Slark, the Escapee
The worst day of fishing is still better
than the best day of being dead.
This Forum Strategy Guide will explain Slark in a simplified format for DOTA 2. This is part one of the guide, and it focuses on playing as Slark, part two focuses on playing with Slark, and part three focuses on playing against Slark.
Slark is on the team! What items will he get?
Slark will buy a combination of these items at the beginning:
If Slark's not sure what he's getting himself into, he'll get a combination like this one:
Psst, this way.Slark is at the battlefield!
Time to spend skill points!
This is where things start to get tricky. Slark has found 5 distinctly different and distinctly successful ways to learn skills.
Slark is described only on his DOTA 2 card as 'escape' role,
meaning that for simplicity's sake, we will only consider
the 'Caster Killer' Slark's way of learning skills.
The Horrifying Phantom Strikes!
Level 1 - Dark Pact
Level 2 - Pounce
Level 3 - Dark Pact
Level 4 - Pounce
Level 5 - Dark Pact
Level 6 - Shadow Dance
Level 7 - Dark Pact
Level 8 - Pounce
Level 9 - Pounce
Level 10 - Essence Shift
If Slark fights against low health disablers, he becomes a great assassin. Jumping enemies and canceling curses, Slark explosively takes down his foes. Just when they think they're safe, he strikes again.
Some would argue that there are at least 2 exceptions that will cause Slark to choose Pounce at Level 1. If proceeding to the Hard Lane(Top Radiant, or Bottom Dire), Slark may get it to avoid being snuck up on and slaughtered by a surprise factor. Also, Slark may at the request of an ally support with a Pounce for an attempt at a First Blood.
Furthermore, taking Essence Shift at Level 1 and waiting at a rune point, looking for opponents to come and try to take the rune that is expected to spawn can land Slark an easy First Blood, and with the small possibility of even a Double Kill. Yet I must cease this digression lest this guide would become too complicated.
Slark is shopping!
What items will he purchase?
What items will he purchase?
Slark will likely buy 1 or 2 items in each section, if not more. A good Slark will always choose what is reasonable for the game he is in.
The Essence Eater runs rampant!
Level 11 - Essence Shift
Level 12 - Essence Shift
Level 13 - Essence Shift
Level 14 - Shadow Dance
Level 15 - Attribute Bonus
Level 16 - Shadow Dance
Levels beyond - Attribute Bonus
Slark by now has given serious thought to what items he'll be buying as he's maxing out both Essence Shift and Shadow Dance. The way his allies and opponents have been playing their heroes so far should have a great influence on his choices.
Now Slark's goal may shift somewhat. If the casters are not so easy to kill anymore, and his item choices aren't going to solve the problem, the next thing he'll do is change his role.
While and helped Slark to kill enemy casters, they may be purchasing items to increase their longevity. What's the solution? Slark shall destroy them with . Their longevity becomes Slark's greatest advantage.
Now, Slark will be aiming for gaining as much agility as possible, meaning that it is alright for him to let his enemies escape once he hits level 13. In other words, Slark keeps away from dying and his damage will rise with every attack on an enemy hero.
To this end, Slark may just keep out of sight and out of mind for fear of hard ganks in order to buy items to maximize agility gain. The more Slark is out of sight the faster he regenerates and the faster he moves around the map, thanks to . The quicker he is, the better he'll be. Slark will bait enemies into pushing recklessly and he'll respond by stealing their essence.
~TO BE CONTINUED~
◘A video Strategy Guide on YouTube for Slark(prior to his release to DOTA 2)
◘Replay Commentary of Slark's debute to DOTA 2
◘The YouTube recording of Slark's voice work in DOTA 2
◘The official DOTA 2 Learn Page for Slark.
◘DOTA 2 images provided by Dota 2 Wiki.
◘Hero Build for Slark in DOTA 2.