skill Build Justification:
Split Earth at level 1 because it prevents or seals first blood attempts you might encounter. Then, we max Lightning Storm first because it is our laning spell; maxing Split Earth alongside it.
Diabolic Edict is taken later because 1. Lightning Storm has a potential AoE of 1350, way more than Edict's 500; 2. early game is about laning, and Diabolic Edict is weak in a lane due to creeps; and 3. Leshrac's HP makes it dangerous for him to get into that range, unless if he will follow up an ally disable with Split Earth.
Pulse Nova is taken at 13/14/16 because Leshrac's mana pool is still small at that time. By the time that you reach level 13, you should be on your way to your main mana item, which makes it possible for you to handle 4 active spells while letting Pulse Nova last for a decent duration.
All of Leshrac's spells are important and must be maxed out as soon as possible, hence, Attribute Bonuses are taken last. Some actually advocate giving up a spell for extra attributes, but on Leshrac, these attributes are measly compared to the potential benefits his spells can give.
An alternative skill build for fast tower sieges (and quicker kills) would be replacing Lightning Storm or Split Earth (usually Split Earth is replaced because Lightning is better against creeps) with an earlier Diabolic Edict. This poses more risk than the conventional build because these builds are weaker when Leshrac is alone but may shine when used on coordinated games. In my opinion, outside of a very aggressive pushing line-up, this is inferior to the conventional build of Lightning+Split Earth.
Possible Late Game Items
Item Build Justification:
Boots - self-explanatory.
Urn of Shadows, Bracer(s), and Magic Wand - Urn of Shadows can be gotten if there are no better bearers for this item (i.e. roamers). It is good because Leshrac benefits from everything it gives. Magic Wand is completed to have more slots for more items, as well as being a very good item by itself. If there is an Urn of Shadows bearer on your team, upgrade your Gauntlets into Bracers instead.
Aghanim's Scepter - good item overall on Leshrac because of the build-up. It also increases your ultimate's damage. Also adds good amounts of EHP comparable to Bloodstone. This is preferable in shorter games, because Bloodstone's regen goes a long way in farming up your items. Generally better if your team wants Leshrac just to nuke as much as possible before dying (you have some other carries or something).
Late Game Item Justifications:
Boots of Travel is the upgrade of choice on Leshrac, as the mobility is always nice, and the slot for TP scrolls becomes juicier by the minute.
Heart of Tarrasque is the single best survival item on Leshrac. Because of his low HP, resistance items are less useful.
Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse is a good item by itself. Bonuses to all stats, mana regen, and Hex is always great on Leshrac.
Bloodstone is an item that I designated as luxury. Despite the nerfs, Bloodstone is still nice on Leshrac because it gives him HP, mana, and regen. Not to mention that Leshrac dies often in team battles due to being a high priority target, so the bonuses on death are quite handy. Generally better if Leshrac is designated as the primary carry (or if you are able to farm a lot).
Situational Item Justification:
Shiva's Guard is a good item to supplement your AoE damage, as well as increasing your armor. I would actually say that this is more of an ultra-luxury item, because on Leshrac, straight-up HP is better than resistances. Some situations make it better than getting a Hex, though.
Kelen's Dagger is a good all-around mobility item. It is a good item on you if your team has blinking initiators. It is also good as a luxury to make use of BKB's 5 second duration to its fullest.
Empty Bottle is a good idea if you are soloing the middle lane. Even without runes, it is still a decent source of both HP and mana regen (if coupled with a personal crow, it could even fund Leshrac's mana needs during laning). Leshrac needs both because we don't want to get instagibbed, right?
Linken's Sphere is a good item only in the few cases that there are huge silencers that you can't avoid/block (Doom for example). For more info, see Nix's Linken's Sphere Guide.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a cheap item that provides some mana, mana regen, and Cyclone. It is nice to help you set up Split Earths, as well as positioning yourself thanks to the +20 MS. But this is mainly a fallback item because it provides zero survivability (unless if you plan on using Cyclone on yourself while Diabolic Edict takes effect).
Soul Ring and Ghost Scepter are some situational items that might help you in some cases. In Soul Ring's case, the Sacrifice ability might help you churn out a little more DPS if you've got the HP to spare, while Ghost Scepter allows you to evade the most brutal beating of DPS heroes at the cost of being vulnerable to casters.
+ + /
Point #1: Having a Good Dual Lane
Leshrac is well known for being able to create lethal combos with heroes that have some sort of disable, especially stuns. It is preferable that you have an opening disable to make sure your Split Earth will hit. Whether it be a slow or a stun, as long as it is reliable in the sense that they would hit easily, Leshrac can make use of an ally ranging from a Mortred (not recommended, but better than nothing) to a Sven. Do not be a free target whenever possible; Leshrac can't take much harassment.
A Leshrac with a good partner capable of initiating for him (ex. SandK, Sven, SkelK, etc.) can go with said partner laning on the hard lane (Sentinel top/Scourge bottom).
Point #2: Soloing as Leshrac
If you are soloing middle lane, it is recommended that you buy a set of Observer Wards in order to help control your lane with Lightning Storm. If you are asked to solo another lane (say, you have a jungler or something), then solo the long lane (Sent bot/Scourge top) because the top lane is way too dangerous for a hero like Leshrac, who has no escape mechanisms nor good amounts of survivability. It is recommended to give your solo lane to another hero that might need it more, though, as Leshrac isn't too shabby at a dual lane.
