Dota 6.65 give us 2 new heroes, one of them is Murloc Nightcrawler, Slark. We already see the teaser video for him, but now we can see all of his skills. Let's go! But before that, if you're playing Dota 2, you gotta better check Dota 2 Slark page instead.
Murloc Nightcrawler Skills & Stats
Movement Speed: 305
Hero Type: Agility
Agility: 21 + 2.0
Strength: 21 + 1.0
Intelligence: 16 + 1.6
Slark calls upon deities of the swamps to seal a dark pact. Sacrificing some of his lifeblood, Slark is redeemed of all negative effects. After 2 seconds, a dark wave of destruction emits from the Nightcrawler, dealing damage to himself as well as all nearby enemies.
Deals half the damage to you immediately as part of the cost.
Tips: This skill also can remove you from negative buffs, which means you can remove Dust of Appearance effect and other tracking buff ;)
Surges directly forward and latches on to the first enemy he hits, binding it with chains of darkness. The enemy is unable to move more than 275 distance away from the point of impact for 3.5 seconds.
Pounce Range: 400/500/600/700
Pounce Damage: 50/75/100/125
Leash Range: 275
Leash Duration: 3.5
Note: Moves forward in the direction it is looking, this is not a target position cast.
Tips: Pounce works like Mirana's Leap. You will jump into the direction you're facing. A successful Pounce will bind your enemy for 3.25 seconds. When the enemies binded, they cannot leave from the area except from using Teleport/BKB. Mirana's Leap, Morphling Waveform and Blink will useless. If you're ganking with a stunner, maybe it's better to let him landed a stun first then when his stun is almost finish, quickly pounce him. It can be great tool for escaping too!
Reciting ancient Nightcrawler incantations, Slark enchants his blade to steal the power and courage from his enemies. Every time Slark hits an enemy hero, he steals 1 point from all attributes and 1 additional from the main attribute of that enemy hero while Slark gains 4 points of Agility.
Tips: You must note that even though you steal 1 of all attribute + 1 main attribute from your enemy, you gain only 4 agility and not 1 of all attribute + 1 main attribute. Has a 0.4 second cooldown.
Has an active and a passive portion
Covers himself with a dark smoke, he becomes invisible and does not reveal himself while attacking or casting spells for 5.5 seconds.
Passively increases Nightcrawler's movement speed and regeneration when he is out of sight of hostile units. Has a 0.7 delay when activated or deactivated.
Movement Speed: 30/35/40%
Health Regeneration: 2/3/4%
Active duration: 5.5 seconds
Tips: This skill can be used as healing mechanism. If your HP is low, find a hidden place and recovers. If you use Shadow Dance when attacking the enemy, your movement speed and regen bonus is working, except the enemies cast dust or have gem. This skill also can detect if there's observer or not. If you're on a place and your passive did not work even though all the enemies is on other place, you can be sure that somewhere near there an observer ward is placed :)
Murloc Nightcrawler Item Build
You will need this to survive the line until getting your Shadow Dance. After get your ultimate, you won't need any HP regen items.
Town Portal, Bracers, Strength Power Treads, Magic Wand, Diffusal/Sange Yasha/Desolator, Manta/BKB
Slark stats growth is really poor, especially his Strength. You will barely have only 1385 HP at level 25. Thats why you must get some HP items to avoid getting yourself killed before you have the chance to escape. Strength Power Treads and Bracers is barely enough to boost your survivability if you careful. Why not Vanguards? Many PPL recommend Vanguards, but i think it's a waste on him. You don't need the heals and you're also not a tank hero. Better spends those money on cheaper HP boost items like Bracers or even on Ogre Axe that can be used for BKB or Sange Yasha.
Now, which offensive items you must buy? Diffusal, Sange Yasha or Desolator? Personally, i like to have Diffusal on him. His role as a ganker will benefits much from the Purge as well as the mana burn. With a stunner mate and purge, a kill is almost guaranteed. However, Sange Yasha is also not too shabby. The MS boost will gives you max speed (522) whenever nobody see you. Desolator is also good since you are stolen their agility and reduce the armor.
