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Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Necrophos icon.png Necrophos​ is a highly survivable intelligence hero whose power scale with how long he survives in a fight and eventually how long the game becomes due to his capability of taking out crucial targets and pro-longing their death with his ultimate Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​. Despite having a heal in his kit, Necrophos is not supportive by nature and should not be used as one as for a support, healing is all he can contribute and he is not that good at it.
Pros Cons
  • Deceptively durable when played correctly.
  • Very effective in any teamfight, especially long ones.
  • Fairly straightforward with his spells, making him easy to play.
  • Can lengthen respawn times of key enemy Heroes, or those that bought back.
  • Slightly item dependent.
  • Not naturally durable.
  • Not too reliable escape mechanism.

Durable Caster[edit | edit source]

Necrophos is most effective when he stands in the middle of a fight, thus, in the front line. In early game, Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ can turn small skirmishes in Necrophos's team favor as it bolster his allies while wither his enemies away. Later, when Mekansm icon.png Mekansm is obtained, Necrophos can effectively swing a losing fight back to his favor immediately combining Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ with Mekansm icon.png Mekansm for massive AoE healing. Due to Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ low cooldown and how quickly Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​ can tick away affected enemies' health, Necrophos can slowly and eventually shift the balance of health between his team and the opponents to his side, take away an important member of his enemies' team with Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ and win the fight. Despite being a front-line caster, Necrophos should never be the center of attention as he is naturally squishy and can only out survived his opponents when a fight is dragged long enough for him to take advantage of the weakened enemies.

Mekansm icon.png Mekansm is crucial for this build as it provide the much needed survivability for Necrophos. The earlier you get Mekansm icon.png Mekansm, the better.

A Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger or Force Staff icon.png Force Staff can be obtained to cover Necrophos weak mobility and allow him to quickly position himself after his team initiation or to escape a losing fight.

Should Necrophos be noticed and frequently focused in teamfight, consider to get Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail and/or Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb to temporally divert his enemies' attention.

It is better to get armor/resistance items like Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight or Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard over flat HP bonuses like Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque due to how Effective HP work with healing.

Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter may be considered for a shorter cooldown and often useage during a teamfight.

Durable Caster style is effective for early 4-5 man pushing, provided that Mekansm icon.png Mekansm is obtained early enough.

Being a Durable Caster is standard for Necrophos and should be used as the first step of playing Necrophos before considering other styles.

Heavy Nuker[edit | edit source]

With Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ Necrophos can nuke an important target into smithereens immediately when a fight begin with the help of Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​, Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon and/or Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade. When Necrophos successfully pulls off a combo off Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ > Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade > Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon > Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ (note: Reaper's Scythe has 1.5 second delay before damaging the target, thus, all abilities cast after Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ must be fit within this time window) he can take out most heroes. Heavy Nuker Necrophos is very aggressive but also extremely squishy as his only way to survive is to make use of Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ by killing his opponents as fast as he can.

Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger and/or Force Staff icon.png Force Staff must be obtained to cover Necrophos weak mobility and allow him to position himself properly to surprise and pick off important target, shadowblade and silveredge is possible for escape and works well with radiance

A Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon and/or Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade are core for this playstyle as Necrophos cannot effectively burst a target by himself without any help.

Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter must be considered for this build, more than Durable Caster style as it expands the 1 hit KO threshold (from 40% health to 47% without any other resistance items).

Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb is also crucial as double Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ with Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter can single handedly win a game by taking out 2 important targets like carry or semi-carry or just to pick off an important core for a final push.

Ability Builds[edit | edit source]

Generic Necrophos
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18
Death Pulse icon.png Heartstopper Aura icon.png Death Pulse icon.png Ghost Shroud icon.png Death Pulse icon.png Reaper's Scythe icon.png Death Pulse icon.png Ghost Shroud icon.png Ghost Shroud icon.png Ghost Shroud icon.png Talent icon.png Reaper's Scythe icon.png Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura icon.png Talent icon.png Heartstopper Aura icon.png Reaper's Scythe icon.png

Talents[edit | edit source]

Hero Talents
-1s Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ Cooldown 25 +400 Health
+10% Magic Resistance 20 +5% Spell Amplification
+20 Movement Speed 15 +6 All Stats
+6 Strength attribute symbol.png Strength 10 +40 Damage
  • The attack damage is added as bonus attack damage, and therefore does not benefit illusions.
  • The magic resistance stacks multiplicatively with other sources of magic resistance.
  • Upgrading health increases maximum health capacity and keeps the current health percentage.

