Slark the Nightcrawler is a melee agility hero that utilises his abilities to spring onto enemy heroes and slip out unhindered. He is a very mobile ganker, but remains attribute-wise below most other carries unless he is able to steal away attributes with his abilities. Once he does, though, only a few heroes can hope to be as fearsome as the Nightcrawler - extremely mobile to the point of ever-presence; his strikes only hitting harder and faster.
Slark can quickly leap forward onto enemies with Pounce to leash them and bind them from escaping. His Dark Pact releases a delayed purge that breaks even the most powerful disables. This gives him one of the most flexible abilities to start and end fights in the game. He is also capable of stealing attributes by attacking his victim to boost his own attack damage temporarily with Essence Shift which can rapidly shift engagements in his favor, even when merely performing hit-and-run maneuvers. Slark's ultimate, Shadow Dance, allows him to remain unseen even while attacking for a short duration and allows him to move quicker when not under the watch of enemy eyes to strike in and out of enemy ranks unhindered.
Bio[edit | edit source]
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Abilities[edit | edit source]
|After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging most negative debuffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 50% of the damage.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Damage Radius: 325
Effect Delay: 1.5
Total Damage: 75/150/225/300
- Dark Pact Interrupts Slark's channeling spells upon cast.
- Deals 7.5/15/22.5/30 damage within 325 radius in 0.1 second intervals, starting 1.5 seconds after cast.
- Slark himself takes 3.75/7.5/11.25/15 damage from Dark Pact in the same intervals.
- Applies a strong dispel on Slark in the same intervals, right after each of its damage instances.
- The self-inflicted damage can be reduced or amplified, but can never kill Slark.
- The visual effects and sounds during the 1.5 seconds delay is only visible and audible to allies.
- The visual effect of the damaging pulses are visible even when Slark is invisible.
- Dark Pact ends 2.5 seconds after cast, but ends instantly when Slark dies.
- Re-casting Dark Pact during the effect delay cancels the previous cast and starts a new one instead.
|Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with. That unit takes damage and is leashed to Slark, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark's landing position.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Leap Distance: 700
Latch Radius: 95
Leash Radius: 325
Leash Duration: 3.5
- Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933.33 for up to 0.75 seconds.
- Pounce disjoints projectiles upon cast.
- Always jumps for the full distance, unless an enemy hero gets within 95 radius of Slark during the jump.
- Can latch on enemy heroes up to 795 range away (700 max distance + 95 latch radius).
- Slark can turn, cast spells and use items during Pounce, but cannot attack.
- When latching on a unit, Slark is automatically ordered to attack the target.
- The more the leash gets stretched, the slower the affected unit can walk away from the center, eventually coming to a full stop. It directly affects the target's movement speed.
- Every other position changing effect, including spells like Blinding Light and Primal Roar can break the leash.
- When the leash expires while a position changing effect is ongoing, it instantly cancels the position changing effect.
- This goes for the following spells: Adaptive Strike, Blinding Light, Boulder Smash, Charge of Darkness, Deafening Blast, Flamebreak, Force Staff, Geomagnetic Grip, Greater Bash, Gust, Hookshot, Power Cogs, Primal Roar, Rolling Boulder, Tether, Timber Chain, Vacuum and Walrus Punch
- Pounce destroys trees within 100 radius around Slark upon landing.
|Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility.|
|All Attributes Lost per Attack: 1|
Agility Gained per Attack: 3
- Essence Shift steals attributes before attack damage is applied.
- Successive attacks do not refresh the duration of all stolen/lost attributes. Each stack has its own duration.
- The status buff and debuff icon show the number of current stacks and show the duration of the last stack.
- On each attack, the attacked hero loses 20 maximum health, 0.03 health regen, 0.14 armor, 1 attack speed, 12 maximum mana, 0.04 mana regen, 0.0625% spell damage and 1 attack damage.
- The current health and mana percentages stay equal. Does not directly reduce current health and mana.
- On each attack, Slark gains 0.42 armor, 3 attack speed and 3 attack damage.
- Essence Shift cannot reduce any attribute below 0. However, Slark continues to gain agility, even when the attacked hero has no more attributes left to steal.
- When Slark dies, he loses all stolen attributes, but the affected enemies do not get theirs back, and vice versa.
- Cannot steal attributes from illusions, but can from hero clones. Can steal from allies.
|When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming immune to detection. Attacking, casting spells, and using items will not reveal Slark. Passively, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Fade Time: 0
Move Speed Bonus: 30%/35%/40%
Max Health as Regen per Second: 3%/5%/7%
Active Duration: 4
- Shadow Dance interrupts Slark's channeling spells upon cast.
- Slark gains or loses the health regen and movement speed bonus 0.5 seconds after getting in or out of enemy vision, or casting Shadow Dance.