What about Mask of Madness? Honestly, i don't think Mask of Madness fit him. It will force you to receive more damage and you're already fragile enough. The attack speed is great, but i think it's more fitted with Darkterror or Barathrum. RememberThe ms boost also an overkill since with Yasha and Shadow Dance you already get the max speed. If you didn't agree with me, share your thought on the comment section :)
BKB will be your main items if the enemies consist of nuker like Lion or Lina. One stun + Fingers from Lion will ensure a death to you. Of course you already have Shadow Dance which allow you to attack when invisible. But a decent player will always have dust on their inventory if you become a threat to them. Remember, you don't have a silence mechanism like Rikimaru's Smoke Screen.
Butterfly will be your main luxury item, you will benefits from the agi boost and the evasion. Monkey King Bar is also a good choice if their carry is already get Butterfly. HoT will be your best items if you're being the main target. Even though the regen is somehow a waste compared to your ulti, HoT is still the best single HP boost item.
Murloc Nightcrawler Skill Build
2. Essence Shift
3. Dark Pact
4. Dark Pact
5. Dark Pact
6. Shadow Dance
7. Dark Pact
11. Shadow Dance
12-14. Essence Shift
16. Shadow Dance
Ok, i think this will be a little debatable. Why maxed Dark Pact first instead of the others? At first glance, i think Dark Pact is a poor skill compared to Pounce or Essence Shift. But after trying him several times, Dark Pact is magnificent. It deals 300 damage at 325 AoE with only 40 mana at level 4! Of course it also hurt you, but with right timing, it wouldn't be a problem because of your crazy regen. Murloc is a pure ganker. And Dark Pact is his only nuke that will help him get a kill on a gank. Not to mention that it also help you farming.
Pounce is maxed next because it's your chasing and escaping skills. Why not maxed Essence Shift first? I found it rather useless to max this early. 1 level of it is enough, the stats steal and agi stats addition work really nice. 15 seconds is more than enough on mid early-mid game which usually consist a lot of ganking.
Murloc Nightcrawler Strategy
Early game, choose a side line, preferably with a stunner. Side line is a must since you will need the boots and build Power Treads a.s.a.p. Farm and try to get your ulti fast. However, if your lane enemies is lack of stunner, you can get a kill early. Getting first blood is easy if your Pounce successfully hit the enemy, of course with a decent backup.
Buy Magic Stick early if you got the money. It will help you to stay on the line and the fill your mana when needed. After get your Treads and ultimate, you can start ganking. Murloc is a nice ganker because he can get speed boost when changing line thank to his ulti. His insane regen also allow you to farm neutrals and immediately refill the HP.
If you're confident with your skills, use Pounce to open a gank. If you don't feel you can't hit it, let your friend stun the enemies first before land your Pounce. The binding is a great loss if you miss it. Use Shadow Dance only when you need it, it cost some quite mana. If your Pounce successfully hit, on most case you won't need the Shadow Dance.
However, you must use Shadow Dance on certain enemies, especially if it is a heavy nuker like Lion. Of course, check if he has a Dust or not before start attacking. Remember, Pounce bind is not a stun. The enemies still can attack and use a spell on you. If your gank is failed and your HP is low, stay calm and walk into jungle/rune spot while regen. If you're getting ganked, use Pounce to escape and immediately use Shadow Dance. Usually the enemies won't be able to catch you up.
In a team battle, watch your role. Murloc is really fragile and easily get killed if the enemies focus on you. Let your team open the wars and immediately focus on your team target (usually the enemy carry) or finish the low HP hero.
Murloc Nightcrawler Summary
He is a nice hero that have great potential for ganking and anti-ward radar capabilites. His skills is synergies well. Even though he is really strong ganker, he also fragile and easily counterable with Gem/Dust. So, he is not that imbalance :)
Do you already thought about your Slark the Murloc Nightcrawler Guide & Strategy? Share it here! Don't forget that you can make your own guide on Slark the Murloc Nightcrawler Forum :)