Spartan Media - DotA Hero Guide - Murloc Nightcrawler - Slark (aka Fish, Shark) 

Category: DotA, Guide, DotA Heroes

Short description In this DotA Hero Guide for Murloc Nightcrawler - Slark (aka Fish, Shark) you'll sharpen Slark into an all-rounder with rough edges, when his ganking teeth pierce something he'll not let go easily, from zero to hero and carry the game, if you follow this build and tips.
Creators IceFrog, BuffMePlz, Guinsoo, Eul, Blizzard Entertainment (WC3)
Last Update 2010 (Still in active development)
Age 12+
Type Strategy, RPG, Team Gaming
Platform PC, Mac
Score High
Requirements Warcraft III, Reign of Chaos, Frozen Throne

DotA 6.69c

Murloc Nightcrawler Slark (aka Fish, Shark) - All-rounder / Ganker / Carry

Slark can be very strong semi-carry to full carry but is allways the one with extremely little health (paper: 1.0 STR gain per level is pathetic), as a result he gets often focus fire and dies easily = Slark, the paper shark; slark is THE best ganker in the game and a teamplayer with his pounce skill, keeping fleeing enemies close to take a "gang bang", as well as having a dependable invisible; in this build we try new things and focus on slark to contribute in a maximal disabling and high dpsing manner (close to full carry slark) to team clashes, to have fun with a slark who can take some abuse/focus fire: high as equals high essence shift/ high lifesteal, combined with blademail, soulburn and high bash chance this provides an interesting package giving this baby shark a nice rough coating of placeoid scales on Pokon and keep the burning shake and spiritbreaking, deorientating bite sensation of a big white; resulting in a small but sturdy fish, with little predating opponents willing to predate on) who is an allrounder and no walk over regardless his opponent.

The Slark in this guide remains a very effective ganker and can also hold his own against carries; casters and tanks. His only remaining weaknesses are mass-disablers; image heroes and extreme high damage burst damage (especially when he himself takes additional damage (berserk of mask of madness and low STR gain).

Attribute Type: Agility

Attack type: Melee

Roles: All-rounder, Ganker (and Chaser) and Carry (Semi-Carry).

Very Short Guide:

Lane: with a partner; preferably with good harass opportunities and or heal

After shadow dance you can start ganking, especially if you wisely prioritized pounce like the good little hungry shark you are.

After armlet your strong mid game begins

After mask of madness his damage output in this stage of the game is top tier but only for a short while: capitalize on this! After mask you can gank 24/7

Basher to limit incoming hits/save allies

Good: extremely good against heroes without escape mechanism; truesight; tanks and casters.

Bad: against full carries (e.g. mortred; lanaya; troll; syllabear; slithice; void; phantom lancer), bashers (troll; barathrum; slardar; void; syllabears entangle; cranium basher users); bad against team situations (syllabear + bear; slithice; chaos knight; phantom lancer; chen the holyknight; mantastyle; dirge). Special mentions: 1. bloodseeker, bloodseeker will see you when your health is low regardless of shadowdance; 2. slardar, slardar is anti invisible and has spammable aoe stun: avoid at all cost, if possible if you need to duke it out for a while against slardar one level in dark pact can help you get rid of amplify damage!, 3. spiritbreaker: all the skills of barathrum mess you up, but especially his charge of darkness make you death meat and 1st class gang bang focus fire material for your opponents, 4. doombringer: doombringer is anti-everything but really messes poor STAT slark up but only if he can doom slark before slark can go invisible with shadow dance/silence with soulburn, if not (using shadow dance to give him 5.5 seconds of your tender love and care, followed by soulburn: ouch!): he just is a big piece of bait who you will rip to oblivion.

Skill build: pounce has priority; take shadow dance whenever possible; prioritize essence shift after, followed by stats, dark pact last (unless you need the negative effects off earlier (e.g. damage over time (DOT) skills) then take one level as early as you want.

Combo (Ganker): hide, come from the back, activate mask of madness (activate armlet); chase open with pounce (if possible let your buddies land a tsun); activate shadow dance; directly afterwards or just before shadow dance ends: soulburn the target to prevent casting of skills or to start amplifying your damage, after shadow dance's ending activate blademail --> hopefully kill; use shadows/pounce/mask of madness to help you flee, use essence shift to stay and contribute in the battle.

Item Build (Itemleri)

  • Start: start: stout shield + quelling blade and 1 STAT branch: result a Slark that can farm fast in lane and has decent protection
  • 1. gloves of haste
  • 2. belt of giant strength
  • 3. boots of speed --> complete power treads
  • 4. gloves of haste
  • 5. blades of attack
  • 6. helm of iron will
  • 7. armlet of mordiggan recipe --> armlet of mordiggian completed: strong mid-game
  • 8. mask of death
  • 9. mask of madness recipe --> mask of madness completed: very strong mid-game
  • discard quelling blade
  • 10. robe of the magi
  • 11. chain mail
  • 12. long sword --> complete blademail
  • 13. belt of giant strength
  • 14. javelin
  • 15. basher recipe --> complete cranium basher
  • 16. 3 * sobi mask
  • 17. 3 * robe of the magi
  • 18. 3 * quarter staff --> complete orchid malevolence

The bold parts above form the core items of this item build.

