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Necrophos minimap icon.png Necrophos is a strong nuker and tanky hero who is capable of surviving long teamfights and picking off key enemy heroes with Reaper's Scythe. His Death Pulse is able to heal/damage allies/enemies, Ghost Shroud is able to chase fleeing heroes, and Heartstopper Aura helps harrass enemies in early game. Depending on the build, Necrophos can be either heavy nuker, or durable caster.
Pros Cons
  • Strong early-mid game.
  • Good strength gain.
  • Powerful nuke in Reaper's Scythe, against heroes bellow 40% hp.
  • Strong in long teamfights.
  • Item dependent.
  • Low agility gain and armor.
  • Low mobility.
  • No escape mechanism.
  • Easily countered by Spell Immunity, Magic Reduction and Silence.


Necrophos is effective when he stands in the middle of a fight. The focus of the build is to spam Death Pulse and help teammates to stay alive. Mekansm icon.png Mekansm and Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots are common items for offlane Necrophos. 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. The build is effective for early 4-5 man pushing. Durable Caster is standard build for Necrophos and should be used as the first step of playing Necrophos before considering other styles.


Necrophos can sometimes be played as a nuker, starting in midlane and building item like Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon and Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade. Necrophos can nuke an important target with Reaper's Scythe > Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade > Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon > Death Pulse combo (Note: Reaper's Scythe has 1.5 second delay before damaging the target. Thus, all abilities cast after Reaper's Scythe must be fit within this time window). A Heavy Nuker Necrophos can be very aggressive but also extremely squishy as his only way to survive is to make use of Death Pulse by killing his opponents as fast as he can.

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic Necrophos
Death Pulse icon.pngHeartstopper Aura icon.pngDeath Pulse icon.pngGhost Shroud icon.pngDeath Pulse icon.pngReaper's Scythe icon.pngDeath Pulse icon.pngGhost Shroud icon.pngGhost Shroud icon.pngGhost Shroud icon.pngTalent icon.pngReaper's Scythe icon.pngHeartstopper Aura icon.pngHeartstopper Aura icon.pngTalent icon.pngHeartstopper Aura icon.pngUnknown icon.pngReaper's Scythe icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png


Hero Talents
-2.5s Death Pulse Cooldown25+0.5 Heartstopper Aura
+32 Heartstopper Regen Reduction20+15% Magic Resistance
+32 Death Pulse Heal15+24% Ghost Shroud Slow
+8 Strength attribute symbol.png Strength10+25 Damage
  • This attack damage talent is added as raw attack damage, so it does not benefit illusions, and is not affected by most percentage-based damage increasing or reducing effects.
  • The magic resistance talent stacks multiplicatively with other sources of magic resistance.
  • The magic resistance talent increases Necrophos's magic resistance to 36.25%.

Tips & Tactics[edit]


  • Necrophos can thrive in all three lanes, but is most commonly played as a midlaner, where it is safer to push the lane with Death Pulse and he can secure many levels and farm. The offlane can work if the matchup is highly favorable, or with an aggressive support. Safelane Necrophos is a niche pick that typically works well with early game deathball pushes but is perfectly viable if your other lanes can compensate for other damage types.
  • Necrophos is strong in laning stage because of his Death Pulse and Heartstopper Aura passives. Successfully denying or last hitting to accrue Heartstopper Aura stacks while keeping the enemy in range of Heartstopper will gradually swing the lane in your favor.
  • Necrophos is prone to ganks. Make sure not to overextend, and avoid prematurely using Ghost Shroud against magical nukers.
  • Prioritize the enemy carry or mid when using Reaper's Scythe.
  • When teamfighting as Necrophos, you should aim to gradually swing the teamfight in your favor. After shutting out key enemy heroes with your Scythe, use your powerful regeneration (from Death Pulse stacks and Ghost Shroud) to surprise your enemies with a large heal. Your goal is to stay alive for as long as possible, in order to maximize Heartstopper, gather Heartstopper aura stacks, and heal your allies. This is also why your late game itemisation should include ample survivability.


Death Pulse[edit]

  • In laning stage, Death Pulse is good for both harassing enemy hero and securing last hits.
    • Try to get close to enemy hero when using the ability when lasthitting.
    • Make sure to take both last hits and denies, as Necrophos will benefit from Heartstopper Aura's passive.
    • Death Pulse has a very short casting animation, ideal for lasthitting.
      • Consider Death Pulse's slow projectile speed. Sometimes, Necrophos may miss getting the last hit.
  • Though Death Pulse has high mana cost, Necrophos can use it often in the early game to last hit and get mana regeneration from Heartstopper Aura.
  • Using Death Pulse will cancel Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll channeling.
  • After obtaining a mana regeneration item, Death Pulse can keep your allies and creeps healthy, which is especially important for pushing with a group.
  • Remember that Death Pulse is able to target invisible units. If you believe you are near an unseen enemy, don't be afraid to use it, as its skulls may locate their position.
    • However, it will give away the position of an invisible ally, as the spell leads towards them. Consider using your Mekansm icon.png Mekansm or Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves instead to heal them.

