Do you want to know how to play support as Shadow Demon in Dota 2?
Among the least played heroes of all time, most underestimate the true fighting prowess of Shadow Demon. With the potential to dominate entire games with his debuffs and stackable damage, he overpowers all, with the right draft. Not only this, but his incredible debuffs make it vital for all supports to play Shadow Demon in Dota 2.
Besides many of his other talents, Shadow Demon specializes in ganking lanes and helping his teammates get kills. Moreover, he also tends to be potent at all points in the game with his Spell-immunity-piercing abilities. Credit is also due to his ability to have an impact even with a lack of gold, XP, and items.
Being incredibly versatile also allows him to be both an offensive and defensive support and perhaps even a core. His relatively low cooldown abilities make it effortless for him always to be ready for action. Furthermore, he also possesses minor crowd control and is another reason to learn to play Shadow Demon in Dota 2.
Shadow Demon’s spells act as great tools to stop enemies from finishing off or killing allies. As a result, he works impeccably against heroes like Legion Commander and Faceless Void, who look to lockdown heroes. As for combinations with allies, Shadow Demon can boost any carry’s fighting potential by making illusions.
Shadow Demon’s Abilities
Shadow Demon’s first ability, Disruption, allows him to banish any target unit for almost three seconds. Once the banishment is over, the target unit reappears with two illusions under Shadow Demon’s control. These illusions have decreased output damage and take three times as much damage as the actual hero.
Soul Catcher directly steals enemy health by capturing all the souls of enemies in a 250-unit radius. For ten seconds, Shadow Demon gets Spell Amplification for every soul he steals. However, after this duration passes, all enemies under the effect of this spell get half their stolen health back.
Shadow Demon’s signature spell and the key to his dominating potential is Shadow Poison. With this ability, Shadow Demon shoots a line of poisonous air that inflicts a stackable blow on enemies. Till the fifth stack, the stacked damage multiplies, and after it, the damage increases linearly in increments of fifty damage.
The second aspect of this ability is another reason to learn how to play Shadow Demon in Dota 2. With the Shadow Poison Release, one can choose to release the poison stack damage to output massive burst damage. Not using this spell releases the damage automatically in ten seconds without any control of Shadow Demon.
His ultimate ability is Demonic Purge, a debuff spell that damages enemy. This spell allows Shadow Demon to slow any enemy by a maximum of 100% of their movement speed. For seven seconds, this debuff reduces to a final reduction of 20% and inflicts burst damage of 500.
How to Utilize his Abilities
Disruption is an amazing ability because of all of its defensive and aggressive uses in a team fight. Firstly, it is a lockdown ability that traps enemies for almost 3 seconds, allowing one’s team to swarm them. Furthermore, it is also an ability to help save one’s allies from long-duration disables and Team Fighting abilities.
Soul Catcher, though an extremely easy ability to understand, is incredibly potent and useful to that extent. The best way to utilize this spell is to use it on lonely enemies who one catches in initiations. This is because it makes taking down a single target extremely easy and gives Spell Amplification for the remaining fight.
Shadow Poison is a very low mana-cost spell with an even more minimal spell cooldown. Resultantly, whether it is in lane, to farm, or during a team fight, the only goal is to spam this ability. Many are also unaware that at its fifth stack, it is most potent. Consequently, in the early game, five stacks are often enough to bring down any hero one wants.
A spell with the rare ability to pierce Spell Immunity, Demonic Purge has quite a few use cases. An incredibly long range allows Shadow Demon to use this ability to initiate from quite far away. Its tendency to kite an enemy removes them from the fight for a long time, the key to winning fights.
As a support, Shadow Demon has very few priorities, one of them being to guarantee a successful laning stage. To achieve this, he should always buy plenty of healing items like Tangoes and Healing Salves for his core. Moreover, items to supplement fighting like Clarities and Enchanted Mangoes are also important in the lane.
Early on, the max of the extent that Shadow Demon can build is a Magic Wand and Boots of Speed. Apart from this, he should also aim to buy Observer and Sentry Wards and Smoke of Deceit. A Windlace and a Ring of Basillius can also be a good addition to one’s arsenal to improve Mana Regeneration.
As the laning stage ends, an Aether Lens is usually the best item to go for. This is because apart from expanding his Mana pool, his cast range also increases. An increase in Cast Range helps to improve fighting as Shadow Demon can use his spells from a safe distance. The Aether Lens is also relatively cheap for the value it provides.
In the midgame, a farmed Shadow Demon can already be a menace without needing many items. As a result, there is a lot of variety in what items Shadow Demon can build, and it depends. Some useful items are, however, Blink Dagger and Force Staff for the ability to reposition easily in fights.
Though Shadow Demon works best in the Early to Midgame, there are still aspects that make him useful later on. Some of these aspects improve based on the items that he buys. Practical items that he can pursue are the Shiva’s Guard and Aghanim’s Sceptre. Both of these items accelerate Shadow Demon’s fighting potential unbelievably.
Laning Stage and Gameplay
In the laning stage and early game in general, Shadow Demon is arguably the most threatening hero on the map. As a result, constantly making moves and abusing one’s spells is the best way to get ahead. The text above also states his brilliance as a ganker. Thus, he should always move to other lanes to secure easy kills for his cores.
Mastering Shadow Demon also goes hand in hand with mastering the art of correct positioning. In a position where he is not visible, he can easily layer on his stackable damage. This can occur to an extent where it becomes almost impossible even to stay alive after his spells hit.
In the Mid to Late game, it becomes impossible to match the tempo and fighting prowess that Shadow Demon brings. During this timeframe, joining up with one’s other cores to constantly pester enemies is extremely annoying. This allows Shadow Demon to take away the map from enemies while also pressuring their towers and objectives.
Though not popular, Shadow Demon is incredibly diverse in his roles and what he can bring to a roster. Everything from insane magic damage, and lockdown to slows, he has it all and uses it to dominate enemies. These attributes are why it is impossible not to learn to play Shadow Demon in Dota 2 as a support.