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This Guide is made for one of my favorite Heros in DotA, Nortrom the Silencer.

Nortrom - The Silencer

Background Story:
Hailing from the magical community of Quel'Thalas, Nortrom is one of the strongest Elven warriors defending the integrity of the lands. Mastering the ancient art of glaive-throwing, and combining it with the volatile nature of the Blood Elves' arcane magic, he is able to disrupt the magical energies in his enemies. By binding his magical powers to his glaive, he is able to cause damage beyond devastation, gaining intelligence from every kill. Concentrating all his energies, he can cause chaos within his enemies' magical pools, making them unable to cast spells. He is determined to fend off the Scourge and their demon magic until he has breathed his last.

Many people dont play him cause of his lack of an escape mechanism & low movement speed, in fact - its not that easy, but i really like to play him. In this Guide i will explain my style of playing Nortrom.


1. Pros'n'Cons and Stats
2. The Skills
3. Skill Build
4. Item Build
5. Gameplay
6. Animation Cancelling
7. Replays
8. Credits


1. Pros'n'Cons and Stats

*Intelligence 21 +2,5
*Agility 16 +2,1
*Strength 17 +1,7

*Affiliation: Sentinel
*Attack Animation: 0.5 / 0.5
*Damage: 39 - 61
*Casting Animation: 0.3 / 0.51
*Armor: 1.3
*Base Attack Time: 1.7
*Movespeed: 290
*Missile Speed: 1000
*Attack Range: 600
*Sight Range: 1800 / 800

[+] Great DPS abilities
[+] Can mess up a lot of enemy team spell combos
[+] Can take down heroes really fast
[+] Great last hitting abilities
[+] High base damage
[+] Can turn the tide of a battle with a single spell

[-] Slow MS
[-] Needs a tank in team battles
[-] Low HP
[-] Huge target in team fights
[-] No ganking power


2. The Skills

Curse of the Silent

Afflicts enemies with the Curse of the Silent. The target will lose hp and mana per second until it casts a spell. [AoE 350]

Level 1 - for 6 seconds. ( 75 mana cost; 20 second cooldown) - 20 hp/8 mana per second
Level 2 - for 6 seconds. ( 95 mana cost; 18 second cooldown) - 35 hp/16 mana per second
Level 3 - for 6 seconds. (115 mana cost; 16 second cooldown) - 50 hp/24 mana per second
Level 4 - for 6 seconds. (135 mana cost; 14 second cooldown) - 65 hp/32 mana per second
• Damage type: magical
• It will be removed when the target dies or begins the effect of a spell.

Glaives of Wisdom

Nortrom's Glaives are enchanted by his experience in magic.

Level 1 - Deals 30% of your intelligence in bonus damage.
(15 mana cost;3 second cooldown)
Level 2 - Deals 45% of your intelligence in bonus damage.
(15 mana cost;2 second cooldown)
Level 3
- Deals 60% of your intelligence in bonus damage.
(15 mana cost;1 second cooldown)
Level 4 - Deals 75% of your intelligence in bonus damage.
(15 mana cost;0 second cooldown)
Note: Damage type is Pure (means extra damage from Glaives is not reduced)
This will be our main attack orb, which allows us to harass and, thus controll the lane. It also scales will to give us some serious lategame DPS.

• Damage type: pure
• Glaives of Wisdom is an Orb Effect and Buff Placer.
• Silencer will permanently steal 2 Intelligence from any enemy hero that dies within 900 range.
• Glaives of Wisdom will steal Intelligence if the target dies outside the aoe.
• The -stats (-st) command can be used to know how much Intelligence you gained through this skill.

Last Word

Causes the target enemy to take damage and become silenced as soon as it casts a spell or when the duration runs out. If the duration runs out without the target casting a spell, the target will aslo be disarmed. Debuff lasts 5 seconds and silences the target for 3 seconds)

Level 1 - 115 Mana / 36s cooldown
Level 2 - 115 Mana / 28s cooldown
Level 3 - 115 Mana / 20s cooldown
Level 4 - 115 Mana / 12s cooldown
Notes:• Channeling skills will activate this even if they are canceled.

Global Silence

Stops all enemies on the map from casting spells.