Point #3: Lightning Storm Harassment Using Lightning Storm to harass is much better than with normal attacks (aside from dual melee lanes, well) due to the added range. Lightning Storm can jump up to 1350 range from your original location, use it!
Point #1: Choosing Your Big Item By now, you should be on the way towards your first big item. Should it be Bloodstone or Aghanim's Scepter? Regardless of your decision, going for Point Booster first will work wonders because it is a good item for its cost; not to mention that the two big items require this one.
Point #2: Balancing Farming, Pushing and Ganking Try to find a healthy balance between the two. If there are little farming opportunities or allies come and gank your lane, then feel free to help. If there are little lane farming opportunities and friendly ganks, then the neutrals are always there to give you gold. Diabolic Edict is good at taking bigger camps, while smaller ones might need only a Lightning Storm to be cleared.
Remember to also push whenever possible. If your team is dominating, an extra tower down can surely help in maintaining your team's momentum. Again, Leshrac is good at this.
Point #3: What if you are ganked? Leshrac is a gank target due to the potential damage that he can bring in teamfights, as well as being squishy. If you are ganked, don't panic.
First of all, cast Edict first. Why? Because it scares them at the very least; it heavily damages them at the very most. If they are in range for Pulse Nova, then activate it. It is recommended to use Split Earth as early as possible if you are ganked by only one enemy/it will hit all the gankers so if there is a countergank, you can have it ready again. Do NOT use Lightning Storm unless if that will finish off a ganker; it gives you little for its cost when you are ganked because you will lose precious time and mana, and can mean an extra second of Pulse Nova and movement.
If possible, juke through tree paths or create your own using Split Earth because Pulse Nova and Diabolic Edict hits invisible/fogged targets, regardless if you are in fog or not. Also, use your items accordingly, and if you think that you can overpower the ganker(s), then do so.
Any of these items:
Point #1: 5v5 Team Battles First and foremost, activate Pulse Nova. You need it to deal as much damage as possible. Then cast Split Earth on as many enemies as possible. Use it ASAP so if you are lucky to live through, you may use it again during a chase. It is your discretion on which of the other two spells should come first; Diabolic if you are low on HP, Lightning if not.
Point #2: Smaller Skirmishes Whenever possible, try to finish these smaller skirmishes with your three basic spells, because Pulse Nova is way too mana intensive for these smaller fights.
Point #3: What if all doesn't go well and you are forced to turtle? Leshrac is great at turtling with Pulse Nova, provided that he can get near creeps safely. He is only decent with Lightning Storm. Stay as far back as possible; you don't want those invaders to get near you during your 0.7 second cast point.
7b. Hero's Key Points
Lightning Storm Harassment
As I have stated in the Early Game section, using Lightning Storm makes harassing easier, and makes your enemies have a harder time in lane; all the while putting you from harm's way. To do this, target Lightning Storm on the creepwave, then watch as it bounces from foe to foe to the hero. Make sure that you have vision of the enemy, though. Lightning Storm will not hit him if he is fogged/invisible.
Using Your Spells in Pushes
Lightning Storm is still a good way to harass your enemies and at the same time damages the creepwave. Remember that it has a 6 second cooldown. Diabolic Edict is a great tower pushing tool; use it whenever creeps aren't around, and will not be around for the next 8 seconds. Doing so will result in a tower down, unless if the enemy team uses their Glyph for it. Using Pulse Nova can be necessary if you need to turbo-push the lane by yourself or if you have minimal assistance; otherwise, save it for heroes unless if you have huge amounts of mana regen already. Reserve your Split Earth for enemy heroes.
Spell Priority During Team Battles
Leshrac is not someone who should prioritize his enemies in team battles, due to his spells being AoE. Instead, he should prioritize which spells will he cast in a limited time due to his low HP and long cast point.
Activate Pulse Nova first and foremost; we want it to deal as much damage as possible while you're alive. Then, Split Earth for that stun unless if your enemies are still disabled. Lightning Storm comes next because its cooldown allows you to use it again for cleaning up. Diabolic Edict should come after Lightning Storm in most cases to ensure maximum damage from it; having low HP by the time that you're done casting Split Earth warrants casting this before Lightning Storm, as this persists through death.
Magical Damage Amplification
They have a disable of some sort, making them a good ally as well for aiming Split Earth. Also, they allow you to deal more damage due to their spells; only that their damage amplification abilities are hard to position well.
They are good sources of mana. Mana for Leshrac=farming. And their use aren't limited by just providing mana; both can help you set your Split Earth accurately.
Good Supporting Abilities
All of them can provide you with some extra survivability, allowing you to deal more damage. Mekansm and Pipe carriers are also included here.
*Huskar's Inner Vitality heals based on your primary attribute, and since we will be pumping INT in our builds, then it will heal a good amount on you as well.
Leshrac can't finish off enemies that well, but they can, in your stead. Slardar is highly recommended.
No screenies ATM, I will try to find a decent game where I can base those screenshots.
Special thanks to Justin, Val, and the others who helped me make this guide better, as well as those who have been requesting for my opinion on an earlier Diabolic Edict. Also, thanks to Ramomar for the guide template (omg, the original guide was sooooo messy...).
P.S. Long ass cast!
Credits go to Thisisbob.