Alternative items:

  • Replace blade mail with buriza: maximum carry slark
  • Replace basher with monkey king bar = maximize damage per second

Steroid items - activation equals huge gains, but at high cost to self. Below explanations why these controversial items have synergy with Slark:

  • Armlet: enormously strong on STR heroes in general and some AGI heroes, including slark, but has drawback of 35 health loss per second. Slark copes with this by 2 of his 4 skills: essence shift: the faster you hit the less damage per second (dps) you take and the more dps you deliver, shadow dance: hard to hit what you can't see and the additional STR provided by armlet has no/very little negative effects (during shadow dance or away from enemy units) since shadow dance gives 4% HP regen (4% of the 500 additional hp of activated armlet is already 20 hp (!) per second, armlet gives itself + 3hp/sec, net result only 12 hp lost per second; however Slark has more hp than just of armlet, a 1500 hp Slark already (armlet on) has +60 hp/sec +3hp/sec= +63 hp/sec; easily countering -35hp/sec of armlet).
  • Mask of Madness: enormous gain in attackspeed (non-aglity based), decent lifesteal an some movement bonus percentage as well, but drawback 30% increased damage. Slark copes with this by 2 of his 4 skills: essence shift: the faster you hit the less damage per second (dps) you take and the more dps you deliver and lifesteal back, shadow dance: hard to hit what you can't see and movement bonuses of dance and frenzy stack.


  • good laning starting items: stout shield + quelling blade: offers protection against (ranged) dps heroes and allows for some jungling
  • good antimage: invisible hunter through shadow dance, silence through soulburn; return damage from blademail, bashes combined with high ms of mask of madness are hell to them
  • good as: all items except blademail and basher; increasing survivability; slark loves attckspeed due to essence shift and now also has a basher.
  • support: team fights and dependable; shadow dance allows you to stay hitting, soulburn silence + bashes
  • decent health: good strength: powertreads, armlet combined with high armor: armlet and blademail and essence shift (AGI adds also armour); attack speed equals more essence shift (+damage, +armour, + attackspeed) bashes and more lifesteal, equals more survival
  • good escapes/survival: shadow dance; pounce; dark pact; frenzy, bash; soulburn silence;
  • disable: soulburn; pounce
  • slow: bash and pounce
  • good dps: all items add up to good dps; although far less than a Slark dps build (buriza and monkey king bar) --> soulburn damage does amplify
  • easy build up of items: none (!) of the items need secret shop to build
  • build is not cast in stone/ flexibility: limited core items to 3; drawbacks can be 'cured', although losing benefits of the discarded items
  • good mana regeneration: orchid malevolence ensures that skills are spammable
  • alternative and fun items
  • very (!) cheap build: end items cost: 1450 + 2800 + 1900 + 3100 + 2200 + 5025 = 16475 gold; way below 20000 gold theshhold


  • starting items are fully wasted in final item sets --> cure start with belt of gaint strength
  • slark is not that mana dependant: too much mana regeneration from orchid malevolance
  • a not so dps-ing slark (not even half of the item-dependant dps that could be obtained for this money) --> cure: go full dps items: desolator; divine rapier; monkey king bar and buriza do kanyon
  • no evasion: can in potential be permabashed/destroyed by dps-ing/bashing full carries --> cure: get butterfly and/or eul's scepter of divinity (tornado) and/or guinsoo scythe of the vise (hex)
  • does not function well against heroes with evasive protection --> cure: get monkey king bar
  • no immolation/ no splash and lifesteal does not work on images: will be owned by image heroes --> cure get radiance or battlefury
  • not lategame build --> cure: replace basher with monkey king bar, can also add buriza if needed.

See also

Other hero guides, item builds and more information about DotA can be found by clicking here.

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[ 2011-08-31 ] :: BSLJon
butterfly makes slark as grow indeed,but it does not solve its hp problems against for instance nukes as armlet does 500 hp increase, moreover armlet and orchid ar easy to build all low cost items, and orchid prevents spells for +/- 5 seconds amplifies all damage and makes them impossible to flee. close to
[ 2011-02-10 ] :: Hycut
IMO, slark could get the attack speed that you need in just 1 item(butterfly) instead of 2(orchid and mordiggian). Plus, he gets the additional damage and evasion! The silence in the orchid is necessary too for heroes with escape skills. Cool guide. The basher and madness is really needed, it\'s slarks ultimate weapon!

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