Tips & Tactics[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

  • Necrophos is countered in lane by any hero with high health regeneration, such as Dragon Knight icon.png Dragon Knight​ and Quas-focused Invoker icon.png Invoker​, or a hero with lifesteal capabilities; because he relies on inflicting constant, gradual damage with Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ and Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​. Heroes with these attributes will resist this in lane against Necrophos, keeping high enough health to prevent death by Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​.
  • Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb combined with an Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter will greatly increase your chance at winning the match if it reaches the late game. If you manage to kill 2 enemy heroes in succession, the sheer duration of their respawn time might be enough to decide the match, more so if the victims are key heroes in their lineup.
  • Necrophos icon.png Necrophos​ can very easily be built as a tank and in most circumstances should be; you may gear for strength (he does not need excessive intelligence as his basic attacks are not too useful, and Death Pulse refunds mana for each kill he gets). The reason he is usually built as a tank is because he needs to stay alive in violent encounters to heal his allies (a good enemy team will focus him first), and also because the longer he is alive for, the more damage his aura will do and the better chance he has of landing a crucial Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​.
  • Although it may be wise to build some mana pool increasing items such as Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots, Point Booster or other Intelligence items may do so anyway; because if Necrophos has used all his abilities and failed to get a kill, he would wind up and be unable to cast any more of his spells. Moreover, if his auto attack is not too great, getting last hits to regenerate some mana can be problematic.
    • Utility items, such as Mekansm icon.png Mekansm, Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight and Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves are more useful for Necrophos, because he can inflict constant damage with Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​ simply by avoiding death and synergizes with his Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ to keep his team alive. In that sense, Crimson Guard icon.png Crimson Guard is also a viable luxury item for Utility Necrophos as it will greatly increase his durability while also providing a useful team ability.
  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance is a viable item for Necrophos because of his durability. This also synergizes well with Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​ making prolonged team-fights a dangerous prospect for the enemy team.
  • Necrophos is effective against invisible heroes that tend to stalk their prey as his Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​ does damage while they are in stealth, his Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ hits invisible units, and his Reaper's Scythe will prevent them from escaping via invisibility before they die. He is also very good against heroes with abilities that deplete their own health such as Pudge icon.png Pudge​, Slark icon.png Slark​, and Centaur Warrunner icon.png Centaur Warrunner​ (Huskar icon.png Huskar​ is an exception since his Berserker's Blood will almost always prevent you from killing him with Reaper's Scythe), but Necrophos should first be durable enough to take on these kinds of risk/reward heroes.
  • Necrophos' role is notoriously debated; while his abilities appear supportive at their core, his Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ is a tool used to secure kills only for himself (much like Axe icon.png Axe​'s Culling Blade). This is atypical for a standard support hero, because supports usually attempt to confer gold and experience to the team's carry. The duplicity of his carry/support role stems from his unique stance in encounters; his kit is largely supportive until an enemy hero grows weak, at which point Necrophos has the capacity to kill said enemy himself. He is best viewed as a utility focused semi-carry, rather than a full-fledged support hero.
  • Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon is more useful on Necrophos than other heroes because it not only deals burst damage, but also allows you to quickly deal more damage from your ultimate.
  • Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade can be used in conjunction with Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ and Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ to deal significantly more damage. If you are also in a possession of a high level Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon, a quick Reaper's Scythe to Ether Blast to Energy Burst combo can decimate full health enemy heroes with total health points lower than 2000, assuming they have the standard 25% magic resistance.
    • It is worth noting that Ether Blast temporarily increases the magical damage dealt per missing health from the standard 0.4/0.6/0.9 to 0.56/0.84/1.26, thus also increases the instant-kill threshold.
    • Assuming a level 5 Energy Burst and a level 3 Reaper's Scythe with an Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter is used against an enemy with 25% magic resistance while being ethereal, you will deal 840 damage from Dagon and 1058.4 damage from Reaper's Scythe, to a total of 1898.4 damage (not including damage from Ether Blast and Reaper's Scythe damage due to it). If the match reaches the late-game, you still can burst down a full health non-magic-immune enemy carry with standard magic resistance during teamfights, potentially turning it into your team's favor.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core is a viable item if you plan to do an aggressive approach as your Death Pulse will heal Necrophos for 130 + 50 per hero hit and reduce its cooldown to 3.75 seconds. If you also manage to kill an enemy with Reaper's Scythe, the massive damage coupled with the heal from Death Pulse will in some cases be enough to heal Necrophos from critically low health to full health. However, it is advised that you build a Bloodstone too because the Octarine Core will increase your mana consumption and is a lot less effective than Bloodstone at restoring mana.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse[edit | edit source]