Level 1 - Lasts 4 seconds. (250 mana cost;160 second cooldown)
Level 2 - Lasts 5 seconds. (350 mana cost;160 second cooldown)
Level 3 - Lasts 6 seconds. (450 mana cost;160 second cooldown)
Notes:• This skill works on invisible units.
• Silence works on magic immune units.
• Game-wide sound is muted when Global Silence is used.

Our Ultimate will - if used correctly - stop enemies from doing anything besides running and auto attacking, an invaluable skill in teamfights.


3. Skill Build

There are two Skill Builds for Nortrom, depending on your lane opponents.

1. Curse Build

4.Last Word
6.Global Silence
11.Global Silence
12.Last Word
13.Last Word
14.Last Word
16.Global Silence

2. "Common Build"
2.Stats/Last Word
4.Stats/Last Word
6.Global Silence
8.Last Word
9.Last Word
10.Last Word
11.Global Silence
12.Last Word
16.Global Silence
... (Stats before Curse)


In 6.60 Curse of the Silence is a 350 AoE spell, which allows you to curse 1 to 5 Players. And in my opinion, this is exactly what you need to stay alive on lane - whatever it is very situational too. The intention of this Build is to bring you into mid/lategame quite safely.

Heros you want to have on your lane if you play the CotS Build.
Basically those are heros that cannot afford to waste their mana, because they rely on their mana in ganks.
heros like:

Heros that you do not want to have on your lane (or in the game) are heros, that dont need their mana or have spammable spells.
heros like:

Note: Rylai is a hero that u generally dont want in the opponents team.Nevertheless, is dosent make Curse totally useless if rightly used.

If you have made the decision to play the curse build, and you thought about the possibility if curse is usefull against your enemy hero(s), it will prevent any use of spells.

(i.e. You have Juggernaut in your lane, whose strength is his whirlwind combined with boots.
If you begin to curse him with level 3, he'll have to use his whirlwind in a situation he dosent want to,
otherwise he will not only lose mana but life also.
-> you are safe from extremely dangerous "whirlwalks".)

If you have 2 heroes of the group you don't want to use CotS against in your lane (one if solo), stick with the Common build.


4. Item Build

Item Build (Primary)

Begin with:

2x (3x if playing common build)
4x (none with common build)

=> => =>

=>=> =>until =>

=> 3x=>

so one of these is our must have:

First we need some movement and attackspeed, so Power Treads should be the first item. (Its your decision, if STR or INT, i prefer INT)
Hex will make us very dangerous, even in lategame, and gives us a disable to contribute to our team in addition to our mass silencing. Orchid gives us +5sec silence and dmg amp to stack our Global Silence, as well as massively increases our DPS output via IAS, +Dmg, and +Int.
This Build gives you all you want, attackspeed+damage+int(for glaive)+hp+hex+silence.

The second possible musthave is Guinsoos combined with Shivas Gaurd.
Which gives you a really high survivability, having high armor, really good damage and the more defensive aura and active ability of Shivas Guard and of course Hex.

Which u get after Guinsoos is your personal decision. Orchids giving you additional, Semi-Disable with the 5sec single target silence and damage amplifyer. Shivas is equal, but more defensive style.

Remember to always Hex before Orchids/Shivas, as you want to deal as much damage as possible before you actually have to take any (Orchids still allows enemy to attack).


Alternative Build
(If midgame gets really hard)
Begin with:

2x (3x if playing common build)
4x (none with common build)

=> => =>

=> 2x,2x=> 2x


=> => 3x


Situational Items:
Certain situations may call for the following items to interrupt the core build:

Black King Bar:

The Back King Bar is a good way to go if the enemy team has a lot of intelligence heros or disable and you are being focused by them exclusively. You will stay alive much easier with this item, and a Heart of Terrasque later can give you a greater amount of hp to supplement such focusing.
Note: I recommend this if you have an enemy rikimaru in your game.


Necronomicon also fits very fine with Nortrom. There is a good intelligence and Strength buff, combined with some powerfull summons, which also can detect invisibility, so if your team needs a weapon against invis, feel free to get Necronomicon.


"Mek" is many peoples choice after they have their Power Treads.
You may get it before hex, but I personally prefer to get the survivability via hex as fast as possible.
Nevertheless, its definetly a good item on a support DPSer like Nortrom.

