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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 icon.png Reaper's Scythe. His Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse is able to heal/damage allies/enemies, Ghost Shroud icon.png Ghost Shroud is able to chase fleeing heroes, and Heartstopper Aura icon.png 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 Reaper's Scythe against Str, low hp and key heroes.
  • Strong in long teamfights.
  • Item dependent.
  • Low agility gain and armor.
  • Low mobility.
  • No escape mechanism.

Durable Caster[edit]

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.

Heavy Nuker[edit]

Necrophos can sometimes be played as Heavy 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). 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
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 25
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 Nil icon.png Reaper's Scythe icon.png Talent icon.png Talent icon.png


Hero Talents
-1.5s Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse Cooldown 25 +0.6% Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura
+80 Attack Speed 20 +20% Magic Resistance
+30 Movement Speed 15 +300 Health
+10 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]


  • Necrophos usually plays as off-lane durable hero.
  • Mid Necrophos will turn him into nuker.
  • Necrophos is strong in laning stage because of Death Pulse and Heartstopper Aura passives.
  • Necrophos is prone to ganks. Make sure not to overextend.
  • Prioritize enemy carry or mid when using Reaper's Scythe.


Death Pulse icon.png Death Pulse[edit]

  • In laning stage, Death Pulse is good for both harrassing enemy hero and getting 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 Death Pulse's passive.
    • Death Pulse have a very short casting animation, ideal for lasthitting.
      • consider the Death Pulse 400 projectile speed. Sometimes, Necrophos may miss getting the last hit.
    • In early to mid game, try to conserve using this ability as it will deplete Necrophos' mana very quickly
  • Do not use Death Pulse while using Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll.
  • Be sure to heal your allies too using the ability.
  • After getting regeneration item, try spamming Death Pulse for its heal to help allies stay alive in teamfight
  • More Tips needed

Ghost Shroud icon.png Ghost Shroud[edit]

  • Use Ghost Shroud when near death to amplify any healing, such as Death Pulse and Mekansm icon.png Mekansm.
    • Ghost Shroud also amplifies any mana received. Use it when Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots is about to be used.
  • Use Ghost Shroud to chase down enemy heroes.
  • Use Ghost Shroud to dive tower, as it negates physical damages.
  • Use Ghost Shroud when expecting physical burst damages, such as Monkey King minimap icon.png Monkey King's Boundless Strike icon.png Boundless Strike
  • Use Ghost Shroud after successful hero kills to amplify Death Pulse's passive max stack.
  • Be mindful of Ghost Shroud's long cooldown.
  • Be sensible when using Ghost Shroud.
    • Be sure not to get nuked as Ghost Shroud also amplifies any magic damage received.
    • Ghost Shroud does not purge 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 Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll as it will get canceled. Cast it before using TP.
  • More tips needed

Heartstopper Aura icon.png Heartstopper Aura[edit]

  • Early point in Heartstopper Aura will help the laning stage.
    • Investing another point on it may not be worth it as it deals damage based on health Percentage.
    • Take Heartstopper Aura after Death Pulse because Necrophos will be benefited by Death Pulse more than Heartstopper Aura.
    • Make sure enemy heroes are within the Heartstopper Aura 900 radius.
    • Low HP creep will likely die to Heartstopper Aura if Necrophos miss the last hit.
  • Level up Heartstopper Aura after both Death Pulse and Ghost Shroud are maxed. At that stage of the game, the enemy will likely have larger health pool, making another point in it more effective.
  • More tips needed

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

  • 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's 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.
  • Any kill under Reaper's Scythe will be credited to Necrophos. Thus, replenishing his mana.
  • Reaper's Scythe's stun goes through magic immunity, whereas the damage will not.
  • Reaper's Scythe is not a channeling ability, meaning you can move the moment you have cast it.
  • Cast 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 to the enemy's farm. This will cause heroes who depend on snowballing early like Pudge minimap icon.png Pudge or Spectre minimap icon.png Spectre to become almost useless in mid to late game as their chance to snowball will be greatly reduced.
  • More tips needed


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 is needed in emergencies or for a clutch Death Pulse or Reaper's Scythe. This item is triply effective on Necrophos : on top of the burst heal it provides, the burst mana can also be used for an extra Death pulse, and it can be amplified by Ghost Shroud. As a hypothetical but likely scenario, using Ghost Shroud, then a 17-charges Wand, then a Death Pulse will heal you for (17 * 15 + 120) * 1.75 = 656 HP.
  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads for more damage output and faster attack speed.
  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots for extra mana pool.
  • Buckler icon.png Buckler for extra armor.
  • Infused Raindrop icon.png Infused Raindrop for extra magic resistance and mana regeneration.
  • Wind Lace icon.png Wind Lace if extra mobility is needed.
  • Bottle (Full) icon.png Bottle if running Mid Necrophos.

Core items:

  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter reduces the cooldown of Reaper's Scythe dramatically, while giving nice attributes, health, and mana.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger will solve his mobility problem and great chasing/initiating item.
  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm for extra heal and an upgrade from Buckler icon.png Buckler. Used during Ghost Shroud, it will heal you for 437 HP.

Situational items:

  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is an alternative for Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger, as it gives Intelligence, health regeneration, and gives a quick method of movement while under attack. Use it to save yourself allies or push enemy heroes.
  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord is a good early-mid game item, and will amplify your spell damage. The two Null Talisman icon.png Null Talismans it's built from are perfect for the laning phase. It also provides some much-needed armor, 6.
  • 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. The two Bracer icon.png Bracers it's built from can help secure your early game.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail is good if you get focused in fights. It is better if you're ahead on farm and/or levels compared to your opponents as you're otherwise not that tanky.
  • 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. Consider building Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots instead of Power Treads if you are planning to build this.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard the armor and the aura will slow the enemy carry's attack, while its active ability places a slowing debuff on enemies.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight gives much more health regeneration and increases your magic resistance.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter can be purchased to counter an enemy Nullifier icon.png Nullifier or other dispels. Indeed, once they've purged 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 ability icon.png Doom.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Boots of Travel 1 icon.png Boots of Travel can be bought to make you faster and able to push the lanes more effectively and present in teamfights.
  • 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.