How to Play Slark in Dota 2

Do you want to know how to win games with Slark?

Slark, the Nightcrawler, is an agility-based carry that uses his spells to catch and quickly eliminate his enemies. He is one of the few heroes who have the potential for limitless scaling into the late game. This is due to his abilities and mechanics, which are quite complex for newer players. Therefore, it is important to know How to Play Slark in Dota 2 to win games.

Specializing in picking off enemies, Slark has multiple escapes which help with ganking enemies and backing off promptly. Furthermore, he shines in prolonged and extended team fights because of his ability to steal attributes. Besides this, he also has increased night vision, making it easier for him to scout for compelling team fights.

High mobility and extreme health regeneration from his ultimate allow him to be very slippery and constantly pinch enemies in fights. Also granted a source of lockdown, he can keep hitting enemies making his strikes ever faster and stronger. An aggressive playstyle and incredible maneuverability are why one needs to learn How to Play Slark in Dota 2.

Slark’s Abilities

How to Play Slark in Dota 2

His first ability is Dark Pact, which allows him to purge debuffs from himself and damage enemies near him. With a radius of 325, Slark deals 300 magic damage, which upgrades to 370 using a talent. However, this ability damages Slark himself for 30% of whatever damage the ability deals at that particular level.

Providing an excellent escape and the potential to root enemies, Pounce is Slark’s second ability. This spell grants him the ability to jump forward 700 units in the direction he is currently facing. Apart from the primary use as mobility, it also leashes any enemy he can connect with while making his jump. Resultantly, he roots enemies for up to 3.25 seconds upon contact.

Essence Shift makes Slark daunting to play against as it provides him with the power to steal attributes. With every single attack on an enemy, Slark steals 1 of each attribute and gains 3 agility in return. Moreover, he retains the attributes stolen and the agility gained for up to 100 seconds. Besides this, he also gains 1 permanent agility for every kill taken in a 300 radius.

Slark’s ultimate ability is Shadow Dance. With the aid of this spell, he conceals himself in the shadows and becomes invulnerable to detections. Besides this, when not under the enemy team’s vision, he possesses extra movement speed and health regeneration. This ability stays active for 4.5 seconds with a short cooldown of 45 seconds as max level. Learning how to best use this ability is important if you want to learn how to Play Slark in Dota 2.

How to Utilize His Abilities 


Dark Pact becomes quite vital for the fighting potential of Slark following the recognization of its strong dispel over debuffs. This is because if timed correctly before initiating fights, it will remove any stuns that enemies may cast on impulse. Besides this, shifting treads to intelligence before using it to farm lets Slark farm with minimal health and mana costs.

Usually, the second spell to have the most levels up after Dark Pact, players prioritize Pounce in the first levels. This decision takes place to guarantee a safe escape from bad situations and to set up kills with support. Apart from this, one should use Pounce generously to harass and pick at enemies due to its nominal mana costs.

In lanes against strong melee trading heroes, prioritizing Essence Shift is crucial to discourage enemies from harassing Slark and to trade efficiently. Slark habitually gains massive amounts of stacks after team fights, which act best as an aid to capture objectives or Roshan. It is best used by constantly being a nuisance and going in for the kill once you steal enough attributes.

Using Shadow Dance whenever Slark reaches 20% of his health while fighting is a good rule of thumb. Abusing his ability after reaching level six to heal back up to full health after farming or fighting increases efficiency. Using it to spot wards as enemy vision causes him to lose his healing and movement speed is quite important.

Item build 

How to Play Slark in Dota 2

As for the laning stage, Slark starts with an orb of venom which slows enemies and helps in harassing them. Besides this, healing like Tangos and Healing Salves help him regen his health without returning to the fountain. He also builds an early Orb of Corrosion instead of multiple wraith bands for early kill potential.

The best boots on Slark; Power Treads, and their ability to shift attributes are a lifesaver for his low mana. With these boots, he shifts them to intelligence just before using Dark Pact, making him capable of spamming it. Likewise, this also increases his impact as he is never out of resources and is always ready to fight.

An amazing item to build on Slark in the midgame is the Echo Sabre which makes gathering stacks extremely easy. Moreover, the double attack and slow also aid in ganking, which he usually participates in from early on. It also provides many starting stacks that make Slark tanky enough to withstand fights.

One of the most beneficial items for Slark and his teams is his Aghanim’s Shard. This shard provides him with a new ability called Depth Shroud, which exponentially increases his team’s fighting potential. With this ability, he can create a cloud in a certain area and conceals all allies from detection. Consequently, he gains another ability with effects like Shadow Dance.

In addition to this, another item that is a staple on Slark is the Eye of Skadi. With the Eye of Skadi, he increases his health and armor and his attack damage and speed. Another added benefit is that he slows enemies when he attacks them, making it infinitely easier to gather Essence Shift.

Laning Stage and General Tips

How to Play Slark in Dota 2

Slark specializes in playing against enemy supports that he can pick off, such as Crystal Maiden or Witch Doctor. Moving on to core match-ups, he works very well against cores that have no way of disabling him. Some examples of cores that he counters include, Bristleback or Templar Assasin and Dragon Knight.

In the lane, it is usually beneficial to take care of what matchup one is against and level his abilities accordingly, as covered above. Slark benefits from constantly pushing lanes and going to neutral camps to use his Dark Pact to accelerate his farm. Besides this, Slark rarely builds items that help him farm, so one should always try to show aggression.

Knowing when to leave the safe lane is very important as he becomes an efficient fighter after level six. Though blessed with multiple escapes, he functions best by letting other cores take the stage while killing the backlines himself. This allows him to gain an advantage and provides him with enough stacks to bring down the cores.

The best time and place for Slark to get easy kills is to invade the enemy jungle at night. This is since he has one of the largest night vision distances in Dota 2. Slark requires constant practice and attention to be the best, so grinding and learning his intricacies is supreme.

A solid carry in almost every patch with an ever-changing item build and versatile playstyle, Slark is a prime carry. His ability to demolish enemies and run through tanks is why players with high MMR adore the hero. Learning Slark is one way to boost your MMR and this is why this article covers How to Play Slark in Dota 2.

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