- If Slark is damaged by a neutral creep, the health regen and movement speed bonus are lost for 2 seconds.
- When casting Shadow Dance, he turns invisible and cannot be revealed by anything. However, the black cloud created is visible to enemies.
- When casting, Slark is guaranteed to regenerate 12%/20%/28% of his maximum health, if he does not get damaged by neutral creeps or is affected by Ice Blast or False Promise.
- Restores health in form of health regeneration, so it regenerates 0.3%/0.5%/0.7% of max health in 0.1 second intervals.
- Can possibly restore 100% of Slark's health on its own within 34/20/15 seconds.
- Unlike other active forms of invisibility, Shadow Dance does not allow Slark to walk through units.
Recommended items[edit | edit source]
- Getting a Stout Shield early in the game allows Slark to sustain more harassment from enemies and stay in lane longer. It can later be built into a Poor Man's Shield from the side-shop.
- Healing Salve and Tangoes can help Slark regenerate his health without the need of returning to base.
- Two Iron Branches provide good stats and can be built into a Magic Wand.
- Magic Stick can be crucial in many situations, giving a burst of mana and health when needed.
- Boots of Speed allow Slark to catch up to enemies and immobilize them with Pounce.
- Poor Man's Shield gives Slark agility points, therefore increasing his last-hitting and denying in lane. It also saves Slark from harassment in lane.
- An Orb of Venom is a cheap but powerful item to slow enemies and inflict damage overtime, giving an advantage to Slark's early ganks. It can later be built into a Eye of Skadi.
- Power Treads gives Slark attack speed and a boost to attributes that can be switched to survive teamfights or give him enough mana to use one of his abilities.
- Magic Wand is an upgrade to Magic Stick. Giving him more stats and opens up itemslots.
- Sange and Yasha works great in conjunction with Slark's skill set allowing him to easily chase and attack enemy heroes due to the passive maim. In addition to the slow, Sange and Yasha also provides additional move speed, attack speed, and a strength and agility boost to his attributes.
- Town Portal Scroll can allow Slark to arrive at teamfights faster, or help him escape in a pinch. Consider holding onto one for most of the game.
- Drum of Endurance provides Slark with attributes to improve his lackluster stat-growth while giving him extra movement speed and attack speed to help close the distance on foes. It can give him the early game advantage he needs to snowball.
- Black King Bar's spell immunity offers proctection from magic damage in team fights.It can make him almost invulnerable while under the effect of Shadow Dance.
- Butterfly offers bonus attack speed, armor, damage, and Agility, and its evasion gives him more survivability against right-click damage. It can be activated to provide a movement speed boost that makes chasing or escaping easier.
- Vladmir's Offering can be built for some stats and an aura that provides buffs such as lifesteal, mana regeneration and more to you and your teammates.
- Eye of Skadi grants Slark both incredible survivability and killing power. Its wealth of attributes provide Slark with HP, mana, armor, damage, and attack speed - all superb boosts to Slark's lackluster base attributes. Not to mention, its Unique Attack Modifier which slows enemies on-hit greatly helps Slark to stick to his targets. The effect also stacks with any lifesteal UAM.
- Shadow Blade provides a good source of attack speed and additional invisibility to improve your ability to gank and escape. It also synergizes very well with the passive part of Shadow Dance giving him the hp-regeneration and movement speed buffs when he is not revealed by detection.
- Silver Edge is a natural extension of Shadow Blade and can improve Slark's ganking capability even further with its Break and damage reduction. Keep it in mind when facing heroes with strong passive abilities such as Phantom Assassin's Blur and Coup de Grace or Enchantress' Untouchable.
- Abyssal Blade is an extremely useful item on Slark that combines very well with Slark's high agility and attack speed, which can constantly proc bashes. It also provides him with extra attack damage and a strong active ability.
- Moon Shard hugely increases Slark's attack speed, allowing him to steal large amounts of attributes in a short amount of time. As the game progresses, it can be consumed to free a itemslot and provide a permanent attack speed bonus.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Tips[edit | edit source]
- Slark is a great hero to match enemies with strong single target disables or damage skills such as Shadow Shaman, Crystal Maiden, Lina, or strong carriers that rely in right click damage such as Sven, Huskar and Troll Warlord thanks his ultimate Shadow Dance. However his Achilles's heel is in heroes with point target skills such as Pudge's Meat Hook that inflict damage and applies the hook effect even during Shadow Dance and AOE ultimates such as Call Down, Black Hole and Reverse Polarity, this weakness is can be remedied buying a Black King Bar
- Shadow Blade/ Silver Edge is an often picked item for Slark, as it gives you another escape and immediately activates Shadow Dance's passive, assuming the other team has no detection. Using Shadow Walk to sneak up to an enemy hero and hit for 175 bonus damage before pouncing is a good combo for taking down heroes faster. Silver Edge makes this combo even stronger. Shadow Dance can be used to make sure you are undetected as you move into position, however be careful, if the whole enemy team is missing while you going to gank, they might be waiting for you.
