The Heroes in Dota 2 - An Introductory Guide for Shadow Fiend
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Most Dota 2 players love to play either the mid laner hero or the safe-lane carry. The main reason behind this is that they believe those heroes are the ones that bring more weight to the game. While this is true up to a point, the support heroes also play a vital part in Dota 2, and in most cases, they have an even more significant impact. However, if you are one of those "mid or feed" players, you will find this article very interesting.
Also, you can visit the live stream of Kyiv Dota 2 Major, despite the fact that SF isn't a current meta leader, there's always a chance that the pros will pick him and showcase its gameplay.
Today, we will take a closer look at one of Dota 2's most recognizable heroes - Shadow Fiend. Let's see what does this hero does, what items do you need to buy, and, most importantly - which heroes to be careful of.
The basics of Shadow Fiend
Nevermore (SF's DotA name) is a hero who is capable of doing insane amounts of damage, both with right clicks and with his spells. He is an agility based unit that plays nearly exclusively in the mid lane. Of course, it is possible to see him elsewhere as well, but that rarely happens.
These are Shadow Fiend's spells:
- Shadowraze - this is SF's main nuke that does a lot of damage and has a pretty low cooldown. It can be used as a flash-farming tool and a deadly weapon to kill the other mid laner. However, this spell has a couple of twists to it that you need to know. First, when you level up Shadowraze, you get the same period three times. At first, it might seem a bit confusing, but they basically all do the same, with the exception of their range. Each Shadowraze has a different range, which means you have to use it according to the situation.
- Necromastery - this is Nevermore's most signature spell that "captures the souls of those who die." In other words, you will gain + 2 damage for every creep you kill, and + 22 damage. However, this number is only possible if you scale up your Necromastery. This spell is also upgradable with an Aghanim's scepter by increasing its capacity. This results in more damage in total because you will catch more souls.
- Presence of the dark lord - this is another passive skill that reduces the armor of SF's enemies. There is a talent that allows this aura to effect builds, which makes it extremely useful when pushing.
- Requiem of Souls - this is one of strongest AoE spells in the game that can deal up to 3000 damage, given the circumstances. When used, Shadow Fiend starts channeling it for a second and then releases a massive blast of the souls that he has, damaging everything on the way. Also, this spell causes all enemies to run towards away from it in fear for a couple of seconds. This allows him to land his Shadow Razes for even extra damage.
Items and Counters
When it comes down to items, there are two ways in which you can play this hero. One of them is to focus on Magical damage, whereas the other one is mainly related go Physical damage. Both builds work fine, even though the "caster SF" is a little bit more popular because he comes online a lot faster. In the end, make sure to choose the proper build for your current game.
Without further ado, here are some of SF's most popular items:
- Shadow Blade - this is an easy and efficient way for this fragile hero to escape from death. Usually, players rush to buy this item because it gives them a lot of flexibility. You can avoid, chase, and even use it to cast the perfect ultimate. However, it can easily be countered with just a Dust of Appearance, so keep that in mind.
- Black King Bar - another must, regardless of which build you opt for. This item allows SF to freely (in most cases) cast his ultimate. Additionally, it also provides a stable form of protection because he is very vulnerable to magical damage.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity - a trendy choice for the Caster SF's, this item allows him to escape and land those perfect ultimates. What's more, it also provides the much-needed mana regen, which is very important for this hero.
- Manta Style - a common choice for right-click SF because it gives him movement speed, survivability, and also damage. However, it is a relatively expensive item, so you can usually get this during the late game.
As for the counters, pretty much every single hero that has some sort of burst is a potential counter. Nevermore has one of the lowest natural strength stats in Dota 2, which makes him extremely squishy, especially early on. As if that was not enough, he also does not have any form of escape. Here are a couple of heroes that can really make his life a living hell:
- Skywrath Mage - this is one of the biggest nukers and a hero that can easily crush and SF player during the laning stage. Sure, he is not that efficient later on but that won't be needed if he snowballs from the beginning.
- Templar Assassin - one of Nevermore's arch-nemesis, TA is more than capable of bringing down the mighty Fiend. She does tons of damage and has a way to protect herself from the deadly Shadowrazes.
- Slark - this annoying little fella is a huge pain to deal with, but this is especially true for Shadow Fiend. With no natural escape mechanism, the only way to survive against Slark is to get a BKB or Eul's because otherwise, you will die very fast..