Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nevermore the Shadow Fiend Item Build

Nevermore Guide & Build, the Shadow Fiend Strategy. Nevermore is a great AoE carry who collect souls to increase his attack damage and maximize his ultimate: Requiem of Souls. This post contains Nevermore the Shadow Fiend guide, item build, skill build and strategy.
  A demon of the burning legion so abhorred that he makes the skin of even his fellow demons crawl, Nevermore is a creature of the shadows that consumes the souls of those around him. When the Shadow Fiend comes forth to battle, he augments his power with the souls he has consumed, bearing down on his enemies with spiritually enhanced attacks and powerful spiritual blasts. The Shadow Fiend is a terrifying opponent whom few have survived, and those who have perished under his tyranny have faced the most despicable fate of all.

Strength - 15 + 2
Agility - 20 + 2.4 (Primary)
Intelligence- 18 + 2

Base damage 35-41
Attack range of 500
Base Armor 1.9
Movement speed of 300

 Shadow Raze (Z,X,C)

Gives the Shadow Fiend the power to desecrate regions in front of him at varying distances.

Level 1 - deals 75 damage
Level 2 - deals 150 damage
Level 3 - deals 225 damage
Level 4 - deals 300 damage

Mana Cost: 75
Cooldown: 10
Distances: 200(Z) / 450(X) / 700(C)

Shadowraze costs very little mana compared to the amount of damage it does. The Cooldown on each Shadowraze are separate which means Nevermore actually has three nukes on his back. This means he can deal a maximum of 900 damage (675 if magic resistance is considered) to a single target in a very short amount of time which makes Nevermore very dangerous indeed especially in the early game, when very few heroes have more than 900 hp.


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

Another one of Nevermore’s abilities that enables him to become a potent force in the middle game, Necromastery is directly linked to his Ultimate, Requiem of Souls and gives his massive DPS (damage-per-second, or just ‘damage’) advantage over other heroes in the middle game.

Unfortunately, Necromastery loses a lot of its effectiveness towards the late-game, as DPS-carries are mostly farmed up and the extra 60 damage become rather minuscule. It is very important, as a Nevermore user, to maintain that ‘edge’ through the middle game as Nevermore tends to be most effective during the early-middle to the middle-late game.

Presence of the Dark Lord

The presence of such a horrible creature terrifies nearby enemies, reducing their armor.

Level 1 - 2 armor reduction
Level 2 - 3 armor reduction
Level 3 - 4 armor reduction
Level 4 - 5 armor reduction

Presence of the Dark Lord is best combined with Stygian Desolator as the armor-reduction becomes very effective against many spellcasters. In an armor-reduction team strategy (e.g. Nevermore with Vengeful Spirit, Slardar and Templar Assassin), Presence of the Dark Lord should definitely be skilled. Otherwise, stick with Stats, especially when the game is not going your way. Think about it this way: -5 armor, or a free Ultimate Orb? (Well, almost an Ultimate Orb anyway).

Requiem of Souls (R)

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.

Level 1 - 80 damage for each line, 15% reduction
Level 2 - 120 damage for each line, 15% reduction
Level 3 - 160 damage for each line, 15% reduction

Cooldown: 120/110/100
Mana Cost: 150/175/200

This skill can be used to initiate team battle. The closer Nevermore is to the target whilst he casts Requiem of Souls, the greater damage he unleashes upon that target. If correctly used, Requiem of Souls will create devastating damage in a team fight, especially when combined with items such as Kelen’s Dagger or Lothar Edge.

Shadow Fiend Skill Build

Level 1: Necromastery
Level 2: Shadow Raze
Level 3: Shadow Raze
Level 4: Necromastery
Level 5: Shadow Raze
Level 6: Necromastery
Level 7: Shadow Raze
Level 8: Necromastery
Level 9: Requiem of Souls
Level 10: Stats
Level 11: Requiem of Souls
Levels 12-15: Presence of the Dark Lord/Stats
Level 16: Requiem of Souls
Levels 17-21: Stats
Levels 22-25: Stats/Presence of the Dark Lord

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.