- Eye of Skadi is almost a core on Slark because it suits well with his poor stat gain, also the passive Cold Attack helps you when chasing and ensure more Essence Shift hits.
- Slark is fairly unique in that he can excel in every lane, if up against the right heroes, and can even be played as a solo offlaner thanks to Pounce.
- Pounce is good for both chasing and escaping enemies. It can be used like a Blink Dagger to jump into, from, or through otherwise impassable terrain to great effect.
- Dark Pact is a wonderful tool for purging the negative debuffs placed on him. When used at the right time, during the delay, the waves emitted from Slark will also remove the incoming debuffs about to be placed on him, allowing you to "dodge" or shorten their duration.
- Unlike most purges, Dark Pact can purge stuns from Slark - bear this in mind if you have been targeted by a slow moving projectile stun (such as Sven's Storm Hammer or Alchemist's Unstable Concoction) and time your activation of Dark Pact to remove it as it strikes. With enough practice you can time it to almost completely nullify their usage.
- Dark Pact also offers Slark a very interesting kind of advantage against certain defenses. The burst from Dark Pact is calculated as 10 attacks very quickly after another, meaning that Slark can use it against buffs like Living Armor, which offer protection but only defend against a set number of damage instances before disappearing.
- Dark Pact is a great way to finish off an invisible unit that has been leashed, as the AOE damage affects invisible prey.
- When being chased, try to get out of sight from the enemy, be it around trees, up hills, et cetera. The passive from Slark's ultimate will activate when out of enemy sight and give you a boost to move speed and HP regen for a short moment before sight is regained. This can be the difference between life and death.
- You can also use a Quelling Blade to cut off a tree and hide between the fog to regen your HP or take a shortcut, shortcuts can be made in the laning stage and before the battle begins.
- If timed right, Pounce can be used to dodge some projectile spells such as Sniper's ultimate, as Slark is invulnerable during his jump (note that some disables can catch Slark mid-air, though no damage will be dealt).
- A helpful side effect of Shadow Dance's passive is that Slark gains a weak form of detection. If you find that you've suddenly lost your movement speed and health regeneration bonuses while seemingly alone, it means one of three things. First, it can mean enemies are lurking around in the area that you can't see and you should be extra cautious- a gank may be incoming. Otherwise, if your enemies are all accounted for, it means the enemy has wards in the area, and you should let your team know this so they can react accordingly, or deward. Lastly, if Bloodseeker has leveled his Thirst, Slark's ultimate will be disabled while he has low health as it reveals Slark's location to his foes. This makes Bloodseeker one of the most effective counters to Slark in the game. But building an Urn of Shadows can remedy this, as you can get a steady +400 health from each active in early levels, which assures you the ability to get "off the grid" and continue your ganks after level 6.
- Slark functions a bit differently from most carries - while a standard carry capitalizes on sustained damage, Slark can take on more of a hit-and-run approach. You can maximize his Essence Shift's duration by continually harassing and retreating. Go for the kill once you think you have enough damage and attack speed to take down enemy heroes. Slark's base attributes are average at best, although with enough stolen Agility and damage items he can keep up with hard carries such as Phantom Assassin and Sniper.
- Maximize Essence Shift's efficiency by taking objectives using his stolen attributes. After a large teamfight, it is not uncommon to find that Slark has stolen upwards of 50 agility, making quick work of untended towers or Roshan.
- Soul Ring provides a cheap source of instant mana, as Shadow Dance can easily regenerate the health cost when out of battle
- If played as a midlane hero however, a Bottle can be a much better choice, healing you in combat situations and giving you mana when needed. Slark's passive speed boost from Shadow Dance also means he can out rune control most midlane heroes easily.
- Orchid Malevolence offers all the mana regeneration you will ever need, bonus attack damage and speed, as well as the damage amplifying Silence ability. Together with Pounce, it will lock down any target almost completely. Note, however, that this item choice does not supplement your naturally low health at all. Orchid Malevolence is most useful against intelligence heroes that can easily burst-damage you down, such as Lina, and heroes that can escape from Pounce's leash, such as Anti-Mage and Queen of Pain.
- Against Physical Damage dealers, such as Phantom Assassin for example, a Ghost Scepter works extremely well on Slark. Ghost Scepter gives you an added escape mechanism early along with much needed attributes, and builds into Ethereal Blade.