  • As Necrophos's survivability heavily relies on his ability to spam Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ you need to be wary of heroes with silence such as Drow Ranger icon.png Drow Ranger​, Silencer icon.png Silencer​ and Death Prophet icon.png Death Prophet​. Ancient Apparition icon.png Ancient Apparition​ can also greatly cripple you with Ice Blast icon.png Ice Blast​ as this ability prevents health from regenerating for an extended period of time.
  • With a Bloodstone icon.png Bloodstone, he can keep the pressure up at the enemy lanes and prevent the enemy team from farming. If you can get it early enough, you can choose to build it before Mekansm icon.png Mekansm and/or Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight because it will drastically improve your survivability and so that you can store enough charges.
  • The passive portion of the ability applies to and is triggered by any kills made by Necrophos. The killing blow does not need to be with Death Pulse specifically.

Ghost Shroud icon.png Ghost Shroud[edit | edit source]

  • Ghost Shroud applies an Ethereal status, disarming and rendering Necrophos unable to perform basic attacks.
    • Spells and abilities that apply a similar Ethereal status does not multiplicatively stack with one another, and only the strongest spell-resistance reducing modifier is applied.
    • Ghost Shroud shields you entirely from physical damage, but increases your vulnerability to magical damage. Be wary of the circumstances before casting this spell.
  • Any form of health and mana recovery is amplified, so it works with the health and mana restoration of spells like Shadow Wave icon.png Shadow Wave​ and items like Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots.
    • Ghost Shroud only amplifies any health and mana restoration that Necrophos receives from all sources and does not actually amplify the health and mana restoration of his other spells.
      • This means that while under the effects of Ghost Shroud, Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​ will have a greater healing effect upon Necrophos, but Death pulse itself is not amplified and will not heal allies for a greater amount than stated in the spell description.
  • Ghost Shroud applies an area move speed slow centred around Necrophos, similar to Degen Aura icon.png Degen Aura​, making it a good skill to chase down heroes or to impede their own chasing efforts upon you or your allies.
  • Ghost Shroud is immediately dispelled when Necrophos is rendered spell immune, so it cannot be used in conjunction with Repel icon.png Repel​ or Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar.
  • Items and spells can be used and activated without causing Ghost Shroud to be dispelled (with the exception of Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar).

Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura[edit | edit source]

  • Heartstopper Aura in the early game allows Necrophos icon.png Necrophos​ to harass enemy heroes by simply standing near them. Its massive radius will usually cause heroes to run out of their early game regeneration items quite fast.
    • Note however that the aura affects enemy creeps, and thus putting points in it will push the lane. Should you lane with a farm-dependent carry, it is unwise to push as it makes their farm more difficult and leaves both of you more vulnerable to ganks. Putting one or at the most two points in it is appropriate for early game.
  • If you're against a defensive tri-lane or playing as an Offlaner and the enemies in the lane lack disables, maxing Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​ first is a viable option if the enemy chooses to play passively. The massive degeneration will make it hard for the enemy to farm and in some cases they might ignore Necrophos until it is too late and their health is low enough for a kill with Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ or make them vulnerable to a gank. The same can be said if you are in a defensive trilane and the enemy has a tanky offlaner.
  • Don't neglect to use basic attacks to harass the enemy during laning phase. Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​ already negates their regeneration or at least hinder it significantly if they bought/rushed health regen items like Ring of Regen icon.png Ring of Regen and Ring of Health icon.png Ring of Health in anticipation. Even attacking them once in a while goes a long way because they can't readily recuperate the loss of health and will eventually force them to use their consumables or retreat.
  • If you are going for an early push strategy, an early Headdress icon.png Headdress in conjunction with your aura will work wonders and will make the lane a battle of attrition that they will lose from either using too much regen items or being too afraid to last hit. Unless of course, they have a naturally high health regen.
  • Due to the large range of Heartstopper Aura, heroes that practice Armlet of Mordiggian (Inactive) icon.png Armlet of Mordiggian toggling will be forced to stop toggling below 450 health at teamfights as turning off Unholy Strength will reduce their health to 1 and will die from Heartstopper Aura immediately after. If you are also a support and is not hard pressed to last hit, the range will also allow you to hide in trees to harass the enemy heroes in the lane without them knowing.

Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe[edit | edit source]

  • At level 3, Reaper's Scythe will kill targets at 40% or less health. Remember to factor in magic resistance from items and abilities before you attempt to execute an enemy Hero with it.
    • The Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ instant-kill health threshold, with the base 25% magic resist factored in, can be calculated by multiplying the enemy max health with the constants: 3/13, 9/29, or 27/67 for each respective level of the ultimate.
  • The philosophy behind Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ is that (owing to Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse​) it will return its mana expenditure if you secure a kill.
    • Due to the damage mechanics of the spell, many player would preferably want to secure a kill in order to recoup the mana spent in casting it. However, there are several situations in which this ability should be used purely for its stun, such as interrupting channeled ultimates (such as those belonging to Pudge icon.png Pudge​ or Enigma icon.png Enigma​) or preventing an enemy hero from escaping.
      • Take note that the stun goes through magic immunity, although the damage will not.
  • Keep in mind that Reaper's Scythe is not a channeling ability, meaning you can move the moment you have cast it. As such, it can be used to escape ganks and chases.
    • Because you can cast during the stun, you can use it to initiate on an enemy hero to keep them from escaping or using Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar assuming you can cause enough damage in 1.5 seconds. You can instant-kill with this tactic if you are paired with a high burst damage hero such as Huskar icon.png Huskar​ or Lina icon.png Lina​ or Lion icon.png Lion​, or if you are in possession of a high level Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon and an Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade.
  • Remember that this ultimate adds additional time to its victim's respawn timer In later stages of the game this can prove very important in removing key enemy heroes from the fight for a very long time.
    • If the situation permits, you should focus on using Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ only on the same enemy (preferably the carry) throughout the match. The extension of the respawn time will add up and will cause a significant reduction to the enemy's farm. To put it into perspective, if you manage to kill the same enemy hero twice, it will already make their farm a minute late more than usual if killed by anybody else. This will cause heroes who depend on snowballing early like Pudge icon.png Pudge​ to become almost useless in mid to late game as their chance to snowball will be greatly reduced, or make the enemy carry under-prepared to tackle your team's carry hero.

Items[edit | edit source]

Starting items:

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick is bought because of the regeneration it provides against enemies who spam their spells. It's also used to make a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed make you go faster and can be upgraded.
  • Headdress icon.png Headdress gives more attributes and more health regeneration. It's used to make a Mekansm.