Force Staff:

The Forcestaff has good stats (damage and attackspeed) and gives you the ability to push a unit 500 units into the direction it is facing (even yourself).
Use this to ether escape, or pushing yourself into enemys direction if you are chasing him.


Luxury Items:
On the off chance that you have finished the core build and the game isnt nearly over, these additional items can be purchased corresponding with the situation and personal preference. What we need mostly into the late endgame is more survivability, as our damage is plenty high
(remember that we have Orchids/Shivas and Hex already). So items of our choice should be:

Shiva's Guard

Shivas Gaurd is one of the best items you can get with Nortrom.
It provides you with a heavy additional damage boost, aswell as a very good surviability.
The aura reduced the enemys attackspeed by 15% in a 1000yrd Range and the active ability deals 200 damage in a 640yrd range AoE spell which slows the enemy by 40% for 4 sec.

Ghost Scepter:

Ghost Scepter has the ability to transform yourself into a banish state, which stops you from attacking and being attacked for 4 sec, but also increases magic damage dealt to you is increased by 44%.
This combined with Global Silence gives you 4 seconds invulnerability.
Note: You can attack by manually throwing Glaives in banished form.

Heart of Terrasque:

Also very good choice, if you have problems to stay alive in teambattles. Combined with Shivas, you are able to take lots of damage.


Bad Items

Aghanims Scepter

Although its cheaper in 6.60b it still dosent fit with your ultimate.
Additionally the changed reciepe just gives you +10 to all stas and some hp.
Thats not enough to be an item of choice.

Refresher Orb:

At this point in the game, you already have: high damage and good mana regen , so the refresh ability just isnt worth 5300 gold. Yes, you can Global Silence two times, but its just not worth it, there are better items out there for the gold. It also dosent fit with our goal to stay alive as long as possible and use Last Word to our advantage.


We dont benefit that much from bloodstone, because we already have enough mana and regen. So the 450 HP of tankiness we get from bloodstone isn't really worth 5050 gold.


5. Gameplay

Early-Game (1-7)


The gameplay of Nortrom is very special. Keep in mind your objectives early: Farm last hits and Don't Die. Your hero is not a great early ganker or chaser, which means that you have to harass your enemy in your lane. Try to get early lane control by harassing with glaives and using curse to keep their mana depleted (if going with the curse build).

In the beginning, get your start items and choose your lane. This should be mid or the long lane (bottom for sentinel, top for scourge) because of your lack of movement speed (290) which is very low and means you'll be an easy target for a gank in the short lane. Solo-lane is nice, but not essential.
It would be advantageous to lane with a stunner or disabler that will allow to get extra hits in with glaive or drain extra mana with curse.

Hug the tower until level 3, while harassing with glaives and last hitting/denying as much as possible to get your farm rolling.

Once you've reached level 3, start to curse and try to curse both of your enemys with the new 350 AoE of this spell. If you're up against the proper opponents, they'll have quite a problem with saving their mana for harassment or a gank (Remember: Chose your build based on your opponents, don't use the CotS build against spell spammers). Once your harass gets going you should have fairly good lane control and should be fairly safe.Now is the time to Farm, Farm, Farm! Get kills if possible and constantly use curse to terminate your opponents mana, remembering that if he has no more mana, he will take the full 400 dmg aswell which makes the curse very dangerous! You will also cause some opponent to leave the lane cause of low hp/mana.
So you are WILLING your opponents to use their spells, or they loose their whole mana/hp.
To prevent even more ganks, I recommend that you buy some observer wards, and place them at these two locations (third is optional).

(this last one is the optional one, cause normally you know if some1 leaves your lane or comes back, its more important to prevent ganks from mid through your woods. This is the Sentinel location, it would be the equivalent location in the Scourge woods if on the Scourge side)

You can also use the ward-placement from this thread.

Mid-Game (8-14)


During the midgame you shoud carry TP scrolls with you at all times, to prevent ganks as well as quickly come in to participate in them.
(another tip: if you're getting ganked, you may use Global Silence right before using TP scroll to prevent the opponets using stuns while you are teleporting)

Scale back your usage of CotS, as now many heros have spammable active items like Phase Boots, Arcane Ring, and Armlet, which cancles our curse after use.
This won't be a problem, however, if the early game went well, as you should have a stable farm and are ready to face your opponents in litte team battles, provided you picked up some survivability in items like Str Treads or Bracers.