Ghost Shroud[edit]

  • Use Ghost Shroud when near death to amplify any healing, such as Death Pulse stacks and Mekansm icon.png Mekansm. It is extremely potent when combined with a Magic Wand, provided it has enough stacks.
  • When being ganked by the enemy, use your Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand stacks right after activating Death Pulse to greatly amplify both the HP and mana you've received. This will allow to turn the tides of the battle.
    • Ghost Shroud also amplifies any mana received. Use it when Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots is about to be used.
    • Use Ghost Shroud at the fountain to regenerate much faster.
  • Use Ghost Shroud to chase down enemy heroes, provided they won't turn around on you with burst magical damage.
  • As Ghost Shroud negates physical damage, use it when expecting physical burst damage, such as Boundless Strike, or when diving towers.
  • Be sensible when using Ghost Shroud.
    • Be sure not to get nuked as Ghost Shroud also amplifies any magical damage received.
    • It has a long cooldown and can typically only be used, at most, twice in a teamfight.
    • Ghost Shroud does not dispel any effect Necrophos has.
    • Do not to stack Ghost Shroud with Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar. Time it properly.
    • Do not use Ghost Shroud while using a Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll as it will get canceled. Cast it before using TP.
  • Ghost Shroud works well with Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core's Spell Lifesteal to heal Necrophos more.

Heartstopper Aura[edit]

  • An early point in Heartstopper Aura will help with the laning stage.
    • Investing another point in it may not be worth it, as it deals damage based on health percentage.
    • Make sure enemy heroes are within the Heartstopper Aura radius.
    • A creep on low health will likely die to Heartstopper Aura if Necrophos misses the last hit.
  • Consider leveling up Heartstopper Aura after both Death Pulse and Ghost Shroud, as it is more effective later in the game when your adversaries have higher amounts of health. If your enemy's line-up has many naturally high health targets (e.g. strength heroes like Pudge minimap icon.png Pudge or Centaur Warrunner minimap icon.png Centaur Warrunner), you can level it up earlier on.
  • The damage of Heartstopper Aura pierces spell immunity, while your other damaging abilities do not. Consider staying near and right-clicking enemies with Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar activated to assist your team during a fight if the fight is in your team's favor.

Reaper's Scythe[edit]

  • At level 3, Reaper's Scythe will probably 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.
  • Any kill under Reaper's Scythe will be credited to Necrophos, replenishing his mana and health.
  • Reaper's Scythe is not a channeling ability, meaning you can move the moment you have cast it.
  • Prioritize Reaper's Scythe on enemy key heroes.
    • Reaper's Scythe 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.
    • The extension of the respawn time will add up and will cause a significant reduction in the enemy's farm. This will cause heroes who depend on snowballing early like Pudge minimap icon.png Pudge or Ursa minimap icon.png Ursa to become almost useless in mid to late game as their chance to snowball will be greatly reduced.
  • Secured kills from Reaper's Scythe will grant you enough Death Pulse stacks to turn around an unfavorable fight, especially in combination with Ghost Shroud.


Starting items:

  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch improves Necrophos's early stats as well as damage and can be built into Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand or Mekansm icon.png Mekansm later on.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity to keep being able to cast Death Pulse when needed.
  • Mantle of Intelligence icon.png Mantle of Intelligence gives a little boost to Necrophos' mana pool and damage.
  • Tango icon.png Tango helps Necrophos stay in the lane.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve for quick regeneration of health.
  • Faerie Fire icon.png Faerie Fire helps Necrophos' somewhat low base damage and clutch heal if running mid.

Early game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand grants burst health and mana, which Ghost Shroud can amplify, so Necrophos can survive or have enough mana to use Death Pulse or Reaper's Scythe.
  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads allows Necrophos to switch between intelligence for mana, and strength for health.
  • Phase Boots icon.png Phase Boots provides increased mobility, damage for last hitting, and armor for survivability.

Mid game:

  • Hood of Defiance icon.png Hood of Defiance increases magic resistance and absorbs magical damage to protect Necrophos during Ghost Shroud.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff gives intelligence, health regeneration, and escape. Use it to save yourself and allies, or push enemy heroes into your team.
  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance synergizes well with Heartstopper Aura. Acquiring it will strengthen your presence during teamfights and help keep your lanes clear of enemy creeps.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger will solve his mobility problem, allowing him to chase and initiate.

Late game:

  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter doubles the effectiveness of Heartstopper Aura, lowers the cooldown of Ghost Shroud, while giving nice attributes, health, and mana.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard's aura will slow the enemy's attack, while its active ability places a slowing debuff on enemies.
  • 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.

Situational items:

  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord is a good early-mid game item, and will amplify your spell damage, as well as increasing armor for durability.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos is also highly viable for Necrophos. It gives health, intelligence, and a long-range root with a short cooldown.
  • Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel is also a nice item choice. It gives increased health, some extra stats, and mana regeneration; the active Soul Release has really good synergy with Necrophos skillset since it deals damage based on current health and reduces enemy regeneration and healing, paired with death pulse and Hearthstoper Aura, you can bring down a hero to Reaper's Scythe treshold in a few seconds. The item also can be used to heal yourself or allies.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail is good if you get focused in fights. It is better if you're ahead on farming and/or levels compared to your opponents as you're otherwise not that tanky.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight gives much more health regeneration and increases magic resistance.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter can be purchased to counter enemy dispels. Indeed, once they've dispelled Ghost Shroud, you can then use Ghost Scepter to remain immune to physical damage. It also upgrades into an Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a decent choice on most intelligence heroes. It is usually bought when Force Staff is a bad option, for example against Slark minimap icon.png Slark or Disruptor minimap icon.png Disruptor, or even to run away from Doom minimap icon.png Doom's Doom.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core lowers the cooldown of Necrophos' abilities, allowing him to spam Reaper's Scythe and Death Pulse. If purchased with Radiance, you will heal every second.
  • Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb if Necrophos finds himself to be a high priority target for the enemy.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque makes you a lot more tanky. A very important item to obtain if the enemy has highly mobile heroes who deal high damage.
  • Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves would be the better choice for supporting your team. Consider building Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots instead of Power Treads if you are planning to build this.