I have decided to write a guide for the Shadowfiend because he is one of my favorite heroes, and in my opinion, very hard to play. His primary nuke can be devastating, his Necromastery can destroy last hit depending heroes and his ultimate also can be devastating. Now that sounds a little bit to imbalanced, but it isnt. Shadowraze definitely requires some skill(although not as much as most think), Necromastery requires some serious last hit skills and his ultimate is only useful if timed correctly and if you are able to use it. His ultimate needs an item. Let it be Lothar’s Edge or Black King Bar. The Shadowfiend should be played as a carry hero, so farming and staying alive are very important for him.
Gives the Shadow Fiend the power to desecrate regions in front of him at varying distances.
Level 1 - 75 damage
Level 2 - 150 damage
Level 3 - 225 damage
Level 4 - 300 damage
Cooldown: 10 seconds.
Level 1: 75 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
Level 2: 75 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
Level 3: 75 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
Level 4: 75 mana, 10 sec cooldown.
Whenever the Shadow Fiend kills a target, he stores the unfortunate soul inside of him. For each stored soul he gains 2 bonus damage until his own death releases half of them from bondage.
Level 1 - 16 damage limit.
Level 2 - 30 damage limit.
Level 3 - 46 damage limit.
Level 4 - 60 damage limit.
Presence of the Dark Lord
The presence of such a horrible creature terrifies nearby enemies, reducing their armor.
Level 1 - 1 armor reduction.
Level 2 - 2 armor reduction.
Level 3 - 3 armor reduction.
Level 4 - 4 armor reduction.
Requiem of Souls
Summons evil spirits around you dealing damage to units in the area. Number of spirits is related to the number of souls stored and the movement/damage reduction is related to the distance from the Shadow Fiend. Lowers movement speed and damage of nearby units. The closer the units are the greater the effect.
Cooldown: 120/110/100 seconds.
Level 1: 150 mana, 120 sec cooldown.
Level 2: 175 mana, 110 sec cooldown.
Level 3: 200 mana, 100 sec cooldown.
Level 1. Necromastery
Level 2 and 3. Shadowraze
Level 4. Necromastery
Level 5. Shadowraze
Level 6. Necromastery
Level 7. Shadowraze
Level 8. Necromastery
Level 9. Presence of the Dark Lord
Level 10 and 11. Requiem of Souls
Level 12 - 14. Presence of the Dark Lord
Level 15. Stats
Level 16. Requiem of Souls
Level 17 - 25. Stats
Getting Necromastery at level 1 is a must, but you can switch the order of Necromastery and Shadowraze thereafter. It depends on your lane control. If you aren’t able to get any creeps, level Shadowraze as soon as possible. If you just have too few damage to do anything against your enemy, level Shadowraze. If your opponent isn’t in your lane quite a while (example: when you solo Beastmaster, he ganks a lot) level Necromastery.
You can get Requiem of Souls at level 9, and Presence of the Dark Lord at 10, it doesn’t matter at all.
This build is the cookie cutter build, the build that always should be used. Shadowraze is your primary weapon of achieving lane control, but don’t underestimate Necromastery. Requiem of Souls is a good ultimate, yet not so devastating as many think. At level 1, it sucks, it deals less damage then Shadowraze then so you’d better use that mana for Shadowraze.
This actually is the main reason why i decided to write this guide. So many items work on the Shadowfiend. I think the best idea to get to a decent item build is thinking in steps, so let’s start:
The very first step is buying 2 Circlets and 2 sets of Tango’s, that is for me the ideal start on the Nevermore.
Buy Bottle. For a hero who always should solo mid this will always remain the best item. It establishes your lane control. Get it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, KTHX.
Buy Boots of Speed.
Lothar’s Edge or Black King Bar? In the previous version, you should always get Dagger. It owned. Nowadays, it has been nerfed, and Lothar’s has been buffed. However, Lothar’s provides little in teambattles, in my opinion. However, it also depends a lot on your line-up. Against an line-up with Beastmaster and Magnus, BkB has very little use, since both ultimates go trough BkB.
Anyway, get one of these items as soon as possible, just after Boots of Speed.
In my opinion, staying alive is the MOST important factor for a carry hero. So in my opinion, Bracers are almost always preferable over Wraith Bands. But for 70% it is personal preference. So now use your 2 Circlets that you have already bought to finish your Bracers/Wraith Bands. If you go for Treads, you only have 2 slots left (Power Treads, TP-scroll, Bottle, BkB/Lothar’s), so you should buy 2 of them. With Boots of travel, you have 3 slots left, so get 3 of them.
Boots of Travel or Power Treads? In this version, my opinion goes for Power Treads. Boots of Travel is more farm orientated. It mostly depends on the current game. Are we losing, need i to get powerful fast? Get Power Treads. Do we have 4 (early game) ganks heroes, do i need to be the powerful one later? Get Boots of Travel. Again, my opinion goes for Power Treads, but for a more farm orientated game, go for Boots of Travel. If you go Power Treads, you should get or a AGI Treads, or STR Treads. My vote again goes for STR Treads. REMEMBER: When going for Power Treads, ALWAYS CARRY A TP-SCROLL, I REPEAT, ALWAYS CARRY A TP-SCROLL. With that being said, remember that Power Treads takes two slots(Treads + Scroll(s)). Anyways, extremely late game, always get Boots of Travel. It saves you a slot +it makes you able to teleport anywhere on the map where a creep is, that ability is invaluable.
So you have finished what i call the core build, so what now? In the earlier versions, Skadi was the shit. In the newer versions, Skadi is just too slow. Skadi is an EXCELLENT item on Nevermore, don’t get me wrong, but i think it is too slow. Yet if you are farming extremely well, and if you got Boots of Travel, Skadi still is an excellent choice. Anyways, i think it is too slow so you’d better move on to other items. In my opinion, the very two best items after the core build are Stygian Desolator and Helm of the Dominator. As you notice, they both are Orbs, so you cannot get them both. They both are cheap (the other even MUCH cheaper), and they both give you mid game bonuses. Stygian isn’t one of the best very late game items, so you should buy it before the 40 min mark. Stygian is also a lot more expensive. So you should get Stygian if you are farming decently well mid game, and you need some quick assistance to your team (if your team does (really) fine, get Skadi) get Stygian. However, if your team does need quick(er) assistance, and you aren’t farming that well get Helm of the Dominator. Other items like Mjollnir and Butterfly own, but they take TOO long to farm and don’t give any survivability unlike Skadi. (My opinion goes for Stygian)
An other advantage of Helm of the Dominator is that it can be upgraded to Satanic, which is one of the power items very late game.
On a further note, Skadi leaves the path open for other orb effects like Lightning, unlike Stygian and HotD.
You won’t have enough item slots, you should sell a Bracer/Band or Bottle by now. I would go for selling Bottle.
Buy Butterfly. This item is the shit by now. It not only gives you tremendous DPS, it also helps a lot against heroes like Mirana and Terrorblade by now. Again you won’t have enough item slots, sell a Bracer/Band or Bottle now.
Filling the last slots. If you went Skadi, you should buy a Mjollnir or a Satanic. If you went Helm of the Dominator, you should finish Satanic. With Stygian, you should go for Buriza by now. Again you won’t have enough item slots, sell a Bracer/Band or Bottle now.
If you went Boots of Travel, you will have one slot (semi) free. With Skadi and Helm of the Dominator, get Buriza. With Stygian, get Heart of Terrasque.
If you went Power Treads, sell it and get Boots of Travel.
If you went Power Treads and you sold it by now, repeat step 10.
The Shadowfiend should be played as a carry hero, so farming and staying alive are very important for him.