Although your behavior now should be like the guys of FC Liverpool, "Never Walk Alone!" this is very important, bacause you still have low survivability compared to many other heroes. Just farm (but dont go too far, you are an easy target solo) or join your friends ganks. Your Glaives and Hex will be a really nice damage/disable burst. Do this until lategame, get the rest of your core items and your items of further choice.
Until now, its enough to use Global Silence to save your teams heros when they are getting ganked far away from you, as well as to initiate ganks of your own.

Late-Game (15-25)


Your role until the end of the game is to Gank, Farm or Teambattle.

That leads me to another very important point: The Teambattle.

What ever you do, before the fight begins, do not allow yourself to be the first target.
Stay behind your allies, only jumping into battle after the fight begins. Use Global Silence as close to the initiation phase of the fight as possible, ensuring your opponents cannot gain an early advantage in the fight by chain-disabling. With the 5 seconds of spell negation GS provides, your team should have no trouble focusing down one or two of your opponents, making for uneven teams that will allow you to push down some rax. Remember that you're not done after using GS; hex the opposing carry as quickly as possible, and use Orchids on their strongest disabler after GS has run its duration. Your DPS should also be quite high now, so Glaive away, focusing on the low hp heroes and those heroes that will get away easily (blinking heroes) once the duration of GS is up.

Note that the timing of Silence in Teambattles is very important.
If the other team has AoE heros like Enigma, Sandking or Rylai, keep it until they get in position to cast ultimate, and then silence...
Your team will destroy that hero, as they have to take position in middle of your own team, but they will be helpless without their spells. Always remember, Global Silence also works on magic immune enemies (so Raged Naix, enemies repelled by Omni, Bkb'd enemies, etc), so don't be shy casting it in those circumstances!


6. Animation Cancelling

Nortrom has quite a slow attack animation, but we can cancel it by issuing an attack order and immediately issuing a move order after the projectile has been released.
This can be seen in this Video on Youtube.

Link to Video (if it dosent work)

More information can also be found at:

PlayDota's learn section


7. Replays

1. There is one replay of me playing that Curse Build, against Rylai and Jugger on lane: here.
(its just an example how to play earlygame, the further game is not that interesting...
its also another item build (a weaker one))

2. 25:9 Silencer v6.61b
really good replay of some1 playing silencer with a curse build.
he basically goes my build, with some gamespecific modifications itemwise (he also gets aura a bit later).
It also shows the potential of the new int-gain from aura, he has like 116 int at lvl 25, which means that he got 32! int from it.

Note:Feel free to send me some replays where this build is used


8. Credits

My spectial thanks goes out to FrozenStorm, helping me with speech and spelling.
(u maybe mention that english is not my native language)
And to the guys in the forums giving me critique to optimize that guide.

This is my first guide, i'd like to see many comments with things i could do better
So i hope you are having fun reading it.

Issues with my section seperators may be caused by screen resolution.
(im working with 1280x1024)

Silencer Changes, Version 6.61

* Silencer: Transferred Glaive of Wisdom's secondary effect of +1/-1 Intelligence from hero kills to Last Word. If an enemy hero dies under the Last Word effect, that hero will lose 1 intelligence and you will gain 1 intelligence.
* Silencer: Increased Last Word AoE from 700 to 900
* Rebalanced Curse of the Silent from 10/20/30/40 HP and 5/10/15/20 mana per second for 10 seconds to 50 HP and 25 mana for 2/4/6/8 seconds.
* Bottle: Usage no longer removes Curse of the Silent.

=> YES!
we have 900!!! yrd permanent AoE Silence + Faster Curse Damage.
This will fit very good with our strategy.
Even if the Damage is the same, it will drain the enemys health and mana very fast now, which forces our opponents to make a decision even faster.
This should also mean that we dont have to kill that hero by ourself, it has just to be in 900 yrd range from you.

€dited: Skills and Build order a bit to take full benefits of the changes.
Note: Builds with new Last Word advantage arent final.

It does work in DotA2 too

so far

Nortrom the Silencer
Author: ScarPe
Map Vers.: 6.61b


Nortrom - The Silencer

Date Posted: 07/02/09
Last Comment:16/12/2012
Total Votes: 177
Current Rating: 8.29
Views: 376026

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