- Ethereal Blade gives Slark a huge damage and attack speed boost, Some HP, Armour and Mana, and yet another nuke and slow that synergizes well with Slarks skill set. This is due to Ethereal Blade's nuke damage coming from how much agility Slark has, and thanks to Essence Shift this can be an absolutely devastating amount of damage, especially if followed up by a Pounce and Dark Pact. Note that Ethereal debuffed units take 40% additional magic damage, boosting the damage output from both of your other nukes. One might think this is counter intuitive, as Dark Pact deals self damage. However, if done correctly Slark can use Ethereal Blade, time his Pounce and Dark Pact so that Slark can do full extra magic damage to the ethereal unit, and then be able to physically attack the leashed unit for an almost guaranteed kill. Ethereal Blade's Active can also be used to catch up to and/or finish off fleeing foes that are out of Slark's reach, as the nuke has a very long cast range.
- Skull Basher serves as a dual purpose item for Slark, giving him a passive bash and a huge damage boost, while also providing some HP. Late game Skull Basher can be upgraded into an Abyssal Blade for even more damage and HP and a guaranteed stun that goes through spell immunity.
- Blink Dagger is a great item for Slark, allowing him to close distances to set up a well-timed Pounce. It also greatly helps him escape sticky situations, due to the duration of Shadow Dance being longer than 3 seconds, he can easily blink out towards safety.
- Avoid buying a blink dagger/Shadow Blade if you're far behind in terms of Total Gold/Exp of the enemy team. Keep in mind these items are designed to pick kills only if you have enough DPS.
Counters[edit | edit source]
- Alchemist can deny the ability to farm for you with the large AoE of Acid Spray. He also can score an easy kill on you due to your low Armor at the start with his abilities and help from a Support or Ganker.
- Dazzle makes it difficult to secure early kills with Shallow Grave and can heavily damage or even kill you with Shadow Wave if you come too close to his allied creep wave.
- Early kills are difficult against Abaddon as he can both prevent your damage with Aphotic Shield and heal off of your engagements with Borrowed Time.
- Dark Seer is hard to lane against due to the high damage dealt by Ion Shell if you get too close. He also can quickly escape from engagements with Surge and possibly make it more difficult to land your Pounce.
- Tusk can slow your Attack Speed heavily with Frozen Sigil and cut you off from pursuing enemies with a well-positioned Ice Shards.
- Enchantress massively limits your right-clicking with Untouchable, and is hard to kill due to her healing from Nature's Attendants.
- Phoenix has a strong Attack Speed slow in Fire Spirits. When it uses Supernova alongside this skill, it is hard to attack quickly enough to kill it before it's reborn. Icarus Dive can also allow it to escape you when you try to engage with Pounce.
- Ancient Apparition's Ice Blast completely nullifies the healing from Shadow Dance and can't be Purged by Dark Pact, making you significantly more vulnerable.
- Fighting Razor for long periods may be difficult because Dark Pact is unable to remove the Damage Reduction from Static Link and the Armor Reduction from Eye of the Storm, giving him an edge in 1v1 fights.
- Dazzle is effective against Slark as Weave cannot be Purged and most of his damage is Physical, allowing him to take advantage of your poor Base Armor and Armor Growth. Shallow Grave is also a hindrance when trying to finish off an enemy.
- Bloodseeker has many tools that outright counter your hero. Thirst can render Shadow Dance useless at low HP, and Rupture can deal a lot of damage if you Pounce and can make a safe escape nearly impossible without a TP. Both skills cannot be removed with Dark Pact, either.
- Shiva's Guard gives the holder a large increase in Armor and an active that slows your Attack and Movement Speed, making fighting difficult for Slark.
- Heaven's Halberd is debilitating as it can't be Purged by Dark Pact, making it difficult to right-click while also possibly forcing you to build Monkey King Bar.
- Ghost Scepter renders the target immune to your right-clicking if it isn't Purged and Ethereal Blade can also render you unable to right-click unless Purged.
- The Break and Damage Reduction from Silver Edge cannot be removed with Dark Pact. Not only will your Essence Shift be disabled, but your Damage output will be halved, which is crippling in one-on-one's and teamfights.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Slark's murloc heritage was completely removed in transition to Dota 2 to avoid copyright issues, since the murloc are an existing race in the Warcraft universe.
- Slark's response, Play "Met you once, cut you twice." is a reference to the carpentry phrase, "Measure twice, cut once."
- Slark's respawn line, Play "Griefer madness..." is a reference to the propaganda film, Reefer Madness. As well, a griefer is a role a player assumes while in a multiplayer game to deliberately irritate other players.
- Slark's weapon, a Shiv, is the traditional prison weapon and is a reference to his backstory.
- The set Deep Sea Scoundrel is a reference to Silence of the Lambs character Hannibal Lecter.
Update history[edit | edit source]
Balance changelog[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- , Murlocs, the race Slark belongs to in DotA1.