Core items:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand provides you with attributes and a useful ability to regenerate mana and health.
  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads give you more durability if left on Strength, or more mana if switched to Intelligence. The attack speed makes it easier for you to weaken an enemy, and then kill him with Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter reduces the cooldown of Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​ dramatically, while giving nice attributes, health, and mana.
  • Point Booster icon.png Point Booster gives you some very cost and slot-effective health and mana. It can then be left as a stand-alone item (a "casual" point booster) or be used to build an Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter or a Soul Booster icon.png Soul Booster, which can then be built into either a Bloodstone icon.png Bloodstone or an Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll is a casual purchasable for every hero, whether to escape a gank or assist in one.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger solve his mobility problem and will allow you to hide before entering teamfights as to not be initiated on by the other team since Necrophos would probably be the first target because of his sustain and proper positioning could make the difference between saving one of your team mates or being able to cast Reaper's Scythe on the enemy carry. It will also allow you to play more aggressively and give you a proper escape mechanism instead of just walking away.

Situational items:

  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff may be a better alternative, as it gives Intelligence (therefore, more mana), a little bit more regeneration to help with sustaining yourself, and gives a quick method of movement even while under attack. Other uses also involve using it on allies to save them, or on ill-positioned enemies to perhaps push them closer to your team (or yourself) to be focused on.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos is also highly viable for Necrophos. It gives stats that Necrophos very much needs: Health, Intelligence, and a long range slow with a short cooldown, allowing you and your team to catch up and let you cast your Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe​, or make the hero stay within Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura​ longer which all can possibly secure you a kill. The active also can be used for escape or even buy enough time for your other abilities to be off cooldown or your teammate to arrive.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail can be a wise choice if Necrophos already has other items to make him more lasting in teamfights. It gives a little boost of Intelligence, more Armor to add to your durability, and since Necrophos might usually need to be in the middle of everything, the active can dissuade enemies from focusing you down, giving them the risk of putting themselves in range for your ultimate.
  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm grants more attributes, more armor, and more health regeneration, making you harder to kill. Its active ability is useful both for supporting and to save yourself from danger.
  • Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves would be the better choice for supporting your team since you would have already built a Mekansm icon.png Mekansm. Along with Death Pulse, keeping your team alive will be considerably easier as well as providing mana. Consider building Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots instead of Power Treads if you are planning to build this.
  • Bloodstone icon.png Bloodstone makes you tankier and gives much more mana, making you almost unkillable and able to spam your Death Pulse if you stay behind your allies, thanks to the regeneration it provides.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse gives good attributes and mana regeneration. Its disable makes it easier to kill a powerful carry or an annoying support/initiator.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard is a good item for teamfights: the armor and the aura it provides will discourage the enemy carry from attacking you, while its active ability places a slowing debuff on enemies, so that you'll be able to chase them and finish them off more easily.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight gives much more health regeneration and increases your magic resistance. Its ability is useful if the enemy team has a great initiator: with this item you'll be able to partially counter him.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque makes you a lot more tanky, increasing your health by 1150 health. A very important item to obtain if the enemy has highly mobile heroes who also deal high damage, as it will allow you to sustain their attacks for longer giving you a better chance of escaping.
  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance synergizes well with Heartstopper Aura. Acquiring this will make your presence very strong during teamfights and help keep your lanes clear of enemy creeps due to the combined pure and magic damage. The 17% miss debuff is also a nice compliment to your already dangerous being.
  • Boots of Travel 1 icon.png Boots of Travel can be bought to make you faster and able to push the lanes more effectively, thanks to your Death Pulse.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core lowers the cooldown of Reaper's Scythe, allowing for more frequent kills and more downtime for the enemy team. In conjunction with Ghost Shroud when activated, it provides a potentially large heal for the kills with Reaper's Scythe and makes Death's Pulse's healing more effective, immensely increasing Necrophos' longevity. If purchased with Radiance, you can even heal every second.
  • Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb should be picked up if Necrophos finds himself to be a high priority target for the enemy. Since Necrophos is commonly built to be durable, he will be frequently seen in the front lines, thus letting Lotus Orb be used to its full potential.

References[edit | edit source]