Submitted by killthemall (1 month 1 week ago)
The Return of the Fiend - 7.07
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Shadow Fiend
It is said that Nevermore the Shadow Fiend has the soul of a poet, and in fact he has thousands of them. Over the ages he has claimed the souls of poets, priests, emperors, beggars, slaves, philosophers, criminals and (naturally) heroes; no sort of soul escapes him. What he does with them is unknown. No one has ever peered into the Abysm whence Nevermore reaches out like an eel from among astral rocks. Does he devour them one after another? Does he mount them along the halls of an eldritch temple, or pickle the souls in necromantic brine? Is he merely a puppet, pushed through the dimensional rift by a demonic puppeteer? Such is his evil, so intense his aura of darkness, that no rational mind may penetrate it. Of course, if you really want to know where the stolen souls go, there's one sure way to find out: Add your soul to his collection. Or just wait for Nevermore.
Shadow Fiend is the most iconic mid hero of our lovely game of Dota 2. It requires pure skill and understanding of the mid lane mechanics to be a good Shadow Fiend player.

And that is why 1v1 s always gets played in a Shadow Fiend duel.Because mid lane is about last hitting,denying and killing.In a Sf 1v1 if you have more last hits and denies you have more souls and more damage.

And you are the superior player period. Picking Shadow Fiend into team compositions that thrives on mid game is the best time to pick him.
Early Game
Mid Game
Late Game
Shadow Blade and Hurricane Pike are your core items. Black King Bar will be required around %80 of the games and if you are in one of the %20 games Linken's Sphere will be your friend.

If you are against heavy physical damage lineups Butterfly or Assault Cuirass are good pickups.

If you need someone to shut up Bloodthorn is good. And if you need pure damage Daedalus is good to have for those sweet crits.

Your every game items will be your Power Treads, Shadow Blade and Hurricane Pike. Others are situational.
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Necromastery is first skill to get so you get on to your soul catching adventure early on.
But maxing your razes is more important for both your farm speed and kill potential.

With no souls to requiem your requiem of souls doesnt do well damage so you hold on to your ulti until you max your necromastery at level 8.

Presence of the Dark Lord is inferior to Necromastery (in dps) so you get it first at level 10. Talents are standart for right clicking.

20 AS is an easy one. You can choose presence affects buildings but i strongly recommend movement speed. Evasion and damage per soul are the last 2 choices and you will wreak havoc!
+20 Attack Speed10+10% Spell Amplification
+40 Movement Speed15Presence Aura Affects Building
+150 Shadowraze Damage2020% Evasion
40% Cooldown Reduction25+3 Damage Per Soul

1Early Game

Shadow Fiend's early game is his most fragile stage. He has no defensive abilities and his health pool is so low.
And if he cannot get his farm you are deadweight to your team.

So if you are up against an aggressive mid laner ask for a support to come with you for early levels to secure farm.

This is how you handle this stage. You buy your Wraith Band and Branches, beg your support for tangoes, get your bounty rune and buy your healing salve. First skill to get is Necromastery, And the name of the game is souls.

You should always play defensive at this stage, keep your souls maxed out and get as much as farm you can get and work up to your Bottle, Power Treads and Ring of Aquila.

Until level 7 playing safe, harrasing enemy laner with razes, last hitting and denying everything you see and (if your enemy is dumb enough) getting a kill are your priorities. After level 7 you can clear creep waves with 2 razes and get into jungle to farm and gank other lanes if the opportunity is there.

And while you do all of that always carry a tp to counter gank.

2Mid Game and Fighting

For this stage your items are Shadow Blade and Hurricane Pike. Getting farm, pushing towers and taking souls of your enemies are your objectives. This is the most powerful stage of the hero by far.

Your razes deal a lot of damage, your ulti has the potential to one-shot the enemy carry and your attacks carve pieces of your enemies skin.
So gathering up your team and team fighting is important in this stage.

Holding alt key (the hold key) will make your hero not move but change directions. This can make you raze easier.

So lets talk about fighting with him. Trying to start fights with your Shadow Blade is only a good idea if you are absolutely sure they have no detection there (because if they have you are suiciding).

Trying to get solo kills instantly with a well timed Requim of Souls with your Shadow Blade is a much better idea.

In teamfights starting of with your ulti is good because of its debuff. After that you auto attack while keeping distance (because you are so so so so fragile) and finish them of with your razes.

3Late Game

You need to understand one thing about his lategame.
You picked a hero that excels at midgame and didnt win the game, so you are in a little bit of trouble.

But dont worry! Because his fast farming will keep you relevant into late game.

At this point auto attacking is superior to your razes. Only use razes if you can hit multiple heroes or finish of a low health enemy.

Butterfly, Skadi, BKB, Linken, Daedalus, Bloodthorn, Satanic are your choices.

My most used 5 items would be Hurricane, Silver Edge, BKB, Butterfly, Daedalus. So if you dont have any ideas to what to pick up situationally this is your go-to build.
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