Item Build

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:
Step 1
The very first step is buying 2 Circlets and 2 sets of Tango’s, that is for me the ideal start on the Nevermore.
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Step 2
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.
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Step 3
Buy Boots of Speed.
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Step 4
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.
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Step 5
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.
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Step 6
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.
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Step 7
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.
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Step 8
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.
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Step 9
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.
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Step 10
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.
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Step 11
If you went Power Treads and you sold it by now, repeat step 10.
First off you should buy 2 Circlets of Nobility and 2 Set’s of Tangs. You don’t need very much early regeneration because you are going for Bottle anyway.
In 90% of all cases you should go solo mid. Solo mid is the most ideal lane for the Nevermore. He can farm there undisturbed and he can fight uphill to get the maximum out of his Razes and last hits.
The Shadowfiend has the potential of a great solo hero. Yet against some heroes, he is gonna lose horribly if not played extremely cautious. Your worst solo enemies are these, especially the first one;
Viper the Netherdrake
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Boush the Tinker
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Dual lanes, such as the Slayer and the Skeleton King
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Your best bet against these heroes is using Shadowraze © to it’s maximum. You can hit creeps at 900 range then (Raze has a 225 AoE if i remember correctly). A Viper cannot hit you from there. Remember when facing heroes as Viper, always wear a TP-Scroll, so you can always teleport back to base when you are getting Orb-owned.
The most important factors for carries are staying alive and FARM. Farm is possibly the most important thing in whole DotA, no hero can go without farm, and especially not carries. Normally i don’t point out “checkpoints” too much, but for a hero like Nevermore, the best farmer in the game, you really should have reached the 200 cs by the 50 minutes mark, preferably even a little sooner.
The things that “make” Nevermore is his ability to farm and his early lane control. He is one of the very few agility heroes that have such lane control. Yet don’t go too aggressive in your lane. Even with a hero with so potential, you should play “careful”. This all because you cannot afford to die. A 0-0 Nevermore with 100 cs does better in general than a 5-3 Nevermore with 70 cs.
Anyways, coming back to the things that make Nevermore, he isn’t naturally the most powerful carry, not by far. Any Terrorblade rapes Nevermore by the 60 min mark if they are almost equally farmed. But Nevermore can farm more than any other hero in the game because he has the potential of destroying creep waves in less than 3 seconds, over and over again. Of all carry heroes, Nevermore is probably the weakest, yet with his potential to farm, Nevermore suddenly gets a lot stronger. That is why Nevermore should always have the most creep score in the game. This is of course not always possible, but you should at least try to. For a comparison, if you have the same cs as a LightOfHeaven in any game, you are doing fine.
If you have chosen to get Boots of Travel, you must have a different play style then when you would have gone for Treads. With Boots of Travel you should always look for the spot in the map where there are a lot of creeps. Use your Razes to destroy the wave and take another wave. Then go back and get some neutrals and wait for your TP to cooldown again. Remember, don’t go in the dangerous spots unless you surely know that you cannot be ganked or that you can escape the gank. Always watch your mini map, not only to look for nice farm spots, but you should always know for 50% where the enemies are.
In team battles, it depends a lot on your items how to play. For example, you wait for the best time to use your Black King Bar. When magic immunity is activated, walk further in and make sure to kill at least one enemy support hero (Lina/Lesh/Lich/low HP heroes). Make sure you don’t die directly after the 9 second during magic immunity.
However, if you have Lothar’s, you must make sure they cannot spot you when you go invisible. So you depend more on your (supporting) allies that they can save your ass with Sentries for example.
When having Skadi, you can go LITTLE more aggressive in team battles, you have more EHP now.
Anyways, in general, make sure not to die in team battles, if you survive during it, you are doing fine. Preferably go stand behind trees, make sure you are attacking enemy heroes and get as much razes off as possible. Now your tanking ally should go in (Skelly/Sven for example). If you can THEN activate BkB and get Requiem of Souls off. When having Lothar’s you must initiate, however, you have to make sure your allies will go in after you so that you can back off a little.
You can in general playing carries like this: Always wear a TP-Scroll and farm and farm. Then you see your team is having a fight, and TP to your team. Rarely YOU should be the one looking for a gank. It’s ok to assist in ganks (although also not too much), but you’d better farm and only be there during important battles.
Early game, you should try to reach the maximum amount of souls as soon as possible, you can do this with last hit or with Shadowraze. Try to mix both methods to reach the best result. For me, early game is almost over when you have level 4 Shadowraze.
Mid game you SHOULD, so it goes as fast as possible, use 2 Razes to destroy a whole creep wave, i always do it like this: Attack a creep at maximum range with your normal attack. Then press C and then press X. If you want to save some mana, attack all melee creeps twice and the ranged creep(s) once, then use Shadowraze (X). If you want to save a lot of mana, just auto attack-last hit/last hit them. This isn’t very preferable since you are wasting your potential to farm then.
Late game comes when 2 Razes aren’t enough to destroy a whole wave. If you aren’t pushing (so intentionally farming) you must attack all creeps once, and then use press X and C. You also can attack all melee creeps twice and the ranged creeps once and then use Shadowraze (X), you will have enough damage for that by now. “Why shouldn’t i just use X and C first and then attack the remaining creeps?” I have done this for a long time, but after experience i noticed that you ALWAYS miss at least 2 creeps. With the same easiness (first attacking, then Razing) you will get all creeps, whole game long. For the same reason you shouldn’t use your 3 Razes.

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